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The Ultimate Weapon Skill Gap

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UndeddJester
UndeddJester Member Posts: 2,159
edited November 2023 in General Discussions

So as many people know, I'm quite vocal about this perk, but the advantage of discussing in this forum is your opinions get challenged and you're forced to reassess and sometimes even change your opinion.

So to get on with it, Ultimate Weapon is a big talking point, with some players maintaining its OP, some saying it's only OP on certain killers, and some saying its strong but fair, and some saying its mediocre. After talking about this perk so many times, I conclude that all are true depending on the context, and the difference is the skill gap... mostly...


Ultimate Weapon's key strength is that you can use it any time you like to almost guarantee finding survivors when you need it. It's main weakness is that survivors are warned about this and can pre-run from you to loops.

The reason for all these different opinions is the skill levels involved in the discussion

  1. At low levels, looping is tougher for survivors, and not something they do very efficiently. Ultimate Weapon prevents a sneaky playstyle and forces survivors to have to loop, whether its tunneling, proxy camping or general gen defence. It also take away WoO, punishing weak loopers even more.
  2. At high levels, looping is the most effective means of consuming time from the killer. Being found for survivors isn't really a big deal, as they get a head start and can run to loops early. As they are good loopers, this makes UW kinda mediocre, as the killer will struggle to actually get their down.

So on the face it seems purely a skill issue right?

Well not so fast. Killers that are strong in Map Traversal (Oni, Wesker, Blight, Nurse) are strong with this perk, and those with Anti-Loop (Blight and Nurse) are exceptionally strong with this perk. By finding survivors so consistently, these killers also force you to loop them, which is a problem because you don't typically want to loop against these Killers that have a strong advantage in loops.

What makes Blight and Nurse OP to many is they have this anti loop strength, and can fundamentally counter the most effective time consuming method survivors have. It's not as simple as "nerf Blight and Nurse", because their power is fragile and robbing these killers of that power can easily kill the killer. UW forces you to play vs. this power however, as the Nurse/Blight can always find you.

TLDR/Conclusion:

The main point I'm driving it, is that UW forces players to have to loop the killer, and thus gains much more value on the killers that:

  • have good map traversal to get to into chase quickly.
  • have a strong power that can force downs quickly at loops.

Ultimate Weapon removes 1 of the few remaining tools survivors have to counter these types of Killers... stealth... and there isn’t really any way to prevent that without gutting the perk.

Is the perk overtuned and unfair? The honest answer is... it depends, and I'm not convinced its possible to balance it in all cases.

Post edited by UndeddJester on

Comments

  • BlackRabies
    BlackRabies Member Posts: 864
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    I think it's fine as is. Really only a problem on Nurse and Blight, but that's a killer problem not a perk problem. Having a survivor scream the weakest form of information for the killer gives the survivor a head start to start running. The perk does nothing for the chase other than the blindness.

    I really don't understand why others keep calling it OP I've rarely even seen it myself when I play survivor. Only time I've really seen this perk was vs a Huntress and since she has the smallest terror radius in the game she didn't need to go far to find me.

  • UndeddJester
    UndeddJester Member Posts: 2,159
    edited November 2023
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    Well thats my conclusion basically. Ultimate Weapon forces you to loop. So if you're low skilled, or going against a killer really strong in anti-loop, then you're basically cooked.

    As such the two scenarios it's a potentially problem are low skilled games and high skilled games vs. Nurse, Blight, Wesker and Oni. At all other times it's kinda meh.

  • zarr
    zarr Member Posts: 866
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    I would agree that the perk isn't all too problematic on most killers, and I more than welcome the introduction of tracking perks that make chases happen and encourage players to venture out and seek chases. I despise stealthing survivors and if I go out of my way to not camp or tunnel, I should consistently get into new chases for that. But apart from it being problematic on the killers that are too strong in chase and against which stealth is essential to have an anyhow balanced match, I do see a few more issues with the perk too.

