Killer too oppressive, or just a lack of counterplay knowledge?

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I’ve been seeing a few opinions floating around the forums regarding Skull Merchant. I saw a good few posts about Sadako a while ago as well.

I don’t play survivor often, but my knowledge playing both of the above Killers helps me a lot. I know tape management is important, so I keep an eye on my stacks and when TV’s become active. When to wait to dispose of it and what TV’s are active/where they are.

For Skull Merchant, I know no movement prevents you from being tracked. Briefly stopping when moving through active drones renders them useless, whereas before, being in the radius was uncountable and you WOULD get exposed and revealed if you were in it long enough.

I’m seeing people say that she can still 3-gen. Yes, she can, and so can many other Killers. The key point is that she CAN’T 3-gen as effectively as she used to, and her power now has solid counters.

I even went against someone who had no idea that her drone beams apply a claw trap + injury and slow on following scans. A part of me thinks that these Killers are not as oppressive as people make them out to be, it’s just that they haven’t learned all of the quirks that make these Killers tick. They’re oppressive because you don’t verse them the way you’d verse many other Killers. You don’t play against Pinhead like you would Pig, or Leatherface. You can’t ignore the box, you need to know when it’s right to solve the box, and his chase power requires accuracy and timing.

To me, truly oppressive Killers were old Skull Merchant, original Legion, a god Nurse, or a god Blight with blighted crow and alchemist ring, but that’s a different discussion.

I’ve had my backside handed to me as both of these Killers, by Survivors that knew how to manage the Killer’s powers. I think solo queue is the biggest risk factor against Killers like these, because you kind of need at least 3 people to know what they’re doing. One person not managing tapes or drones properly could bring down the whole team if the Killer capitalises on it.

Comments

  • jajay119
    jajay119 Member Posts: 872
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    Most killers aren't too oppressive and they've over nerfed Skull merchant I think. Killers who genuinely are oppressive for me as a survivor main are:

    -Sadako

    -Blight with the right add ons/perks

    -Nurse

    -Spirit.

    -Pinhead with the right add-on/perks

  • biggybiggybiggens
    biggybiggybiggens Member Posts: 646
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    Lack of knowledge. Playing Killer is extremely difficult for newer people. Survivor is easy mode. It's funny but most Survivors seem to think Killer is easy mode. While that may be true when you first start, the complete opposite awaits you as you climb up more and more.

  • A_Can_Of_Air
    A_Can_Of_Air Member Posts: 2,007
    edited November 2023
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    Drones have two beams that rotate and scan. When a beam hits a survivor, they get one stack. Once hit with a beam three times, a claw trap is applied and injures healthy survivors. If you’re running through an active drone zone, the second the beam would hit you, take your finger off the move key/trigger, then get back to running. You only need to pause movement for a literal split second to not get scanned, but you need to time it well (bit of skill expression there).

    So, 3 beams hits = claw trap.

  • Devil_hit11
    Devil_hit11 Member Posts: 6,687
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    killer's are not oppressive. it is survivor learn to play issue.

  • mikewelk
    mikewelk Member Posts: 1,669
    edited November 2023
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  • ARTRA
    ARTRA Member Posts: 881
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    Yeah something like lol champion screens. Thats like top tier video tutorial.

  • Halloulle
    Halloulle Member Posts: 1,073
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    I'd say Skully has moved from the "in the vast majority of cases unbeatable" to the "just annoying af and the vast majority of people would hard pass if given the choice" when it comes to her 3genning.

    She's not alone in that category and given that a number of those killers and strats have been in the game for a while and are not considered problematic (never been addressed a such) I suppose that's just how it's gonna be. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ If I find myself in a sitaution where we kinda accidentally have the right tools to have a good shot within a reasonable timespan then I gonna give it that shot - if not, then I choose to use my time not being a prop in someone else's match.

