Hey, I’d want to start by saying this is my opinion on what I’ve seen in this game. I will not be discussing the business side of the game but the core elements and mechanics of the game itself. If you’d like to discuss anything said below, please feel free
For starters, the game has changed
quite a bit, and there will be lots of changes to come in regards to
competitive and casual styles of play. I played in the “Big Alpha”
along with the beta tests (all on P.C). I’ve been following the game
since its initial concept was announced, and have been excited for
its full release.
So now lets remove the fan-boy goggles
and look at the game in its whole.
We’ll start with the maps, for
referencing, North refers to the top section of the map, and South
refers to the bottom of the map. Remember, we haven’t received any
telemetry (win-rate) data, so this is just based on my experience and
those whom I’ve come into contact with while playing the game.
Armoury is a map with a choke point in the middle with 2 main feeding grounds on opposite side (NE and SW).
In the NE section of the map, the monster has the escape advantage due to gradual decline in elevation. This results in:
- Far sight lines for hunters/monsters when looking downhill
- Less Path Branching.
- Easy chasing for Hunters due to lack of terrain variance.
The other main sections of the map is the SW and NE corner, there is 2 pillars for breaking sight line and high variance in terrain, this is the ideal combat zone for the monster, regardless of the monsters class. This area also has 2
options for leaving the respected area. If the evolve meter is full, the monster can cross the midsection of the map and create enough distance to safely even with both movement speed buffs and Caira’s accelerate. This leads to one of the major issues with the game, but I’ll get into that later. If you ignore the incline from SW to NE,
you’ll notice a complete lack of traversal options for the monster. Stealth becomes too risky to perform. The wildlife spawns are also in locations that promote map wide corner hugging by the monster, and
will have minimal fights in the middle of the map (excluding player error).
- balanced feeding grounds, High Risk High Yield Eating zones for monster.
- Plenty of terrain/objects for cover
- Easy to traverse as hunters
- Great choke points for hunters to keep map control Power Relay is easy to prep for stage 3
- Flat, which means far sight lines for hunters but also allows for Line of Sight to be broken.
- NW and SE corners are battle zones with minimal benefit.
- Numerous nooks and crannies to lose the monster. (good for wraith at lower tiers)
- Way too much acid. Some of the pools need to be switched to water.
- Ascetically (which ultimately doesn’t matter), this map just bugs me… Who designs a settlement like this…
This map, despite the issues is pretty balanced in regards to higher tier play. In low tier match ups, there will be problems with the acid exposure and the monsters ability to traverse the long distances to access each feeding ground.
- Lots of waterways for faster travel, no footprints.
- Balanced sight-lines
- Plenty of Audio, and visual indicators of monster’s locations.
- Easy to traverse terrain
- Good spread on feeding options excellent tree cover
- No major choke points
- Hard to stop any monster from getting stage 3 on this map
- Open and Exposed staging area for power relay (Benefits artillery monsters).
- Too much aggressive wildlife to hunters
I honestly don’t mind this map as either side, I think the only real change I can recommend is changing some of the aggressive wild fauna into passive but overall its a strong map for pub play and creates a diverse hunting experience.
- Balanced and diverse feeding grounds
- River in the middle to lose tracks
- lots of terrain/objects to break sight-lines
- Diverse feeding grounds
- Almost every spot in this map is good for the monster to fight.
- too many pathways and minimal
- choke points
- Lots of places to evolve safely with close to 0 visibility.
This map needs some reworking for how its to be played in competitive. Its far to tilted in favour of the
monster, and I can tell you, as a monster player. If I see this map, I jump for joy.
These are just some of the maps available and I didn’t include any of the defend maps. That game mode is far to abused in competitive mode by hunters and needs a lot of reworking, but I’ll get into that later. All of the maps have other issues in regards to specifics, however the main problems is the different map layouts. The open area maps, such as New Calico and distillery have to make use of larger sight lines in order to help benefit the hunters. Any new maps will need to make sure that it contains multiple routes and different choke points that can force/contain movement. There are currently too many variables to determine if a map is monster/hunter favoured due to a lack of information publicly available, which will hopefully become available in the future.
Now lets get into the depth of it, the hunters. Before I get into recommending changes to units, we need to define some words that are commonly mistaken/mixed for their meaning.
Broken: A mechanic of the unit does NOT work as INTENDED
Overpowered: A mechanic of the unit performs MORE EFFICIENTLY than intended.
Underpowered: A mechanic of the unit performs LESS EFFICIENTLY than intended.
Medics have been an ongoing issue of balance; they either seem to heal too much or not at all. The most
common medic at level 30-40 will be Caira. Her healing numbers exceed those of Val the Beam Queen and Lazarus the Necromancer, by a large margin. Caira’s healing grenade, which heals in splash; can out heal
the burst from Wraith with level 2 Supernova (level 3 will require a shield from Hank to maintain full sustainability). While she can also heal herself and a small area around the target, she is by far, the
best Medic ( as the class is defined). Caira, due to this I would define as BROKEN her healing burst is excellent, however with low ammo capacity means its only intended for SHORT BURST use, so while
that weapon is reloading, the medic needs to change to dealing damage or using Healing Burst. She is a “Damage Dealer, Healer”, her damage dealing is minimal and can be used to stop feeding with its
minimal damage over time (dot). In order to fix this, she just needs an extra 1.5s added to her reload time for her healing grenade (and adversely her incendiary grenades). This change and increase in
reload time, will encourage players to switch between the two much like other weapons on other hunters.
