Now that people are learning where the wildlife spawns, there has been a fair outcry from the community about how powerful the buffs are in addition to noting that the Monsters get a head start in the maps and have the opportunity to get them first. I wanted to go over a few ideas we were considering, along with noting what it would take for each and see what you all though.
- De-tune Buffs to match Perks (next micropatch)
- De-tune Buffs by roughly 50% but keep them more powerful than Perks (next micropatch)
- Delay the spawn times so both teams are in-game before they spawn (possibly next micropatch)
- Make a big deal out of them on the UI and have them spawn predictably (a later title update)
- Make the wildlife stronger, faster, more time consuming and risky to kill (next micropatch)
The quickest and easiest thing to do is adjust the tuning on these. Originally they were designed to be game changers but we get that they can be unfair at the moment. It’s very easy to tone them down. How much is a good question. Since Buffs overlap Character Perks, we thought it might make sense to drop the Buff values down to match the Perk values. The theory being that picking up a Buff is sort of like temporarily having two character perks. The downside to this is that if I already have the jump height character perk and I pick up the jump height buff, nothing will change. The values do not stack, the greater value is taken, so there will be times when you get a buff and it doesn’t matter. This type of change could be added to the next micropatch and see release within a two week period.
Additinally, we could keep the Buffs more powerful than the Perks but still bring them down a notch. Currently Buffs are typically 2x the equivalent Perk. We could go for something like +50% instead of +200%.
Delay the spawn times
We could change the spawn rules to make the Elite creatures more fair. Have them spawn at some point during the round instead of at the start of the game. So the Elite Tyrant might spawn into the game at minute 7. He might always spawn at minute 7, or we might be able to make it spawn on a random timer - like a value between 3 and 10 minutes. The advantage here is that this is easy to do. We could probably try something like this in the next micropatch and both teams would have a fair shot at getting the Elite. The disadvantage is that you could still get randomly lucky. We could just happen to be by the Tyrant pool when the Elite Tyrant spawns so the roll was in our favor. People don’t like random so much, so onto the next option.
Make them a bigger feature
We could make the Elite wildlife spawns predictable, reliable and build new HUD elements to communicate clearly to both teams. So we could have the Elite Tyrant spawn at the same spot in the same map at minute five every time. And the HUD would notify all players saying something like “Elite Tyrant spawns in 60 seconds”. A marker could be added to both team’s minimaps so all players could know where the Tyrant was going to spawn and they’d both have time to get there. As soon as it spawned the HUD notification could change saying “Elite Tyrant has spawned” and the minimap marker would become solid and would stay there until the Tyrant perk was gone. The advantages here are that it becomes strategy for both teams. If I am a weak monster, I might choose to stay out in the forest trying to stage up while the Hunters wait for the Tyrant to spawn. Or the Hunters might choose to press their advantage and abandon the Tyrant giving me the opportunity to sneak back around and get it. The disadvantage is that if both times show up to fight over it, there are differences that make it unfair. Hunters can pick up the perk with a single button press. Monsters have to eat it. But Hunters can’t get rid of the corpse. If the monster eats it, the corpse is gone. This would also be new code, new UI elements, new audio, localization, etc. It would need to be rolled into a future title update and would realistically be a month or two away.
Make them stronger
One last thought we had. What if the Elite wildlife were made tougher? What if they could run faster, hit harder and had more health. The thought being that they take more investment from either team. More risk. We tried this early on in development and new players would always get smashed/wiped by them so we backed off. But that was before Elites had the stars and were called out so clearly. Maybe people would learn to avoid fighting them if they weren’t ready to take them on. This could also be combined with adjusting the values.
So these are the options that I see at the moment. Curious to hear what you all think. What would you do?