Evolve needs to appreciate its pubs more than its pros (A lesson from this free weekend)

Having played among the many new players that came in all weekend I found one reoccurring theme, gameplay in pubs is poorly balanced. Now im sure the immediate kneejerk reaction is “games perfectly balanced learn to play”, and that is the very root of the problem, you cant expect all pub player to play perfectly at all times. So what results are many lopsided fights that are enjoyable for no one (except maybe the masochistic monster players among us). Now for anyone who cares to think outside the premade-teamcompsmanditory lobby, heres what tends to plague public games.

  1. The less moving parts: The less likely something is to break. Simply put, in pub matches the outcome is almost always determined by the monsters skill, not the hunters. Outside of premade lobbies who exclusivly roll laz-bucket combos to counteract the imbalances, the meta devolves to one simple sentence “Kill the medic, win the game”. If the monster know this, they win, if they dont, then it tends to be more of a fair fight (in all irony). The fact of the matter is medics are crucial more so then trappers, supports, and assaults in terms of long term victory. If the medic is killed in a pub match either the monster now gets a free pass to stage 3, or they team may very well be wiped from the fallout. This is why Lazarus is the usual find in premade lobbies and among more skilled players, as the monster is forced to either spend health/time/ or both attempting to either kill laz, or earn one strike on a corpse. Every other medic lacks the skill ceiling of Laz and as a results, most pubs simply do not keep up with the expectations that Laz sets when it comes to actually being able to fight a decent monster.

  2. Outside of Laz games “there are only two supports, hank and sunny”. The reason for this is due to the fact that every other medic (with slim only being slightly better) suffer greatly at being able to keep themselves alive against a monster who knows to kill the medic first. Which means that direct tanking support abilities are simply mandatory or the medic will go down fairly quickly. If you have see a bucket/caira game or a val/cabot pub game against a decent monster it will be downhill very quickly as the medic will be focuses with little to no recourse to survive. Even if the monster suffers in the process, any strikes accrued only makes the process faster for each following dome, if the medic flat out dies, then you may as well sit at the relay and wait for death.

  3. The hunter tutorial does not cut it. Simply put the hunter tutorial does not teach anything about how to be a trapper, how to be a support, or how to be a medic. The tutorial only seems to encourage yolo-assaults to self-track the monster and ignore their teamates. This then translates into trappers that do not know how to dome and instead just keep shooting the monster expecting a dome to “magically appear”. Class based tutorials should be mandatory before play, this will stem new player frustration and old players simply getting overly salty with new players ruining games.

  4. Slim, Bucket, Cabot, Abe, and Parnell are horribly underplayed characters in pubs. Slim stems from a lack of understanding in most new players. I personally have the class ability bound to a mouse button but for anyone else playing slim spamming the leach gun and the heal burst is horribly clunky. Bucket is typically reserved for Laz games, because bucket lacks support abilities to keep medics alive, simply any other medic is at a huge disadvantage with bucket, to top it off buckets UAV goes unused in most pubs as it tends to keep bucket very far away from the domes. Cabot suffers the same issue as bucket, he lacks a tanking support ability which results in more medic death. Abe for some reason is lacking in pub play and has been for a very long time, im not entirely sure why. And Parnell, I feel, does not gain enough damage for the amount of risk that is taken. With new characters like Lennox easily being more potent.

  5. Many new players view the DLC characters as “Pay to Win”, and I have a hard time convincing them otherwise. The biggest culprit is behemoth, who (at stage one mind you) can easily obtain strikes on experienced pub hunters without taking Hp damage. Typically only bad players will lose in pub matches with behem. Even with the hunters, sunny in particularly, can be viewed in the same “pay to win” light as behem. Sunny, being the indisputably best support among pubs, is capable of what hank is, and more so. Lennox as well has easily raised the ranks as the best assault as well out-comparing Markov, Torvald, and Parnell in terms of usefulness. So as much as I want to dissuade new players from crying “pay to win” especially since all the “day 1 DLC” outcry, I have a hard time accomplishing such given the imbalance in pubs.

