Hi again! I was sick of getting set on fire even with blacksmith apron and welding mask, so I whipped up a realistic, and decidedly endgame recipe for making the fire resistant suit. (For those that don't know, if you have the firesuit in your inventory, you never get burned by the kiln etc. Ground fire still hurts you).
This actually follows the guidelines of the national fire association.
Keep in mind, making this suit requires lots of wax, leather, some steel (if using bees), mined resources and rare loot. I think that is balanced enough, considering it took me 12 days + 10 skill foraging + many trips into dangerous areas to make, and that I leveled up first aid to 5 along the way.
Secondly, I'd like to discuss weapon diversification. Currently, the pole-arms and hammers have almost no combat purpose. They are inferior to their equivalent tier blade weapons. To remedy this, I propose the following split between fists, pole arms, blades, blunt and axes. (I am currently testing in game):
Fists: Friend of the Friendless
I am not talking about the unarmed push and stomp, which you can still do by using the space key (default) even when armed, I am talking about punching, implemented as a very cheap one handed blunt weapon that anyone can make:
Almost always available. Just need two strips of cloth.
Decent Knock down
Can punch zombies that are very close (0.1 min range) means you can fight indoors.
Mix with base contextual melee (Space bar default) for martial arts action! Push, stomp AND punch!
Improves with, and trains, blunt melee skill as opposed to normal unarmed which does not.
Very low endurance requirements.
Hits multiple opponents
Very short range! You are liable to get scratched or bitten!
Very low damage with no CQC! A spoon will kill a zombie faster, but only once.
Fists are your final backup, or your first choice, depending on your level of sanity. Their only redeeming features are that they hit 2, can hit them VERY close, and you usually have a pair. An improvement over the default melee alone due to improvement via training, should be mixed with default for maximum effect. (Seriously, it is fun. Dangerous, but very satisfying if you can pull it off.)
Have multiple types of 'fists' weapons defined representing different types/levels of combat, then lock them behind recipes requiring certain levels of blunt accuracy/defense/books/rare items.
Karate; Single target, high push back, slightly more range, requires both hands .
Boxing; Faster attack speed, slightly more damage, requires both hands.
Judo; Single target, high knock down, slower attack speed but more damage, requires both hands
Kung fu; Multi target fighting (3), can use one hand, stronger with two
Kenpo; Slower attack speed, lower range, but can special attack
Claws; Blade skill.
Pole-arm: Friend of the Wanderer
Largest range (2.5 to 3.5)
Moderate critical chance
Simple resources needed in construction (mostly wood with a metal tip)
High damage true to real life. (max damage 2 to 3)
Moderate knockdown modifier (trip)
While most are blades, some are blunt (shovels, quarterstaves)
High minimum range (1 to 1.4), means you have to use PUSH (space default) if they get close.
Max hit count of 1! Can only attack one zombie at a time.
Unwieldy: Cannot use at max endurance
High weapon weight. The length of the weapon exacerbates its weight, leading to high endurance usage.
Slow swing speed.
Cannot use single handed.
Low push back modifier
Rare. You won't find many pole arms in the modern world, but that is ok, you can make them!
The pole-arm is an easy to make, easy to replace, high damage, single target weapon suited to taking down lone zombies at a safe distance without the noise of a firearm. It should be a survivors default weapon choice for starting out, and when traveling outside.
A survivor should avoid using a pole-arm indoors however, as the high minimum range means you may be unable to hit enemies at close quarters, and the slow swing speed, high endurance cost, and single target limit means they cannot be relied upon to handle even moderately sized hoards.
Blade: Friend of the Scavenger
King of CQC. Only blades can perform the close quarters instant kill.
Easy to use. Most blades can be used at maximum endurance
High swing speed
One handed combat. Most blades can be used to full effect with one hand
Highest critical chance.
Many types of blades.
Some can hit more than one target.
Simple blades can be found in many locations, making them available early on.
When a some blades become blunt, they become a low class club instead of breaking. (need to add. Perhaps chance to destroy? Look at makeshift axe for idea)
Some blunted blades can be repaired by sharpening (need to add. Perhaps chance to destroy?)
Lowest durability of all weapon types. A blunt blade does significantly less damage.
Lowest pushback. Damage is from piercing or slashing, very little gets turned into impact force. If you get overwhelmed, use push (space default).
CQC takes a small amount of time. If you are swarmed, you may die if you forget to push.