  • Devil_hit11
    Devil_hit11 Member Posts: 6,687
    edited November 2023
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    @Venusa post is a survivor on Badham using weak pallet that most m1 killer can get hits at. You don't need drones. Instead of using the worst pallets at 5 gens, try using some of the god pallets in the game on that map such as badham house cellar pallet that has no mindgames, Shack, School pallets. Use safe filler pallets that have long sides and avoid unsafe short side loops. Only use those pallets if there are no other pallets remaining. If killer does not break pallets and the pallet is safe when the killer has bloodlust 2 or higher, camp long side of pallets and analyze checkpoint of the loop to slide the pallet at the correct time. When the killer breaks a pallet, chain another pallet. The drones are not effective vs safe loops if survivor competent slides the pallet at the correct time. I have not much more to say because this is basic 101 m1 looping. There is nothing to prove. As I said, this is learn to play issue with survivor.

  • biggybiggybiggens
    biggybiggybiggens Member Posts: 646
    edited November 2023
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    New people I've introduced to the game find Killer much harder. Killer is just more intimidating because it feels more like PVP than Survivor does. Survivor at least you have 3 people who can take the focus off of you, which most seem to enjoy. Killer is harder to enjoy and play for new people due to many reasons. In my experience most people I know personally don't like to touch Killer as its the "alone" role and they don't want all the blame on themselves if they lose. Not to mention the default FOV for someone new is abysmal.


    All these things add up to Killer being the less picked role whether it be from mental or physical (eye) issues. I know I'm not wrong on that lol. I'd also argue that learning how to loop as Survivor even in a decent fashion is much much easier for a new player to understand. Knowing the maps isn't as huge a factor for Survivor as Killer either. Even just the mental picture of knowing you are going up against 16 perks with your 4 is enough to make lots of people stay away. Not sure how they'd remedy that honestly.


    Most people defeat themselves mentally before they even give something like the Killer role a chance, which still hinders it more than Survivor.

  • Xernoton
    Xernoton Member Posts: 5,184
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    Rewatch the video, please. There is a significant difference to what other M1 killers could achieve here. That is the fact that the SM got a down on the healthy Kate, that ran towards a pallet and could not leave, instead of just a normal hit. Against a different killer there would be the potential to leave the loop and then take the hit, make more distance and get to a safer structure. But Kate got a claw trap applied on her.

    Her only other play was to run through the drone and hope that it wouldn't scan her. Which would have happened still, if the SM had reverted the rotation. In short, the moment she got near that drone, she was already down. And this is something that happens a lot against this killer. You cannot stay in a loop that she has set up a drone in and you have to give her free hits before you risk getting a claw trap on you. This is a significant lack of counterplay. No matter what the survivor does, they are screwed.

    SM can even play around some of the safer structures in the game thanks to her power. Like shack. She gets haste while the survivor gets hindered and also injured. That is a huge deal. At worst, this will still get her the pallet immediately, on top of the injured state that she applied by pressing M2. A survivor cannot leave the loop at will without getting injured. But against Skull Merchant, you have no other choice. So you are forced to pre drop and then make distance. Immediately. Because otherwise you're getting lock on stacks and when you have 3 lock on stacks, then you are pretty much down.

    The only way for that Kate to avoid the down in that situation was to stand still until the SM got the hit and then take the claw trap and run. That is about as terrible as it gets. Had she avoided one beam and then ran the SM could have reverted the rotation and still get her easily. I did the math and the speed of the laser at the very edge of the circle is close to 15 m/s (a little less but you get the idea). One rotation takes about 4.2 seconds in active mode. She would need to be quite close to the drone not to get scanned again, and then she would also need to get out of there. No chance. She would get hit anyway and she would also be claw trapped.

    Imagine that from a survivor's perspective. "Oh yeah, I am in a bad spot, so I'll just wait here until the Skull Merchant hits me and then try to play around my second health state. Against a killer that has in-built haste for herself and hindered for me." Sounds fun, can't wait to die in that match and get a killer that hopefully offers some more counterplay. Like Nurse. And I hate Nurse for her lack of counterplay. Because if she plays right, then you're gonna get hit, no matter what you do. But against SM your right play is to get hit as a survivor.

