Merc Report - Hoping For High Noon

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Mercs,

New Outbreaks have once again been spotted in the wild, wild... does this say west? Mercs, it seems as if things are taking a turn for both the strange and horrifying if reports are to be believed.


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Outbreak Code Name: Abandon All Hope
The last reports we got from the forward scouts that called this one in was to be prepared to run, run and fight. The horde of zeds they found was larger in count than your standard set normally found roaming about, as well as faster, and most of all, enraged.

From the few images that came in, it appears as if more elite Zed variations may also be mixing in. For those mercs that choose to take on this challenge, we are making sure that more ammo has been dropped in. We wish you all the luck in the world, you’re going to need it.



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Outbreak Code Name: Wild West London
Yeehaw Mercs, it’s time for a fun diversion from the usual don’t you think? Some of the labcoats have been using their “personal” project time to put Cowboy hats on Zeds via drone delivery, and we’ve had just about enough of that.

To clean up this mess, we agreed to issue you only revolvers, bolt and lever actions, and bows (that way the labcoats agreed not to complain too loudly. Also you’ve all been issued your own cowboy hats, and they said something about a Sepia filter...). Prepare to fanfire your way through these monstrosities, and do aim for the head for a small heal. So get out there and meet these Zed’s at high noon.

As always, keep an eye out for future reports as we dive into tools of the trade (weapons), new areas of operation (maps), and Field Improvements (QoL). And be sure to join the conversation about potential upcoming Outbreaks!
 
Abandon All Hope sounds like a new difficulty people asked for, so it's kinda sad it's only on weekly rotation with no option to play it consistenly.
Wild West London sounds like silly mod from steam workshop.
But I guess I don't mind new rewards, also reminder that you haven't add anything to Vault crate in a long time, I already got everything I wanted from it and have no interest opening more anymore.
 
Abandon All Hope sounds like a new difficulty people asked for, so it's kinda sad it's only on weekly rotation with no option to play it consistenly.
Wild West London sounds like silly mod from steam workshop.
But I guess I don't mind new rewards, also reminder that you haven't add anything to Vault crate in a long time, I already got everything I wanted from it and have no interest opening more anymore.

AAH can serve as a trial to be introduced more widely into the game (much like the King Fleshpound), and yes it is harder than HoE.

As we've stated before, there is no intent to add anything new to the vault pool at this point in the game.
 
😶 but....

Mrs. foster doesn't have a vault precious outfit 😭

the weeklies sound like great fun, though 😎
I like to think Mrs. Foster doesn't need one because her voice is already gold. 👉:cool:👉 Though I wouldn't say no to one, either.

And the new weeklies sound like fun. Mostly AAH. Though the "enraged" part sounds a bit concerning, as someone who lived through the Early Access days of the "last 5 permarage" patch. Hopefully there's some limitations to that rule.
 
Abandon All Hope sounds like a new difficulty people asked for, so it's kinda sad it's only on weekly rotation with no option to play it consistenly.
Wild West London sounds like silly mod from steam workshop.
But I guess I don't mind new rewards, also reminder that you haven't add anything to Vault crate in a long time, I already got everything I wanted from it and have no interest opening more anymore.
Lucky you, all I ever get is the same 20 drops or so since the dosh vault was added into the game. The system would really benefit far more from a rework than just adding even more loot into an already overly-crowded pool.
 
I think these two contents are quite interesting. Is saber still responsible for the new content of KF2?
 
Sounds like your request for more outbreak ideas wasn't for nought... Or we ended up thinking alike ! Although, truth be told, I don't exactly know how you would have come up with a Far West idea so close to the one proposed on the topic. Oh well.

This time around, I find both ideas interesting. Not exactly great, but not as disappointing as the "arachnophobia" or "Coliseum" ones. AAH sounds indeed like the often-requested new difficulty level. I doubt it's gonna be for me considering I already struggle with HoE, but that's indeed a great thing for people looking for the challenge.

As for the WWL outbreak... It's quite sily and I guess it's intended. I honestly already did something similar by myself, just by limiting what guns I carried. But it doesn't hurt to have it with a bunch of friends or strangers. I just feel like adding an appropriately themed map would have been the icing on the cake...

As for the vault pool situation, @Fargi said it better: I don't mind that nothing is being added to the pool, considering I've been getting the same stuff over and over again. Much to my anger. Already tweaking that would be a nice step forward if no new items are planned. Because while I understand that we cannot simply get rare or exciting stuff all the time... It's really annoying to open ten crates only to end with stuff you already found five times. It feels unrewarding.
 
