Faster Gameplay Incentive(s)


#1

Hello, Evolve Forums. You’re looking stunning today. Let’s gossip and ponder.

Recently in a discussion elsewhere (reddit), I came up with an idea to help curb some of the 10+ minute hide-and-seek matches that I’ve seen quite a few complaints about. I myself grew up playing tons of hide-and-seek, so it harmed my heart to hear so many people frustrated with it. Sadly, not many people enjoy this elite sport. They say it’s unfitting, and thus, I propose a change.

What I’d love to see is a bonus reward to the winning party for defeating their opponent(s) faster than the average match time.

In other words: Let’s take the average match time from the beta as an example, which was 9.91 minutes. If you defeat your opponent(s) in 9.90 or less, you get a bonus (XP, maybe additional progress to the skills/challenges you were working towards during the match, etc). It would take some time to build up game history to set an average, so this is something they (TRS) could implement a few weeks/a month after launch.

It gives a nice incentive for the players to really push each other. Not every monster wants to wait for stage 3 anymore, because that might take too long. Now hunters try to be more organized and aware, raising the quality of the competition. Do above average, you get above average.

I, being a glorious PC monster race member, only got to play Hunt. I’m unaware if something like this would conflict with the other game modes.

I’d love to see some discussion on this and any/all ideas to incentive players to get a move on instead of dragging matches out because they want to hit stage 3 before they fight. While you can still certainly do that, probably even within the 9.90 (using the beta example) minutes allotted for the bonus, you would run the risk of missing on a sweet, sweet bonus. Then again, you absolutely DO NOT have to do this if you don’t want to. This isn’t to make you feel rushed, it’s just a little something for you to consider game to game. “I’m not feeling it this round” or “I’m not feeling it at all” is absolutely fine. Yet, for those who like an extra challenge and to be rewarded for completing that extra challenge - it’s there.

End Bullet Notes:

  • Faster games = More games = More value out of the product.

  • Extra competitive incentive = More concentrated effort(s) = Higher quality competition.

  • Completely optional!


#2

That WOULD curb the whole " Hunters get less progression XP " thing. It should be a hunter only dealio, though. Giving the monster incentive to fight early is just going to ruin things for everyone in the lower brackets.


#3

So then the monster would get a bonus for making the match extend beyond the average?


#4

I don’t know about “incentives” but I would like to see faster games be more rewarding.

I played a lot of games that were less than 5 minutes during the beta and thus it took me a TON of games (compared to average) to make a dent in the progression. If those games were mostly losses, I could see it, but as it was I felt like we were being punished for winning. (Another easy way to fix that problem would be to do away with at least 2/3 of the timers and loading screens so that faster games really did feel like more games.)

All that said, I can also understand the design there - if a player won so easily and quickly, they probably weren’t really challenged and didn’t have much to do or learn, and thus do they really deserve a lot of experience points?


#5

You make a good point. If someone wins really fast…does that mean they are better…the other side worse? Is that person too good to go up against the other player(s)?


#6

No, 'cause tier 3 monsters can just run away indefinitely. You don’t give monsters any kind of time-based thing, there’s already too many deciding factors for a monster player in terms of when to do what and how, you don’t want to put another external, non-match factor in there. For Hunters, ending the game as early as possible is already a goal, so you’re not making people play dumber just for progression XP.


#7

Well as a player who prefers the monster, all that does is give me a reason to extend the match past the average. Just for spite.


#8

Essentially I think it might turn into a way to grief the hunters…just make sure I survive long enough to deny you any time incentive.


#9

Yes. And that’s why you don’t do it. Because it’s giving jerkoffs an incentive to grief the hunters. That’s a bad thing.


#10

Didn’t realize we were on the same page.

Monster high four - :monster:


#11

I’ve said it elsewhere… I don’t think that XP incentives will make games shorter, it is not XP that drives people, it’s wanting to win. Hide and seek is the most optimal strategy for monsters vs hunters at a certain level.

So how do you incentivise people to not play that way, without cutting off the legitimacy of using that tactic?

  1. You make the game tougher for the monster at stage 3 if they’ve not attacked before.
  2. You make fights at stage 2 have a greater effect on any stage 3 fights
  3. You give the hunters more aids to find the monster if they are not finding it.

Let’s break them down…

1) Making it tougher for a sneaky stage 3.

This area of changes would encourage monsters to fight at least once before stage 3, the reason being that if they don’t there will be a much more even playing field in that first fight at stage 3.

This can be achieved by any of the following potential gameplay effects if the monster hasn’t been domed within the first two stages.

