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The Developer QnA, Killer Nerfs, Potential Double Standards and...Why I'm Worried.

StarLostStarLost Member Posts: 5,370
edited January 21 in General Discussions

So, overall the QnA was actually pretty good. Some things I agreed with, some I disagreed with but overall mostly positive. I'm especially interested in the SBMM changes and the Dead Hard rework.

There was one thing that was pretty concerning - but it takes a bit of reading between the lines so bear with me.

A while back, several killers received pretty harsh nerfs, despite being considered mid or low tier in higher MMR play. While it wasn't expressly spelled out, the dominant opinion was that these killers were really difficult for new players to deal with - despite struggling at higher MMRs. Wraith, for example, was never especially strong - and now has a really low kill rate overall (even taking his potential versus newer players into account).

Not great, but 'we don't balance around high MMR' and all that.


However, some other killers have very low kill rates overall, but weren't buffed (Nurse, Trickster) - seemingly due to concerns that they'd be too strong at high MMRs. Some people pointed out that this looked very much like an odd double standard.

Enter the new QnA.

When asked about the nerf to Twins, a killer often considered one of the least fun to play and with the third lowest kill rate in the game:

"Why do you nerf some add-ons for unpopular or weak killers?"

"Players at different skill rates perform very differently using different killers. Twins are a great example of this- at low and mid MMR, they're terrible, while at high MMR they're absolute monsters. Some of the highest kill rates in the game come from Twins, so further buffing them doesn't make too much sense, since while it bolsters their performance at low to mid MMR, at high MMR it would make them even stronger, which then wouldn't make sense. Nerfing them may seem cruel, but the add-ons were influencing their ability more than they were comfortable with."

That really does seem to confirm it.

So...why is this an issue?

Think about it this way.

BHVR nerfed several killers - Wraith being the best example - who were considered strong against newbies but weak at higher MMRs, and is now weak overall.

BHVR didn't buff killers who were weak overall but strong at high MMRs, and are now *nerfing* killers who are weak overall but strong at high MMRs.

(Post nerf: Wraith is now very low kill rate wise, despite him still being strong against newbies - which means he's getting clowned on against anyone else, Twins are even weaker - but still nerfed).

This means that killers are getting nerfed from both ends.

That strikes me as a ...very odd way to balance your game - and it feels like you have to pick one. If you're going to balance around gross kill rates, which are overwhelmingly offset by new/low MMR play, then you need to follow through with that and actually buff Wraith, Slinger, Twins, Nurse (yes, Nurse), Trickster and co.

If you're going to balance around high MMR play, then you need to do that.

Trying to do both at the same time is going to end up with a lot of pretty meanspirited, bizarre feeling nerfs to killers that are already struggling in high MMR play and at the same time nerfing killers simply because a handful of really good players are too good with them.

What this is going to result in, is an ever-shrinking variety of killers the higher your MMR gets. This is already evident for people who play higher MMR survivor games - endless streams of Blights, Nurses and Huntresses (with the occasional basement Bubba), and if this balance philosophy carries forward - it's only going to get worse from there.

The only solution I can see is to bite the bullet and try to get weaker killers more viable at higher MMRs, even if this comes somewhat at the expense of lower MMR play - OR - trying to get killers with a low gross kill rate higher, even if it comes at the expense of high MMR play.

Or am I missing the point?

Post edited by StarLost on


  • CryptFriendCryptFriend Member Posts: 416

    Because everyone but WatchMojo knows that Nurse is Good™️

  • TsulanTsulan Member Posts: 11,515

    They are obviously played so little, because people don´t feel good playing such a OP killer.

  • StarLostStarLost Member Posts: 5,370

    I'm not sure if I'd go that far - even though, yes, there is a definite financial interest in catering towards survivor players due to how easy it is to make cosmetics for them.

    I just think that their balance philosophy is headed in a very bizarre and pretty awful direction.

  • The_C12H15NO2The_C12H15NO2 Member Posts: 268

    It definitely seems like double speak on their part. My suggestion is they just stop balancing around low MMR. We all sucked when we first started playing the game. You get better with time. We should treat low MMR like that, newer players who are learning. By nerfing killers who overperform at low mmr but underperform at high mmr, it makes higher mmr worse for killer players. And survivor players too b/c it limits the roster of viable killers. idk my personal mmr but when i play survivor i usually see huntress, blight, nurse, pyramid, pinhead, bubba. rare to see any other killer.

  • Dionysus42Dionysus42 Member Posts: 335

    They need excuses to nerf killers. After all, everything else, from adding simple AI to practice to simply removing perk tiers, is just 'too hard' to implement.

  • YOURFRIENDYOURFRIEND Member Posts: 1,426

    It was pretty funny to watch so the excitement and interest leave Patrick's face as soon as he had to talk about killers. Body language speaks reams.

  • lauraalauraa Member Posts: 2,286

    Soon TM we will get killer bots and we will get rid of the killer role

  • BenihimeWrathBenihimeWrath Member Posts: 968
    edited January 21

    Nurse couldn't be nerfed until they fixed her. Which they just did.

    Presumably this means now that her code is working... she'll be nerfed into the ground. I'm guessing she won't be able to blink through walls anymore, which is why they changed her 3 blink addon.

  • OiryOiry Member Posts: 170

    This is why balancing while relying solely on statistics can be very dangerous.

    Here are 2 killers I hated (and against 1 still hate) to play against: Wraith and Bubba.