  • Venusa
    Venusa Member Posts: 1,460
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    This. The problem isn't so that the survivor is going to get hit because at the end of the day DBD is designed for the Killer to catch up to you at some point. Like you said, the real problem is that each chase is the same scenario and there's always a guaranteed outcome. No room for skill expression or a way for the Survivor to at least try and play around the Killer's power and interact with them which what makes DBD fun even if you "lose". At this point SM can just go against bots and it's the same experience...

  • Xernoton
    Xernoton Member Posts: 5,184
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    Damn, I took the time to type a 1000 words essay and you just described it in 2 words. Guaranteed outcome. That is exactly what I tried to explain.

    Now I feel dumb. Congrats. 😭

  • Venusa
    Venusa Member Posts: 1,460
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    Haha😭 Nooooo, your comments are always so well-written and articulate and I love reading them!

  • Devil_hit11
    Devil_hit11 Member Posts: 6,687
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    that loop is not loop you ever use vs skull merchant drones. it is her mistake to use a very unsafe loop at 5 gens.

    SM can even play around some of the safer structures in the game thanks to her power. Like shack. She gets haste while the survivor gets hindered and also injured. That is a huge deal.

    no she can't. If survivor player it perfectly, you waste time and you don't get a hit. Your not mind gaming drop-god pallets. The loops are way too safe for m1 killer to get hits. the extra speed is going to do nothing. skull merchant's drones are good when the pallets are unsafe. that is what haste+hindered does. It is like win-more mechanic at loops. If something is already weak, then it is going to be useless vs skull merchant but if something is strong, the speed-up will do nothing with proper survivor play. You use checkpoints to slide dropped pallets.

  • Xernoton
    Xernoton Member Posts: 5,184
    edited November 2023
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    Kate shouldn't have went to that pallet? Ok. Then what else was she supposed to do? Run into the drone, get claw trapped and go down? She had no right play. Every possible play for her would have resulted in being claw trapped or at least injured and the next loop she could have reached would have been where she went down. From that spot you don't get anywhere, where a 10% hindered effect won't get you killed.

    But that is less the point than the fact, that the Skull Merchant could guarantee the outcome of that situation and it would always favor her. On every loop. With little to no effort. Because there is no way for a survivor to delay her like a normal killer.

    You won't mind game a dropped god pallet, you break it. But how many are there on your average map? If we're generous there will be about 5-6 of them. Pallets that different killer would need to play around to even get them out of the way, which they somehow manage to do more or less fine. Skull Merchant sets up a drone and now there are 2 possible scenarios the chase can play out:

    1) The survivor drops the pallet immediately, so that they can leave the loop and get away from the drone. This wastes a pallet and likely still gets them a stack of lock on. Worse yet, if the Skull Merchant has Brutal Strength, then she creates dead zones insanely quick. Even Doctor isn't that oppressive in a loop and that's a killer that can make the safest pallet in the game into a death trap.

    2) The survivor tries to play around the pallet and is injured once the claw trap is applied, which will happen in about 10 seconds, if the survivor can delay it at all. Then, you play a bit of M1 killer with haste against a survivor with a 10% hindered effect. Now you get the pallet out of the way and repeat the same thing on the next loop. Notice the difference. A normal killer would get the pallet (but with more time invested) and nothing else, while SM gets a free injured state on top of that.

    In both cases, the survivor loses. There is no way to come out on top and there is no way for the Skull Merchant to mess that up. But it's way better than about half the killer roster could hope to perform. Just from the get go. SM guarantees one of these 2 outcomes and both favor her. The survivor might as well be a bot. There is no skill expression in playing against her and you will go down faster than against many way harder killers. If they play perfect and the survivor isn't able to counter them. With SM there is no skill expression on either side.

    Against pretty much any other killer, I would agree with you. Don't let it get to that. Do something else, so that this situation will not occur. Skull Merchant however leaves you with no possible chance to avoid a lose-lose situation.

