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Maybe Survivalist doesn't need a complete re-work?


May 21, 2015
Los Angeles
s5yn3t;n2327033 said:
That basically applies to nearly every other class in the game, and i've been pushing ideas with others on which skills need either a buff or an additional bonus to compete with the other skill in the same level for the class.
Yeah, I feel it's more pronounced with Survivalist seeing as it lacks the passive bonuses one would normally get with another perk.


Aug 30, 2011
infntnub;n2326912 said:
Yeah, that was my "go-to" after they changed the katana weight for a while. (Why are you aiming at the FP legs with the RPG? Or are you just doing that while they are shielding?)

I still prefer m16/railgun and I also take the med nades with the level 15 skill.
I find aiming at FPs which are running at you but covering their heads, etc seems to damage them more. I could be wrong (usually I don't get the chance because there's too many things in the way) but I try.


Grizzled Veteran
Dec 20, 2009
Its been a while since I posted in this forum lol.. Anyway I wanted to share my GENERAL NON STAT ACCURATE opinion about the Surv.

I started to main Surv since its release. I can't remember when that was really since I am playing since the closed alpha or whatever, with just the 4 initial classes so It may be the retail release when surv was included in the game.

I had to drop the PC gaming at some point but later on I moved on the PS4 version and I continued to main Surv. So here are my thoughts exactly - First I dont think the class balance differs THAT much from PC to console. The surv is a fun class to play. I love it. But in general its lack luster class if we look at the current KF2 state. You see I can solo the game perfectly fine on Sui and on some degree on HoE (depends on the player really) using any class (except zerker since I dont play it and I never liked it) BUT its (FOR ME) amazingly difficult to do it with Surv. WIth commando for example or any trash cleaner class its easy to top the score board, meaning you are doing your job. WIth the surv even with the selected perks I cant do it. On the other side being a dmg dealer I still can't do it. Yes I am doing Ok during the game I am doing my job but thats about it. I cant pull heroic come backs, kitting, mass kills or anything. I am coming from another time (lol) and I kinda like that because during the mod days this was the whole idea - no one is good at everything, you cant magically master the game, you had to combine your class with the other players to beat the map. Later on when KF retail was released this changed and it was perfectly normal to see stacked decks of 5 supports for example, just destroying everything (the tunnel in Manor, we all know it, or the tunnel on London, etc). This was not possible during the KF 2.5 (and under) days. So what I want to say is that I see the class being ok, its not op, its "weak" class for the current meta but its okay overall. TWI should either nerf every other class so people have to actually try to sync classes again, which will NEVER happen, or buff the Surv drastically. Which IMO will break the whole idea of the class. You are the survivalist - you can do what all other classes can but you are not the best at it. I am never the best trash cleaner or the best giant killer, 80% of the time I am in the middle of the score board just doing my job, helping the team little by little and probably be one of the last ones standing if the **** hits the fan which again proves the class is working if we follow the idea around it.

But this brings another point - if you want easier ride, just knife through oil experience, actually doing what you want to do without any hassle - why you should pick the Survivalist? You want to purge the trash and top the board - sure Comm, Demo and Bug are for you - great dmg and cc perks - EZ. You want to rip apart FPs and SCRs - sure the SS and the GS can mow them down in second - no point in picking the underpowered Surv.

The only reason to play Surv is the fun factor coming from the class itself completely ignoring the fact you can do everything better with the main classes. Its nice class but its for another time, when the game was really hard and unforgiving. Now it would be extremely hard for TWI to fix it without breaking it. You know what I mean. Every slight buff and this would be the Exterminator due to its perks covering all other classes, so the Surv would become better in everything. Meanwhile leave it as it is - fun class for shits n jiggles - every other class does any of the Surv job better - TK - Comm/Bug; DD - SS/GS; kitting - Med/Zerk.

I'll rather have the never released Martial Artist class replacing the Surv other than buffing or nerfing the Surv. Both ways will ruin the Surv in either bad or very bad way.


Active member
Feb 1, 2011
I'm still under the impression that a buff would be far more preferable to a rework. Maybe this would be favourable?

