Why I refuse to play as or against Sadako on principle

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leowt
leowt Member Posts: 45

Full disclosure: I've really tried to keep an open mind about her before reaching my conclusions. I've been following the community discourse surrounding her and I've tried to implement the counterplays that many people have kindly suggested. I've also given it time and played many matches against her and as her (using multiple add-ons). But I have come to the conclusion that her design is problematic and flawed and I genuinely believe she is an issue that extends beyond survivors simply adjusting to the new Onryo. The only time that I have ever felt this strongly about something in the game was the 25s incapacitated Eruption.

Before I explain why I think Sadako is problematic, let me try to illustrate what I understand to be the optimal play style for Sadako, which is very different from what the devs probably intended. My impression is that she was intended to be a stealth killer where the condemn mechanic is a passive slowdown similar to Pig's and the TVs offer map mobility and some help in chase. However, if she is played as intended, you’ll find her to be incredibly weak. The optimal Sadako prioritizes smacking tapes off of survivors’ hands to build condemn (ideally by ambushing them while they are in a bad spot) and keeping TVs off by spamming teleport to deny survivors the chance to grab a tape. If a survivor is downed and she suspects that they have a threatening level of condemn, hooking would be a waste of time. She should continue teleporting to active TVs to deny them a chance to relieve the condemn pressure. Once they recover, teleport back to build condemn. If they take a tape, they’ll be vulnerable again and probably require 1 more down to be mori-able. The game has turned into a 3v1 at 4-5 gens and the game plays itself from that point onward.

I will now try to explain the best I can as to why I feel so strongly about Sadako.

  1. Managing Condemnation feels like a primary objective instead of a secondary objective. In most of my Onryo games, doing gens becomes an afterthought. I'm sure a lot of you experience this too. Survivors do gens for a bit, get their tape knocked off of their hands because they get ambushed while being in a bad spot, and now they have to go on a journey around the map to find an active TV otherwise they'll get behind on condemnation. Even if they get to an active TV, she might just teleport there and now your time is wasted.
  2. Versing an Onryo feels like a stampede. Against an Onryo that is playing optimally, active TVs are a rare commodity. The really dumb part is that if you take a tape from the active TV, it switches off and now you might have screwed over a teammate who is more vulnerable than you and needs the tape more than you do. Even worse, when you try to get rid of your stacks and in that desperate situation, the only TV you can find is an active one, you put the tape in and the TV turns off and you might have screwed your teammate over again. Survivors scramble like headless chickens trying to find an active TV and in the process of managing their own condemn, they very likely will screw over a teammate. It really doesn't make sense that the design is such that you will have to compete with your teammates for active TVs in order to survive.
  3. There is such a small margin of error against Sadakos. Especially with some add-ons, reaching 3-4 stacks feels like you have gone past the point of no return, even more so if you are injured or slugged. If you don't have a tape, she can teleport to TVs around you to build condemn and make sure you don't grab a tape. If you somehow manage to get a tape, she will knock it right out of your hand and you may very well be close to death. Furthermore, you only need one person to mess up against Sadako for the entire team to crumble.
  4. But "just take a tape at the start of the match", you say. To oversimplify and reduce the counterplay to Sadako to this simple act is akin to teaching chess to a novice by telling them to start off with e4 every chess match and leave them to their own devices afterward. It ignores the complexity of the midgame, where people have been ambushed, active TVs become a rare commodity, and resources are depleted. What happens if you get ambushed and you now have 2-3 stacks? Do you take another tape (which a teammate might need more) and risk being effectively dead if she catches you? If she doesn't catch you, do you put in the tape but in the process switch off the TV and screw your teammate even more? The macro game against Sadako is so complex as there are so many considerations to make. It's really not simple as just taking a tape early in the game.
  5. Altruism is discouraged and even counterproductive against her. Do you want to take hits for a vulnerable teammate? If you have a tape, here are 2 free stacks for you. So now you have to be vulnerable to condemnation and have to go on a journey to find another active TV. And if Sadako REALLY wants to go after someone, she can just demanifest and bypass all bodyblocks. So now you've wasted your time by not being on gens. It's just a lose-lose situation where you helplessly watch your teammate get mowed down.
  6. Sadako's slowdown is orders of magnitude more potent than Pig's and Pinhead's. Sadako's basekit slowdown is like Pig's if all survivors start off the match with an active Reverse Bear Trap but the auras of the boxes are not shown. Sadako's basekit slowdown is like Pinhead's if each survivor had to do their own Iridescent Lament Configuration and if any individual Survivor fails to do it in time, they die. Obviously, this is just an analogy but you get the point. This is her basekit btw, I haven't even included her addons.
  7. She has problematic addons. The biggest culprits are the Iridescent Videotape and Mother's Comb for obvious reasons. Both of them allow for Sadako to so easily harass any survivor to death. Ring Drawing remains overturned because it so heavily punishes altruism and it is imperative that survivors remain healed against a stealth killer like her. A full stack is too much in my opinion, because of all the reasons above.
  8. She, more so than any other Killer, punishes people for being dumb enough to play anything other than a 4 man swf against her. Information and coordination are especially vital in order to perform well against Sadakos. You need to know where she is, you need to be able to communicate where TVs are, you need to coordinate a location to reset, you need to coordinate to help vulnerable teammates, etc. Good luck trying to beat her in solo q.
  9. I know I’m going to get crucified for this, but I think playing Sadako yields disproportionately high results relative to the skill it takes to play her. I'm not trying to diminish the skill it takes to play Sadako, but it's really hard to argue that it is much more than M1 chase, good game sense (awareness of where survivors are, which can be made up for with perks and addons), and an understanding of her mechanics. I don't know about you, but it won't sit right with me if a Billy player who puts in hundreds of hours trying to master a mechanically difficult killer produces a fraction of the results than that of a killer with wholly transferable skills.
  10. Playing against Sadako is orders of magnitude harder than playing Sadako. This is due to the aforementioned reaons. That's why I personally don't find it rewarding when I do well with her and why I don't really get impressed when a Sadako slaughters my team at 5 gens.
  11. You can't use your items when you have a tape in your hand. This literally doesn't make any sense whatsoever. Self-healing is probably the strongest counter against Sadako, and that is artificially negated. It probably is an oversight, but this desperately needs to go.
  12. "She is just an M1 killer and if you struggle against her, it is a skill issue". So I guess I'm the only one in solo-q who gets ambushed and gets caught in a bad spot against stealth killers who hit-and-run. Please teach me your ways.

