Thoughts on Vet keystones and tree changes?

As seen in

I’m reserving final judgement until we get our hands on it all as it’ll depend on the keystone modifiers and any changes to the rest of the tree, but initial impressions are that none of the keystones are really “me”.

Marksman’s focus is obviously about that headshot style and, at first glance, has a lot of potential in the right hands. However I think it’ll be difficult to really juice for all its worth in the higher ranks where getting a headshot kill every ~3s becomes inconsistent.

I note that there’s no cap on stacks and that dodges do not reset the count. Assuming neither of these are oversights, this creates potential for absolutely MONSTROUS headshot bonuses. And hilarious cases of vets just dodging their way across the map between engagements to keep their stacks.

I’ll be interested to see how people end up playing this one.

Focus Target’s base effect is essentially an uber-nerfed version of WHC’s “Witch Hunt” from V2. We all know how this one plays at a base level. Its strength will depend entirely on whether keystone modifiers buff it up in a meaningful way.

I feel like this is a ‘first pick’ type talent. You’ll walk into a new fight, pick the biggest threat, and nuke it with the damage bonus. Subsequent tag targets will get 5/10% +dmg for the remainder of the fight.

It may punish the use of tag as a team awareness tool, since tagging an enemy that you don’t intend to immediately kill will burn up to 15 seconds worth of stacks for no gain or lock those stacks (and your tag) for the duration of the tag OR until the target can be killed, whichever comes first.

I wonder if this will stop such vets from tagging sleeping daemonhosts…

Weapons Specialist rewards frequent weapon switches with the base effect focusing HEAVILY on engaging in melee play. It definitely feels like the ‘generalist’ option amongst the three keystones. The base effect is certainly the most accessible of the three and I suspect it’ll have the highest unmodified impact in most players’ hands. It’ll be interesting to see what the modifiers do for it.

This one will be the default for many vets, I think, assuming the path that leads to it isn’t garbage.

Generally speaking, I think the information we have here all but cements the notion that the devs don’t want vets playing a ranged-primary playstyle unless they’re playing for headshots. Disappointing.

It looks like the nodes in the rest of the tree have been reorganised and restructured somewhat, which is nice, but it also looks like they’re following the same “play this predefined path OR ELSE” design strategy as the first iteration, which is not nice. If the keystones are strong and there’s not considerable restructuring of the upper part of the tree, this restriction will almost certainly be far more impactful than it is now.


weapon specialist seems crazy abuse able, it doesn’t say it has a cooldown,
since you would always have made at least one kill with your ranged means all the bonuses are easily permanent uptime.
with the ranged buffs ill say 3 melee kills for 99% critchance for 5s no cooldown sounds like an absolute powerhouse, that’s essentially WHC old ult when it applied on ranged, but without cooldown, and such a little requirement.
crits going through armor as well might be able to blaze through high numbers of crushers with any weapon, just a couple of groaners as setup and start blasting.

marksman focus, seem to be rather underwhelming in comparison, the monsters youd need the high killing power for

would be hard to chain up high focus, and then have it ready when a monster shows up, since it only triggers on kill and not on hit, also the additional requirement would probably feel quite clunky, pretty much ensuring that in between encounters you’d flush away all stacks, also no more looking for ammo and mats? would like it more if stacks are lost on taking dmg or something rather than movement that way it proper reward highskill play as it seems it is designed for anyway


I like the argument that they thought their old keystones were too build restrictive, but then designed one around not using your ASDW keys. For what purpose.


[++redacted under ordo chronos++]

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The lack of any visible connection nodes down here deeply concerns me:

These keystones don’t seem all that powerful, I can easily see this turning out like the current tree where you simply ignore the keystones in a lot of builds because there’s too much valuable stuff in the lead up to them.

I don’t know why they’ve made these so convoluted generally. Why not just a simple damage bonus on things that are tagged? Tagging is not something I want to have to juggle stacks while doing, it’s just a bit bizarre.

Marksman’s focus doesn’t list stack count. I’m assuming it must be at least 10 if not 20 for that 1% reload speed to stack to anything meaningful. Encouraging you to not move in this game is a weird as hell choice if I’m being honest.

The listed crit chance for weapons specialist has to be a typo right? For a skill that stacks 10 times it makes no sense. 3% seems much more likely.

Also none of them just grant straight up damage, the bonuses seem ok generally but again looking at the lack of connection nodes, depending on what talents lie right above the keystones I definitely can see them being skipped on a bunch of builds. Mind you there are quite a lot of sub nodes we don’t know the effect for, so maybe they get pretty powerful with sub nodes. Honestly hard to get a good idea what they’ll be like without seeing the sub nodes.

Overall though I am concerned from what we see here.


Yeah, that’s why I think it’s the generalist option. It’s effectively a permanent combat buff as long as there’s a fight going on. My gut feeling is that I’d prefer it to start the timer on the next kill with your “other” weapon, rather than when you switch to it, so you’ve got some flexibility on when you use it, but we’ll see how it plays out I guess.

