Hello there everyone,
first things first: my english and formation skills might be lacking a bit, I apologize in advance. Futhermore, the following will be a WALL-O’-TEXT, there is no TLDR avaible either. I am sorry.
A “little bit” about my background, to alleviate possible missunterstandings - I am not writing to upset anyone, or am jumping to conclusions myself:
I am a completly new player. I’ve picked up the game after stumbeling upon and watching footage of its previous iteration - unknowingly that it was changed, I didn’t research in advance. The level of immersion, the thrill of the hunt amazed me, especially the footage of the former iteration of the Wraith.
Once I started playing the game I did notice that former [core] mechanics have been scrapped in the wake of the Stage 2 release, which saddened me alot.
Given the intial amazement, I have chosen to do some proper research to find out about the reason that tempted the devolpers to make these decisions - not to drop the game like one would expect it from a fairweather player and consumer, as some will perceive me to be, probably.
I have come to find a plethora of of complaints, both from Hunter and Monster players. Terms like “Flee to three” and “Cheese hunt” were flung around like there wouldn’t be a tomorrow.
Unterstandbly, as the waste of time that has been forced upon Hunter players by Monster players that would make exessive use - that would abuse - certain mechanics sure had been mindboggling. But just much had the Monster - precisely the Wraith - community been let down, by the decision to scrap said [core] mechanics with which the Monster was initally advertised with.
I for one, for that I am (gladly) not laden with bad experience with them, have been intrigued by these mechanics as they seemingly were the epitome of what neat little tricks could been executed, of what level of immersion and thrill - adrealine packed gameplay out of both, the Hunters and the Monsters, perspectives - could be achived.
The changes - the reaction of the developers - however, happen to be the epitome of misguided goodwill. [This is no offense, merely my opinion, given what I’ve learned from the research I did, the folks did an amazing job from/on the greatest of scales you could look at the game, no doubt.]
Given my research, I realized that I were merely lucky enough, to stumble upon footage from both perspectives, that had not featured the terms and strategies mentioned above.
Which then again, led me to the conlusion, that this very footage, this very level aweasomeness could probably be rekindled and last, if “we” - if you allow me to see myself as part of your community just yet - work together on a solution for that problem.
Further, that also in the future, the scrapping of entire mechanics can be avoided, and the good thought and aweasome work of the developers can make it into proper shapes (so that they aren’t getting stuck in completly overhauling the game time and time again).
However, dont you worry. I do not expect the following to have any significant impact - partly because alot of it has been suggested one way or the other -, but maybe, just maybe…
E.A1: I am looking forward to playing the game one way or the other. So, please don’t assume I’m complaining or trying to be edgy. It’s just supposed to be some feedback, if its getting dismissed ~ its getting dismissed, I don’t mind that.
E.A2: I think, no one would mind long matches. What people do mind are long and boring matches without climax. Matches of FT3 that devolve into an utter curbstomp 15min or god knows how long into the match that lasts mere seconds.
Furthermore, scrapping mechanics leads to shallow gameplay - adjustments of mechanics on the other hand help developing depth. And learning is an essential part of a game, one way or the other.
I do rather fail a million times and learn from my mistakes, than head into the heat of battle, knowing that I’ll most likely win (or lose for that matter) due to fact that the battle is skewed in my favor. May it be due to over-the-top performance of certain elements, or the lackluster performance of others.
E.A3.: To elaborate even further, the described penalties would most likely force a Wraith - capable of stealthing - to constantly harass the Hunters ~ creating neat jumpscares and alike. Yet, not necessarily being forced to brawl and drop dead if implemented the right way, or glanced at for that matter. It merely gets some adrenaline pumping.
Furthermore, I am aware of the fact, that many people fell in love with the current iteration of the wraith, hence why the following might be best worked into an [extremely specific, “likely-to-fail-hard-to-master” kind of?] adaption of it, if even, rather than a second overhaul.
The suggestions, and the reasoning behind them if not properly described above:
Keep in mind: Thresholds, value and range modifier should be applied to each of these suggestions! I didn’t dare to categorize things this way just yet, as I still do lack experience with the mechanics and such. Furthermore, not all of these suggestions should be considered at once, some might work out in conjunction with each other, some might be completly overkill on their own - others might already be implemented.
E.A4: Please go ahead and subsitute the concept of percentage based debuffs regarding incoming damage with the concept of weakpoints - for some reason I tend to forget about that very, neat little concept. It would surely make for a more balanced solution to the penalties described below!
