Solo-Queueing in Dead by Daylight: A Spooky Tragedy

It’s spooky season, and just in time for Halloween, I’ve developed a crippling addiction to Dead by Daylight. I was interested in the game for a while – for no real reason, other than it seemed like fun. But I held back. I had other games to focus on, and it became one of those “someday” games in my ever-growing backlog that “I’d get around to eventually.” Well lo and behold, eventually came around more quickly than I imagined (mostly due to Kate from Blogging with Dragons because she’s been kind enough to not only teach me the game, but play with me regularly) and despite the forthcoming rant, I swear I actually enjoy playing. Because tragically, there are times when my regular gaming pals aren’t available, and I have to face the terrors of this online hellscape alone. And let me tell you, playing with three randoms in a team of four survivors can be… an experience. You may be thinking that the killers are the scariest aspect of Dead By Daylight, but no. It’s actually the quality of the random people you’ll be matched up with.

Dead by Daylight_20221029191432
Same

Welcome to suffering

This was one of my major initial reservations with Dead by Daylight: it is, of course, an online multiplayer game (moreso if you’re a committed member of the Survivor Squad, like me) and solo-queuing can be an utter nightmare. Like any online experience that forces you to rely on a group of people, there’s a wild assortment of playstyles and skill levels on display in any given match; honestly, this can be one of the most entertaining parts of the game. As long as you’re not taking anything too seriously, and open to general malcontent and suffering, that is. Unfortunately, you will not be entitled to any compensation.

Dead by Daylight_20221024161200
Not sure what the rest of y’all were doing

I wrote a post several moons ago about my suffering while solo-queueing in Pokemon Unite, and as soon as I started playing Dead by Daylight regularly, I noticed some patterns in players that I simply had to record in a similar fashion. While I’m still fairly new to the game, and far from being a great player (just kidding, I’ve never done anything stupid, and all of my decisions are 100% sound all of the time), I like to imagine that I’m not as awful as some of the people I’ve been stuck with. Despite my lack of braincells, I try to keep the basic principles of the game in mind: prioritize the generators, get survivors off the hooks as quickly as possible, and if the killer is on you, keep them busy for as long as you can while your teammates do their thing. Much to my disappointment, there seems to be a disconnect with certain types of players who refuse to participate in one, or sometimes all, of the above. We love a good roast in this household (and these players deserve it), so let’s take a look at the classics, shall we?

The Locker Warmer

This is probably one of the most frustrating types of players. I’m going to assume these are the types of people who were bullied excessively in high school, and feel extremely at home in the cramped, sheltered dark of a nice locker. I hope you weren’t expecting this type of player to contribute to the team, because you’ll discover fairly quickly that they have absolutely no intention of leaving the security of their metal sanctuary. Sure, lockers are useful – you can use them to hide if the killer is near, or hop in one to avoid being flagged by Barbecue and Chili (a killer Perk that reveals the auras of survivors after they’ve hooked someone – getting inside a locker in time will prevent them from seeing your location) but they’re not meant for long-term residency. You won’t catch these players working on generators or getting within an 8 mile radius of the killer. No sir. They’ll wait around until the rest of the team has either a) fixed all the generators and are preparing to escape, or b) died. In case of the latter, the Locker Warmer, with an inspired burst of speed and confidence, suddenly finds the courage to run around and search for the hatch. How about that.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do with these types of players – they’re determined to be dead weight, and you can’t force them to do anything. Sometimes if the killer is willing to cooperate, you can lead them to the Locker Warmer so they can meet their very timely end. Don’t bother getting them off the hook. Bye-bye, you will not be missed.

Did you mean: the Crouch Walker?

Dead by Daylight_20221029154112
LITERALLY WHY ARE YOU CROUCH WALKING TO ME RIGHT NOW

Bonus round. Somewhat similar to the Locker Warmer in their reluctance to do anything useful, this type of player is, however, willing to move around and help the team (occasionally). They just crouch walk everywhere. It’ll probably take them 15 minutes to reach a generator, but they will get there. They’ll just do it slowly. Excruciatingly slowly. Sometimes slow and steady wins the race, but not when Michael Myers is ogling you from over yonder, ready to jab his knife into your spine. If you’re anxiously listening for the dulcet tones of knees popping as your teammates crouch, walk, and run accordingly to Get Shit Done™, you better check your expectations. I have a hard time believing this type of player is doing their best, but it could be worse. Unfortunately.

