I don't understand this Skull Merchant hate train



  • Chiky
    Chiky Member Posts: 647

    i think it's just a joke that got out of control. I nerv had any issues with or against a SM before...

  • Quizzy
    Quizzy Member Posts: 862

    They honestly shouldn't have changed her original power when they were planning on eliminating 3 gen hostage situations. They were hasty on their part. The only problem survivors had with her then was that alone. Because people who played skull merchant for chase during her original powers were weak and not oppressive. And because people complained about that, they made her more oppressive in chases for doing so little and pressing one button. And mind you, she only had 4 drones during that time instead of 8. That's overkill.

  • jesterkind
    jesterkind Member Posts: 7,167

    1: Is it more than any other killer, though? If a teammate makes a dumb decision and gets scanned by a drone, you have to face a Merchant with extra 3% Haste for 12 seconds. That's not nothing and I don't want to downplay it, but I don't feel like it's worse than, for instance:

    • Teammates granting Myers a ton of stalk for free early on, leading to you getting instadowned or Tombstone mori'd
    • Teammates giving Oni his power early, leading to you getting instadowned
    • Teammates cleansing incessantly against Plague, leading to you getting chased with Corrupt Purge active
    • Teammates grouping up against Legion, leading to you getting downed by the fourth Feral Slash

    I feel like it's being overblown how much you're dependant on your teammates not to mess up for your chase not to be messed with too. They're obviously messing up their own next chase by a fair amount by giving her free Lock On stacks, but that's separate, almost any killer can be gifted free value by teammate mistakes in that regard.

    2: Semantic difference, surely? Looping SM and looping Clown in these examples pretty heavily that they're using their powers. Every time you're scanned while claw trapped, you get inflicted with a 10% Hindered for 6 seconds. Every time you get hit by the Afterpiece Tonic, you get inflicted with a 15% Hindered for however long it takes you to leave the cloud + 2 seconds afterwards. Comparable to one another, with the main difference being that Clown has stronger Hindered for probably on average less time... in exchange for his Haste, which he does have, also being stronger. Merchant gets 3%, he gets 10%.

    Even under those conditions, you can loop Clown. You just have to play around dropped pallets more, which since Skull Merchant doesn't have basekit pallet-break any more, is how you'd play around hers too.

    3: Gonna address the fourth point here and just eliminate the dead entry, lol. So, this point loops back around to that question I posed before - if a Skull Merchant is patiently building Bloodlust by just dropping drones at loops to zone you away, scanning you once per loop (if she's lucky) until she actually gets something from it... is that faster than brute forcing the loop with good mindgames to get the injure much sooner?

    I'd say it isn't. While I wouldn't mind something to stop her building Bloodlust while benefiting from scans, I also don't think her current position really rewards her for doing it too much. It's a war of attrition she won't win because generator progress is completely unhindered while she takes longer to down a survivor. You could make the argument it's kinda boring, but see again the point about Knight and Artist: They do this exact same thing but better (in that their threat is immediate, whereas you have time to reposition when SM does it), and while they get complaints, it's nowhere near as extreme and vitriolic as what Skull Merchant gets.

    4: This heavily depends on what she's doing, to be fair. The worst case scenario for repetitiveness for Merchant is her just dropping drones at loops and never doing anything else, which as I said - puts her with Knight and Artist when they do the same thing. I am fully on board for finding this boring, but I do object to people asserting that it's all Merchant does and I question very heavily why she's being singled out for such a hostile response when she's the least objectionable of the killers that do this.

    If she's not doing that, she's not any more repetitive than any other killer. There's variety in gameplay between avoiding preset drones, hacking drones outside of chase, and keeping an eye out for her stealth.

    5: When I talk about her skill, I am talking about her played properly rather than just dropping drones at a loop. Since that's a low effort but also relatively low reward playstyle, I think it's fair to talk about her playing more as intended- leveraging the drones as traps, utilising her stealth, even playing around Claw Traps where applicable.

    This kind of play for Merchant requires a lot of knowledge about where the traps should go, how to zone (the basekit term, not the power term) survivors into them, and how to capitalise on it without spending so much time you'd be faster just going for a regular M1.

