After much ballyhoo and hype, Dead by Daylight’s “Demise of the Faithful” DLC chapter is available on all platforms, giving players the new Killer The Plague and new Survivor Jane Romero. While I’ve covered the backstory and gameplay for these characters in previous articles, I have today chosen to cover the changes to the game that came in the most recent patches.
One thing that Dead by Daylight developers Behaviour Interactive have done well is keep up with the times and actively work on any issues that pop up in the online-only game. While pressing matters are fixed immediately, larger fixes to the game’s meta tend to come when new DLC chapters are released, or in the mid-chapter patches in the interim. “Demise of the Faithful” brings us version 2.6.0 of the game, and with this comes a number of perk reworkings, adjustments to scoring mechanics, and overall quality of life improvements. With the recent port to the Nintendo Switch last month, the audience for this game has grown once again, and it seems as though the changes to the finer points in gameplay will satisfy players new and old.
[Author’s Note: Friday saw the release of a new patch, 2.6.2, but upon further research, most of the updates from 2.6.1 and 2.6.2 had to do with incidental occurrences, rather than overall changes to the gameplay or the meta. If you are curious about these changes, I encourage you to check out the patch notes, available in the News section of the game’s main menu.]
The largest change to the game is the change to the perk Decisive Strike. Previously, this perk was a one and done ass-saver for Survivors, as it offered an immediate break of the Killer’s grasp upon a completed skill check. The days of Laurie jabbing your Killer in the back with a hanger as she’s over your shoulder aren’t necessarily over, but her job just became harder. The perk now requires the Survivor to be unhooked at least once in order to become active for just 60 seconds. If the Survivor is grabbed during this time, they have one chance to succeed a skill check to stun the Killer. Success also means that the slippery Survivor is now the Obsession of the match, if they weren’t already, but failure will burn the perk up for the rest of the match. No more dribbling Survivors to screw with their skill checks, Killers. Now we just have to worry about that damn Jake Park with a toolbox about to ruin the hook right in front of you.
The majority of the perk tweaks affect the numbers involved. Tiers of perks are now slightly less divided, with perks such as Hex: Devour Hope disregarding the perk for effects, but rather affecting the speed boost given upon hooking a Survivor. The Exposed effect now comes into play at 3 tokens for all tiers of the perk, with the instant kill effect coming in after 5 tokens for all tiers as well. Hex: Ruin, arguably the most powerful, most must-have Killer perk in the game, used to only affect a few Survivors depending on the tier of the perk, but now it will affect all Survivors, regardless of tier. These fixes as a whole make the tiers of perks mean just a little less, but they do let players enjoy the effects without having to have tier 3 everything.
Another welcome change is a set spawn distance between objects. Too often, I found a Totem having spawned way too close to a hook or a generator, but now any spawnable objects will be less likely to spawn too close to one another. The terror radius is now scaled vertically as well as horizontally, removing the previous false positives that took place frequently in maps such as the Gideon Meat Plant. Finally, the Devout and Gatekeeper categories of Killer scoring are slightly easier to do well on, with the Chaser category now imposing stricter penalties for Killers who stick too close to the hook with a Survivor on it.
On the whole, the balancing that we’ve seen with this patch was a welcome addition after the learning experience that was the “Darkness Among Us” chapter back in December. The Legion was so delicately balanced, so overly middle-of-the-road, that they wound up being one of the game’s least effective characters. I, for one, am glad to see that Behaviour has recovered from the stumble that the last chapter was.
Big things are coming soon to the game, as we draw closer to the three-year anniversary this June. As I covered previously, there are rumors of an Evil Dead DLC pack. Freddy Krueger, aka "The Nightmare", is also allegedly getting a full rework, as reported by the developers back in November. For now, though, the realm of the Entity grows, just as the sickness inflicted by Adiris, The Plague will upon any Survivors, including the new Jane Romero.
See you in The Fog.