The Necromancer, Lazarus has his own problems. His issue is the most puzzling due to his diverse mechanics
and play-style. His abilities work as intended, and as efficiently as they should. The problem with our Necromancer is his lack of offensive strength, and how exposed he is during the process of using the Lazarus device. Which leads me to define him as BROKEN. The changes I would make to Lazarus, which would solve his issues at high and low tier play. While invisibility is active, he should be able to use his silenced sniper without losing invisibility, however there should be a small flash animation to reveal the location shot from(since silencers still have a flash). This would allow higher tier monsters to spot the invisible medic, but not blatantly reveal the medic and exposing him to the fanged teeth of the monster. I would also change the way the Lazarus device works, allowing Lazarus to PRE-LOAD his ability and fire it at a corpse at a specific time, but if Lazarus misses (such as getting knocked away by a monster before
finalizing casting) causes the ability to miss, and to go on a half-time cool-down. These 2 changes would allow lower tier the ability to revive more easily and learn some higher mechanics, but would also allow higher tier players to coordinate abilities together to force the monster off the corpse for Lazarus to revive. The better
the Lazarus, the less time he needs.
Finally, that leaves us with Val. Val is underpowered in multiple instances; however her fix can go two directions. She can either be the best Medic (since her heal is single target), or she can gain more offensive strength. She needs to
be put back on the drawing board in my opinion and rescaled to the dev team’s desired goal with her. Her sniper rifle is one of the best buffs to damage if she lands a head-shot (kraken has a massive head FYI) which rewards higher tier players for their accuracy, but body shots will still increase damage allowing lower tier to learn the
mechanic. This is something I wouldn’t like to see changed, however I wouldn’t be opposed to the numbers being changed. Her med-gun creates 0 offensive strength and heals slower then Caira’s splash
grenades and by comparison, cant even out heal a level 1 supernova from wraith. Which leaves with the option of her med-gun having higher heal rate or having it give an alternate buff. Since the med-gun heals only 1 target unit, I would give it an alternate buff, such as a 15% increase in attack speed (drains the ability at the same rate), or a 100% increase in move-speed (but a 50% increase in drain rate of the ability). There are other alternatives as well, but
those are the two that would make val the most viable in different compositions.
Next on the chopping block is Trappers. The trappers are all universally great at what they do, each of which having their own pro’s and cons. The only exception the trappers ability to be outside of a dome without the use of teleporter. Abe’s slows are incredibly useful and infuriating as the monster, however not overpowered/broken. In my opinion, the tracking dart should update more frequently instead of every 1.5s. Maggie has issues with Daisy, she’s sometimes retarded. We’re not talking normal level of retarded. We’re talking Sofa King level of stupidity. This issue
however will be corrected as the AI becomes more intelligent and eventually self-aware. Please TRS, put //DoNotBecomeSkynet in the code.
However on a more serious note, Daisy is missing some logical consistent. She doesn’t have the ability to
bite, like other trap-jaws. She should have the ability to break stealth pounces/disables on other units. Other then that, I have no qualms with trappers, maybe griffin can get a better reload speed; but alas no major concerns.
Support is the next class, Hank the artillery, Bucket the logical fallacy (the irony), and Cabot the Damage Leader. Hank is the only support that is strictly support, his orbital is great for zone control however i think it needs a duration increase by 2s. It removes a good section of the monsters travel path. ALTERNATIVELY it could be given Double/triple damage but be unable to be used while the monster is in the thunder dome due to the Dome stopping all external damage (logical consistency issue, however probably wouldn’t be the best idea). Next on the list is bucket, the mechanical logical fallacy, his infinite heads for UAV drives me batty; that being said, his U.A.V. is far too slow for larger maps. Which means at lower tiers of play, it takes too long to pursue and label the monster; at higher tiers of play, its barely used. With a speed increase on the UAV (15% more than its current) and free flight without high restrictions (unless i just ran into a bug consistently during testing), will make it more viable in higher tier play against stealthy monsters. His turrets are a different issue, only in specific circumstances in regards to Nest, defend and rescue; but
I’ll get into that later.
This leaves Cabot, the best support for hunt due to his ability to assist in locating and being the highest consistent damage towards the monster. His Rail gun deals good damage and has great bonus for accuracy, however i think it needs an extra 0.5s reload to slow down his attack dealing more damage then amplifier in most circumstances. His damage Amp is the main issue when combo’d with any of the assault classes. The Amplification make
Hyde a very happy pyro, due to its ability to turn the monster into chocolate. Without knowing the exact numbers, it looks like 200% added to damage as opposed to a double damage. To explain: 200% added
to 1 is 2 + 1 = 3, Double of 1 is 2, which is equal to 100% added (which is STILL HYUGE). This needs to be scaled back, or the Cloak ability will need an increase in Cool-down in order to increase his vulnerability (however this shouldn’t apply to the other 2 supports).
