A basic balance problem: Good Monsters rarely take significant health damage at Stage 1 unless they commit to a fight


#1

Monsters in level 40 play are rarely losing significant health at Stage 1 unless they commit to a fight.

Committing to a fight in this context means more than simply getting Domed - it means eschewing evasive maneuvers in favor of fighting the Hunters.

Most areas, and thus most Domes have some form of cover the Monster can use to evade damage rather than fighting; and Trappers cannot afford to be picky with Dome placement against a good Monster.


As a general rule Hunters have an advantage at Stage 1, they are theoretically equal at Stage 2, and the Monster has a heavy advantage at Stage 3.

Personally I view Stage 2 as in the Hunter’s favor with no armor Stage 2 fight and in the Monster’s favor with full armor; and more often than not Stage 2 fights are full armor.

With this as a premise, good Monsters can generally choose to fight when they are equal or stronger than the Hunters.


Early tracking leads are made largely irrelevant by the slightest terrain to dodge behind in a Dome, and the ability to smell Hunters prevents good Monsters from being caught evolving to Stage 2.

At Stage 2 Monster can typically gain full armor almost immediately if the Hunters were not nearby and closing in while they Evolved putting even most Stage 2 fights in the Monster’s advantage in my opinion…

Building strikes takes less time and has more impact on the game than inflicting heavy Health damage: since the Monster does not lose combat effectiveness from damage until they die.

Typically when a Monster loses, it is because they chose to commit to a bad fight and/or stayed in committed too long while fighting poorly.


While I view this as a balance issue, I admit that it isn’t a very straightforward one to solve: I’m not sure that pure buffs and nerfs would address it well.

These are rough ideas I have to address it.

  1. An overhaul to the Wildlife system to rework Carrion Birds, weaken the highly evasive eat on the run strategy, give more of a reason to hunt big game, and allow a more functional meat denial strategy to aid hopelessly lost Hunters. Centrally geared towards giving Hunters more of a chance to catch up with a feeding Monster.

  2. Give the Hunters some measure of combat jetpack recharge bonus, mirroring the Monster’s stamina increase and helping them stay on its tail.

  3. Making Trapper CC less frequent, but more powerful to make them more effective at pinning an evasive Monster and provide a more reliable line of defense aside the team’s Medic. Hopefully Hank would be less essential.

  4. Make Monster armor levels scale with Stage to allow Hunters a reasonable chance of inflicting significant health damage in early domes and better balance the risk/reward of Stage 2 health damage vs strikes.


Hopefully these changes would make the Hunters more able to pick and kill in fights while making them less reliant on the Monster committing to a bad fight.


#2

Oh this thread again… should i read it a third time?
Na, srew it. Balance is okay for now.


#3

Its like you read my mind.


#4

If you classify any thread saying X is imbalanced as the same thread, you won’t see much variety in gameplay discussions.

But if you read the title, you at least read my basic argument.


#5

Galgus thinking monster is OP in Hunt section
Galgus thinks Stage 1 Monster is OP

yeah i think thats roughly the same.


#6

Honestly, almost all my late lvl 40 fights felt like this, even with team of friends with vocal server support. There are basically two kinds of monsters at that points. Those confident they can kill you team at stage 1-2 or those who rather won’t try. The former may be sucessfull if they are playing a Kraken and manage one of the voter + something combos, the latter are just annoying to play against. If the topography under the dome permits it, they may stay on the move and make the assault kinda useless. Only cabot can effectively negate this but we know where he currently stands.

If the trapper doesn’t manage to block the monster enough time, there will be almost no gain from that stage 1 dome. Worse, if the monster manage to land a strike or two, it may be a losing proposition.
It’s not an issue of antiplay, it’s totally logical from the monster viewpoint, especially with Maggie and Markov or Bucket : why even risk to go into the various annoying stuff deployed by the team for trying to hit someone?

And like you said, there is no easy solution.


#7

My opinions have developed further with experience since the early days when those posts were written.

It seems fair to state an observation after considerable time in the game after release, even if I predicted it happening far earlier based on earlier observations.

You yourself, long ago, criticized me for posting “an extensive list of changes after 1 day of playing”.

I support some of my older views with more developed, modern evidence.

(Though I’ve honestly forgotten if that was truly as soon as you said, if the comment was made in the beta or the alpha and when in them.)


@Uriak

That is more or less my experience, that the Monster controls the flow of the game and when to fight.

Agreed on the Kraken specific comment that they can and do largely negate the Assault class by flying and moving.

Abe is the only Trapper with a chance of downing it.


Trappers don’t really have the power to counter a fleeing Monster, and as you say that style of play is purely logical for a Stage 1 Monster.

Outright fighting is typically Stage 1 suicide unless they either get a Strike fast and go back to evading, or somehow get the momentum going to down the Hunter squad. Neither of which are likely.

It is definitely a vexing issue to propose solutions for, and mine may be missing the mark.


#8

yet there is already a balance patch announced, which alters most of those concerns in a way you can not predict.


#9

And how exactly will the upcoming patch fix the problems he mentions? Apart from the Wraith, he is completely right in terms of the monster being able to evade, hide and only be left to the RNG of carrion birds.

Also, he mentions that the fight is ‘equal’ at stage 2 unless the monster has full armor. I disagree. Even with a bit of armor the monster can EASILY come on top out of a fight (meaning a couple of strikes with little health damage taken) stage 2 already offers the monster so much burst damage that the medic/Hank is taken out within seconds of the dome.