    6: Don't think there's much more to discuss on this point, sounds like we mostly agree her stealth is good but not problematic(?)

  • NerfDHalready
    NerfDHalready Member Posts: 1,451

    she has the most brainless and effective area denial in the entire game. what exactly makes it this way? well because the only counterplay to area denial is holding w. artist, tapping knight, trapper/hag trapping mid chase etc. and as long as you don't let them zone you in a corner you are safe. good luck doing that against this killer who can basically cover an entire half of some maps. you can't go around and disable drones because they stay disabled only for 45s which is absurdly short for such a hassle. there certainly is no avoiding drones for the most part if sm has more than 5 brain cells, and you can't ignore them because of the haste she gets and hindered on survivors on top.

  • UndeddJester
    UndeddJester Member Posts: 2,425
    edited February 17

    While I don't agree with every statement dude, it's nice to see a civil Skull Merchant discussion.

    Mori - I don't hate her mori, it has very much the nasty strike from behind, clasp the mouth, drive the blades up and through the torso, something like an assassin's stealth kill, I can see that mori done on Game Of Thrones or something similar. Freddy's strike is a little more supernatural and unrealistic, which is fine for the fact he himself is supernatural (although I wish they'd give his and many mori's some much needed TLC). The drone is a bit goofy I will agree and yeah the screams are silly... if it were me, I'd have had the drone do something a little cool, like from her trailer, shine a bright light in the survivors face to blind them as she approached, show it from the survivors perspective as she steps from behind the light to grab their cheeks over their mouth, dig her metal nails in, then jerk their head forward as she nimbly slips behind for the mori to mostly play out the same... but I feel like moris are different enough in tone and feel... but I get the disappointment.

    Lore/Outfit - Her lore is a little chaotic and bloated, that's fair. I'd probably have fun trying to rewrite the lore to be a little more structured and darker, but I like some of the ideas.

    The suit is kind of practical I guess... but yeah, I do feel her base look is lacking. She has made up a lot of ground in my mind with her cosmetics she has gotten some pretty cool cosmetics. I like the purple haired one with the toothy mask, and I combine that with the body from the battlepass or the more recent Fire Moon outfit, a strong cosmetic SM looks pretty cool IMO.

    So yeah I do agree with everything you've said really, I would love a pass myself at her just to clean up a few things to make her better, cause I do see a lot of cool things about SM... but there are blemishes that I understand culminate in distracting from her a lot

  • ChaosWam
    ChaosWam Member Posts: 1,290

    Stigma from her release, her old power being abused by 3-gen chess merchants, and survivors not knowing about changes made.

    Also, I wish her lore was as 'complicated' and not just... Bad.

  • Xernoton
    Xernoton Member Posts: 5,367

    I am completely fine with people disagreeing on this. That is good thing because it leads to a discussion. At the end of the day I don't want them to give her the Freddy treatment or delete her from the game. I just want her to be a more fleshed out and healthy version of herself because even though I dislike her design very much, I think it has a lot of potential.

    Maybe we can work something out together and post it to the feedback section (send me a DM, if you're insterested). I don't want to hate her anymore (it gets tiring but I also cannot tolerate her current state), so I'd love to give them some suggestions. Almost every part of her has something that is genuinely good and can be reused in a rework but her current version is a mess. There are too many things in there and none of them feel fully fleshed out.

    I'd love for them to go a darker route with this killer, focus more on her degeneration. It could start as a means for her to capitalise with her company but slowly she starts enjoying the hunt and loses herself in this feeling. Her competitive nature could push her to come up with ever more deadly designs for her gear and eventually she would start experimenting on herself. The mask could be a part of her head, designed to increase her cognitive capacities and allow her to track her prey and control her drones without effort. The weapon could be attached to an exoskeleton which is directly connected to her spinal cord.

    Instead of having multiple drones, she could have one drone that she can control freely. It would allow her to scout survivors in the distance and mark them for a potential anti loop power. Or she gets multiple drones that can patrol a set route (similar to Knight's guards).