    The average player is fairly low skill. People are really rather bad at chases and the survivor is the one that has to lead the chase - if the survivor isn't good, all the killer really has to do is hold W, following them in a straight line. In lower skill matches (which means: an average match), this benefits the killer more because they don't have to be good and proactive at chasing and will still get fast, easy downs. General stealth to avoid always having someone in chase is integrally important in the average game, there's a reason so many players use Distortion. And Ultimate Weapon essentially makes this type of stealth a non-factor.

    It has powercrept most of any tracking perk in the game. Unless you are playing a very specific killer like Huntress, there is no reason to ever use any other tracking perk. Of course some of them do have unique strengths, but pound-for-pound they are still not nearly as good. Ultimate Weapon is just completely reliable and enables you to find any survivor at basically any point and place. It is not tied to any conditions like other tracking perks, such as hooking a survivor, a survivor getting unhooked, kicking a gen, and so on. It can be your Pursuer, your Barbecue, your Nowhere To Hide, your Bitter Murmur, whenever you need it to.

    It also makes camping, tunnelling and slugging easier and more effective, as you will reliably find survivors approaching a hook or slug, as well as survivors after they have been unhooked. It even complements 3-genning, by not having to go all the way up to generators to check whether people are on them, as well as snuffing out reset locations.

    It interrupts interactions, which is not only particularly impactful alongside Dead Man's Switch, but also when it interrupts heals under Hemorrhage, or Hex totem cleanses, as well as a variety of other interactions where seconds can be the difference between escape or sacrifice.

    That it afflicts Blindness on top of all this just pushes the perk so much more clearly into "overtuned" territory.

    I don't think the various issues of the perk have to be addressed individually however, it would suffice if they were to just balance it via the active duration and cooldown timers.

  • CrowVortex
    CrowVortex Member Posts: 938
    edited November 2023
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    I quite like using it on Dredge with DMS in the loadout also, the ability to teleport to a locker in the middle of the map and block a couple of gens after a hook is immensely valuable and is a strat that can't be countered like how PR can. But yeah it has two uses for me, the above strat and finding people in a pinch when aura reads are not available. You just gotta be mindful with it and plan it out accordingly so you don't use it during Nightfall.

  • DrDucky
    DrDucky Member Posts: 680
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    It encourages chases which is a good thing and its super obvious when it goes off so you have time to retreat when it procs. Perk is fine.

  • jesterkind
    jesterkind Member Posts: 7,040
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    I have a couple comments.

    First, I'd like to mention that your rundown of it strengths and weaknesses isn't quite on point. You dramatically overstate its strengths by saying you can "use it any time you want to almost guarantee finding survivors" when the reality is that it's just a little more easily activated than its peers, and you also say its downsides are only that survivors are warned about this when it also has the dual downsides of being killer dependant and only giving you the weakest form of information in the game. I would not consider these pedantic differences, they make a real impact on the perk's strength.

    Second, I'd say your rundown of the difference between skill gaps is a little bit... not sure how to describe it, misleading? Misguided? Basically, Ultimate Weapon is not what is relevant to either of those examples because the perk does nothing in chase, which is the main difference between your two examples.

    Third leads on from this point, where you start talking about very strong killers like Nurse and Blight. The two confusing elements of this are that you make it sound like being chased by these killers is a lost cause when that's not even true for the best of the best players in the world, and the second is that you seem to be vaguely implying a problem with Ultimate Weapon specifically when the argument you're making would necessarily apply to all information perks, especially the stronger ones than Ultimate Weapon.

    Finally, when you say that Ultimate Weapon forces survivors to loop the killer, there's a couple things I'd say there. Obviously, there's the main point that looping the killer is a perfectly reasonable thing to have to do in the trial, but there's also repeating the question of why you're singling out Ultimate Weapon specifically when this would apply to all info perks, and finally pointing out that the killer can still only chase one survivor at once so there's still the matter of which scream they follow up on.

