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Old 03-13-2012, 07:00 PM
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Default Ideas for making Firebugs useful at endgame

Firebugs tend to be looked at as the least useful class, and it's rare that they're ever seen on Hell on Earth.

On the other hand, personally speaking, when using the firebug on the easier difficulties (hard or below), they tend to be rather good. Apart from a complete inability to take out fleshpounds, they can kill scrakes, and can kill anything below a scrake rather easily. I'd rank them as the best class to play as for waves 1-5 in terms of survivability and effectiveness.
Ideally then, they need changes which will improve them on harder difficulties, without overpowering them on earlier difficulties.

I would suggest the following changes be made to firebugs, to make them more feasible to play endgame:
  1. Speed decrease - When zombies have been set on fire, after a while they crispen up and suffer a movement speed decrease and go into a brief random panic. Could their speed slowly and evenly drop off from normal until they reach their crispened state. This would really help on HoE when the zeds just move so darned quick, but wouldn't noticably impact earlier levels when zeds are killed by initial flame damage, or early DoT damage, and don't have a chance to even REACH crispened state.
  2. Fairer DoT - Currently the flame damage over time a zed takes will be from the first fire damage it receives, and will exponentially increase over the duration of the DoT. Not only does this seem strange from a logic PoV (a zed is set on fire, and will gradually receive more fire damage as the flames die out?), but it severely reduces the potency of DoTs for a firebug on harder difficulties where the speed of the zeds means they will take very little DoT damage. I would suggest a) DoTs deal even damage per tick - the first tick deals the same damage as the last tick, and b) Every time a zed receives direct fire damage (from flamethrower, MAC10 etc. Not from the DoT) then it renews the number of ticks remaining on the DoT. Again, this would help on HoE where zeds have far more health and aren't killed by the initial direct fire damage.
  3. The crispening - currently, zeds crispen up 10 seconds after taking flame damage for the first time. This is disappointing, because crispening zeds is one of the things that makes a firebug a team player, but especially on later modes, zeds will have plenty of time to walk to the player and attack him for a couple seconds before the crispening takes effect. On earlier modes, zeds are most often dead from damage long before crispening happens at all. I would suggest that instead of being time-based, crispening happens based on fire damage taken instead. The aim being that if a zed is hit by a flame-based weapon, after the initial damage, plus the 10 seconds of DoT are added up, the damage will be enough to crispen the zed. However, if a firebug really needs, he can continue to hose down the zed with fire to increase the flame damage dealt, and crispen the zed far faster than normal.
    As an alternative, perhaps zeds could take more damage from all sources when crispened (perhaps take 110% damage from any source across the board), which would encourage firebugs to set many things on fire and let them crispen, rather than killing individual zeds.
    In addition, I would suggest that husk cannons instantly crispen zeds, which would set them apart from flamethrowers significantly, make them more desirable and tie in with their massive ball of fire thing.
    Again, this would be of limited use on earlier modes because the zeds die too fast, but would allow players to shoot fire for a little longer at zeds on higher modes to cripsen them up.

I think implementing the above suggestions would go a long way towards making firebugs more desirably again on harder difficulties without overpowering them on earlier difficulties.





Below are my original thoughts, which were condensed into the above list.
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Last edited by Althamus; 06-27-2012 at 05:17 PM.
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Old 03-14-2012, 02:08 PM
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I like point 2 a lot, would be very helpful for the team. The others, i dunno.
EDIT: I also like point 6, that the total DoT damage is the same, just done faster (over 8 secs, instead of over 10 secs, for example)

Another thing i'd like to point out, which is also a reason why the DoT is a little weak (in particular in the higher difficulties) is that the damage of the DoT "increases" over the duration. The base DoT's first tick of damage is as low as 22-24 damage, and the LAST tick of the burn deals as much as 60-78 damage. The total damage of the whole burn is between 419 and 510 damage. Which means an average of 464 damage.

Instead of having such an "increasing" damage over time, I'd rather let each tick be equal in strength, thus each tick should always be dealing 46 or 47 damage. That could make a slight improvement too perhaps?
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Old 03-14-2012, 02:59 PM
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I didn't realise the burn DoT increased in intensity as it went on. Seems a bit odd, I would've expected it to be the other way around logically (after all, if something burns for a bit and then goes out, the fire is normally dying down).

