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  • Awesome Music: The main theme of the game is simple but effective. The survivor's version wouldn't sound out of place as a somber little campfire tune, while the killer's version gives you the vibe that what you're playing as is powerful.
  • Complete Monster:
    • "The Clown", born Kenneth Chase, since his youth, was disturbingly fascinated by murder. He first murdered animals before moving on to humans. After his father found out about Kenneth's murder of a young man, Chase immediately ran away to avoid the authorities. While running, he encountered a traveling circus group who took him in as part of their community where he changed his name to Jeffrey Hawk. As Jeffrey Hawk, he acted charming and sociable, but it was all a facade for his boredom where he went through multiple vices before going back to murder. He became a Serial Killer who dressed up as a clown to lure out visitors, including children, into isolation before drugging them and then taking them back to his caravan to torture them mentally and physically before killing them and taking one of their fingers as a memento. One day, he got caught after one his victims managed to escape, but Hawk was able to run away again, and roamed the country for more victims. He was then invited by the Entity to his realm, which he gladly accepted to continue his murders.
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    • "The Doctor", Herman Carter, was formerly a neuroscientist who became obsessed with the brain and the power he could hold over people by cruelly experimenting on them. Recruited by the CIA, Carter became feared for the constant screams coming from his lab thanks to his torturous research, eventually killing his mentor and being recruited by the monstrous Entity, which was impressed with his cruelty. Become a sadistic hunter for the Eldritch Abomination, Carter savagely sunders the minds of his targets before killing them.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: The premise can be downright discouraging: Neither dying nor escaping frees the Survivors from their "Groundhog Day" Loop, and the Killers and The Entity are Invincible Villains by default. And while most Killers are sympathetic/tragic to varying degrees, characters like The Doctor and The Entity itself (i.e., the least sympathetic and most evil) are the ones truly happy with all of this. Hence why many prefer to just Play the Game, Skip the Story.
  • Game-Breaker:
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    • For Survivors
      • Voice Comms (via Discord) for Survive With Friends groups, allowing SWF players to all be completely aware of exactly where the killer is and what the killer is doing at all points, as well as what all other survivors are doing. This allows them to coordinate and work on gens, saving hooked survivors, and juking the killer in ways that are far more efficient than the game was actually designed for.
      • Building windows. Usually, the ledges are relatively isolated from other obstacles, meaning that they can provide a way for the survivor to slow the killer down, but a good killer can still catch up to them. However, some buildings have windows VERY close to each other built into a large wall. This means that a survivor can easily just jump through one window, wait for the killer to attempt to follow, and jump out the other...and then go back through the other window again. Unlike other locations, the killer cannot go around the walls fast enough to pressure the victims away from the window, thus leading to a survivor being practically invincible if he or she stays nearby. Windows have received several balance changes over the game's lifespan, and currently can be "blocked" by the Entity if a single window is overused and otherwise do not usually earn you much distance on the killer.
      • The Sprint Burst perk. It allows you to sprint for three seconds once every 40 seconds (at level 3). This perk alone allows you to extend chases, lose killers, and escape in general much more frequently. In community tier lists, it is often the one and only perk placed in the "S tier". It was nerfed to recover half as quickly while running, effectively guaranteeing that the survivor using it can only activate it at most twice during a chase. Despite this, it is still played and still considered one of the best perks, but not by as large a margin. It was nerfed again to not recover at all while running, and has fallen out of the prime meta entirely, in favor of other 'Exhaustion' perks (like Dead Hard and Lithe)
      • During the beta, stacking all the survivor's tools to increase healing speed allowed for ludicrous levels, allowing you to fully heal a downed survivor in mere seconds. The worst offender was We'll Make It, a perk that grants (at level 3) 100% healing speed every time you unhook someone, up to 300%. Healing is now capped at a 100% increase from anyone survivor.
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    • For Killers:
      • The Ebony Memento Mori offering. A killer just has to down the survivor (the Hillbilly and the Cannibal have it easiest because of the chainsaw) and then the correct input will allow them to instantly kill the survivor without the need for sacrificing. Unlike the Cypress or Ivory version (which are just limited to the last survivor who hasn't escape yet/one survivor), the Ebony version allows it to kill every survivor.
      • The No One Escapes Death perk, which allows for instant-downs after the gates are powered. It can be countered by cleaning all five totems on the map before the gates are powered - but good luck figuring out if that's true or not.
      • The Pig's Bag Of Gears and Crate Of Gears add-on. Increasing the time it takes to search the Jigsaw Boxes. If combined together, or one is combined with the Tampered Timer, the Survivor is basically doomed if they don't luck out on the first Jigsaw Box.
