DBD has been a mainstay of games I circulate between for the past four years. The game, to put it bluntly, is a horrid experience for anyone who isn’t playing casually, and for less than an average of a couple hours a day. But instead of ending the article after two sentences, I’ll delve a bit deeper into my thought process and explain myself. The points I make here will also function as a stepping stone to talking about the game and what role it plays in the video game world today.

The new player experience in DBD is a mixed one. The tutorial has been revamped for years now, but there’s just some things (most things) that only experience can teach. Given the lack of in-game communication, new solo players will have to take to YouTube to find out just how to play, despite knowing how to m1 a gen and toss a pallet. Now, actually, I don’t think is a problem. It’s the reality of a lot of games today, and I think most people who aren’t equipped to look up how to play games probably wouldn’t find themselves trying games out in the first place. At least not this one. That said, the difference between a new player and a veteran in DBD is astounding. The difference, in effect, makes the game look completely different, depending on who’s playing. All this means is that there are some concepts out there that allow a player to strategize properly, and those lacking will feel they aren’t really playing the game until they get those concepts dialed in. A forewarning.

For Intermediate Players

The game is at its best. Both Killers and Survivors are making enough mistakes that games are interesting, but everyone is more or less doing there jobs to some reasonable degree, with exceptions for the clauds self-caring in the corner, obviously.

At this stage of the game, you’ll find a wide variety of killers to play against, and a wide variety of builds for both survivors and killers. Chases are engaging, but not so long. And objectives are a priority, but aren’t taken care of so efficiently that the game always ends in five minutes or less. This is where DBD shines, which is why you’ll find bands of SWF players deranking themselves so that they can enjoy it once again. If you’re in this group of players (people who find rank 10-5 to be good ranks) savor every moment before its gone.

For Veterans

The game is probably an addiction at this point, and has lost a lot of its steam. To make games interesting, survivors are forced to play in inefficient ways, and the killers are forced to either play an un-interactive (and therefor unfun) killer or play a killer who obeys the laws of normal chases (like Billy) and face the consequences of being run out of the game with one or two kills, if they are lucky. In reality, survivors hold most of the power, most of the time at this stage of the game’s lifespan. There are some issues with the ability for solo players to communicate effectively, but that only serves to make the game a lot more frustrating as a band-aid fix for giving the killers a decent game once in a while. If you’re a survivor, you’ll likely be getting run out by a Spirit or Nurse in situations you couldn’t have done anything in at this point. If you’re a killer, you’ll either be doing the running down as a competent Nurse or Spirit player, or you’ll be run out of the game yourself for playing anyone else.

These examples all have their exceptions, of course. And I would be remiss in pretending that there aren’t moments of enjoyment for everyone at this stage, but these moments are mostly fleeting, and soft-hitting. Mistakes annoy you at this point more than they used to, and you see them far more often, even though there, objectively, are less of them. The matchmaking system also starts to show its flaws. If you’re a killer, you lose the sense of accomplishment you used to get in a 4k because you likely got to that point because there was a survivor the matchmaking put way out of his or her league. On the other side of that coin, it feels really bad to play on the same team as that survivor, as it ruins your game, unless you’re just there to fuck around, which most players at the point have resigned to anyway.

In 2021

The game is starting to show its wobbly legs. The developers are either incompetent, or directed by people who are incompetent. The game direction takes a damn eternity to veer to what might be called a decent aim. The game balance in non-existent (and isn’t being a priority any time soon). Frankly, people are beginning to become frustrated with it. Its a wonder people like Otzdarva manage to play it everyday without pulling their hair out, but all the same: In 2021, Dead by Daylight still hasn’t learned to swim on its own merits, its being held afloat by its community who believe in it. That belief, by the way, is something DBD has not earned, but is being given as charity, since its the only game in this genre that has a community behind it. Steering this game is a chore, and an iceberg lies just ahead in the not-so-distant future.


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