Dead by Daylight: Scorching Summer BBQ Event

I mentioned this in the review of the Curtain Call DLC, but I'm really impressed with how well Behavior Interactive have taken control of their game after buying the rights back from Starbreeze. They're fully invested in their new cosmetic store, coming up with fun and clever designs for all the unlicensed characters that add variety to the look of the game. The "wear the darkest clothing to hide" meta is losing out to the sheer joy of dressing Claudette in a tie-dye broom skirt or Ace in a bright pink sweater. You can still hide and look stylish.

More importantly, they are committed to constantly adding in new content to the game. The mid-season patch was only two weeks ago and we're already at a new seasonal event. This new event also patches the broken Tinkerer II bug and a few other major issues from the mid-season patch.

In the past, these events have coincided with a holiday--Halloween, Lunar New Year, Valentine's Day. You get special cosmetics for achieving certain goals and a bunch of extra bloodpoints to keep leveling up your characters. This time, the event is summer.

 The official Scorching Summer BBQ ad, with a bright orange background, a grill cooking a steak and a hand, and previews of the event exclusive cosmetics for Kate and Hillbilly.

The official Scorching Summer BBQ ad, with a bright orange background, a grill cooking a steak and a hand, and previews of the event exclusive cosmetics for Kate and Hillbilly.

The Scorching Summer BBQ event brings a wonderful absurdity to this 4v1 horror game for two weeks (August 7-August 21). Survivors can repair frozen cocktail machines instead of generators to help their escape. Killers have special BBQ hooks, complete with condiments on the side and a drippings pan, that light up when you hook a survivor. In other words, Dead by Daylight's terrifying fight for life and death becomes a drunken backyard BBQ with glowing objectives. The default setup has two Grill Hooks and two Frozen Cocktail Machines, but you can use the BBQ invitation offering to spawn one more of each and earn massive bonus bloodpoints when objectives are completed.

There are two exclusive cosmetics to unlock through the Scorching Summer BBQ event. If you can hook 50 survivors on the Grill Hooks, you unlock the Hillbilly's Pro-Pain Hammer. On the survivor side, you get a new Free Song Bird top for Kate if you repair 90 Frozen Cocktail Machines. 

 The Pro-Pain hammer--a meat skewer with delicious BBQ on top.

The Pro-Pain hammer--a meat skewer with delicious BBQ on top.

I'm going to be honest. I don't think these are the best looking exclusive cosmetics the game has done. The hammer is funny--it has BBQ meat instead of a hammer head--but Kate's is just another handkerchief top with a different graphic. Previous event cosmetics have unlocked totally new designs--Lunar New Year had the donkey jacket for David, the golden phoenix top for Feng, and the dog-head mask for Huntress--while this event is just a basic reskin for both.

The other issue is a lack of community goal. Other events have featured an overall community goal that helped minimize toxicity in the game. We would have to reach a certain bloodpoint goal to unlock something for everyone who participated in the event. For a few days, at least, it stopped players from just being the absolute worst with the special objectives.

Instead, we're not even 24 hours into the event and people are already in full-on sabotage and camping mode. Survivors are sabotaging every Grill Hook so killers can't get any bonus points or progress toward the cosmetic. Conversely, kills are patrolling the Frozen Cocktail Machines and Frozen Cocktail Machines alone to prevent survivors from getting any bonus points or progress towards the cosmetic.

The event had not even been live for 20 minutes when I faced a Doctor who ran a build literally designed to stop survivors from completing those generators. It was hostage Doctor with Overcharge. He would blindly shock the cocktail machines to see if survivors screamed. If they did, he'd do it again. That stops survivors from working on generators. Then he would kick the generator, regressing progress and adding the automatic tiny sliver quick time event to the generator. He would stand there, making the success zone even smaller, and wait for the survivors to fail. When you fail, the gen explodes, and he would shock and kick again. He did not attack anyone right away, grab off the generator, or chase--he just wanted to stop people from getting points for the event generator.

 Kate's Free Song Bird Slip Dress, a new variant on her default top.

Kate's Free Song Bird Slip Dress, a new variant on her default top.

And in my next game, three teammates ran around and sabotaged every event hook and then laughed about it in post-game chat. It goes both ways and it's the worst. It certainly doesn't help when some of the largest Dead by Daylight streamers put up titles like "Time to Sabotage Hooks" and their viewers with very clear fan names--Twitch emote names, variants on the streamers' names, wearing the streamer cosmetics in the game--then make it their goal to just sabotage and announce it in pre and post-game chat. 

I don't know what the solution is to this. If you want the cosmetics, you have to deal with this nonsense. If you want to play in the next two weeks and don't care about the cosmetics, you're still dealing with this. I think the better events in the past were driven by a community goal, 2x or 3x bloodpoints, and a few cosmetic changes. I still cherish my spooky flashlights and med-kits from the All Hallows Eve Halloween event.

The Scorching Summer BBQ Event looks good. The heavy industrial remake of the theme song and the special objective design are great. I don't care for the cosmetics, but I know people who genuinely seem excited by them. If nothing else, the potential bloodpoint bonus for participating makes a lot of toxic gameplay palatable. The event looks good and offers a nice break from the constant darkness of your typical horror game.

Dead by Daylight is free this month on PS4 for Playstation Plus members. Otherwise, you can order it for PC (Steam) or XBox One.

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