Vet Keystones feel unsatisfying

Hello FS,

I’m probably not the first nor the last to talk about it, I simply feel like the Veteran keystones need a rework.

They are very strong, don’t get me wrong, but are unnecessary to make your build solid and force you to make un-fun or dangerous alterations to your playstyle in order to be used:

-Marksman Focus rewards you for being immobile in a game all about mobility and positioning and only supports the “sniper-y”, “headshot-y” way to play a ranged vet

-Focus Target, while probably the strongest and most usable of the three, encourages you to spot then kill targets one by one, while spamming spot left and right is a very strong tool for team awareness. So you’re basically trading team awareness for extra damage and have to refrain yourself all the time from pressing that spot key too much

-Weapons specialist is simply frustrating in my opinion. First the five seconds long bonus on range weapons is simply lost on long draw time weapons. Then it’s lost anyway whenever you mindlessly swap weapon to reload, run faster… To use it you have to go agaisnt years of habits and reflexes built through FPS’s and previous tide games… And at the end you only receive a very short buff to attack speed

All the Vet builds that I enjoy are both very thematic and strong while none of them use the keystones. While in other classes they are fun and thematic and a central piece of the build.
They buff a certain aspect of your class without needing a lot of management in order to be used.


Kinda feel there’re already 10-15 threads in the last 3-4 weeks on the exact same topic?


Marksman Focus is annoying to use. Compared to other classes, there’s absolutely no reason for MF to be this punitive.

Focus Target is MASSIVE. This is what I run 95% of the time in a mostly “support” build. Too many people compare the keystone to Witcher Hunter captain in VT2 but they are wrong, it’s not just the extra damage, if you invest a few points, this will keep your team alive through very difficult situations. It helps if you have newer players in your game, shows them a clear focus and helps them get the job done. Honestly, this keystone is incredibly powerful.

Weapon Specialist is incredibly strong. If you’re a proactive player, you’re rolling buffs all the freaking time and they are so darn strong. I have no issues with this keystone.

I think the issue with Vet is that it’s so dependent on getting that %15 rending on hit. I understand why, it’s totally OP but you need to plan all your builds around it.


You mean onslaught? Vet doesn’t need to build around that at all.

Even with autogun builds, and no power sword. The point allocation is generally not worth the opportunity cost just to be able to range kill crushers which is the only real reason for that node.

That aside MF does suck for semi autos but is good for autoguns. Which is dumb.

Focus Target is passable. Let’s not overblow its power here. Witch hunter passive is still better since it makes ALL tags including non WC do 20% damage.

Specialist is… fine? Sort of? I get the rhythmn you are supposed to keep, and I do just fine but ultimately being a melee vet just feels pointless when I could hop on my zealot instead who has perfect keystone uptime that asks for zero playstyle changes, effort, or thought for massive power boosts.


I meant Rending Strikes, but your point is valid.

About Focus Target, when the target dies, the group still gets a great damage buff with more toughness and stamina. I may be overselling it a bit, but it really does make Auric Damnation runs smoother in my opinion.

Thank you for the solid reply though :smiley:


As a scoreboard enjoyer, i can tell you that this is not the case for pretty much all players.

I only play auric damnation and even there (higher average player skill, better average awareness, more enemies to tag), most players tag around 10, rarely up to 30 enemies in a mission.
Even veteran players who use this keystone, usually do not tag many more than that. Often times, you can go through half a mission before you even notice that someone has that keystone.
(For comparison, when i use this keystone, i tag about 150 enemies in a 30min match.)

I have seen maybe 3 other players ever, who tagged even close to 100 enemies.
For anyone else, the issue that you describe, really does not exist.

If anything, this keystone attempts to teach players to actually tag enemies at all.


As a [REDACTED] enjoyer myself, I couldn’t agree more, 150 tags in Auric Damnation is the minimum I go for. I never wait for stacks, just keep the rolling buffs on my team. The only time I’ll wait for stack is when I hear a Monstrosity spawn and frankly, at full stacks, it makes Monstrosities completely irrelevant on Auric Damnation.


The big issue is how much higher a skill floor the Vet keystones have compared to most in this game. They feel like something taken out of a tabletop RPG, not a survival horde shooter, and designed apart from the rest of the design paradigm in this game.

On my Psyker or Zealot, I just need a certain amount of things killed nearby by the party as a whole to proc my Keystones, and those Keystones affect every attack I make. I can personally do literally nothing and get Warp Siphon or Blazing Piety to proc, and it doesn’t matter if I then make certain kinds of attacks or wield certain weapons or hit certain spots. On my Ogryn, my Keystones are just always on and have no conditions.

For my Vet, with MF, I need to stand still, make headshots, and then only get benefits for more headshots. For Focus Target, I’ve got to manually tag nearly everything I’m shooting at. With Weapon Specialist, to get optimal use out of it, I’ve got to intentionally and inorganically swap weapons often.

It really feels like there’s something hinky going on with the dev team here, needing a 3.0 and 4.0 talent rework after the Patch 13 2.0 talent update, coupled with the awkward feel of these keystones, really makes it feel like the class was handled apart from the rest, and built to a different design philosophy that’s more akin to DnD than Darktide.


Yes those keystones are powerful, and the way they work is like giving you a lightsaber but also taking your legs off.

Maybe it was.

It ran for circa 8 or 9 months as the unchallenged de facto best character of the four, powered by stagger auto- or bolt pistols and a good mid skill carry in the low aggro ability.

I’m pretty sure fs tried to make things more even. Then they caused “vet-shock” where it no longer was the best… cue a thousand and one posts from vet primary players.

