Naturally, questions about the recent Hex: Ruin nerf and Doctor rework dominated the last Dead by Daylight developer livestream. As Behaviour Interactive had previously stated, they are changing Hex: Ruin due to its over-use. This perk had insanely high usage among killers. By comparison, Self-Care – the most used survivor perk – does not create issues because killers have a lot of ways to deal with it. And Hex: Ruin was used even more than Self-Care; in fact, apparently it featured in more than 80% of games across all platforms!
Hex: Ruin is also a passive perk – killers just equip it, and reap the benefits, without much effort. Add the RNG element to that – a survivor could work on a generator and get 0 skill checks, or 10 – and Hex: Ruin was essentially becoming a deterrence for new Dead by Daylight players.
Still, Behaviour’s stated goal is to keep keep Hex: Ruin related to generators, and Hex perk because it is a unique perk to the Hag. She is the killer that brought Hex perks and totems into the game, after all. The whole point of Hex perks is to have a great benefit that is at risk to be lost. If Hex: Ruin was not a Hex perk, it would have an incredibly weak effect.
The second consideration for the Hex: Ruin nerf is to make sure it does not synergize too well with other generator slowing perks. The reasoning for this is to prevent Dead by Daylight killers from running obnoxious builds. For example, the new Hex: Ruin does not pair well with Pop Goes the Weasel, since the latter is for kicking generators that have progress. Conversely, Hex: Ruin focuses on keeping survivors off generators, to make them lose progress.
Many players expressed the opinion that survivor generator perks should be nerfed too – if only to be fair, since the Hex: Ruin nerf. However, according to Behaviour, survivor generator perks see almost no usage. These perks are not a problem right now, unlike Toolboxes, which are going to be reworked next. There were no details on this upcoming Toolbox change in the dev stream, but this is still huge news. Toolboxes are incredibly broken for survivors, and make games much easier.
After all this talk about perk adjustments, we got some great stuff to look forward to: many low usage Dead by Daylight perks are being looked at for reworks. On the list are Small Game, Any Means Necessary, Cruel Limits, Slippery Meat, Vigil, This Is Not Happening, and Technician. These perks will probably be changed in the next big patch, which will also bring a new killer, survivor, and map. I am sure that more perks than just those are on their list. I am guessing those few are just the ones closest to release form.
With Hex: Ruin concerns taken care of, we get to the Doctor rework. The first biggest concern players had was the removal of the Exhausted effect from Doctor’s add-ons. Simply put, Behaviour wanted to add a new madness effect to the Doctor. But he already had so many that there was no choice but to remove one of them. After looking over all the effects, they decided on removing the Exhausted effect, since they did not like how it played out in games.
The dev stream took the chance to clear up a lot of confusion around the new Doctor. Many Dead by Daylight players were concerned when they found that the Doctor has a cooldown on his Shock Therapy. To be clear, there has always been a cooldown on Shock Therapy, but players never noticed it since they had to switch between Punishment and Treatment mode.
Players were also wondering why Snapping Out Of It took priority over the Mend action, meaning that they must Snap Out Of It before they can Mend themselves or someone else. This is not a bug, but was done on purpose. Snapping Out Of It is meant to disrupt any charging action survivors can do.
Finally, Behaviour went over why Snapping Out Of It reduces Madness to tier 1. Before the change, Snapping Out Of It only reduced players to Madness 2. This change aims to make the playstyle of the Doctor more fluid. Plus, it is an easy task for the Doctor to put Survivors back into Madness 2 with his Static Blast. So survivors really will not be spending much time in Madness 1 against a Doctor.
Finally, an exciting change that this patch brought: the Doctor got his own chase music. Behaviour has plans for more custom chase music in the future. This will be implemented as they go along balancing killers, meaning we can expect custom chase music for the next killers in line to get adjustments. Any new killers will most likely have custom chase music as well. Despite all the balance shake-ups of late, Dead by Daylight clearly has some great things on the way.