Veteran isn't as bad as people say it is

so i made a pretty good in depth review on how to use the weapon specialist keystone and i think people are complaining to complain. I want to try the other ones soon, but i just have so much fun with weapon specialist because of how well it fits my playstyle.


I think the problem is precisely that this supposed rework is more of a brutal nerf because the keystones don’t work. The shooter is staying still in a game that penalizes you for staying still and the ability to score is even worse since it limits your abilities. brands and there are too many elites, the only decent one is precisely a weapons specialist and it is not a great cornerstone either, the difference between having it and having it is not minimal


Weapon Specialist and Focus Target are both really good if you know what you are doing.


the plasma gun is just strong in general, though. you could probably run it on a character with no skills equipped and still do well on normal heresy and damnation lol

to me, the vet feels bad to play as because it’s generic, boring, and has no identity, other than having no identity. you’ve got all these skills and stuff, but they’re arranged so that you can’t really have a build that you truly want, and still have a, “complete build”. like, when i’m playing all the other classes, i can build something that i actually want to play as, and the skills go all the way to the bottom of the skill tree. for the vet, i pick all the nodes that i want, that suit my playstyle, but it’s just a cobbled-together mess. i’ve never actually reached the bottom keystone of the skill tree and thought, “i really like this build”, or that it suits what i actually want my vet to be.

it’s always a compromise of, “well, i guess this is as good as it’s gonna get”, as opposed to something i wanna play. i don’t think the vet is actual garbage in terms of playability, it’s just that it doesn’t offer a rewarding gameplay experience. you basically just highlight enemies. all the other classes have some sort of gimmick that makes their gameplay loop fun, which the vet USED to have with sustained fire(i still want sustained fire back, fatshark.), but now it’s what? highlighting enemies?

what doesn’t make sense to me is why they turfed sustained fire and gave it to the ogryn, as if to say, “we can’t have the same thing on two classes”, but then gave the vet 2 ghetto versions of what they already gave the zealot. the zealot’s relic ability is infinitely better than the vet’s shout, and, while i’m sure they do exist, i’ve never seen a stealth vet carry or even be noticeable during a run. i’ve seen stealth zealots carry tf out of games, and being a relic-user, it’s invaluable and so satisfying being able to push back enemies and keep them cc’d so we can get off key revives.


My problem with the vet tree isn’t the keystones themselves, it’s how they were added to the tree. In order to compensate for the added power of keystones they nerfed many talents. So in order to retain the power levels you had pre-patch you need to take the keystones which are so expensive that they leave very few points with which to build-craft. It’s like having a single outfit in your closet that you wear every day but a variety of just socks to choose from.


Agile Engagement is a better node than melee specialist most of the time. Like it literally does more for guns, benefitting damage and for 5 seconds instead of 1 shot and crit rate. Its also a lot cheaper to pick up.

This is my beef with these keystones in general, with the nerfs to many essential nodes and these basically bolted onto the end with no real impact veteran feels worse than before. Especially in the sorta sweetspot last update where you could easily run ammo, 3 upgraded regenerating kraks, godly shout and the melee tree + the way better confirmed kill. Veteran was literally better just 1 update ago, despite improving his tree being their supposed goal…


exactly this. I really want to experiment with focus target. I was thinking a helbore mark 3, or just plasmagun :stuck_out_tongue:

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I do think, Melee Leader support Veteran, was better last patch. However, i do like the new patch as it adds some utility back into it with a bit of hybrid-ness between the two combat styles. Before it was all replenishing toughness for my teammates. Which now, is a bit more self focused. and i’m okay with that.

Haven’t tried it with any of the Hellbores but in my experience the Plasma Gun, Bolt Gun, and Revolver work best with it, and my favorite melee weapon to run with it is Chainsword.

Honestly I think the reload on weapon specialist for Plasma is a little bit over rated. This is my favorite Vet build and how I use Weapon Specialist.

YOU think it’s overrated???when i’m at 5 bullets left in the mag of 134, and switch at 10 stacks i go up to around 45, that’s close to 11-12 shots, just for a quick switch. i think it’s underrated and not talked about enough :smiley:


It’s useful don’t get me wrong but I run Volley Adept and I do the sprint reload cancel so I never worry about magazine capacity. My Plasma build is heavily focused on getting the normal left click shots to 1 shot head shot Dreg Gunners and the Flamers, and 2 shot both ragers.

