Warning - Wall of text inc.
I played the Evolve big alpha and while the game certainly was enjoyable, it was also incredibly frustrating. Playing as the monster, I felt like a god crushing ants at will and while playing as a hunter, I was continuously frustrated by bad/inexperienced team members, an extremely hostile map, the power discrepancy between the hunters and the monster, and the monsters’ ability to easily stealth permanently around the map, to just mention a few.
It felt like the outcome of the match was solely decided by the skill of the monster, particularly whether or not he knew he could stealth.
Therefore I thought up some changes, that I think could help balance the game and in some cases add depth and increase the skill ceiling. I chose to not propose any straight up nerfs/buffs to damage, cause those kinds of changes are easy to make and kinda obvious. I didn’t get to play Kraken, cause I didn’t really find it fun playing monster, due to the gross unbalance.
Monster fall damage:
One of the big problems with the monsters right now, is that they are just too mobile, many of my changes will be attempting to reduce this either directly or, as in this case, indirectly.
An easy way to create a huge gap between yourself and the hunters, as the monster, is to leap from a tall pinnacle into a gorge. There is really no way for the hunters to prevent this, besides landing a god-tier harpoon. If the monster player had to worry about fall damage, he would have to make tactical decisions before just mindlessly jumping. Of course this would only apply for the really long falls (example; in front of the giant building in the Fusion Plant map)
Dust cloud from monster leaping/taking off:
Pretty much self explanatory. More visual cues to aid the hunters in tracking down the monster.
Monster smell costs 1 evolve point or be cone shaped:
The ability of the monster to detect the hunters through terrain in all directions is incredibly powerful and probably the primary reason that stealthing is so easy. As the monster you have complete control, when you are stealthed, mainly due to the ease of gathering information, such as the position of prey and enemies.
And even if smell costs an evolve point, it would still be the best way to spend an evolve point. Information is critical to success, as any decent general would tell you.
Monster stealth movement speed reduced:
If the monster chooses to stealth in order to avoid fighting the hunters, then he should instead have to worry about the round-timer. Currently there is really no punishment for a sneaky player.
Monster ability impact area reduced:
Instead of reducing the damage of some monster abilities, I would rather see their impact area reduced, as this would create better counter play opportunities for the hunters (see raising the skill ceiling). Specifically I am thinking about the Goliath’s rock throw and leap strike, and the Kraken’s lightning strike.
One of the handicaps that hunters have, is that they have a much harder time getting an overview of the fight, because of their first person perspective. One consequence of this, is that it can be hard to keep track of the monsters abilities, when your camera is so limited. Often times I found myself getting hit by, for example, the Kraken’s lightning strike, even though I had partially seen the spell being charged up, and tried to dodge it with my jetpack.
Monster ability cooldowns increased, but gets reduced by evolve points:
Maybe this would be my exception to the rule of not straight up touching the damages of the monsters’ abilities, as they would have to be buffed to compensate for the increased cooldown early game.
Increased cooldowns would make every ability, and consequently every dodged ability matter much more. Another way to make sure it is skill that decides the game and not the spamming of abilities.
Goliath leap strike now costs stamina:
To dampen the extreme mobility of the Goliath.
I quickly figured out in the alpha, that putting at least 1 point in charge and leap strike at level one, would give me more than enough tools, combined with the innate leap, that the Goliath has, to escape any situation, where my stealth failed me. This change would tone this down a notch and would also force the monster to use his stamina wisely in battles.
Hunters can now stand still to greatly reduce the effect of the monsters’ displacement abilities:
One of the most gamechanging strengths of the monster is the ability to completely knock a hunter out of a fight for several seconds, with charge/vortex. This change would allow counterplay and further increase the skill ceiling.
Hunters can now enter a body of water, to get buff that renders the monsters’ smell ability unable to find them:
Once again creating counterplay opportunities for the hunters. I imagine a 2-3 minute buff would be fair.
Hunters no longer have reduced maximum health after getting downed or dying:
The way I see this game, is that the powerlevel of the hunters is static through the whole game and the power level of the monster increases as he evolves. This creates distinct phases during the game, where each side has an opportunity to get advantages or outright win the game.
Things like this kinda counters that. This mechanic makes the power level of the hunters scale down as the game goes longer. It seems to me like the respawn timer is more than enough of a punishment of dying.
Hunters can choose buff from neutral monsters:
The way the buff system for hunters is right now, being random, means that it is highly unreliable. If you could pick your own buff, akin to how the monster can customize his own skillset, you could enhance your strengths or cater to your playstyle. This could make the “buffmonsters” an actual objective for the hunter team, instead of something you just stumble upon as you chase the monster around the map for 15 minutes straight.
Hunter jetpack fuel capacity increase:
The only real way the hunters can survive fighting the monsters, is to avoid as much damage as possible and the best way to do this is to dodge with your jetpack. More fuel equals more dodges, simple as that.
Harpoon gun/trap 1 sec minimum slow/snare:
One of the most frustrating experiences I had while playing the alpha, was playing as Griffin and having my harpoon gun break instantly. This effectively meant that I contributed nothing at all to the fight for 2 reload cycles (4-7 seconds?).
Sure you can switch to your main gun and do some damage, but that might mean,that I would switch back too late and lose some harpoon time.
Hunters climb/hover cliffs:
As it is now, any vertical movement punishes the hunters way more than it punishes the monsters. The monsters don’t lose travelling or combat mobility from climbing cliffs like hunters do. It would make sense to me, that the hunters would be able to use their jetpack to offset gravity and then use their arms and legs to hoist themselves, thus making the climb less taxing on their fuel reserves.
Your feedback would be appreciated.