Ghostface: Thorough Critique (Pros and Cons)
Hello developers at Behavior! I've been a longtime player and fan since launch, so I would appreciate my feedback getting a fair shake as I hope to give this critique. I want the Ghost Face to be the best Killer he can be on launch, so please forward this to the proper developers in full so they can get my comprehensive assessment. Here we go!
1) Crouch can help with mindgaming certain loops
There’s definitely a few areas where this Killer can have an advantage other Killers can’t when mindgaming a Survivor. In these niche scenarios, the crouch is mildly useful.
2) Night Shroud can help with mindgaming certain loops
Once again, there are niche scenarios where turning off your Red Stain and Terror Radius while neither the Killer nor Survivor are visible to one another can give this Killer the potential to mindgame the Survivors where otherwise isn’t possible. This is, again, niche.
3) Night Shroud cancellation shows direction of sighting
When spotted, you at least no which general area to look for to track the spotter. This gives at least a limited form of awareness of at least one Survivor within the immediately vicinity at that moment in time.
4) Normal movement speed
I may be pushing to find positives, but I’ll always be grateful when a Killer with an underwhelming power has 115% movement speed. This is the one thing saving this Killer from being utterly hopeless.
1) Night Shroud cancelled if spotted for 1 second
DbD 101: Survivors have third-person camera with 360 degree movement, so always have your camera constantly looking around for the Killer at the start of the match. Once you confirm it’s a stealth Killer, continue until the end of the match. This is basic stuff, and yet this Killer’s entire power is negated the instant the Survivor’s camera so much as catches sight of his toe sticking out of a corner. Even assuming this is a glitch as has been claimed, it takes little to no effort to put one’s camera right on the Killer they see.
The solution: Lengthen the time needed cancel Night Shroud to 2-3 seconds.
2) Survivor body angle doesn’t matter
Continuing with the above criticism, it doesn’t matter if the Survivor is actually facing the Killer, they will see him with their camera looking behind them. This gives the Ghost Face absolutely no indication when and where he should strike from. How he approaches a situation is completely irrelevant because all the power (no pun intended) is in the Survivor’s hands.
The solution: Require the Killer to be within the actual Survivor's LoS, not the third-person camera's LoS.
3) Survivors outside Killer's FoV/LoS can cancel Night Shroud
I will give you two different scenarios.
One, the Killer hears a Generator being repaired while not actively chasing or being watched by any other Survivor. He activates Night Shroud to try stalking this Survivor. As he approaches and attempts to stalk, he does not see the Survivor. Suddenly, Night Shroud is cancelled. The Survivor, on the other side of the Generator which the Ghost Face cannot see, spotted him thanks to the third-person camera seeing over the Generator despite this being impossible if the Survivor was in first-person.
Another, the Killer is in the midst of chasing a Survivor when he hears a nearby Generator being repaired by another Survivor. He decides to quickly switch targets and activates Night Shroud to get the jump on the other Survivor. Night Shroud is immediately cancelled. For the Survivor he was chasing had kept his camera on him and immediately spotted him while the Killer looked away.
In both scenarios, the Ghost Face had no control over the situation and was left essentially powerless for the duration. Even if he doesn’t physically see any Survivor, they just need to see one part of him to render him on his knees. This issue is then multiplied by the fact there are four sets of eyes that could spot him at any given time from four different angles. In short, he is the most bulliable Killer ever added to this game.
The solution: The only Survivors who can spot the Ghost Face and cancel his power are the Survivors within his LoS. In other words, both the Survivor and the Ghost Face must physically see each other.
Clarification: This will not affect the Killer in a chase because moonwalking while using Night Shroud does not help him control the Survivors' health state or movement. (unlike, say, the Pig’s RBTs or the pre-nerf Legion’s exploit of DWs) Thus, there is nothing to be gained unless mindgaming a loop and not visible to the Survivor (ie, negating the point of moonwalking)
Clarification: This means the aforementioned pro of receiving a directional notification of the spotter will be removed as that would no longer occur.
4) Default Night Shroud cancellation range is approx. 32 meters
If it wasn’t hard enough to sneak up on Survivors, the Killer now also gets to enjoy being spotted literally at the limit of his Terror Radius. Basically, the moment a Survivor could theoretically hear a heartbeat, they could cancel Night Shroud. And this more often than not occurs when the Killer isn’t even actually seen by the Survivor. The Survivor just happens to be looking in that general direction and boom! Power cancelled.
If the Survivor can actually see the Killer from that distance, they could probably move out of his LoS or just plain escape before he could be anything resembling an imminent threat. We don’t need to cripple his power, too.
The solution: Reduce the default range to approx. 16-20 meters.