Because of all of this my plasma gun build doesn’t take keystones, instead getting precision strikes, superiority complex, bring it down, and rending strikes.

Totally a fair and understandable route of gameplay. That’s very much how my old veteran was running around.

The problem isnt any of the keystones at all, all 3 keystones are actually really powerful for their intended purpose, people are WAY over reacting with the marksmens focus, ive played with it a bit now and you can run around all you want, and maintain max stacks in any fight with ease.

The entire problem with the vet tree is that there are to many talents, needs ~15 less talents to be on par with the other trees and it would be perfect, they need to figure out the weakest 15 things and remove them

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Says “veteran isnt bad” while using the voice of command build…
Try going with the marksman/volley fire build, see how long you’ll survive then.


Nobody is saying that the Vet is outright bad. What people say is that he is worse than he was before. And that is a correct observation.

The talent tree makes you lay it out so thin, you get nothing to experiment with, unless you go the route of forsaking deep investment.

He also does play clunkier than before now. The entire stack routine is done to death. Having some abilities that stack can be a nice flow to break things up, but right now everything is stack dependent and that is tedious. Compare with other games that are out there. Usually stacking effects take the minority of the gameplay elements. Here, every meaningful ability stacks, has some sort of time limit or stack limit at which it reaches peak and then you are supposed to either uphold it or do something to shift it around.

This is very reminiscent of MMOs with their “rotation” and doesn’t feel fluid to play. Nevermind the weird restrictions that make barely any sense.

Tedious is in fact the perfect word to describe many of the underlying features at the current gameplay state. Nobody starts up an action game to count buff and stacksizes at the bottom row of your HP bar. As with most systems, Darktide is good IN SPITE OF THAT. Not because of it. The core gameplay is just that good. But I’m really starting to loathe stacks now.

What happened to simple “activate an ability to get X” gameplay?

This is how I picture Fatshark at the moment.

“Psh! Hey kid. You want some stacks?!”


Spamming Focus Target is super amazing and the misinformation that you should be waiting for max stacks on important targets (or that it’s bad because you have to wait for max stacks) is absolutely braindead.

You can modify it to give +5% Toughness and Stamina per stack with “Target Down!”, amounting to infinite Toughness given to your team as marked enemies die. Even just 2 stacks is +10% Toughness being constantly generated to every single player in the party.

“Redirect Fire!” gives you stacks of +2.5% Damage based on total stacks you can hold, so it can go up to 8 stacks to a total of +12% damage that is functionally permanent.

Those stacks are additive, meaning they will continue to build up as you kill marked targets, based on how many stacks those targets have. You can have 5 Stacks of RF! and kill another enemy with 3 stacks marked, and go up to 8 Stacks of RF. There is no upkeep involved.

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Yes, i admit i was wrong about the whole argument, now i think veteran is a bit overtuned right now, it need more nerfs

just kidding, did this in patch 14

i mean what is this, are you new to the game?

you didn’t even show a scoreboard on the video to show how well you did, you could have very much be just carried by those psykers

About the plasma, i think its the best weapon in the game right now, i tried once in patch 14 and had a blast, its the only weapon i would recommand playing with executioner’s stance (volley fire),it just does the voidstrike job, has to use ammo but does a bit more damage i reckon

and yes, i agree on one thing, bolter is bad for weapon specialist, plasma much better, it raimains a big fat bait imo, but if it works for you more power to you man


This is so insanely wrong it hurts.

Precision Vet is still ultra hard mode and doesn’t quite reward the effort put into it. Some of it is the Vet tree, some of it is intrinsic weapon characteristics, some is a combination of the two.

The Vet tree as a whole is harder to navigate than it should be, but full precision builds are where you feel Fatshark’s hatred of the class. Honestly, I think FS expected precision to be worse than it currently is based on some of the decisions they made with the keystone patch. It’s probably a fluke it can put out the relative damage it does.


If you think people are complaining to just complain, you may be missing some things, and your YouTube endeavor may be aimed at the wrong issue. The raw power isn’t the problem. The issue is the Keystones being notably more fiddly and awkward than every other class’s keystones (barring the atrocious Disrupt Destiny) with higher skill floors, and the mimimum 20/21pt talent investment to reach them, coupled with potentially investing in up to 5 upgrade nodes on top of that leaving very little room for build flexibility.

