Gameplay Features and Updates
Gameplay is one of the most important aspects of Evolve: Stage 2. Games are faster than ever; they require less running and give all players a sense of direction during gameplay. We redesigned Hunt to eliminate the “Flee ‘Til 3” tactics and put the focus back on the action.
Hunter Shared Dome
The Mobile Arena is moved off the Trapper and is now a team-wide ability for Hunters. The Shared Dome is a critical part of the Evolve: Stage 2 Hunt experience.
- What is the Shared Dome?
- If a Hunter damages the Monster or is within a certain range, a prompt will appear to Dome the Monster.
- After a short cast time, the Dome will be deployed over the Monster’s current location.
- The Dome cooldown is 80 seconds which is shared across all Hunters.
- Shared Dome Gameplay
- The Dome Timer starts at 5 minutes.
- The timer can be decreased in two ways:
- If the Monster incaps a Hunter, the timer decreases by 3.5 minutes (210 seconds).
- If the Hunters deal health damage to the Monster, the timer is reduced in 60 second increments.
- Stage 1: -60 seconds for every 4% of health lost
- Stage 2: -60 seconds for every 6.5% of health lost
- Stage 3: -60 seconds for every 8.5% of health lost
- Once the timer decreases to 0:00, the Dome will drop.
- A loud buzzer sound is triggered as the Dome counts down before dropping.
- Hold the Dome Countermeasures
- ‘Hold the Dome’ was an infamous and toxic mechanic from Evolve. With Evolve: Stage 2, we’ve modified our dome design to counteract this behavior.
- If a Hunter gets incapped while the Dome is ready to cast, a 10 second delay will be applied to the Shared Dome.
- A HUD prompt will appear when this countermeasure is in effect.
New Hunter Class Abilities
Trapper: Planet Scanner
- Upon activation, the Planet Scanner detects the direction the Monster is in, and relays that information on each Hunter’s compass. The Monster will also get a UI prompt whenever the ability is activated.
- Not only do Trappers get this advanced tracking ability, they will also get a movement speed and jetpack thrust boost for a short time to keep on the Monster’s tracks.
- This ability currently has a 30 second cooldown.
Support: Shield Burst
- The Shield Burst will apply a temporary shield to all Hunters in a 30m radius and blocks a chunk of incoming damage on activation.
Assault: Defense Matrix
- Upon activation, the Defense Matrix will create a defensive energy around the Assault, blocking 75% percentage of incoming damage for the Assault Hunter for a short period of time. It currently has a 30 second cooldown.
- Quick Match Replaced with “Hunt”
- Matchmake into the flagship Evolve experience: Hunt.
- This serves as the pick-up-and-play matchmaking mode.
- Hunt 2.0 is Now “Ranked”
- All rankings are reset with the launch of Evolve: Stage 2 beta.
- You must now reach account level 20 to enter Ranked.
- Refined the matchmaking algorithm so you find matches quicker.
- Your score is now hidden, but we’ve reworked how the numbers are calculated so you can work towards your rightful skill ranking on the leaderboards.
- No More Joining Matches In-Progress
- You’ll no longer be matched into a game that has already begun.
- You can still be invited into a game if a friend invites you, or join into a friend’s game.
Floating Damage and Healing Numbers
- Damage Numbers
- Whenever you damage a Monster with Hunter equipment or land a Monster ability, you’ll see a number appear on screen.
- This can be turned off at any time under the gameplay options.
- Healing Numbers
- Like Damage Numbers, whenever you heal another Hunter you’ll see the Healing Number pop up to show you how much you’re healing with each ability.
- Damage and Healing Numbers Colorblind Support
- Compass Update
- The Compass has been put center screen for Hunters for better directional callouts.
- This is also used for the Planet Scanner indicator.
- Successful Hunter Revive
- This prompt is displayed for both Hunters and Monsters.
- Persistent Markers
- This highly requested feature makes it so markers and health bars now remain on screen while using the minimap.
- Hunter Team Class Icons
- Hunters can now see class icons regardless of colorblind mode being on.