    Now, I'm remaining neutral on whether Ultimate Weapon is actually problematic or not for the purposes of this comment, I'm chiefly concerned with the arguments laid out in this post for now.

  • Vanishlord
    Vanishlord Member Posts: 476
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    I'm kind of on the fence with it I agree it can be mediocre. I do kind of like the feeling of when I realize a blight or nurse has it Oh no I'm screwed. I don't think it needs a nerf. Only issue I do have with it counter is just run calm spirit.

  • Krazzik
    Krazzik Member Posts: 2,262
    edited November 2023
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    It completely shuts down any attempt to be stealthy unless you're running one specific perk. There's is zero basekit way to deal with it. If you aren't running CS you literally have an entire part of the survivor 'kit' completely nullified.

    Screaming in general isn't an issue, it's just this perk that gives the killer easy access to a big, lingering AoE scream that they don't have to 'earn' in anyway. It's unhealthy for the game and I would say also makes most other form of 'info perks' for killer redundant.

  • DemonDaddy
    DemonDaddy Member Posts: 4,168
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    Without saying the killers I face are good or bad, my best luck countering this perk has been with alert to track the killer and keep my distance.

  • UndeddJester
    UndeddJester Member Posts: 2,159
    edited November 2023
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    Thanks for the reply!

    I do feel a little bit of a misunderstanding between us aye. My purpose in this post it to highlight the disparity of opinions on this perk in an attempt to end the back and forth arguing, and head to some kind of constructive consensus.

    Since you've conveniently number your points: -

    1. I don't feel I did overstate but may have been a little unclear. UWs main appeal is it's activation is entirely in your control, and that means you can use it to find a specific survivor, exactly when it benefits you. It's not a "little" more convenient, it's primary strength over other information perks IS that can use it precisely when you want it, and its uptime means you're extremely likely to find your target when you do want it. Screams are not quite as useful for info as auras obviously, but screams do bring other benefits and are certainly not useless as info, Doctor does fine finding people with his blast. Also I would say, being killer dependant is not a weakness of the perk, it's weakness is what makes it killer dependent.
    2. You're right, UW doesnt help in chase... but my overarching point is UW almost always finds your target, and finding your target intiates the chase. A low level player doesn't typically want to be found, as they dont loop well, and UW forces it, so to a low player that seems OP. A high level player wants to loop the killer, as this is the best way to occupy the killers time, and UW gives them a pretty good headstart on doing that... so to a high level player UW seems mediocre.
    3. I'm not saying Nurse and Blight are lost causes at looping. What I'm saying is these killers are strong at anti loop. People say this perk is too strong on these killers, and the reason I'm highlighting is in both cases, stealthing against them initially buys additional seconds before having to try to loop, as these killers are stronger at looping than others. So being forced straight into looping by UW, enhances these killers primary strength, and I don't think that's a false statement.
    4. The reason I single out UW is because of its primary strength... the fact you can use it any time, and keep sweeping until you find your target. Other perks have limited windows, short ranges, long cooldown, or difficult conditions that prevent their constant usage. To summarise, UW is exceptionally good at eliminating stealth as an option, and forces players to loop whether they want to or not... and as looping skill is the main difference between high a low level survivors, UW creates a skill gap.

    I hope that clears up my argument!

    Cheers!

    Post edited by UndeddJester on
  • UndeddJester
    UndeddJester Member Posts: 2,159
    edited November 2023
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    EDIT: misclick, plz delete thia comment mods. Thanks!

    @Rizzo

    @EQWashu

    Post edited by UndeddJester on
  • AddanDeith
    AddanDeith Member Posts: 54
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    pop and pain res are much stronger perks than ultimate weapon, idk why survivors make it seem OP when it isn't really. good nurse will not have any problems winning with nowhere to hide or any other good info in place of UW

    UW is even good for the game cause before survivors could counter all info with just distortion which was just absurd, now it's much more balanced.

  • TeleportingTurkey
    TeleportingTurkey Member Posts: 589
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    Just buff calm spirit so it doesn't punish survivors for taking it and we're good.

