Thoughts from a level 30 psyker

As a level 30 psyker, I mostly feel useless on a team. Pretty much anything I can do, a veteran can do better and an Ogrin can do most of what I do better. It seems to me, any team would do better without a psyker and have any other class in its place. The only advantage is to having a psyker is that they are not competing for ammo.

Sure there are extremely situational places where a psyker can do great things, but mostly no.

Lets talk about head popping. This is a very slow and expensive process.
The first issue is trying to ‘lock on’ to an élite or specialist. Mostly you grab any enemy around them and not the person you want.

The second issue is that it is super slow to pull off. Most times, said veteran will have killed the mob in question long before you are done with your casting animation. The only thing you get for it is some peril you need to burn off. Oh, I do not want to forget to mention the absolute futility of trying to head pop a mutant or hound before it pounces even if you do see it coming from a fair distance.

My suggested fix is to half the head-pop time , eliminate all peril except when it actually goes off, and will auto-prioritize elite / special mobs.

Next lets talk about crowds, or hordes.
So I have the rifthaven staff which is like a flame-thrower. It does great against hordes and even can kill specials after a full burn.

What is the problem? Ogrin with mini guns and veterans with the full auto las guns can obliterate hordes just as fast AND they can do at a much longer range. So what is the point of the psyker in this team again? Out classed by everyone else.

Other staff types as far as I can tell in the psykonarium because there are no hordes in it):
Equinox staff both variants: The AoE damage drastically drops off, so while you may hit a lot of mobs, you are doing very little damage to most of them.

The lightning staff is neat, but only hits a few enemies and is terrible vs hordes. It is very good against specials though.

The other issue with all other staffs is that they all have windup times which also cause peril.
As a suggestion to fix that issue, remove the windup time.

Finally defenses: the psyker really doesn’t have any. You have your force push which is a cone in front of you, useable once in a while. It only staggers and maybe knocks down enemies for a 1 to 2 seconds. Not good enough to escape a horde. You can not really knock down enemies and then run away. They will be hitting you in the back before you even move a few feet. Trying to run away is a death sentence.

My suggested fix is to make this a very large spherical AoE that knocks enemies far away from you and then stuns them for 3 or 4 seconds (so that in small rooms you can still get away).

Overall I also feel the talents are mostly garbage. Some are useful, but most of them are not. Soul burn is pathetically weak.

However, my main, overall complaint is that the psyker is out performed by other classes. I do not want you to nerf the other classes. That is the wrong thing to do. I really think you, the developers, need to envision what is the actual service that a psyker is supposed to perform on a team and then re-engineer the class to excel at that.

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Great points. I’m level 20 and on Malice difficulty I already feel woefully underpowered compared to other classes. The only saving grace seems to be the force swords special attack killing dogs.

I think there are a few issues I’d highlight:

  • Soulblaze DOT is way too low and situational to pull off to be worth it. Anything you do manage to soulblaze gets killed by your team before it ever does to soul blaze. Maybe soul blaze DOT needs to be a % of the enemies health damaged instead of a fixed amount?

  • Both BB and Staves feel underpowered, already on Malice and I can’t imagine it on difficulty 4+. Either the damage needs to be scaled up more OR the casting/charge times need to be reduced. You can use staves to stun or stagger at range, but the killing power seems really weak even after a full charge. And all too often your teammates have used their range stuff to kill your target before you’re even done charging. So you end up building peril for nothing. It’s very difficult to quick switch to a staff and fire a few charged shots during melee without getting hit. I had no problem doing this with Sienna.

  • The force sword is great, but frankly losing the powerful peril inducing push is a problem. It’s really hard to build up peril in close combat unless I take the talent that blocks raise peril (but then im arbitrarily blocking when I could be attacking!). It’s tough to play melee centric when making peril-based attacks in close range takes so long and exposes you for a huge window.

Edit:

  • The psyker needs other ways to generate warp charges, and the effect of warp charges should be buffed in my opinion. Maintaining 4 warp charges is a lot of rigamarole for +12% damage on already weak feeling attacks. Or for the vastly underpowered soul blaze effect. Basically, there’s no real point to trying to play to warp charges, but all the other options are underpowered relative to other classes. Just sucks.
7 Likes

In Heresy a Psyker is a mobile CC turret. That is your basic job at all times. Use your staff and/or force sword to spam cc as much as you possibly can. There are times when you can and need to BB but compared to the other difficulties it just isn’t an effective use of your time. Usually what happens is BB goes off and you get the kill but in all honestly you spent 2 seconds channeling and did absolutely no damage until the very last chunk of health. Vets get cranky when you constantly BB steal their kills lol.

fwiw, there is one not-immediately-obvious thing a staff wielding psyker does for the team: not use ammo. It sounds rather blase and/or dismissive, but it can really help when you’ve got 4 people but only 3 actually need ammo. Pair that with the lightning’s ability to make a pack of enemies stop to do the ‘lightning shuffle’ and just those two things alone make me like having psykers in a team.

