What could make Psyker Brain burst feel better?

The biggest problem with Brain Burst (on higher difficulties) is that the damage does not scale to make it feel impactful, and the increased pace of the game the higher difficulty, makes BB not feel good to use.

Rework ideas would be to turn it into an instant cast with charges.
Initially its 1 charge and can instant kill anything up to Ogryn’s on any difficulty, with the CD of it being reduced by warp damage dealt, or peril % gained.

This can then be modified by feats, changing its purpose:

  • Increase charges to x amount (2,3,4 whatever just give more)
  • AoE nuke if the primary target dies from the BB then x (2,3,4,5 whatever, just make it AoE) other also die from it, prio on elites (like the soulblaze on BB kill, but actually useful)
  • And finally you could make it a stronger single target nuke, able to now insta kill ogryn’s and just do more damage to bosses

So you now turn BB into a quick enemy snapper, got some pesky gunners spread out locking your team down? POP POP POP. Way is clear, that’s fun.

Got a big group of elites coming your way? BB, POP, CRACK elite pack gone, that’s satisfying.

Or there’s a big flamer blocking shield ogryn giving your zealot PTSD with his flamer not hitting the horde behind him? POP ogryn taken care of, and now that fresh cultist crispy smell is back in the air.

Just some ideas


Personally I think charges should build using melee attacks then we SPEND charges to boost brain burst… A good old builder-spender loop :slight_smile:


Yeah I agree completely, they already have the mechanic in place, it’s called warp charges.
BB should spend charges, not give them.

Increasing peril would mean more warp charges, using more bb with charges pushes peril even further and pushing to much leads to self head pop.
So you need to find the balance of gaining charges, spending charges and quelling.

Won’t change the gameplay dramatically but it allows for bb to be high dmg and special as it won’t be available all the time and it becomes something to build towards and reward your time.

A variation could be using bb as the penultimate headpop, so it triggers only on 100% peril, and you’ve gotta find a lucky soul to expel all that pent up warp energy on or you’ll pop yourself.

This allowing even greater power to bb while also being careful when you use it, cuz if you don’t get a target quick enough you will burst.
Would seem fitting if the charge time of bb would remain, to give it some stress and risk of failure, as teammates kill the target you are aiming for and pop goes the psyker. Hehe

Oh I like the idea turning BB into a warp charge spender, that’s a cool idea!

I quite like the way it works now, I feel it could do a bit more damage, cast a bit faster and give less peril though. 2-shotting Ogryns on Heresy would be nice, and 1 shotting the human elites/specials.

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For sure even if its just added damage scaling so it’s not useless in higher difficulties would satiate the psyker players for awhile :slight_smile:


Brain Burst has 3 problems.

  • Fixed Damage.
  • Negligible boost from Warp Charges, gained from killing targets with BB.
  • Too slow to cast. Anyone with a gun (Or grenade) can nail an Elite from range faster than BB can charge up.

Brain Burst cannot be fixed just by tweaking its existing numbers/effects.

  • If you boost the fixed damage really high to make it effective past Malice (Where it already begins struggling to one shot Elites) you make it too powerful against bosses, relative to other classes

  • Boosting the bonus damage from Warp Charges causes the Psyker to feel chained to keeping them at max stacks just to keep their core class skill useful and kicked in the teeth anytime those stacks fall off.

  • Just speeding it up certainly makes it feel better, to use, but unless you also fix the first 2 issues, it accomplishes nothing of value.

A core redesign of the mechanics are needed. Here’s how I’d want Brain Burst and the Psyker to function in general, independent of weapon:

  • Brain Burst becomes instant. Lethal to everything it hits (100% targets max health) with Peril gained based on how much HP the target had. One shotting a Bulwark would take you to 100% immediately, while a regular Poxwalker would only take you to 10%, For example.

  • Warp Charges gained on making kills, more stacks based on enemy class (2 for a Specialist, 3 for Elite etc), Charges would have no duration but have no influence on your Damage.

  • Brain Burst gains a Special Action → Smite (The lightning blast we saw in the trailer and is a canon ability for a Sanctioned Psyker).
    This would be a conal AoE directly in front of the Psyker and consumes Warp Charges to cast.
    Hold to charge it up for more damage per blast at the cost of additional Warp Charges consumed for the charged blasts based on how long you charged it, with a full charge consuming all available charges for a maximum blast and Perils gained per charge spent.

  • Final note, BB on bosses would grant a Charge per successful hit, dealing a percentile of its max HP (Whatever works out for balance purposes) instead of outright killing like it would regular targets.

