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How Boon Totems Take Away From the Competition in DbD, Face-Camping, and Hex: Undying.

Hello, hope you're all having a good day/night. Since I've seen so much discourse over the new Boon Totems in the PTB, I've decided to put myself out there and interact with the community for the first time. There will be no TL;DR for this Post, as I feel every detail mentioned here is extremely important to the point that I'm trying to articulate here. I'm well-aware that I may be wasting my time typing all of this; This Post may never be seen, or acknowledged by the Devs at all. But I still want to take the chance and put my thoughts out here. 

I have a lot of experience in competitive games, and would like to give my input upon how Boon Totems have the major potential to take away the thrill of competition in Dead by Daylight. This is going to be an extremely long Post, covering many intersecting problems with how players approach the game, and how their views can possibly have DbD in a "Make or Break' scenario. I will aslo be covering solutions to these problems/how I would adjust these things in hopes for it to create a more enjoyable game across the board. 

Let me start by saying that yes, I am a Killer Main. Now, I've played a fair bit of Survivor as well- but I mainly love to play Legion, Ghost Face, Demogorgon, and Trapper. If this somehow invalidates my opinions for you, then this isn't a Post for you to read; I only want to start some kind of intelligent conversation between us. Nothing negative is implied. Please go into this this Post with a clear mind while considering both sides of this coin. 

Now, as soon as Boon Totems were announced, I- and many others- immediately knew that there was major potential for this to "Ruin" the game to an extent. So far, it seems that they're doing just that. But let me give my take upon this whole ordeal, and how we can create something healthy from it. 

How I Play the Game; This may be an odd thing to include in a Post like this, but it's purely to create transparency between us! I play the game doing my best to not tunnel anybody. I go out of my way to gain eleven Hooks every game, and (most of the time, when I feel it's been earned) give Hatch to the last Survivor. I love to use Make Your Choice on nearly all of my Builds! I feel as if it creates a layer of critical thinking and choices to make for both sides; I give you a Safe Unhook, but you become Exposed. Do you stick around and risk doing Gens, or do you grab my attention and attempt to lead me into a Deadend- a location where a Gen has already been done- for your teammates to then have comfort in doing objectives in the other areas of the map? Competitive Critical Thinking, with a fast choice to be made for both sides; Do I commit to you for that one-hit down? Or do I sacrifice that potential value to establish Map Control elsewhere? I have to make a choice here too. All in all, I feel as if this creates an engaging and fun Match for both sides! I feel as if this is healthy, as if I were to commit to an Exposed target, I 100% can be outplayed and not only lose my value, but also a lot of time that may have been more valuably applied elsewhere. This is all to make it clear the competitive layers that this game does have. From mindgames, hiding red lights, making tough decisions in hopes for it to pay off; That is what makes Dead by Daylight fun for me. 

Now, the true reality of this is; Not everyone plays the game the way I do! Many Killers go out of their way to Tunnel, Face-Camp, etc. all to ruin the fun for the other side and eliminate any fun competition that could be had. I know that this is extremely unsatisfying for Survivors, and I feel that this should be dealt with with actual penalties being systematically built into the game; Oh. you're Face-Camping? Bloodpoints can be subtracted from your final Bloodpoint count. Or even more severely, less Iridescent Shards obtained upon your next Level-up. Because truthfully, Face-Camping is Griefing; You are going out of your way to ruin the experience for other players. This kind of behavior should be shunned, and punished accordingly. Me saying this, is all to build your understanding that despite me being a Killer main, I am on both sides when I play; I want both sides to have a fun, fair, and engaging competitive match, for every lobby that I'm a part of.  

So, to address the main topic at hand here, Boon Totems; How do they take away from the competitive experience of DbD? Well, the fact that it's possible to hold a lobby Hostage, Body-Blocking a Boon Totem and Healing faster than the speed in which a Killer can hit you a second time to down you WITH Sloppy Butcher active is definitely one to say the least. Although this does require a "Circle of Healing" (two Survivors Healing one Survivor), this is still an undeniable blatant issue. These Healing Speeds are outright ridiculous given the fact that they stack with the plethora of other Perks/Items that already increase Healing Speeds as is. Healing Mid-Chase is nothing new at all, but the fact that you can Syringe and not even make it half way around Killer Shack before gaining a Health State is absolutely absurd and unfair for the Killer. With the way that Boon Totems are, they eliminate any competition to be had for the Killer, as no matter the circumstance, anything gained through a critical thinking decision can be negated within a few seconds by a Survivor. This turns a risk/reward situation for a Survivor to a win/win and a lose/lose for the Killer. This isn't engaging fun anymore. This is a one-sided blowout no matter how you view it. 

