Final Stage 2 Evolve Jam 2nd-3rd


What the fuck are you saying? I’m chinese have some respect.

Also what company do you work for? I’d like to know.


Agreed. Let’s avoid going down that road again, folks.


Friends, please let’s bring down the heat a bit. I appreciate the defense, certainly. But everyone’s entitled to their opinion. I’m sure any devs here would rather accept some criticism than have people start tearing into each other, at least I would.

What we did wasn’t perfect. We did what we did for reasons that seemed right, but it didn’t work out for us.


I never got to play Stage 2, but it seemed really good. It seemed as good as, if not better than Legacy Evolve. It wasn’t on consoles and now it won’t ever be. I’ll never get to experience all of the cool new perks, skins (mainly Prime Meaty), variations, and Deepest Dark. At least we still have Legacy available to play multiplayer. Thank you TRS for creating the amazing Evolve Stage 2. It’s a shame that it had such a short life.


My love for Evolve actually started with Stage 2. I had seen the announcements but I didn’t have an Xbox 1 or PS4 or PC at the time, and I only started playing after Stage 2 was announced, which was when I actually had a proper gaming PC. I fell in love with the characters and the world and the amount of detail they had put into the game, and when I tried Legacy I could fill in the gaps with what was missing from Stage 2, and oh my God.

The amount of world building through map locations and how every evacuation campaign basically created different timelines in the Evolve universe with your own stories and different outcomes is just amazing, and I’m really sad to have missed out on it.

I know I didn’t provide much money because I only played the free version and got the original from G2A for like 2 bucks for me and my brother, so it doesn’t mean much in terms of the impact I could’ve had on development as I’m not even a real customer, but I still bought those copies because I wanna enjoy the world with my brother (who I only introduced to Evolve like a month ago) for as long as we can, just playing co-op against AI monsters.

Thank you for creating a game with amazing gameplay mechanics. Getting focused sucks, but the rest of the gameplay, like dodging, character abilities and the different weapons and gadgets we had at our disposal, as well as exploring the maps, was simply amazing, and I’m just looking forward to your future projects because I know you guys won’t disappoint.



I’m exactly the same as you! Had taken an interest in Evolve when my friend showed me the game but they didn’t let me play it (very possessive over the game). Couldn’t actually buy the game for myself since I didn’t have a stable income of money.

They only played Monster, so never really saw or heard the Hunters. When I got Stage 2 and was forced to go Hunter since it was public, I was instantly hooked by Bucket’s sarcasm, Jack’s superhero impersonations, Abe and Parnell’s backstory hints… And more! Great stuff! Probably wouldn’t have stayed as long as I did if not for the amazing characters and difference in game mechanics between the Hunters.


Me right now reminiscing the times I played with you guys.

While listening to Fleetwood Mac.

Realizing that I can’t play my Miley anymore.


Why can you not? She is in Legacy Evolve.


Truth of the matter is that asymmetrical games are hard to balance for everyone. There’s not that many of them and those that exist only prove this. Look at DBD and I can easily see their new game death garden going the same way.

I know it would require more resources but I really think dual balances could have worked. Balance for the casual player who can jump into a game with 3 other randoms and actually stand a chance vs the monster. Yes this would still need matchmaking to help out as well. Then a balance patch for pro level games. We could have done this ourselves in tournament games for stage 2 but planet scanner should have been disallowed and I would have liked to see how only allowing trapper to dome would have worked. Anyway, dual balances, might be the key to making assymetrical more viable.


Asymmetrical games 100% need this, it should hopefully be obvious to game developers now after a few years and iterations of attempting the “genre”. I still applaud TRS for having the courage to go with their dynamic balancing system for casual games, I believe the quality of the games for casual gamers was vastly improved because of this, though perhaps more transparency on just how much you would or wouldn’t be handicapped would have also helped.


Am i the only player who loved both versions.


I think the issue is that Legacy is very intense, like Deanimate mentioned… Should be a way to allow casual players to not get absolutely destroyed.

It is not an issue for me, but my friends do not enjoy Legacy as much as Stage 2. They have tried to drop in just to have some fun relaxed games however that is not always possible when very good players are stomping them and, this is on their end, they refuse to cooperate effectively.


I was just thinking this while outside enjoying, not to the ex’s t detail, but similar thoughts!


Objectively yes, there are some things everyone would have wanted differently, I’d have been fine with the core content being intact and balanced in addition to QoL & balance changes (E.G. Univ dome). This is how I’d have done it, but this is just my honest opinion.

As someone designing an Asymmetrical FPS/Evolve-like game as well, I’d like an elaboration on that. I’m genuinely curious. @niaccurshi, same question to you if Dean decides to pull another Homer Simpson.

1/4 of her kit’s locked, as is her wall-sticking capabilities, due to her being bugged out the wazoo. She’s marginally better than the Wraith in Legacy, but not by much.