EDIT::: it looks like i was wrong in this section. Damage amp is 1:1 ratio with damage dealt and will drain only when damage is done. Thanks Jackisath :smile: However, this ratio may need to be scaled back to 0.75 or even 0.5 ratio with current drain rate stabilized.
Assault is the meat of the hunter squad. Markov the Russian mine king, Hyde the Guitar-Shredding metal head (a good guitar solo is “face-melting” for those that missed the joke), and Parnell the Sunglasses at night disco star. Parnell
needs maybe a 5% increase in his damage, and Hyde’s grenade needs to also slow the monster while also damaging the hunters. Its poison gas. Come on.
This leaves the monsters, some of the most BROKEN units in the game. You will notice I said BROKEN, not
overpowered. The universal issues are as follows:
- Shift shouldn’t be needed to be held. Its an extra button. Alternatively, give us an option in the menu to make movement smooth.
- Monsters have a consistent issue of maxing 1 ability stage 1 and having it be just as strong at stage 3. Cool downs should be tied to stage level. The higher the stage level, the lower the cool down time. (this means it will require staging and additional balancing.
- Without Perks, monsters cannot contest hunters until stage 3. This only affects diehard fans and competitive play (since buffs are removed). An increase in base stats would help counteract this, however buffs also negatively impact the balancing due to pub ladder issues.
Even with these universal issues, the monsters have their own issues. The most frustrating of which being
Goliath s inability to use traversal stamina to JUMP BACKWARDS. If you want to see the most pitiful leap in history, hold back as Goliath and jump. Yep. I think of Space-jam whenever it happens (since both Wraith and Krakken CAN do it). Goliath s abilities are smooth and have great feeling of damage and durability. Goliath was clearly the monster with the most time spent on him as he’s the most preferred monster at higher tier play due to his aggressive style. Krakken is the monster with the greatest mid tier threat. His inability to be brought down from flight and difficulty of dodging his abilities makes him a foe to reckon with. Low tier play, the main problem is the lack of ability to lock him down. The best way to correct his low tier issues without hindering his higher tier playability would be a tweak to his flight movement while not hindering his feeding and map traversal. This means that it would be better to Half his flight speed, putting Krakken at a near standstill, but increasing his max ground movement speed by 10%. This would pull Krakkens from static flight except in harsh terrain. Since higher tier players will save his traversal stamina for flight dodging, it affects his high tier minimally while decreasing his
low-tier pub stomp potential.
Lastly this leaves me with Wraith. When i stopped playing wraith in pub games, i was top 10 on ladder (without disco/stat-padding).I want to say that i enjoy wraith as a monster, but ultimately, Wraith might as well be renamed to Captain Cancel-Fun due to her Broken style of play (again notice the use of BROKEN). Wraith’s concept is a monster that initiates pick-offs during stage 1 and 2 in order to gain the advantage for stage 3 with pips (strikes). Wraith was not intended to be a high damage dealing brawler at stage 3. With the initial concept, Wraith needs a rework on the Abduct ability. Abduct should be either
a) instant stealth pounce on the grabbed unit upon return to the point of origin, or
b) wraith should have the unit controlled/disabled in a hold either until wraith uses an attack/ability or a max duration of 5 seconds. Allowing wraith to successfully abduct a hunter and stealth pounce in a safe location (our necromancer friend can help protect the hunters from this). Wraith’s traversal stamina will need to have the distance changed based on when the stamina is spent. If its spent while wraith is currently travelling with stamina points, an extra 50% should be added to the current traversal. With 3 traversals that means that instead of 300% total traversal distance, it will be 225% total. Allowing lower tier wraith players more punishment, making it easier for hunters, while also allowing higher tier players a choice of either investing fully in that distance, or waiting the extra second between traversals to get additional distance.
The next issue with wraith, which is the main issue in low tier/pub games. The invisibility. This could be countered by adding a shimmer to the wraith’s invisibility much like that seen by other games that employ invisibility. These changes will help fix some of the balance issues with wraith, however we will need more information from TRS before tweaking.
Game modes have some small issues, which everyone is aware of. Markov’s and Bukkit in nest are just
insane. Eggs will need more protection from special abilities however increase vulnerability to bullets. Defend is a tilted match-up as is. It should be changed to have 2 new minions spawn every 35s without a Spawn limit. If the hunters don’t focus the minions, they will get overwhelmed but this will also force the monster to protect the minions, allowing them to buildup and kill the defence points.
Sorry for the essay, if you have any feedback, please leave it below and i’ll be happy to respond
Lastly… please remove the need to click the customize button when in solo play. Allow Bots to be changed to whatever units are available for that class. In ladder Skirmish, make it random…
TLDR: I have too much time on my hands.
Edited for formatting.