Having said that, I can understand why making it happen this way would be a little overpowered in the game xP

I've added the suggestion to my original post for the burn DoT to be constant all through.


Also, just thought that IMHO the two main reasons firebugs have such a hard time on higher levels is that a) the mobs move faster and b) they have more HPs. These two factors combined mean that any DoT you put on the mobs has a much smaller effect compared to lower levels, and consequently the firebug in general is less effective.
I've mostly been thinking of ways to slow the mobs down to let the DoTs deal more damage rather than just plain old ramping up the firebug's damage. But I wonder whether the fire damage could somehow be % based, rather than a flat figure? This would presumably make the firebug equally useful at all difficulties, because all difficulties are (almost) equally hard for him.
I can spot all sorts of holes in this idea before I even began (all difficulties are equally hard = defeats the point, % based damage makes fleshpounds equally hard to kill as crawlers etc), but I'll stick it down incase it sparks off another idea in someone else's head.

Last edited by Althamus; 03-14-2012 at 03:04 PM.
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Old 03-14-2012, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Althamus View Post
I didn't realise the burn DoT increased in intensity as it went on. Seems a bit odd, I would've expected it to be the other way around logically (after all, if something burns for a bit and then goes out, the fire is normally dying down).
Mac10 delivers 38-39 burning damage in the first second, 65-75 - in the 10th (no matter which level firebug are you, even 0, but not the off-perk).
Level 6 firebug's flamer delivers 35-38 burning damage in the first second, 96-124 - in the 10th.

I agree this is stupid and already suggested to change it in this post.
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Old 03-16-2012, 10:18 AM
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I'm always supportive of making firebug more useful, it is one of my favorite perks, but sadly you never could use it on top tier difficulties, it just didn't do enough damage or support to merit using it.

There are so many who wish the same as you and I, I just hope it happens eventually.
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Old 03-17-2012, 05:44 AM
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Shorter burning with the same total damage, average damage per tick and insta-crispen for the husk cannon all sound good to me.
I don't know how crispen works, but it should also be possible to hose down a ZED to make him crispen really fast, so some sort of fire-damage-dealt threshold for the crispen effect would be good, if it isn't already in place.
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Old 03-17-2012, 09:35 AM
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As far as I know, crispening happens 10 seconds after the zed has been set on fire (by flamethrower/husk cannon/MAC10, not explosives(demo)). It's a good idea to quicken that based on amount of fire though, to allow players to hose fps down and crisp them much faster.
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Old 03-18-2012, 08:25 PM
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100% agree on all points, except the Husk Gun. At this point the best thing to do would probably be to write it off as a gigantic cluster**** and start from scratch with a gun nearly identical to the one that the husk actually carries, replete with the unlimited ammo, recharging cool-down, slow ROF, and (likely) high weight. Oh, and it shouldn't cost as much as 5 1/3 FTs when the FT is infinitely more useful (read: less horrible) than the husk gun. The only use I've found so far for the husk gun is stunning scrakes, and there are MUCH, MUCH cheaper and easier ways to do that.
Also at the risk of shameless self-promotion I think that this fits perfectly with your second point.
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Old 03-18-2012, 08:41 PM
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I agree with lace here. As to the Husk Launcher, they should definitely re-work it. It's like a bad attempt by TWI to create a longer ranged weapon for pyros. A better idea would've been to give it a moderate on-impact damage increase and give it unlimited ammo with a (3 / 5 second?) cool down. Although, I like the charge function, if someone edit'd it, they could implement my earlier thoughts and just make it so you do moderate dmg with a low power shot and a charged shot (5 - 10 secs?) about the same damage as the law (Lower but close, though) Ack, anyway, My favorite point is 6.