No. I enjoyed both versions of the game. I loved Legacy because of the original concept, the game’s tougher on there. Stage 2 on the other hand is better designed because of the QoL changes, the game runs much smoother, most new players can get into the game easier. Ideally it’d have the content of legacy, but the balance of Stage 2.

And thanks to you jerks for making me reminisce and want to re-dl Legacy to get into the swing of things.


I think it’s a beauty of the diversity of the game that there were only a few things that people were consistently all calling for, while in general people had many different likes and dislikes. Maybe this was a problem with the game too, I don’t know. You’re probably right though with Legacy being fine for me if some QoL changes happened along with the dynamic balancing system TRS implemented for Stage 2, or another way to balance casual games. Talking of which…

Pull @Sidewaysgts into this too, IIRC, But basically I think TRS got it broadly right.

So you have Option 1 - Simple pre-game balancing

Do what TRS did. Work out if the people playing on the hunter team are pre-made or not, apply some buffs or nerfs to the monster accordingly. This is probably the most simple but also most simplistic way to do it. You can balance the whole game around the idea of equally matched hunters and monsters and then basically bring the monster power/health down or the hunter team damage/health up to compensate for lack of teamwork.

I think this broadly works but it has issues, namely that some combinations of hunters are more powerful than others, a lot of this can be tracked in telemetry. Also though that some monsters are not as powerful as others. Some modifiers for these situations of meta-balance would also be preferable to smooth out the curve.

But if you wanted to kill yourself with extra work you can…

Go for option 2 - Complex pre-game balancing

Areas that ideally need to be considered (using Evolve terminology and examples so we’re on the same page):

  • Combined Hunter ELO as a general lifetime skill level
  • Combined Hunter ELO based on the characters being played
  • Monster ELO as a general lifetime skill level
  • Monster ELO based on the monster being played
  • Difference in “form”, that’s to say not win streaks but how many wins each team has (on avergage in the case of Hunters) had in the last (for example) 10.
  • Telemetry data on power-potential of hunter character combinations vs chosen monster
  • If perks are being used, factoring those in to power-potentials too.
  • Map win rates as a global variable in deciding whether one side is truly more “skilled” or not taking in to account the terrain they’ll be playing on

Obviously such an endeavour would be quite a lot of data to track and a lot of ranking, and a lot of pre-game/post-selection calculation. Not to say that it’s a lot in terms of processing time or anything, but a lot in terms of handling it as a developer and ensuring it’s working optimally.

There are questions over how rank is then calculated when there is a handicap applied. Do you just use the same ranking calculations? This may risk someone better being brought down to a lower rank and messing up the feeling of games, so modifying the ranking calculations to take in to account that auto-balancing.

Ultimately this feels like it may be overkill if you instead wanted to go for what I think(?) Deananimate is advocating:

Option 3 - Two game states

Just have literally two sets of values in the game, perhaps somewhat combined with Option 1 to help balance out the pre-made vs solo queuers problem. So you have your fine tuned balance based on high level play, then you have some completely different numbers for casual modes. Use the telemetry to more manually say “Hey, Gorgon is in a sweet spot in a competitive arena, but for casuals they’re overpowered”, and take that power level down in casual games.

You’d get situations where monsters would get paired up with competent pre-mades, which would be possibly managable if the skill levels match between the two sides, but would lead to the monster having a helluva rough time if they’re casual themselves.

But it would mean a baseline consistent experience for those who are going in to a general hunt mode vs the different but consistent experience for those going in to ranked.

Personally I’d like to see option 4, which I believe is where Sideways also sits…

Option 4 - In-game dynamic balancing

Only enabled for casual games, of course, but you have some measurements you take in game to let the match adapt to what is happening without having to worry about the ELO and the nature of the hunter team (especially due to the fact some teams of solo queuers can all be very good and act like a premade)

So for example, you’d have some waypoints that might change depending on telemetry… time to first evolve, time to first dome, time to first down, time to first kill, etc. Depending on how soon before, or late after, those markers different events are achieved you buff/debuff appropriately during the game.

Now, as I said in a previous post, I believe this has to be done transparently. Making it clear to the teams that they are being given an underdog status for getting hammered too soon, or a rampage status for getting things done quicker/more brutally than the game is balanced for, you basically let these milestones dictate live balance changes.

So this could be enacted as spawning less wildlife if the monster is evolving too fast, or decreasing the hunters general damage output if they’re getting through monster health earlier than you’d expect, or increasing the healing rate if monsters are dominating too early, or increasing the dome cooldown time if the hunters are getting the monster trapped to quickly… I think you get the idea of what is possible.

Another option would be to provide the currently under-performing team with a specific in-game buff opportunity that is relatively simple to achieve.

The aim of option 1 is to try and smooth out problems caused by a 4 v 1 format where the competency of the “4” is variable. Option 3 is to try and smooth out problems caused by two distinct groupings of skill level and frequency of play within the community. Options 2 and 4 are, in my opinion, something that tries to solve both of these problems, one by trying to make an algorithmic approach to determining what would make a balanced match in a casual environment, and one (option 4) by saying it’s impossible to see all the variables and to instead react in real-time to sometimes completely unforeseen circumstances (oh hello accidentally walking into a plant with no mic) that can lead a game to be done before it’s even started.

