News of the server shutdown made me very sad, because although I’d love to return to Legacy Evolve, I knew that even fewer people would play the game, and that’d make finding matches impossible. I don’t blame them, though- Legacy is not as relaxing or user-friendly as Stage 2, and it can be intimidating. So I decided to do my part to help players adapt to the transition by creating a short (hah, it’s not short) guide on the changes from S2 to Legacy and, more importantly, how they will affect the game. Note that this isn’t the word of God- I’m no pro player, but I had over a thousand hours logged in Legacy before S2 launched and I’m a huge fan of the game. I’m experienced with it and familiar with how it works, and I’ve played monster and hunters in equal parts over that time.
For an extensive list of changes, visit this thread: Evolve: Stage 2 Release Notes 2.00 (PC Only)
Note that I may well have made mistakes in this guide or missed things- feel free to let me know what these are.
I wanted to do my best to make this guide for players who joined in Stage 2 and have bought Founders’ Keys to play Legacy, or to those players who perhaps bought Legacy but didn’t play it all that much until S2, or even for the many devoted players who’ve played both Legacy and S2 to death, as a way to refresh your memory. Hopefully this guide eases you into the transition. Happy Hunting!
P.S- If you’re looking for an Oceania based player, shoot me a message, I need to find buddies for customs.
- Characters: Several characters were introduced after Stage 2 launched and as such will not be available in Legacy. These include:
o Glacial Behemoth: Glacial Behemoth isn’t a Legacy monster. Hunters will probably love this- he lacked the, err, finer points of balance- but it’ll be sad to see the beautiful bastard go. Rest in peace, you magnificent ice cube.
o Paladin Parnell: Medic adaptation of Parnell the assault, not in Legacy.
o Electro-Griffin: Trapper adaptation of Griffin with a sick guitar harpoon. Removed in Legacy.
o Renegade Abe: Assault adaptation of the Trapper Abe. Not in Legacy.
o Quantum Caira: Medic adaptation of Caira. Fantastically fun and unique character, truly a tragedy to see her go…
o Battle Cabot: Support adaptation of Cabot with an orbital cloak and high damage kit. One of the more underplayed characters, released once the game had, sadly, lost momentum, but he’ll be missed. The Captain is going down with his ship.
- Maps: Actually the map roster is something that will increase hugely. Legacy boasts a wide range of maps not available in Stage 2 in a range of different biomes, including:
o Snow: Aviary, Medlab, Distillery, and King’s Fort (Defend map, see below for details)
o Forest: Fusion Plant (best map ever <3), Refuelling Tower, Weather Control, and New Callico (Defend map)
o Desert: Armory, Wraith Trap, Dam, Salveron Industries (Defend map)
o Acid: Rendering Plant, Barracks, Orbital Drill, Colonial Water and Power (Defend map)
o There are also the two DLC maps- Broken Hill Refinery and Broken Hill Mine. Additionally, there is an arena-mode exclusive map called the Murder Pits which is set in Broken Hill. It’s pretty lit.
- The new maps do not benefit from the overhaul. This means that they are smaller, with less routes for players to take, and have inclement weather effects and generally lower visibility. This gives the game a different feel- almost horror-like- but does impact play and, to an extent, performance. On the whole, though the Maps is one area in which Legacy is superior.
- Note, however, that Legacy doesn’t have map variants. Cataclysm, Overpowered, and Deepest Dark (remember that?) will therefore not be playable any longer. These maps were largely unpopular, it seems, but it’s still sad to see them go, especially after all the hard work poured into them.
- Modes: Again, this area is somewhat positive, actually. Stage 2 axed a lot of modes because they couldn’t be overhauled for the new game, so Legacy’s bringing them back. These include:
o Nest: Hunters must locate and destroy six monster eggs scattered around the map. The Monster (which spawns in a different location to the Hunters) must prevent them from doing so. The Monster can hatch one of the eggs to gain a mini-Goliath minion who will seek out and brutally destroy the Hunter team, but be careful- in doing so, you are essentially delivering their prey to them. The Monster wins by killing the hunter team or defending the eggs till the timer runs dry. The Hunters win by killing the Alpha (player-controlled) Monster, or by destroying all six eggs before time runs out.
o Rescue: The inverse of Nest, in a way- the Hunters must revive survivors and escort them to Evac points, where they will be beamed up. Survivors have jetpacks and SMGs, and have the same health system as Hunters (1600 health, two strikes and you’re out, etc.) but aren’t strong combatants. Survivors come in three waves- wave 1 has two survivors at one point in the map, wave 2 also has two survivors, and wave 3 has FIVE survivors. The Hunters win by safely escorting five survivors to safety. The Monster wins by killing five. Note that Lazarus can bring survivors back without strikes.
o Defend: This mode is played exclusively on Defend mode maps made specifically for it. These are outlined above and include Colonial Water and Power, Salveron Industries, King’s Fort, and New Callico. The map is split into three sectors, each sealed away by a forcefield preventing hunters and monsters from progressing. A generator stands in front of each field, protected by two turrets (on the first two generators) or five (on the last, which is actually the fuel tank of a colony ship and not a generator). The Hunters must defend this generator from the Monster, who needs to bring down all three in time to win.