"Well, the Killer can just kick my Boon Totem and take it away!" While this is true, there no chance to make a critical decision for the Killer,"Do I want to get rid of this Boon Totem, and make it a Dull again for my endgame Hexes to come into play? Or do I want to outright completely destroy the Totem altogether to prevent another Boon here?" this points out the very obvious scenario of Survivors simply coming back to that exact Totem and infinitely replacing this Boon. Although it does take fifteen seconds in order to place a Boon, the amount of value gained from these Boons makes the time "sacrificed" a non-factor. 

While killer Hexes are strong, once they're gone, then that's it; They're gone for the rest of the game. So why are Survivors not only able to replace them infinitely, but also place multiple across the map (if multiple Survivors are running them)? That's again, blatantly unfair for the Killer and eliminates any risk to be had on the Survivor's side of the coin. Don't mistake me for saying this as,"Oh, I'm a Killer- big killer man! I should mogwall these plebs with ease!" Absolutely not! I want this to be a fair and engaging addition to the game for both sides. 

So how would I change Boon Totems? Well, they should be capped to once per game per Survivor, while only one allowed to be active at a time. It's only fair to match the Totem's behavior with how Killer totems work. Not only this, but these values need to be drastically toned down; For example, increase Healing Speed by 15%. This may sound major- which it is- but I also want to add a competitive layer of decision making to this; Boon Totem values are DOUBLED if the Boon Totem is applied to an active Hex Totem. Making this 15%, now 30%. But this adds yet another layer of,"What if this Hex Totem is Hex: Haunted Ground? If I risk this for the double in value for my Boon, I may risk my team being snowballed from the Exposed Status Effect. Maybe I should play it safe, and find a Dull Totem?" See what I'm saying here? Engaging, critical thinking for both sides. So in the future of a Boon being added of,"While in the radius of the Boon Totem, you gain 2% Haste. It could be 4% Haste if you were to risk Booning an active Hex Totem." Sounds fun, right? It does to me!

To my next point/solution;"Boon Totems deserve to be strong due to Hex: Undying and Hex: Ruin being way too strong!" To that, I say rework how Hex: Undying works;"Whenever Hex: Undying is cleansed, it takes 3/4ths of the protected Hex's power with it." So instead of Hex: Ruin digressing Gens by 200% still, once Hex: Undying is Cleansed, Hex: Ruin would be digressing Gens by 50%. Rewarding the Survivor for cleansing Hex: Undying but also adding the decision making layer of,"Is it worth it to look for Ruin now? Or can we manage with 50% digression?" Adding more layers to gameplay creates an engaging environment for both sides! To point this out, is the core message of this Post. For another example, if Hex: Devour Hope has 4 Tokens, then Hex: Undying were to be Cleansed, it would regress Hex: Devour Hope back to 1 Token. Adding depth to this system makes the game more fun and engaging for both sides. While the Killer loses some of that Hex's power, the potential for it to be regained is still there. While Survivors still hold the potential to deny the possibility of that being regained as well through cleansing Hex: Devour Hope before it's power is rebuilt. From how I view this, this is a fantastic solution to this problem, while also introducing a healthy and fun competitive system to the game. 

All in all, I just want the expansion of this game to be healthy and fun for both sides playing. I don't want one side of the coin completely outweighing the other. I only strive for the game to be as balanced as it can possibly be. 

What are your thoughts on this? Are these outright terrible ideas? Or am I possibly onto something here? I'd love to hear some of your constructive criticism, and have a deep discussion on these topics. I hope you enjoyed reading this and thank you if you made all the way through. Again, have a good day/night.