  6. “Pros before Pubs” is the current setup this game holds. So far balance has always been in the hands of the monster in pubs, and this tends to cause nothing but lopsided fights back before matchmaking allowed lvl 40’s to fight lvl 0 monsters. So now it still holds true that the only determining factor in pub matches is the monsters skill. Obviously the Esports focus has not kept the attention of the community as older pub players simply get fed up with the “kill the medic” meta to the point laz was almost mandatory to win. But then matchmaking came along and now rather than having a team of lvl 40’s vs a lvl 40 monster that may-or-may not be good, it is entirely in the hands of the monster to determine the outcome as lvl 0 hunters can fight along lvl 40 hunters all the time. If Evolve ever hopes to not go the way of the MANY esports focused multiplayer titles that have flopped before it, then maybe it needs to take a hint from said failures. Titanfall, Super/Monday Night Combat, Firefall, all games that put the Pro experience before the Pub experience, and they payed the price as the Pro playerbase drives out all the Pubs.

So, What do I think can be done about all of this?:

  1. The key issues with fixing the “moving parts” issue is to allow more room for “over compensation” between the classes. The most basic being the ability to survive a fight on your own without having to rely on shields/boosts to see you through it. This is normally accomplished by way of a Laz medic, but making Laz mandatory in pubs is a silly idea. So the simplest solution is to give jetpacks more use, in essence making “combat stamina” for hunters. Allowing more jetpack boosting for dodges/escapes in combat gives players more agency over taking damage, rather than the usual 1-2 dodges before you just have to eat whatever damage is being dealt to you and hope your support counters it (if they even can). But other more drastic ways would involve giving hunters more in the way to buff the odds in their favor during the match, rather than being on the constant downward slope of death.

  2. As stated earlier, without a Laz medic, your team can only tank so much damage before taking permanent (sometimes fatal if it involves the medic) damage. More should be done to help even the odds in matches where there are not hard"tank boosting supports" like hank/sunny, otherwise, against elite monsters that regular lvl 40 matches anyway as well as behemoth players of any level, you will find a very rapid decline in team health that is next to unpreventable. It is easy to see any pub match that involves bucket/cabot without a Laz medic tend to deteriorate very quickly unless the monster is unskilled enough to spread out their damage.

  3. The tutorials need to be more class specific, trapper need to actually spend atleast one game tracking and trapping an AI monster before even considering playing trapper, as a poor trapper can easily destroy a pub match. The other classes are also capable of derailing matches but not to the same extent as the trapper can.

  4. Continuing with the “kill the medic” meta, it seems any hunters that do not directly support this kind of play tend to fall to the wayside. With the increase of Laz players, Parnell tends to go unplayed as his risk/reward is not high enough to take with a lack of dedicated healing potential. Slim also being a difficult medic, tends to go unplayed as when the medic in a pub dies, the game is basically over. These underplayed characters all have issues that need to be addressed and most of them surround this “kill the medic” meta.

  5. Behemoth is due for a nerf, it has become the new wraith (which decoy spam is still broken tactic anyway). Currently I do not lose pub matches with behem because the combos are extremely powerful and are next to unpreventable by hunters. Combos like: Grab-Fissue-Lava rocks / Grab-Fissure-Rockwall-Lavarocks / Grab-Preemtive Lava Rocks-Fissure / and Grab-Rockwall-Sneakattack are all easily capable of downing full health hunters with next to no recourse as when players are grabbed they are completely helpless and cannot dodge in anyway (not that grabbing a hunter is in any way hard, the indicator clearly tells you if it will land or not). Many of these combos work at stage 1 disturbingly enough. Simply put, behem needs a nerf, and wraith needs to be looked at again, because it is still just a “run until stage 3, spam supernova decoy till you win” monster. As for Imbalanced hunters, its hard to call for a nerf on sunny when most monsters tend to win pub matches, once the pub monster balanced is fixed, then it would be a good time to call for nerfs on Sunny and Lennox.