Quote:
Damage increase - Enough with these namby-pamby things. Just give the firebug a flat +X% damage increase to all fire-based weapons on later difficulties. Other obvious ways to improve the firebug are faster DoTs (so the DoT will deal the same damage, but in a shorter duration), or that the afterburn is more powerful.
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Old 03-18-2012, 10:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lacedaemonius View Post
and start from scratch with a gun nearly identical to the one that the husk actually carries, replete with the unlimited ammo, recharging cool-down, slow ROF, and (likely) high weight.
Hmm. It sounds a lot like another crossbow/LAW. Disadvantage being that if a firebug were to carry something like a crossbow/LAW and a MAC10 (assuming he could take both), it would entirely change his role. He's currently a trashkiller, and while I'm all for giving him a bit of variance and ability to kill big things (IMHO he struggles more than any other class at taking down big guns), his role shouldn't slide to "heavy killer".

I reckon the husk launcher could get infinite ammo, larger impact damage, auto-crispening effect and that's it. After all, getting hit by a husk rocket ingame doesn't exactly give your health a pummeling as would be represented by the husk launcher becoming a LAW.

I think the auto-crispening thing would be a big bonus for bugs, especially on HoE. The ability to pop a FP and drop his movement speed cannot be underestimted. Plus, for everything else it'd give them time to get hurt by the DoT. And it would kinda fit with the fact that the husk launcher has a lot of fire without actually turning it into another boss mob hunter.
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Althamus View Post
Hmm. It sounds a lot like another crossbow/LAW. Disadvantage being that if a firebug were to carry something like a crossbow/LAW and a MAC10 (assuming he could take both), it would entirely change his role. He's currently a trashkiller, and while I'm all for giving him a bit of variance and ability to kill big things (IMHO he struggles more than any other class at taking down big guns), his role shouldn't slide to "heavy killer"
Sure, it would be exactly the same, only without the mobility of the xbow, the blast radius of the LAW, or the range and power of either. Oh, and it can't headshot and looks much cooler. In fact, now that I think about it it sounds much closer to a M79 than anything else.
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Old 03-20-2012, 12:06 AM
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Ah, phew. I can agree with a husk launcher becoming a bit like an M79. I was thinking (probably because I'd just come from the "make the LAW a super-weapon" topic) that you were talking about making the husk launcher into a FP killer, and was thinking it didn't really fit with how I imagined it to be.

And now reading over your post again, I have no clue why I thought that.

Actually, the more I thinka bout it, having a husk cannon as a kinda cross between the M79 and M32 (but with maybe lower damage and no bonuses vs fps) would be kinda cool.

Next question:
The firebug currently has 3 weapons:
Flamethrower (which can kill at short range and kill many things very quickly).
MAC10 (which can kill at medium range and can Husks as well. Kills things pretty quickly on spray and pray, or moderate speed on single shots).
Husk cannon (which can kill at long range, slow firing rate, AoE)
Thompson gun (which is probably coming to firebug from what I've read, and which I'm guessing will be medium range again, hit harder and have a slower firing speed than a MAC, but mostly fulfil the same role as it. Although any IRL gun buffs out there, feel free to correct me if the Thompson was well known for certain traits).

What other types of guns would work well with firebugs? If we were to have another one added? Are there any other fitting roles a weapon could fulfil? *cough* Sidearm medium range accurate slow-firing gun maybe? So you can snipe a little better than with a MAC, or without giving up the FT for a husk cannon? *cough*.

Last edited by Althamus; 03-20-2012 at 12:24 AM.
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Old 03-20-2012, 04:27 PM
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I think husk cannon is fine D8 D8

With the help of a pipe spam, we did ok against the Patriarch on HoE

KF HoE Husk Cannon DERRRRRP - YouTube
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Old 03-20-2012, 04:39 PM
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I wholeheartedly agree on making the burn damage over time more efficient, especially so everyone isn't "oh...a Firebug... :[ " on Suicidal/ Hell on Earth.

