Player base fragmentation is shortening Evolve's lifespan


#1

The already small player base is divided in to too many segments based on game mode:

  • Solo
  • Multiplayer
    • Quick Play
    • Ranked (Hunt)
      • Bronze
      • Silver
      • Gold
    • Evacuation
    • Custom

Ranked is the canary in the coal mine. On PC, it is almost completely dead. Few people queue for Ranked; queue times are long; players give up and either quit the game, play Quick Play, or play Custom; fewer people queue for Ranked; queue times are even longer. This is a negative feedback loop that is effectively killing Ranked.

The game modes are all compromises where almost nobody gets the experience they want:

  • Prefer Ranked? Too bad. The re-introduction of the old match maker shortly after Hunt 2.0 was released spelled the eventual doom of this game mode.
  • Prefer Arena? Too bad. Maybe you get to play it roughly 50% of the time in the Quick Play rotation if your current lobby votes to skip Defend.
  • Prefer Monster? Too bad. So does everyone else who’d rather be queueing as Monster in Ranked, but has learned that they can only find games in Quick Play or by forming Custom games.
  • etc.

The only people getting the experience they want are players that prefer playing private games with friends or players that have zero preference on which game mode and which faction they play. I contend that most people playing Quick Play don’t really prefer that game mode, they just dislike it less than the alternatives. Ditto for Custom. That telemetry shows most people playing Quick Play and as many people playing Custom as Ranked is a symptom, not an indication of player preference.


#2

Given that most PC players play Solo, Customs, or Quick Play I don’t see it as a problem.

That being said, I do think that Hunt 2.0 should be ripped out and Defend should be removed, Arena and Hunt should be the only Quick Play options.

I think only Solo, Customs, and Quick Play should exist. Leave Evac for customs, get rid of Hunt 2.0 and Defend.


#3

Im agree with Op With some friends we’re tried to be back on the game but its impossible , queue is to long , player leave , and when you find a game one bad moove and ppl flame , god what Just hapend during 8 month


#4

Truth. That was one of the big reasons I stopped playing. Long ranked matchmaking times and having to play Arena or (ugh) Defend in quick play meant that finding a game I was reasonably assured to enjoy started to take as long as actually playing the game. The games I played after the introduction of Hunt 2.0 were consistently the best games since the early alpha days when everyone was brand new.

I still think either taking hunt mode out of the quick play queue entirely OR adding nest and rescue modes to dilute the pool even more and make ranked mode more appealing for hunt fans would be great. I’d also like to see the ranking/matchmaking input be more hidden, since most of the hate that ranked mode gets is pretty much nonsense from people expecting their rank to never go anywhere but up.

Hell, I’d even be okay with them slapping a “prestige” or whatever people are calling it ladder overtop of the actual ranking so that people never saw their points go down in between matches. If you lost a match that made you lose a bunch of matchmaking points, it would just mean you didn’t gain as many ladder points. I just want to have good, challenging, but not unwinnable, games.


#5

Why…? Hunt is the most played mode. There’s people that want to play Hunt without the super competitive environment in Ranked mode. Adding Nest and Rescue modes isn’t helping either, they’re going to be skipped just as much as Defend.


#6

^ this

That matched my experience as well.

Unfortunately Ranked isn’t even worth queuing for any more. So few people are playing it, the MM can’t match me with roughly equally skilled opponents. More often I’m pitted against mid-bronze hunters that I completely stomp which, for obvious reasons, is fun for neither side and also tends toward shorter games. Edit: as I write this, a lobby of 1 Bronze Elite and 3 Determining Rank hunters has been dodging for the past 15 minutes.


I’d really like to see the game modes pruned down to:

  • Solo
  • Multiplayer
    • Ranked (Hunt)
    • Arena
    • Custom

Old MM Hunt is (again) removed. Arena has a dedicated MM for those who prefer that game mode. Players who prefer Hunt can play Ranked or Custom. Evacuation would only be available as a custom game.


#7

Hunt is the most played mode and from my perspective, the old match maker is an inferior experience compared to Hunt 2.0.