I agree some skills just don’t work, at least for me. Standing still? Bleurgh.

But vets still top damage scores in the games I play. Admittedly now powered by a ray gun instead…!


Yeah I don’t think there’s any problem with damage in and of itself, it’s more that the Keystones and tree as a whole are awkward. I actually don’t even run a Keystone typically on my Veteran, buying more support abilities instead, and I can’t imagine doing that with any other class and keeping up.

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See marksman focus isn’t about being a marksman
It’s about using an automatic weapon and sweeping the heads of poxwalkers to get easy extra damage, literally just run around and spray down pox walkers for damage. Do not imagine this perk as a sniper or marksman perk around being a stationary shooter.

Focus target is just a nice team buff for I want this particular thing dead also it buffs your damage, sure it’s not interesting but appreciated.

Weapon specialist is I want to melee better and have my automatic weapon fire really really fast. Also the cheapest keystone to take as all the extra perks for it are completely worthless all you want is the melee and fire rate buffs the keystone itself give.

If you’re looking to be the best marksman possible in dt, don’t take any of the keystones and just focus on the ‘deal extra damage’ skills


They’re all pretty meh.

MF is a complete dud. It doesn’t even support the headshot marksman playstyle it’s meant for. Even if it did, the mechanics of this keystone require you to play so suboptimally that you’re gimping yourself by trying it.

FT is easily the best of the lot, but it’s still pretty mediocre. Its strongest feature is that it rewards you for doing what you already do rather than requiring you to play differently.

WS is clunky as all hell thanks to the activation mechanics.

None of them are really worth the investment unless you’re already way down their branch of the tree.


Full agreement. Currently the “No Commitment” Vet is the best Vet. Just like reallife Online Dating.


Vet keystones are horrendously bad, but that isn’t unique among the other classes. Really the only keystones I like are Zealot Righteous Piety and Momentum (Martydom is horrifically bad).

Frankly whomever designed Marksman’s Focus should be fired; only someone who has never played the game can make something so tone-deaf. Keystones should be giving classes unique and fun playstyles that are STRONG, not give irrelevant stat bonuses or remove gameplay options.


They are not bad at all.
Learn to use them properly.

For example, if you are one of the players who tag ~6 enemies in a 30 minute mission, i would see why you could think that focus target is bad.

As a vet enjoyer myself, i know that this keystone is very good.
Not only because it offers pretty good team support, but also because it enables the plasmagun to 1 shot headshot both ragers, both elite gunners and flamers.


Because it requires investing 5+ talent points to get a roughly 10% dmg boost to targets that are already dead by the time you can retag the next thing? Imagine spending so many talent points in something so situationalyl useful when multiple single talent options exist that give a higher dmg boost or offer better gameplay value.

I don’t think people understand the idea of Opportunity Cost in general.


I do, but i do not understand what you are trying to say here:

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Big post with the TL;DR being I had no such experience with the OP vet, and I’m still complaining despite performing well on the class.

I wasn’t here for any of that. Came back in patch 13 player wave. Top score every game on my vet I rolled from beta pre crafting system with his MG XII. Get some resources roll some better weapons. Do better.

Figured the class is good.

Patch 14 hits. Better weapons get buffed again. Veteran’s main feature is that it buffs great weapons. Do even better.

Patch 15. Big survivability nerf. I’m undeniably mad. Crap keystones with crap talent pathing. VoC is now my main skill from exe stance because of being forced into it (this has not changed), but still always doing well. Just very sweaty.

Start playing other classes far more in earnest. They seem…weirdly easy.

Learn to hate assail with a passion for how much it trivially takes care of everything, but make incorrect assertions about staff psyker being weak (trying to recreate fireball sienna) because I used a poorly rolled void strike. Find gunpsyker to be the redeeming factor for the class.

My zealot starts to become op at level 18 when I make a tier 2 lacerate dagger on her.

Ogryn top scores all the time with just kickback pre 30, and against max level people on heresy.

Patch 15.2. Oh look, good talent tree pathing. Any food is great food if you are hungry enough. I am grateful, and lose sight that we’re still kinda messed up.

Make the wrong assertions on these very forums that vet is fine because I can top score on them all the time. I have several thousand hours in FPS PvP games. Of course I’m going to do well in a shooty PvE game. I was being a dumb dumb moron.

Start playing the zealot a lot, and Psyker quite a bit more.

Dagger/evis zealot true solo melee runs start happening in attempt to do Reginalds challenge, and to improve as a player. The class gaps begin to show. I start trying to do actual true solo’s with all human classes having Carte blanche on loadout/gear to pass the challenge. Zealot still gets furthest with only melee.

Start using trauma on psyker. Turns out voidstrike is bad, and my assertions of psyker having survivability issues was a skill issue on my end. I have no problems at all, and also top score with zero problems without even needing to abuse assail, or MK V. It’s nice to need literally zero resources while being a full ranged AoE class.

Haven’t bothered leveling ogryn to max. I already know how he’s going to stand in comparison to vet from the low level testing.

I just want the keystones to not suck, and for Exe stance to have a toughness regen, or something.

Focus Target is fine. It provides enough to the group I don’t want it changed, but I’d prefer if its min tag value was 3.

Weapon Specialist should let me swap between weapons without the damn buffs falling off if I happen to swap back again. Let them roll.

MF should not have movement related bullcrap, and should have enough scaling to actually make a difference on semi auto breakpoints. This is the one that needs the most help by far.


Agreed, the only thing that should make the buffs drop off is not killing things, not swapping weapons.