I’ve been a participant in many a discussion about balance during the alpha, and how and why some people thought that the monster was OP or UP. I understand all the reasonings behind both, so the question I’m posing now is this:
Are the ways things seem to be balance in this game, specifically with the hunters having a high skill cap and skill floor, and the monster having a low skill floor and (maybe) high skill cap, healthy for this game?
I feel that there’s a lot of things going for the monster naturally (hunter killing flora/fauna, monster naturally blending in, head start, stealth mode) that the monster gets a pretty significant boost of power before he even starts really trying. Meanwhile, the hunters have all those things going against them, but the power of coordination, and all their utility, seem to have larger gains per unit of skill a player has. This seems to create a major difference in the win rates of skill levels.
From all the discussions I have had on the forums, I have come across a general conclusion that the balance seems to shift as the skill levels of both sides (assuming both are equal) rises. The low skill monsters seem to defeat the low skill hunters in the majority of matches, while the high skill hunters seem to win against a high skill monster in a majority of matches. I, obviously, have no hard evidence other than my talks on the forum, my personal win percentage during the alpha, and the 100% monster win percentage at GamesCon, so, true support for my theory will have to come from after the game launches.
My theory, though, is this:
The high skill floor, and requirement of good communication, of the hunter team may lead many newer players to leave before they can really experience the way the game is supposed to be played. Alternatively, this may lead to many new players switching and playing the Monster so they can win more, leading to higher monster queue times.
What are your thoughts on this? Do you have any other games where this kind of thing was normal, and it worked out alright? How much tutorial would be required to get the player to the point where they can feel good about their own play?