  6. The pub experience needs to take priority, EVEN if it means separating gameplay for pros and pubs. If I have to play a gimped monster in order to make pub play more enjoyable for everyone, that is a price I am more than willing to pay to keep the evolve playerbase from dieing out, but at its current pace, the Pro playerbase is going to drive out any new players from the free weekend, and any of the new players that stuck around (due to never playing in matchmaking rounds) will eventually find themselves in the exact same situation older players found themselves in anyway: level 40, playing against pro level 40 monsters, and having to choke down the “kill the medic meta” or simply stop playing.

In general I like evolve, I enjoy playing it and I wish the game was not so disgustingly stagnant in its “kill the medic meta” that has made many characters in pubs unplayable. clearly something needs to be done, but I doubt the Pro playerbase is all to willing to give up their hard practiced metas (both medic killing and laz-bucket premades) in order to see the pub experience improve. I’m sure they are swarming all over the forums as we speak to shush anyone who dares to speak ill about the games current balance. ***(which is why I wont be bothering to read any comments on this post in the first place)***. But simply put, if Evolve puts the Pro playerbase before the Pub playerbase, it will go the way Titanfall, Super/Monday Night Combat, and Firefall. And I would hate to see that happen. Because let me warn you now, no amount of Free To Play is going to save Evolve from this fate if the Pub experience does not improve.

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After reading a great deal of this, I’ve got a few points to make.

If we look at high end gameplay, monster suffer a great deal more than hunters, there’s a lot that hunters can do that the monster simply can’t keep up with. Hunters have a higher overall skill cap, so nerfing monsters would be bad for competitive, especially since monsters are considered UP by a lot of the playerbase that aren’t noobs.

And second, I don’t really want to be the one to point this out, but is there really something wrong with having a game have a steep learning curve? It’s what attracts hardcore gamers. The large skill cap is also what keeps competitive alive. Look at the game called Natural Selection 2, it’s still got a decent playerbase, considering how old it is. There’s a HUGE skill cap, and gap. Yet the players play the game on a fairly consistent basis.

I do agree with the idea of making a better tutorial however, I think this will help a lot with the learning curve. Teaching newcomers to prepare for some common problems that they’ll run into as each class at all stages of the game. Game’s like Rocket League have some nice tutorials in them that allow for players to hone their skills. So that might be something to try.

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Would just like to point out that for the last 6 months it was pub favored. They finally tuned it for competitive four weeks ago (i think it was early August). Honestly we should all be playing to be good, the lowest player shouldn’t be catered to and they have skirmish now to perfect their game.

My idea to fix it is just make monsters ranked and give hunters something similar to a dog tag for what monster they killed, tier, and gamer tag. Maybe they could match make off of your “dog tags” if not then go back to level. Only reason I want this is the game has lost its variety in hunt 2.0. We no longer see half the roster being played, if Hunter side didn’t have to worry about rank it would bring back the fun that existed pre 2.0. This would also ease up on everyone only playing if in premades, leaking good hunters back into the pub as they don’t have to worry about only playing with friends. Also implement a challenge option for searching leader board or entering gamer tag.

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The best suggestion I read, which I reiterate whenever this comes up: new players should have been made to progress through the level 1-40 progression. Upon reaching level 40, Hunt becomes Ranked or Ranked gets unlocked.

The free weekend suffered from unlocking characters that noobs normally would have to earn. I have no problem with this, but there are certain conclusions one can’t draw based on this weekend. The Tier 1-3 unlock sequence was designed to teach people how to play their class. Unfortunately, DLC characters will always short circuit this, but presumably new players will eventually want to unlock Tier 1-3 and gain the experience from the playtime and the mastery requirements.

Jack is also a big culprit, because he is currently OP, as all DLC hunters have tended to be on release.

Behemoth is strong because he destroys noobs making noob mistakes. When Bob was released, nobody knew not to follow Bob into caves and tight quarters; even experienced players had to learn that lesson. Noobs are slower learners and Bob is especially suited at exploiting new player weaknesses like clumping up, standing in bad, etc…

I don’t think so. If anything, the pro focus has been tempered by trying to make it approachable for new players, and monsters have suffered at the hands of a skilled team.