Abandon All Hope sounds like a new difficulty people asked for
AAH can serve as a trial to be introduced more widely into the game (much like the King Fleshpound), and yes it is harder than HoE.

I don't think people are asking for a more difficult mode than HoE (even though that would be great).

A simpler alternative would be to fix the things that makes HoE easy - aka medic and some broken weapons. For example, it seems this new event will not have healthrower (or even no medic at all), so it's no surprise that it will be harder than HoE. HoE is already a challenging game mode if you play without medic.

There are only a few things to fix to make HoE challenging imo:
- medic buffs and resistance
- Hemoclobber
- Weapon upgrades (too powerful, the dmg difference compared to the non-upgraded version should be decreased, especially T5 Deagles).
- Spawn system is both too exploitable (incentivizes to not kill zeds) and unfair to certain classes (spawnraged FPs), doesn't punish a player for running endlessly
 
I don't think people are asking for a more difficult mode than HoE (even though that would be great).

A simpler alternative would be to fix the things that makes HoE easy - aka medic and some broken weapons. For example, it seems this new event will not have healthrower (or even no medic at all), so it's no surprise that it will be harder than HoE. HoE is already a challenging game mode if you play without medic.

There are only a few things to fix to make HoE challenging imo:
- medic buffs and resistance
- Hemoclobber
- Weapon upgrades (too powerful, the dmg difference compared to the non-upgraded version should be decreased, especially T5 Deagles).
- Spawn system is both too exploitable (incentivizes to not kill zeds) and unfair to certain classes (spawnraged FPs), doesn't punish a player for running endlessly
Hmmm... I do have a few things to say about that.

First, pretty much any game which includes a medic/healer/cleric class will be harder without its inclusion. Play any team-based competitive game like Team Fortress or Overwatch and see how much you'll struggle without a healer. I know that you're not straight up asking for Tripwire to delete the Field Medic, but I find the argument of saying "HoE would be harder if you play without medic" a bit wonky... That's not the right way to go at it is what I meant. The difficulty level SHOULD be a nail-biter without resorting to handicaping yourself. What I mean is that it should be bloody hard EVEN with a medic in your team.

I do concur that the medic should have a proper rework (I've been saying so for ages !), but he's not alone. The zerk got quite a few nerfs lately and while many zerk mains complained, I believe it's actually for the better. Mostly. You're also right that some weapons should be slightly nerfed or tweaked (the RPG-7 anyone? Zed Shrapnel for the firebug too maybe?)

The spawn system is a weird take too. I always felt the opposite : while we don't have the dreadful teleporting zeds anymore, it is still far too common for the game to be an ultimate asshole and spawn a bloat-siren-fleshpound trio on your escape route for example. As for running endlessly... Sounds like the problem could be solved either by playing maps which aren't that open OR by having a stamina bar that slowly drains as you sprint ! Because spawning a wave of clots on you as you try to flee is hardly fun.

Similarly, I've never seen the upgrade system as particularly bad, considering how bland and formulaic it is... A flat damage upgrade in exchange of some money? Okay my friend. Plus it's usually quite a meager upgrade too, 10 or 15% I believe? Definitely appreciated, but it doesn't fully change your gun unless it's a very low-tiered one (T1 or T2). Mind you, if we lowered the amount of damage received with each upgrade...Why would you even spend the money instead of purchasing a superior gun? That's a fine balance that's very hard to find.

Honestly, I agree with both ideas : yes lower difficulty settings could actually be more difficult if we didn't get the vast amount of new tools we received since the game released (we even got T5 weapons now!), but it doesn't hurt to have something even more challenging for the people who mastered HoE a long time ago.
 
You say that any game with medic class will/should always be harder without one, I agree that seems to be the tendency in most modern games, but there were examples of games in the past which achieved a good balance where medic classes were both useful AND fun AND not mandatory to win, in fact, KF1 was a good example of that. In KF1, the medic had terrible DPS and couldn't solo the waves because kiting wasn't possible (scrakes ran faster than players so you had to out-dps them to win), this gave him a clear weakness which could be balanced out by being able to save his teammates and tank some damage. If you failed to save your teammates, you were screwed, but this is how it should be.

