Yesterday I played monster on Hunt 2.0 and something felt massive off. I tried cycling through all of the monsters, looking for a win because I was sucking with every monster. My Goliath play was just awful: I was missing 70% of my attacks and couldn’t finish off more than one hunter per game. Kraken should have been my saving grace, but the same thing happen: I could not combo to save my life.
After getting off, a thought popped into my head that would finally explain what was going on: there’s a huge input lag while playing online. To test the idea, I went into a Solo Hunt game that was devoid of any networking shenanigans. Sure enough, my attacks felt much better, coming out instantly instead of with a delay. Every attack was actually easy to aim and my monster play improved dramatically and felt 100% more fun. There was no fun in trying to fight the game to control the monster.
This is an extremely disappointing find that makes playing monster depend heavily on quality of connection, rather than actual skill. I am aware that lag does play a part of every online game, but the degree that it affects playing monster is bigger than any other shooter I’ve ever played. There are games that are similar to how monster plays like Rainbow Six: Vegas. Rainbow Six: Vegas had input lag, and it required players other than host to lead their shots. This was fair in a sense that anyone who wasn’t host had the same disadvantage. Evolve works differently though. Monster has lag input on ALL of his projectiles/abilities/attacks. Hunters have networking advantage in terms of their bullets because they do not have to lead. You can shoot any bullet based weapon directly at the monster and it will score as a hit. Not only is this unfair, but its also not very fun either.
For anyone that doesn’t play much monster, you have to understand that most monster abilities already on out on a delay anyways. What I mean is that for a leap smash to land, Goliath has to jump at hunter and wait for him to land on the ground or at a wall for the damage to connect. When you add input lag to that, it gets even harder to land a leap smash. If a leap smash takes 800ms to land, and you add 400ms of input lag that’s 1.2 seconds total it takes for an ability to connect. Hunters that kite around objects get even harder to kill when you add this unbearable input lag into the game and it makes the game much more frustrating.
Input lag is funny because it’s something you don’t really notice, unless its really bad or until its improved. For example: someone that switches from a big screen TV to a gaming monitor will usually notice a sense of increased control due to a reduction in output time. I play on a 2ms Samsung monitor, but my Sony 40" probably has a 200ms-500ms. My brother does not notice this difference while playing Call of Duty, but I do I and refuse to play competitive games on the regular TV because of it. I can’t even imagine having to deal with both Evolve Monster input lag and the addition of a big screen TV’s output lag.
What fun is it to get destroyed by a team of hunters, when you can’t properly control your monster? What glory is there in killing a monster that is handicapped from the start? I don’t know how the PC scene is, I’m assuming its pretty solid for the looks of the Quick Shot tournament, but as far as I’m concerned the console scene is dead. There’s really no sense of competition if monsters have to deal with this massive disadvantage that hunters aren’t even aware of.