Developer Update | July 2021
It’s time for another Developer Update, a series of posts detailing what we’re working on and what you can expect in the future. A quick head’s up before we get started, our focus for this post is to explain what is currently being worked on and made available in the upcoming Mid Chapter. That said, the second half of this post is going to be very technical. You have been warned.
Now that it has been a few months since the launch of the All-Kill Chapter, it is time for The Trickster’s post-launch review. This is something we do for all new Killers once they’ve had a few months to settle into the game. Reviewing the data, The Trickster tends to fall on the lower end of the roster (even among the top few percent of Trickster players), so we feel comfortable making some improvements to him to bring him up a few spots.
We’ve made several changes to laceration to make it a more tense back-and-forth battle. For starters:
- The number of knives required to damage a Survivor has been reduced to 6 (down from 8)
- The delay before laceration decay starts has been reduced to 10 seconds (down from 20 seconds)
- The rate of decay for laceration has been increased to 0.3/s while running and 0.4/s all other times (up from 0.235/s and 0.175/s respectively)
Together, these changes should make chases quicker and more interesting: The Trickster will be able to down Survivors much faster, but a good Survivor may be able to break line of sight for long enough to start decaying their laceration meter.
Additionally, we’ve reduced the amount of laceration lost for hitting a Survivor with a basic attack from 4 to 3. (We’ve all accidentally run into a Survivor while throwing knives before. Swing away.)
Next, we looked at Main Event. Main Event would activate fairly frequently, but the long activation time often meant that the Survivor could break line of sight before you had a chance to start throwing knives again, making it difficult to use at times. With that in mind, we’ve made the following changes:
- Main Event activation time has been shortened to 0.5 seconds (down from 1.5 seconds)
- The number of knives required to activate Main Event has been increased to 30
- Increased the amount of time you can hold Main Event to 30 seconds (up from 10 seconds)
With these changes, we aim to make Main Event less frequent, but more meaningful when it does activate. By increasing the time it can be held before it must be activated, you’ll have more freedom to choose when to activate it and be able to use it more effectively when you do thanks to the lowered activation time.
Last, but certainly not least, it could sometimes be difficult to tell when your Blades were hitting a Survivor. To improve the feedback, we have added hit indicators that appear where the Survivor was hit.
With base changes out of the way, we also needed to look into a few of his add-ons. Most add-ons are behaving as expected, but there are a few outliers that fall significantly above or below the rest that we needed to adjust.
With the number of knives required to injure reduced to 6, leaving this add-on as is would be a little too much. With that in mind, we’ve reworked this add-on completely to give increased reload speed at lockers instead.
Previously: Granted the effects of having already thrown 3 knives.
This one is a slight tweak; the bonus has been decreased to the effect of 2 knives. The initial rate bonus granted before was a little too high which made it an obvious choice every time.
Now, when a Survivor is two or fewer Blade hits away from the maximum, they will be Exposed. This will give you a larger window to work with.
Death Throes Compilation
This is another one that needed to change due to the lower laceration meter to prevent things from getting out of hand. Now, Death Throes Compilation will replenish The Trickster’s knives when Main Event ends.
Lucky Blade & Waiting for You Watch
These add-ons didn’t see much use before, so they’ve been reworked with a completely new effect. Hitting a Survivor with a Blade during Main Event will extend Main Event’s duration.
Last but certainly not least, we reviewed The Trickster’s perks and made changes to both No Way Out and Hex: Crowd Control.
No Way Out
This perk can do quite a bit, but it can also be very inconsistent. If you’re missing a token or two, or if the Survivors are preoccupied when the gates are first powered, it’s possible they’ll completely miss the effect. With that in mind, we have:
- Increased the base time of the perk to 12 seconds
- Increased the bonus time for each token to 6/9/12 seconds
- The perk only activates whenever a Survivor interacts with an exit gate for the first time, and you’ll receive a loud noise notification when they do
These changes increase the potential maximum time from 46 seconds to 60 seconds, and ensures that it will have a noticeable effect.
Hex: Crowd Control
A simple adjustment, but one that should have a big impact:
- Increased the time a window stays blocked from 10/12/14 seconds to 14/17/20 seconds
Survivor Visual Update
If you’ve had your eye on social media for a while (or the many places they were reposted), you may have seen some early previews for Survivor model updates. These visual updates are part of The Realm Beyond, our ongoing effort to improve the visuals of the game.
Some of you are dying to know when you’ll see these updated models in-game. You won’t need to wait much longer, as the updated models will appear in the Mid-Chapter Update.
With that said, we’ve also seen some people ask, “Why?” When the game first launched, a lot of things (characters included) featured a completely different art style. (You can still see some traces of this in the original Survivors. Look closely at Dwight’s shirt and you’ll notice a watercolor effect that isn’t used anymore.) As time went on, we moved towards a more realistic style, with more detailed textures and refined models. This left some of the more recent Survivors looking great, while others started to feel a little dated.
Our goal with these changes is not to change the characters significantly, but rather to bring them up to date. We’ve been playing with these Survivors for years, and some of us have grown very attached to them (some of you a little too much, we’ve seen the THAT art you’ve made). This is part of the reason why we’ve been sharing previews for so long: We’ve been combing through your feedback to make sure that the updated versions of each Survivor are as similar as possible to ones you know and love. If you’ve been losing sleep over David King’s smaller brow, you can rest easy, we’ve gone back and made some adjustments.