Feats wouldn’t even really need to change except the final row.
Psykers with a BB that worked this way would be excellent Elite snipers with the now instant Brain Burst while allowing Brain Burst to be worked strategically into non elite hordes through Smite to help Horde clearing capabilities.
You’d be able to focus entirely on blasting with BB and Smite if you choose the Feats to support it, or go for a more hybrid style mixing it up with whatever gun and melee you enjoy as you go.
You wouldn’t need a Force Staff to actually feel like a Psyker.

But thats just a pipe dream really.


As a bare minimum it should be able to one-shot hounds and bursters on all difficulties. As others have said, the time spent casting leaves you super vulnerable for what amounts to mediocre damage (plus raising your peril which limits your ability to fight effectively if you’re also using a staff).

I’d like the secondary fire to be expanded. Perhaps while charging with secondary fire, you could see glowing ‘brains’ through walls, etc, similar to the veteran’s ability. This would be thematic and give you a better sense of whether to continue pre-charging or not.

They could also add an alt-fire for when brain burst is selected. Perhaps this is where an instant-cast effect should be implemented for use in high-intensity combat.

Another minor issue I’ve found with brain burst is struggling to target enemies behind/through railings, although this is more of a technical issue than game design.

Revert to open beta.

I get that it’s meant to be the psyker grenade, and you get an infinite amount of them. But since its damage can be underwhelming, it ends up feeling like a pointless mechanic at times.

Since it’s tied to warp stacks/souls, you also are compelled to use it constantly on garbage enemies, which just ends up lowering your overall damage and hurting your team. It’s not well set up.

The order of thought should probably be reversed: brain bursting should be immensely strong but something that is charged by CC or kills. Assuming this, if it also caused area damage, it would be in a good spot.

Brain Burst requires 100% LoS of the target in order to lock onto their head.

And i do mean 100%. If enough of them is obscured to you by terrain, Brain Burst cant see it.
Which is absolutely ridiculous, considering this even happens with Nurgle Beasts going up stairs. Can see 90% of its body, but not its head? No BB!

Cant even BB through chainlink fences as theyre considered out of LoS, cant fire a Force Staff through it, but everyone else can shoot through it just fine.

Psyker needs help lol

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Am I the only one that thinks BB is basically fine as is, even on Heresy+?

If the concern is generating warp charges, you can get plenty of them just by fighting with the level 25 talent. And you can BB an enemy or two as you charge in to get the ball rolling, but it’s hardly necessary TBH.

Likewise, BB as a specialized tool is still completely valid as is. It is totally useful for popping specials that run out of site, dealing major damage and staggering clumps of ogryns that are coming at you, killing snipers from out of sight, etc…

I feel like people are still WAAAAY too obsessed with BB and thinking it should be stronger. It’s a utility tool that is perfectly good as it is. It’s not the corner stone of the entire class.

People also don’t seem to realize that if your have 50%+ of a BB charge locked in and someone else kills the target you STILL get a warp charge.

The line of sight through fences is the biggest issue with it, since nothing else (even bullets) are similar blocked. If they speed up the charge or have it deal more damage I’m not going to complain, but it hardly seems needed.

It is a fine tool and I am good with the overall psyker mechanic.

But the nerfs from open beta were not really justified for most.
Limiting the stagger on elites after some time is understandable. But the rest got HEAVILY nerfed with no adjustment whatsoever to compensate for.

  • fix the targeting from BB, maybe open beta was too lenient but what they did simply breaks targeting on situation it should not (heads behind covers, pieces of decors etc now all block BB somehow ewww)

  • shave 2-3 tenth of a second to brain burst

  • brain burst should immediately stagger non elites/specialists or close to

  • and most of all give the psykers some leeway to switch to and from brainburst when handling weapons, this shoule be more reactive and less blocked by weapon animations than it is now. We are expected to be reactive on BB for all the drawbacks it has, let switching to brainburst not be impeded by weapon animations (have a wider margin to switch).

  • Finally adjust the right click of BB so it is less punishing somehow ? It is ok-ish but its use now but just too marginal to use. Maybe if you leave the longer charging time and high cost it should have a function to target specialists right away in a cone where you are aiming. And/or have it do an immediate stagger to the target.

They just went too far with the nerf bat for no reason besides the stagger.

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You are not, but tying many mechanics around it is something i think needs a other look at. If it was just a other greande variant that was bit more limited to use but was also slightly more powerful then i doubt many would care as much.

My biggest petition for Psyker is to switch the passive Battle Meditation talent (chance to quell when killing an enemy) with the level 25 Feat Kinetic Flayer (attacks have a 10% chance to BB target).

This would immediately change people’s perception about the Psyker. It would give two ways, right away, for psykers to generate warp charges. It would also open up the level 25 feat options for some rebalancing.