      • The Shape's Scratched Mirror add-on, on Lery's Memorial Institute or the Gideon Meat Plant. The mirror lets the killer track the survivors when they're nearby, but locks him in Evil Within I. The reduced line-of-sight in those two maps, combined with Michael's tiny terror radius, turns him into the perfect ambush predator.
      • The Clown's Pop Goes the Weasel Perk and the Hag's Hex: Ruin Perk both buy Killers significant time while trying to hunt down and kill Survivors. With the former letting you inflict far more regression on a generator after hooking a Survivor, while the latter activates a Hex Totem on the map and turns Great Skill Checks on generators to just Good Skill Checks with no bonus towards repairs, and Good Skill Checks become silent failures that cause a small but significant regression in generator repairs. Many Killers, especially at higher levels of play, swear by these two perks more than any other, and for good reason as they are universally useful.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Jerkass Woobie: Despite their role as the Entity's executioners, some of the killers got put through the wringer to wind up where they are now. Some were ordinary people who endured appalling tragedies, while others never even had the chance at a normal life.
    • The Hillbilly. A malformed child locked away behind a wall for almost his entire life, not given a name, fed through a slot in the wall and denied any human contact before he escaped and exacted his grisly revenge.
    • The Hag. A perfectly innocent young lady, captured and slowly cut apart by a clan of cannibals. What's left is a barely human husk of a person.
    • The Wraith. A foreigner who had been manipulated into acting as an executioner for his boss, and doesn't take it well.
    • The Nurse. After her loving husband died, she began to work at an asylum. Years of abuse from the patients ended up driving her insane herself.
    • The Huntress. Having to watch as her mother bled to death, she became obsessed with hunting and to have a family of her own. She would hunt families and kidnap little girls, only to have them waste away which pained her more each time due to not being able to provide for them.
    • The Spirit. An ordinary young student in a family plagued with obscene levels of debt, she came home from her part-time job one day to find her father brutally murdering her mother. Her father then turned the blade on her, mortally wounding her, when a dark Fog offered her revenge.
    • Although Frank is straight up a Jerkass... Jerkass, the other members of the Legion could be seen as just going along with the whole murder thing to avoid Frank's wrath, and subsequent violence. Susie demonstrates this best.
    • The Plague. Adiris was a member of a Saintly Church who worked herself to the bone every day purifying the temple grounds in which she worked, hoping to please the gods enough to stop a lethal outbreak of bubonic plague, only to be infected herself when trying to amputate a gangrenous limb, and from there accidentally infected her flock. Desperate for some way to save herself and her followers, she quarantined herself and the others in the mountains and desperately prayed for anyone to save them. The Entity obliged, and she serves it out of genuine gratitude for her life.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: The licensed DLCs can make the game this for those who just want to play as their favorite movie slasher or survivor.
  • Nausea Fuel: The Hag's execution, where she mauls her victim and eats its organs like a bear feasting on its kill.
    • The Plague drowns her victims in puke. Enough said.
  • Nightmare Retardant:
    • The hooks that are piercing the Trapper's shoulder make him look like a terrifying, unstoppable man... until you notice they're just there to hold up his overalls.
    • The wider shoulders of the Wraith (actually caused by his cloak) compared to just how thin his legs are has made people say the Wraith skipped leg day, or has chicken legs.
    • The executions may look violent, but the only gore they produce is a few splashes of blood with no actual visible wounds, which can make it look like the characters are simply pantoming attacks.
  • Paranoia Fuel:
    • Michael. Myers. At the first tier of his ability, he has almost no heartbeat. Meaning he can get startlingly close to the point of jumpscaring the poor soul he has chosen to stalk. Additionally, he can stare at survivors to build his ability from afar. Meaning that he could be watching you at any point, waiting for the right moment to strike. And he could be anywhere.
    • The Pig. Not only does she have a silent heartbeat when crouching, her short height and relatively human appearance can cause players to mistake her for a fellow survivor from a distance. This leads to them running over to her to join forces, only for her to turn around and reveal her pig mask...
  • Play the Game, Skip the Story: Most players care less about the story and more about just playing the game.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Up until mid-2018, the Hag was a Tier-Induced Scrappy who was probably the least played character in the game, due to being a very weak killer who was also paid DLC while also not being part of an existing pop culture franchise like any of the Guest Fighter characters. A mid-2018 balancing patch significantly increased the speed the Hag sets traps, making her much more viable both in being able to set up more quickly as well as being able to use her abilities in the middle of a chase to block off escape routes. The fact that most of her add-ons would actually make her weaker in one stat to compensate for increasing her power in other stats was also removed as gratuitous. A decent portion of the community now ranks her as one of the strongest killers in the game.