On the Wraiths side of things, to rile you all up a bit in some more emotive language:
The Wraith, I feel, should be the epitome of trickery, creativity and skillful play. It should be, more so than any other monster, be based around risk-and-reward - the very pinnacle of it, if you will -, mistakes should be extremely punishing, but not because it does lack plain stats, like it is the case right now - as evidenced by the competitive scene and its reputation as [medicore-]“pubstomper”.
Given a reversion to it’s former state [that is hinted at in the following, in more detail], applying stealth and creating a decoy, the following suggestions might help alleviate problems of the early days of Evolve, and allow for shenanigans.
Upon the use of this mechanic, the Wraith should be subject to penalties to avoid exessive use of it - to avoid the famous “Cheese hunt” of the old days and the “Flee till three” strategy.
1.1.) Regarding stealth:
Upon the use of Stealth…
[“Meta” - these suggestions should make for a either balanced, or very short intense matches]
1.1.a) the time a Wraith is allowed to hide decreases by ‘X-seconds’, with each sucessive use within ‘Y-seconds’ the penality increases by ‘P-percent’.
1.1.b) a timer is built up by ‘X-seconds’ that forces the Wraith to stay in combat [within ‘R-range’ of the hunters], with each sucessive use within ‘Xseconds’ the penality increases by ‘P-percent’, if the Wraith chooses to ignore the penality it suffers ‘TD-amount’ of true damage to its health during the timers uptime.
1.1.c) with each successive use within ‘X-seconds’ the cooldowns of the dome and the planetscan are decreased by ‘CD-percent’.
1.1.d) with each successive use within ‘X-seconds’ the cooldowns of the dome and the planetscan are replenished by ‘P-percent’.
1.1.e) with each successive use within ‘X-seconds’ the durations of the dome and the planetscan are increased by ‘P-percent’.
1.1.f) with each successive use withtin ‘X-seconds’ the state of the Wraiths evolution decays; gets reduced by ‘P-percent’, possibly forcing a Wraith back into Stage 1.
E.A6: Considering the strict nature of these penalities in conjunction with the current iteration of both of the Hunter’s tools, a rewarding mechanic might be necessary to persuade Wraiths to early aggression.
Stackable buffs, received upon succesful sneak-attacks and short combat sequences [faciliated with offensive use of stealth], that last a minor-to-moderate time, but only grant [very] minor boni [these buffs could be RNG-based, to make sure that certain buffs do not add up too significantly]. Additionally these could decrease stackwise, with each penality received, to counter-balance.
Yet, again, it would make for more immersive, likewise, long lasting matches. Over time, and given perfomance, these buffs could add up to enforcing certain encounters. A tame and hilarious example: granting super climbing speed and resulting in a hill-hopping-kind-of-warping wraith for a short period of time.
[“Core” - these suggestions could be a good way, I feel, to introduce a combo-and-rogue-esque system to the archetype and emphasize its hit-and-run way of things]
1.1.g) the threshold of wildlife consumption needed to evolve is increased by ‘T-percent’ by each succesive use within ‘X-seconds’, while health and armor gained by an evolution is decreased by ‘HA-amount’, the penality increases by ‘P-percent’.
1.1.h) with each successive use within ‘X-seconds’ the outgoing damage is decreased by ‘OD-percent’ for ‘Y-seconds’, the penality is stackable ‘Z-times’, each new stack refreshes the duration of the penalty.
1.1.i) with each succesive use within ‘X-seconds’ the incoming damage is increased by ‘ID-percent’ for ‘Y-seconds’, the penality is stackable ‘Z-times’, each new stack refreshes the duration of the penalty.
[“Deocy” - to account for it and its synergies with stealth]
1.1.j) with each succesive use within ‘X-seconds’ decreases the uptime of the decoy by 'Y-seconds.
1.1.k) with each succesive use within ‘Y-seconds’ decreases the health and the damage of the decoy by ‘HD-percent’.
1.2.) Regarding the mechanics of the decoy:
1.2.a) persists for a minor-to-moderate amount of time, has moderate health and minor-to-moderate damage of its own.
1.2.b) does not offer visual cues [flickering] and uses the skin of it’s user, but offers distinctive auditive cues and uses a distintive moveset.
1.2.c) disappears upon breaking stealth [the Wraith itself starts emitting visual [and auditive] cues, to make it readily apparent as to whether and where it re-engaged].
1.2.d) does not benefit from Supernova in terms of damage, but increases its own duration [not the stealth duration of the Wraith] with each successful hit by ‘P-percent’.
1.2.e) is capable of following specific patterns, stances the player does choose based on the application of the ability [directional modifier, a toggle option might have to be introduced for that purpose].