Highest construction requirements. A quality blade takes finesse and resources to make.
Lowest range of all equivalent weapons
Blades are the weapon of choice for exploring buildings or quickly dispatching small groups of zombies. Their (mostly) one handed usage means that survivors can carry an additional bag etc in their off hand while still fighting effectively. The low range combined with a special attack at point blank makes them perfect for surprise zombies hiding in bathroom/closets/upstairs and for fighting zombies without accidentally smashing windows. A low average weight means that a survivor should always be able to bring a blade with them to compliment their main weapon, or even just a spare.
Due to the low durability and high resource cost, survivors may choose not to use a blade as their main weapon, and the low range and lack of push back makes blades unsuitable for dealing with hordes in open areas.
Blunt: Friend of the Desperate
Highest durability. A solid lump of something heavy is still a solid lump of something even if it gets flattened a bit.
Highest knock back and knock down. Hit them with something heavy.
Multiple targets. Most larger blunt weapons can hit many enemies at once.
Easy to find. Many things can be effective blunt weapons if you are desperate enough. Pipe, plank, bat, hammer, chair etc.
Useful. Several blunt weapons are also essential building tools.
High minimum damage. Total damage may be low, but it is reliable
Moderate resource cost to make. It doesn't take much skill to make a weapon heavy, just a lot of weapon.
Weakest part of a blunt weapon is the handle. Replacing the handle can fix many blunt weapons (need to add. Look at makeshift axes.)
Upgrade! Several blunt weapons can be upgraded for more damage.
Moderate range. You don't need to put your weapon through them, a glancing blow still does damage.
Moderate minimum range. Don't get surrounded or you can't knock them all down.
Lowest damage per zombie. Compared to all other weapons, blunt weapons do the least dps to individual zombies.
Moderate/Low swing speed. Faster than pole arms.
Blunt force instruments need to be swung. Cannot use most of them at maximum exertion.
While most CAN be used one handed, most blunt weapons are more effective two handed.
Uses a different skill set to bladed weapons.
Highest weight among comparable weapons.
High exertion usage. Slightly more than pole arms.
No/low critical chance.
Blunt weapons are for escaping from, or if the survivor is touched in the head, fighting, zombie hordes. If your situation is looking desperate, if you woke up surrounded and they're coming through the windows, a good blunt weapon will get you out. The key to this is the large knock back and knock down modifiers, combined with the high multi target capability. A trained survivor with a good blunt weapon can keep a hoard on their backs long enough to kill them all, or run away. In addition, the high durability means they are unlikely to find themselves weaponless during a fight.
The key weakness of the blunt weapons is their endurance cost. While a survivor wielding a blunt weapon CAN reliably take on a horde, they are going to need a good lie down afterwards. As such, blunt weapons are for emergencies, or planned clearing of an area. Otherwise, a reckless survivor will find themselves exhausted, unable to fight back or run.
Axes: Friend of the Survivor
Reliable damage (High minimum damage). Damage is partly due to weight, so even glancing blows do damage.
Useful. Axes are a basic tool
Moderate/High Durability. Less than blunt, more than pole arms. Axes are designed to withstand punishment
Moderate/High Damage. Less than pole arms, more than blades.
Moderate/High knock down
Repeatedly repairable. Due to the mass of the head, it can be repeatedly sharpened, while the handle can be replaced.
Comes in one handed and two handed versions.
Moderate swing speed.
Moderate/Low critical chance
Moderate knock back.
Moderate range. Roughly the same as blunt. More than blades.
Rare. Axes are prized but due to their specialized nature, they are far harder to find than blades or blunts.
Resource intensive to make. Not only do axes need as much materials as blunt weapons, they need to be sharpened and balanced too.
Moderate/High weight. Axes weigh almost as much as blunt weapons.
Moderate/High exertion cost. You can swing an axe longer than a similar blunt weapon, but not all day.
Dual purpose. Unlike other tools, an axe loses durability when used for its task.
The axe is the best general purpose weapon a survivor can have, if they can afford to use it as one. It doesn't have the reach and damage of the pole arm, the CQC advantage of blades or the knock back of blunt weapons, but is still above average in almost all aspects. The problem is finding one, and keeping it. However, survivor should always carry a backup weapon better specialized to deal with situations they find difficult. Or two.
Sorry for the wall of text, but I hope you can appreciate the thought that has gone into this. I will be playtesting this myself for a while, please give me your thoughts.