  • Devil_hit11
    Devil_hit11 Member Posts: 7,032

    I agree. it is largely skill issue. I enjoy playing her as a killer so I hope she doesn't get nerfed.

  • BlightedDolphin
    BlightedDolphin Member Posts: 1,686

    My issue with her is the same as with old MfT - you have no idea that the Haste is in effect and if you have to play around it.

    Can I get another loop at this pallet? No clue. Better drop it. Oh now I have to leave because she placed a drone. It's just boring.

  • anarchy753
    anarchy753 Member Posts: 4,212

    Personally I dislike how many buffs are baked into her base kit, with haste, and undetectable, and hindered, and injuries from across the map, and broken.

    I don't like chases being influenced by someone else interacting with a drone halfway across the map.

    I don't like 75% of the map being covered in drone AOE with zero meaningful counterplay. Breaking them is only temporary, gains nothing, and if she chooses to she can just replace them anyway. With the ease of replacing them, drones should at least break permanently.

  • イエローミント

    I love her🥺

  • HamsterEnjoyer
    HamsterEnjoyer Member Posts: 579

    Mostly because when we try to play in a fun or fair way the survivors just teabag and be as toxic as they possibly can then spam insults after the match is over because I dared to play a unique killer that doesn't really exist elsewhere in this game power wise.

  • Unusedkillername
    Unusedkillername Member Posts: 203


    Dbd misjudged its audience and I think the build-up to the current chapter is a complete 180. The type of player that would unironically type "Slay Queen" when seeing the recent killer data is not the majority. You can market to these players and throw them a bone now and then, look at Trickster, but with Skull Merchant, I don't think they got the balance right. There were complaints during all kill but nothing like with Skull Merchant.

    It doesn't help that she was awful when she first came out to play against and just not a very popular killer to a lot of killer players.

  • The_Daydreamer
    The_Daydreamer Member Posts: 735

    Pretty much all of this. Even if you ignore the design and the lore, her power is just pathetic. Like, there is no thought process, no skill, nothing. Its boring, its overtuned and not worth playing against. SM Enjoyers just don't understand how frustrating it is to play against her: She gets fast, stealthy and a lot of information for putting down a drone with 0 efforts or thoughts. Cooldown and Range is a joke in itself. And you get rewarded for doing nothing while the survivors receives so many debuffs.

    Basically no one likes her, every match against her is terrible and nearly every skull merchant main is unlikable (Holding people who want to leave hostage, living terrible comments or be like Jane on Twitter).

  • GeneralV
    GeneralV Member Posts: 10,216

    I know how that is.

    Before Freddy's nerf in 4.7.0 I got a lot of hate for daring to play him.

  • Azulra
    Azulra Member Posts: 399

    One of the main reasons is because everyone is still acting like she could just stall out a match for 60 minutes even though she really can't now with both her rework and the new gen system. Then, on top of that, the most common excuse I see for why people hate her is "bEcAuSe ShE cAn DaMaGe YoU oVeR pAlLeTs AnD tHaT's BoRiNg" when we've literally had killers who've been able to do that kind of stuff ever since the release of Huntress. There's quite a few killers in the game that can damage your over pallets so there's no reason to make Skull Merchant an exception to this kind of excuse that a lot of survivors tend to use and what makes this excuse even more funny is the fact that Skull Merchant can't even down you over pallets whereas Huntress, Trickster, Nemesis, Xeno, etc can and yet she's the most hated one. BHVR even made a QoL change to her for survivors to show when her drones can and can't scan you by the gray scan lines so it's easier to go against her, but since a lot of survivors refuse to learn anything new they just simply default to complaining.