New Passives:
Switch Speed: 2% * Level (Identical to Sharpshooter skill)
Perk Weapon Damage: 0.4 * Level (Stacks with the neutral weapon damage passive, effectively being a 1% * level damage bonus for Survivalist weapons)

Level 5:
(Hidden) Reaching this milestone will increase the reload speed of perk weapons regardless of skill selection

Tactical Reload: Also includes Field Medic and Berserker Weapons.
Heavy Weapons Training: Also includes Firebug and Berserker weapons

From my understanding, neither reload skill benefits the Survivalist's perk weapons. This change would allow the Survivalist to reload faster with the Killerwatt and Freezethrower. Meanwhile, I feel like Tactical Reload is more in line with Medic Weapons since most weapons are some variation of rapid fire armament, while the Firebug's arsenal leans towards being more cumbersome and unwieldy. As for the Berserker, I figured it'd be best to put it on both skills so as to fit ammo-dependent melee weapons in a larger array of loadouts

Level 10 (kinda new skills):
Mad Doctor: Increase syringe recharge speed by 80%, movement speed with melee weapons by 25% and melee attack speed by 20%. Also inflict ballistic_pistol DoT with melee weapons.
CQB Training: Increase neutral weapon damage by +10%, melee weapon damage by 40% and melee attack speed by 20%. Also increase movement speed by 25% when using melee weapons.

Melee Expert becomes a guarantee at level ten regardless of perk skill choices. From my experience, you'll always want to increase your movement speed, even if you're using ranged weapons exclusively. My proposed skill replacements gives similar melee capabilities for both skills, replacing the skill selection with better healing vs better shooting.

Level 15:

Ammo Vest: Carry up to 15% more ammo and increase magazine capacity of all* weapons by 50%. Your grenade becomes a Medic Grenade
Weapon Harness: Increase carrying capacity by 5 and your grenade becomes a Frag Grenade. Also begin the game with 100 less dosh in favour of a second Random weapon

From my understanding, Weapon Harness has no early game viability while Ammo Vest is a deathwish late game. I imagine that a larger magazine would do some favours for certain guns so as to make Ammo Vest an attractive alternative to carrying 20 blocks of weapons. Meanwhile, spawning in with two random weapons could allow for some early game flexibility for Survivalists with Weapon Harness. As for the 100 dosh penalty, it's the same amount of money you'd make back if you were to sell a Tier 1 weapon.

*Yes, this includes revolvers, the Double Barrel Shotgun, Boomstick and M32 Grenade Launcher. (Dual .500s or Buckshots would cap off at 14 rounds however)

Level 25:

Madman: the 300% attack speed bonus now applies to melee weapons
Grenadier: Weapons do not require reloading during Zed Time. (If a magazine is at 0, you'll reload instantly as if your magazines are bottomless)

The change to Madman is more of a nitpick than anything, though my suggestion for a new Zed Time skill is mostly due to Lockdown being useless. Thinking it'd be better to replace it with a weaker version of Whirlwind of Lead that applies to all weapons. I can still see Madman being preferable for weapons with a higher rate of fire, though Grenadier can be a massive boost in firepower for single-shot weapons
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Feb 4, 2010
Since the update beta 2, I just tried several rounds of Survivalist with just the new HRG weapons. The Healthrower for crawlers, stalkers, clots, and other minor zeds, the Buckshot revolvers for mid size and close zeds, and the Nailgun for FPs and Scrakes. I was amazed at how well (on Hard and Suicidal) that this worked. The HRG Nailgun was a monster. The boss wave involved a lot of kiting, and I traded away the Healthrower for an M79 (upgraded all weapons).


Grizzled Veteran
Jul 7, 2009
I like Survivalist's general concept of using anything moderately well, my gripes about it are how it falls short on achieving that concept sometimes.

Something to note about Survivalist is that merely having a variety of weapons is actually not a benefit to him over other perks. With one extra click in the shop menu, any perk can buy any weapon. For example, boomsticks were popular with Medics. So Survivalist's variety of weapons specialty is actually only an advantage for him in so far as he gets noticeable benefits applying to multiple weapons in a variety loadout.
Two weapons is very common in loadouts, so Survivalist becomes a pretty underwhelming option if any of his weapons get only negligible benefit, since he'll get only moderate benefits to the other weapon, whereas that weapon's real perk could get great benefits to it. For example, if you want SCAR+RPG, that's a variety loadout, so you should expect Survivalist to be a clear winner for what perk is best to play that loadout as. But instead, by picking Commando or Demo, you can get great benefits to one of the weapons and zero benefits to the other, and this can work out better than picking Survivalist and getting moderate benefits to one of the weapons and minor benefits to the other, depending on your reload skill choice.
That's why the disappointment of reload benefits being split between two conflicting skills is a huge drag for Survivalist. For the half of his weapons he doesn't have quick reloads for, the benefits can be borderline negligible, (+15% damage often rounds down to 0 fewer hits needed.) potentially nullifying a main appeal of playing Survivalist at all.
My main suggestion for Survivalist is to unify the reload skills, which will make him much more consistent in having a moderate benefit to all weapons.