    • The Trapper received a similar upgrade to the Hag at the same time, increasing the speed at which he sets traps and removing the gratuitous drawbacks of his add-ons. Unlike the Hag, these changes have made him somewhat less frustrating to play but still haven't dramatically changed how he ranks compared to the other killers.
    • The Wraith received a similar re-work to address the fact he and Freddy were generally considered the weakest killers in the game. His basic kit was largely unchanged, but his add-ons were generally improved in numerous ways to make him more viable. He's now significantly stronger than he used to be, at the cost of being dependent on good add-ons to perform at that level.
    • Freddy received a complete rework of his power in July 2019's Mid-Chapter balancing patch, fixing a majority of the problems that made many consider him the worst killer in the game. He no longer had to wait 6 seconds before attacking a Survivor as he could now attack awake Survivors which automatically puts them to sleep, he can now put down snares that slow down Survivors which can be replaced with fake pallets using add-ons and he can teleport directly to a Generator every so often.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • The complete lack of a party system in public games upon release. If you want to play with friends in a public game, you could be hopping lobbies for upwards of ten minutes. Private games, which you can invite friends to, don't give rank points, meaning that you can't get upgrades this way.
      • Ironically enough, this has become the opposite since the addition of a Survive With Friends function, primarily due to the poor implementation. Dead by Dalight is very much designed around having no comm devices for survivors, which a large amount of SWF groups use, giving them a significant and often game-breaking advantage, making the experience for both killers and solo survivors rather miserable. Many killer-players and solo survivors wish the mode had never been added, and a large majority of players either want SWF to be placed into separate lobbies, allow killers and solo survivors to opt out of playing with such groups, or to at least be hit with some notable nerfs to try and balance this.
    • For the killers, vaulting, dependent on the level design. Essentially, if there are two vaulting spots next to each other, a survivor could hop between them forever without getting caught. It has led to 30 minutes of non-progress when the survivor was the last one left.
    • The Quick Time Events for repairing generators- they happen at completely random intervals, meaning you can get one every five seconds or see only a single one when repairing the generator. They are very easy to fuck up. Fucking up means the killer now knows where you are.
    • The fact that the killer is also the host of the game has been met with consternation by some. There have been reports of killers using programs to intentionally create lag for the survivors, making killing them- and winning- much easier.
    • Many survivors are not fans of instant-down abilities that are available to killers. All but two killers have some access to a killer-specific way of activating it, and all killers have access to No One Escapes Death, which activates when the generators have all been finished. Survivors feel the mechanic is cheap and unfair due to the lack of counterplay and killers love them for their ability to secure kills that were otherwise lost.
    • The game's Peer 2 Peer structure, due to the inherent insecurity of the platform and the fact that the killer is the host. A laggy killer can result in unplayable amounts of lag as survivors are teleported around while being chased, making it hard to control where you are running, but also nearly impossible to hit.
  • That One Achievement: Adept Shape. The "Killers three base perks" achievement for Myers. Problem is, all three perks are Obsession perks. And with only one Obsession per match, it's basically saying "Get a 4 man with one perk equipped."
  • That One Level: Certain levels can prove a chore for certain killers and survivors to deal with.
    • Coldwind Farms. AKA, Killer Kryponite. With its dreaded cornfield being a nightmare for those playing the killer. Especially The Shape, whose survivor detecting ability can't penetrate the corn.
    • Cramped, smaller maps like Lery's Memorial Institute and Springwood are murder for The Hillbilly. Leaving him almost no room for his chainsaw charge.
    • Badham Preschool is hands down the most annoying map to play if you're not using Iron Grasp and/or Agitation. If the killer basement doesn't spawn on the school, then the boiler room is more often than not a safe area for survivors, since no hooks spawn near enough for you to reach, even if you down someone. Triple points if someone body blocks you.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The lore behind the game is absolutely fascinating, but it has effectively zero relevance in the game itself, with just about all of it only being available in out-of-game material. Thankfully, this is starting to be fixed with the release of the Archives, which allow you to unlock new lore entries and cinematics.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy:
    • Most survivors at high rank will run Sprint Burst, Self Care, Decisive Strike, and a fourth perk of their choosing. The consensus is that these perks are almost necessary for high rank play due to how much they outclass the rest of the survivor perks and how much they improve your chances of survival. Killers hate playing against these borderline overpowered builds, and survivors hate how restrictive the set is, especially considering that killers have much more freedom to choose their perks.
    • Early in the game's life cycle, the Trapper was considered one of the strongest killers, as stated by the developers. What he lacked in flair he more than made up for in his ability to secure kills. Most Trappers would place traps under hooks, meaning a survivor must first disarm it before they can rescue. Thus, if the trapper stays even remotely close, it could be very difficult to save from hooks against the Trapper.
