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Pips or Kills?

So, there seems to be a community perception on how strong a killer is based on how consistently they can get kills, or end up getting a 4k. I've started to see that there is also strength in how one can rank up while playing killer and the relative strength of certain "low tier" killers, such as Legion in the regard.

Now, before I post my question, I'd like to give a little bit of a story and a scenario in the hopes that this style of conveying my thoughts is received better.

Let's say that we have two players, one Hillbilly and one Clown. We'll call the Hillbilly player xXedgelordXx and the Clown player DudeDelicious. No particular reason. Just a bit of fun.

Both will in this scenario will have decent perk builds for their characters, we'll say the typical strong build for their characters. xXedgelordXx decided to bring Carburettor Tuning Guide and Primer Bulb for his add-ons and an Ebony Momento Mori offering.

DudeDelicious decided that he just wanted some extra reload speed and fingerless gloves to cut some of the bottle times down, and bought a Green BP offering to get some add-ons after the game.

The games start. xXedgelordXx just goes off and starts chainsawing people pretty quickly, trying to hook as many of them as possible to proc is Ebony Mori, only using his chainsaw the entire time to do so.

DudeDelicious, however, decides that he's going to focus on denying the survivors their objective. He'll chase a survivor off a generator, maybe kick it or pursue the chase depending on his surroundings. Sometimes he'll even just take one hit or even just slug someone for a bit to keep generators untouched.

xXedgelordXx executes all survivors with his chainsaw and mori in no time flat, but because he used an instant-down or hit injured survivors, and killed them instantly, he only safety-pipped. Not even a hope of pipping

DudeDelicious utilised his tactics, stalled out the game and only managed to get one kill even though he's also hooked everyone else twice and was rewarded with a Merciless Killer (just roll with it......), but just barely.

Now for the question. Who is the better killer here? Or more importantly, is it better to play for pips and rank or is it more important to play for kills?

Another way to also look at this is for survivors too: is it better to double-pip but die? Or to escape but safety/single pip?

I'm curious to see what you all think, since currently the killer meta seems to simply revolve around how easily and consistently one can achieve a 4k, or as close to as possible, rather than the ability to rank up and "achieve" the killer's goals as according to the current ranking system. I've been thinking that maybe it's time that killers as a whole start to re-evaluate exactly what makes a good killer, as focusing on kills as of late has given way to a rise in camping and tunnelling as "viable strategies" when, much like a horror movie, sometimes we're better off TORMENTING rather than KILLING our victims. It adds a better flavour when they're scared.

It'd also be nice to hear from the devs to see if they see a similar thing, or if they balance more around the ranking system rather than kills per game.

And yes, I know we're about to get a ranking system change, but this is still something to consider, and if it all goes well, maybe we won't need to change anything except our own preceptions.


  • LexilogoLexilogo Member Posts: 584

    While the kill potential versus pip potential debate is certainly an interesting one, I would like to say that while a Hillbilly who kills too fast might get worse ranks than a Clown who stretches a Survivor team thin, that's only because of how the Billy played in this scenario.

    So, you could say that it actually kinda demonstrates how a good Hillbilly can exert a lot more control over the game than a Clown can, therefore it still supports Billy being stronger.

    I actually agree Killers are sometimes too focused on kills, and I like screwing with Survivors more than killing them (properly jumpscaring a survivor is 100x more satisfying than any hook sacrifice IMO) but I still see it as the goal of the match personally as it's the simplest goal to shoot for, much like a Survivor's goal is survival, even if they can "succeed" when they die or "lose" when they escape. It's the guiding light that gives you Bloodpoints/emblem score along the way, even if the journey there matters more than the destination.

    Killing is what you go into the match with the intention of doing in general, but it is worth bearing in mind there are sometimes alternatives. Much like a Survivor might sacrifice themselves for the good of the team, a Killer can take other options instead of killing as fast as possible.

