What We Are Up To - A Piercing Freeze

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Hello everyone,

Today we wanted to go over some upcoming Perk and weapon changes that we feel will improve gameplay and player choice, as always, please let us know if we are on the right track!

The design team has been looking at Perk skills that are fairly lopsided in terms of player choice and has worked on updating their counterparts to make them more viable. These are currently:
  • (Berserker) ZED TIME - Berserker Rage: The heal percentage, fear radius, and fear duration are increased.
  • (Survivalist) ZED TIME - Lockdown: Knockdown, stumble, and stun rates are maxed to better guarantee one will trigger on most Zeds.
  • (Gunslinger) Line em’ Up: Additional penetration will be added to all Gunslinger weapons. The bullets will be able to penetrate through Zeds when they previously could not, depending on the Zed shot.
  • (Firebug) Ground Fire: This now applies to the ground fires generated by the Dragonsbreath, Spitfires, and Molotovs.

And a weapon that is also getting some attention is the Pulverizer to help make it a more viable option in the current gameplay. Light melee attacks will do more damage and the explosion has been adjusted to hit more Zeds in the explosion radius in front of the player. Please be sure to pay special attention to these skills and weapons and let us know if they need minor adjusting before the final update, or “something more” for the next major update.

Freeze, it's a Sharpshooter with a bow! This is what happens when you let the engineers come up with the marketing, but you get the idea, both for the new weapon and why to never bet on the odds with people with higher math degrees.

Joining the HRG Incendiary Rifle in the field soon will be the Compound Bow for, you guessed it, Sharpshooters. Built for those in need of some quick versatility depending on an ever-changing situation, we are shipping it with two arrowheads to cycle between, a moderately damaging but strong piercing “Sharp” head and a freezing, explosive “Cryo” head.

Featuring different levels of charge that will allow you to optimize your range and impact damage, you will have two different heads to choose from. The sharp arrows will go through several Zeds who have so neatly lined up thanks to your superior position power, and your hasty running ability will allow you to reacquire any in the field that you find. Cryo arrowheads are truly something a little special, freezing many creatures right in their tracks on said impact.
I guess that's one way to differentiate a bow from the Crossbow, though I feel like more could be done if the compound bow was balanced for Demolitionist usage rather than Sharpshooter (Heck, they could call it the Predator in reference to how Schwarzenegger's character killed fought the titular monster).
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I really doubt that increased penetration will help that skill to become more popular than reload speed, since for gunslinger speed is much more important than trying to get a quad with one shot... especially since zeds don't always line up for that (with all those dodges and stumbles and edars shooting them in the back)

Berserker's hp % during zed time buff, unkillable door tank confirmed xD

Also, what about Commando's Tactician? it's the most underused (or even used at all) skill that should be looked at. Either could use an additional buff or a straight up a replacement for smth that could be a viable choice vs machine gunner.
I guess that's one way to differentiate a bow from the Crossbow, though I feel like more could be done if the compound bow was balanced for Demolitionist usage rather than Sharpshooter (Heck, they could call it the Predator in reference to how Schwarzenegger's character killed the titular monster).
Wait, but he didn't kill the Predator, let alone with a bow cause he never had it.
You're mixing things up with Rambo. :p
I must have misremembered, but I do know that calling a grenade bow "The Predator" is still valid for movie references, because Dutch Schaefer still fought the Predator with a bow that lobs grenades.

True, I stand partly corrected.
But in the end, the Predator gets heavily wounded from a trap (a dropped wooden log) and initiates his wrist computer's self-destruct.
For "Survivalist - Lockdown", that skill only affects those 3 status effects? What about others like freeze or fire panic? If it only affects those 3, then it seems a bit redundant with Zed Shrapnel since that applies those status effects to all nearby zeds fairly often. Having it affect all status effects would let players get more use out of the other effects, and goes well with the jack-of-all-trades aspect of the perk.
The survivalist skill change does not fix the main problem: you can only have 3 knocked down zeds on the map at a time

firebug change is A+ tho
Awesome! "Thank you" to the development for communicating with the players regarding changes! Here are my own thoughts:

Berserker Rage: Definitely a nice direction, but I still don't think it will see much of an increase in popularity with these changes. It's definitely a really nice skill, but its bonuses run a bit counter to the current Berserker design. Berserker is like the one perk who usually doesn't need breathing room (which the entire skill is based around granting), so the enemies fleeing outside of melee range will still naturally feel unintuitive. Berserker also already heals like crazy, making the healing somewhat redundant. (Plus with the fleeing enemies it's not like the skill doesn't already give you time to use the syringe.)
Compare this to being able to move and attack in real time... You still get to worm your way out of sticky situations (to not take damage and/or heal up), plus you have the option to deal tons of damage! And it's fun! Further, sometimes the best defense is a good offense; you could kill everything in slo-mo now, or have them flee and still be a problem later.
My suggestion would be to keep the heal amount at its original value, increase the fear (like you're suggesting), and add AoE damage released from the Berserker each time the skill is triggered. The damage value would quickly decay along the radius until the edge of the fear effect, only being really effective to those closest to the Berserker. Sort of like a miniature AoE "Battering Ram", but trading out knockdown and real-time movement for fear and healing.