  • The hunters gain an AI ebonstar soldier on a dropship at the point the monster goes stage 3. This gives the monster 2 minutes to actually take the initiative and try to finish the game, otherwise the hunters get a 5th man.
  • The hunters perks gained from elite wildlife are permanent. This allows hunters to seek out good buffs for a stage 3 fight
  • Remove the pause of the countdown timer for objective 3, with perhaps a little bit more length on the timer.

None of these would happen if the monster engages in a domed fight, so it’s a simple case of the monster choosing to either keep sneaking and be full health and armour against a slightly buffed hunter team with diminishing time on the clock, or to fight a bit, risk losing some health for the advantage of being the overwhelming power at stage 3 as it is currently

2) Make stage 2 fights mean more

Partly this is dealt with above, and I don’t know what else can be done on this front. The monster already gains a quicker route to evolving if they fight, and strikes and taking a hunter to the dropship are great bonuses for the next fight. For this reason monsters should already be choosing to engage at stage 2, but don’t because the stage 3 fight is still easier even without these benefits.

Potentially strikes could reduce the top HP of a hunter by more, but this won’t solve the lazarus problem which, I believe, is one of the main causes for people sneaking to stage 3.

It’s for this reason that I don’t think this avenue is really one worth exploring

3) Give more hunt aids to Hunters

This is my preferred area of encouraging earlier encounters. The game is well balanced and so you shouldn’t need to change anything with the dynamic, but in those games where the monster is a good sneak, making it slightly harder for them doesn’t affect balance, doesn’t stop the really good sneakers from continuing that tactic, and gives the hunters more of a focused objective instead of being completely blind for so much of the game

  • Make wildlife/birds get startled whenever the monster evolves. Know where it evolves after it has regained control of it’s movements, restart the hunt each time.
  • Make carrion birds non RNG, or rather make it run down to a certainty after a certain amount of unengaged eating.
  • Introduce an automatic tagging of some form after X minutes of the monster not being engaged OR being tagged by the hunters manually.
  • “soundspike” tag a monster moving within, say, 30m of a hunter if it’s not sneaking.

It’s important not to buff the hunters base stats in any way since the game really is quite balanced and any changes to hunters will negatively affect the monster game in stage 1 and 2 forms. This is why I can’t suggest things like more jetpack fuel or speed, it’s just not the right way to give the monster a reason to bring it rather than keep skulking.

Anyway, those are my thoughts, I think that the instances where these kinds of things, some combination of one or two of them most likely, are actually needed is rare. But it’s not enough to say it’s rare, because even something rare can happen a lot, and it can leave a sour taste.

The most legitimate complaints I’ve seen about Evolve so far are from people that have not faced the monster until 10-15 minutes, and have found the balance of hunting vs fighting too boring. I don’t disagree with them that it is boring when that happens. It’s not good enough to say that the monster played well and deserved it…there’s no doubt the monster did…but that doesn’t make the game fun for 4/5ths of the server’s occupants, not to mention viewers.

So let’s think seriously about introducing elements that largely don’t ever apply themselves to the average game, but will kick in if the game is turning into a hide-and-seek round, to help keep it fun for the hunters too.


#13

After much time in beta and alpha I will say this 10 minutes games tend to be pretty action packed hardly tend to be one sided and often hiding isn’t a strategy for good monsters or even against good hunter teams. Hunters out maneuver monsters or monsters go for stage 2 fights. Often it’s hunters vs newer monsters as the people playing hunter get more experience they start doing things differently. Monsters will notice that stage two impacts the game a lot and a good stage two fight with good location can just win them a match. From my experience 10 minute games had very little breathing time on either side.


#14

No-one here is talking about eliminating hunting.


#15

I’m sorry, but I disagree with the notion of punishing monsters for being elusive. There’s two parties responsible for the Monster not getting spotted until 15 minutes in, the monster for being sneaky and the hunters for being incapable of catching the monster. This should be resolved by the hunters getting better at finding the monster, not by gimping a huge part of the monster’s arsenal just because some people find it difficult to counter.

Also, like you said yourself, it’s subjective. Some people might dislike the hunting aspect of the game, but a lot of us ( I think it might be a majority of us, even) quite enjoy that element. It makes it so that there’s more to the game than just a fancy deathmatch, and adds a whole layer of strategic possibility to the whole thing. Making it easier or less difficult for either side is just ruining the great dynamic that we’ve got going right now.


#16

We’re talking about two seperate things here. You’re talking about skill and ability being the only thing that matters, I’m saying that fun also needs to be considered, especially where this is a game for friends and public random matches primarily at this time.

