As always: TLDR at the bottom
One of the BEST things about this update in my eyes has been the encouraged limit on permanent progression against the monsters by having the dome drop in response to them taking damage. No more 1 dome and go home situations where RNG screwed over the monster, who found himself in a god dome at stage 1, getting wiped into the dirt because he had no choice but to mitigate, and couldnt. Worst case now, 20% health loss, and the dome drops- Giving you another chance. Love this. A LOT. This has been, and WILL be a huge factor in making evolve simply enjoyable for the people playing it. No one wants to get stomped hard in one engagement.
With the boom in the community- theres been a LOT of threads (Im getting hundreds of new threads, where i used to see a handfull every couple days) around here, and a LOT of streamers covering the game again (Which is FLIPPING amazing. As im writing this, theres 30 THOUSAND players online!), and im seeing one problem/complaint pop up a lot.
Early engagements where the monster basically wipes the hunters in a single encounter. Ive seen it with entry level hunters, Ive seen it with GOOD hunters against good monsters, and i ESPECIALLY see it when you see a decent monster cross some of these entry level guys- Sometimes its a straight up stage 1 wipe.
I know the drop-ship mechanics are supposed to be a soft counter to this. Get a strike/kill at stage 1? no worries- Drop in no time.
But, Ive seen it a lot- Hunters who A) simply dont know to activate the drop ship, and just as commonly, B) situations where you just dont expect to HAVE to activate the drop ship. Its only stage 1- We should be, oh- Ooops. Someone made a mistake, or was a bit lower than you thought, maybe it was the medic who went down first- and the monster had been spreading damage a bit before going down, leaving it 2 easy targets to drop. Suddenly that 10 second timer, is a 30 second timer- Giving them plenty of time to 1v1 or 1v2 the remaining guys. Maybe there was a pick up and redown, i can go on and on- theres a lot of situations where it can ramp, fast- And quickly swing to the monster.
With all the wild changes- I find myself wishing there would have been a more direct mechanic than the dropship which helped prevent this. Something that buffs the hunter when they lose engagements- Something that makes it almost impossible for the monster to get these quick/early stage 1 loses. Scaling down as the monster gets stronger. Powerful at stage 1, being weaker at stage 2 and 3 (if not basically gone at stage 3 depending upon what it is). Or maybe it just gets weaker with repeated engagements no matter the stage (Maybe its effect is gone after only 2-3 engagements). Meaning the monster COULD theoretically eventually win at stage 1 with a few obvious “winning” engagements. This could also be just another one of those things that helps diminish the desire to flee.
Done right (or at least done like id personally like to have seen), something like this shouldnt really have much if any impact at a “high” level of play- And would purely be some kind of direct mechanic to make those previously mentioned situations far more difficult at the entry level. Its these things to help the entry level guys, on both sides, which i think will be vital to keeping evolve a less frustrating game for new comers.
Id have love to have seen a mechanic that makes it far more difficult for the monster to win (either via hunter goof up, or straight up skill discrepancy) with early/single engagements at stage 1-2, that is more “direct” than the dropship timer changes.