  • TragicSolitudeTragicSolitude Member Posts: 5,456

    I really feel like the "wait and see" thing applies here, because despite how strong boon totems can be, the meta is still better because it requires the player to just... play. The survivor doesn't have to waste time messing with totems, they just do the gens and if the killer interacts with them then their perks come into play. There's a good chance that after the novelty of boon totems wears off, they'll be relegated to meme builds. When I run meme builds, my whole thing is to just... use the perks. I don't play competitively, I totally die doing it, and that's fine. Boon totems won't change that in any way, they'll just add a new possible build to my meme-y repertoire.

    But, it's impossible to say what will actually happen until they go live. Everything is conjecture.

  • SxfetyPinSxfetyPin Member Posts: 9

    While I see what you're trying to say, I kindly disagree. 30% leaves Survivors at a positive of 120% when considering all Survivors (right now, it's at a value of 400%, which is ludicrously high). That's a pretty big deal! I feel as if that would still enable the Boon to be strong, while adding a decision making layer to it. Again, I just want what's healthy for the game, and for BOTH sides to have fun.

  • SxfetyPinSxfetyPin Member Posts: 9

    That's 100% fair to say. But how I see it thus far, the Healing Speed increase is so blatantly high that- from my point of view- it's already a Meta-defining Perk; It's just THAT strong as of now. I don't want these series of Perks to be relegated to "Hehe, Meme Build." I want these additions to the game be unique, viable options- but without them completely blowing everything else out of the water, as they are doing right now.

  • GladonosGladonos Member Posts: 333

    "So how would I change Boon Totems? Well, they should be capped to once per game per Survivor, while only one allowed to be active at a time. It's only fair to match the Totem's behavior with how Killer totems work. Not only this, but these values need to be drastically toned down; For example, increase Healing Speed by 15%."

    Limiting to 1 isn't enough... You actually wanna make it into Self Care as well... Lol. This right here is why we can't have an honest conversation. You wrote this entire post just to suggest gutting the perk to the point where it's worse then Self Care(Probably the worst perk in the game.) If you limit it to 1 per survivor it may turn out to be okay but I do expect some buffs and a Boon: Undying at some point. If you make it Self Care it's gonna be a trash perk that nobody will ever run.

  • SxfetyPinSxfetyPin Member Posts: 9

    That's what I was suggesting; One per Survivor, while only one being active at a time. I don't think it's a matter of it being better or worse than Self-Care, as this is more focused on the bigger picture of how this Stacks with literally everything else that already increases Healing Speeds. See how that kinda creates a wider spectrum needing to be seen here? by itself, yeah, it may be a worse Self-Care, but that's being applied to ALL Survivors in the Area, and if they already have Self-Care/Healing Items, then that speed is further increased. That's where the strength of this lies (when in conjunction with everything else that IS actively being used with it), and that's why it's current tremendously high value is an issue as of now.

  • SxfetyPinSxfetyPin Member Posts: 9
    edited September 2021

    That's what I suggested; One per Survivor running the Perk, but only one active at a time.

    I feel as if this Boon shouldn't be looked at as better or worse than Self-Care when by itself. It's clear that this Boon Perk is a Support-esque kind of thing, and that's how it's being considered here. The strength in where this lies is how this Stacks with all already existing buffs to increasing Healing Speeds for all Survivors within the area. even with it at 15%, that's still an overall value of 60% across all Survivors. That's saving a lot of time!

    With this being said, I feel as if this Boon Totem's current value is tremendously high and needs to be adjusted before release.

  • dspaceman20dspaceman20 Member Posts: 3,431

    May I just say that even though your a killer main I appreciate that you have both sides interest at heart.

    I'm a survivor main and I also want what's best for both sides. I feel boons could be a way to shack things up for both sides if done right. Personally I disagree that we should cap it to once per survivor per game. It seems unfair that you won't get to use your perk because it gets taken out by the killer easily because another survivor placed it terribly. I do think that it should be used once and only once. If the killer takes it out then you should have placed it better.

    Secondly I feel the best way to change them would be to make them personal or for the whole team and scale that to hex totems.