KF2 has broken this balance by removing all the medic's weaknesses, making the medic able to solo waves, giving him high DPS weapons, the best survivability in the game, and on top of that, adding even more value to his heals (with the stack buffs). As a result medic is no longer a class specialized in healing, it is the ultimate jack of all trades, which can do everything, most of the time as efficiently as other classes, but without their weaknesses, and with high survivability pretty much guaranteeing that you will be the last one to die, making it sometimes -ironically- a very selfish perk.

KF2 is not team-based like Overwatch - you don't have compositions in KF, and barely any synergy between classes. You can perfectly play HoE without sharpshooter, support, commando, even though they are team-oriented classes. The only exception is medic, you have to get one because the buffs are just too strong to skip. I don't think devs intended the medic class to have such high importance compared to the other, there has been a long period in the history of the game where medic was underpowered, and for a while it was considered meta to not have a medic and simply have people buy medic guns. I understand some people like the medic role (I did, in KF1) so I definitely wouldn't want medic to be gutted, but at the very least, if no one wants to play medic, then the team shouldn't be significantly punished for it - especially when the meta medic gameplay atm is to spray everything blindly with healthrower.


The spawn system is a weird take too. I always felt the opposite : while we don't have the dreadful teleporting zeds anymore, it is still far too common for the game to be an ultimate asshole and spawn a bloat-siren-fleshpound trio on your escape route for example.
That is because you don't abuse spawns. At any given moment, there can only be only a certain number of zeds alive, so if you arrange to have all of them spawned, you can simply move without killing zeds and such spawns "around the corners" can't happen, then you can move to a wide place to kill a few zeds, wait safely for new ones to spawn, then repeat. This is especially noticeable when solo'ing a wave, NEVER kill trash while moving, otherwise you're assured to have spawnraged QPs.
I'm totally fine with hidden mechanics in games, the issue is that this one promotes boring gameplay. It's a game about shooting stuff. So you shouldn't be punished for shooting stuff.

Similarly, I've never seen the upgrade system as particularly bad, considering how bland and formulaic it is... A flat damage upgrade in exchange of some money? Okay my friend. Plus it's usually quite a meager upgrade too, 10 or 15% I believe? Definitely appreciated, but it doesn't fully change your gun unless it's a very low-tiered one (T1 or T2). Mind you, if we lowered the amount of damage received with each upgrade...Why would you even spend the money instead of purchasing a superior gun? That's a fine balance that's very hard to find.
You're far from the real values. T5 Deagles are 1.5x, Railgun is 1.25x. Some weapons are 1.1x-1.15x indeed, but even for them the multipliers are a much bigger deal in practice than they are on paper. For example, a T5 RPG can decap a 6p HoE scrake, while standard RPG can not (meaning you had to switch to an other weapon in the past - nowadays scrakes are a piece of cake for demo). T5 deagles can kill a 6p HoE FP with less than one clip, while standard deagles need to reload. etc. Most of the thresholds in the game were balanced for non-upgraded weapons (For example, M99 leaves a 6p QP with just 1hp left) - the upgraded weapons were not balanced, and broke these thresholds. As a result many high-tier weapons became obsolete and most classes can solo-kill a 6p FP in seconds nowadays.

Just for comparison, Sharpshooter has one perk to get +10% damage while aiming down sight (but aiming down sight is an incevenience), and one to get +25% while stationary / crouching (which is a big inconvenience), railgun upgrade is plain +25% damage, so for 1500$ and +1 weight you get the equivalent of one full additional perk without the drawbacks.

Sorry for the wall of text, will make it shorter next time ;)
 
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KF2 has broken this balance by removing all the medic's weaknesses, making the medic able to solo waves, giving him high DPS weapons, the best survivability in the game, and on top of that, adding even more value to his heals (with the stack buffs). As a result medic is no longer a class specialized in healing, it is the ultimate jack of all trades, which can do everything, most of the time as efficiently as other classes, but without their weaknesses, and with high survivability pretty much guaranteeing that you will be the last one to die, making it sometimes -ironically- a very selfish perk.
Nail on the head right here.

The only exception is medic, you have to get one because the buffs are just too strong to skip.
Ehhhhhhh

I'd still argue good enough teams should be capable of winning without dedicated medics on most maps. Maybe not the really bad maps like Descent, etc. where the game plops entire hordes in your face, but the rest of them are doable if you're skilled enough.

Just that most teams aren't, at least not in pubs.