  • mikewelk
    mikewelk Member Posts: 1,669
    edited February 18
    1. No, it's not and that's my bad. I was meant to say that the dependency on your teammates is up there with killers you mentioned. The point you made about survivors messing up their own chases and mine is also correct and it does give free value like any other killer could get passively (if they even can) but you can't understate how easily the value is acquired. You turn a corner aand there's a drone. One tag. Say bye bye to normal gameplay because you are going to get spammed with drones once you're in chase.
    2. Skull Merchant has six drones and Clown has four bottles (depending on add-ons). Clown's bottles do not cover an entire loop and render it unusable (crouching or standing still doesn't work as viable counterplay most of the time) and the effect goes away after some time. This means you can return to that loop without a drone waiting there and do whatever is optimal. Clown also has a similar potion making animation time compared to what it takes to recall drones and then place a new one - rendering disabling drones a time waste on the survivor's behalf. I also find it really hard to believe the instances where people apparently disable them mid-chase.
    3. We just won't see each other eye to eye here and that's fine. I respect that you're trying to explain you're perspective but there's just too many alleyways we can go into with this looping we are talking about and all the different tiles affected and it's getting hard to visualize.
    4. Most Skull Merchant players do drop drones at loops and then just bloodlust/use haste when they have you in a bad area. Yes, this is similar to Knight with his minions at every loop. Most are pretty notrious for slugging and tunneling without provocation and I've seen plenty enough examples in my games and on Twitter. As someone here mentioned, they tend to just say silly things in EGC and it's just the cycle of revenge because then survivors get annoyed and punish a different SM and another one is created. The killer just attracts the worst of the playerbase in my eyes/experience and I completely understand not every SM player is like that so I do try in my games, no matter how tedious it feels because we should all just be trying to have fun.
    5. I'd argue it's high reward. Why would the playstyle be so commonplace if it wasn't that effective? It's like with tunneling, it's optimal most of the time so it's a common playstyle.
    6. Yep. Just a problem when it's with every status effect combined.
  • C3Tooth
    C3Tooth Member Posts: 8,140

    Trapper with Lengthened Jaws, Iri stone, Coffee grounds, Trapper gloves, Fastening tools, Dark devotion goes around the whole map to collect traps, and set them around 3 Gens.

    Skull merchant press M2 three times: look what Evan needs to mimics a fraction of my power.

  • BlackRose89
    BlackRose89 Member Posts: 239

    She been the most hated killer even before her PTB came out. Her 3 gen play style only made it 10x wrost and now the killer has the worst reputation in the game. I honestly believe there nothing the devs can do to fix it either. People will always hate SM because she wasn't the scary cyborg predator they thought she was from the teasers.

    Even in this thread you see these same people complaining about her visual design and lore. One thing, there nothing in DBD that is scary. Never once I looked at Deathslinger, Clown, Trapper, Wraith, Legion, or Doctor and think man these people are scary. As for lore I guess these people just wanted yet another female killer who turned out to be another victim. Look at all the other female killers lore and stories. Every single one can be reduced to being in the victim category. SM is a killer because she enjoys killing not because she was some victim to some tragic event that lead to her needing to kill for revenge or to save her life.

    Now I agree her gameplay isn't the best but it's not as bad as it was when she was released. People are allowed to hate her, I just think its dumb to DC against a killer who isn't even that bad now gameplay wise. Btw I hate Billy(Playing him and going against him) but you don't see me DCing or wishing he was deleted from the game.

  • Bloodwebs
    Bloodwebs Member Posts: 254

    She is my most hated killer. Hearing her terror radius is harrowing. Unfortunately i just KMS on hook and go next now. Otherwise its 1 hour long games where the killer isn't even chasing the survivors unless she baits you back into the 3 gen.

  • jesterkind
    jesterkind Member Posts: 7,167

    How on earth is she still doing that now, when both her power has been changed and the basekit anti-3-gen system stops any killer from stalling the game out that long?

  • Xendritch
    Xendritch Member Posts: 1,842

    While SM derangement syndrome is a very real thing and people blow how strong she is out of the water I do think she's a bit much.

    She's kind of just better clown where you get to use both bottles at once in a way that takes much less effort. The speed boost and the hindered at the same time is kinda harsh I just have no idea what you would replace the hindered with. I would say deafened but I'm pretty sure people hate deafened lol.

  • GeneralV
    GeneralV Member Posts: 10,216

    Otherwise its 1 hour long games where the killer isn't even chasing the survivors unless she baits you back into the 3 gen.