    For example circle of healing could be for all survivors but with a greatly lowered value and maybe range to compensate but shadow step can only be person with possibly the same range. This also have the survivors think of where the best place to place totems are. But ultimately boon totems should be about 1/4 of the power of hex totems maybe 2/4 the power of hex if it's personal.

    Lastly with hex totems make it take longer to bless. It just seem to make sense. It will also have the survivors thinking if it's best to cleanse the totem or bless it if the spot is good. You could also make it so that killers get a notification if you try to bless them

    This is all in my opinion needed to boon totems to make them balanced.

  • ElusivePukkaElusivePukka Member Posts: 1,599

    Well, no, this wasn't an honest response either. This is a "worse than Self Care but available to all 4 survivors, who may get increased benefit with Self-Care and can self-heal even without it" - it's a give and take when contrasted with Self-Care.

    While I don't agree with the idea of a hard cap on use, I can see an alternative soft cap in a cooldown of 60-90 seconds, and while I don't think it should be as nerfed as OP's concept I do think the numbers should be reduced after seeing it in action with even two overlapping areas.

  • Rey_512Rey_512 Member Posts: 1,620

    Really well thought-out post, reasonable ideas. I don’t agree with some of your suggested changes but I do agree with the overall sentiment.

    In the current state, Boon Totems are just immensely beneficial while having virtually zero downside. 20 seconds from ONE survivor to bless a totem is nothing. The time a killer loses WALKING to a Boon Totem and snuffing it is more impactful to the killer than the time one single survivor uses blessing a totem because the survivor has 3 other people progressing the objective.

  • TragicSolitudeTragicSolitude Member Posts: 5,456
    edited September 2021

    As is, they're viable for casual players who play for fun. There's no perk that requires extra work that will be considered viable for the truly competitive players.

    Boon totems require getting off gens, finding a totem, blessing the totem, and then going back to that area to take advantage of its ability. Maps/RNG could make them very strong or a time-waster. Not to mention the survivors who will cleanse totems for their own benefit, adding to the competition for map resources.

    To make them a part of the meta, you'd have to at least remove the totem part. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's why I think waiting and seeing is the good immediate response.

    Look at Lucky Break. I think the PTB version was too strong, but the nerf they gave it has no one running it, despite its potential.

    Edit: I realize I make it sound like I have no criticisms towards boon totems, and that's not the case, so I should make that clear. Boon totems definitely have issues. They shouldn't stack, for one thing. Maybe the speed boost to healing should be toned down a bit, but not too much because that would make Self Care the obvious better choice. They should not affect a syringe and make it work faster. And there needs to be a cooldown on them: after the killer snuffs out someone's boon totem, that survivor should have a cooldown before they can bless another.

    I also think that survivors being able to move their boon totem takes away any need to strategize. While a survivor's boon totem stands, they shouldn't be able to bless another totem. This way, if they put their boon totem in a bad spot, they can only place it in a different spot if the killer snuffs the first one out.

    These changes would fix some of the glaring problems without outright making them useless or requiring a rework.

    Post edited by TragicSolitude on
  • yudeyude Member Posts: 2

    I very much agree with your point of view, especially in the area of ​​tunnel and camping. As long as a killer chooses a simple method of winning, it is unlikely that survivor will be greatly weakened. I also wrote similar articles in Chinese forums, but the response was not good, because whether it is survivor or the killers who rely on tunnel and camping to win, they are all gainers now. The only people who can really think like us are those who play the killer to the extreme. We have considerable strength enough to make us choose not to tunnel and camping. But every time everyone fell to the ground for less than 30 seconds, but relying on hex to die early /genrush/ to save people quickly, resulting in my last 10 hook double kill, I am very sad, the top killer like me can't With this kind of gameplay to easily kill four noob. How can I expect the new killer player to be able to not tunnel and camping?

    The above is translated using google, my English is not very good.

  • GladonosGladonos Member Posts: 333

    K, then suggesting making it not stack instead of turning it into Self Care.

  • DehitayDehitay Member Posts: 1,723

    When you call the most used and most useful survivor perk in the game a trash perk that nobody will ever run, you kind of straight up invalidate any points you were trying to make.

  • GladonosGladonos Member Posts: 333

    Lol. You can't be serious. You think Self Care is the best survivor perk...?