#8

The problem there is the perception of ranked as “super competitive” IMO. That is what I was addressing with the second half of my post.


#9

There’s no perception to it. Ranked is naturally a more competitive environment because people take it more seriously since you have something to lose. If it wasn’t competitive it wouldn’t be called Ranked mode.

There’s a reason why these types of games have a Casual queue and Ranked queue for their main game mode.


#10

I think removing Hunt from Quick Play would be a huge mistake. It would kill that particular game mode, and also probably make those who don’t want to stress too much from playing altogether.

I don’t think forcing people to play a ranked mode is the solution for everyone. Hunt 2.0 CAN be a frustrating experience due to wait times, and also due to people raging and impatience, etc. It’s not super fun to be good, then get angry because your teammates are less skilled than you, for instance. In Quick Play, you can shrug it off and assume people are just practicing or whatever, but in Hunt 2.0, it feels more “serious.”


#11

Nah brah it’s fine.

#Sarcasm hoooooo.

Honestly, ranked doesn’t make sense for Evolve (especially considering the fanbase issues and how it was implemented).

Private custom games are great, but they need to do something so players can play what Evolve is about (ie hunt) without running into facerolls in Defend.


#12

CI agree with toolbear for the most part…

I’d personally like it to go:

Solo
-quick play
-evac
-custom

Multiplayer
-hunt (ranked)
-arena (ranked)
-evac (both coop & pvp)
-custom

The reason I’d go this route… If you have Hunt & Arena modes only work within “ranked system” with no other option… It would increase the player population for the system to work better, wait times shorter with more players, paired with consistently balanced players… Evac would be the non-ranked only option, so It would also increase the players base for evac, also a good fit for those that don’t like the pressures or difficulty of ranked matches


#13

Yeah, the thing you have to lose is a game, the same game you’d be playing given any other matchmaking system; only, the way they set this one up you sometimes see points go down afterward, and nobody likes seeing things go down. It’s all about perception.

This is a competitive game by nature, and it’s been billed that way from the start. I’d argue that the people who want to dick around with no thought toward actually winning the game should be the ones that are relegated to customs, not the people who actually want to play.

“Feels” - it’s about perception. If they had slipped the new ranking system in without putting big shiny bronze/silver/gold badges all over it then game quality would’ve gone up but nobody would’ve been any more sad or angry or serious or whatever than they were before. (Real concern - without the UI glitz a lot of people might also have been entirely unconvinced that there WAS any improvement to game quality, because human brain.)

Yeah, if you’re in a solo queue and you get grouped with a bunch of chucklefucks, then that sucks, and is possibly an area where improvements can be made. But, even as-is, by the nature of a matchmaking tool, over time as the system gets more data about you your score will normalize, and those outlier games where you either get carried by pros or dragged down by noobs will have less of an impact on your overall rank.


#14

But your comment about the colorful badges is also a subjective assumption based on your own perception, just like mine. I’m not sure people really are motivated by the “shiny” metals, so much as it’s called a ranked mode, and you’re watching your points tick away when you lose a match, or getting a bit of points when you win them. Everything about the mode inherently drives home the fact that this is the “competitive” mode where your wins/loses matter. There are ABSOLUTELY problems with its implementation, but I don’t think it’s fair to say that the mode would be vastly different if only they didn’t have badges, since we have no counter-evidence to that effect.

I’ve seen that argument be made as well, but I’m not sure that it’s actually an outlier situation. I think it would be LESS of an outlier situation when you get rid of quick play, also. To my point:

I played a lot during the beta, and loved the game like crazy. I pre-ordered, etc. then played it a lot when it was released. My typical gaming crew of friends didn’t buy it because it was too expensive for them at the time. So, I’ve played a whole lot of games alone, and even bought the game for 3 people (dropping a lot of money in the process), but they still don’t play it very frequently. So I get paired with lots of random people, but I don’t play super often. I used to be relatively high in the trapper leaderboards (I haven’t checked), but now I’m sure I don’t even register. But, I lose a lot of matches. Sometimes it’s because the monster player is just really good, but a lot of times it’s because my teammates do things that perplex me and, at least in my opinion, cost us the game. I don’t think I feel comfortable with calling that an anomaly, but I also think if I played a lot, the law of averages would shift the balance in my favor. I could play Hunt 2.0 lots, win games, lose some, and all would be right. But as it is, it’s skewed heavily towards isolated losses and weirdness because: 1) those outliers may or may not be outliers, and; 2) I get ranked with poorer players because my own rank isn’t high, due to the situations I just described.