    Why? Because They seemed too strong, especially when I was very new to survivor. As a killer main I did understand that they are not OP and their potential is actually very limited (especially Wraith). So how I see it: Unless the killrate is some crazy %, like 70%+, you have to not care about and focus on the higher Mid-high MMR. When I constantly loose against Wraith and Bubba, it's my job as a player to learn how to counter them and how to get better against them. Same against harder, more teamplayer testing killers like Twins, Plague, Cenobite or Hag.

    Me learning how to play against them and getting much better results is what makes this game satisfying to play. And this is where listening to low MMR data may be very misleading. Now obviously, if you lose against Plague for 50th time in a row, then maybe BHVR should look at the aspect of "how do we make it easier for newer players to understand the power of the killer". And also let's be fair, to actually meet Plague 50 times you'd need a large number of hours in dbd.

    This game is heavy with info. But if you want survivors to learn and actually enjoy. Remember, a person will meet Twins less than 3 times in 300 games (I'm pretty sure most of the 1% pick rates is on high MMR). YOu won't learn how to play against them even if you have a few hundred hours in the game, yet you can actually already be at mid-higher MMR.

    Sorry for ranting. Just to summarize: blindly relying on stats to balance your game is EXTREMELY dangerous. Stats is a great tool, but you have to be cautious, how you use it. Imo, obviously.

  • MikaelaWantsYourBoonMikaelaWantsYourBoon Member Posts: 2,081
    edited January 21

    They are just looking stats. This is why Nurse's Irri add-on buffed and they fixed her all bugs. Because she had lowest kill rates for years. But now probably this changes will boost her.

    But BHVR never understand this. So many times i am killing SWF teams because they are trying 4 escapes. So i am just baiting them. But in reality, if they would escape i had just one kill. On high mmr, this case is so common.

  • SuzuKRSuzuKR Member Posts: 2,008

    The Twins nerf is bizarre, but so would a Nurse nerf. They're both balanced killers with high difficulty.

  • StarLostStarLost Member Posts: 5,370

    Cenobite is especially weird in this regard.

    Against good players, you may as well not have a power.

    Against new players, you'll just roll them over because they'll constantly be letting hunts go off and giving you the box.

  • Nathan13Nathan13 Member Posts: 5,611
  • PulsarPulsar Member Posts: 12,497

    I agree.

    But I've also been around long enough to have known this since....probably the Hillbilly nerf?

    I've never been able to figure out a rhyme or reason to the hit list the Devs keep on certain things in the game. Like, Iri Head took 4 years to get nerfed despite Huntress having high Kill Rates AND high Pick Rates.

    Twins have low Kill Rates and low Pick Rates? Instant nerf.

    Legion is above all of those Killers. The more I hear from the Devs, the more I think they'll be nerfed. It started out as ironic, because Legion has only gotten nerfs since release, but now it's unironic. I'm legitimately 75% sure that they are gonna get hit with it, so to speak.

  • mementomemento Member Posts: 135

    Compare these two data. It's no wonder people are leaving from killers.

  • PulsarPulsar Member Posts: 12,497

    Those Kill Rate stats are useless.

    You can use the pick rates in a general sense tho

  • ad19970ad19970 Member Posts: 3,994
    edited January 22

    Considering the game's player count though, I think even killers with a low pick rate probably still have a solid sample size, one that is at least decently accurate. Twins might be the only exception, because 1.15% is very low, but even then, it's probably not that low either.

    On steam, the average player count is 40K at the moment. Let's say about 7K people of those are playing killer. In Huntress Case, 8% of killer players play her on average. That's 560 people. With Twins, it's only 80 people. However, the average player count depicts how many people are playing the game at a given moment, on average. So you can kind of multiply that number with how many matches are possible in one day. Then you've got an approximate idea of how many times a killer is played in one day.

    And that's just one day, and not taking into account the concole players, as well as the epic game store players.

    Unless I am screwing something up here.

    Regarding your main post, I always thought they said that they don't only balance around high mmr. I know there are people that think a game needs to be balanced mainly around high mmr, because people can just try to get better to get to the point where the game is balanced. And that's not something the devs agree with as far as I know, and me too personally. Optimally, the devs want to try and balance the game around all mmr levels as good as possible.

  • dbd900bachdbd900bach Member Posts: 281

    This game simply needs a massive overhaul, plain and simple. Dead by daylight is building on a foundation that no longer works the way it use to because there's so much content now. Behavior needs to suck it up and admit they need to do something and rather than ignore everyone, including high mmr players and only listening to the low mmr crowd and actually take the ideas we're giving them to fix the game.

  • LaluziLaluzi Member Posts: 3,197

    This, but also, Twins attract so few float players or new Twins looking to learn the killer (because their QoL is horrible and their skill ceiling is generally not considered worth the stress of playing them), so a few dedicated Twins masters can skew the data more than dedicated other-killer players can.

    Also, they're really good at camping, which may drag up numbers semi-artificially (as they don't reflect how easy it is to win chases with the killer.)

    I definitely think nerfing an underused and overall underperforming killer because the very top level has high kill rates is a bizarre design choice. And their philosophy of 'nerf heavily used addons, buff unused ones' often fails to address why some addons are used and why others aren't. It's often less of a numbers game and more of a 'this effect is not helpful or plausible to activate, and this other effect is helpful throughout the match, so I want that one.'

  • lauraalauraa Member Posts: 2,286

    Not gonna lie, I'm pretty anxious about the Legion changes.

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