- This can be turned on via the options menu.
Scaling Dropship Timer
- The timer always starts at zero when the Hunters first land onto the map at the start of a Hunt game.
- If a Hunter is incapped (or if you have 2 strikes and are killed) it will add 10 seconds to the dropship timer.
- If a Monster stages up, 25 seconds are added to the dropship timer.
- The dropship doors will always open and spawn hunters once the countdown timer hits zero. Hunters must enter the dropship before the timer hits zero in order to respawn.
- The maximum timer on the dropship is two minutes.
Achieving Visual Clarity
With the launch of Evolve: Stage 2, we revisited almost every visual effect in the game and spent countless hours polishing four hand-picked maps for Hunt gameplay.
- Rebuilt and Redesigned 30+ Hunter VFX
- All “Cloud” based gear have been revised to no longer block vision when spammed.
- Any explosive impact shows the radius within the explosion, as opposed to it being a bit hidden.
- All deployables display their range and a light around their general location.
- Hunters now have a jetpack stream tied to all jetpacks associated with the color of your class. For example, Assault jetpack streams are red.
- Rebuilt and Redesigned 20+ Monster VFX
- All Monster abilities now telegraph if it will hit the Hunter or not to assist you in learning what is actually going on during fights.
- Any large area of effect ability has a clearly defined radius.
- Goliath Leap Smash has a better defined impact zone before the ability finishes.
- Wraith Supernova no longer blocks your vision with VFX overload.
- Kraken Lightning Strike now has a clear defined radius around the ability impact.
- Improved Hunter 3rd Person VFX
- New 3rd person effects:
- Damage Reduction
- Bucket’s new ability: Mechanized Recharge (ability information below)
- New Hunter 1st Person VFX
- These effects will have a specific icon that is tied to a color that will display on the edges of your screen to further communicate what’s going on in the game.
- New 1st person effects:
- Damage Reduction
Arguably one of the most important parts of Evolve was and always will be the maps. We redesigned and rebuilt the four best maps for the new gameplay we’re bringing forward to our community in the update.
- Map Rotation: Orbital Drill, Wraith Trap, Distillery, and Weather Control
- These four maps were hand-picked and rebuilt to fit our new gameplay standards.
- Each has increased in size (Distillery and Weather Control have gained the most).
- All brush and vegetation has been cleaned up to not obscure vision.
- All collision (think bumpy rocks) has been cleaned up to allow for a smoother traversal for both Hunters and Monsters.
- Weather has been optimized and improved across all four levels.
- All cliffs have been reduced in size.
- Each map has gone through an art pass and point of interest improvements to create more memorable areas.
- Our environment artists have revised/rebuilt lighting in all four maps.
- Events from “Dome Ready!” to when the Monster evolves and more are now vocalized by an Announcer. Did we mention that the Announcer is voiced by our very own Chloe Skew? Go, Chloe!
- Numerous sounds have been redesigned and cleaned up.
- The in-game mix for Monsters has been standardized for consistency.
- Revised all wildlife sound for Hunters to allow for better tracking and spatial awareness with wildlife.
- Tuned high-impact Hunter abilities to stand out more from the Monster perspective.
- General cleanup of the in-game mix to better convey distance.
Hunt Gameplay Changes
With a big focus on getting players into games and more fights instead of running, we’ve revised the whole design of Hunt.
- Round Duration
- A Hunt round duration has been shortened to 12 minutes from 20 minutes.
- The Sudden Death timer now begins at 4 minutes. It previously began with only 2 minutes remaining.
- When the Hunters or Monsters are fighting, the timer will stop until the Monster is no longer in combat range.
- While sudden death is active the game time can go past 12 minutes.
- Relay Shield
- The Power Relay now has a defensive shield that is applied when Hunters are within an 80m radius of the Power Relay.
- Once a Hunter enters the radius, the announcer will notify the Hunters the Relay shield has been activated.
- Each Hunter inside the radius increases the Relay health by 15%.