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You might be, yeah.

Veteren’s Grenades are powerful AoE clears. Can literally save someone getting reamed by killing smaller mobs and staggering larger ones. They get infinite, free Grenades on a cooldown in addition to being able to pick them up.
His Special allows him to annhilate multiuple Elites in the time it takes Brain Burst to fire off once. In addition to seeing them through walls and shooting them through walls with Plasma Guns! Why can random Guardsmen literally see through walls but the Psyker cannot?

Ogryn Bull Rush is clutch as hell, a powerful engagement tool as well as an effective escape option.
The Box is straight up more single target damage than Brain Burst and is instant. Brain Burst deals around 900 - 1100 damage to a Reaper on Malice, requiring 2 to 3 hits to kill it. The box deals 2500 and instantly deletes it.
You can even use Feats to mod the box to also explode, dealing even more damage!

Zealot charge is mobility, Defense and killing potential all in one button. It can also be modified via Feats to provide bonuses to allies.
Stun Grenades have an absurd AoE range and an immensely long duration stun. Effective at engaging and also getting yourself out of a sticky situation.

Compare this to Psykinetics Wrath. No, not that one. The special ability one!
A literal fart in the wind. Lightly staggers and sometimes knockdowns weak enemies in a small PbAoE around you.
Brain Burst, 2 or 2.5 second cast time. Fixed damage. Not one single Feat that directly improves its damage or usability outside of the final Feat, in which we get … 10 seconds of slightly faster BB casting after using our long cooldown Psykinetics Wrath, no not that one! The other one!
Not to mention getting penalized with Peril everyone someone killsteals your target.

You say BB is a “Specialized tool”, yet in every single feat tier the Psyker has a Brain Burst related pick
You could, feasibly look at that and think maybe the devs want you to be Brain Bursting often. Not so much a “specialized tool” but somet hing you should regularly be doing.

For clarity:

  • First row, First pick. Large Toughness regeneration on gaining a Warp Charge. How do you get Warp Charges? You Brain Burst.
    Congrats, Your survival now depends on Brain Bursting.

  • Second row, Third pick. Killing an Elite with BB causes an AoE Soulflame proc. Now you WANT to be using BB on every Elite to stack up the Soulflame.

  • Third row, Second and Third picks.
    Second pick offers team benefits and synergises perfectly with the previous tier.
    Third pick is a massive boon to the group (But not you, if you’re using Force Weapons) in killing power on anything you cant one shot.

  • Fourth row, Second pick. Now you’re even more reliant on regular BB kills to maintain stacks as they now come with damage reduction that synergizes really well with all previous tiers.

  • Fifth row, All picks.
    First offers greater damage bonuses and damage reduction for regularly using BB to keep stacks high.
    Second pick allows you catch Elites on fire when you gain excess Warp Charges. Further reinforcing the notion of regular BB use.
    Third pick just straight up autocasts a free BB for you, great! Now you’re getting all the benefits of the previous tiers even when not actively casting a BB!

  • Final row, All picks again.
    To take advantage of the first, you need to be gaining Warp charges regularly. How do you do that? Oh yeah, BB!
    To use the second, you also need Warp Charges. Oh, fancy that. Making kills with BB is how that happens.
    The third pick … Do i even need to explain this one? Game is literally telling you to use more BB after casting Psykinetics Wrath! No, not that one, the other one!

And notice how a bunch of those Feats specify Elite kills with BB to trigger?
Now actually play Malice+. Your team will snipe the majority of Elites out from under you by killing the target of your BB before it can finish.
And even if it does land, it’s unlikely to actually make the kill which most of the Feats rely upon to trigger thier effects with your teammate picking up the kill right after your BB lands and before you can charge up a new one.
Leaving you to trigger the remaining non-Elite specific BB Feats on Poxwalkers and Dregs if you want to utilize them.

Lets also note that the Psyker is the only class whose Toughness Feat line in the first row requires the use of Brain Burst or a Force Weapon. Yes, Even the third one for Quelling Peril. How do you get Peril? Thats right, BB and Force Weapons!
Every other class can use whichever weapons or gear they want to trigger their Toughness Feats.
None of them have weapon or gear specific requirements.

Sorry for the long write-up here. I just really wanted to point out how heavily Fatshark wants the Psyker to engage with Brain Burst but at the same time, made it so ineffectual in practice during actual missions that it is entirely possible for your team to accidentally prevent you from utilizing your entire build just by playing the game.

If we can build our Feats to prioritize an aspect of the Class, I damn well expect Fatshark to make that aspect of the Class actually good at all points of the game, not just in Sedition.