Another major point is that "Survivalist uses whatever he wants" is not a fully realized concept, there's room for expanding that. Most grenades are unavailable to him, and he's stuck with randomization for his spawn weapon (this especially sucks in combination with the split reload skills, spawning you with a mismatched weapon. [though caulk is even worse]).
I've suggested how full freedom for Survivalist can be implemented here: https://forums.tripwireinteractive.com/index.php?threads/configure-starting-loadout-menu-more-new-weapon-potential-new-survivalist-options.2331041/
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FNG / Fresh Meat
Oct 1, 2019
Survivalist is my favorite class and I've seen quite a lot of comments about it and how to fix it. I'd say either a rework or a strong buff would suffice, if done correctly, but still, let me point out some major issues I see with this class:

-Serious Lack of damage:
It is no use, +15% with every class is ridiculous. Not only almost every other class has more passive damage, but the game itself pretty much forces you to pick perks that further give more damage. Why choose a +15% of all weapons when you can have ~+50% of all weapons, or +50% damage and lots of buff in one weapon and a secondary for utility? That also explains why Surv often runs out of ammo.

-Other classes are quite OP:
This one isn't even Surv's fault, but how other classes are made / balanced. Even if you overbuff Surv, he will still be pale compared to Zerk mostly due his 'Parry' perk, since it gives 40% resistance and damage for 10 s, and have you ever saw a serious Zerk NOT using that perk? Make Surv even better at Assaut Rifles than a Commando, but without his Zed time Extention, Commando will still be picked up just for that. Surv was meant to be as good as any Lv 15 perk, but unique perks and bonuses for almost every class makes that impossible.

- Poor perk skill design:
While I do love some combinations like Wielding a door + Med Grenade + Zed-splosion, most of Surv's perks are weird and unsatisfying. For example his lv 5 perk choice, for a class supposed to be 'jack of all trades', it already forces you to focus on few types of weapon, and ignore others. Another example is, at lv 15, you are forced to lose the HE grenade. Lv 25 is a huge example, why choosing only three times more incapacitation when you can shoot 3x faster, therefore dealing three times more damage and three times more incapacitation?

-Weirdness / lack of interest into polishing the class:
This one is kind of biased, but still... Did you know that Freezethrower , despite being a survivalist perk weapon, has elite reload only with 'Heavy weapons training' perk skill? That KillerWatt has none, even though it has already animation for , just needing to add the code for it? That Killerwatt's charge shot is weird to use during Zed time? Lot of details regarding the class are not written. Design-wise, Survivalist was meant to be some of a scavenger / build-up class, as his perk knife the gore-shiv shows (Great idea, btw). His both weapons? Most futuristic and technologic than any other in the game. Just seems like, whatever idea they have, they throw it half-baked into Surv and 'done'. I do love the Freezethrower and how I can use it in any situation, but just wanted to point it out that almost everyone found it weird for such high-tech weapon go for Surv instead of Firebug, due its design.

There are TONS of rework suggestions for Surv out there, including mine, so I won't bother to post yet another link to it, but until they have a decent fix for at least thise points I said above, the class will be underwhelming. As a personal idea for it, they should give it three options per perk skill, and good ones, to really bring up the multi-use class, and perks that make them good enough to be a viable choice , even if just for fun. Or at least give a easy way to make our own perks to use on custom maps.
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Feb 4, 2010
I think the Survivalist should be able to use all the freezing weapons, including the sharp's freeze grenade, say as a level 25 bonus or on the other tree side more powerful EMP grenades. Might as well go all in on the lockdown type of skills. Also should have a few more EMP specific weapons. Maybe a grenade launcher that does either a freeze AOE or an EMP AOE. It could be a choice in the skills to have bonuses to either EMP length or freeze length. Maybe the Survivalist could also have some sort of dropped AOE trap weapon that does either freeze or EMP. These Survivalist weapons would do less damage but more timed effect which could be longer depending on skills chosen.