"With the Big Alpha a week away, we’re excited – and want to show you what’s in store! Today, let’s start with breaking down quickly what’s in the Big Alpha and then dive into our new progression system.
Short Version: Everything we’ve shown to date, is fair game. What you’ve seen on the Evolve Live stream – or gotten a taste of at trade shows – is all there for you to play with for the whole Big Alpha weekend. Eight of the 12 total Hunters, the two announced Monsters, the three maps we’ve released and the Hunt mode from the game. Considering how replayable Evolve is, that’s more than enough to keep you busy.
Right here, though, we’re going to walk you through how the new progression system will work in Evolve, and how it’s going to play out in the Big Alpha.
First thing you need to understand is that the progression system works on two levels:
Character Progression: This is experience earned within a match that goes toward improving your chosen character’s mastery of different skills, weapons, and abilities. Through mastering one character completely, you unlock the next character in that class. This applies to both Hunters and Monsters.
Player Progression: This is experience that goes towards improving your overall player rank (up to level 40) and grants perks that you can select before going into a match. In other words, this is your personal meta-level and is generally earned through time spent playing.
The Basics of Character Progression
Throughout firefights, you’re constantly mastering your character’s weapons and abilities. The ranking ranges from “Skilled” (1 star) to “Elite” (3 stars) for each of your weapons and abilities. Every time you level-up a rank, you earn a permanent perk that enhances that ability or weapon.
Here’s an example of how you will master Markov’s Assault Rifle:
• Skilled (1 Star) Deliver xx points of damage to anything in the world, get +5% accuracy.
• Expert (2 Stars) Deliver xx points of damage to the Monster, get +10% accuracy.
• Elite (3 Stars) Deliver xx points of damage to the head of Monsters, get +15% accuracy and the Elite Assault Rifle.
The Character Progression system rewards players for trying out all of the character classes, including Monsters.
How Does Player Progression work?
Evolve also tracks your overall progress as a player, regardless of class. This is attached to your overall player profile. While you won’t be able to access a profile in the Big Alpha, it will be in the finished game.
(And, before you ask – No. Any experience earned in the Big Alpha will NOT carry over past the test weekend.)
As you gain XP from Awards and Medals, you can rank up as high as level 40. With every rank, you unlock more perks to choose from. Of course, the trick becomes deciding which single Perk to choose before each match. Here are a couple just to give you an idea of how you’re able to amp up your characters.
Climb Speed / Jump Bonus
Weapon Switching Speed
Ability Cooldown Rate
How do you unlock the playable characters?
At the start of Big Alpha and the final version of Evolve, you’ll first have access to the following Hunters and Monster:
• Assault: Markov
• Trapper: Maggie (+Daisy, her pet Trapjaw)
• Medic: Val
• Support: Hank
• Monster: Goliath
As you’re earning those Masteries and leveling up skills, you’re also earning access to the next character in the class you’ve been playing. So, for instance, once you start playing Markov well enough, you earn the choice to play as Hyde. Once you’ve earned at least one star for each character (a “Skilled” rating), you’re unlocking the next level of unlockable players:
• Assault: Hyde
• Trapper: Griffin
• Medic: Lazarus
• Support: Bucket
• Monster: Kraken
It won’t take much time to unlock all the Hunters and Monsters, but this system encourages you to get some hands on time with each, then to go back and really ramp up Masteries for your favorite Hunters and Hunter classes.
This is just the lightning-quick overview. If you want to learn even more about how the progression system works in Evolve, check out the Evolve Livestream later today – 3pm PT on Twitch. We’ll be answering your questions about the Big Alpha, explain the progression system in more detail…and give you chances to win Evolve swag!"