"Brawling V2" martial art

Pretty simply, in the same way that Brawling is unlocked at unarmed level 2, having another martial art that unlocks at a high level of generic ‘melee’ could reflect the survivor’s growing used to combat with zombies.
It’s admittedly a crude sort of suggestion, as it’d mean the Blackbelt would somehow start out with said martial art, but having an art dedicated to making zed combat less tedious (mainly via attacks that pulp without the need for overkill damage that usually entails, or powerful attacks that wouldn’t work on actual human opponents) would make the rush of slaughtering the undead less tedious.
I’m all for the pulping mechanic - choosing between pulping a corpse on Static or running away from a dangerous-looking horde is often a make-or-break choice - but at the lategame it just becomes tedious.

I support this if it means reducing tedium, which is never a bad thing. I’d actually considered making a mod for another auto-learned martial art similar to what you’re suggesting. I was going to call it Brutality, and it was going to be something like a berserker and “rip and tear” type of fighting style, as you might expect from a hardened zombie killing machine. Unlocked at around 5 melee, works with unarmed or “brutal” weapons (battleaxe, war hammer, chainsaws, lobotomizer, etc.; added bonus of indirectly buffing some underused weapons), it would focus on brute force over speed or defense, and could feature an auto-pulping technique like what you described. I think it would work best as a combo move or requiring set up of some sort. Or even better, having multiple auto-pulp moves that activate under different circumstances for variety and more frequent pulping. Like when you grab an enemy if you’re unarmed (“You grab the zombie by the limbs and tear it apart!”), or if you attack a downed enemy (“You stomp/bring your weapon down on the downed zombie with all your might!”).

Well the first thing to do is make sure that all pulped corpses do not get up as I have had times where the zombie I killed became a pulped corpse (it died into that) but it still revived.

I don’t like the idea of having the martial art fill the gaps in UI. Autopulp should be a different thing. Some weapons could have pulping strikes, but only after autopulp is implemented, to avoid the idea that they are better because they avoid tedium.

Instead of high level brawling 2, brawling should just get some abilities that unlock on high level of unarmed.
One martial art that I could see being separate from brawling but gained in a similar way would be “mutant brawling”. A variant of brawling that does not work with unarmed weapons (brass knuckles, punch daggers), but benefits from having sum of stats other than intelligence above the usual 30.

Funnily enough, this is exactly what I was imagining, down to the name. I was going to call it ‘Brutality’ but I realised that wasn’t a very descriptive thread title.

But in turn this leads to redundancy. Someone with upwards of 16 strength and decent lategame melee weapons can often pulp zombie just by virtue of overkill-level powerful attacks, whereas I’m aiming for something that can reflect that via skills rather than raw stats.

The best outcome would be a simultaneous martial art that just applies as well as anything you’re using, but that’s a) not programmed for and b) removes the appeal of the other arts somewhat.

But they’re not only better due to reduced tedium, but due to stamina cost and (most importantly during combat) time taken. It just so happens that later this also reduces tedium, but if fighting spitters or with necros around, an art that increases time per attack but allows instant-pulp/increased corpse damage (mangled corpses only take about a turn or two to pulp) would make the fight shorter, but arguably more difficult than the tried-and-true ‘put on superheavy armour and stopthrust everyone dead’.

I agree with your point, I’m just saying that pulping is a game mechanic important for non-tedium reasons too.

I was proposing to have this be at high-level melee to represent being good at zombie-killing in general.

So… you are thinking of implementing special attacks that cause instant pulp, like this maybe?