Simple suggestion - blunt damage, explosions, gunfire, vehicle impacts should all impart knockback in a way they dont currently. This would make grenades far more useful. knockback could also entail a period of being stunned.

This could also be a way of differentiting blunt weapons like baseball bat from eg. hammer, with otherwise similar damage outputs

I dislike the classic “Knockback” effect found on many games. Its basically “random push”. It fits to “epic fireball fantasy” as magical effect…

In game Dead Island blunt melee is great in this part, there is no “knockback” but successfull attacks make zombies stagger and unbalanced - and further attacks makes them fall to prone or step back to keep their balance.

So… Once you go blunt melee or kick -> stagger (or if very successful even prone) -> further attacks results in prone or target stepping back, thus moving a square.

To make “Knockback” you’d need something heavy with momentum to knock things back. I’d see that happening if players used a bench or log as battering ram, maybe also sledgehammer or some ultraheavy weapon or object to bash things. (basically high knockback attacks would always be very slow, just to build the momentum vs. weight to make enough energy to toss things around.)

Also to make intentional push-attack that uses body weight-momentum to move zeds could work. The difference is that this attack does not create meaningful impact = no damage or light damage. This is the “tactical reposition” of enemy, at the cost of it being able to attack you easily.

Maybe this could be done by having “Push” attack (unarmed attack) and having settable “intention” on attacks, you could set your intention to “damage” so you’d try to bash heads or intend to “unbalance” so you’d be mostly hitting legs. This could be related to weapon skill, with low skill you couldnt choose your intention - just swing for the sake of swinging. If you are holding something very heavy you could do “charge” attack and ram enemy.