- New Wildlife Spawning System
- Refactored to create a more efficient and consistent spawning system.
- The new system does not use random spawns and always generates a set amount of wildlife in a spawn area.
- Wildlife will spawn more often and in areas where Monsters can actually kill and eat wildlife.
- Wildlife Changes
- All wildlife health has been decreased by 50%.
- Trapjaws no longer have energy (food) values.
- The Tyrant has been removed until further notice.
- We are working towards a complete refactor of how the Tyrant behaves in our game.
- Reavers no longer slow Hunter movement with attacks.
- Reavers can now climb up cliffs. This basically means our AI team wanted Reavers to take over Shear. Beware! The unseen Reaver is the deadliest.
- Wildlife Buff System Redesign
- All Buff spawns are now static locations based on the wildlife type.
- Spawn times are set depending on the tier of the Buff.
- Tier 1 spawns at 3 minutes which includes the Reaver, Blitz Leopard, Cephaladon, Megamouth, and Spotter.
- Tier 2 spawns at 6 minutes which includes the Venom Hound, Marsh Strider, Canyon Strider, Obsidian Grub, Nomad, Steamadon.
- Tier 3 spawns at 10 minutes which includes Mammoth Bird, Crowbill Sloth, Armadon.
- Limb Damage Removed
- Bullets will always deal a set amount of damage to the Monster.
- All bullet-based Hunter weapons have had their damage lowered to compensate for the increased consistency.
- Headshots will still deal double damage for bullet-based Hunter weapons.
- Improved Weather Cycles for Orbital Drill, Wraith Trap, Distillery, and Weather Control.
- The timing for each map is as follows (each map will have a different weather theme):
- 0:00 to 1:30 minutes will be Fair Weather
- 1:30 to 4:00 minutes will be Heavy Weather
- 4:00 to 6:00 minutes will be Light Weather
- 6:00 to 12:00 minutes will be Fair Weather
- 12:00 minutes to the end of round will be Heavy Weather
- Removed the lightning flash that was present on various storm weather effects for: Orbital Drill, Weather Control, Distillery, and The Murder Pits.
- Controller Aim Assist Improvements
- The new aim assist will latch onto the Monster with greater strength than before.
- It is no longer a snap onto the target, but a gradual pull towards the Monster.
General Hunter Changes
- Movement Speed reduced from 5.5m/s to 5.2m/s.
- Jetpacks no longer take fuel to climb a wall.
- Jetpacks will always give a Hunter four boosts when at maximum capacity.
- All hunters now have 15 hp/s regen out of combat.
Daisy AI Overhaul
- Always tracks the Monster directly, choosing the quickest path to the Monster’s current location. Will no longer follow tracks.
- Within a certain distance of the Monster, she’ll go into head-down mode and slow down to start sniffing around for the Monster.
- Daisy will point once she’s honed in on the location of the Monster, signalling to the Hunters that the Monster is close and able to be captured inside a Dome.
Daisy no longer will call in the Dropship after being killed.
- Only Hunters will start the Dropship timer.
Daisy now grants Hunters a movement speed boost aura
- Daisy now grants a 15% speed boost in a 15 radius around her.
- This does not apply to the Combat Trapjaw. She still has normal movement attributes.
- Daisy will grant the movement speed bonus until she is killed.
- There are no VFX tied with this currently.
- Gotta go fast!
New Bucket Ability: Mechanized Recharge
- Bucket’s UAV has been replaced with a new ability called Mechanized Recharge.
- On activation, any Hunter in a 30m radius of Bucket will have their class ability recharged at a rapid pace.
Jack Repulsor Revision
- The red beam will no longer drain large amounts of energy when holding it on the Monster.
- When a Monster walks into the beam and it turns yellow, it’ll drain less energy than before.
- Whenever a Monster uses a traversal into the beam, it’ll take a large chunk of energy.
- The Repulsor can only be used when it is fully recharged. The reload speed has been improved to go along with this new change.
Hyde Toxic Grenade Revision
- No longer kills Banshee mines, plants, and other various items with the damage over time ability.