As a benefit, not using ammo is pretty damming.
As for the lightning staff, it does not hit very many targets, so its not like you can stun a horde and the stun is very, very short.

So a zealot which does not use much, if any ammo, would serve a team better.
Also ammo is not that scarce, so another Veteran or Ogin would not be much of a problem and be a much better benefit.

I unfortunately have to agree and having fallen in love with psyker’s premise, I’m so sad about this :frowning:

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So far we have complaints, in rough chronological order, about Psykers being bad (mostly in respond to BB nerf), Ogryns being bad, and Zealots being bad (again, mostly responding to nerfs).

Which is begging the question: what class is actually good? Sharpshooters? Currently it’s the only class without numerous “X is bad plz buff” threads. Well, there are, but those are limited to autoguns and plasma cannons, not the class itself.

I am not interested in which is the best class.
I know how I feel compared to other classes and how much they accomplish while I fight along side them. I feel if I did nothing at all, it would only make a minor difference to the team.

To contrast, I am playing a level 22 Veteran and I feel like I do a lot for the team.

I really like the idea of the psyker, just not their implementation of it. It seems they just made up a bunch of mechanics which are not really lore friendly. Anyway, that is a tangent I do not want to get into.

Whatever the psyker is now, in the context of this game, is not something I feel has a real niche or is a powerful addition to a team. Its not like teams without a psyker would be thinking. “IF we only had a psyker, things should would be so much easier”

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Same as VT2, no class is really indispensable. You quite definitely don’t need a team of 4 different classes to win Damnation. So your last point is entirely irrelevant, as it stands there’s no “if only we had class X, things would be so much easier”. Things are easier when there’s a player who understands basic teamwork. Which class he plays is not really relevant.

At worst, a team can struggle quite a lot if their equipment is all the same and has all the same weaknesses - randoms with 4 flamer zealot will have it rough on higher difficulties. But in this regard Psyker can’t even be a problem, as his kit has the least weaknesses.

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It should be reverted to closed beta and go from here, at least it was pleasant to play then.

I’m in agreement that something needs to happen with the Psyker class to make them not feel like a waste of time to play. I played one to level 20 and after a few games with my friends, two of which play sharpshooter, I realized I was not needed. My brain bursts weren’t going off because of the two sharpshooters could kill anything I targeted with it faster than my animation time.

CC with the lightning staff is nice, but the flamer from a Zealot does far more in terms of numbers and damage. The staves LMB does nice damage, but at the cost of rising peril. I’ve lost count of how many times a Psyker on my team has forgotten that fact and blown themselves up because of constant peril accruing from their basic ranged attack.

I understand that there needs to be a cost to benefit ratio for everything and for the other classes it is ammo, but isn’t the current peril costs a bit too high to be fun? Reducing the cost of the LMB staff attack and not causing every bit of animation to cause peril to rise would be a step in the right direction, in my opinion.

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Some ideas might be to remove the wind-up from all psyker powers.
IE: Brain burst becomes a fast ticking, hard-hitting dot (tick every 0.5s). You then gain peril for damage you actually do. However this would not solve the veteran issue where you are cooking a mob and they just gun it down before you kill it.

Also staves would be much nicer if you instantly got the full effect instead of having to go through an interruptible wind up.

Ultimately though I think a re-envisioning is in order. What I would like to see is a class that has supreme single target damage and a large AoE ‘control’ aspect, such as stunning / locking down enemies only doing low damage. IE: Enemies are attacking from all sides, you can just channel some AoE power indefinitely ( until you max your peril) and the enemies can not move or attack. Your team would need to kill them for you.

Also to mention that the force sword is terrible. While it does fantastic damage charged up to a single target, it is a horrible weapon otherwise. Keeping in line with the defensive / control theme, I think the powered up attack should also do a large AoE stun and knockback (no damage other than to the primary target). The primary target is not knocked back, but is damaged instead.

I’ve been 30 on my Psyker for about a week now so I’m no expert but I can tell what frustrates me the most about the class. The most frustrating aspect of playing my Psyker is the tediousness of keeping up warp charges to get benefits from the various feats (like 6 warp charges with wrap resistance). 25 seconds does not allow me to really choose when to use Brainburst. It essentially obligates me to have it out all the time to use/quell and maybe get a few swings/shots with my other weapons. This is even worse when using force weapons (Force Swords/Staves).

If this were reversed (to where Brainbursting was secondary to the weapons) I think it would feel much better to play and feel less frustrating. I should be allowed to enjoy using my melee/ranged weapons and pick and choose when to Brainburst. Increasing the buff duration would be a decent bandaid fix until it is further improved. Like 45 seconds or 1 min instead of 25 seconds. That should allow for more time to quell and use my weapons more freely without the tediousness of keeping the charges up. Another suggestion would be to have the charges dissipate one charge at a time vs all at once.