As far as the Husk's fireball launcher goes, I think it fills a nice anti-Scrake niche. Even off-perk (Demolitions, for example) you can still stun Scrakes. Give it to a Sharpshooter (for the lulz) and you can two-shot Scrakes like with a crossbow. A glowy, noisy, iron-sighted crossbow that charges in 3 seconds. xD

The additional magazines for the MAC10 are definitely appreciated. Now it's even harder to completely run out of ammo for Firebug weapons even if you're spraying. ^_^

As far as the IJC Thompson goes, it would be nice to get for the Firebug but we'll see how the voting goes, how it will compare to the MAC10 and so on.
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Old 03-22-2012, 07:28 PM
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If firebug needs anything, it is to also have a 10-11 grenade slot!
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Old 03-24-2012, 05:08 PM
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I've condensed my ideas a little into 3 viable points which seem to have a lot of support from the community, here and elsewhere. I've tidied up my post a little and will give it another week say, to get any more opinions back before linking it to TWI. Not sure if anything'll come of it, but I'll have tried ^_^

Talked to a friend, and he came up with the following suggestions. Any thoughts for them?
  • increase carry weight
  • weld faster, but not as fast as support
  • allow nades to light up certain things through doors
  • make flame nades immune to scream, or let scream ignite them
  • increase grenade capacity

Last edited by Althamus; 03-25-2012 at 01:28 PM.
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
[LIST
[*]increase carry weight
[*]weld faster, but not as fast as support
[*]allow nades to light up certain things through doors
[*]make flame nades immune to scream, or let scream ignite them
[*]increase grenade capacity[/LIST]
1. No, do not increase carry weight. I disagree.

2. No, do not weld a sleight bit faster. I disagree.

3. No, do not allow enemies to take damage through welded doors.

4. No, nades for FB should be treated the same.

5. YES, i do agree a lot with this statement. FB should have at least a 7-10 grenade slot. If it were 10, i'd probably play FB a lot more!
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Old 06-27-2012, 04:03 PM
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defintly agree with the shorter time required for crispening a zed when its being hosed by a FB, and the zed should be slower when crisped. I swear, I always thought that a zed on fire, was a slow zed. I guess all those times I played as a level 3 FB, was my fault for flaming the FP's and scrakes
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Old 06-27-2012, 04:13 PM
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Sorry, slight misunderstanding.
Crispened zeds DO move slower than normal zeds, however after a zed has been set on fire, it'll burn and move at normal speed for 10 seconds, THEN move slower.
Obviously this is of lesser use on HoE when zeds will take less time to reach you, and will often reach you before they crispen.

I was hoping that zeds would start to move slower as soon as they're set on fire, with the movement speed smoothly decreasing between normal at unburnt, and the current crispened movement speed.
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Old 06-27-2012, 04:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Althamus View Post
  1. Speed decrease - When zombies have been set on fire, after a while they crispen up and suffer a movement speed decrease, go into a brief random panic and take more damage from other sources.
How much would you suggest they take as extra damage? Because currently, there is NO damage bonus upon burning specimen. That's a false rumour.
Regardless, i like the suggestion of having iginited specimen to INSTANTLY be slowed down (like, 20%?). That would be very good and very powerful, but still not TOO powerful.

Point 2, i like all of it

Quote:
The crispening - currently, zeds crispen up 10 seconds after taking flame damage for the first time.
Ok, im not 100% sure about this, but is crisp equal to panic? Because if it is, then what you just said is false.
Afaik, when the crisp takes place depends on the specimen. Also, the panic duration is dependant on when they start the panic (it is the remainding time of the burn). For example, the Scrake panics after 6 seconds of burning and thus panics during the 4 remaining seconds of burntime. A Clot/Crawler/Stalker, they panic after only 3 seconds of burning and thus (if they don't die) panics for the remaining 7 seconds. Imo, leave crisping as it is now, otherwise the Firebug will propably be seriously overpowered.

Quote:
In addition, I would suggest that husk cannons instantly crispen zeds, which would set them apart from flamethrowers significantly, make them more desirable and tie in with their massive ball of fire thing.
That's just plain overpowered imo. Maybe i'd say: Reduce the time it takes before a ZED crisps up, depending on how much of charge-up you have. But that probably ALSO is too strong. I'd personally just tweak cost, damage, aoe, rate of fire and ammo to make it worthwhile instead.
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Last edited by Aze; 06-27-2012 at 05:01 PM.
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