    This shouldn't even be possible. Not anymore.

  • Peppa_Pigsaw
    Peppa_Pigsaw Member Posts: 184

    It's a combination of multiple things and various people have problems with any combination of said aspects.

    1. Her teasers painted a very different image than what we actually got. A lot of teasers very heavily leaned into the mechanical aspect of her character. Personally the teaser we got of the drone reminded me a lot of the movie "VIRUS". Very old movie about a machine that merges man with machine to create monstrosities. Very good film. This is partly on the fault of the community as we got the wrong idea. We had it in our minds that we were finally getting a cyborg or robot killer and instead we got...Skull Merchant. Also shoutout to the one teaser for Tools of Torment that was literally just one of the crates placed in Shelter Woods. That was really cool.
    2. Leading on from point 1, her design is genuinely terrible. It passes the silhouette check sure but it isn't a cohesive design at all. The mechanic's jumpsuit makes her look well like a mechanic. While the overly gaudy gasmask and clawed rings give a completely different impression of her character. These aspects just don't mesh well together and BHVR should have chosen one or the other. Thankfully her cosmetics are a lot better in this department as they play into her rabid anime fangirl personality that we get from the lore. Which speaking of.
    3. Her lore is bad. Laughably bad. This is me speaking entirely on her base lore and not the archive lore. I never fully read the archive lore so I can't speak on it. The fact that Adrianna becomes insanely rich at such a young age without having any knowledge of business, finance, or management is questionable at best. While her reasoning for killing being explained as "Dark Brazilian manga's" feels insulting. It reads like a bad fanfiction. I know most people could not care less about BHVR's attempts at character building and lore, but it's still a note worth mentioning as it was meme'd to hell and back when she initially was revealed on the PTB.
    4. The time frame. She dropped during a VERY heavy 3 gen meta and her power which effectively was "I love 3 gens" left a VERY sour taste in people's mouths. You have to keep in mind this is a killer that had a power so effective at holding people hostage that many would bring games down to a crawl until the server would shut down an hour later. I don't think I need to explain how this is both poorly designed and just not fun to play against. While she isn't like that currently thank god, she still isn't exactly the pinnacle of BHVR's design team either. She is a killer that has very little input as most of her abilities are passive and near non-existent mechanical skill. Nobody is going to watch a Skull Merchant place a drone and go "huh that was a good play". It's just someone at a keyboard pressing M2 or the console equivalent. It isn't fun to play as for most, while it's mind numbing to play against.
    5. Skull Merchant just attracts obnoxious players. Not all of them are terrible mind you, but the general consensus in the community is that Skull Merchant players just are some of the worst. They BM, they slug constantly, they try to hold the game hostage etc etc etc. This is all completely subjective, but it's worth noting it has been a reoccurring trend that people have experienced with this killer, so they associate that kind of behavior with her.

    There's likely more I am missing, but this is the main stuff that comes to mind off the top of my head.

  • jesterkind
    jesterkind Member Posts: 7,167

    Considering only one of these isn't deeply subjective, flat out wrong, kind of irrelevant, or all three... aren't you kind of making the case that the Skull Merchant hate is deeply irrational and unreasonable?

  • Bloodwebs
    Bloodwebs Member Posts: 254
    edited February 20

    She is most definitely doing that now. I'm not sure which servers you're in, but OCE players are super competitive and will utilise anything to win. Regardless, she is given too much for free and I personally just go next when it comes to her

    I started in 2016, and I will never change my negative thoughts and opinions about her. Kudos to whoever enjoys her though @jesterkind

  • Akumakaji
    Akumakaji Member Posts: 4,944

    I always feel sad that her clawtraps are so hard to spread and apply. A big part of her kit is that scanner of hers, but most of the time, when you look at it, its empty and you can't use it. Claw traps have a very limited uptime and you can't really control when you apply them, so maybe that part of her kit chould be strengthened and the random damage be ditched.

    Doctor is another killer with constant info and countering stealth, so SM could do another angle at this concept via manually targetting survivors and having info on their whereabouts for later.