Dead by Daylight Mid-Chapter Patch 2.3.0 #31DaysofHorror
Behaviour Interactive, the developers behind asymmetrical 4v1 survival horror game Dead by Daylight, are consistently making good on a series of promises they made half a year ago. Once they made an agreement to buy back full rights to their own game, they promised to roll out regular updates to improve and change the game throughout the year. Essentially, we’re supposed to get four new chapters—DLC updates featuring a new killer, a new survivor, and a new map—and four mid-chapter patches over the next year. So far, we’ve seen the introduction of the Clown, Kate Denson, the Spirit, Adam Francis, a cosmetics shop, and a total revamp of in-game currency.
The mid-chapter patch 2.3.0 tries to do a lot of different things to improve and change the gaming experience. If nothing else, Behaviour really is trying to listen to the players to make a better gaming experience. I don’t think anyone was anticipating the game would go in this direction on a mid-chapter patch and the players are doing the work to catch up to brand new meta.
For me, the best changes in 2.3.0 are like the best changes in the last mid-chapter patch: quality of life changes. We have so much more information available during the matches now. The HUD (head-up display—the menu information always onscreen) now shows you what add-ons you are using as survivor or killer. So much happens during the game that it’s easy to forget which of the many customization add-ons you put together before entering the game. It also tells you what add-ons are present on an item you collect during the game itself. A brown medkit isn’t just a brown medkit if it comes with a styptic—an instant full heal. Knowing the add-ons gives you valuable information as a player.
Similarly, you now get to find out who burnt what offering at the start of a match. Just hit the pause button. It will now remind you of what offerings were used—is the mist actually thicker or are you imagining things?—and tell you who used it—so it was that Claudette who burned an offering to go to The Game. A lot of choices in this game come down to knowing what information is available. The load screen doesn’t let you know what certain offerings are—a mori, a shroud—until the end. Now, you can pause to see if you should be extra cautious against a killer who might be able to instantly kill you.
The last quality of life change is all organization systems for your inventory and the shop. There’s a new rarity for event items, offerings, and cosmetics. It’s a gradient orange square that really stands out against the flat backgrounds of regularly available items. You can also filter for artifact—limited access cosmetics like the Charity Pack DLC or one-off promotional items—or event cosmetics in the store. It’s just good to know what is or isn’t available anymore and why.
The gameplay changes are when the Dead by Daylight Mid-Chapter 2.3.0 patch gets spicy. Behaviour is trying to find ways to let the match last a little bit longer without dragging out the game in dull ways. It is true that, sometimes, with a well-coordinated group of survivors, the game can be finished in under 10 minutes. With the lengthy lobbies at certain ranks—low and high ranks have much longer queues—it becomes incredibly frustrating to finally load into a game and not really get a chance to play. Shoot, there are times when I play Trapper, a killer who sets up bear traps as a special ability, that I barely get to lay down more than three traps in good spots before the survivors have already completed three of the five generators on the map.
The changes are subtle but they have the potential to make a huge difference. Anything connected to healing and sabotage in the game has been altered. Base healing time has increased by 25%. What used to take 12 seconds now takes 16. This doesn’t seem like much, but those extra four seconds mean four more seconds the killer has to find you and put you in the dying state—knocked on the ground—before you get to reset your hit counter. The mangled status effect now slows down your healing by 20%, not 25%, meaning if you get hit by a killer running Sloppy Butcher or a mangled add-on, it will take you 20 seconds to heal instead of 16. Healing is a huge part of the game and now the killer gets just a few more moments to knock survivors down.
Items, perks, and recovery have been adjusted to give survivors a bit more of a chance if they choose to focus on healing or get knocked down. Medkits and add-ons have larger capacities now to account for the longer healing times. Botany Knowledge increases healing item efficiency from 10/15/20% to 11/22/33%. Leader, Vigil, and Streetwise boost your actions and recovery from exhaustion for 15 seconds after the survivor with the perk leaves range, giving you more of a chance to use the benefits while healing. Bond gives you an increased range for aura reading of 20/28/36 meters to help you help a teammate in trouble and Iron Will no longer requires you to be still to reduce the sounds you make while injured. For recovery, you can now heal yourself to 95% when you are left on the ground by the killer, up from 85%, and that recovery process went up from 40% action speed to 50%.
Almost as a counter-offering to the killer-sided healing changes, Behaviour has made sabotage a viable strategy again. In the olden days of 2016 Dead by Daylight, sabotage was a cruel and unstoppable force in the game. Once a survivor sabotaged a hook, it could not respawn at all. You could literally play games where the killer could not hook anyone because the survivors worked together to sabotage all the hooks. That resulted in the slugging strategy—leaving survivors in the dying state on the ground—becoming a necessity in the game. You didn’t earn points for the survivors dying on the ground, but the survivors were punished for blocking the killers from completing their objectives. Eventually, hooks began to respawn, the perk Hangman’s Trick was added to restore sabotaged hooks at 30/20/10 seconds, and sabotaging with a toolbox wasted the item at three times the normal speed.
