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Dead by Daylight: After massive criticism, the new killer is drastically revised

Dead by Daylight’s next killer is getting a significant makeover. Lots of buffs are coming up. But can they save the “Skull Merchant”?

As a rule, the anticipation of a new killer in Dead by Daylight is always great. But with the release of the Tools of Torment test realm, developers were hit with a wave of negativity. There has been much criticism of the Killer’s desEsports Extrasand the Skull Merchant’s abilities. The criticism was scathing even from streamers supported by Dead by Daylight.

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Therefore, the developers are drastically adjusting the “Skull Merchant” for the release on March 7th. There are plenty of buffs and changes to game mechanics designed to make them a deadly threat.

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Dead by Daylight: Tools of Torment Trailer


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One of the biggest changes is the removal of the cooldown for placing drones. Previously, you had to wait 12.5 seconds after each drone – this is no longer the case. The Skull Merchant can now place the drones as quickly as she wants as long as she is not too close to another drone.

The cooldown is now only used to reactivate idle drones and is reduced to 10 seconds when doing so.

But a lot is also changing on the drones themselves:

  • Newly placed drones become active after 3 seconds (from 4 seconds).
  • Drones are unhackable for the first 10 seconds (from the first 5 seconds).
  • A drone’s active zone already grants the killer the “undetectable” effect after 2 seconds (previously only after 3 seconds).

Not only are there changes from a direct killer point of view, the survivors also have to deal with stronger or more dangerous mechanics, because the drones and their active zones have also become more dangerous for them.

  • The Targeted effect now lasts 60 seconds (was 30 seconds).
  • An incomplete Targeted effect begins to expire 10 seconds after leaving the active zone (up from 5 seconds).
  • Entering an active zone with the Targeted effect still active resets the duration to 60 seconds and prevents the effect from expiring while in the zone.
  • The Killer can now see each Survivor’s Targeted progress, allowing them to better decide who to pursue further.

Other changes include the way survivors are tracked down and how they interact with the claw traps that attach to a drone’s body after hacking it.

  • Claw Trap battery life now lasts 45 seconds (up from 25 seconds).
  • Survivors will no longer receive a notification if they are currently displayed on the radar by the killer (previously an “eye” icon was displayed).
  • The Skull Merchant moves at 4.4 m/s (110%) while she has her radar open (from 100%).
  • Approaching a drone while a claw trap is on the character will no longer make the drone unhackable.
  • Survivors with a Claw Trap can now hack drones. However, approaching a drone will fully replenish the Claw Trap’s batteries.
  • If you fail to hack, the survivor is immediately fully targeted.

For a killer to get so many changes before release is a first in Dead by Daylight history. It remains to be seen whether the Skull Merchant will rise in favor with the players.