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Pyramid Head, and the disturbing trend with killer powers

edgarpoopedgarpoop Member Posts: 2,446

Pyramid Head's ranged attack is problematic from a gameplay and fun perspective, both for killer and survivor. As a killer, it is rarely optimal to actually use it due to the huge audio/visual telegraphs and the severe punishment for missing. As a survivor, you are given an often binary choice: take the window/drop the pallet and get hit with the shockwave, or keep running and get M1'd. There is nothing skill based about this interaction because the ranged attack has a huge telegraph and little to no flick. It either gets used or it doesn't.

This highlights what it is in my opinion a very disturbing trend in killer powers within the last year. Simply put, the game is being dumbed down. Most of the killers released within the last year have one of two problems: they simply require you to "do the thing" without any real knowledge of the game itself or mechanical skill, or their power is so punishing with such little upside that it's better used as a zoning tool.

Freddy doesn't need to know how to run a tile when he can snare bomb it. Doc doesn't need to know how to run a tile when he can shock repeatedly. Demo's shred can be good, but you often get hits by not actually using it at all, and missing is worse than the alternative. Deathslinger is usually the same as Demo in that regard. And Pyramid Head is the worst of them all in terms of power reward vs punishment.

Braindead killer powers or unskillful killer powers simply aren't fun for either side. Whenever the question is asked of which killer people enjoy playing against the most, Nurse, Billy, and Huntress are often near the top. Why? Those are SKILLFUL killers, both to play as and against. It's ok for a killer to be powerful when there is an actual skilled interaction going on between the killer and survivor. Making reads on a Nurse but ultimately losing in a few seconds is fun compared to being snare spammed by a Freddy because the Nurse actually had to put time and effort into something and there was counterplay available to the survivor in the moment.

When you dumb down the killer powers, put a hard skill ceiling on the power, and limit the killer's upside, the whole game suffers.



  • SpookyStabbySpookyStabby Member Posts: 621

    I've been pulling off hits with it like crazy and I am by no means a high tier player. I am infamously good at mind games though. Maybe it's just a playstyle thing?

  • immortalls96immortalls96 Member Posts: 4,213

    Yeah..maybe because this isnt a 2v1 game and survivor needs some thought for a change..not a lot but some

  • DeshDesh Member Posts: 877

    So essentially you dislike players who use "brain dead" Killers because you usually lose to them? I almost always get hate in the endgame chat when I decide to run Spirit or Freddy for rituals. But if I run something like Demo (who I usually main), I get tea bagged and "bullied" in the match because they think he's a easy Killer to go against until they get downed within the first 10-15 seconds.

  • Splitsecond27Splitsecond27 Member Posts: 52
  • Vox_NocturneVox_Nocturne Member Posts: 545

    All killers (with perhaps the exception of Bubba, and even then I might be wrong) have as much potential to be creative as the player who is willing to play them.

    Pyramid Head can be extremely tactical, once you learn you don't have to draw long trenches. Put smaller trenches or even little "pot holes" in tactical places. Use the cages to manipulate where survivors go. Use his blast to go through walls; corridors; etc.

    This is only the tip of what Pyramid Head can do, and with perks or play styles it can still be destructive. Experiment. Don't aim to "win" those matches, but try out new, inventive ways of defeating survivors.

  • Dead_by_GadflyDead_by_Gadfly Member Posts: 3,774

    They were simple to pick up (nurse aside) but take a really long time to master. Unless you master them you cant compete with the top teams of survivors. Survivors on the otherhand require half the time and once you know it you know it for all the characters. Thats stupid and honestly kind of backwards. Theres 4 survivors competing against one killer. It should be harder to learn that role. Reducing the skill ceiling on the newer killers makes them a little more accessible and reduces the stress level of the killer role in general. Ive said this before and ill say it again, playing freddy and doc is as close to casual on killer side as you get and theres absolutely nothing wrong with that.

    As for creativity, youre just simply wrong. Theres tons of play styles to go along with the crap ton of perks for each killer including the simple ones. Not everyone runs bbq and pop or forever freddy on fred. Ive done all kinds of [BAD WORD] with those 2 characters people werent expecting. I mean how many different ways are you expecting billy to use his saw?

    Its fine if some killers are stupid hard to play, thats good. Its also fine if some killers are easy to play, thats good too. Both are healthy for the game.

  • KebekKebek Member Posts: 1,899

    @tixerp What new killers with complex powers are you talking about ? PH and Demo are only recent killer with a more deep power. Last complex power we got besides those 2 was Spirit and that was ages ago and it still isn't even that deep.

