================================= LETS TALK A BALANCE =============================== ======================================================================================
So recently I did a short article about how I felt about Ghostface and it seemed relatively well received. I am calling these articles GBU (The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly). I hope you all enjoy these as much as I enjoy writing them, and we can only hope the developers are listening. Before you continue reading I want to express my philosophy when it comes to looking at game balance from a players perspective.
- It must be constructive and unbiased. I often see balance posts that propose fixes that make it better for the writer and their chosen side rather than the community as a whole.
- It should create meaningful in game decision making and add depth to the role. I have never been a fan of lazy killer/survivor mentality where players think the devs should just hand them the answers. The developers should not be playing the game for you. Neither role should play itself.
- Changes made should be possible within the current framework of the games identity and current state of balance. Something I see a lot when people write this kind of post are sweeping changes that would require too much work or redefine the games original identity. Additionally this also covers things that are related to the business aspect of the game. Ex. Decisive Strike being a core counter to tunneling yet soft locked behind DLC. The reality is that Behavior has to make money and they still make it available in the shrine.
Now I want to talk about the survivor role and hopefully bring to light to some of the problems. The community is split down the middle on a lot of things and there are a lot of player dynamics to attempt to please. Keeping everyone happy is not realistic but I hope to offer reasonable compromises. This is also a good time to site any of my sources for the facts behind my opinions.
Dev Data Sheets: https://forum.deadbydaylight.com/en/discussion/61114/
DBD community vote tier list: https://dennisreep.nl/dbd/
============================================================================================================== THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY. ============================ ======================================================================================
- The atmosphere as a survivor feels right for the game. One moment you are on the edge of your seat just barely getting away, the next moment you are embracing heroics and saving your team, when you get hooked you feel at a killers mercy. The entity and all the killers feel alien and strange yet hit home on specific familiar fears without over doing it.
- The chase sequences in this game are amazing, alongside the several map settings keeping the game interesting. I would say the chase is by far the best part of the role for a lot of players.
- A broad cast of survivors from several cultures, races, ages, and thickness (looking at you Jane). Most players can find a survivor that appeals to them.
- The lore of each survivor matches their perks thematically and solidifies their identity. UnbreakaBill immediately comes to mind.
- The emphasis on team oriented actions actually ups the horror aspect of the game because it takes some power out of the individual survivors hands and puts it in the teams hands. Like being saved from the hook.
- Hit boxes seem to be questionable at times especially during vaulting. I am aware that windows were fixed a long time ago to be less safe so that they could not be infinitly abused but there needs to be a middle ground. As a killer main I will say there are times where I really should not have gotten that hit. This is something that might just need some adjustment.
- The grind for survivor is very long. Even with We're going to Live Forever it just seems like its impossible to consistently get blood points by just playing survivor. I would propose shaving down some of the numbers of items in the bloodweb by 300-600 each. This might alleviate a little bit of the pressure without throwing the grind out of the equation. Right now its a bit too harsh. This might also help get people off killer and into the survivor role. Right now killer lobbies take way to long and survivors are instantly getting games if not facing the same killers. Increasing the amount of survivor dailies might also indirectly push people towards survivor a bit more.
- Buffing and nerfing certain killers could supply some variety. This could even be done just by making changes to add ons every few months. Some killer add ons do not supply anything different and are just flat stats. Body Blocker Hag is far more fun than Considerably increases disarm time on Bear Traps. While those flat stat add ons are useful they don't offer anything unique. That or make new add ons that create new killer playstyles. A Trapper with a toolbox of different traps would be amazing. A lot of survivors get tired of seeing the same killers. I would love to see things besides Nurse, Billy, Spirit, and Huntress past green ranks.
- Survivor perks that do the same things. There are a lot of perks in both roles that don't do enough and get out shined because other perks do their job better or are a bigger priority in the meta game. A good example is a perk like Hope. Hope is like a baby adrenaline that is kinda good but doesn't get used because AdrenaWin does it better. Why not have hope give the survivor movement speed on a cooldown when they rescue someone off the hook. This would actually be useful and thematic. Same goes for some of the never used perks like Slippery Meat or Sole Survivor. Revisit some perks, maybe even redesign them down the road.
- Player tutorial. The current upgraded player tutorial is very good for new players and it really gets them into the atmosphere quickly. But I would like to see a resource guide for newer players that helps them catch up on some of the in game lingo and game mechanics. Warframe actually is a good example of this with their codex guide in the Orbiter. Knowing what looping is and how to do it is the difference between a survivor that knows kung fu and one that does not. Releasing view-able tilesets or just allowing survivors to enter kill your friends without a killer present could help them practice core mechanics of the game. You shouldn't have to scour youtube to learn the hard stuff. Even telling them simple things like taking tighter turns at loops to conserve distance would be helpful. Its something I tell new players all the time that isn't obvious. I would really like to see the devs embrace and provide more info to new players rather than being like "Here's your unicycle, this is how it works. Bye have fun."