Looking at other Keystones I run for other classes, I can reach Empowered Psionics from just 16 talent points, and it procs off any kill made in any manner, and auto-procs on Elites, and has only 3 potential upgrade nodes. The stacks then stick around until I decide to use them.

Warp Siphon will generally be proc’d and accrue Warp Charges from each teammate literally dozens of times through Psychic Vampire all on its own even if I do literally nothing, on top of any Elite or Specialist I kill (again, in any manner), and then just applies a flat damage and warp resistance bonus to literally everything I do without me needing to think about anything else, though does have kind of a silly number of nodes.

I can reach Heavy Hitter, Burst Limiter Override or Feel No Pain with only 18 talent points, and they’re just always-on passives that I don’t need to worry about trying to engage (except with Heavy Hitter where it does require Heavy attacks), and only have 3 upgrade nodes.

I can reach Blazing Piety on my Zealot in 17 talent points, and much like Warp Siphon, can be proc’d without me doing literally nothing just from teammate kills, and can only invest an additional 2 support nodes for a total of 19pts, and when it does go off I don’t need to play a certain way or wield a certain weapon or aim for specific things, it just gives flat bonuses that last X amount of time and make everything I do killier.

Looking at the Veteran Keystones however… things get weird. Especially for what was supposed to have been a Talent Tree that had extra time and thought put into it over the course of two additional patches after already failing at one concept. They all require a minimum of 20 talent points to reach.

Weapon Specialist is minimum 20pts of talent investment to reach and 25 max out (not counting filling out your Ult) possibly more if I’m not just going straight down the Right tree, and then I need to tactically and carefully consider how and when I actually switch weapons to maximize it’s effectiveness. I’d have much fewer issues with this if they shaved 3pts off the investment required to reach it and consolidated it down to 2 or 3 nodes, and it triggered on your next attack after switching, instead activating right when you switch weapons.

Marksman’s Focus again requires a minimum 20 talent points (and again, not counting Ult sub-nodes like Counter-fire or Duty and Honor), with 3 potential upgrade nodes. Stacks must be accrued specifically through weak spot hits or standing still, while moving clears stacks. Very powerful, but more awkward to ramp up and use properly than any keystone in other classes (where you often need to literally do nothing). The no-movement thing isn’t as big of a deal as is sometimes made out, but does undeniably incentivize some terrible player behavior that generally isn’t expressed by other Keystones.

Focus Target meanwhile requires engaging another mechanic (tagging). This has a real tabletop feel to the skill design, similar to something like D&D’s Hunters Mark. For fast paced shooter it requires a little bit of effort to actually tag something in the middle of an intense firefight unlike a tabletop game with a free Bonus action, and if you’re in the habit of doing so a lot this usually requires rebinding the default bind key (as otherwise it’s typically on the same Mouse 3 scroll button that’s awkward to use that way and that Social and Swap Weapons are also bound to). Most players also aren’t in the habit of tagging tons of stuff typically, requiring adding that deeper into their play. Now, that’s not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things, and incentivizing good tagging is a good thing, but relative to something like Piety or Siphon that can proc doing literally nothing, or Feel No Pain that’s just there by default, that is notably more conscious effort. Additionally, while it’s good to tag important or hard to see targets, arguably for easiest and most consistent performance this can result in tag just getting rebound to left-click and constantly tagging everything they’re shooting the whole game while desensitizing the team to potentially important tags that aren’t just the Veteran announcing what they’re about to shoot.

TL;DR The power level isn’t the problem, it’s the combined factors that they require significantly more talent point investment than the keystone abilities of every other class in the game, have a higher skill floor to employ than the keystones of other classes, and incentivize weird or dangerous play behaviors, in what is now the 3rd pass at Veteran talent tree.

As an aside, a Plasma Gun is about the least build-dependent weapon a Veteran can wield, I don’t even bother running a Keystone on my Plasma build, which is indicative of how oddly designed the Veteran tree is. I’ve got every class at 30, and every build I run on the other classes is centered around a Keystone, but on several of my Veteran builds I don’t build into a keystone at all.