Lockdown: I am, and forever will be, of the opinion that Survivalist needs a total rework (such as my previous rework concept, or some others found in the forums). Barring that... I'm not sure you can salvage this skill. When given the choice between a skill that lets you kill an enemy or a skill that let's you inconvenience them, the former is very likely going to be the clear choice. The crowd control would have to be pretty dang impressive to compete with being able to kill things better! We're talking something along the lines of "every enemy shot with any weapon will be knocked down" (which, as has been stated above, isn't possible).
...But maybe you could do something similar with freezing? All weapons would be able freeze targets like the Freezethrower can, slowing them until solid; weapons with higher penetration and/or affliction power would apply freezing better, with some weapons being a guaranteed insta-freeze.
...Ooooorrr, all weapons apply the Bleeding affliction.
Ignoring playing around with those options, I'd recommend adding utility to Lockdown if you want a different way to buff it. Like being able to move in real-time or something.

Line 'em Up: A very good start to this skill! The Rhinos have made me recently like playing around with trying to use the 'Slinger in this manner, so I'd really like to see this skill get competitive. Sadly, as others have mentioned, reload speed is so crucial to the Gunslinger that I don't see the extra penetration (albeit definitely a needed buff) being enough. The only thing I can think of to add would be to have your shots do more damage the more enemies they penetrate. Although potentially OP when the stars align, I think this might be situational enough to not be game-breaking.

Ground Fire: LOVE IT! This change makes total sense, so you should definitely do it. That said, I find it interesting that this is the skill you're improving... Ground Fire has always been a guaranteed pick for me. It's Barbecue, Napalm, and Firestorm that always go unloved.

Pulverizer: Welcome changes that I'll be interested in seeing! Although these changes don't sound exciting, the weapon isn't terrible in it's current state. Very slight tweaking is all that it has needed, so the minor changes make sense here.

Compound Bow: Very cool concept that might really help the Sharpshooter! (They are currently my least-favorite perk, despite some awesome weapons and god-tier grenades.) I can't wait to see this in action! That said...……. I'm going to assume that this will be a DLC weapon by the fact that it's not HRG? If so, I find it incredibly weird that the Sharp will have a second DLC weapon before most of the other perks have had their first. I'm not against DLC - you have to fund the game somehow - but a second DLC for that perk would be pretty unappealing to me.
If the Compound Bow does become DLC, perhaps you could cross-perk the Mosin Nagant for Berserker? The Mosin, in its current state, is a good concept that is sadly lackluster. It's not fast enough for trash nor powerful enough for big targets, and parrying/blocking is only particularly useful on Zerker. The parrying and damage of Zerker would make better use of the gun, and give that perk a tool that would fit a new niche.
Alternatively, depending on storefront laws, you could make the Mosin Nagant a free weapon for everybody. The Mosin DLC would become the Bow DLC, and all former owners of the Mosin wouldn't have to buy the Bow.
-Can't say much about the ZED time skills...since I never get to use them. I've been prestiging all my perks.

-I do feel alone, but I actually believe the GS is already a very solid perk. Nimble, accurate, with a good mix between RoF and power... I don't deem the extra penetration as necessary. But I obviously won't complain : more versatility is always a big plus.

-I won't say what I already said regarding the Firebug : that I do believe it adds more weight to your choice of weaponry to have some weapons that MAKES groundfire, and some that DOESN'T. But sometimes fun matters more than strategy and as such, I think spraying hell everywhere will be better.

-****, I feel like I always like the underrated ! Never thought the pulverizer to be weak, far from it. It's still one of my go-to weapon as a berserker. So knowing it will be even more powerful is a blessing. I do hope it won't make quick work out of everything though... It's already a FP-melter.

-Compound Bow : damn, you're on a roll regarding new weapons! So far, most of the last additions have been guns fans requested for ages. The sharp is definitely getting a balanced and rich arsenal. But as others pointed out : I believe a crossperk between Sharp and Demo would have been better. Or even a triple crossperk : let's add flaming arrows for the firebug ! He doesn't really have very damaging weapons as of yet, besides maybe the husk cannon. I'm sure however that it will be fun as hell... And maybe give the Xbow a run for its money.

I do suppose it's a DLC... right?
Awesome! "Thank you" to the development for communicating with the players regarding changes! Here are my own thoughts:

Lockdown: I am, and forever will be, of the opinion that Survivalist needs a total rework (such as my previous rework concept, or some others found in the forums). Barring that... I'm not sure you can salvage this skill. When given the choice between a skill that lets you kill an enemy or a skill that let's you inconvenience them, the former is very likely going to be the clear choice.

