Zealot's Unintentionally Fantastic Class Ability (And Why It Should Stay)

In the current state of the game Zealot struggles to maintain an identity, especially with the many issues that have yet to be resolved in regards to Feat/Blessing functionality and weapon balance.
However, Zealot does have one thing that is currently setting them apart from other classes, encouraging unique weapon selection and emergent strategies: Ranged Chastisement.

  • What is it?

Currently, the damage bonus and armor penetration bonus from Chastise The Wicked applies to all ranged weapons for its brief duration. This allows weapons that would otherwise suffer greatly from hit-location/armor multipliers to deal significant damage during the ability’s activation.
This lasts until the Zealot lands a Melee attack or the effect expires.

  • Why is it good?

This unique interaction creates a very small burst window that allows the Zealot to rapidly reposition while dealing with threats that may otherwise be too numerous or out of reach. Ranged Chastisement also allows the Zealot to effectively utilize weaponry at higher difficulties that other classes can’t (or that would otherwise suffer from crippling weaknesses on Heresy+.)

This is absolutely amazing! This is so, so much bigger a deal than it seems because this is one of the only features of the Zealot that gives them a unique playstyle! This emergent synergy with the Class Ability encourages aggressive play with combined arms where Zealot starts to shine the most, rather than sticking to the quickly staling meta of Kantreal/Bolter that is dominating most Heresy+ Zealot gameplay.

After learning to utilize this emergent property on Zealot I’m no longer shackled to playing a discount Melee-Veteran, because I’m able to bring hard-hitting burst damage that rewards me for pushing with my party and engaging with multiple threats at once. This creates a defining feel for the class that mirrors the other classes-- not as a waifish shadow of the Ogryn’s support and engagement skillset, and not as a frailer, less potent Veteran, but as a highly aggressive close-ranged hunter somewhere between the two!

And the best part? I get to experiment with low-power weapons on Heresy+ that aren’t usable for any other class! Autopistols, Autoguns, Laspistols, Revolvers and Shotguns might be cripplingly underpowered but I can create niche use cases where their rapid-fire, high mobility, and normally armor-snubbed burst damage can truly shine! Clearing a path to my target with the tearthrough of a mid-charge special shotgun round or quickly ramming into and cutting down an injured Crusher with an Autopistol to get to a downed companion is a rush no other class can provide!

TL;DR: Ranged Chastisement helps to further define the Zealot’s role as an aggressive pusher and high-value-target-hunter while encouraging them to use secondary weapons other classes don’t, and in unique ways.

  • The Reason For This Post

I am, however, deeply concerned about the future of this synergy. We have already once seen Zealot’s power level significantly impacted by a bugfix, which removed the full-crit period from Chastise the Wicked, and I worry that Ranged Chastisement could suffer the same fate. This would be a huge step back for the Zealot, would rob it of its nascent identity, and would further homogenize the growing Veteran-focused meta.

However, you have shown time and time again that unintentional quirks of the system may be acknowledged and intergrated into the core game, and that gives me hope.

Therefore, I implore you NOT to fix away Ranged Chastisement but to polish it and make it an explicit part of the base skill!

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i think it is intended , just a lot of people just lept to the assumption it is melee only , the only thing im curious about is if the armour pen is intended or not , would of thought that would warrant mentioning on the skill

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Even if kept the exact same or was intended, if they simply put a small blurb in the CtW skill description I’d be happy. Most Zealot players know nothing about the interaction’s existence.

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How long does Chastise the Wicked last if you don’t hit something in melee ? And how much armor penetration and ranged damage bonus are we talking about ?

I am sad to see this on the forum bc it will be nerfed, it was the best kept zealot secret.

Indeed the ult works with your ranged weapon, my bolter can kill ogryn in about 5 shots during ult.

It honestly makes my zealot feel like a sister of battle as I also use the talent for increased ranged damage at close range which seems to give a benefit from 25, 20, 15, 10 meters from target. This has great synergy with a bolter bc of the high base damage and bolters do more damage at long range therefore your bolter always has more damage.

