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In defense of off-perking


Grizzled Veteran
  • Feb 1, 2011
    Copy-paste of a post I made on Steam, but I've been hearing murmurs that weapons will be locked behind specialists, which makes me concerned that off-perking will just not be a thing at all in KF3. I don't think this is a particularly good idea because even though it's better to use your perk weapons than not, there are sometimes some really good reasons to off-perk across the first two Killing Floor games

    KF1 - Sharpshooter
    The Headshot damage bonus applies to every weapon in the game and while not the most optimal strategy, the Sharpshooter benefits the most from the random weapons that can be found off the ground than other perks. Assuming you find these guns in the early game, they can make for a handy sidearm to carry alongside your harder hitting weapons, assuming you can land consistent headshots

    KF1 - Mk23
    Although technically a Sharpshooter weapon, the Mk23 has found more use on the Berserker due to Sharpshooter already having the Dual 9mms and Deagles. Berserker on the other hand, crawlers are a difficult enemy to engage in melee and a few shots from the .45 melts them pretty damn easily, while also helping against husks in a pinch

    KF2 - Medic Pistol
    The Medical Syringe in Killing Floor 2 has received significant downgrades to the point where I usually just relegate the syringe to just pressing Q while instead using the T1 Medic weapon for healing teammates whenever i'm not playing Medic. The HMTECH-101 is arguably the best Tier 1 weapon not because of its overall killing power. Rather, it only deals just enough damage to decapitate clots on all difficulties, has an ammo pool of 15+240 rounds, and weighs one block. Most importantly, the underbarrel dart launcher only uses 50% of its batteries per shot, effectively making the Medic Pistol the new KF1 syringe, rather than the KF2 syringe.

    KF2 - SWAT
    Probably a less relevant point since this really only lasted for the first few years of Killing Floor 2 but early on in the game's lifecycle, most perks couldn't really carry their Tier 4 weapon, a weaker weapon, and a Medic Pistol at the same time. SWAT weapons at the time were a useful sidearm for players to carry since they enabled the heavy hitters and Firebug to carry their big zed killers, a medic pistol, and an automatic weapon that can one-hit decapitate clots. I wanna think the SMG weapon type could fulfill a similar role in KF3

    KF2 - Piranha Pistol
    Although the Piranha Pistol mainly exists to be a Wave 2 gun for the Berserker, the Piranha Pistol is capable of parrying attacks to a much better degree than just using the knife, and only weighs three blocks. Due to the random nature of zed aggro in KF2, you've probably had moments where scrakes, fleshpounds, and gorefiends constantly hound you and you can't shake them off, which is where the Piranha Pistol shines regarding its utility as an off-perk weapon.

    I've probably missed some other examples of how off-perk weapons can be used, but the point I wanted to make is that while it's usually more optimal to use weapons belonging to your perk, using guns that don't belong to your perk is a valid tactic.
    Rather than "murmurs" and "concerns", the end of offperking is specifically clarified in the pcgamer article.
    I think it's a big mistake and lots of loadouts featuring an offperk weapon are fun and viable options in many games even without them being individually carefully balanced for it. The cutting-edge meta-slave kind of difficulties/servers/mods/teams can discourage most offperking for being unideal without the rest of the playerbase losing that fun.

    Medpistol is such a good offperk that it's basically an outlier, though, and losing something like that in KF3 would likely inspire a replacement/change to the basic free/spawn equipment to give some of the same capabilities. So instead of poking teammates with a syringe once or very slowly twice and finding that to be terrible and never bothering to heal other players unless you have a medgun in kf2, maybe kf3 will skip to ranged teammate heals from the start for your free spawn healing item.
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    As much as i love off-perking (i've mained Survivalist for a few years now and wrote a guide for him) i'm not opposed to removing the mechanic in favor stronger perk identity and more defined roles. It will be significantly easier to balance in favor of keeping perks as specialists instead of generalists. All that only applies if KF3 design actually has that goal so i think it's best to wait and see.
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    I must admit that I'm a little torn on the matter... I think the biggest change will be that Medic weapons won't be able to be shared by the entire team. Considering how potent that strategy was in the previous two games, that will make the medic(s) of the team far more impactful and worthy of being protected at all costs. I don't think it's that bad of a change though... But I'm usually a medic-main in various RPGs and class-based shooters. I'll probably get madder than ever at people failing to protect me, but my ego will be pleased !

    Other than that, I must admit that I barely ever off-perked in KF2... unlike in KF1. It was pretty much a requirement while playing Demo... But also Zerk, especially when all of the perk's weapons got massively expensive. For a long while, you also wanted to grab something better than the modest MP7 to defend yourself as a medic. It already felt weird in KF2 when every perk got a bit more streamlined... But I wouldn't exactly complain about it. I'm fine with more specific roles.

    As I've expressed in another topic however, I mostly play solo games. So I'm a bit afraid that it might end up being impossible to play by yourself if characters are too rigid in their weaponry and capabilities. But we'll see how it goes... KF2 went so deep into power creep that every perk became fully viable playing solo, even with just their weapons.
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    I get where you're coming from, but the flip side to that coin is that literally all of those reasons you listed are reasons why the devs might not want offperking in their next game, assuming they are trying to bring things back closer to specialists.

    It was definitely inconsistent, but the devs had already shown there are some aspects of offperking that they don't like which were nerfed. For example, Katana used to be carried by a number of players for offperk parrying Fleshpounds, the Boomstick got hammered because it was that good offperk, etc.

    Things that are so good at negating perk weaknesses that they should always be offperked should raise warning signs. I would hazard a guess the specialist decisions are, to a point, trying to nip that behavior in the bud.
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