- Now has the ability to break sneak pounce grapples on impact.
- Will destroy any items on explosion, but not with the damage over time.
Slim Spore Cloud Rework
- Previously, Spore Cloud took away the Monster’s ability to smell completely while in the cloud. It will now limit the Monster’s smell range by a set percentage.
The Lazarus Device now grants strikes on Death
- If a Hunter corpse is revived with the Lazarus Device, the Hunter will be granted a strike.
Feeding Damage Threshold
- Monsters must take a set amount of damage before eating is cancelled.
- The closer Hunters are to the Monster, the lower the threshold.
- The further away Hunters are to the Monster, the higher the threshold.
General Monster Changes
- Armor and health adjustments:
* Each Monster has gained faster out-of-combat armor regen.
* Each Monster has increased armor and health.
- Stamina has been increased for each Monster.
- With the removal of in-combat stamina, each Monster now has a set Stamina value at all times.
- Energy required to Evolve:
- Stage 1 energy required to stage up is now 21 energy.
- Stage 2 energy required to stage up is now 25 energy.
- Contextual Combat improvements (Monster Melee Combat)
- Further improvements to the contextual combat system allow Monsters to have more consistent melee attacks while in combat.
- Ability Points and Stat Restructure
- Each Monster now starts with four points to spend at Stage 1.
- You still have three at Stage 2, but you only have two at Stage 3.
- Overall, it is still 9 points to spend through the Stages.
- Restructured ability upgrade system.
- Level 1 abilities still give you basic function and enough damage to break through Hunters.
- Level 2 abilities give you a decreased cooldown and/or increased radius/speed to give more usability for Level 2 abilities.
- Level 3 abilities increase in damage and further improve the ability’s utility depending on the ability type.
- Armor Channeling in the Dome
- Monsters rapidly regenerate armor while in the Dome after not taking damage while standing still for 3-4 seconds,.
- Once activated, a UI prompt and sound will play to notify both sides that the armor channeling has begun.
- To break the armor channel, a Hunter simply deals damage to the Monster.
- Our goal with this feature is to allow Monsters to reset the fight in their favor.
- Wraith Decoy Rework
- Decoy no longer will make the Wraith invisibile.
- Upon activation, the Decoy will spawn and attack the nearest target. (prioritizes Hunters).
- The Decoy no longer disappears if the Wraith uses abilities or melee attacks.
- The Decoy will fight alongside the Wraith during combat.
- It has a set health value and timer. If either reaches zero the Decoy will disappear.
- Gorgon Web Snare Functionality Change
- No longer slows Hunter movement speed on impact.
- Now lowers the jump height and jetpack dodge distance and slows the speed of jetpack flight as well.
- Kraken Banshee Mine Rework
- Banshee Mines have three states: launched, armed, and active.
- When in the launched state, they are invulnerable until they land on geometry or close to a Hunter.
- Once they become planted at the aimed location, they’ll be ready to activate whenever a target comes into the active range. This is the armed state.
- Mines home in on the target and explode on impact once a target is in range. They are vulnerable in this active state.
- Banshee Mines now have 3 mines at each level.
- Goliath Air Tracks
- Similar to Gorgon and Wraith, Goliath will now leaves tracks in air.
- Whenever Goliath leaps or uses leap smash, tracks will appear below Goliath.
- Sneak Pounce Changes
- Monsters can only Sneak Pounce when a target is in range.
- Random Carrion Birds are Removed
Behemoth Unlocking Disabled
Unfortunately, Behemoth currently has some issues we’d like to tackle and needs some pending refactors before we feel comfortable having players unlock him with Silver Keys. If you already own Behemoth, he is still playable on your account but any player who did not purchase Behemoth before the launch of Evolve: Stage 2 will not be able to unlock Behemoth until we re-release him. Bob will be back soon!
We have removed Defend, Nest, Rescue, and Evacuation from Evolve: Stage 2. These modes can be found in Legacy Evolve which is still available for players who previously owned Evolve on Steam.