  • Venusa
    Venusa Member Posts: 1,460
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    Well, that was the pallet available to her in that moment? You don't have the luxury to decide where you want the chases to start as a survivor and you don't have the ability to teleport yourself and the Killer to a pallet of your liking, do you? Your arguments don't really translate to real gameplay.

    I remember when I shared a clip showing how busted reworked Trickster can be you did exactly the same thing. You wrote several long paragraphs explaining it was the survivor's fault because they didn't play perfectly. Now you're doing it with SM. Did you ever consider the idea that some Killers can be overwhelming or unenjoyable to go against and that it's not always the survivor's fault every single time and that it's a bit unrealistic and illogical to expect every survivor to play flawlessly to enjoy the game?

  • DEMONANCE
    DEMONANCE Member Posts: 801
    edited November 2023
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    mmr doesn't work properly for killer to be a hard role or Survivor to be an easy role

    when you get to a certain degree of experience with killer you stomp 99% of your matches which has been proven countless times by killer main streamers or comp players

    someone even made a winstreak playing trapper with no perks or addons or power

    while you can be the best Survivor and still get queued with people who don't know what they're doing and in these cases the 3 other people are just a hindrance and you're basically playing for points.

    the game is in a point where killer role is so much more relaxing and easier and Survivors is so frustrating and difficult yet some still think killer is hard and not wanna realize it's because of their own skill issues.

  • Devil_hit11
    Devil_hit11 Member Posts: 6,687
    edited November 2023
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    You wrote several long paragraphs explaining it was the survivor's fault because they didn't play perfectly. Now you're doing it with SM. Did you ever consider the idea that some Killers can be overwhelming or unenjoyable to go against and that it's not always the survivor's fault every single time and that it's a bit unrealistic and illogical to expect every survivor to play flawlessly to enjoy the game?

    yes because survivor played GOJ loop poorly. Why do you expect the game to be balanced are you playing bad? If you expect survivor to balanced around playing bad than you should balance killer around playing bad well. Killer should not be expected to play perfectly and still lose while survivor can play poorly and still escape. It is unrealistic and illogical for killer to be expected to play flawlessly only to go even or lose vs players of equal skill-level. This clip is same as other one. your showing an out of context clip of survivor making poor decisions and expect the game to be balanced around your poor play.

    Your post makes so many irrational claims that it makes no sense. Let me go over some of your points.

    Kate shouldn't have went to that pallet? Ok. Then what else was she supposed to do? Run into the drone, get claw trapped and go down? She had no right play. Every possible play for her would have resulted in being claw trapped or at least injured and the next loop she could have reached would have been where she went down. From that spot you don't get anywhere, where a 10% hindered effect won't get you killed.

    first of all, survivor in the chase is all about positioning. those two pallets in front of badham school are weak pallets. Every regular killer can win those pallets when they are dropped. The only way you can outplay a killer in those two pallets is stun killer with said pallet but experienced killer will not get stunned, they will over-respect the pallet because by doing so, they get 100% hit either by normal means or eventual bloodlust 3. You can still outplay killer at dropped pallet but you need exhaustion perk to link to safe god pallet such as Lithe, 99% SB or DH. This is start of the game, there is no reason for kate to use the worst pallets at the start of the game. The kate should ignore this pallet and pretend it does not exist. You should only use these type of pallets where no other pallet remain on the map.

    But that is less the point than the fact, that the Skull Merchant could guarantee the outcome of that situation and it would always favor her. On every loop. With little to no effort. Because there is no way for a survivor to delay her like a normal killer.