That's all I have to say about Sadako. Writing this has been incredibly therapeutic for me and I hope to have a vibrant discussion about the points I raised in this post. Thank you for your time.

Comments

  • thisislastyearsmodel
    thisislastyearsmodel Unconfirmed, Member Posts: 636
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    I don't disagree that they probably should have put more thought into her rework, but like... Are you just DC-ing every time you load into a game against her or what?

  • radiantHero23
    radiantHero23 Member Posts: 3,606
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    I and may others told the devs in the Ptb feedback that this would happen. We got ignored.

    Revert the changes bhvr.

    #bringbackSadako

  • Thusly_Boned
    Thusly_Boned Member Posts: 2,822
    edited August 2023
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    The new Onryo condemnation strat is busted, for sure. But an Onryo player playing basic hit and run and not using condemnation as their primary goal? I don't see the problem. And there are Sadako players out there who don't play the way you are describing.

    Of course the problem is that with these changes we have a bunch of new Sadako players leaning hard on the new new strat, so the fair Sadako players seem few and far between.

    And playing a non-condemnation-first Sadako is work, let me tell you.

  • Mockingjay_S451
    Mockingjay_S451 Member Posts: 393
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    I’ve had a lot of matches against her since the rework, and I’ve not had a single one that prioritised hooks over trying to get people condemned so that she could Mori them.

    I also noticed that when there is one survivor left (when the odd chance of them not slugging when there are two left), she just teleports as fast as she can from tv to tv to try to build up condemned quickly. So the last survivor has to pick if they want to look for hatch, or try to find a tape and active tv to lower their condemned.

    I personally feel that the games against her now are just oppressive and are not fun. I don’t mind dying, heck if I minded dying I would never play this game… but at least in some matches you feel like you have a chance. I don’t feel that when I go against her now.

  • Yamaoka
    Yamaoka Member Posts: 4,321
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    You are absolutely right and the only people denying she's busted are the same people "enjoying" her in that outright unfair state at the expense of survivors.

    I'm sure the devs are aware but they probably want to hit a certain number of sales before adjusting her power.

  • MaTtRoSiTy
    MaTtRoSiTy Member Posts: 1,770
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    All I can say is I don't know why they buffed her anyway, she was still perfectly fine against the vast majority of the DBD survivor player base who are low/med skill casuals.

    The problem she has now is she destroys the average solo queue team with very little effort or skill. Another case of me left scratching my head at BHVR and why they decided to change something

  • Murgleïs
    Murgleïs Member Posts: 1,049
    edited August 2023
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    She is not a stealth killer. She has a lullaby of 24m.

    The fact that you get "caught" in a bad spot, in enough to know that it is a skill issue. She gets destroyed against a good SWF.