The problem isn’t balance (at least not in the direction you want to swing the pendulum). The problem is that Ranked does a terrible job right now of separating the sheep from the wolves. As stated, make players go through the original leveling system before unlocking Ranked.

Nope.

Behemoth is due for bug fixes to his abilities and traversal bugs. Bob is the poster child for why DLC monster isn’t Pay2Win. Aside from a brief 2 week period shortly after his release, Behemoth was junk. Patch 5.0 changed that. Now he’s pub destroyer, but still the 3rd best monster against skilled teams.

I don’t remember the last time I played Behemoth and didn’t have a gap in a crucial rock wall, or a fissure glitch out on geometry, or an obsidian grub stop me dead in my tracks, or small clump of rocks cause my traversal to go into “hang time” mode, etc… Fix his shit, then let’s talk about nerfs.

Yup.

Just don’t put me in matches with new players.

You lose your right to have your opinion considered if you don’t want to engage in proper discourse.

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The 1 second dome doesn’t benefit the higher end. It only benefits the lower end. The new monster meta benefits lower levels more than higher levels. This game has been very much pub centred in balance for a long time, and I’ve wanted it to be more competitively focused in the balance. The game has a steep learning curve, as do other games out there. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. New players should have a pool that is more restricted, so that they can play with people much closer to their level, and as a group learn the basics and how things function. It worked for everyone else from launch, so why not for them?

Oh dear lord… Monsters are already having a hard time of it… Please don’t make this worse…


This game varies largely from the low and higher skill ends. If you balance for the pubs, the monsters at the mid-higher ends will suffer much more, to the point that it will be broken.

Instead of making the game into easy mode, I’d rather people learnt how the game works and how to win. I mean, I did it. I didn’t KNOW how to play the game, and I lost A LOT. I had to slowly learn things myself. From the games I won, I learnt new things. From the games I lost, I learnt new things. I started timing my dodges and they became better. I started understanding how to track the monster and to predict their movements.

Also;

Actually no. The game isn’t balanced, because (imo) the mid-higher end is suffering with hunters being too powerful. How is it right that a monster can lose their entire armour and a large chunk of their health in a single engagement? How is it right that despite this they may not even get an incap? At the higher end, it’s more like the monster wins if the hunters make a mistake. If they don’t then the Hunter’s winning is
inevitable, even if the monster doesn’t really make a mistake.

I do agree that better tutorials are needed (or updated ones).

Again. The game is much more pub-balanced imo than “pro” balanced. Monsters will win in pubs for the simple fact that pubs tend to not work together. I’ve played in pubs where each player with me did their role and we defeated some hard monsters quite easily. This was without mics and purely with randoms.

And about the “kill the medic meta”… What do you expect man… Medic is the guy that heals and keeps people alive… Of course that’s the guy you want to target… It wouldn’t make sense any other way… However, if you kill the assault, that’s the main damage dealer gone. You won’t take lots of damage and can fight to your hearts content. Same with the Trapper. You aren’t forced into fighting any longer than you want. Support, reduced defensive/offensive capabilities. However, the smartest move in any game will be, take out the medic. If you were playing a MMORPG and were in a massive fight. The most obvious thing you’re going to want to do is take out the healers. Why is that? Because they’re the guys giving the others survivability. There’s nothing wrong with this. It’s how it is everywhere that there is a medic/healer role.

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Hunters dont need anymore buffs. People really just need to lean what their equipment can do and how/when to use it and positioning Then you’re golden. This isnt a matter of helping pubs or the competitive players be catered to - people just need to leaner there stuff and actually work together.

[quote=“Kinesis, post:1, topic:70769, full:true”]***(which is why I wont be bothering to read any comments on this post in the first place)***.
[/quote]

Aww you made some good points worth discussing but then you messed everything with that comment. I guess you’re under the impression that its fine for people to give you the courtesy of reading your block of text while you dont offer the courtesy of reading people’s reply in return.

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image
I am now disappoint because of that.