#10

Sometimes seemingly small changes have larger unforeseen impacts, but aside from the Wraith and arguably the Dome throw sound change not much changed in the Hun portion of the game.

Some Hunters got buffed and nerfed to varying degrees, but I’m not expecting a sea change on Monster vs Hunter power levels.

I can certainly predict that this will have an altogether minor affect on matches that don’t involve Wraith, but as always time will tell.


@Alex_Versnel

I agree that Monster can certainly win a fight at Stage 2 with a bit of armor, but its a bit of a balance grey area for me.

If a Stage 2 loses half its health but gets several strikes, with one or two on crucial targets, they effectively won the battle in my experience.

Strikes lower the value of what health damage is dealt, since they shorten the window of time Hunters have to finish the Monster very significantly.


#11

Have to disagree on that one. The combat phase of the game relies on Hunters being able to mitigate damage through their own skill in kiting, luring, etc. Which is where it gets tricky- it is easier to be an effective Monster than it is to be an effective Hunter. Which is why so many monsters decimate good Hunter teams- they’re matched with players of the same skill, but they’re shoehorned into a role that limits that.

Hunters need to be able to mitigate damage through positioning, kiting and team support while allowing their counterparts to deal enough DPS to make the inevitable down worth it. Monsters? They just need to know how to crouch behind a rock. :confused:


#12

Hunters can only evade for so long before they are at the mercy of the Monster and whatever defensive abilities the team has.

Every fight is on a clock, because unless the Monster is terrible they will pound a fleeing Hunter when they expend their boost jumps.

I think that is a big reason why Hank feels so dominant over other Supports - his shield is the only reliable line of defense against focusing aside the Medic.

(Lazarus lacks any real defensive ability against focus, and struggles against experienced Monsters.)


Trapper CC is just too easily shrugged off and inconsistent to be a reliable line of defense in my experience.

Griffin stopping Goliath leaps and abilities are a notable exception, though only with perfect or lucky timing and only if the targeted Hunter has the fuel to put distance between themselves in the Monster and in their short head start.


#13

Agreed.

Agreed- while the premise of the other two is deal so much damage that, if the monster downs somebody and lives, it’ll be worth it, it also lets the Monster handicap the team far more easily.

I think you’re misjudging the difficulty of landing said harpoons. Too many Griffin players just spam them away, wehn really, it’s far better to hold off until the perfect moment. There is a large window for blocking abilities and traversals- and it’s not hard.


#14

I agree with this. Sometimes though I feel like the Harpoons from Griff and Maggie are too easily destroyed. I was playing against Griffin recently as Monster and I lazily swiped at a Hunter right after being hit by a Harpoon. I was not aiming at the harpoon because when I squeezed the trigger. I did not know there would be one. I just wish they would make harpoons more consistent.


#15

I also wish they’d make it a separate motion. Perhaps having to hold down the melee button to automatically reach around and pull it out, but make it take a fraction of a second longer. Regardless, all it takes is half a second of him being pooned and suddenly he’s out of traversals and trapped in the middle of an Orbital.


#16

Okay. one question. Why are Hunters winning most of their tourney matches right now?

The problem is that the game revolves around a team that works together. Trap the Monster in a good spot and dont throw the dome out as soon as you can get. Thats one of the things you can do to punish a T1 Monster. This however requires so much teamplay that it is a big issue in PUG games.

  1. I admit that the carrion bird system right now is more or less a pathetic attempt at a failsafe to counter evasive monsters. Monsters can regain their whole armor by just feeding off of 1 Meats, they dont have to stand still for a long time and 4 Meats are only worth it when they have a buff.

  2. Give Hunters combat jetpack recharge and its a free win against every Goliath. They would be unable to catch a hunter.

  3. When i think about it, this may or may not be a good idea. Let me just brainstorm this and give me your oppinion:

Scenario 1: Health and Armor both expand on Level Up, it will get more and more difficult to make permanent damage on a Opponent that gets only stronger. I do not see this working to be honest. You will make a lot of health damage early, but on stage 3 Monster can run away feed and you have to chew through even more Armor while he dishes out much more damage than you. This seems like a bad slippery slope.

Scenario 2: HP increase, Armor decreases. It will possible for a stage 1 Monster to get domed without much permanent damage, but he is losing on time. He can regain Armor to keep fighting and eventually evolve. Then he hits stage 2 and is more vulnerable to permanent damage but on a larger HP pool. stage 3 even further. The monster is not able to run away and get his whole armor back but has to fight with his HP. I kind of like this one on paper. yet a Monster could get outcamped on Relay.

scenario 3: Current system. Nothing to add.

What i really dislike about the evolve system right now is that you get Evolve meter for incaps. This just rewards Monsters in two ways. Getting a strike AND saving on feeding time. I elaborated this in the alpha and it got shot down… So meh.


#17

Good points. It just sucks because Maggie is about to get a full second cooldown added to traps and the Monsters can still destroy them without a real thought.


#18

Yeah, that’s going to suck for Maggie. :confused:


#19

or maybe you have to “use” so you can not randomly swing around and destroy them. just a thought.


#20

…Now I’m thinking of quick time events, which would NOT be a good thing. :stuck_out_tongue: I think the general consensus is that something needs to be tweaked pertaining to Harpoons.