I really hope this isn’t changed, it allows me to use a melee weapon that struggles against carapace armor(heavy sword mk VII) and I just pull my bolter out for ogryns and distant specials like snipers, grenadiers, and bombers.

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It seems to only be working with certain weapons? Like it is definitely buffing the bolter, but the pistol doesn’t seem to be getting any buff. I tried it out with a few different guns and its definitely only some of them

The biggest difference seems to be the autoguns/autopistols which go from ok dps, to actually wrecking during the burst window.

Somebody had to bite the bullet and beg for the quirk to stay, it’s the best part of Zealot and it’s already starting to gain traction. It’s even being mentioned in steam guides at this point, so I hope they can embrace it as part of the class.

If they do fix it, make 6 stacks of Martyrdom actually worth running and apply to ranged damage. I’m not sure if they don’t apply right now, pretty sure Rising Conviction was changed after the beta from working with ranged to only melee so I’ve just assumed it’s the same with Martyrdom.

Crit build is just pigeonholing Preacher to a ridiculous degree. It’s clear there’s intent for a non-crit focused preacher who utilizes low health and slow, low-crit weapons, but that build is just so risky and has almost no reward compared to crit build which is just as happy at high health as it is at low health.

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I pray they don’t fix it bc it fits the theme of zealot being mostly melee considering your ult is a 5 second window that makes your ranged weapon good and it also puts you quite close to your target so it synergies with the ranged talent that gives bonus damage at close range.

The low hp talents should have maximum effectiveness at half health bc you can’t survive in this game at 1 hp like in vermintide, temp health in vermintide is dramatically more effective than toughness in darktide.

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I use auto pistol on my zealot…ult definitely works. can bring down a crusher, and I think its a marvelous mechanic. gives you so much depth in one ability, Do I use it to proc a melee crit and boosts my tankness briefly? or use it to burst down a trouble some special with my ranged weapon.

Ill be really sad if this was unintended and removed. It makes sense to be there, Zealot even has a perk to increase ranged damage (proximity).

I tested all of the zealot weapons except for the lasguns, the only 2 that it doesn’t seem to affect are the pistol and the flamer, and the headhunter seems to get less of a boost than the others but that could just be because of the low fire rate. It seems that the ult is causing it to completely ignore armor resists, so the faster firing it is, the bigger the boost.

It’ll be nerfed before the week is out now.

I’m pretty sure the armor pen is from the crits. In V2 and DT crits tend to improve an attack’s armor pen if I remember correctly.

nah dawg its broken af, i can 3 shot a crusher by pressing F on damnation LMAO!

That’s the thing, if you test it in the meat grinder it isn’t crits, its all white numbers. Its doing 25% extra damage and ignoring armor. If you do it on an unarmored target you will see a straight 25% damage boost. Then do it on a carapace armored enemy and watch it do the same damage as it was doing on the unarmored

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With what, a Bolter? If so you are gonna kill it in like an extra second without the Ult anyway. Meanwhile this interaction allows for some actually unique plays with weapons like auto pistol which have a very narrow use case otherwise.

I’m always for more interactions/synergies rather than less. It is cool and engaging that Zealot can do some things with some ranged weapons that other classes cannot. Variety is key to longevity.

Honestly you can do more broken things with your Ult in melee anyway cough devils claw instant Ult reset cough

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I agree, that’s why they should nerf Veteran.
(To clarify, this is a joke. Neither need to be nerfed.)

How it can be intended, your weaker melee attack can end your damage buff unlike ranged weapon? Even Damage buff to ranged weapon has same concept with Vet’s ult?

it’s called a bug.

Even though I don’t think his intended ult is good compared to Vet. (Well, every other classes don’t have better ult than Vet in damage-wise anyway)

This is my biggest gripe, I get why they would fix the ranged interaction, but why nerf Zealot when it was already suffering from an identity crisis. The full period of crits honestly felt like an intended thing. Why is Veteran allowed to stay in their (much much stronger) active literally forever but Zealot can’t have like 3 extra crit swings on their already mediocre active ability.

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