Behavior just announced some huge changes coming to Dead by Daylight, which include a Billy nerf in their latest developer update. All of these changes will be on the PTB on July 8 for testing. The impact of these changes means big things for Hillbilly and Leatherface, changing how these Killers are played entirely.
However, are these changes really necessary? Let’s take a look at Leatherface, and then Hillbilly.
Leatherface is getting big changes to his base power. He is going to have 3 charges on his chainsaw now, and his chainsaw will always activate once the progress bar is full. The charges on his chainsaw get consumed during his chainsaw dash. The purpose of the charge is to extend the duration of his chainsaw dash.
Players can cancel the dash to stop themselves from consuming too many charges. The more charges Leatherface uses, the longer his tantrum is at the end of his dash.
Behavior also increased Leatherface’s speed during his chainsaw dash to 5.29 m/s. This is the biggest buff to his power, making Leatherface a much better chainsaw Killer. Currently, Leatherface has difficulty chainsawing Survivor because he gets no speed boost. The only way he can get a chainsaw off on a Survivor is if he catches them off guard. This change will definitely make Leatherface a more viable Killer to play.
There is one more thing to know about his power changes. While Leatherface revs his chainsaw, it slowly consumes one charge. If the charge is consumed before his power progress bar reaches 100%, Leatherface is forced into a tantrum.
I believe this change is implemented to prevent Leatherface from camping hooked Survivors with his chainsaw. Currently, it is practically impossible to save someone getting camped by Leatherface. His chainsaw is more deadly than Billy’s, because it can hit multiple Survivors. Leatherface also has a reputation of being the campiest Killer in the game, and is incredibly strong around the Killer’s basement. So this change is a good one to stop this unwinnable situation for Survivors from occurring.
Along with power changes comes adjustments to two of Leatherface’s perks. Franklin’s Demise will still force Survivors to drop their items when you hit them with a basic attack. However, it no longer makes the item lose durability. This is to update the perk to the recent item change, which made items no longer be consumed when their durability hits 0. Instead, Franklins Demise will make the Entity consume the dropped item after 120/100/90 seconds if the Survivor does not pick it up. The Killer will also be able to see the aura of items on the ground.
This is a big buff to Franklin’s Demise, since it can ensure that a Survivor’s item is lost. 90 seconds is really not that long when you are getting chased as a Survivor.
The second perk being changed is Knockout. It retains the effect it currently has, and has two added effects. It makes Survivors put into the dying state suffer from Blindness, and crawl 50% slower for 15 seconds. This change is not too big, and will not effect the perk. It would be much better if it slowed Survivor recovery speed instead of their crawl speed.
While Leatherface’s changes are good for him, the Billy changes seem totally unnecessary. Billy is in a great place right now and is the second strongest Killer in the game. Billy has the highest skill cap of any Killer, and you can do amazing things with him – if you have the skill to do so. Great Billy players know how to bounce off the environment with his chainsaw, counter pallet loops, and always land their chainsaw hits. But average skill level players cannot do any of these things, as it takes a while to learn how to use his chainsaw correctly.
Behavior is on the path to reduce this skill potential, by introducing the Overheat mechanic. Basically, Billy’s chainsaw will accumulate heat over time as it is used. This heat is accumulated much faster when revving the chainsaw. During his chainsaw sprints, it accumulates heat much slower. If the chainsaw overheats during a sprint, it will not cancel the sprint.
However, his chainsaw cannot be used if it Overheats entirely, and you must wait until all the heat dissipated before using it again. This takes a long time from the clips we have seen: at least 20 seconds to dissipate all the heat.
This is a massive nerf, because Billy being able to rev his chainsaw is incredibly important in the current state of Dead by Daylight. The most common strategy Survivors use against Billies is to 360 them. In order for Billy to counter this, he must keep revving his chainsaw and wait for the time to strike. This Overheat mechanic will take away this potential for Billy to outplay Survivors that 360. It also takes away Billy’s ability to mind game Survivors at pallet loops or other areas.
I get that Behavior is probably worried about Billies who camp with their chainsaws. But unlike Leatherface, Billy is not as strong of a camper. Survivors can pull off saves with a camping Billy because his chainsaw is easier to avoid, or bait out. Perks like Borrowed Time and Decisive Strike are also effective against Billy. This is before we even consider that most Billy players do not camp because he is a strong Killer with so much potential.
The majority of Dead by Daylight players consider Billy to be in a good place right now, and no one wanted to see him get a nerf. This is a big surprise to the community, and is sure to be a huge disappointment for many players. This Overheat mechanic just seems unnecessary, and punishes players for being good at Billy. Most Dead by Daylight characters have a low skill cap already.
It is easy to be good at Survivor, and some Killers as well. Billy gave players the most room for growth, with his skill potential being much higher than even Nurse’s. With Nurse, at most you could master is predicting Survivor movements. With Billy you can not only work on predicting Survivor movements, but also use the environment to your advantage.
Hopefully Behavior does not go through with the Overheat change, or at least heavily reduces how quickly it accumulates. If this change does go through, I can see many Billy mains quitting.
Behavior is also adjusting two of Billy’s perks. Lightborn is going to offer Killers full immunity to flashlight and firecracker blinds. It will also reveal the aura of Survivors trying to blind the Killer for 6/8/10 seconds. I think this flashlight immunity is going too far, because Survivors have no counterplay if the Killer is immune. Being immune will also prevent Survivors from performing flashlight blind saves, which is a lot of lost altruism for them.
Lightborn right now is already effective at preventing flashlight blinds from going through. I believe the change would be good enough with just the added aura reading. There is no reason to add immunity to Lightborn, other than to appease low skill Killers. Flashlights are incredibly easy to avoid as a Killer, and it’s arguably only beginner Killers that suffer from flashlight blinds.
By giving Killers immunity to blinds, Behaviour could also be hurting the learning process of new Killer players, who may never learn how to properly counter flashlights because they can just use a perk to make up for it. This in turn limits their true potential, since there are way better perks out there to use.
The second perk being adjusted is Tinkerer, which will now activate when generators are at 70% progress instead of 85%. The Undetectable timer is also being buffed to 12/14/16 seconds. This is a great change for Tinkerer, because right now the notification does not give you enough time to get to the generator. By the time you get the notification and arrive at the generator, the Survivors have it finished. This change will allow Killers to get the jump on Survivors focused on a generator.
Behavior is also reworking several add-ons for both Leatherface and Billy. However, we do not know all the details there yet. Hopefully we will see some good changes to add-ons – we will know for sure on July 7.
While there are a lot of good adjustments in this patch, the Billy nerf will grab most people’s attention. If the PTB goes poorly, maybe Behavior will rethink the Overheat mechanic.