That’s what I meant by “generalist”. It’s the one you use when you’re not speccing into one of the more specialised combat-focused builds - The one you use when you just want buffs to the fundamentals.

I feel like it’s not quite as bad as it seems at first glance. If I’m reading it right, you get 3 seconds from the kill to move without losing the stacks. That is, you get 3 seconds where you can move without it affecting your stacks. It’s less that you won’t be able to use your ASDW keys and more that you’ve got 3 seconds of movement before moving will cause you to lose your stacks, not counting dodges which don’t appear to count. I’d be surprised if one of the modifiers wasn’t an extension to the 3 second timer, or something similar. Overall it feels like this is going to have the highest skill cap of the three.

The bigger issue with this one is how hard it is to chain weakspot kills. With the way enemies slide around and randomly change direction with no visible cause or warning it seems like this one will just be frustrating to use.

It does seem that way, but we don’t know what the modifiers do yet, nor whether there’s significant changes to other nodes. We do know there’s some restructuring of node order, so that may affect this as well. There’s existing keystones and combat abilities which are decidedly meh until you buff them up with modifiers, so I’m cautiously optimistic and keen to try them all out.

I’m more concerned that they’re must-haves, unlike the current end nodes. If they are, and upper tree isn’t significantly modified to compensate, that suddenly puts restrictions on build variety that make the current tree look like paradise.

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Yeah I should have been clearer that my biggest concern is the lack of connections before the keystones. I just don’t know why you’d structure it that way it looks incredibly limiting for build diversity.


Yeah, I don’t know why they’re so committed to this ‘predefined specialist’ structure. None of the other classes are subject to such a restriction.


Seems like sad days ahead tbh.

I like the direction they are going for but man…

The ammo node is still deep left side, Elite damage moved to the left side which is a general damage nerf for a lot of setups, and I really, really, really, hope that they didn’t just move the +15% melee AS into the keystone to be a 10s buff instead of something always active.

I hope it turns out alright, there is potential, and there might even be some unforeseen stuff (Instant reload ult? I can dream…), but after what we got in patch 13 it’s hard to keep my hopes up.


You think? I’m keen to try them out. I feel pretty restricted with the current system so any change is good.

TBH I just hope they fix the surge bug at the same time so if nu-nu-vet turns out to be a dud too, I can just play psyker and use that again without people having a cry about it.

I noticed that too. Not pleased about it. The saving grace may be that the upper segments are better organised with fewer tax nodes, so it’s either easier to get to the ammo node or the ammo node isn’t quite so critical to ranged-focused play anymore.


Going to be real honest, these all feel like they were designed by someone thinking they were being clever and deep forcing trade-offs and tactical decisionmaking, and instead ended up with a grip of situationally-useful abilties that are janky to employ and as likely to get the player killed trying to trigger them as actually help.

Currently, I’m not seeing anything that would really interest me in changing an existing build. Maybe additional details will change that, but these just aren’t very interesting. They’re fiddly and awkward.


Yeah, on paper some of the stuff on the tree sounds good, then you realise how much they chopped from the veteran passives and features to move into the tree, and it’s a mess.


I’m finna be eating good with that Focus Target one. I’m more concerned about what happened to the rest of the tree, however.

Honestly I wonder who (if anyone) is giving them feedback and if they’re listening to them or if they have gotten to that point yet.
Some of those “closed beta testers” may need patching too, I’ve seen other games give too much weight to some squeaky wheels’ opinions and go down the wrong path.


I’ve honestly come to be weirdly fond of the current tree and what you can get out of it. Kinda feel like it was totally salvageable by just removing some bogus tax nodes + a little reshuffling. Not that I didn’t want proper keystones but I’m just worried that for the builds I’ve been enjoying running I’ll lose more than I gain from this update.

Hopefully I’m wrong. Also hope the first part of this update is released soon so we can see where we’re at properly.


I feel you. Hell, for all we know, what they’ve done amounts to fixing/removing tax nodes, reshuffling and adding keystones, and the current playstyles are all totally reproducible. We’ll find out soon.

I still have hope they’ll reintroduce the auto reload on combat ability that we had in V1 of the skill system so I can just play the way I used to. Its a slim hope, but it’s there.


I’m pretty convinced that the Community Testing Team is majorly responsible for the horrible state patch13 Vet released in. I highly hope FS is aware of this by now, and if Power Sword buff is anything to go by, they probably are.

On the same note, I’m pretty sure Revolver is absolutely busted on Vet because it was balanced solely around Zealot in mind.

Edit: I also have to note, that based on previous patches FS definitely takes into consideration feedback on the forums. Tagging mechanics for example was highly requested.


i really just wanted sustained fire back and i would have been happy with whatever cluster-f tree they had :’) lol


Man, bayonet gets shafted with Weapons Specialist. I had a fun build I was enjoying using Close Quarters buff in that tree, combined with Vet shout.