Yup. That’s the common response I’ve read here and on Reddit. On paper it seems sound. In practice it doesn’t hold up.
I understand there’s a “tragedy of the commons” type situation if people don’t take their turn as monster. However, it’s more “Prisoners’ Dillema” if I’m the schmuck who does his duty and takes a round as monster.
1a. Round as monster
2a. Discover I’ve been matched against a pre-made and I’ve wasted time I could have spent finding a PUG group
1b. Round as monster
2b. Round as hunter
3b. Round as monster. Discover I’m against a group of three. 50% matches as monster isn’t fun for me. Sometimes this happens in PUGs when nobody is grouped. But I have to slog through another round as Monster to determine if that’s what happened, or it’s a clever premade lying to me to keep me around longer.
1c. Ask “is this a group/premade?”
2c. Stick around if it isn’t a premade
3c. Round as monster
4c. Round as monster. Discover I was lied to.
1d. Ask “is this a group/premade?”
2d. Told “two of us are grouped”. Monster 1/3rd of the time is tolerable.
3d. Round as monster.
4d. one or both ungrouped players disconnects.
5d. Odds >50% that I’ll be assigned monster again next round. If I hang around waiting for players to fill, on balance I’ll be monster >1/3rd of the time.
Escaping this cycle is damn near impossible without grouping. Matchmaker consistently puts you back in games you just left, even after making you sit in the corner by yourself for 1 minute.
If you prefer to play as hunter the only way to reliably achieve this is to group up. The experience of remaining ungrouped is infuriating enough to set up a negative feedback loop. Grouping with people you wouldn’t otherwise friend is common so the pool of ungrouped players is diminished. Abandoning lobbies instead of taking your turn as monster is common, though presumably doing so exposes that player to the same issues I outlined above.
I don’t care to add strangers to my Steam Friend List just to work around this issue. This means my experience of the new DLC (other than being pounded to a pulp by the T4 hunters) is contingent on my genuine friends’ schedules and their interest in playing Evolve. I think it’s reasonable to be a little miffed that I can’t reliably experience content I paid $25 for.