Developer Update | January 2022 - Part 1
Happy New Year! We’re back after a quick break and jumping right back into things with another developer update. Like last time, there’s too much to go through in one sitting, so check back tomorrow for part 2. Most of this will appear in the upcoming Mid-Chapter, but we also wanted to be a bit more transparent with what we’re working on for the future. For the sake of clarity, we’ve marked anything that’s for a later update with “Future”.
Future: Patch Optimization Plans
Depending on where you play, it can either take a while to install a patch or patch sizes can be unusually large. Needless to say, this isn’t ideal: When new content releases, who wants to wait around for it? That’s why we’re working on improving the update process going forward.
First of all, why does it take so long? To keep it simple, the game is split up into small chunks. This way when the game updates, you only need to download the chunks that changed rather than the whole game. The trouble is, as the game has grown over the years, so have these chunks, which makes downloads and/or patch times (depending on which platform you’re on) longer.
So what are we doing about it? In the short term, for Steam only due to technical reasons, we will be compressing the files more starting this Mid-Chapter. This will make patch times as much as 50% faster and decrease the amount of disk space required by about 18 GB.
Next, we’ll be restructuring these chunks in a future update. This will affect all platforms and make patch times up to 200% faster!
IMPORTANT NOTE: In both cases, these improvements will require you to completely redownload the game. This means there will be a very large download when updating or opting into or out of the PTB. Don’t worry, this is normal! Afterwards, updates will go back to being much smaller.
Future: Matchmaking Optimization Plans
We’re a few months into Skill Based Matchmaking (SBMM), and we’d like to shed some light on what we’ve been working on and the improvements we’ll be making going forth. Though it may be polarizing, we want to be as transparent as possible when it comes to SBMM, as the discussions that stem from it are incredibly valuable to us as we continue to work on improvements.
The game and the community are constantly changing, and the matchmaking system should always be adapted to support them. This is why we’re constantly making changes behind the scenes. One recent example came from an influx of new players. We noticed that the default rating was placing first-time players against some fairly experienced opponents. So, to remedy this, we lowered the default rating for new players so they would be more likely to play amongst each other. We’re regularly making changes like this behind the scenes to find the best balance of fast queues and quality matches.
Beyond small tweaks, we’ve identified some areas where the system could be improved. Let’s run through each of them quickly:
If someone leaves a lobby, the matchmaker needs to find a replacement (a.k.a. backfill). Right now, it heavily favours a quick replacement over a quality one. This can lead to some matches where one (or more) players are outside of their normal skill range. We’re going to work towards finding a good balance between quality and wait times.
Currently, the SBMM system doesn’t handle disconnects as well as it could. We’re looking to make adjustments to handle them better and make sure disconnects are treated fairly when altering someone’s rating.
When someone takes an extended break from the game, their rating does not change. This isn’t ideal since you’re bound to be a little rusty after not playing for a while, and returning to difficult matches is a recipe for a frustrating night. We’re hoping to introduce a mechanic that adjusts your rating(s) when you’ve been gone for a while to ease you back in when you return.
This one is a little more technical: The game will detect which server you have the best connection to and match you with other players who are close to that server. This works well enough, but if you’re right between two servers, you’ll only be matched with one set of players. For players who have good connections to more than one server, we’d like to open up matchmaking and allow them to find matches with either set of players. This can help balance out queue times at off-peak hours and even improve the quality of the matches made.
As a note, these changes will take a while to develop, but we’re confident that these will make notable improvements on the matchmaking system.
Future: Solo Survivor Experience
If you’re reading this, you’ve been left on the hook at some point. Okay, maybe not, but the chances are very high.
Thanks to Skill Based Matchmaking ratings, we’re able to see the impact playing with a premade group has on the outcome of a match at various skill levels. The data confirms our suspicions: As skill goes up, so does the gap in survival rates between solo survivors and premade groups. In the top end of skill levels, the difference in escape rates can be as much as 15%.