Engagement stance, moderate duration - does not impact Stealth [cone-modifier]:
…attacks hunter and prey alike only if the Wraith directly faces into the given direction. With everytime the Decoy participates in downing a Hunter, or downs a Hunter on its own, the duration of the Engagement-stance Decoy permanently increases by ‘P-percent’. A “Brawler”-Decoy will remain in play for a short duration after the Wraith breaks stealth.
Evasion stance, minor duration - does not impact Stealth [line-modifier, Abduction-esque]:
…if it does not face the given direction, the decoy will try to bolt away and will not try to engage. If the decoy succesfully tricks the hunters, allowing the combat status [see below, 3.] of the Wraith to reset to ~not engaged~ [a criteria like: no usage of traversal, might be good at this point to avoid exploiting] the duration of the Evasion-stance decoy permanently increases by ‘P-percent’.
Ambush stance, superior duration - does disable the Decoy ability for as long as the decoy persists, does not stealth the Wraith [placement-modifier, mine-esque]:
…if the Wraith faces straight down, the decoy will remain [linger around] at the chosen location and try to ambush the Hunters and prey alike. The decoy will only be tracked by the planetscan in the stead of the Wraith if activated within the a certain amount of time before/after the activation of the planetscan. Decoys that persist throughout an activation will not be tracked by the sucessive casts of the planetscan. The decoy is able to perform a sneak-attack, dealing significant damage - upon a succesful attack, the decoy disappears. If the decoy does fail to perform a sneak-attack and gets defeated, the Wraith will receive a debuff for ‘X-seconds’, increasing incoming damage by ‘P-percent’.
To add to the offensive potential and allow for creative play - so that the Wraith reclaims it’s spot as proper hit-and-run glasscannon, and maybe finds it’s way back into the competitive scene - the following suggestion(s) should be considered. Further the introduction of new directional modifiers could alleviate the targeting problems - those that have the ability bug out on terrain and such.
2.1.) Upon a successful hit of an Abduction cast…
2.1.a) fall damage will be activated for the victim for as long as it doesn’t touch a surface. The victim can avoid the fall damage if it touches a surface while actively using its jetpack. The fall damage will be deactivated after the victim has touched a surface.The victim will receive a significant boost to its jetpacks replenishment rate, once it touches a surface.
2.2.) Directional modifiers:
Pulls all Hunters in the designated area towards the Wraith, but only half the distance, leaving an opportunity for the Hunters to escape the Wraith. The ability only deals moderate damage with this modifier and does not stun - maybe slightly slow.
A pre-locking system could be useful to avoid nasty situations and altercations with terrain. The pre-lock would only last a short period of time, yet allow the Wraith to properly execute its combos, without allowing for some kind of autopilot scenario, as the lock itself has still to be properly aimed the way it works in its current iteration.
So that once you lock a target, it triggers a minor animation and allows for the triggering the first few seconds after, or for you to cancel it. If you cancel it however, you might be suspectible to weakpoints or other mali generated by the cancelation and the waste of time.
The wraith sets an Abduction-esque trap, that is barely visible for the Hunters, but can be detected by common means or by paying attention and destroyed, disabling the Abduction ability and putting it on a greater cooldown. Once triggered the Wraith will warp over to its victim and performs the endsegment of the Abduction ability - whether with a stun or not is up to discussion, given its nature and nastyness.
For the purpose of refining the way sneak-attacks work on a Wraith, a modifier to its combat status might have to be introduced, or the existing to be facililated to support the features. If the Wraith takes damage before the sneak-attack, it will not gain boni/gain minor boni, if it manages to pull of a proper sneak-attack it will receive [major] boni. There should also be a distinction between a normal sneak-attack and a stealth-sneak-attack. This aims at re-establishing sneak-attacks as major gameplay element for Wraiths and make it less likely to try and perform like a brawler.
3.1.) Upon a successful sneak-attack [if the Wraith hasn’t been engaged yet]…
3.1.a) the Wraith dispels some of its Stealth-penalties.
3.1.b) the Wraith gains a buff for ‘X-seconds’, that increases its outgoing damage by ‘P-percent’.
3.1.c) the Wraith traversal regeneration is increased by ‘P-percent’ for ‘X-seconds’.
3.1.d) the Wraith’s Abduction ability cooldown replenishes faster by ‘P-percent’, for ‘X-seconds’.
3.1.e) the Wraith will do significiant damage, and its movement speed and damage will be increased by ‘P-percent’, permanently stacking up to ‘Z-times’.
3.2.) Upon a successful sneak-attack [if the Wraith has been engaged]…
3.2.a) the Wraith will deal normal damage, but its movement speed will be increased by ‘P-percent’, for ‘X-seconds’.