Psyker as a Class is fundamentally in a bad place. It needs a rework to make it feel like a proper Psyker.
The point of these Psyker threads is that it is a class feels smoother and more rewarding for ignoring entire sections of its kit. That needs to change. Brain Burst is just the most visible thing to latch onto because of how fast the game outscales it.

Having quite a few damnation runs now under my belt, I’d say you do definitely get usage out of the ability, but it is also sometimes frustrating to use.
Until recently I was also of the opinion, that its damage should scale, so that you can oneshot Pox Bursters, Flamers and Hounds on Damnation, but having looked at some enemy health values, that would also result in you being able to oneshot Maulers and both types of ragers, which is way too strong, hence I have let go of that train of thought

The way I see it there are currently three areas, where BB feels could be improved:

  1. Los - You have mentioned this yourself and it makes no sense. This is easily functionally the biggest hurdle and it makes no sense.

  2. Getting a target killed, that you started bursting feels bad, because the ability deals all its damge at the end. Also the fact that bursting trash enemies takes the same amount of time is dumb.
    My proposal:
    BB deals 50% of its total damage linearly until 80% of the full cast time. From 80% cast time till 99% it deals no damage and upon reaching 100% it deals the remaining 50% damage. Peril generation stays the same.
    This way you can BB trash faster, will have dealt damage when your target gets burst by someone else and still get a reward upon completing the full cast through effectively double damage.

  3. Right click is currently a bit worthless as it messes up your peril economy and it is way to situational.
    My proposal:
    Holding right click lets you charge up a BB that gets stored. The charge time is the same as a full cast with left click and the peril cost for charging up is 40%.
    Upon reaching 40% the BB gets stored. It gets consumed through pressing lmb while holding rmb to aim/highlight targets. A normal left click cast does not consume the charge.
    This way right click becomes more useful and you can also more efficiently burst targets that you anticipate through sound cues.

Anyway Los is still the most important part that needs to be fixed.


It’s a beautiful dream nonetheless <3

Does my nut in seeing BB take so long to cast, the ranged peeps have deleted elites before I get to 50% lol

I think the ability could be made far more usable using some very quick tweaks that could be implemented rather than simply ripping it out and overhauling the entire thing while doing nothing in the meantime. Ideally they’d rework it entirely yes, but I’d rather it be more usable sooner rather than in a year when they can get around to that.

-Remove ability to Brain Burst commons. This is by far the most frustrating part of using the ability, even moreso than the jank with small objects blocking it, the cast time is so long that by the time you’ve jumped up and down trying to get it to actually stick on the guy you want to hit amidst the crowd, even if it’s a hulking Ogryn, due to how terrible the targeting is no matter if your cursor is right on top of them if a single common is anywhere within their zip code, you really will have absolutely no chance to actually set it off before someone else has killed them and you’ve wasted everyone’s time accomplishing nothing.

-Warp Charge stacks should decay one at a time, not all at once. This will make the ability to burst commons unnecessary in the first place since you won’t be desperately trying to retain your charges and spamming the ability endlessly to do so, which seems to be against what Fatshark wants in the first place.

-Left clicking while pre-emptively charging up a burst with right click should not cancel you out of the ability if the gauge isn’t full, that already happens if you drop the charge by releasing right click anyways. It feels so awful to use the pre-charge at the moment thanks to this awful interaction. It will get dumped even if you’re fully charged up if you click too soon since the server lags behind a little. Optionally, add a sound effect for when you have one fully primed.

-Either add a slight damage amp for teammates to targets you are in the middle of bursting after about 0.3s and give us a Warp Charge if an ally’s boosted damage fells the enemy, or give us half the damage in the middle of the animation and half at the end (I would rather it be a gradual damage tick buildup to the full amount but I’m trying to keep these changes very simple). Brain Burst highlights high priority targets for your team with its visual effect and it’d make sense to play into that rather than have it be negative for everyone involved. If your teammates kill the target before it finishes you just wasted all your time and peril and didn’t even help deal any damage. Even if you simply dealt half the damage in the middle of the animation that’d be a decent chunk you’d be far more likely to be actually helping with.

-Pump the damage up a little to at least kill a poxhound in one brain burst on Damnation. I don’t believe this is asking for very much and stops it from becoming some insane overtuned ability with Kinetic Barrage in mind, while keeping it able to deal with an enemy type that Brain Burst seems arguably made for (quickly moves around and hard to hit by normal cursor means).

The ability is not nearly as bad on higher difficulties as is claimed by many at the moment, but these address my biggest frustrations without trying to uberbuff it into some monstrous ability you would just spam instead of doing anything else.

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