The monster is great at sneaking, fantastic. The hunters are poor at hunting, they need to get better. Meanwhile a 15-20 minute match happens where at least 4 of the 5 people are getting progressively more bored and the image of the game is suffering.

OF COURSE the hunters should get better, of course the monster should be able to keep sneaking. Why this means we should accept that the game might be actually detrimentally boring when these factors collide is beyond me. Handicaps exist in games and sports for a reason, and there’s no reason why a handicap can’t be introduced retrospectively based on how the game has progressed.

I also don’t believe that anyone dislikes actual hunting, it is not the act of actively hunting a monster that makes people bored. If you have something to do then you aren’t going to be bored (unless you really are just wanting to play CoD), it’s the times, and they happened a number of times in matches I played during Alpha, where the team make-up is such that you’re relying on a trapper…a trapper that isn’t yet good enough to trap or track a good monster.

Let’s discount the whole aspect of hunters should do this and monsters should be able to do that. It’s irrelevant because what we’re talking about here is not who should win and lose (a good monster against bad hunters should win even if handicapped because it still chooses to sneak for 10+ minutes and successfully manages it), we’re talking about the game having every chance to be fun regardless of what strategy the monster chooses, regardless of whether the monster wins.


#17

Completely agree I played a lot of games on both sides and had no problems dealing with any monsters we didn’t travel in one pack we moved in groups of 2 we covered toms of ground Maggie players new how to use daisy. Often we were able to cut them off and force the monster where we wanted him.

Games as the monster I often went for level 2 fights with strong wild life like tyrants and sloths of mega mouths to make things dodgy for the hunters as often having a buff clentched the fights.

This game is stratigic teams without strategy deserve to have a harder time. Monster players will adapt.


#18

Fun is subjective. I’ve had more fun in some games I’ve lost than in a good portion of games I’ve won. While you’re right that it might not necessarily be the most fun thing ever to get completely destroyed by a better player, that’s not an argument for changing the game. I’d prefer it stay the way it is, be balanced, and provide entertainment to basically everyone, rather than changing it and potentially causing a slew of issues for the sake of making it more enjoyable for bad players who are being subjected to a very specific kind of defeat.


#19

Fun here is a game theory experiment…

First, let’s not assume that we’re being morons here and that we’re taking my suggestions as intended. Not to eliminate hunting, not to affect the general game balance, but rather to either give it direction, or to increase the fights that happen in the game at an earlier point.

If the game is balanced if a monster chooses to engage earlier then the game is still balanced if you encourage the monster to engage earlier, or give bad hunters extra help to gain an earlier engagement. So it’s folly to talk about this as if anyone is talking about messing with the balance of the game.

Anyway, game theory, we have two options…

Option 1) We change nothing
Option 2) we do something

set of people A) Don’t see a problem with long sneaky games, are good at hunting and/or enjoy fights (because everyone enjoys fights)
set of people B) Do see a problem with long sneaky games, aren’t good at hunting and enjoy fights

If we do option 1, people A are happy (because they are right now) and people B are unhappy (ditto).

If we do option 2, people A are happy (because fundamentally their game doesn’t change, and where it does it’s only to introduce more chance of engagement which no-one finds boring), also people B are happy because the chance of engagement is increased, and the hunt is slightly eased for them if they’re inept

Game theory dictates we make these changes, because no-one is hurt by changing them, but one group of people continue to be hurt (and in turn hurt the impression they give to others of the game) if we change nothing.


#20

It’s way to early to punish tactics. Your talking about punishing a monster for doing what the game incentivizes new players to do.

Both sides are players its not fun for the monster to get a nerf for a tactic that wouldn’t work against better players. I can honestly say against a good team wthn no strikes a stage 3 monster will struggle against a good team.

Also you arent considering fun sir. You are clearly subjective to monster players being at a constant disadvantage for doing what they are supposed to do grow become more powerful.

I never experienced a match I started not having fun as games took longer my heart rate increased and I was more immersed fights were more intense and I communicated more and beter. Longer games are nerve racking but players will learn how to play the fights.


#21

Your logic relies on the idea that you can introduce a new mechanic without it actually affecting balance, which is frankly dumb. A mechanic that’s added either actually affects the game and intrinsically affects balance, OR the change does nothing, in which case the change is pointless. High level players universally agree that this is not a problem, and they’re the people the game is balanced around at the end of the day.

And that’s also another thing that doesn’t work with your game theory idea, other than just being wrong - Groups A and B are not static. Group A will grow over time, and B will shrink, because people will get better. Group B will very quickly become insignificant, and I don’t think any wise dev would dedicate time and resources into rebalancing the game around a group of players that is, let’s face it, either temporary or statistically insignificant.