I keep thinking zed paying for gasoline. Attendant "Exact change please!" Zed reaches for pockets he doesn't have. Survivalist behind counter gives a thumbs up. :)
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- You are not alone regarding Gunslinger. I think it's one of the most "complete" perks! But can I ask you a question? How often do you tend to pick "Line 'em Up", and what weapon(s) do you use if you do so? I always want to like that skill, but to me it's not nearly strong enough to compete with better reload speed (which the Gunslinger tends to need).

- You make an excellent point regarding Firebug. "Ground Fire" is always a guaranteed pick for me, so it makes me wonder why it's getting a buff? My best guess is that the weapons without it are underutilized, so this is less about the skill and more about making those weapons more appealing. I'm hoping these new groundfires will be smaller and shorter in duration; that way the choice will still be meaningful.

- Again, don't feel alone! I mostly agree with you, and was a little surprised to see the Pulverizer getting changed. (I mostly prefer it on Survivalist rather than Berserker or Demolitionist, though.) I think, perhaps, that it was ever-so-slightly underwhelming for its price point for Zerk and Demo. It's a very solid weapon, but often was in an awkward existence where saving up just a liiiiiiitle bit more could get you a top-tier weapon (and its weight could prevent certain good loadouts). I preferred it with Survivalist because I could make good use of both the melee and the explosion, turning an underappreciated gem into a valuable member of a versatile, oddball loadout. I'm glad to see that the proposed changes are minor, though, as the weapon could've easily been left well enough alone.

- Although a fire bow would be a blast to play with, I'm not sure Firebug needs it. Firebug is a perk that - despite some neglected skills - I feel is in a very good place right now, both in skills and in weaponry. At first I wasn't convinced of the Demolitionist crossperk idea either, but could potentially warm up to it! :)

This all makes me wonder what the data from their survey told them. These balances will likely be very welcome, but other than Survivalist (which has always been a problem) I wouldn't have pegged any of these as priorities.
While I feel like the Survivalist's current skillset should be buffed rather than reworked outright, I don't think Lockdown can be salvaged. Perhaps this would be a better replacement?

ZED TIME Grenadier: During Zed time, your weapons' magazines are bottomless! (They still consume ammo, though)

Essentially a weaker version of Whirlwind of Lead, except it works with all weapons in the game. Want a 240 RPM RPG-7? Go nuts!
Groundfire changes and new firebug stuff is definatly needed and exciting!

and I'd still pay for a KF1 model skin for the husk cannon cuz I love the classic look. Maybe something to earn in a seasonal event?
-Well yeah, I never pick Line Em Up, but that's the issue... Quicker reload times are a blessing for any available perk. I think the only perk for which I don't use it is for the Commando, as having tons of bullets and extra DMG is just as interesting if not more. But for the 'slinger... I don't think I'll change my skills anytime soon. And extra penetration won't change that.

-Again, I actually use A LOT of weapons with little to no ground fire. It's not always that reliable and most of them are already quite powerful (the trenchgun is a staple of my playstyle for example). But maybe that's just me? I really believe that making a skill TOO versatile can actually hurt the perk. But we'll see.

-Well, as someone who doesn't like the berserker that much, the pulverizer is one of the few weapons I actually enjoy using. I simply enjoy the raw feeling of senseless power you get with it , and the "POW" sound you get with the alt fire ! The price IMO doesn't make it any worse... Since all the zerk weapons got more expensive a while ago. But truth be told, the T3 weapons have always been in a weird spot for every perk : should you wait for the big guns or get some more firepower directly? It doesn't help that the berserker got such a ****-ton of weapons to choose from either...

I actually never use melee weapons with the survivalist as only one skill benefits them directly. I also believe the numerous skills of the zerk like "parry" make the pulverizer way more useful for that perk. Meanwhile, the demo really has no use for a melee weapon... If it was lighter and less expensive, maybe as a CQC secondary weapon. But priced so high... No chance.

-Oh it definitely DOESN'T need it, but I don't think the perk would be hurt if it did acquire the bow. That's basically my point.
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I kinda like the survivalist for bossfights :p its fun and usefull with correct combination..
Try this next bossfight:
Quick reload of demo weapons and extra explosive damage as perk choices..
Buy a RPG, (upgrade if you can afford)
2nd hand for trash (mp5 or m4 shottie)
And of course the healing nades...

Use the nades when ur team mates need.. or to help medic.
RPG for high dmg on boss, mp5 or m4 for quick killing of thrash...

I like it :p
I do like the quick reloads on the survivalist. I almost wish there was a skill unlock at 30 for all perks to have a very fast reload and or more ammo.
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