I like option 4 most because what it should achieve, consistently, is some kind of rubber banding to each individual game’s balance that allows people to make headway if they are better, but to not leave the “worse” side feeling so useless if they are truly outmatched. The aim of option 4 is to make each game fun by trying to tighten the margins between sides that have vast in game skills differences, while people that are fairly well matched will essentially cancel out each other’s buff triggers and would have, for all intents and purposes, a competitive type of game as would be played in customs/scrims/tournaments.

I also like option 4 because it feels like the least path of resistance to moving from being good in a casual game to being able to play without any dynamic balancing, or alternative “casual” balancing, in a more competitive way.

Those are my thoughts, in general, but happy to talk about them further once others have had a say!

Casual vs Pro Game Balance

Thanks! I’ll give it a read-over later, I just got home from work.

Edit: I may make a thread about this later on, this would be an interesting topic to be had imho. I’ll fire one out later.


Yeah I was thinking about splitting it out, but feel free to make a new one, it’ll be a bit more focused that way!


Appreciate the tag Niaccurshi <3

Personally, im a bit on the fence for a static dual-state balancing concept.

First and foremost- Its a LOT of work. You are essentially, balancing 2 games. And depending on how different these changes are, you can be balancing 2 very different games. Subtle tweaks in complex mechanics can result in very, VERY different metas.

How and where players do or dont access these two different states of the game can be an issue/concern as well. If you simply “rank up” and tada youre in the top bracket- heres the TRUE BALANCED GAME FOR HIGH END- Youll find youre suddenly playing a whole new game, with a whole new set of rules.

Niaccurshi touched on where id personally go (Which I believe may be why I got tagged?)-

And that would be with a dynamic handicap system.

Evolve had a fundamental issue i believe in what the ultimate goal of the match was. Kill all the hunters, or kill the monster. First one to do it to the other, wins.

Flip the page and look at an asymmetrical game like dead by day light. It works because its not simply all or nothing. The survivors arent trying to KILL the killer, theyre simply trying to escape. They dont all win and lose as a group. Sure they can help eachother, but if you escape? You escape. congrats. You win. Same coin for the killer on the opposite side. Theres a lot less “pressure” because as mentioned those survivors arent trying to kill you- And short of a very, very bad match up- Its not a matter of if youll kill anyone- Its how many youll kill.

Almost every match is going to have someone having fun, and youll have more fun the better you are- But your team wont hold you back.

Evolve was largely all or nothing. Either the hunters killed the monster, or the monster killed all the hunters (Or destroyed the relay, but still- you defeat them all in one swing, so same result).

I think one of the most inherent “frustrating” things with evolve- Were matches which were basically one sided rofl stomps. And these happened, a LOT. Either the monster obliterated all the hunters before they could really even scratch its permanent health-

Or the hunters had the monster taking a dirt nap, often struggling to get many, if any, downs against the hunters.

And this is what id focus on.

For a game with a limited “Goal” like evolve- Id have done something to artificially FORCE the games to appear close- while doing my best to preserve ensuring the victor goes to the side that should have won without the dynamic handicap.

I wouldve had the handicap be quite an obvious game mechanic- But without the “Hey partner, youre doing bad. Lemme hold your hand” label to it.

For example

Have the game observe how much permanent progression each side has made against the other. Namely, downs for the hunters, and health damage for the monster.

If you start going too far in one direction- Ie, the monster has full health, but hte hunters all have multiple downs- Start providing a buff of sorts to the hunters, or flip it, the hunters have no downs by the monster is hobbling around at half life or less- Start buffing the monster.

“In game lore” wise couldve gone something like “Holy fkn shit- Were getting our asses handed to us. Bucket- Spare of some juice from the ship and give us some shields”

Bucket: “Power diverted, but i cant hold this for long. Unless we fancy a new crater on the planets surface”


Abe: “Holy fuck did that ugly mother f**ker* start glowing red?”

Caira: "Yeup! The monsters naturally produce more adrenaline (or whatever super juice) when theyre threatened, its like a fight or flight mechanic, only, you know-

Abe: “Deadlier?”

Caira: “You got it”

Abe: “Great”

I firmly believe “casual” players wouldve accepted something like this. So long as the winner who shouldve won, still wins- But you mask how much they wouldve won by. But also like niaccurshi stated-

I wouldve kept this to the “casual” mode- With this mechanic being turned off in competitive, and left as an option you can decide what to do with in custom matches.

This way also means youre only balancing for one game for the most part. You could of course tweak the dynamic system as/if needed- But that would be more straight forward than trying to tune a bunch of individual heroes with a large set of complex mechanics multiple times for different levels of play.


These are some excellent ideas.