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Pick your poison - The issue with balance

Now I read this forum far longer then I am part of it and I am always interested in the arguments for balance and against it. The issue came to me first by complains about Spirit on reddit and ever since it has not left me.

I often see the argument made that we can not assume that survivors play around as squad of four and that we need to consider the solo survivor too. This is in fact a very empathic view and there is nothing wrong with this.Howeve I see a flaw in the argument when we leave the emotional level and try a more rational approche. We need to think about where we seek the balance in this game.


I am in fact a follower of the argument that if something is broken at the highest level, then it is broken periode.

We see this philosophy in many MOBA games and even something like CIV 6 or some shooter games balance around this issue.

Many people bring up this argument too. Look for an example at Scott Jund and his arguments about Deathslinger and Spirit. He in fact argues that Slinger is unfun because he has no counterplay in the chase as a good Slinger will always hit you. On the same train of thought he argues that Spirit is unfun because her power allows for no counterplay and leaves punishment. Short bursts of Yamaokas Haunting allow your power to come back far too fast to leave any room for the survivor to capitalize on a mistake.

Now I am not here to argue about Slinger and Spirit as Killers. This debate takes up entire threads already and has been done over and over. Both are just here for me to show the train of though behind these arguments: That the balance should be around the highest skilled players.

A point for this kind of argument that got me was that otherwise the debate is far too open for misleading thoughts and the facts become to obscure. The skill of people is so different that we could point out any Killer as "too weak" if there would be just enough bad players who pick him up. You see this with the Nurse and her winrate: It is not good, even thou she is considered one of the best Killers in the game if not the best.


This however brings a problem for Dead by Daylight.

What is the highest level possible for survivors? It would be of course a team of four people with good perks, toolboxes and medkits and on voicechat. These teams however are rare. But they are in fact the highest level of survivor players possible.

Now if we take the argument from above we need to argue that we have to balance the game around this specific scenario. Otherwise we would be inconsistend, thus leaving the argument open for an easy counter.

However just by reading this you see the flaw: Survivors usualy do not come in batches of four every game. They come as mixed pickles of 2 / 2 1 / 1 / 2 and 1 /3 with only occasionaly a squad of 4. So to consider the highest level would leave out a huge population of players.

However in order to remain consistend with the argument we now have a problem: If we do not balance around the highest level but for the intermediate then we have to do this periode. This would mean that we also have to balance the Killers around the intermediate, which however would leave Killers like Nurse or Spirit grossly overpowered.


And here lies the great problem I saw in many debates and the reason for much misunderstanding: People who want to balance Killers around the highest level but refuse to do the same for survivors or the other way around.


So, how do you want your balance? I would love to hear your ideas especialy if they contradict mine. Just please argue for your case a bit so that I can understand how you arrive at your conclusion.

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