3.3.) Upon a successful stealth-sneak-attack [if the wraith hasn’t been engaged yet]…
3.3.a) the Wraith will only do moderately more damage, but its movement speed will be increased by ‘P-percent’, for ‘X-seconds’.
3.3.b) the Wraith will receive a buff that increases the replenish rate of its abilities by ‘P-percent’, but will emit minor visual/auditive cues, highlighting its presence for ‘X-seconds’.
3.4.) Upon a successful stealth-sneak-attack [if the wraith has been engaged]…
3.4.a) the Wraith will deal normal damage, but will emit major visual/auditive cues, highlighting its presence for ‘X-seconds’ and will be suspectible to weakpoints that last for ‘Y-seconds’ and will stack ‘Z-times’, with each stack refreshing the duration.
It might be possible to add “meta”-effects to the ability, to alleviate the problems with the balance between utiltity and offensive potential and allow for plain stats to be adjusted more justifiably.
4.1.) Upon activation of Supernova…
4.1.a) the Wraith will gain the normal buffs, but its traversal charges slowly decay for as long as it remains in the designated area.
4.1.b) the Wraith slowly but steadily pulls Hunter within the designated area towards itself, for as long the Hunters touch the a surface, forcing the Hunters to make use of their jetpacks even if they aren’t focused by the Wraith, allowing the Wraith to properly followup with damage.
4.2.) Upon decay of Supernova…
[This would add a purpose for Supernova outside of combat, and have the Wraith choose between risking an encounter without the ability, but therefor creating scenarios for the late game, or saving it for brawl and raw damage. The cooldown would then have to be adjusted accordingly, like it has been done with abilities like Charge and such.]
4.2.a) the designated area slowly but steadily develops vegetation; foilage for the Wraith to hide in, so that the Wraith can properly map out routes and such to perform its hit-and-run tactics. The change will last permanently, but the vegetation can be destroyed by the various tools of the hunters.
4.2.b) the designated area slowly but steadily turns into a hazardous zone, hindering the movement of Hunters and forcing them to adapt their routes and alike. The change will last permanently, but the hazardous zone can be cleansed by the various tools of the hunters.
Even though Warpbomb is probably the most solid abiltiy at the Wraiths disposal, minor tweaks might open up for more fun and challenging plays.
5.1.) If targets are within its explosion radius, the current iteration of the ability is applied and the targets are knocked back.
5.2.) If no target is within its explosion radius, all targets within a certain range; in the wake and perimeter of the explosion, get slightly pulled towards the epicenter, but not into the intial radius of the explosion.
5.3.) In the wake of the explosion, the area gets distorted - either granting the Wraith minor buffs [Supernova-esque, but really only minor] or temporary turning into a harzardous spot, but yet granting the Hunter minor buffs to their movement. [The Hunters will one way or the other not be inside the area of effect, but can choose to make use of it.]
E.A5: Regarding the Pre-Lock in 2.2b):
Additionally, such a mechanic could also be implemented for abilties like Behemoth’s Rock Wall, ground-targeted of course. So that an algorithm could account for obstacles, figuratively speaking: a cascading collision check. A [very] short grace period for both, the player and the system to account for finicky stuff, [at best, but not necessarily] with an indicator of how successful the construction of a half-spherical wall of goodness would be.
Alternatively, one could take the construction of that wall as a basic prompt, like pulls/knockback with a minor range, to account for the collision checks. A less invasive solution would probably be, figuratively speaking: a minor radial- grace-area-thing(? words…), allowing for either the player or the system to adjust close calls. A possible scenario for such an adjustment could be: a player hitting the very edge of respective vegatation, branches or alike. The adjustment would not be made however, if the player doesnt hit the vegetation on the very edge, but point-blank.
That’s it. I hope i did not make a fool of myself - or well, not entirely. Feel free to correct me or scold me for that matter, if I should have missed certain mechanics ingame that either cancel these suggestions out or resemble an iteration of them. Also, I do appreciate tips and all that.
Futhermore, if you want to discuss these suggestions, please make use of the bullet points provided, so everyone is on the same page. I am looking forward to your input.
- Thanks for reading :).
Once again, my apologies for the WALL-O’-TE…DEATH.
E: Formatting, E.A1, E.A2 above.
E: Words and stuff.
E: Minor adjustments in wording and description, minor additions to ideas.
E: E.A3, E.A4 above.
E: Grammar. Don’t mind the Edits, I tend to tidy up posts over the course of a few hours if its that much.
E: 'Dem formatting/editing skills. ffs.
E: E.A.5 above.