Thoughts on Vet keystones and tree changes?

Others and I have described the problems with it in numerous threads so I keep it simple:

My problems with Weapon Specialist: Part1, Part2
It’s a bit ranty, but I think it describes my problem well enough.

How I look at MF: First try comparing it to other keystones, Second try, Comparing it to blessings thanks to Regi

Again last one is a bit of a ramble, but it helped me point out something… Compared to damage blessing it’s way harder to trigger unless you are gaining stack on standing still… which doesn’t feel great.

There is no comparison in tedium between these and Psyker keystones. I take some time with Disrupt Destiny comparison here because I think it warrants it:

Disrupt Destiny comes with:

  • Points out hiding enemies for you.
  • Doesn’t come with forced gameplay such as not moving.
  • Have immediate pay-off on killing marked enemies giving you a huge (20%) toughness return. Can also add a chance (20%) to quell.
  • Bonus doesn’t fluctuate.
  • Stacks last a long time (15s) and you can double it (to 30s). You aren’t forced to not do stuff to keep stacks.
  • Have a mix of boosts to include both weakspot and general. Bonuses are about equal, but DD boost non-weakspot too!
  • Fun (subjective) minigame.

The only problem with it didn’t mark targets in event scenarios the last time I tried it. Otherwise, it’s strong and interesting to play with the Voidstrike+Assail build.


I appreciate the response! Thanks for taking the time! :heart:

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Before upgrade nodes? Perhaps, but they’re all intentionally only partially functional base, none of these really work well initially. Once you look at the extra nodes however, the Veteran ones are much more awkward to my mind, barring Disrupt Destiny which is total garbage.

If you’re running Warp Siphon with Psychic Vampire, over the course of a typical level game, especially at higher difficulty levels, each teammate is generally proc’ing Warp charges for you dozens of times each individually. It’s probably the easiest thing in the game to get stacks on doing literally nothing. Generating stacks through killing specialists/elites yourself, and 4% on any kill a teammate nearby makes is pretty easy, and all without having to worry about weakspots or what weapon you’re using or if you’re moving or having to click a separate button. Yes Shriek will drop your stacks, but your stacks also make sure its there when you need it. I’ve found this particular setup with a Voidstrike Staff and Assail to require almost no brainpower to manage.

Empowered Psionics is often difficult to maintain at lower levels, but the more difficult the game gets, the easier it is to get and keep going, and literally all you need to do to generate it is kill stuff. Doesn’t require you to use a particular weapon, doesn’t require you to hit a specific spot, doesn’t require you to spam-tag stuff, doesn’t restrict your movement, you just kill stuff.


I feel like we agree that you need augment nodes to make any keystone for any class make sense. The cool thing about them, in my opinion, is that these extra nodes do effectively flavor the keystones differently depending on how ya wanna play. Yea some feel required (OP) and all kinds of different things need a sprinkling of love/attention/balancing, but the vet keystones feel right in line with psykers at the very least.

Also, the movement penalties on MF (with camo) are WAY overstated imo. I’m the twitchiest player (I’m using a gyro on a controller!) and looking back at recordings I’ve got it running a lot.


I personally find it weird how Marksmen’s Focus doesn’t feel good for actual precision weapons like helbore charge,Mg.XII and the headhunters, mainly because of the movement penalty. It ironically works better for faster firing weapons which again, feels like it’s kinda the opposite of the intended design.


I’m not the best shot, but running MF with MGXII or Helbore is almost unplayable in pubs AuricSTG+. The mid lasgan (la) is borderline viable.

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The faster firing the weapon, the easier it is to run Marksman’s Focus. It is very backwards. There should be bonuses to stacks and movement if you’re using a “precision” weapon. It’s totally unfair that full autos and single shot weapons behave the same with this keystone. If the Light Infantry Autogun gets 3 on headshot kill and 1 second of movement on headshot hit, the Infantry Las should get double this, and the Helbores triple.

This should at the very least apply to the movement buff on headshot hit. For the stacks on kill, +1 on Infantry and +2 on Helbore would probably be fine. Things like the Revolver would need some kind of increase as well.

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I’ll try to keep it simple: The opportunity cost of going for a boosted keystone on vet is too high for what you get.

The keystone bonuses are okay, but IMHO you’re better off going wider at various points along the tree to stack damage and toughness/survivability talents that will frankly yield greater rewards and won’t require as much finagling in your play to maximize.

Sure, you don’t have to play to maximize their uptime, but if you don’t then you’re better off just ignoring them and using the points on other more universally useful talents.

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Thanks for trying to keep it simple, and for your time, but I was specifically responding to the argument that vet keystones force you into nasty non-intuitive play in a way that other classes’ keystones don’t.

I respect that opinion, but I still don’t quite see it.

Vet tree needs more point flexibility, 100% agreed.


I think the missing context here is to maximize the benefit of the vet keystones you have to play certain ways that are non-intuitive. You can play completely normal and still get some benefit from them, but you won’t hit their full potential. That makes the investment deep into the tree feel even worse.