With that said, here’s a quick taste of what you can expect in case you’ve missed the many teasers. Please keep in mind that these previews do not include animations, so expressions like Ace’s trademark smirk won’t appear here. (But don’t worry, he’s still got it.)
(Note: These are work in progress images and some changes may have been made since.)
Your first steps into the fog can be scary and unforgiving, so we’ve been working on improvements to the new player experience across the board.
In this upcoming Mid-Chapter, you’ll find a pair of brand-new tutorials (one for Killer, one for Survivor). We’ve learned a lot about what you want in a tutorial, so we now cover more than the old ones. Each tutorial also takes place in a single continuous level (rather than a series of mini levels cut together). This way, everything flows together like a real match, just more controlled so things don’t get out of hand.
As a head’s up, we have been seeing reports of preferences being reset (such as perks and cosmetics) for Dwight and Trapper after playing the tutorial. This bug does not revert any progress, but is something the team is aware of and will be resolved in the near future!
Now, a tutorial is great and all, but it doesn’t quite compare to hands on experience. Before you jump into an online match, you can now practice in offline bot matches. This will let you try out everything you’ve learned in a real-world scenario without the stress of other people watching. Bot matches are already available on the live version of the game (click the Getting Started button on the main menu to check them out).
Finally, we’ve added beginner tooltips to the menus. The game has grown a lot over the years, so there can be a lot to take in if you’re just starting out. Hovering over most buttons will let you know what they do and help you find your way around. If you’re already a seasoned veteran and find the idea of a tooltip describing something insulting, don’t worry, you can turn these off in the settings.
One of the most common requests we received following our previous changes was the ability to customize the HUD. While full customization is still just a twinkle in a designer’s eye, we have added the ability to toggle on and off some non-crucial parts of the HUD. In the settings menu, you’ll find new options to toggle:
- Killer hook counter
- Score events
- Player names (in-match)
Each can be toggled independently in case you want one but not the rest.
Game Health: Pallet Hits
In this Mid-Chapter, we aimed to address some of most frequent and annoying issues you can run into while playing. One of the things topping that list is getting hit through a pallet well after you’ve dropped it. Before we get into the solution, we’ll run through why this happens in the first place.
The first thing to note is latency (the time it takes to send and receive information to and from other players). Latency is a fact of life in any online game: It takes time for information to travel across the country to the player(s) you’re playing against, or the server you’re connected to. This delay means what you see and what other players see can differ slightly depending on connection strength and distance from the server. We do what we can to reduce latency as much as possible, but it’s impossible to eliminate it entirely.
So how does this apply to pallets? Simply put, each player sees something different:
- The Survivor sees themself throwing the pallet before they get hit
- The Killer sees themself hitting the Survivor before the pallet is dropped
To give you a better idea of what this looks like, take a look at this (simplified) diagram.
In this example, the Survivor drops the pallet first, but the Killer doesn’t see that until they’ve already swung their weapon. As a result, the Killer hits the Survivor and then gets stunned. This isn’t so bad when both players have a low latency, but it can look very strange and unfair when latencies are high.
So what’s going to change?
Simply put, the server will become the judge. When you either drop a pallet or swing your weapon, that gets sent to the server. If the server receives a hit before a stun, the Killer hits the Survivor as they normally would. But if the server receives a stun before a hit, the hit is rejected. This is similar to how hit validation works now. The new diagram would look a little like this:
As you can see, the server receives the pallet stun first, and then knows to reject the Killer’s hit as a result. That said, we have not changed how the mechanic of a pallet stun works – the pallet will still need to be approximately 50% of the way down before it stuns the Killer.
Game Health: Grabs
On the flipside, we’ve all been there: You sneak up on a Survivor and go for the grab… and nothing happens. You hold your hand out menacingly and watch as they run away.
Why does this happen? A lot like pallet hits, this comes down to latency: Each person sees something different. The Killer sees themselves grab the Survivor before they can run away, and the Survivor sees themselves run away before the Killer can grab them. When the server receives the grab request from the Killer, it notices that the Survivor is no longer there, so it cancels the grab. Again, here’s a diagram to help visualize this:
So what’s the solution?
The solution for this is much more complicated, so it will come in two parts: A long term solution, and a temporary solution to bridge the gap.
The temporary solution: Whenever a grab is rejected by the server, the Killer will instead swing their weapon automatically and be granted challenge progress and Bloodpoints as if they had successfully grabbed the Survivor. This way, you won’t lose out on a hit because the grab was cancelled, and you’ll have an easier time completing Archive challenges that require you to interrupt Survivors. So now, the diagram would look like this:
The permanent solution: We will rework the way interactions and interrupts work from the ground up with dedicated servers in mind. Our current system has not been significantly changed since the days where the Killer was the server and had full authority over grabs (as the Survivors were connected directly to them).
And with that, we’ve reached the end of this month’s Developer Update. If you made it this far, give yourself a pat on the back! That was a lot of reading, way to go! The changes mentioned in this post will be available in the Player Test Build which starts next Wednesday, July 7th. As always, we look forward to hearing what you think!