In 2.3.0, everything changes. Now that hooks respawn naturally (and have for many patches), survivors are finally free to be the sabo gods they were destined to be. There is no longer a charge penalty for sabotaging with a toolbox. It’s just as efficient to sabotage as it is to complete a generator with a toolbox. Further, the Saboteur perk now increases the length of time traps and hooks are sabotaged by 10/20/30 seconds instead of boosting efficiency of toolbox sabotage. Perhaps greatest of all, survivors will no longer be able to sabotage event hooks. I explained from my own experience during the Scorching Summer BBQ Event how a culture of toxicity created by certain popular streamers and video creators encouraged players to sabotage event hooks to stop killers from getting their event objectives. That’s just not possible anymore and it might be the single greatest change in the patch.
The emblem changes offer an additional reprieve for survivors through changes to how killers are rewarded. Because of how quickly matches could end, many killers found it necessary to camp a hooked survivor to guarantee a kill. Shoot, I do it myself when the gates are open and I have nothing else to go on. Now, killers are punished on the emblem system—how rank is determined—if they camp. You lose emblem quality on Chaser if you stay by a hooked survivor (within 16 meters) for more than 10 seconds. This does not apply if you are in the chase, if other survivors are also in the 16 meter radius, or if the survivor is the last one left in the game. Further, you are now rewarded at least Bronze on Devout if you hook all survivors. Behaviour has added both a punitive and a rehabilitative way of encouraging killers to actively hunt down other survivors instead of hooking and killing one at a time.
The other large area of change is all about map spawns. Hooks and pallets are no longer set at a min/max per map. There is now a minimum amount of hooks that will spawn on a map. The maximum number of hooks is defined by the size of the map. Hooks are programmed to spawn at least 20 meters away from each other unless the map is so small that hooks need to be closer to reach the minimum. The Oak offerings that increase or decrease the number of hooks now modify the minimum/maximum instead of automatically adding or deleting one or two hooks. Hooks can also spawn in new parts of map tiles (the maps are procedurally generated around guaranteed buildings and the overall shape/size of the map, offering variety to the gameplay).
Best of all, the truest infinite in the game has been fixed. On the Coldwind Farm: The Thompson House map, a survivor could hold the game hostage by hiding on the top floor in the short corner hallways of the balcony. Unless a killer was running Agitation and Iron Grasp, they physically could not carry struggling survivors fast enough to reach a hook. Now, a hook is guaranteed to load in on the top floor of the Thompson House. No more punishing the killer for an unexpected exploit.
On the survivor side, pallets spawns are also changed. It’s a little more complicated to explain. Depending on the size of the map, pallets will spawn a minimum of 14/16/18/20m away from each other. This guarantees a wider spread of pallets on maps that would sometimes load with pallets all in a certain area, but also creates a lot more space where you only have walls and vaults to evade the killer. The only exception to this is The Game map, which will mercifully spawn at least 15 pallets instead of the original experience of being able to go through four or five rooms without seeing a single pallet.
There are way too many other changes to go through point by point in a post like like this. Flashlights now have the same target (the head) against all killers and have a clearer indication of the blind effect applying. Major changes were made to The Game, Haddonfield, Lery’s Memorial, Pale Rose, Grim Pantry, and the Coldwind Farm maps to create a more balanced experience (reduce infinites, shrink oversized maps, add more doorways to walls, etc.). Hex: No One Escapes Death, Make Your choice, and Beast of Prey now have more incentive to use at tiers one and two. A ton of bugs were fixed all over the game including quality of life changes to The Spirit to bring her closer to the original design concept—no more directional audio while she phase walks so you don’t know where she is.
2.3.0 is the biggest change Behaviour has made to game in one patch. There are bugs and errors created by this, which is only natural considering the 1.6 GB update to a game with so many moving pieces. The team rolls out hotfixes as quick as they can and are very responsive to bug reports on their forums. The intended goal of the changes is quite clear and they succeeded at it. Matches are a little bit slower now, giving killers a fairer chance against survive with friend teams. I never would have imagined four seconds making such a huge difference in a game like this, but that four second base slowdown for healing really changes how people are playing. Players are either changing their perk load-out to increase healing speed, bringing in medkits instead of flashlights for healing efficiency, making more of an effort to help each other heal, or slowing down and hiding more to prevent being injured.
Shoot, the average game has slowed down enough to make the weakest killer in the game, my beloved Freddy, not terrible without add-ons. That extra four seconds to heal plus the default 50% slowdown means 24 seconds to heal when you’re asleep instead of 18. Freddy is still on track to finally get a revamp around December, but now it feels like a few minor tweaks—reduce the dream transition time by default, take away the self-care healing skill checks’ ability to wake you up—could be enough to make him viable again. As a Freddy main, I feel excited by the game again.
This patch is going to take some getting used to. It really does feel like what I predicted during the first major mid-chapter patch is true. The developers are trying to change the gameplay experience every few months like a trading card game or MMO. If they slightly change the rules to force players to adjust their playstyle, the game constantly feels fresh even when everyone has adjusted to a new killer and all the perks that come with them. It’s healthy for the game and adds longevity.
Dead by Daylight is available on PC, PS4, and XboxOne. If you purchase the game on Humble Bundle for PC, I get a percentage back.
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