    Also killers like trapper take map knowledge since they are trapping killer, that's their whole shtick. They have many options but only few are actually used. Nobody is going waste time by trapping obvious places and even in the good spots they still completely rely on survivors walking into them and not rushing them to death since set-up time for them can be horrendous.

    Ofc players want strong killers that are skillful to use but that's not all we want. We want diversity of playstyles which also means killers for more casual players and nobody wants to play crap killers so making them weak would just cause them never getting used. If you consider PH lacking depth then you're probably not thinking hard enough when you play him. He's really fun and engaging when you outplay survivor by perfectly predicting where they will go through walls without even seeing them (just like nurse btw). PH is another great addition to killer roster, survivors just complain since he's another good killer that can catch them and isn't free loopfest like some of the old killers. He has a lot of depth to him, it just seems like you don't see it.

  • tixerptixerp Member Posts: 241

    I don’t know of anyone who took more than 60 hours to start getting good at a killer like Nurse or Billy. It’s not hard to “master” killers, I think there’s just a large amount of casual players in the DBD fanbase, rightfully so. But even when casuals play these killers, its okay, because the skill floor is not only low, but the skill ceiling is very high. That’s good game design. It’s simple enough for someone who doesn’t even play games to understand/pickup and play like you said, and also highly rewards players who put in the hours and effort to master that character. Like Kirby game design.

    Like you said, theres a place for both of these killers in the game obviously. That’s not what I’m trying to discredit.

  • DeshDesh Member Posts: 877

    That's how giving a summary of an article/book/post works bud. It doesn't take advanced reading comprehension to dissect the post. In 4 paragraphs, OP essentially tells us he dislikes people using "brain dead" Killers and would rather have BHVR as well as the community create and stick to using characters that demand high skill, better pay off. Even though knowing that not everyone can enjoy those types of characters or are that particularly skilled. Since he and others find "Brain dead" Killers boring, he'd rather have people play something that HE finds fun. Which gave me a lead to the conclusion he wants this because what he finds "fun" in Killers is being able to win against them more. Obviously everyone wants strategic Killers for better game play. However, he barely harped on that until the very end which was his final statement.

  • Dead_by_GadflyDead_by_Gadfly Member Posts: 3,774

    Start getting good sure, well enough to keep up with really good survivors though? Thats where what youre saying breaks down and where the issue lies. A 60 hour nurse probably isnt going to be good enough to be a full stack 4 man swf team of r1s. In fact theyll probably get smacked. A 60 hour freddy can put up a good fight. He'll probably only get 2 but at least hes hanging. If the level of skill requirement were equal on both sides id be inclined to agree with you. Its just not, and again they only have to do it once. Mastering a killers power and how/where to apply it takes a lot of patience and time.

  • tixerptixerp Member Posts: 241

    PH, Demo, and Spirit AREN’T that deep, is my point. They just have a bunch of different utilities to make them FEEL complex, when in reality their gameplay is shallow and easy.

    That “level of depth” with PH where you hit someone through a wall is a perfect example of “immediacy of thought and not profoundness of thought”.

    That is intentionally how you’re supposed to use the power. That’s its main purpose. So it might FEEL like a big brain skill shot, when in reality its a little shallow compared to the tons of mindgames and strategies given to you with beartraps. Not very deep if it’s not the player actively improvising and thinking outside the box. Not that you can’t at all with PH, mind you.

    Also to mention the other killers like you said, Oni, nu Doc, nu Freddy. Freddy’s change is something else relevant. Old Freddy, I can understand why people hated, but it’s sad to see it go because he was one of the most creative killers we’ve ever seen in a while. The problem is you couldn’t play him like every other killer, and people couldn’t try to adapt and create new strategy. If you still don’t get what I mean, watch Otzdarva’s video titled “RIP Old Freddy”. He mentions exactly what I’m talking about, and summarizes it better than I can.

  • tixerptixerp Member Posts: 241

    Well thats what rank is for, Dingus. It’s busted as all hell right now, But otherwise a 60 hour Nurse won’t be even going up against Rank 1’s if she can’t handle it. Even if she can’t, everyone has their first experience with it. Failure is a part of game design, and learning.

    Even a 200 hour Nurse won’t be facing against Rank 1’s if she’s not at that level yet. But a skillful 30 hour Nurse, maybe she’s already at Rank 4. Get what I’m saying? Their skill level is dependent entirely on the player themselves, and not the shallowness/easiness of the killer.