  • DehitayDehitay Member Posts: 1,723

    I can't properly express how easy it is to play killers against survivors like you, especially if I run Franklin's or play Legion. Your whole "Self-Care is the worst perk in the game" mentality makes you ridiculously blind to all the situations where it's incredibly useful. Something as simple going right back to the hook after you hear the unhook notification was a horrendous waste of time when people were running Self-Care commonly, but not anymore. Medkits are almost mandatory if you don't want to risk being hunted down with ease, but it's more obvious who has a medkit than who's running self-care so killers know who not to let run off.

  • DragonJesterDragonJester Member Posts: 24

    What I think a lot of people are missing here is the idea that we should compare all of the variables.

    Time Investment: One of Four Survivors Blessing a Totem for 20 seconds vs. a Killer taking the time to find it and then snuffing it out in one second. Secondly snuffing it out doesn't stop it, as it can be put up again.

    Build Loadout: All Four Survivors who can each run boons vs. the Killer who has to potentially contend with potentially four fields of better self care for all four survivors. The idea that "it's okay because it takes up a perk slot" is laughable. Everything takes up a perk slot. The only question should be time investment, potential time wasted, and potential net game to surviving the killer. Its value is very clear.

    Perk Combos: Boons stack with other things. If you're running any healing perk, have a healing item or are being healed by someone else the value is much higher overall for the team. Not to mention survivors have the means to find totems to bless. Killers don't.

    Affect on Killers: For Killers who juggle multiple people, this perk is a nightmare. On top of working my ass off to keep map pressure, if you leave any survivor alone for too long, so long as a totem is within their area and blessed, they'll heal or have a long enough chance to. If your killer is the type to stay on a survivor and get that down, so long as they have a good totem placement and good loop spots, it's very possible to fully heal mid chase.

    There's almost no reason to leave a boon totem up if you find one, and I cant imagine a survivor who runs it isnt gonna try and light totems they find.

    All in all the healing boon is a significant buff to healing builds because everything that heals stacks. So if you dont think boons are a problem, then maybe you should be asking why they put this out when healing and survivability for survivors are clearly very strong. And secondly, if survivors can also use totems, should a killer have the option to more permanently remove totems from a match?

    I can respect the feelings behind wait and see, but that doesn't mean we can't try and give an objective opinion right now and later change our ideas and feelings if proven wrong. Saying everything is fine just because it's new is how the game becomes a broken mess for far too long.

  • ukenickyukenicky Member Posts: 1,331

    I think the way they should have worked is a 2 in 1 sort of action. Cleansing and simultaneously blessing the totem, make it take like 20 seconds total to complete and then when/if a killer finds it and snuffs it out they straight-up stomp and destroy that totem and it's gone for good from both sides.

    The way I see Boons is they either need to be toned down currently since they can be used as many times as you want by reblessing the same dull totem OR they keep their strong effect but can be broken permanently.

    As for those saying that boons should only be usable once and be disabled for the rest of the match, I don't know about that. If it was map wide I could agree but the fact that you're dedicating perk slots to running them.. Idk that seems like too much of a penalty. Hex perks (For the most part) affect the entire map/trial. Boons have a limited range around the totem so I'm less inclined to say they should be a one and done disabled for the rest of the match sort of deal.

    If boons aren't worth running at all, people will just defer to dh, ds, ub, iw etc etc. I still have hope for boons because they encourage survivors to do something other than gens which is a nice change.

    Healing circle 100% needs changes before going live though. It just cannot in its current state. I personally think Shadow Step is fine but that's my controversial opinion.

  • BlackRabiesBlackRabies Member Posts: 483

    The biggest difference between hex and boons that i think that the majority are forgetting is the killer can protect their hex totems while the survivor can't do anything to protect theirs. Still I do agree it's problematic if they can just apply their boons infinitely.

  • VaimoreVaimore Member Posts: 6

    You were very right when you posted this. This change gives survivors 3 extra perks per boon. This is KILLING the game for me and for many others. Dozens of content creators have quit the game, and therefor are no longer streaming or supporting DBD. I am not a streamer. I am a veteran of the game. I've been playing it since launch. BOONS are ruining this game!! SAVE IT!! FIX THIS!

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