I don't think devs intended the medic class to have such high importance compared to the other,
Maybe? I think even in Early Access it was always considered nice to have, especially back when it had the regerative armor skill...

there has been a long period in the history of the game where medic was underpowered, and for a while it was considered meta to not have a medic and simply have people buy medic guns.
That may have been the case to a degree back when crossperks were introduced, and even then I wouldn't say it was "underpowered," just that you don't need to heal players if everything dies first, so DPS > healing and a 401 Commando/301 Support sufficed for healing random scratches.

Even back when crossperks were originally basically limited to the medic guns, you really had to work to earn the obsolescence of Medic on a team.

Similarly, I've never seen the upgrade system as particularly bad, considering how bland and formulaic it is... A flat damage upgrade in exchange of some money? Okay my friend. Plus it's usually quite a meager upgrade too, 10 or 15% I believe? Definitely appreciated, but it doesn't fully change your gun unless it's a very low-tiered one (T1 or T2). Mind you, if we lowered the amount of damage received with each upgrade...Why would you even spend the money instead of purchasing a superior gun? That's a fine balance that's very hard to find.
Mostly what CitronVert said: The damage upgrades weren't done with the (already delicate) weapon balance in mind and they mucked stuff up.

I know TWI said they created it upon request because it was supposed to be a way to let players use their favorite weapons throughout all the match. Leaving aside the fact that this was terrible reasoning to begin with (the whole point, after all, is that you're supposed to move up the weapon tree throughout a match; you're not supposed to use, say, the MP7 into Wave 10 on SWAT just because you like it more...), it had the side effect of making a lot of already good weapons even better because the new damage values on certain weapons hit breakpoints that were ridiculous.

It was too wildly inconsistent to be a sensible mechanic. Some weapons scaled far better with upgrades than others. Take Commando: the Varmint rifle scaled much better with upgrades than the Bullpup, and the Bullpup is one of the weapons that could've used this mechanic!

But the biggest offense was enabling anti-HVT takedowns on perks that went beyond reason. Commando, for example, could kill Fleshpounds in something like half an AK-12 magazine for quite a while. And that's not even including how the pistols could kill Fleshpounds in like 17 shots when maxed out, allowing them to be used as an anti-HVT primary for Commando and SWAT (as well as Gunslinger and Sharp, yes, but they already had better anti-HVT weapons) while still having anti-trash weapons.

Then the specific upgrade values got nerfed on *some* weapons, but not only was that inconsistent with the damage upgrade system's values to begin with, a lot of perks got new weapons to compensate for the nerfed ones! Commando, again, might've had the AK's T5 nerfed, but then as compensation it got the FAL, which upended it completely on the tier list. Sharpshooter's Railgun got nerfed at base level, but then it got the M99, which is just an even more damaging Railgun (a weapon that absolutely was not needed).

Then, on top of that, many of the game's newer weapons were ridiculous with upgrades and just had to have them disabled entirely. The Helios Rifle started out life as a T4 weapon that could be upgraded, and good players immediately used it to snap the game over their knees. TWI subsequently disallowed upgrades on it.

It was a bad idea to begin with, and the end result is a bunch of bleeding band-aids layered on top of one another. But of course, TWI hates scrapping things they put into the game, so it was never walked back.
 
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Hoping for medic rework or changes in this next update. I play VS Survival a lot, and the 90% resistance build is exploited by many players after seeing its performance on games after several months. It’s really not fun to play against and the medics are practically unkillable. Hemogoblin being buffed last update doesn’t make it better.
 
Hoping for medic rework or changes in this next update. I play VS Survival a lot, and the 90% resistance build is exploited by many players after seeing its performance on games after several months. It’s really not fun to play against and the medics are practically unkillable. Hemogoblin being buffed last update doesn’t make it better.
While I completely agree that Medic could do with some balancing changes, basing the aforementioned balancing changes which apply to the main modes off of VS Survival is not a good idea.

VS Survival is a completely ancillary mode at this point and should be secondary when considering balance changes. Why TWI decided that players should be able to use characters based on their own levels in VS Survival is beyond me...

...but VS Survival really needs an entire redesign from the the ground up, chiefly among those changes only allowing perks with preset skills and weapon choices with completely independent balancing from the main game.
 
Abandon All Hope sounds like a new difficulty people asked for, so it's kinda sad it's only on weekly rotation with no option to play it consistenly.
Wild West London sounds like silly mod from steam workshop.
But I guess I don't mind new rewards, also reminder that you haven't add anything to Vault crate in a long time, I already got everything I wanted from it and have no interest opening more anymore.
i would love for this to be a difficulty but i feel like maybe new zeds would be better with this mode/difficulty such as a fleshpound husk hybrid