- Disconnecting is probably the largest problem for the survivor community at the moment. The game is balanced as 1vs4. The moment someone presses leave because they get salty,a killer brings a mori, add ons they don't like, or tunnels them down, the whole game is now killer sided. I know that dedicated servers are coming. BHVR please for the love of god, punish people for leaving the game and screwing the other three people over. This is the one thing that needs fixed more than anything else. It isn't fair that these leavers are not given any sort of punishment. These people need a scaling time out timer to discourage this shit.
- On the other side of the DCs there are some specific killers that I know are causing these problems. Namely Billy and Nurse. Now I am not the first person to argue changing these two top tier killers and I won't be the last. I do not think they need to be nerfed into the ground. I do think they need some tweaks to their counter play. Nurse is a high skill cap character that is nearly impossible to play on controller. The Nurse master race almost solely exists on PC and it would only need to be changed on PC. Nurses kit requires spacing, timing, and precision but once its been mastered it is very hard to balance. I have never played a game where blinking was not a strong mechanic. She completely mitigates all defenses that survivors have. My changes are a little more subtle. The current counterplay to nurse is to deny her line of sight and be wary of open spaces. Counterplay should be more obvious especially since she is over performing with meta perks like BBQ, RUIN, NOED, ect. I would propose nerfing her tracking ability by removing her ability to see scratch marks and possibly darkening her stun after blinking like the Legion. As for Billy he might be a bit more tricky, because I do not think it is Billy's kit making him over tuned, it is BBQ and RUIN. Have a conditional cooldown on his ability. If he uses it to charge across the map then it goes on a cooldown if he doesn't hit a survivor. This would alleviate some pressure and make him actually interact with survivors.
- Toxicity needs to be addressed in the community. There needs to be a line drawn between playful competitiveness and outright bullying. Obscene names need to be addressed alongside a possible chat filter once the dedicated servers arrive. Survivors should not be spamming the chat after game or saying certain out of line things. This needs to be addressed on both sides. BHVR needs to take a stance similar to that of Riot Games, saying certain things regardless of context need to result in a zero tolerance ban. It is 2019 we are not barbarians, people need to learn some self control. When someone has a name filled with racist profanities and homophobic slurs its probably needs to be ban out. Its not edgy, its not cool, its part of the problem. Additionally targeting someones steam profile and outright harassing them needs to be outright bannable when its taken too far. When someone gets all their friends together and attacks someones steam profile that is straight up harassment no matter the context. BHVR needs to take a stand and make a statement for the long term health of the game. This may also relieve the negative image of SWF in the minds of Killers.
- NOED needs to be a little easier to disarm. Dull totems should be cleansed a little faster while lit ones should take longer to cleanse. This would be a fair compromise. Killers can keep their ruin,devour hope, or Thrill of the Hunt a minute or two longer and disarming NOED isn't impossible when your team is a bunch of potatoes. NOED should be keeping the survivors honest and invoking fear of the late game, not oppressing the player base and enabling lazy killers. Thrill of the Hunt may or may not need to be changed.
- There needs to be more consequences for killers that break chase with a survivor they have not hooked to go and tunnel a survivor that is closer to death. Picking the survivor coming off the hook as your target instead of the person that saved them should be discouraged. Still a valid strategy but there should be a downside. Tunneling in the early game really needs to be discouraged and this would alleviate some of the problems. The tunnelers goal is to make it a 3vs1 as quickly as possible and cripple the team. This is swaying games in the killers favor a bit to much and hurting the survivor community. More bloodpoints could entice some killers to give survivors a chance to actually play. This is most egregious in the solo environment. Punish the obvious tunnelers and reward the ones that create actual momentum. Interaction needs to happen. Tunneling is efficient in the mid and late game but you should not be getting outright tunneled in the early game.
========================================================================================================================== Closing Statement =================================
I hope you all enjoyed the post. I know its going to be controversial, after hundreds of hours spent in this game and with this community this is what I have found to be the most immediate problems for the survivor role. I started as a killer main and have started playing more and more survivor and seeing the problems. I hope to do a killer oriented post soon. We can only have faith that Behavior will see that some things are actually problems. Tunneling down people after their first hook is an actual problem. Toxicity is an actual problem. I have seen a lot of survivors that just DC the moment they hear nurse scream or billy chainsaw. These things need to change so that Dead by Daylight can have a long and healthy life span. I want to see new players stick around and enjoy our awesome community. It starts with small healthy changes and a little bit of time and effort on the devs side to actually listen to us.