Compare that to Zealot; I can take Blazing Piety and go AFK and my teammates can trigger it for me, I don’t even have to participate and I (+team if I spec for Infectious Zeal) get the full benefit. Or Inexorable Judgement where my normal dodging/moving will basically max it out in combat without any special consideration. Martyrdom does take building a specific way, but it doesn’t restrict weapons Like Marksman’s Focus tends to do; and if you are good at not taking chip damage then it really just takes sacrificing some hp early on to maintain max benefit for the entire match.

In general I am not that unhappy with the keystones themselves, but they could use some massaging.

  • Marksman’s Focus should probably be changed to feel better across a larger variety of weapons.
  • Focus Target’s mod node Focussed Fire should instead reduce max stacks to 3 but raise the bonus of each stack to 8% or 10%. That raises the minimum benefit and lets you hit the max benefit more quickly.
  • Weapons Specialist is fine. Its mainly hurt by the tree’s overall design sapping away flexibility. Correcting that will really open it up and make it feel better to fully invest into it.

I’m watching footage of an Auric Hi5STG in Mercantile from tonight using Marksman (w/ camo), a Vraks7 and Infiltrate (w/ low profile). Marksman is up when I need it because I can consciously make a decision to maximize its use, but I also get a lot of uptime (and therefore benefit) when I’m not thinking about it.

Before I sound like I’m going in circles (and lordy I may still): I bring this up only to draw attention to the fact that I have a choice to cruise with a “natural” lower-impact buff or, at any moment, put in a small amount of effort (i.e. stop moving for a beat and/or line up a headshot) to activate the true power of the keystone (which is great when gunners, ragers or metal men flood the room).

I think that choice is what is so interesting about the vet keystones, and I see differing degrees of agency in keystones across classes as something that has to be balanced to create an interesting array of play options.

In play (i.e. not speaking in a build/talent-picking sense), Warp Siphon gives you very little control over when you’ll gain/keep the buff (you can’t just manifest it whenever), and times when you need to ult may not coincide with when you want your stacks to drop. Empowered Psionics has some aspect of choice/agency in that you can choose when to spend the buff, but not really when to get it. Disrupt Destiny is very similar to Marksman in my opinion, but DD seems (I haven’t used it much) to require more of your focus.

Zealot isn’t my main (and I just flat out cannot speak on the big man), but it seems like the same stuff is at play there. You can’t choose when 25 guys are going to die around you, but you have the choice to build into crit to more reliably proc it. I don’t think I will ever run Martyrdom, in part because the choice there is to straight up sacrifice your body (and in my experience, often your team’s runs) and then play QUITE specifically (and some might say unnaturally, shunning the God Emperor’s blessings of medicae stations) to keep that buff. And Inexorable Judgement is best suited for a specific type of play in which I suppose you could either say you have all the choice (when to dodge, duck, dip, dive or spend the stacks) or no choice because you just gotta do what ya gotta do to survive out there.

Thematically, the Zealot is living on a prayer and has no free will – I joke, but it fits! – while the Veteran has a cold, tight, calculating grip on his keystones’ full potential. Psyker, the jack of all trades in my book, has keystones that run the gamut from working with the fickle warp to controlling destiny.

And Ogryn has rock I believe.

Anyway, just exploring these thoughts here!

Not arguing with anything you’re saying here in particular just clarifying something you may not know since you said you rarely play Zealot. FYI Blazing Piety has its duration reset whenever you get a kill while it’s active (or score a crit if you picked that sub node which lets be real you always do).

As a consequence that keystone kinda may as well be a passive, cause it gets rolling pretty quick and once it’s active it’s rarely going away until there are no more things to hit. If it wasn’t for this duration reset I can pretty much guarantee there’d be a bunch of people here complaining it’s too random, as indeed they did with Warrior Priest’s similar effect in VT2.


The more I think about the keystones the more I would say we can’t meaningfully evaluate them until the flexibility issue is corrected. Changing, merging, and removing nodes will influence the effectiveness of keystones in ways we can’t anticipate right now.

I won’t deviate us from the topic much here, but I would encourage you to try it. It is far more fun than I thought it would be. In short, you build so much toughness damage reduction and toughness generation that you are incredibly tanky with gobs of damage bonuses and really fast attack speeds.

This is what I have been running. Its been quite effective.


OT warning:
You’re missing a key component of the martyr build in Bleed for the Emp
The extras tuf % on hvy and melee kills is a bit meh imho

More OT

FYI Rampage is also broken in our favor ATM so don’t rely on it too much, and personally I’d get rid of the revive speed in favor of DR vs sniper/gunner.
I’d also consider taking some of the top mid nodes and even 2nd wind to get crit cdr via Invocation of Death.
More ults=more everything, DR, DMG, CRIT, AS, mobility etc.
Something like this.

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i can do even more OP damage without using keystones… lol

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