I believe that, from a gameplay perspective, throwing should be usable in some way from level 0, rise up to useful around 2~3, and slowly grow from there.
Now, the big problems of throwing were that:
- the range of guns sucked, this has been fixed.
- throwing did too much damage
- throwing rose in level too fast
I’m not too sure on the status of the later two in the game as it is right now, mind you.
Anyways, back to what I was saying, as a way to balance the ‘too much damage’ with the ‘usable/useful’ part, would it be possible that for some throwing things, mainly improvised stuff, rocks and sticks, to reduce the damage and replace it with some stun or perhaps trip?
That way it starts as an usable strategic option, but not something you can kill zombies with until you have the stats, skill and equipment to use a more challenging throwing weapons (axes, knives, etc) effectively.
The downside would be that it’d be a bit tricky to balance it so you can’t stunlock a foe and poke it to death. Perhaps giving it a chance of failure, or reducing the stun time, or giving the foe an immunity to it for a few rounds after being stunned.