5) Extremely loud when within approx. 8-12 meters
He’s a walking kite, at least if the horribly recorded sounds of wind-battered cloth is to be believed. And even if using Night Shroud, these noises can be heard when within 8-12 meters distance. This is unacceptable. There are too many scenarios where the Killer needs to get within this range to attempt stalking a Survivor, and the Survivor has a proportionally higher chance of spotting this Killer when they get this close. There is absolutely no reason to add another downside to getting this close by letting Survivors hear a wind turbine blare next to them.
The solution: Remove all noise the Killer makes while in Night Shroud except for footsteps, breathing, crouching, leaning, etc. and only make it audible within 8-12 meters of Survivors.
6) Map-wide sound notifications for everything he does
If I’m on the other side of the map, I know when he goes in Night Shroud, when he marks someone, and when he gets cancelled out of Night Shroud... Why? There is no reason for me to be appraised of what a stealth Killer is doing on the other side of the map, much less when he’s trying to stealth on my side of the map. And yet Survivors receive every notification possible to know they’re safe or should be on alert. It’s nauseatingly hand-holdy in a game where the first thing you learn is to be aware of your surroundings regardless of Terror Radius. Experienced Survivors are already always on the lookout, especially against a stealth Killer. This added help is unnecessary.
The solution: Remove all notifications of the Killer entering Night Shroud for Survivors. Notifications of being marked and cancelling Night Shroud are heard only by the Survivor who has been marked or cancelled the power as well as the Killer.
7) Lean is too finicky
The problem with stalking by leaning is that it's often just a useless gimmick. The Killer can lean from the two long sides of a wall, but if he wants to lean around the two short sides of it, he usually can’t. This, combined with the lean often still obstructing your vision while giving the Survivor at least partial look at you makes it too unreliable.
The solution: Polish this mechanic further.
8) Survivors are only Exposed for 20 seconds
Even if we ignore all of these fundamental flaws in the Night Shroud ability, the actual Exposed effect doesn’t last nearly long enough to justify the setup. I take 4-5 seconds to stalk you after spending 10+ seconds wasting time trying to get an angle on you where I can stalk you without being spotted. If the Survivor started running at any point during that period, They have wasted a good 10-15 seconds of that Exposed status while I move to catch up. And more likely than not, they’ve found a window or pallet to waste the final 5. If they didn’t move until after being Exposed, chances are they still find that window or pallet and waste those 20 seconds looping the Killer.
Most perks and powers grant the Exposed status for 60 seconds, and for good reason. A decent Survivor has a pretty good chance of wasting most of that time before taking a single M1 hit from the Killer. The odd are just stacked in the Survivors' favor. And yet the Ghost Face has to somehow do what most 115% speed Killers can’t without the help of their power. (see why all these Killers are mid-tier at best) In other words, those 20 seconds only work when the Survivor is not paying attention (which is their fault) or when they are in the wide open. (also their fault)
The solution: Increase the duration of the Exposed status to up to 60 seconds. Make it no lower than 30 seconds after seeing extensive metrics of high-level play with this Killer.
9) Object of Obsession hard-counters Night Shroud
There are a few other perks that cause similar issues, but none so neuter this Killer like this perk. This is already an obnoxious perk when used by SWFs to get constant information about the Killer’s location. Now the latest stealth Killer is rendered even more helpless than any of the others thanks to a Survivor running this.
The solution: Rework Object of Obsession from the ground up so it’s no longer abusable for SWFs and against the Ghost Face.
10) Corn/Grass/Reeds prevent stalking
Can I see the Survivor working on a Generator? No I can’t according to this leaf of grass, stalk of corn, or length of reed obscuring part of their body. If they’re behind one of these things, I guess I just have to accept never getting off my power. This isn’t a huge issue since you can still theoretically sneak up behind them to get an easy M1, but it emphasizes all the other issues.
The solution: Make the rest of his power worth this occasional frustration.
11) The name “The Ghost Face”
Really? After three years, we’re going to break the one word convention? Not “The Ghostface”, even though that would still sound awkward? How about The Ghost, The Stalker, The Prankster, The Trickster, The Rascal, The Scoundrel, The Scamp, The Imp? All of these would be thematically appropriate to the Killer’s character or power while remaining natural to the reader or speaker and keep the one-word naming scheme we so love alive.
The solution: Pick a better name.
The first 8 cons need to be addressed for this Killer to have any hope of seeing any play past the lower ranks. I haven't purchased a single new Killer since the Doctor. (which is ironic since I would've paid for the Huntress) All the paid Killers since have been a disappointment. The one exception is the Spirit and that was after three rounds of buffs. I was going to purchase her along with Ghostface, but his current state has demoralized my wallet.
Please, developers. Please, address what I'm saying here. I want this Killer to bring enthusiasm about the game, not jeers and mockery.
(Added thoughts on perks posted below)