      • This ability has since been nerfed by making it possible to approach all objectives (not only hooks) from multiple directions, making it no longer possible to "set an alarm" using the traps. Currently the Trapper is considered a below average killer, especially because most survivors now know the most likely location that bear traps will be placed; more than any other killer, the Trapper is highly reliant on survivors making mistakes, which simply does not happen anymore against experienced survivors.
    • The Wraith is considered to be one of the worst killers in the game. His ability, which is to turn himself invisible, does not help him out in chases like Nurse's blink, Trapper and Hag's traps or Hillbilly's chainsaw. Even when he does use his ability, it's super easy to spot him due to the Predator-like cloak effect he has, along with his loud growling.
    • Freddy was widely considered the weakest killer in the game by a large margin; he was nerfed into the ground after only a week as survivors found playing against him incredibly frustrating due to how mechanically different he was compared to the other killers. It was incredibly difficult to secure kills with him, as he was unable to harm multiple targets, couldn't damage recently healed or unhooked survivors, and was even unable to pick up a downed survivor if a non-sleeping survivor was healing them (and if said survivor was using a medkit with the right perks, they could even heal the downed survivor before Freddy could even put them to sleep to hit them). Thankfully, all of these problems were remedied with the July 2019 balance patch.
    • Legion. Although this may change between the PTB and the release, they are widely considered by many to be the weakest killer of the game (including pre-rework Freddy). While their ability to go into a frenzy and race at rapid speed over palettes and windows is considered fun and refreshing in theory (and actually more-or-less guarantees a free hit), the problem is that Legion is useless when it comes to actually downing survivors. They have some of the slowest movement speed of the game, their Frenzy ability only causes Deep Wounds (which means it takes approximately four-five hits to down a survivor. You can break a chase and they'll be downed if not mended, but survivors can mend themselves with no healing penalties, meaning there's no point in it. Additionally, the deep wound status does not lower when a survivor is in a chase, much like the Pig's RBTs, meaning that you can't simply chase the survivor until time runs out). Injured vs. Healthy Survivor Status also has no impact on how serious a Deep Wound is, meaning survivors actually can focus more on generators and less on healing, completing the game quicker. As a whole, Legion excels at causing an injury, but absolutely sucks at actually downing and hooking a survivor (what is ultimately a killer's goal). This was made worse when Mathieu Cote said they weren't interested in balancing around killer viability and essentially dismissed any and all critiques about how useful/useless Legion is.
      • The mid-chapter patch has all but cemented Legion as the worst killer in the game now. Deep Wounds no longer ticks down as long as the survivor remains in Legion's terror radius (not helped be Legion's radius also getting bumped up to 32m in the same patch), and addtional hits while Legion is in Feral Frenzy do not reduce the timer. Legion can no longer see how much time is left on a survivor's Deep Wounds, as well as not being able to see bloodstains or scratch marks while in Frenzy. And to cap it all off, Feral Frenzy had its movement speed reduced, must fully recharge before it can be used again, and immediately ends if Legion misses one swing. And what did they give Legion to compensate for this? A base 115% movement speed.
    • Update 2.7.0 has, in the eyes of much of the community, made the Pig into one of the weakest killers. Originally, the idea was to stall survivors with her Reverse Bear Traps, which only activated when a generator was completed. But with Endgame Collapse, the Entity blocks all generators, meaning that if one was placed on a Survivor after the event begins, it won't be activated. Additionally, inactive Reverse Bear Traps no longer trigger when running through the exit gate, which was one of the Pig's most powerful abilities, using the Reverse Bear Trap to keep them from escaping.
    • For the High Tier version we have the Nurse. While certain killers' viability in the game are debated by players, the Nurse is almost unanimously agreed to be the best killer by a wide margin. Her ability to chain-teleport on demand makes escaping from her nearly impossible as it renders almost every tactic survivors have at their disposal useless. While this is somewhat mitigated by her having a higher skill curve, a good Nurse is nearly impossible to beat. Much of the high-level survivor meta revolves around being able to play against the Nurse; Many of the most frustrating survivor perks to play against (Decisive Strike, Sprint Burst, etc.) are considered the bare minimum needed to win, and even then the survivors have to pray that the Nurse player makes a mistake more often than not.
  • The Woobie: The survivors, who are forced to be endlessly hunted to be killed by serial killers presumably forever, while an Eldritch Abomination claims more of their soul and hope every time they die. Even if they escape a session, they still find themselves stuck within the "Groundhog Day" Loop.

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