It feels infuriating to lose 4/6 charges because a teammate killed your Brainburst target. The current design also encourages toxicity among players for keeping up the warp charge mechanics and infighting about teammates intentionally/inadvertently killing Brainburst targets that would have otherwise kept your charges up.

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One thing I haven’t seen anyone mention about Psyker is that having to manage peril all the time, trying to avoid dying while being most efficient, makes you physically watch the peril number pretty regularly instead of watching the game.
Sometimes it feels like I’m doing taxes instead of having fun immersed in the game like I do with Zealot.

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The best way to enjoy playing Psyker right now is to forget about Warp charges when playing.

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Made it to level 25 on my Psyker last night.

I’m admittedly new to this but even I can recognize a few things

  • Any feats involving soul blaze feel worthless because it’s not impactful
  • Any feat which deletes my stacks of warp charges isn’t worth it because they’re so difficult to build up and maintain in the first place
  • Building and maintaining 4-6 warp charges is a full time job and doesn’t leave a lot of room for playing with other toys. It’s easily shut down by a teammate (accidentally or otherwise) or an elevator or a decontamination door, searching for scriptures or penances, completing a minigame objective, or any other lull in the action, and then I have to start all over.
  • Brain Burst doesn’t prioritize elites, and when you need every single second to charge it on a mutant or a dog in the distance, this hurts. Never mind trying to lock on to a sniper.
  • Brain Burst doesn’t scale into the higher difficulties and just feels worse and worse to use. It starts out feeling great as this slow but reliable elite killer, and later it’s a slow but reliable elite tickler. 2-3 bursts to kill a charging mutant or dog is not worth even trying, so you end up brain bursting random mobs instead just to maintain stacks.
  • The penances force your entire team to effectively gimp themselves to let you complete the objectives on your own and would never happen in unorganized or PUG gameplay.
  • The staves are really cool, but the interruptable secondary charges and continuing to build peril if you don’t immediately release a full charge make them very tricky to manage.
  • Brain Burst also continuing to build peril after reaching full pre-charge makes it exceptionally hard to be prepared for an elite you can’t see yet but know is coming without blowing yourself up in the process.
  • Combine this with the vulnerable state I’m in while charging a weapon or a Brain Burst, I need a bodyguard on my team to watch my back for me. Makes it pretty tough to play with randoms, and not everyone has friends online to play with all the time.

Basically, it feels like I am contributing less than other members of my team as the difficulty goes up. I’m busy as hell and I enjoy the peril management part of things, but it doesn’t feel like I’m putting out the damage I should be for the amount of work I’m putting into it.

The Psyker has a lot of potential; The kit is cool. But the feats and some of the mechanics need some tweaking to be less punishing and/or more effective - especially as you go up in difficulty.

2 Likes

I played psyker and basically ignored BB and warp charges and went full bore on force sword and using staves.

In one mission I died and was spectating another psyker that was playing the “warp charge game” when two teammates were down. It was the stupidest thing I’ve ever witnessed. Must not have been more than 20 enemies between the downed players and us, and this psyker is just ONLY using BB. They’d pop two heads abd then run beyond cover to vent. Run out and pop two heads and run back to vent. Over and over until the two of us that were downed had been fully killed. And they’re still there popping heads slowly.

The issue with warp charges and BB is that it suggests to psykers “this is what you are supposed to being most of the time!” When in fact pulling your melee weapon or using ANY ranged weapon is usually the better course of action in most situations. Just ignore warp chargers entirely and you’ll be a more effective team member.

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Just ignore warp chargers entirely and you’ll be a more effective team member.

That’s how I’ve been playing for the most part, because you’re right - it’s more effective to just use your staff and sword than it is to try to brain burst anything except specific targets of opportunity.

The downside is then you’re basically playing without half your feats because so many of them rely on warp charge for any benefit. This might be part of the reason it feels like Psykers fall of so much later on.

Now if I stacks lasted longer and/or fell off individually, or if they were easier to build in the first place I wouldn’t have to make stacking my primary focus. That would be more fun.

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This was my experience too. I really, really want to like psyker. But I’m just not enjoying it, and frankly the other classes are easier to play, with more up-front return on investment and available combat power.

I don’t mind admitting that I’m sure some of it is a L2P issue, and I just need to ‘get gud’. But the skill requirement should be the same across the board, OR, there needs to be a clear power advantage to play a class that is harder to play, and I’m just not seeing it

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[EDIT] I realize this borders on necro posting, but these are the only posts I’ve seen discussing the Psyker nerfs sensibly.

I’ve been trying to play my Psyker for the past two days to level it and the class feels so bad in it’s current state that I’ve been playing it like a paper Veteran with a lasgun and regular sword.

I should actually want to use my staves and force sword. I should actually want to Brain Burst.
And right now compared to every other class I feel like the Psyker is just dead weight.

A Psyker can’t even survive just carrying Grimoires. It almost instantly reached the point in some Grimoire mission that I would be hunting Grimoires just so I could destroy them before someone else could pick them up.