    UW doesnt need a nerf, high tier killers will be using info perks more efficiently than mid/low tier killers anyway, rn we at least have fully counterable meta. we should keep it.

  • radiantHero23
    radiantHero23 Member Posts: 3,188
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    Absolutely agree!

    The Perk becomes very problematic on killers that are strong. Who is strong? Killer that can end chases fast (sometimes even ignoring the survivors skill in looping like Nurse does).

    Is this perk therefore problematic? Yes and no.

    If Freddy uses it, he barely gets any value out of this perk. A Doctor will probably never use this perk.

    It's problematic like awakened awareness on nurse was problematic.

    But that only says, that some killers in this game are problematic in regards to their chase power.

  • radiantHero23
    radiantHero23 Member Posts: 3,188
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    I do think that perks should have counters. Having distortion to counter auras isn't too strong in any way I think.

    Auras are good yes, people with enough gamesense and knowledge can play similar to using perks like Bbq or Lethal pursuer without using them.

    I right now play a lot of Stbfl only pig to train my map awareness again.

    So far, I'm having great results.

  • crogers271
    crogers271 Member Posts: 1,363
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    I have two issues with the perk:

    1: With any perk that has multiple powers, I like to think of what would have happened if they just released the perk with half the effect. The scream effect without the blindness probably would have been powerful enough. The blind effect without the scream probably would not have been (though adjustments to the cooldown could make it useful enough to counter windows players).

    So anytime we have a perk that probably could stand with only half of its abilities, its a problematic perk.

    2: If you want to be a stealth player there was a clear perk to choose: distortion. This gave you a good, but not unlimited, way to avoid killers trying to detect you. And if the killer ran no aura reading, you still had 3 other perks.

    Now we're in a guessing game. If the survivor brings CS and distortion, both might be wasted slots, and almost certainly one will get no value. If the survivor brings distortion and the killer brings UW, the survivor had the right idea, just the wrong execution.

    Part of DbD is a guessing game on what perks will be in play and how well they match up, that's a generally desirable and also inevitable part of the game. Throwing ultimate weapon into the mix just pushes it too far for me.

    At a minimum, I'd like them to toss the 30% slower on totems from CS, even if you throw the silent part as well, because running calm spirit and hitting a hex killer means you have a perk that's hurting you.

    Minor Note: UW weapon is a nerf to the rarely used Spies From the Shadows, by increasing the number of players running calm spirit it weakened the value of Spies.

    -

    If I could make a change to ultimate weapon, and reworking it was off the table, I'd give it an increasing cooldown after every use to make the killer think about when to use it.

  • Vikingrzilla
    Vikingrzilla Member Posts: 1
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    or learn to combat it. theres a single perk thats been in the game for years that actively counters Ultimate weapon, the meta changes, you change with it. Calm Spirit being the perfect counter to Ultimate Weapon is one of the most under used perks in the game and they add things like UW so that people will start using perks that dont see play.

  • C3Tooth
    C3Tooth Member Posts: 7,956
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    Blindness is a huge issue, especially Solo. Deny over 20 perks is one thing, its also deny survivors "basekit" that ability to see slugged and hooked teammates.

    Take away blindness, Nurse, Wesker, Blight still have a huge use to the perk. But it would make completely useless on others.

    Its going to be hard to balance this perk. At least I would take a slight nerf that Blindness dont affect basekit aura for survivors.

  • jmwjmw27
    jmwjmw27 Member Posts: 264
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    The only issue I have with this perk is that every time I see it the killer just uses it to hard tunnel by finding the person who's been off hook if they ever lose them


    though you could argue that's more of an issue with the game and lack of good anti-tunnel perks for solo than it is UW

  • jmwjmw27
    jmwjmw27 Member Posts: 264
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    I agree in thinking blindness shouldn't hide downed or hooked survivors. Although I think hiding your teammates' aura while you're on hook is fine, that might be the one instance where blindness actually impacts SWF more than it does solo queue.