    You won't mind game a dropped god pallet, you break it. But how many are there on your average map? If we're generous there will be about 5-6 of them. Pallets that different killer would need to play around to even get them out of the way, which they somehow manage to do more or less fine. Skull Merchant sets up a drone and now there are 2 possible scenarios the chase can play out:

    5-6 pallet is way too many. A survivor chaining 5-6 forced break pallets and killer being forced to break them is easily 90 second to 120 second chases. A 120 second chase is game-losing for killer. It doesn't matter if killer get the hook after 2 minutes. that is easily 3-4 generator worth of progress vs efficient team. your statement that you cannot delay skull merchant then proceeding to say that killer has to break 5-6 pallets showcases that the killer can be delayed. There is nothing guaranteed at any of strong loops in the game because skull merchant is nothing more then BL3 killer for 6 seconds after being scanned at loops with time sink to get 3 lock-on stacks. Speed is irrelevant if I cannot outplay survivor at the pallet itself because survivor is properly using check spots at strong pallet loops and sliding pallets at the correct time. That is why every killer is forced break said pallets because they in fact have no counter-play and only serve to waste killer time.

    The survivor drops the pallet immediately, so that they can leave the loop and get away from the drone. This wastes a pallet and likely still gets them a stack of lock on.

    Why would survivor drop the pallet immediately? If I am one side of shack and you are directly parallel to other side, there is no reason for you to drop the pallet. Your so far ahead of me that you will keep rotating pallet until you measure the distance as survivor that going for next loop would result in your getting hit. you will drop the pallet when you cannot make another rotation on the loop. When the pallet is dropped, the killer player realizes that going around loop is pointless because you can vault pallet but killer cannot vault pallet, so they break it. Survivor skill is all about measuring the distance between killer and survivor and anticipating result. All that drones do is make this decision happen faster because of speed differential. I still get no hit and you still extend chase with little no skill input required.

    Another aspect that makes no sense is this idea of "Wasting pallets". there is no such thing as wasting pallets. there is only using pallets to waste the killer time. Pallet cannot be wasted. they are spawned in the map specifically to be used. If anything, the most perfect game for survivor is to use every single pallet on the map because then no pallets are wasted when you leave through exit gate.

    he survivor tries to play around the pallet and is injured once the claw trap is applied, which will happen in about 10 seconds, if the survivor can delay it at all. Then, you play a bit of M1 killer with haste against a survivor with a 10% hindered effect. Now you get the pallet out of the way and repeat the same thing on the next loop. Notice the difference. A normal killer would get the pallet (but with more time invested) and nothing else, while SM gets a free injured state on top of that.

    The game is balanced around killer winning every single chase in 30 second or less. Any time killer does not get hit or is looped for any amount will result in a massive gen deficit. So the fact your not put into dying state is a potencial opportunity for killer to lose.

    With SM there is no skill expression on either side.


    Against pretty much any other killer, I would agree with you. Don't let it get to that. Do something else, so that this situation will not occur. Skull Merchant however leaves you with no possible chance to avoid a lose-lose situation.

    there are no lose-lose situations. The lose-lose situations are situations that you purposely choose for yourself as survivor. The skill is looping skull merchant is looping bloodlust 3. Any loop in which you cannot loop bloodlust 3 is a loop that you will get hit on as survivor after x amount of time has passed via drone hindered+haste. That is why I said that what counters skull merchant is Safe Pallets because safe pallets are often bloodlust 3 infinities. Sometimes the pallet is a little unsafe but with correct check spot timing, you can still time the slide on the pallet to make loop safe.

  • Venusa
    Venusa Member Posts: 1,460
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    Tell me what SM has to do to achieve a hit or down on every single loop except for pressing M2 and W with endless drones and built-in haste and hinder? "Good play" and "skill"? That's funny. You're such a big fan of judging the survivor for their "bad play" while continuing to ignore the fact that this Killer doesn't have to do any "play" in the first place to achieve and earn a hit or down.

    Also my clips aren't out of context. It's literally footage of actual gameplay. What's out of context is the imaginary what ifs and scenarios you come up with in those paragraphs that supposedly counters SM very well. Why don't you share clips or examples of you countering SM consistently so we can all learn from a real gameplay pov instead of a wall of text?

    Anyways I think I'm going to end my side of the discussion here since at this point your replies come across as "just for the sake of disagreeing" and it'll go on forever. I don't think anybody who defends SM this persistently really cares about the health and longevity of DBD. Peace.

