Suggestion - Hex Totem Overhaul
~~~ Preface ~~~
Let me preface this suggestion with a few points. First, I'm closing in on 300 hours played over the course of the past year and some months. Second, I play both survivor and killer pretty equally - I flip back and forth depending on how my games are going. Finally, I've experienced all but the highest levels of play - I find that I generally settle down around high green to mid purple ranks.
~~~ The Problem ~~~
Alright, hex totems have already been reworked a few times. While I admit there are a few gross totem spots in some of the maps, a determined survivor or two can generally spot all of the lit totems within the first two to three minutes of the match. Totems typically don't spawn that close to each other, and their spawn locations pull from a pool of possible spots. In other words, those totems aren't going to be spawning in crazy or obscure places that they haven't ever spawned before.
Next, the powers that hex totems provide have become staples in killers' kits. Hex: Ruin in particular, with Hex: No One Escapes Death and Hex: Devour Hope following (though Hex: Ruin is the main offender). The new Hex: Ruin rework is great for being much less annoying. That said, it shouldn't be required to make the game pass at a manageable pace for most killers - but that is for another topic.
To summarize the problem, hex totems are hardly a point of risk versus reward with how quickly they are nullified. They provide no additional opportunities for plays on either side, and are not balanced in practice.
~~~ The Solution ~~~
Rather than a hex perk being rendered useless when its corresponding totem is broken, afflict the survivor that cleansed the totem with the hex. The hex still affects survivors as it normally would while a survivor has been afflicted.
The next time the afflicted survivor is hooked, all hexes on them are cleansed (removed permanently). Should a survivor in the match die, a random survivor that has been afflicted with a hex is cleansed (a survivor with multiple hexes has a single random hex cleansed through this method).
Survivors that have been afflicted with a hex have a dim red glow at their feet. The survivor HUD at the bottom will let all players know which survivor has been afflicted by what hex.
Hex perks that rely on certain criteria to be met will still function the same. Hex: No One Escapes Death should be lit at the start of the match, but will not activate until the end. Hex: Haunted Grounds will activate when the hex is cleansed, not when the totem is broken.
*Hex: No One Escapes Death would be completely useless if it was treated the same as other perks for the sake of being cleansed. Give this a buffer against being cleansed through normal means. Rather, only cleanse this hex if the survivor afflicted is killed or after the first minute of the End Game Collapse.
*Hexes that require stacks will need to require a few more stacks to reach their full effectiveness,particularly Hex: Devour Hope.
~~~ How Does This Help ~~~
- This provides counter-play by survivors. While a survivor is afflicted with Hex: Ruin, the killer will want to keep them alive. This allows that survivor to make more altruistic and otherwise risky plays.
- If a killer has a desirable hex still active on a survivor, they will want to spread their hooks out over all of the survivors as to not have it randomly cleansed.
- Killers no longer run the chance of their perk being rendered useless within the first few minutes of the match.
- Killers no longer favor camping their totems.
- Tunneling and camping are punished for survivors afflicted by some hexes (Ruin, Devour Hope, and so on).
~~~ Counterpoints and Measures ~~~
- A killer cannot leave the hex to last the entire game, as killing a survivor will begin cleansing them.
- A team of four survivors has a total of sixteen perks among them. Perks can be used by multiple survivors. Decisive Strike, Borrowed Time, Adrenaline, and so on. The same items can be used by multiple survivors - ultra-rare heals (that were recently nerfed), a full team of flashlights, and so forth. A killer is a single person not only attempting to fulfill their objective, but attempting to circumvent all of this to the best of their ability.
- Pallets and vaults often spawn close enough together for survivors to chain them, resulting in a chase that can last upwards of a minute or longer. Some may argue that the killer should leave the chase, but these obstacles must still be dealt with eventually.
- Optimally, there are never more than two survivors not working on objectives. This accounts for a hooked survivor and a survivor attempting to unhook. At best, there are generally three survivors working on objectives.
- Survivors can use outside communications to completely disregard many killer mechanics. Just another example of the advantages survivors have.
- Hex: Ruin was recently reworked due to it being used often. It was used often because it is one of the only semi-reliable methods of slowing down the game progression.
~~~ Example Situations ~~~
Hex: Ruin - A survivor cleanses a Hex: Ruin totem. The affect still remains, but the killer now wants to leave that survivor alive so that the hex remains active. This survivor now has a sense of safety, and can pressure the killer by being far more altruistic.
Hex: No One Escapes Death - To please both sides, and because this rework would allow it to work, apply Hex: No One Escapes Death to a totem at the start of the match like all other hex perks - but do not make the effects active, the perk doesn't change (in that the effects of this totem only activate after the last generator has been completed). To compensate for survivors being able to find it very early, give Hex: No One Escapes Death a slight buffer against the rework's mechanics as previously mentioned. This allows killers that fall behind towards the end to keep a card up their sleeve.
Hex: Haunted Grounds - A survivor cleanses a Hex: Haunted Grounds totem. The killer, unlike with other hex totems, would like to hook this survivor or kill another so that this hex activates. Strategically, the killer would like to hook this survivor near objectives that are being worked on so that they can immediately jump to other survivors. A survivor that has been afflicted with Hex: Haunted Grounds may also consider finding the second totem so that one is essentially wasted, or even finding a totem like Hex: Ruin so that the killer is forced to either keep or remove it.