The Hook Swapper

So ideally, when you’re on a hook, or getting someone else off of a hook, the killer isn’t breathing down your neck, ready to club you in the back for your altruistic efforts. However, the Hook Swapper doesn’t care about such trivial details. Enjoy those few moments of panic, sweating as you hear that heartbeat getting closer along with the survivor that’s clearly on their way (in my favourite cases, the killer is already actively pursuing the Hook Swapper as they make a beeline for you). Then the exasperation sets in when you realize – oh yes – this person is going to look you in your BOTH EYES and pull you down off that hook at this most inauspicious time. They get knocked down (they don’t get up again). Congratulations, you now get to run for your life and pray that the killer doesn’t decide to come after you again, while the Hook Swapper gets to warm the hook that you just vacated. Sigh. Don’t do this.

Dead by Daylight_20221029135044
TELL ME WHYYYY

Obviously the exception to this case is when a survivor is being camped on a hook – there’s sometimes no choice but to take one for the team and sacrifice yourself to get that poor soul down. When the killer is getting comfy and breaking out the marshmallows, it takes more than one survivor to successfully rescue the campee, and you’re lucky if you can find a group of randoms willing and able to pull off this kind of top tier organization. I’ve experienced it once with a camping Cenobite – all four of us managed to escape, which felt like a true miracle – but I don’t expect to see this again anytime soon. Or ever.

The Kobe

I don’t understand these types of players at all. When you’re hooked for the first time in a match, you have the option to attempt to get yourself off the hook, rather than waiting for another survivor to come and help you. You’ll have two or three shots at this Kobe save, but with an abysmally low 4% chance of success, it should really be a last resort (in Papa Roach). There are certain Perks you can run to increase this chance, but why you would waste a Perk slot on one of them, I don’t know. Unless you’re reasonably certain there’s no one coming for you, you shouldn’t be doing this. For instance, if you’re stuck in a scenario where all the survivors have been downed, or are in the process of being hooked, and you know no one is able to grab you, then yes – go for the Hail Mary Kobe save. What I don’t understand, is the players who will attempt this completely on a whim, because of… reasons? You’ll have three perfectly capable survivors able to pull this person down (one of them is usually already on the way) and suddenly, you notice their icon on the left-hand side indicates they’re in their second hook phase because they’ve injured themselves attempting to get off. What? Hello? WHY ARE YOU LIKE THIS?

Dead by Daylight_20221029132428
Ada, pls

When you’re on the hook, you’re also able to see the locations of all of the survivors – you can LITERALLY see when someone is on their way to you. By doing this and forcing yourself into the second hook phase, you’re making the game more difficult for yourself and your teammates; now, you can’t be hooked again without dying, and avoiding the killer for the rest of the match is unlikely. If you die, this leaves your team to try and escape with one less person. So just… why?

The Hot Potato

I struggled to come up with a clever name that describes this type of player, so hopefully this is sufficient – this is easily my favourite (re: least favourite) type of random. The Hot Potato player has absolutely no intention of taking any heat for the team whatsoever. Instead of attempting to run the killer, keeping them busy while their teammates work the generators, this type of player is only interested in their own survival, and getting the killer off their back – at any cost. This typically means they’ll run the killer straight to their teammates ON PURPOSE to take the attention off themselves. They’re all too happy to yeet that hot potato your way, with a jaunty tbag as they’re on their way, content for you to suffer in their place. Picture it: you’re minding your business, living your best life, fixing that generator, nailing all your skill checks, when suddenly an injured Steve sprints by, leaving his traitorous blood trail behind him, quickly followed by a giddy Ghost Face, who now has a) a generator that was 90% finished to kick, and b) a new victim to chase. THANKS STEVE, YOU FUCK.

I can understand doing this by accident – sometimes when you’re running, looking for pallets to drop, or inanimate objects to block the hatchets flying at your skull, you might panic and bumble into a teammate. This is fair – it happens. Especially if you’re not super familiar with the map. Or, if you’re being tunneled, leading the killer to another player who hasn’t been hooked at all is (I suppose) forgivable. What I can’t forgive, however, is the players that make a habit out of this – I once had a Quentin run the killer straight to me on TWO SEPARATE OCCASIONS. The first was because he was being chased, and the second time, he needed healing, which as it turns out, was impossible because the killer was literally RIGHT THERE. Sir, with all disrespect, I cannot help you and I hope your next package of Skittles contains exactly zero red ones. I hate you.

