A concern I have regarding "wildlife feared" on-screen indicators


#1

Hello,

First, I am new to these forums.

I have been following the development and media releases/reveals of Evolve since the past couple of months, and I am very excited. It is the type of co-operation/survival (I.E. trying to survive while co-operating if playing as the Hunters, or simply trying to survive, and evolve, as the monster) multi-player game that I’m certain I will like.

I do have a concern, however, which stems from a game-play video I’ve watched on YouTube (one of many). In the video the player does live comments, and plays as one of the Hunters. His game starts and within the first minute (or two) after the team lands there’s an on-screen indicator that points at a pack of birds far away in the distance. The birds got scared by the boss monster and flew away.

And after seeing that, it got me thinking about something…

I don’t have a problem at all about wildlife, or birds being scared by the monster, in fact I would except it an it’s a neat A.I. reaction-to-the-boss feature that’s been included (please do keep that). The “problem” I do have, however, is the fact that the Hunters are notified by an on-screen indicator about the fact that “over there in the distance” the monster just made a pack of birds fly away, which - in my opinion - removes a sense of suspense, not to mention that it also decreases the importance of actually searching for the monster.

If the Hunters team themselves don’t actually look “over there”, in “that direction” by moving their character so that their camera points toward that location, then they would have never actually seen the birds flying away in the distance. The problem (to reiterate) is that the on-screen indicator comes in and essentially spoon-feeds the players and tells them (or “warns”) them that they “missed” the birds flying away. In other words, if all four Hunters were in fact looking away from that direction and if there would have been no on-screen indicator, then they would have never actually seen the birds flying away in the distance and wouldn’t have realized that the monster was “over there” instead of the other direction they were facing previously.

So what I’m trying to say is that I believe that the Hunters team should really be “looking for” and “listen for” real trails, traces and evidence of the monster as they move around. The Hunters team should not have any “friendly / assistance” on-screen indicators such as “Monster scared birds!” with a circle or an arrow, or anything, that points to any location whatsoever. If the Hunters team is actually HUNTING the monster and if they actually SEE or HEAR birds flying away, then that’s perfectly fitting for their situation. And the “situation” being the Hunters actually hunting, rather than merely waiting that the monster walks past a pack of birds only to have the on-screen indicators spoiling the fun.

So in conclusion I would suggest that the “Monster scaring” wildlife on-screen indicators be removed entirely… or, if that’s completely out of question (for any specific reason, which I’d be very curious to hear about) then allow the game’s Host during the game session setup (in the Lobby I would presume) to remove it as part of optional values to adjust pre-game that all five players would agree upon (with a Vote, perhaps).

In my opinion, the Hunters should really hunt, and shouldn’t have any forms of facilitating visual warnings that would basically tell them where to go right from the start (or at any moment in the match). If they decide to go north-west, it’s because they want to, or because they SAW or HEARD something themselves (or just one out of the four Hunters, and would warn the three others about it), and not because one of the entire team saw an indicator at the same time.

Thanks for reading and, if anything, thanks for considering action about that feature.


#2

Id actually like for the indicator of birds and etc only be shown if you are looking AT IT, and not be team-wide.


#3

I get what you’re saying and I’ve seen this suggested before but it really just isn’t a good idea. From playing the alpha the few indicators you do get give you just enough idea about where the monster is to give you a good few fights in the 15 minute round you’ll be playing.

Beginners on youtube I’m sure startle the birds all the time which may lead to an early showdown and demise. Once you know what you’re doing you sneak around birds to the point where you almost never set the off. In addition you can even throw rocks at birds to startle them in the wrong direction. The tools hunters can use for direction of the monster can just also be avoided or used by the monster for MISdirection.

Hunters are just on such a fast paced chase that slowly watching the horizon for a possible vague direction just wouldn’t work.


#4

I’ll echo what @JuiceFan1998 said. One thing to keep in mind is this game isn’t meant to be a hunting simulator. It’s supposed to be a cat-and-mouse type game that has some chasing involved and some great showdowns. If you go too far to the tracking side, you’ll ultimately have a boring game for the hunters who would be better off just sitting at the power station and waiting until the monster is forced to attack it.

However, it certainly could be an option for a hardcore mode. I’m hoping that there are all kinds of things that can be turned off and on in private lobbies. That would allow friends to do what they want and have a good time, without killing it for everyone.


#5

I’ll have to remember that trick about startle the birds w/ a rock/shokwave/… But is it possible as kraken to startle birds from very far w/ lighting strike?( if you are accurate with it )


#6

I feel like I’ve seen it and it would make sense but it’d need to be confirmed. I can understand if you can’t just because of the range you could totally mess up hunters although if you can that would be awesome.


#7

Heres how I think it could be reworked to be something like what the OP wants but still retain some functionality for hunters trying to find the monster. You know how you can mark a spot for everyone to see as the hunters? Well it could be reworked so that if you actually see the birds in the sky you can then mark the birds and activate a hud indicator for all the other hunters. If no hunter actually sees the birds and marks them then it should go unmarked. Hunters could actively listen for birds being startled and should look for them in the sky instead of just getting spoon fed the exact location of the monster like OP says.

They could slightly highlight the birds in the sky for the hunters just like they are highlighted for the monster so that they are far more noticeable for hunters ACTIVELY looking for them to track the monster down so it isn’t too hard to see or mark. In an intense chase or a wildlife confrontation it would be possible for hunters to be too distracted to mark the birds and so no spoon feeding of information would occur if the hunters aren’t being wary of their surroundings.


