Content Type: Gaming News
Date: September 20, 2021
We’ve all been there: you’re on the hook, and no one’s moving towards you. One of your teammates is at least working on a generator, but the Nancy is Urban Evading behind a rock because their Spine Chill keeps going off, and your all-leather Jake is opening the basement chest. They’re probably all telling themselves “Someone else will get the unhook”… if they’re even thinking of you at all. A few seconds later, you hit Phase 2, and wonder why you still play this game.
Or how about this one — stop me if you’ve heard it before — you get downed by Leatherface, and he brings you to the basement. Then he hides in the corner and doesn’t move. His Terror Radius disappears, and you watch in horror as your teammates all slowly crawl through the shack window one by one and sneak down the stairs… You know how this one ends, right?
Well, what if I told you there was a Perk that could prevent these awful things from happening? Maybe not always, but at least sometimes. What if I also told you that Perk was available on every Survivor by default? “C’mon,” you’d probably say, “That can’t be. Everyone would use that Perk if it existed!” Wrong! So very, very wrong. For the same reason almost no one flosses, and for the same reason almost no one signals before they change lanes on the freeway, almost no one in Dead by Daylight runs Kindred. Why? Because most people won’t do anything that doesn’t directly benefit them in an immediate, tangible way.
Sure, people might run We’ll Make It, but they aren’t healing you to be a good teammate; they’re healing you because it gets them points, and maybe because you being healthy means you’ll take up more of the Killer’s time while your teammate cleanses a dull totem. Some players might run Borrowed Time too, but that’s just because they want to get Safe Unhook points without having to actually make a smart decision about when to unhook.
But you, you’re different. You’re smart, you’re a team player, and you’re probably very good-looking (and I bet you floss, too). That’s why you’re going to start running Kindred. You know that Kindred:
- Lets your teammates see each other’s auras while you’re on the hook.
- Lets your teammates see the aura of the Killer while the Killer is within 8/12/16 meters of the hook, as long as you’re on the hook.
- Lets you see your teammates’ auras when someone else is on the hook.
- Lets you see the aura of the Killer while the Killer is within 8/12/16 meters of the hook, while someone else is on the hook.
The strategic advantage this information gives is immense. Knowing which direction the Killer is heading after they hook someone is invaluable. Even more important is knowing if the Killer is camping, since the best counter to this is to ignore the hooked Survivor and do gens — but you can’t do this immediately if you don’t know the Killer is camping. You can of course deal with camping by running Borrowed Time, but that’s Killer dependant and doesn’t always work.
Now that we’re in agreement about Kindred (if we weren’t already), let’s try and agree on how people tend to behave in Dead by Daylight in order to better understand Kindred’s utility. There are, broadly speaking, two types of DBD players: There are the ones who run everywhere and mostly just unhook, loop, and only do gens while they are in the Killer’s line of sight. There are also the ones who crouch-walk the edge of the map, hoping their team wins the game for them, doing gens only once they are certain the Killer is chasing someone else.
When your team is an even split between these two styles, it’s often the case that only one or two players go for the unhook when someone needs saving. But it can frequently be the case that your team is more heavily weighted to one style or the other, and you’ll end up with situations where either everyone is going for the unhook, or else no one is. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some numbers:
- If just 1 person has Kindred, there’s (in a vacuum) a 25% chance that they are hooked, and all the Survivors can see one another. If anyone besides the Kindred user is hooked, the only person with complete information about their teammates is the Kindred user, making it possible that two Survivors will end up going for the same unhook.
- If 2 people have Kindred, the odds of a Kindred user being hooked is 50%. Additionally, if 1 of the non Kindred-users is hooked, it is guaranteed that 2 of the 3 remaining Survivors have complete information about what their teammates are doing. This is crucial, because it means there is no situation in which two people will both go for the same unhook. There’s only one guy without perfect info, so if that guy goes for the unhook, the Kindred users can let him; if the non-Kindred user does something else, one of the Kindred players can go for the unhook (it’s possible that the non-Kindred user could go for the unhook late, but in this case the Kindred user can at least make an informed decision about contuining for the unhook or doing something else).
- If 3 or 4 people have Kindred, you don’t run into the edge case where a non-Kindred user decides to go for a late unhook while someone else is already headed there, but otherwise you gain nothing over having 2 people with Kindred.
As you can see, it’s best if two people have Kindred. Since it’s very unlikely your teammates will have it, it’s safe to assume that you can run Kindred every game of Dead by Daylight you play as a solo Survivor.
Now let’s discuss another common problem that Kindred solves, a camping Killer. We touched on this briefly earlier in the article, but now we’ll look at some specific numbers to illustrate just how important Kindred can be if the Killer is camping.
- Each hook state lasts 60 seconds, which means a Survivor lasts 120 seconds from first hook to death.
- A generator takes 80 seconds to repair, assuming there are no Perks or items affecting repair speeds, and Surviors hit no Great skill checks and miss no skill checks.
- There are 3 Survivors able to do generators while one is on the hook. These Survivors can complete 1.5 generators each — not including travel time between generators — if they are repairing generators the entire time the camped Survivor is on the hook. This adds up to 4.5 generators completed during the 120 seconds the Survivor is camped.
The takeaway from all this is simple: If a generator has already been completed by the time the first Survivor is hooked, and everyone is aware that Survivor is being camped (thanks to Kindred), it’s very likely that Survivors will have the exit gates powered by the time their companion dies on the hook. Even more likely, once the Killer sees the first two generators pop, they’ll realize that no one is coming to save their poor victim, and be forced to leave the hook in order to prevent the other three Survivors from escaping. A Killer camps in the hopes of getting other Survivors to come for the save, so if no one comes after a minute, it’s unlikely they’ll continue to camp the Survivor through phase 2.
What happens if, on the other hand, no one is running Kindred? Well, that depends in large part on what the stylistic makeup of your team is, but it’s safe to assume at least one Survivor will go for the unhook, only to discover the Killer is camping. Even if they do the correct thing at this point (getting onto a generator), the time they wasted heading to the hook might be just the time the Killer needed to catch someone else after their first victim dies.
Unfortunately, a frequently observed Survivor behavior in situations where the Killer camps is to loiter around the hook, neither doing gens nor actively attempting to unhook, instead just waiting for the Killer to leave. Kindred doesn’t prevent this, so even with the above-mentioned benefits, it’s still possible for a camping Killer to find some measure of success. For this reason, running Borrowed Time can be a very strong choice, both in solo-queue as well as when playing with friends, as it allows you to unhook the camped Survivor in most situations.
It’s also worth noting here that the “correct” play for Survivors when playing against a camping Killer depends a lot on which Killer it is, as well the Perks Survivors have at their disposal. If it’s a Killer such as Wraith, and either A) The hooked Survivor has Decisive Strike or B) The unhooker has Borrowed Time, then it can be a perfectly good decision to go for the unhook. However, if the Killer is someone with an easy way to one-hit down multiple Survivors (think Leatherface or Ghostface), it’s almost always the wrong decision to go for the unhook.
All those considerations aside, Kindred is still fantastically useful. Survivors have a ton of flexibility in the Perks they bring, since the only real “requirement” is to have an exhaustion perk in your loadout, and even that isn’t strictly necessary. Slotting Kindred in is easy, and the benefits it brings in terms of information absolutely cannot be overstated; if you aren’t on Discord with your friends, you should be running Kindred.
I hope that I’ve been able to convince you to run Kindred in your solo queue games, or at least to give it a try. Have a better suggestion? Think Kindred is just a crappy version of Bond? Let me know how wrong I am in the comments below!