ZED time is a gameplay mechanic which decelerates the speed of the game, with an accompanying distinct drop in sound. Simply put, it is slow-mo, and during this time all say-sounds and emotes will slow down too, as well as welding, healing, and attack animations. ZED time lasts about five seconds and is triggered randomly, but can be extended via each successful kill by Berserkers and Commandos (perk speciality) for a chain of five total. Due to the nature of these classes, five ZED time links usually don’t go up to 25 seconds, but rather closer to 10 or 12 (as each kill overwrites the time of the previous kill).
ZED time is a great tool for Sharpshooters lining up shots on troublesome targets, and Field Medics trying to hit a long-range heal on a player. Honestly, it’s a great asset to every perk. It allows the player to analyze and react to the situation and concoct a plan in those vital few seconds; to dodge a specimen of Husk fireball, or leap across a platform. Veteran players generally think ahead and take note of their surroundings, making decisions in less than a second, but every ZED time helps in the team understanding exactly where they are and what the situation is.
“Oh bloody hell, they hop too!”
It is also very helpful if triggered during an onslaught. If the team is getting overwhelmed, a well initiated ZED time can make all the difference between life and death, allowing players enough time to focus on the immediate danger and take care of it. It is one of the only times you get to see bullets travel and rip apart ZEDs, as those actions tend to happen very fast without it.
I always think of it as a moment of clarity, where you and your teammates are like one, until it ends and the random carnage and chaos erupts again.
The physics in this game are amazing. Mid-air kills, flying limbs, chunks of flesh and bone flying all over…who doesn’t like causing all that carnage (to ZEDs of course). Again, it’s one of those immersive things that just add flavour to the game. Sure Tripwire could have gone with generic zombies falling like a sack of bricks. Instead they went with this:
“In your face, pal!”
DAMAGE, HEALING, HITBOXES, REGISTRATION, AND NETCODE
Damage is pretty balanced in Killing Floor in all aspects except one: fall damage. Jumping from a five foot drop will yield fall damage. It scales based on height, but I feel that unless you fall 20 feet, fall damage shouldn’t apply to anything lower than 15. It tends to be annoying when you are low on health and running away, just to fall five feet to your death.
When it comes to hit points, there is no regenerating health. Killing Floor is based on a direct, old school method of healing. Every perk has a medi-syringe they can use on others and themselves, with a cooldown timer of about two seconds between heals, and five after using two in succession.
“Stand still, or I’ll stick it where the sun don’t bloody shine!”
There are three markers on the HUD that show 100, referring to health, armour, and healing power. Healing power is the only one that will constantly remain at 100, decreasing only when a heal is used and regenerating back up during the cooldown period (similar to the welding gun which shows its power on an LED readout).
Each perk gets money for healing teammates, but the Field Medic gets the largest amount of money, healing power, and healing regeneration versus any other class. Couple this with the three medi-guns they can hold (which all have separate healing counters), and the Medic has an infinite amount of heals to dish out at any given time, as medi-guns fire green syringes to heal ranged players in addition to bullets for ZEDS.
The hitboxes are decent overall, except during events, and somewhat troublesome for the Berserker in general. For example, the pictures shown are reskins for the Summer Sideshow Event for every ZED. The new skins and designs tend to mess around with hitboxes, and players used to vanilla skins of specimens tend to miss more as muscle-memory and mental recognition of where the hitbox should be take over rather than where they are. Berserkers and Sharpshooters can also miss while aiming with their respective weapon, especially during attack and stun animations, as the hitboxes are closer to the throat of a specimen, rather than the head.
Furthermore, ZEDs (including the Patriarch) tend to get stuck on objects or in a movement loop. You certainly won’t go as a team to find him, and the chosen person probably won’t like having to bait and kite the Patriarch to the strategic kill point the team has designated, as one bad move and he’ll come running at full speed. A small caveat, but one worth nothing for newer players.
Registration corresponds directly with the netcode, or simply, your ping. Killing Floor has pretty good netcode, which is customary for PC titles, but dedicated Killing Floor servers hosting by Tripwire are difficult to find spots in. Most players host peer-to-peer, locally, or by buy/hosting their own dedicated server. Regardless, once you reach over a certain point, around 125ms ping and above, you start missing a lot of shots and seeing things a split second too late.
Therefore, when playing in high lag servers for whatever reason, you need to be two steps ahead of the game instead of one. As an example, a Berserker needs to swing a few inches away from a specimen to kill them, unlike in normal conditions where you would be up close with them. Typically, high ping players will play AoE classes like the Support Specialist, Firebug, and Demolitions to counteract the lag time.
Remember that for every class except Sharpshooter, headshots do not necessarily mean kills. If not enough power is delivered, the head will explode, but the ZED body will continue moving awkwardly and frantically for about five seconds before dropping lifeless to the ground. This applies to every ZED except the Patriarch, Crawler, and Husk. During this time, the ZED can still attack if it gets close enough, therefore keep your distance or pump a few more rounds to take it down if it is getting too close. Keep in mind that, although extremely rare, a headless Fleshpound or Scrake can still enrage and attack without a head, so take them down instead of conserving ammo, as those five seconds may kill you.
“Stitch that, you arsehole!”