#8

I agree for making a hardcore mode where tracks are not illuminated, nor bird indicators made. That would be awesome.


#9

What would make it hardcore for the monster player?


#10

Maybe more aggressive wildlife trying to take the food from it or something? Not really sure. All the HUD indicators and UI aid is pretty much only hunter used. They could take perk stars off of the elite animals for both the hunters and the monster though.


#11

Thanks everyone for the replies.

I especially like Zaid8’s approach.

It would keep a form of “aid” for the team in the search for the monster (at least in the early stage of the match), but it would be activated by one of the Hunters themselves, rather than by a trigger or A.I. near the birds, or from the birds themselves, etc. In fact, what Zaid8 is suggesting reminds me of the “enemy spotted” marking feature in the Battlefield series (there’s an actual name for that action in-game but I can’t recall it).

That [Battlefield] spotting feature only needs the player to aim at (place the cursor on) the “target”, press a key (which I believe is ’ Q ’ by default? correct me if I’m wrong if there’s any BF players here) and if successfully-spotted the enemy is then marked on the screen (and radar too I think) for a time (or permanently, I can’t remember if it’s actually permanent or if the “marking” goes away after a time).

I do believe that something similar for Evolve would work well and would also be plausible (could be actual sensors or other various technology in their suit doing that work for them), more so than just having a magical on-screen warning for everyone, in my opinion anyway. But I would also add that giving the Host some optional values adjustment powers for the pre-game (Lobby) portion of the match could also be another simple way to remedy to the problem (well, I’m using the word ‘problem’ since for me at least that feature as it is right now is an annoyance).

Also, @ JuiceFan1998

You bring good points indeed.

But my philosophy isn’t that I want Evolve to turn “more into” a hunting simulator rather than a more action-oriented shooter. It’s mostly for the suspense / thrill factor. The thing is that the developers seemingly opted for a gritty / dark general atmosphere in their maps, the lightning/shadows, time of day (or night, rather), the “creepy” design of the monsters themselves (both the bosses and the wildlife). I think that they had a similar approach with the original Left 4 Dead (I.E. L4D1 was darker/grittier than L4D2).

But I’m starting to digress. The point being that what I’m suggesting would only contribute (in my opinion) to the already suspense-friendly design of the rest of the game, so far. What good would it have to give us well-crafted, dark, shadowy, night-time/creepy atmosphere maps with weird-looking wildlife and monsters in which you should probably navigate with your flash-light on… only to suddenly have your GUI doing the work for you. I mean we might as well have a day-time map. I might be wrong though, I haven’t played the Alpha/Beta. I’m only watching gameplay footage on YouTube, but so far I get the feeling that the developers really want Evolve to be filled with suspense (at least during the first few moments as the match begins).

I understand, however, that after a moment during a match once the monster player evolves to “stage 2” or 3, and when he’s really big, dangerous and faster, that almost all of this discussion would seem pointless, because at THAT point in a match you don’t really “hunt” anymore, you’re probably being hunted instead, or at least there’s probably so many traces of the monster around that there’s no point then to keep the suspense going as it would have been back during the first five or maybe ten minutes.

To that I would definitely agree. So I guess that it would only help the first few moments of a match’s suspense and “cat and mouse” game-play more than anything else, which in turn would probably make the feature as it currently is then unworthy of any change (I do want it to change but I’m realistic, if there’s more trouble involved trying to change it than there’s any in its current implementation then nothing will be changed, or it might even provoke further delays, or simply would cost more to produce since it would require new coding, testing hours, etc).

But, anyhow, I think that this is good food for thought. Maybe nothing will be done for now, and could perhaps only be “brainstormed” post-launch a few months down the road. And I wouldn’t mind that at all, nor would I mind buying the game at launch either, none of what we’re discussing here is “game breaking” to me, it’s just… a sort of annoyance, but that’s it.


#12

Solution: Hardcore/Custom mode

Adjustable options. You want no notifications? Do it. You want the Trapper to be the only one with highlighted footprints? Do it. You want no dropship? Do it.


#13

Yes, I am hoping for a Realism-like mode with less of the hand holding features. Some features like scaring birds for hunters to track are necessary for the core game, but could be implemented a bit more subtlely. Also having the wildlife so brightly highlighted while you’re the monster strips away the detail of the creatures you’re hunting. It looks like you’re just fighting outlines with health bars above them.

I definitely want less GUI or more subtle ways of implementing it. I think right now it takes away too much from the raw details that i crave from this setting. In short, I want to see more of the world with less GUI in my face.


#14

I cant wait for a non NDA chance to put some real game play up… I get kinda tired of all the misconceptions that come from the plethora of footage from new players. I want sooo badly to just film a match played right from every players perspective to show how things really are supposed to work after you get used to the game.


#15

+1
Hardcore mode is a very good idea !


#16

Agreed. The footage from absolutely horrible players giving misinformation and just plain sucking at the game is really making me claw my eyes out. Sounds harsh but its the truth. There just aren’t games this difficult and cooperative anymore and people have really gotten use to the hand holding in games these recent years.


#17

Yeah good idea :slight_smile:


#18

I don’t call evolve difficult unless you just started playing as the monster.


#19

Agrreed, Monster needs a littlebit of skill.


#20

I think the mechanics work fine because again people are judging based on what they’ve seen from mostly newer players. Most monsters who play for any amount of time will know how to sneak past them, making them even harder to track. The monster will allow fewer, if any, bird scares which will make those little screw ups all the more necessary for any kind of tracking. It basically keeps the monster from rampaging around than to be much of a help in tracking imo.