This isn’t great: This difference between solo Survivors and groups makes it difficult to find a perfect balance. If we balance Killers around premade groups, solo Survivors get left behind. Meanwhile, if we balance around solo Survivors, Killers will have a rough time against groups. With that in mind, we’re working on some measures to bridge the gap between solo Survivors and premade groups, which will allow us to better balance Killers as a result.
We’re aiming to strike a balance between making the solo player(s) feel like they’re a part of the team without being overbearing. For example, we want to share key pieces of information, like “What are my teammates doing?”, but not too much info, like showing everyone’s exact location. To put it simply, the idea is to bring solo Survivors up to the same level, not give people excessive information that makes even premade groups stronger.
We want to share a very early peek at one potential way of closing this gap. Before we do, we want to stress that this is in the very early stages; we’re curious to hear what you think, but please keep in mind that it may change or even be scrapped entirely.
One feature we are experimenting with is a status icon next to each Survivor’s portrait in the HUD that lets you know what they are doing. This way, solo Survivors can base their decision around what their teammates are doing, and partial groups get a better idea of their solo teammates’ contributions, making everyone feel like more of a team. This is something that can already be easily conveyed with a quick callout over voice chat, but is currently not available to solo Survivors.
Once again, this is a very early preview- so early that we’re still discussing this internally. Feel free to share your thoughts, but please keep in mind that none of this is final or confirmed. Depending on how things go, this feature may be changed or scrapped entirely before it ever sees the light of day. We wanted to be open about this and keep you in the loop: The gap between solo Survivors and groups is not going under the radar, it’s something we’re actively working on.
New Betas Tab
Sometimes we think up some experimental features that we’d love some feedback and data on, but they aren’t quite ready to release into the wild just yet. Enter the Betas tab!
Next time you head to the Settings menu, you’ll see a new Betas tab. Here, you’ll find betas for upcoming features that you can opt in or out of as you please. Want to share your thoughts on something early on? Awesome, opt in!
The icing on the cake: You’ll be rewarded with extra Bloodpoints for the first bunch of matches you play with a beta activated.
Unlike the Player Test Build, these Betas are also available on consoles. Everyone’s invited!
So, the only question is, what’s the first beta going to be? How about…
Last year, we changed struggling from button mashing to skill checks, making it much more accessible and a lot easier on your buttons & keys. We’ve been working on a similar update to wiggling as well, and we’re finally ready to share it with you.
Instead of mashing buttons, you’ll see a skill check while being carried- only this one has two zones and doesn’t go away when you hit it. Instead, hitting the skill check successfully will cause it to switch directions and gradually fill your wiggle meter. Keep hitting those skill checks to keep wiggling!
This interaction keeps wiggling interactive while requiring far fewer inputs and is much easier on your joysticks, making it more accessible to players with repetitive strain injuries. Additionally, each side of the skill check can optionally be bound to a different button to further increase the gap between repeated button presses.
This update will first appear in the betas tab, allowing you to opt in as you please.
On the topic of accessibility, another feature that will be debuting with this update is a toggle mode for interactions. This new option, which can be enabled in the Settings, makes holding a button for long periods of time a thing of the past. Simply press the button to start the interaction and press it again to stop it.
To go with it, you’ll also find a new option to cancel interactions by sprinting. Enabling this will automatically cancel actions and cause you to start running whenever you sprint.
Our goals with these new settings are to make Dead by Daylight more accessible, and to provide an alternative for players that don’t wish to hold a button for the entire length of an interaction. Plus, this frees up a hand so you can take a drink while hitting skill checks! (We’ll still predict when you’re taking a drink and give you a skill check, though, that’s our favourite feature.)
If you’ve made it this far, you’ve earned yourself a break from reading - check back tomorrow for part 2! But before you go, we have one last bit of news for today: The Player Test Build opens Wednesday, January 5th. See you there!
The Dead by Daylight team