  • ZoneDymoZoneDymo Member Posts: 1,946
    edited April 2020

    TLDR: point is, there is no set definition of "winning" for this game, you can do whatever you like.

    I have been doing a lot of killer games where I specifically did not hurt survivors, I threw bottles, stalked them, hit them with the harpoon but immediatly broke the chain, everything without hurting them and its quite fun to see how survivors react.

    Usually they just do 2 or 3 gens before they start looking around to see what is up and gen progress sometimes suddenly goes really slowly after that :P

    But yeah, indeed if you want to farm bloodpoints, legion all the way, if you want to guaranthee a single kill, basement bubba, etc etc whatever you want

  • TohmoTohmo Member Posts: 247

    It's more of a "make your own win condition" kind of thing. If I had to guess, the """""official""""" way of """""winning""""" is to pip. But, as we all know, that's not reliable as you could play genlock Legion and pip almost every game with only 1 sacrifice and play a normal Plague match getting 3 kills and still not pipping. Personally, I go for kills, as I see it as my own personal win condition (and it was technically the old one for killer before the emblem system, so I'm still kind of going off that even years later.)

    As with a lot of things in this game, it's just personal preference, and no survivor/killer can tell you how to win and what a win is since its so hazy.


    5.000 Bps: Boring stupid Game. Why do I even play this game?

    10.000 Bps: Snore!

    15.000 Bps: Frustrating Experience.

    20.000 Bps: Ok, that was ok.

    25.000 Bps: Let's play another one.

    28.000 Bps: Good Game!


    I usually run Distressing, Beast of Prey and BBQ perks.

  • PigMainClaudettePigMainClaudette Member Posts: 3,842

    While both of these points are true, I did want to mention that I think too many killers simply see kills as their ONLY objective, hence I used the chainsaw-only Hillbilly as an example. It is a very common strategy, and personally one I hate. There have also been numerous complaints about the ranking system, but they are also playing in such a kill-focused way that they seem to lose sight of the elements of the ranking system and make the excuse that a 4k shows more skill.

  • PigMainClaudettePigMainClaudette Member Posts: 3,842

    Interesting option, and one that I also like for survivor too. Well, besides the fact that I don't run any farming perks.

  • ZoneDymoZoneDymo Member Posts: 1,946

    this would work for me if the BP made any sense to me.

    im often just completely at a loss how the points came to be

  • FibijeanFibijean Member Posts: 8,343
    edited April 2020

    Who played more skillfully in that round? Probably the Clown. But not because he pipped, because he didn't rely on artificial (meaning, in this case, not skill-based) methods to secure kills.

    But who was the better killer? The Hillbilly, without a doubt, because he was more successful in completing his objective - that is, killing. If the Ebony Mori hadn't been involved, I would have said that the Hillbilly was probably better and more skilled.

    Ultimately, skill in a game only matters to the extent that it helps you to complete your objective. Thus, player skill is most accurately measured by how successful a player is on a macro level (that is, overall, not necessarily on a match-by-match basis) at securing their objective.

    It's natural, and understandable, that most people don't want to recognise someone who uses overpowered or unfun tactics as someone who is good at winning, because of the cognitive dissonance there - we don't like to associate positive things like winning and skill with what one might consider negative behaviour. But I think it is important to draw that distinction, because it's relevant to how we consider the balance of the game that we are able to discriminate between what is admirable or praiseworthy and what is effective.

    In short, if we have to pick one or the other to represent skill, I would say pick kills. As I see it, this isn't really about skill, because I don't think skill is subjective in the way you're suggesting. The real question here is whether skill alone is something we should respect and seek to emulate or even reward, or whether there is another important factor (Sportsmanship? Realism? Fun?) that needs to be taken into account.

  • PigMainClaudettePigMainClaudette Member Posts: 3,842

    Well, does one really have to be skilled with an insta-saw? I did use the insta-saw/Mori Hillbilly to show that a killer can be simply carried by certain itema that they bring, and still be considered "skilled" through the example of a 4k, hoghlighting an ihpnherent flaw with this approach. But statisically, yes, he did kill more.