  • KebekKebek Member Posts: 1,899

    What exactly do you even imagine in deep gameplay ? Like trapper sure needs to know where to place traps but that's it. Once you know the good spots by either playing him for a bit or watching other players play him, then what. You trap a good spot in a place you want to defend and survivor either steps in it because you chased them there or they evade it if they know about it thus it's used for zoning just like PH, Demo etc use their power. Bear traps aren't as deep as you say at all, you either know good spots or you don't. What mindgame is there in knowing the spot or know, survivor either saw you or didn't, that's not a mindgame.

    Old Freddy sure was unique which wasn't necessary good for the game. Overall he was about juggling survivors and knowing timing of his transition. He also held the crown of beiiing impossible to juke, extremely unfun and unskillful power mind you. You can lose chase (win it in other words) against every killer in the game besides old freddy. No matter what strategy you used, whenver you would get away his wallhacks would just find you for him. Nobody liked the forced loop fiesta he was forcing everyone to do. He had annoying RNG based stall and wallhacks, not a recipe for fun match.

    I probably won't be able to see why you think new killers are lacking "profoundness of thought” compared to old ones. To me they seem well designed with right amout of depth and strategy.

  • CronaWinsCronaWins Member Posts: 650

    It's a casual game, not a competitive one.

    There is very little skill involved when playing both killer and survivor.

    If your looking for 'skillshots' then your looking in the wrong place.

  • JimPickensJimPickens Member Posts: 158

    Im pretty good at fps shooters and can't hit [BAD WORD] with deathslinger but i play on console

    And yeah it's pretty wild with how easy survivor is that people want harder killers. There's a reason survivor mains don't play killer at all a lot of the time even with there being simpler killers.

  • HP150HP150 Member Posts: 400
    edited June 19

    See? That was much easier on the eyes to read rather than a quick jab at the OP followed by a rant about endgame chat and being teabagged as Demo. You actually somewhat argued a valid point here.

    However, I do think you're still misrepresenting the OP. There is no talk of "winning" or "losing" in the post, that is until he states that he has more fun being butt blasted by Nurse in a matter of seconds compared to a drawn out yet binary affair with Freddy. Nor does he point the finger at the individual killer players as you imply in your latest reply. He's simply taking issue with the design philosophy of recent killers. How about sticking to the actual content of the post rather than projecting a "sore loser" mentality to the original post?

    But for the record, I agree that not every Killer needs to have a high-skill ceiling / low-skill floor. There needs to be simplistic killers such as Demo and Doc and even Freddy (a bit of an extreme here). If every killer required the same degree of finesse as Nurse, Huntress, and Billy then we'd see a whole lot less new killers and that is how the game dies. The new player experience is already unwelcoming enough as is. Besides, sometimes you just want a more relaxed match and there's nothing wrong with that. It's not like Survivors gameplay is really rocket-science either.

    Post edited by HP150 on
  • TodgeweihtTodgeweiht Member Posts: 3,349

    I don't get it, the recent killers do require a lot of skill, its not just "do the thing"

    Demo requires you to know when and where to shred, and you need to know where exactly to place your portals

    Oni is, eh, hard? He has no early game pressure, and his power is really difficult to use on most loops

    Deathslinger requires a lot of muscle memory to play properly on some tiles

    PHs ranged attack is difficult to use and any new players that don't want to learn how to properly use it will be punished by that long ass cooldown

  • tixerptixerp Member Posts: 241

    There is an interaction between Trapper and the survivor, that allows for counterplay. You can deadhard through a trap, bodyblock/flashlight the killer into a trap, could sabotage a trap. You could even put an oddball trap in a weird location and spend your entire game planning around getting that last survivor to walk into it. Just to name a few interactions off the top of my head. PH, when he does his ranged attack, he either hits, misses, or cancels and M1’s.

    With some of these new killers there is nowhere near the same amount of interaction between killer and survivor. It’s binary, It’s either: “You hit or you don’t”.

    Like I said, watch the video I mentioned.

    You’re right. It’s not a competitive game. That’s why I’d rather them not to try and keep making these complicated killers at an attempt to be balanced, when in reality the killer is shallow anyway.

    Just make something simple, easy to pick up and play, and hard to master. Fun for both new, and experienced players, and both sides if well designed.

  • ActulCasulActulCasul Member Posts: 127

    I both enjoy struggling to master those killers and thoroughly enjoy games when I get [BAD WORD] on by them.

    For some people the fun is derived through the skill expression and room for improvement.

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