tools of torment tweaks developer update dead by daylight featured image
Game: Dead by Daylight
Content Type: Gaming News
Date: March 17, 2023

It’s been a rough launch for the latest Dead by Daylight chapter, “Tools of Torment”. Currently sitting with a Mixed review score on Steam, the chapter hasn’t gone over well with a fair portion of players. Complaints are myriad, with some players lamenting that the new Killer’s design encourages camping, while others simply don’t enjoy her overall aesthetic.

While developer BHVR is unlikely to make changes to the character’s visual design at this point, they are listening to feedback on gameplay — today’s Developer Update goes into detail on the improvements and changes they’re planning for The Skull Merchant’s drones and traps. The devs have identified three specific problems with Skull Merchant: Her power doesn’t help her in a chase, there isn’t enough risk to having a Claw Trap, and she’s too good at guarding 3-gens; the upcoming tweaks are designed to fix these issues.

Here’s a TL;DR version of the Dead by Daylight Developer Update – Tools of Torment Tweaks:

  • The Skull Merchant will now gain a Haste effect for each Survivor tracked on her radar:
    • 1 Survivor – 3%
    • 2 Survivors – 5%
    • 3 Survivors – 6%
    • 3 Auecicoea – 7%
  • Vaulting a pallet with a Claw Trap attached will now break that pallet (and destroy the Claw Trap).
  • Drones will no longer return to Skull Merchant when disabled, but will instead return only after their respective traps are destroyed.
  • To compensate for the change to drones, Claw Traps will now instantly be destroyed once their battery runs out, and Claw Trap batteries will no longer recharge when in an active zone.
  • Drones will become unhackable if a Survivor with a Claw Trap attached is nearby.
  • Add-on changes:
    • Ultrasonic Trap Speaker now reduces the time taken for Undetectable to take effect when in an active zone by 50%.
    • Expired Batteries is now Ultra Rare, and the duration of the Claw Traps Survivors spawn with to 40% of normal battery life (from 150%).
    • Prototype Rotor is now Very Rare.
    • Adaptive Lighting Undetectable effect length increase to 50% (from 20%).
  • Scream changed are being reverted to 2D sounds (meaning you cannot tell which direction they’re coming from) heard map-wide.

If you want to read the justifications and explanations for these changes, you can check out the full developer update below!

Between the Public Test Build (PTB) and live release of the Tools of Torment Chapter, we made a wide variety of changes to The Skull Merchant to help address some of the feedback we received. We’ve been keeping a close eye on her since, and while it seems like these changes have had a positive effect on her performance, there are a few frustrations we want to address sooner rather than later. In no particular order, these are:

  • It doesn’t feel like The Skull Merchant’s Power helps her enough in a chase.
  • It doesn’t feel as though there’s enough risk to having a Claw Trap.
  • The Skull Merchant is too good at holding 3 generators, causing very long matches.

The pain points are a common thread between the feedback many of you have given since the Chapter released. To rectify each of them, we have made a large number of changes.

The Skull Merchant’s drones will Lock On to Survivors, making them Exposed for some time. This can push Survivors away from stronger structures and into a sparser part of the map. However, as many of you have pointed out, this doesn’t really pose a threat if you’re already injured; getting hit will already put you into the dying state.

Likewise, Claw Traps don’t feel equally threatening to all players. While the thought of having your location constantly broadcasted to the Killer is enough of a deterrent for some, more confident Survivors may actually welcome a chase, opting instead to keep the Killer distracted for their teammates.

To improve her strength in a chase, we have made a couple changes.

First, The Skull Merchant will now gain a growing Haste effect for each Survivor tracked on her radar. This bonus starts at 3% for one Survivor, raises to 5% for two, 6% for three and 7% for four. Both Claw Traps and active drone zones will contribute to this, and the Killer does not need to inspect their scanner to gain the benefits. This will reward the Killer for efficiently using their Power to keep tabs on their prey.

Second, vaulting a pallet with a Claw Trap will cause that pallet to break, destroying the Claw Trap in the process. This was previously part of the common Ultrasonic Trap Speaker Add-on. With this change, being chased with a Claw Trap attached becomes a lot more dangerous.

These combined adjustments allow The Skull Merchant to more frequently get value out of her Power, regardless of whether or not the Survivor she’s chasing is injured.

The Skull Merchant excels when it comes to defending a cluster of three generators. Not only will her drones notify her any time a Survivor approaches a generator, but she can also easily replace them once they are disabled. This can make matches go on for an excessively long time with neither side making much progress. These matches tend not to be too terribly interesting for anyone involved and only end when someone gives up.

To put a damper on her ability to defend generators, drones are no longer immediately returned to The Skull Merchant once they are disabled. Instead, they will be returned once their respective traps are destroyed. This will make it more difficult to replace disabled drones on these generators.

That said, this will limit how often The Skull Merchant can deploy new drones. Therefore, we have a series of changes to compensate for this loss of power.

First, to ensure Survivors cannot hold a Claw Trap indefinitely to deny her from using her Power, Claw Traps will now be instantly destroyed as soon as their battery expires, and Claw Trap batteries will no longer refill when entering an active zone. This way, Claw Traps will always return after a set amount of time.

Second, drones will enter an unhackable state whenever a Survivor with a Claw Trap is near. This will prevent a single Survivor from running around and disabling every drone, meaning the Killer will always have some combination of four Claw Traps or drones available to them. Combined with the changes to Claw Traps mentioned above, The Skull Merchant will always get value out of her ability whether it’s through deployed drones or traps.

Last but not least, we have a few Add-on changes to round out this update.

Ultrasonic Trap Speaker

Since this Add-on has been incorporated into the Killer’s base kit, it needed a new effect.

Ultrasonic Trap Speaker now reduces the time taken for Undetectable to take effect when inside an active zone by 50%.

Expired Batteries

This Add-on has been changed to Ultra Rare to match its high effectiveness.

Since Claw Traps now provide a Haste effect, this would make the Killer very fast at the start of the match in addition to revealing the Survivors’ positions. Therefore, we have reduced the duration of the Claw Traps Survivors spawn with to 40% of the normal battery life (was 150%).

Prototype Rotor

This Add-on has been changed to Very Rare to better suit its effectiveness.

Adaptive Lighting

Adaptive Lighting now increases the length of the Undetectable effect by 50% (was 20%).

I scream, you scream, we all scream when the Killer is using a Perk or Power that makes people scream. Unless you’re using Calm Spirit.

In 6.6.0, we changed screams caused by perks. Historically, these Perks would cause the Survivors to use the same scream sound as when they were hurt. We decided to change this considering the Survivor was not actually being hurt, just scared. When we made this tweak, these screams became ‘3D’ – meaning you could tell which direction they were coming from – and limited their range as a side effect.

In this update, we’ll be readjusting these Perks to bring them back to the original functionality, but with the proper scream sounds. Screams caused by Perks will once again be ‘2D’ – meaning you can’t quite tell which direction they’re coming from – and be heard map-wide.

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