  • ohheyitsbobcatohheyitsbobcat Member Posts: 1,140
    edited April 2020

    Simplifying the 4 blood point categories,

    As Killer you chase people, hurt people and objects, use power, and hook people.

    As Survivor you heal and help others, do objectives like gens/chests/totems, help yourself via self care/ds/escaping, and leading the killer around in chases.

    Here's the wiki for it. https://deadbydaylight.gamepedia.com/Bloodpoints#Objectives

    Some killers get specific boost in some categories which is strange.

    Edit: On Topic as I precommented, I think it's up to each person to determine what's better or worse. It's all about what the killer is going in trying to do.

    Say I want to get as many bloodpoints as I can but the survivors all just kill themselves. I get a 4k and we'll even say I piped somehow but I got hardly any bloodpoints. To me, I've lost as it wasn't my objective. Depending on whether one wants to pip or wants to kill will change how one has to play in order to accomplish their goal.

    So yeah, I don't think either killer is better or worse in your example. They're just each playing the game in their own way. Personally, my priority order is fun, then bloodpoints, kills with pips being last. Pips mean very little to me and with the change to the ranking system that's coming they'll mean even less.

  • FibijeanFibijean Member Posts: 8,343

    I would say so. Billy's instadown is compensated by other areas in which he's lacking, such as his bad handling and stun whenever he runs into anything. In other words, it's balanced. If an instasaw were an easy 4K the way you're implying, Bubba would be the undisputed strongest killer in the game.

  • PigMainClaudettePigMainClaudette Member Posts: 3,842

    Well, I have pointed out how Hillbilly isn't really punished all that much before, on different threads. But the main point was they were using "THE" perk build. This would include perks like BBq, Spirit Fury and other perks that can really help a killer.

    When you combine something like BBq, insta-saw, Ebony Mori and other fun killer stuff, the game might as well be a point and click adventure game.

    The point of the Hillbilly side here wasn't about one specific part of their kit, but a combination of effects that can effectively carry a killer to an easy 4k, through detection, mobility, an insta-down kit AND a mori. I could have used a Devour Hope Nurse/Spirit and say that the totem wasn't cleansed and it'd still have the same relavent points.

  • FibijeanFibijean Member Posts: 8,343

    Well, the question I was answering there was "does one really have to be skilled with an insta saw". As for the rest, my point stands that if a killer gets lots of kills, that makes them definitionally skilled at killing, regardless of how they do it. Whether the way they go about it is impressive or praiseworthy is debatable, but also largely irrelevant as far as skill-based matchmaking goes.

  • TohmoTohmo Member Posts: 247
    edited April 2020

    At this point in time, I see no point in abiding by the ranking system. I've reached rank 1 multiple times and all that jazz so I don't really care for pips, so I don't see a point in intentionally limiting myself for the game to tell me I finally didn't win too hard. If you want to get to high ranks, I totally recommend abiding by the ranking system and all of its rules, however as a long time player I just don't want to limit myself so hard for a system that doesn't benefit me in any way shape or form.

    Again, this comes down to subjectivity. If you think you shouldn't be focused on only kills, go for it. Everyone plays this game differently and neither me nor anyone in this site can tell you differently. I personally do see kills as my only objective, but many others considers pipping to be wins or a strange mix between the two. I personally rely on the old pipping system of 2 sacrifices one hook to win.

    EDIT: I could see camping / tunneling for easy kills being brought up into why this is a flawed system. Unfortunately no system is perfect and both the emblem system and kill-based ranking systems have their flaws. I don't camp nor tunnel unless I really really need too so its not a big deal for me, but I can understand the argument.

  • KingFrostKingFrost Member Posts: 3,014


    3K and 4K are always wins.

    Otherwise, at least 7 hooks is a win. (Enough to hook two people three times each, plus one)

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