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Dead Hard and the issues of Exhaustion

So, for a very long time I have seen Dead Hard be complained about relatively as much as DS, but in general Exhaustion perks are not spoken about very much. Dead Hard and to a lesser extent Sprint Burst, are two of the most broken perks in the entire game.

For starters, Dead Hard can be used by all four survivors, and often is, and it can be used multiple times in one game. Dead Hard rewards you for playing greedy, it allows you to get another loop around a pallet. It can then open you up to make it to another pallet, and therefore waste even more of the killers time. It rewards you for making a mistake, in that if the killer outplays or mindgames you, you can simply push the E button correctly and make it to a pallet/vault. Dead Hard finds most of its use in distance, in that when you should be down, that extra distance allows you to make these pallets/vaults, and extends a chase.

All of this may not sound like a big deal to the average player, but the amount of time it buys you, as a survivor, across the entire game, is enormous. As I've said it can also be used by multiple people, multiple times, and used in the ways I've described, is incredibly strong. It also has the effect of forcing the killer to assume every survivor has it, which wastes a bit of time. It forces the killer to waste time hugging the back of a survivor to bait it out, which is both incredibly silly and time wasting.

It also has the effect on a killer by way of completely countering their powers. A Nurse doing amazing blinks to hit you, forcing a stun, into fatigue, into massive distance. It can make a Blight using 5 charges to skillfully tag a survivor enter stun, cooldown. It can do this for other killers as well, but it is the only perk for survivors in the entire game that rewards skill, greed, and being outplayed. While all of this may not sound like such a big deal, again, time is money, friends, and it all adds up in a big way.


Speaking on Dead Hard, I'll briefly mention Sprint Burst. Sprint Burst rewards survivors for being greedy as well. It allow you to sit on a generator without fear. BBQ? Killer coming to you and you know? Injured? You have nothing to fear because you can wait until the last second, as you should, to safely sprint to a safe pallet. It rewards you for being out of position, but at least has the downside of forcing you to walk, though the fact is you don't need to walk at the start of the match when every pallet is up, nor will you need it if you're sprinting to save. The other exhaustion perks, while somewhat problematic, at least have pre-reqs in order to take advantage of them, which is why I mainly leave them out of any sort of argument.

My point in all of this is to show how one perk on multiple survivors can make a game incredibly unfun, frustrating, and completely unrewarding as a killer. This is one of the most popular perks run by survivors who, when they all run and know how to use it, make a huge difference. If this one perk has such a drastic effect on a game, imagine if you threw three more perks in with it.


  • PerfectlyPinkPerfectlyPink Member Posts: 274

    All the other exhaustion perks require resource management. You can waste a SB or lithe and then be screwed in your next chase. Other perks have a steep requirement, like balanced landing or smash hit.

    Dead Hard is just push button to make it to pallet or window. It actually kinda suffers from a fortnite effect, come to think of it. A while ago, it was fun, no one knew how to use it, so it was fun to bait out. Now people know how to abuse it, so the fun is gone

  • Mr_KMr_K Member Posts: 6,643

    Sounds like you didn't live through Sprintburst into Balance Landing meta.

  • FrenziedRoachFrenziedRoach Member Posts: 2,540

    Sprint Burst is not that good for being used for the situation you are describing. It means the survivor needs to waste time walking around the map so they can have it the moment they need it. This plays into the killers hands as more time walking form location to location is less time getting the objective done. Sure it's nice when those situations come up, but as the OG of exhaustion perks, it hasn't aged well with the game.

    Dead Hard is nice, but it requires the survivor to actually trigger it in a semi-intelligent way and it can be baited out. It has plenty of counter play and can be left alone

    Off all the exhaustion perks, I'm of the opinion that Lithe is probably not only the easiest to use right, but highly underrated.

  • TomskrexTomskrex Member Posts: 142
    edited March 2021

    Let me teach you the "pro killer secret".

    Dead hard? Come close, don't lunge. If it is a window, they won't make it most likely even with DH, pallet? They will pre drop it 4/5 times. They made it to God tile and you can't play around it? Drop the chase.

    Doc counters distance DH play, Huntress does too, Demo too, Deathslinger kinda too, Nurse too, PH too.

    If someone is good looper and has dead hard, you don't want to chase them anyways find the weak link.

    I hate DH when playing survivor, I much rather use lithe.

    Hope you got your question finally answered.

  • FellowKillerMainFellowKillerMain Member Posts: 716
    edited March 2021

    Dead Hard is basically the inverse of Coup de Grace, which is limited to being used 5 times per match. Dead Hard on the other hand can be used as many times as the survivors want. Sure, an individual survivor might only use Dead Hard 2-3 times in a match, but if all survivors use it that many times you can see 10+ Dead Hards in a trial. So if Coup de Grace should be limited in it's use, why isn't Dead Hard? Coup de Grace is limited because the power of it is obvious, the power of Dead Hard should be recognized similarly.

    Honestly, I don't think single perks are all that terrible. Often times I find that stacking second chance effects is really what's broken.

  • StibbityStabbityStibbityStabbity Member Posts: 1,449

    I personally think the INTENT of Dead Hard was to allow particularly skilled Survivors make a read on the impending strike and dodge it. It's an action that takes skill, game sense, the ability to get into the head of the Killer, timing, and fingers. Good lord, it takes having fingers. I am all for skill based interactions, so I'm personally fine with the intent of the perk.

    That said, using it for distance when well outside of the Killers attack radius seems like a by-product of how Dead Hard is supposed to work. As such, I wouldn't mind seeing Dead Hard get adjusted so that the distance-gain can ONLY result from using the perk to actually dodge an attack that would have hit. When a Survivor actually dodges an attack from me with DH, I just go "niiiice". I'm legit pretty happy for their skilled use of it. When they use it for distance from range in order to make up for a bungled chase that they were going to lose, I just go "lame". Cuz it is. I know they intend to "adjust" Dead Hard to work better with dedicated servers, and I don't want to see it nerfed into the ground, but I really hope they do something to make it more of a "SICK SEXY SKILLS WITCH TIME NOW WITH DANTE FROM DEVIL MAY CRY™" ability and not "Uhnooo, I gunna looz da chays, betta yoos muh boody scoody braaaaaap".

  • CornHubCornHub Member Posts: 1,864

    Not every loop situation presents an extra boost to make the loop last longer. These "nerf DH" posts are making me believe some of you guys got 5 gen looped from a 2m DH boost :/

  • IvaldiIvaldi Member Posts: 977

    So killers are missing the bigger issue here. Dead Hard was never meant for distance; it was meant to be used to dodge an incoming hit. However due to the instability of servers and horrible hit detection, using it in this manner leaves you exhausted on the ground 90% of the time. Dead Hard has since changed to give you that extra distance which can get you to a hooked survivor, a pallet or a window a little faster.

    You can't blame survivors for adapting when BHVR can't fix issues that have been pestering us for years.

  • MadLordJackMadLordJack Member Posts: 8,816

    All exhaustion perks are very strong. All but Dead Hard require thought, resource management, chase management and don't directly rob the killer of a hit/negate most powers in the game.

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