  • mikewelk
    mikewelk Member Posts: 1,669
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    It's getting exhausting, right? Like bias aside barely anyone enjoys facing the killer and there's even an entire poll about it.


  • Xyvielia
    Xyvielia Member Posts: 2,415
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    Unfortunately, this is the absolute truth

    Also, it just further proves the point that Devs continue to borrow concepts from other Killers incorporating them elsewhere as upgraded ideas and considering them to be ‘new powers.’

    Please get back to being original with your original Killers, and not ever again “Skull-Merchant-original”

  • Devil_hit11
    Devil_hit11 Member Posts: 6,687
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    tell me what skill survivor displays when dropping god pallets and safe pallets. where's survivor skill in chasing if killer physically cannot hit you. Your clip is showcasing a weak pallet that any m1 killer can get a hit at in order prove that skull merchant is imbalanced. Why don't you showcase an a strong pallet like a dropped shack pallet to showcase how imbalanced she is? I do not think that anybody that defends god pallets and safe loops cares about the health and longevity of dbd.

  • Venusa
    Venusa Member Posts: 1,460
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    Exactly. Nothing much left to discuss. Anyone in their right mind can understand this and you don't have to be a genius to grasp the problem with SM but the Forums is full of contrarians that disagree with you just for the sake of it so I'm not that surprised. There were people who defended even 3-Gen Merchant and I wouldn't be shocked if it were these same people. Bending backwards and coming up with ridiculous arguments just for their "gotcha" moment. Laughable.

  • biggybiggybiggens
    biggybiggybiggens Member Posts: 646
    edited November 2023
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    Like I said, you can push it either way you want, but many new people find Killer harder due to being "alone". Survivor is an easier mind set to have for longer periods in general assuming you don't play every single day, but are beyond the training wheel matches. So I'm not including people who just spam Killer constantly because of course they would be as good as they are if Killer is all they play over and over.

    The point is if you barely play the game, Survivor is still the easier side to pick up and play and succeed most of the time even if that means you are the only one escaping. Winning to lots of people doesn't mean 3 out.

  • sizzlingmario4
    sizzlingmario4 Member Posts: 6,437
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    Sadako is fine.

    Skull Merchant is not fine. She doesn’t have enough counterplay in chase anymore and leaving the loop and going to another one doesn’t work because she doesn’t lose any speed for placing a drone and often has 3% extra speed for free (or more) which is a part of her kit that feels very outdated now and is only there as a remnant from her old power. If you stop or crouch momentarily to avoid a drone beam, while that does prevent you from being scanned, it's often not practical to do that without just taking an m1 immediately after. It genuinely feels like there are often just no options against her and nothing you can do to avoid being hit or taking damage especially since lock on never decays unless you are downed. It doesn't even feel like you are playing against Skull Merchant, it feels like you are playing against drones who do all the work for her with very little effort on her part. Disabling drones ahead of time also isn't meaningful whatsoever in chase since she can just recall the drone and replace it immediately.

  • Azulra
    Azulra Member Posts: 398
    edited November 2023
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    Skull Merchant isn't very oppressive and actually not that hard to extend chase times with. Even more so with certain perks- A lot of people don't realize this, but the drones can't detect you regardless if you're moving or not as long as you remain crouched which makes Urban Evasion a strong counter to her(and it's also a decent perk against some other killers that have ranged powers and such). She's just as bad to chase a survivor if they hold W just like with killers such as Trapper and Pig so perks that help with holding W away from the killer can extend the chase times so perks like Overcome(which is an underrated perk in general) makes it harder for her to get the down because as long as you deny her of her speed boost(same strategy with Nemesis with trying to keep him in Tier 1 for as long as possible) she doesn't ever get an advantage over you with her speed. Also you can use Plot Twist to remove her Claw Traps if you accidentally get tagged by one since the Claw Traps immediately deactivate if you enter the dying state by any means so the Claw Trap injures you, down yourself with Plot Twist, then just pick yourself up.