Here's a nice overview of the Staffs and why I think they kick ass!
For starters, I highly recommend downloading the full Ballistic Weapons Mod and the Bonus Pack 4 from http://www.runestorm.com/download.php?list.9
instead of using the files downloaded from the server. There are tons of options and settings to play with to make the mod even more enjoyable than it is now.
So, the Nova Staff
and Dark Star
are very similar weapons but have such a vast amount of options to play with, they could be part of their own game type. Both have Slow and Fast shots and the tertiary modes are Plasma for the Dark Star and Lightning for the Nova Staff. To change between them, use the "Switch Fire Mode" key. If you don't have the mod downloaded, open the console and type: set input a SwitchWeaponMode|OnRelease WeaponModeRelease (where "a" represents the key you'd like to bind that command to). You can also use your secondary fire for their melee attacks. (Thrust and Chainsaw).Health
Both weapons have the ability to regenerate your health. The Nova Staff raises it slowly up to 150 simply by having it equipped. The Dark Star will regenerate your health if you attack someone with the Chainsaw.Ammo
Both weapons will replenish their own ammo when you use their melee attacks on someone. (The Dark Star is much more efficient at this than the Nova Staff). This also works on team mates as well as any turrets you deploy.Angel and Demon Modes
Whenever you kill an enemy, you'll see either an orange or blue ghost floating out of their body. You must collect these to charge up the power meter of the weapon. Once you've collected enough, (easier said than done) the meter will flash and you can then activate "Angel Mode" for the Nova Staff or "Demon Mode" for the Dark Star by pressing the "Weapon Special Key". If you don't have the mod downloaded, go into the console and type: set input z WeaponSpecial|OnRelease WeaponSpecialRelease (where "z" is an example of a key you would like to bind that command to). Hint: just copy and paste that from here and directly into the game using Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V. Once you activate the mode, the power meter will drain, so continue collecting ghosts. You will have two extra firing modes: "God Strike" and "Chain Lightning" for the Nova Staff; "Immolation" and "Fire Bomb" for the Dark Star. God Strike fires a powerful lightning bolt at the target. Chain Lightning can grab and damage multiple targets at once. Immolation will set a player on fire by merely aiming your crosshair at them and pressing primary fire. Fire Bomb behaves like the Flak Cannon's secondary fire only with... Fire!
Angel Mode will give your character wings and the ability to fly. Demon Mode gives your character horns, extra jump height and faster running speed.Death Balls
These are created only when you attack the projectile of the opposite staff with the plasma or lightning of your own. Example: If your opponent is wielding a Dark Star and they are shooting the slow moving projectiles at you, take out your Nova Staff and use the Lightning attack on the projectiles. This causes the enemy's projectile to turn into a Death Ball and attack them!Black Holes
One player must use the Dark Star and the other the Nova Staff. Then, they must each fire the Plasma and the Lightning attack into each other. This should create a Vortex that sucks in players and ghosts. You can increase the size and power of the Vortex by shooting it with any weapon until it explodes. (Which then, any ghosts that were trapped in it will be released).Hints
If your weapon ever jams (doesn't fire), try switching away from it and then back to it. If that doesn't work, throw it and then pick it back up. This however, will reset the charge meter.
It seems that when two enemies attack each other with the same Staff, the damage they take is significantly reduced. Don't know if it's a glitch or not so if you have the other Staff, don't hesitate to use it instead.
Phew, a lot to cover... and I'm sure there's more! This is why I think they could be considered their own game type. Have fun trying these out!