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The problem with pubs really just boils down to the fact that the four players on the hunter team have to know their role and play it, and if just one of those players doesn’t stick their role (whether they are inexperienced and still learning or just trolling) it is very difficult if not impossible for the rest of the hunter players to take up the slack.

Also, I have always said that the tutorials in this game fall very short of preparing new players for this game. There is just so much information that is vital to success in Evolve that the tutorials just gloss over or don’t even mention at all.

Totally agree. This honestly should be implemented as soon as resources are available to do so. Not trying to tell TRS what to do, but it is very telling when in game and new players really don’t understand their class responsibilities and role. And when it happens it has a HUGE impact on the rest of the people playing.

Very interesting idea. Needs fleshing out but sounds good. Would also be cool if we had a trophy wall assigned to our player logon so we could see what our win / loss ratio was per monster. I can just imagine the background picture of Griffin sitting back in his big chair with a pipe in hand near a fire with the trophy heads on a wall too! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Definitiely something along these lines. Maybe slightly lower, like Level 25 or something, but I agree that Ranked should probably be something that is unlocked after you have a few games under your belt.

Also agree. He needs a little fine tuning but otherwise he is in a pretty good spot.

Yes, yes, yes and yes. This is the stuff that really needs attention before anyone starts thinking they should change something else on him. Iron this stuff out, then we can talk about him. :smile:

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I don’t see the point of this thread because the OP has made the unfortunate decision to ignore his thread and cultivate the conversation that his points have created.

A lot of threads have legs beyond the OP. But you’re probably right.

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This game requires a high skill cap to “Enjoy” or play exceptionally well. This isn’t Call of Duty, where you jump into the game, shows you how to play, and your just as good as the next guy that sits in a corner. Evolve is game where skill is needed, or if not skill, perhaps experience. Evolve is a game where you have to get used to the attributes of the game, and how it works such as jetpack gravity. If a new person seeks to be good at this game, seek a Pro! There is no problem in becoming well in Evolve, it only increases the fun you have!

I respect Evolve appreciating Pros more than pubs, because it pushed me to play as one as the best players, as would you. You cannot jump into a game and be good at it, that’s how Evolve goes.

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True. Having said that, it is promoting valuable and constructive discussion. :smile:

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A better tutorial has always been something I thought needed improvement. For a game that has a lot of information, it’s really lacking in letting people know what they need to do. The class tutorial does an ok job, but making the player play through the tutorial will make them learn that much more. Placing them in positions where they need to utilize the character’s kit is one way of teaching. Obnoxious reminders also help, a lot of the reminders don’t really do much in the current game.

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Yup. Those that are there, like how easy it is to kill a Reaver for example, aren’t really that useful. I would rather know things like useful strategies or tactics for certain classes / characters.

Proper Class-oriented tutorials that you can actually run through and dome something, heal a teammate, cloak and sneak past a sloth, etc would honestly be the best way to learn at the beginning imo.

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Or learn about monster focus, from all perspectives. Medic needs to heal, assault needs to shield, support can shield and cloak, and trapper trips the monster with CC.

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110% agree there should be more defined role tutorials. The small introductions when first playing the role is decent but for a game like this, it deserves to go a little more in depth about class abilities and how to use them + beginner and intermediate strategies using their abilities. I think the weapons portion of each character is straightforward and covered well enough in the mini tutorials.

At the same time, in this era of video networks such as YouTube and “the Internet has all the answers” mentality, I’m finding it hard to comprehend why people don’t just look this stuff up. And it’s not a huge inconvenience either, many gaming platforms now allow simultaneous gameplay and Internet browsing.

So while this sort of this should be in the game I don’t think this is any excuse to not get good with a character. Pretty much any and every game out there will have a strategy on it soon after it is released.

So what!? His points are still valid and worth to be discussed and if not with him then with anyone else who is interested in this topic

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This game failed because you cant immediately hop into a game, kill mans for an hour with your favorite gun, and hop off.

Instead you have long wait times where you might not get the character you want. Then you play a game where half of the time you are tracking a monster you cant actually see.

This turns a lot of people off from the game.