5. Let the Waves Keep Coming
One of the key elements of gameplay for Killing Floor was surviving wave after wave of specimens. Each wave was more difficult than the wave before. For me, this helped cement the concept of this being a cooperative game. Unlike Left 4 Dead, you can’t just Rambo your way from safe room to safe room. And with the bounty system, you receive money for killing specimens and making it to the end of the wave, ammo and resources can get progressively scarcer.
How can Killing Floor 2 improve on this? Make them more intense. Don’t get me wrong, when you play on Suicidal or Hell on Earth things are pretty intense. But Hard? Hard doesn’t feel that way once you get your perks up. Maybe that’s just a side effect of a level up system. But I would really like to see the intensity kicked up to 11. Why not put in an AI Director? Something that controls the spawn points so if players are holding up in an area, the stronger specimens spawn right there. I think that having this will really force players to work with even better communication and that will really up the gameplay.
4.Mister Perky: Perk Leveling Made Better
Killing Floor uses a perk system comprised of 6 different classes. Each perk fulfills a role to assist the team. Berzerkers are a melee class that can’t be grabbed by clots and have flat damage resistance. Medics are fast with really strong armor and can keep the heals coming. Demos can carry the most pipebombs and grenades helping deal with hordes from afar. Sharpshooters snipe out the bigger threats before they reach the team. Commandos can see invisible targets and can give you an idea on enemy health. Support specialists have improved welding and use shotguns. Firebugs specialize in fire damage whether its a Flamethrower, flare revolvers, or the Dragonfire Trenchgun. No perk is “better” than any other perk and people who specialize in one will be able to show off why that perk is cool. And I really hope the game doesn’t lose that in Killing Floor 2.
We’ve been told that there will be a total of 10 perks in the game, which means either we are getting 4 more or they will completely start from scratch. However, there is one thing I really hope they change about the perk system and that’s how the perks are leveled. Currently, you have to hit a threshold in categories. For example, in Sharpshooter you need to have X head shots while using any of the designated Sharpshooter weapons. Okay, that’s not too bad. Especially since the 9mm pistol you spawn with is a Sharpshooter weapon, hitting that threshold isn’t hard. But the Commando’s level up requirement is to deal a certain amount of damage with a Commando weapon, automatic rifles, and kill a certain number of Cloakers(a type of specimen.) This is a bit harder than it sounds. A lot of players just kill the first specimen they see, making it hard for Commandos to get the kill requirement to hit that next level.
I don’t specifically know how to fix it. I don’t really want to see an experience system implemented. But I think either the expect damage needs to be toned down or time spent playing that perk should be taken into account. Everything else about the perk system is fine. While I pretty much exclusively play Medic, every perk has it’s own unique play style and can pretty engaging. I can’t wait to see what the new perks are.
3. Go Big or Go Home: Map Design
One of the amazing things about Killing Floor is the sheer number of maps available and the variety in size of each of them. Killing Floor expects your team to take one of two strategies. Either, kite the map or hold up in a room or corridor and pray to not get overwhelmed. Dependent on the map, kiting tends to be the best option as it becomes hard to get over ran by specimens if you are always on the move. Your only real challenge will be Husks chipping away at you. If you chose to hold up, while it can work out, it tends to get extremely boring after awhile.
Two maps that have had the greatest potential in my opinion have been Farm and Mountain Pass. They are the two largest maps that do not have multiple floors. Farm has the draw back of being one of the darkest maps and the corn fields are a death trap. However with barns and different houses and structures, Farm allows players to do a bunch of different strategies dependent on where the Trader is spawning. Mountain Pass suffers from being too big. That and it’s limited spawning areas allows players to hold up in one area of the map and handle anything but it gets too close.
What I would like to see in Killing Floor 2 is more maps of the size of Farm, Mountain Pass, and Iceberg. While the smaller maps make the game feel more threatening, they don’t offer a lot of gameplay options. Usually players decided to hold up in one location and just mow down specimen after specimen. To avoid the issues that Mountain Pass has, the inclusion of an AI Director would work well. That way instead specimens spawning at a great distance to give players breather, spawns happening closer and closer to hold point would force players to decide if it’s worth holding and getting overwhelmed or abandoning post and looking for a new defense point.
This a map layout spoiler from the PC Gamer exclusive first look. Based on this, it looks like I am right about much larger maps. Hopefully the specimen spawns are better controlled though. But this image does seem to show the game is going to have more maps like Farm. Large with multiple defense structures.
2. New Specimens
Woah. Just the redesign of the specimens are enough to make me feel like they are brand new. The fact that Clots seem to now actually run as oppose to just meander towards you is scary enough. In this video we get to see two new specimens; the Cyst and the Slasher. The Slasher’s niche looks self explanatory. It probably can hold you like a Clot but also deal decent melee damage. The Cyst, however, seems a little more difficult to figure out. I expect that it might summon other specimens. It may do weaker sound damage like the Siren. Based on the way it looks off to the distance when it screams I think it is safe to assume it summons specimens.
If I am right about the Cyst, then Killing Floor 2 will get something Killing Floor was lacking. Originally, specimens just meandered until they saw you. This fit the story that England has been over ran by the specimens and it’s your job to clear them out so civilians can be evacuated. But, that meant sometimes you just waited for them to show up or aimlessly ran around the map looking for them. Having a specimen that makes other specimens come running, will add urgency to the game.
I am hoping we get more fast specimens. Currently, the only quick specimens are the Crawlers due their ability to close distance with jumping and the Gorefast since it’s niche is it sees you and then sprints at you. Hence the name Gorefast. But, if the fact that the Clot actually runs in this trailer is any indication then we may not need specimens designed for speed. While I know I may regret this when the game comes out, but I’d also like to see another long range specimen like the Husk. Hopefully not with fire damage. Becuase fire damage sucks.
1. A new Killing Floor
Killing Floor has been around for five years. I’ve been playing it with dedication for a little over 4 years. Steam tells me I’ve put about 646 hours into the game. Which is cool, I have a lot of friends from playing the game and it’s a testament to how fun the game is even after all this time.
But, it’s starting to get boring and predictable. Tripwire Interactive just released three new maps for it as part of the “End of the Line” update. Haven’t played them yet but even so, I can only get so much fun out of just three maps. There is a lot of excitement to be had with the coming of the new game.
New perks. New specimens. New Weapons. Maybe even an improved Patriarch. Actually, that’s another thing I am excited about. I would like a smarter Patriarch. Granted, he is pretty difficult as is, but his targeting is pretty predictable. He just executes the first person who aggros him. I want him to switch targets more frequently. Sure, that might make him easier to handle, but it would make him unpredictable. As is, when he picks a target, you can just unload into him until he is either dead or runs to heal.
Overall, my hype level for Killing Floor 2 is over 9,000.