The monster will spawn at stage three, supported by waves of minions (two per wave) who will target the generators first and the hunters second. Defend the minions by smashing turrets and keeping the hunters on the back foot, but be careful- with no way to evolve, health damage is permanent. To win, the Monster has to destroy all three generators within the time limit.
The Hunters respawn within thirty seconds and lose all strikes once dropped in. To win, Hunters must either outlast the monster by defending the generators, or bring it down.
Defend is a high-stakes game of carefully balancing offence with defence, keeping an eye on the timer, and fighting to the very end.
o Evacuation: The mode to end all modes, Evacuation is an epic campaign of destruction which will take you across five modes and maps all over Shear in a quest to save the colony and eradicate the monster hordes. Evacuation is played in five parts. Monsters and Hunters will get into a lobby and vote for a map and mode (e.g., “Hunt on Medlab”, or “Defend on New Callico”). The first match is always Hunt while the second, third, and fourth can be either Hunt, Rescue, or Nest. The fifth and final map is always Defend. Note that Evacuation doesn’t care about your score- the winner is decided by Defend. Win that, and you win Evac. Lose that, and you lose it all.
That doesn’t mean that winning rounds 1-4 is pointless, however. Winning a game will give the winning team a map effect for the next round to help them out. This effect is map-specific, ranging from a ship in low orbit pointing out the monster on the map time to time (hunter win) to a baby Goliath following the monster around and punching faces with him (monster win). A map effect applies only to the round directly after- e.g., if I, as Monster, win round 1 on Medlab, then whatever map I play on in round 2 will include a map bonus. Winning on Medlab gives the monster mutated plants to eat to restore health, or medbays for hunters. Note that winning round 4 will always give one of two Defend-mode map effects- Armoured Minions, or Armoured Turrets- and never anything else.
To prevent this from turning into a one-sided stomp, the game has an auto-balance system. Essentially, if you lose a round, you gain a point of auto-balance, which grants a general buff to your team. This stacks up to four times (if you really suck), but winning a game will remove one auto-balance check. Not sure on how it works exactly, but I think it improves stats. Who cares, it’s not as cool as map effects- that’s all you need to know. Note that this feature can be disabled in a custom game menu- pretty sure on that.
Now the really interesting part of Defend is the story element! Evolve has a beautiful story, courtesy of Matthew Colville, and Defend shows this off. The mode begins with a gorgeous cinematic of the Hunters arriving to Shear to start working. There is an additional (shorter) cinematic before and after each game, specific to map and mode. The pre-game cinematic explains a little bit about why the Hunters are being called in- maybe there are survivors in danger, or an infestation to be cleared, or an Alpha-Monster prowling the area and preventing vital infrastructure like the Fusion Plant from running. After the match, the cinematic depends on who won and will depict the aftermath of the game. If the monster wins on Distillery, for instance, silos containing scent-masking agents flow into the water and mutate all the wildlife into hyper-aggressive, lethal versions of themselves. If the Hunters win on Distillery, though, the locals give them the same agent, aiding them in their fight.
Defend is the final round and has two similar cutscenes. The first opens with a briefing- the Colonists are evacuating, Shear is a total loss. Defend the colony ship while it refuels so that they can bail and leave you to die! Do it, and “all of humanity will owe your team a drink.” Whether the ship explodes or escapes, the cinematic culminates in the hunters standing their ground against a horde of monsters, from Goliaths to Krakens to Wraiths. Whether they get overwhelmed and killed or hold their own for a while depends on the victor of Evac.
Evacuation is, all around, an amazing mode. Sadly it was never played much- the cinematics only last so long once you have six million hours in game, and Nest and Rescue have balancing issues since they’re not full modes. That said, it’s still a blast, and definitely worth experiencing in Legacy. Maybe it’ll soothe the pain of losing Stage 2?
o Hunter Skins: Legacy does not include full-body hunter skins, only weapon skins and monster skins. That sick blue-gold-armoured suit you unlocked on Lennox? Kiss it goodbye. Caira’s cute little star cap? Write its eulogy. And all those glorious bright pink Man-Eater outfits…Well, you get the idea.
o Other: Some weapon skins and monster skins will be unavailable, I believe, because they were introduced in Stage 2 and not Legacy. I’m not sure on the specific ones so I don’t have a list- skins were never a huge thing for me- but be aware that while most of your skins should carry over, some may fall through the cracks.