  • leowt
    leowt Member Posts: 45
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    I play mostly solo q and I understand how much the odds are especially stacked against me. I know that it will not be a fun experience and I usually just dissociate from the match. I know that the outcome does not fully reflect my skill. But I would outright DC if she has Iri Video Tape, Ring Drawing, Sloppy Butcher and Hex: Face the Darkness because that is a Sadako that knows what she's doing.

    Old Sadako certainly needed buffs but I don't think this is the way the devs should've done it. To be fair, I think the monster that emerged was an unintended outcome.

    Yeah, I agree. It's so difficult to play her as intended so I respect you for trying to play her on Hard mode. The problem is that her design actively incentives the condemnation playstyle which is so strong. The average Sadako has no reason not to use her to her full potential.

    Go bait elsewhere.

    My experience mirrors yours exactly. I don't feel the same sense of hopelessness and dread against any other killer as I do against Sadako. It's usually not worth playing out.

    I wonder if Sadako defenders are just being deliberately obtuse or if they haven't thought through the full implications of Sadako's power. Or maybe they think it's fair because they personally haven't stretched her to her limits of what she is capable of.

    She definitely needed some help in chase. But yeah, they buffed her in a way that makes her even more lethal against casuals.

    Not every map is like Garden of Joy where you can quickly get to safety when she comes within 24m of you. That's quite disingenuous. Also, she can give good SWFs a run for their money if you play her optimally. Lastly, most of your games are not against good SWFs.

  • Wiccamanplays
    Wiccamanplays Member Posts: 130
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    Previously the Onryo was arguably the worst Killer in the game alongside the Trapper if you didn't use her single, gimmicky strat of forcing Condemnation with an extremely specific build and playstyle. They've now nerfed that specific playstyle but significantly buffed her elsewhere and also given her the ability to passively generate Condemnation with a normal playstyle. This now means that a good Sadako is as dangerous against mid-tier survivors as she was previously against bad survivors. She’s still highly vulnerable to co-ordinated play and now effectively doesn’t have a chase power thanks to the change to Manifestation. She also still has a lullaby that is visible on VTR even when Demanifested, so her stealth playstyle is quite weak. I don’t think she’s so terrible that OP is justified in DCing against her constantly (if I DC’ed as killer every time Survivors did something I didn’t like, I’d have a 5 year long ban by now, and this is coming from someone who struggles a lot as Killer currently). She could probably use a power shift away from Condemnation (I’d recommend reducing the range of Condemnation upon using Projection or reducing the quantity of Condemnation built up) and back into her chase abilities. It’s really good that Sadako can use TVs in the same way Dredge uses lockers, now if Manifestation had some more oomph to it (faster Demanifesting would be nice, or at the more extreme end being able to move through pallets while Demanifested) she’d be a properly scary Killer with a skill floor and skill ceiling which would make her less oppressive for newer Survivors who can’t find TV’s and don’t understand what’s happening and more effective against experienced Survivors who can, as always, run rings around many M1 Killers.

  • jajay119
    jajay119 Member Posts: 881
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    I agree with a lot of this. I've tried the 'just take a tape' counterplay suggested and it's honestly too inefficient. She Still seems to teleport round way too quickly. No gens get done because you're spending too much time worrying about tapes.

    In the event you can get to gens, the game seems to become unwinnable as she teleports, chases you off, kicks (combined with regression) and repeats over and over again. It's honestly just the skull merchant over again with extra annoyance. She really does need to be changed... again.

  • jajay119
    jajay119 Member Posts: 881
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    It sounds good on paper, but for long term viability of the match. It doesn't work. ⁸

  • radiantHero23
    radiantHero23 Member Posts: 3,606
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    She needed buffs.

    In the Ptb feedback section, many dedicated players wrote down their thoughts on what these buffs should be.

    I wrote about 5 hours...

    If this is not the outcome they intended, I'm curious why all of our doomsday - talking got ignored the way it was.

    Sorry, but I feel like a broken record.

    This is the result of too many players not realizing that this killer had to be played differently, too many players abusing a certain green addon (which was not even a necessity) and too many content creators not calling bhvr out for their terrible rework.

    But I guess this goes to show what voices are heard and what are not.

    Now we have the disaster.

    #bringbackSadako

  • Mockingjay_S451
    Mockingjay_S451 Member Posts: 393
    edited August 2023
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    Okay she is just miserable to go against. Not a single one I’ve played against are prioritising hooking and just hitting, slugging and teleporting while you are getting more and more condemned. It’s actually just pathetic and I’m going to go next as fast as I can when I’m against her.

  • lifestylee
    lifestylee Member Posts: 243
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    You're supposed to go for 12 hooks as an m1 killer without the threat of condemn else its a skill issue.