The I-Don’t-Understand-Priorities

If you’re not familiar with the general concept of Dead by Daylight, it goes something like this: the survivors attempt to repair five generators, which will power the exit gates, allowing them to escape their trial. The killer of course, attempts to stop them by murdering them – usually, by hooking each player three times. Third hook equals instant death. Do not pass Go, do not collect 200 dollars. However, the survivors are on a bit of a time crunch when it comes to being hooked – your health slowly drains away, and if you’re on the hook for too long, you’ll jump to the next phase, which means you’re either closer to expiring (moving from first phase to second) or just dead (moving from second to third). This is why it’s important to prioritize getting survivors off the hooks as quickly as possible. Sure, you can’t “win” without finishing those generators, but it gets a hell of a lot harder when all your teammates are dead – you feel me?

Apparently not, because there’s a certain type of player that doesn’t seem to grasp this priority hierarchy. Maybe it’s a simple misunderstanding – they’ll assume someone else is on their way to save whoever is on the hook, so they keep doing what they’re doing. But you might notice throughout a match that this type of player does absolutely nothing but work on the generators. Maybe it’s fear. Maybe they don’t feel any sense of obligation toward their other team members. Maybe it’s Maybelline. I have no idea. But it’s frustrating being on a hook and watching the yellow silhouettes of your fellow survivors working on generators in the distance, determined to ignore your rapidly fading existence. Surely one of them will come get me, you think to yourself. You’ve been on the hook for so long you hit the second phase. They’re still on the generators. The band is still playing. Someone, please? No? Okay. Guess I’ll die. Legend has it those randoms are STILL working on the generators.

Dead by Daylight_20221029191830

Did you mean: the Chosen One?

Time for the second bonus round. Slightly more malicious variation of the above type of player. Thankfully, this unique brand of clown seems to be fairly rare – though I have come across them several times now, so beware: they’re out there. They’re usually some combination of every horrible player I’ve mentioned thus far, but they have a specific goal in mind. When a match takes a turn for the worse, and it’s looking like the survivors are gonna be taking the L, this type of player is determined to be the Chosen One – they want to find that hatch when it spawns. They want to be the last survivor. The hatch is a special sort of exit that appears at the end of a match. Instead of opening the exit gates, you can make a quick getaway by jumping through the hatch – if you can find it, that is. It’s a race between you and the killer (who wants to close that hatch and limit your escape options) to find it when it spawns randomly somewhere on the map. It’s your best bet of getting out alive when you’re on your own.

FarquaadQuote
How I imagine the Chosen One feels about their fellow survivors

Of course, the key takeaway here is that, when a match is going south, there can only be one survivor remaining before the hatch appears. God forbid you be the poor bastard standing between the Chosen One and their escape route. If you find yourself on a hook, this player won’t be coming to save you. They’ll instead gesture, or tbag off in the distance to indicate that they want you to kill yourself on the hook so they can (theoretically) survive. On some level, I understand why – if you’ve still got three or more generators to finish, it’s not likely you’ll be able to pull that off with two survivors. If you just so happened to be the unfortunate sucker that got hooked before the other, then sucks to be you, better luck next time. On the other hand, I’m petty. And when the other fool that I’m stuck with has contributed next to nothing over the course of the game, while expecting to be the lone survivor? Hoo boy. Not on my watch. You best believe I’ll keep myself alive on that hook for as long as possible while the killer searches for your ass.

Dead by Daylight_20221009165623

I remember one specific game where only myself (David) and another player (Yoichi – their name was literally CheekClapper, by the way) were left, and we had one generator remaining. I ended up on a hook – this was my first hook of the match. Instead of either getting me down, or working on the final gen, this Yoichi started the usual tbagging routine, expecting me to kill myself so they could live. I hadn’t seen this Yoichi the entire match, and suspected they’d been hiding for the majority of the time. I ignored their tbagging pleas, and kept myself alive for as long as possible, sitting through the first phase, and hitting all my skill checks as I moved into the second. The Huntress combed the map for the final survivor standing between her and a 4K. Finally, Yoichi went down – all his crouch walking and hiding couldn’t save his cheeks from the Huntress. Up he went on the hook. I was put out of my misery, and we both died. All was right with the world. Am I petty? Yes. Do I care? No. Would I do it again? Absolutely. Rest in pieces, nerd.

Crouch walking off into the sunset

On that uplifting note, I better cut this off. I’m not perfect at the game, and I still have a lot to learn, so I usually try to give others some leeway (for as much grief as I’ve given the poor players in this post). I didn’t even mention the salty disconnectors, or the flashlight warriors. However, these experiences have made me extremely grateful for my usual four stack (shoutouts to Kate, Eric, and Ash), where I take on the role of the useless random, and they carry me to victory. But at least we don’t have to deal with this nonsense, and we get to bond over being bad at video games. Nothing scarier to a bunch of gamers than being bad at a game and still having fun, am I right? Happy Halloween everyone!