It’s hard to discuss this really rationally, because who knows. Maybe I think I’m better than I am, and how would anyone else here know, right? So, I’m not saying the problem with the game is all everyone else is bad, and I’m great, etc., etc. But I think even besides all of that, the game doesn’t feel like it’s really, truly benefited by the super competitive meta that things like Hunt 2.0 heavily push. I quit Evolve entirely for several months adn came back sometime after the most recent sale/price drop, and have been playing mostly Quick Plays, and enjoying them usually (but still playing only from time to time). It feels way more fun when I can shrug off a lose or assume others are practicing or newerer and I know they have to get good somewhere. But in Hunt 2.0, it feels like the “big leagues” and makes people (including me sometimes, to be fair) frustrated when you lose due to others’ silly mistakes. And really, that’s not as healthy of a way to play a video game.


#15

You’re just over-complicating a simple idea TRS is implementing.

Ranked = Competitive
Quick Play = Casual

That’s literally all it is.


#16

Hunt 2.0 isn’t competitive though, it’s ranked, which is purely about putting you up against people that are the same skill level as you.


#17

Yeah, fair point.


#18

This is a competitive game. Wins and losses have always mattered.

This is the problem, people think hunt 2.0 is pushing some new super competitive version of the game, because they’re viewing a higher rank as some sort of reward. It’s the same game it always was, only it pairs you against people who comparatively speaking aren’t too far off from you. If all you ever do is play the super meta always-win comps then yeah, you might get placed higher, and play against other people who do the same; if you play around with comps and play what’s fun then you’re going to win some and you’re going to lose some and not get ranked as high - that is the system working. It places you in games with people ranked somwhat similarly to you - it is not doling out reward or a punishment.

This is touching on the big reason I left. Quick play losses frustrate me more than ranked mode losses EVER have, because it seems entirely random. What’s worse, a lot of the time even my wins in quick play don’t even feel that great. In ranked, a loss was still most likely still a good game, and I probably learned something or at least put up a good fight. In quick play it feels like a crapshoot whether the game will be any good or not. Could be a frustrating loss because I’m just wholly outclassed, could be a boring win because the monster is brand new.

I’m a casual player, but I prefer ranked mode, so uh, no it’s not?

Look, I’m more than willing to admit that I might be an outlier. I play casually, but I play the objective and I play to win. I rarely, if ever, play without a premade team (of people who are also pretty casual). So yeah, maybe my experience is less than typical. I think though, that there is a solution that pleases an optimal number of people and I do not think that the current state is that solution, and I also do not think that the solution involves randomly throwing people together to make the shortest possible matchmaking times at the expense of game quality.

If I appear to be overthinking it, it’s because Evolve went from being literally the best video gaming I had last year to essentially a punch line, and I’d like to bring back the good times because there’s no other game on the horizon (save maybe Overwatch) that looks like it might achieve the same magic.

EDIT: It’s also because I get bored at work when I have a lot of downtime and can think about relatively unimportant stuff like this with some regularity. But, I’m home now, so bye till tomorrow! :slight_smile:


#19

I’m a casual player too, but Ranked is still an environment where players take things a bit more seriously than Quick Play, regardless of what type of player you are because that’s what the concept is. There’s a reason why Hunt is in Quick Play and Ranked to suit two different types of players. If I’m wrong then a dev can tell me.


#20

How about a Ranked Arena and Hunt mode? That would be so much fun and see much different comps.

Quickplay should remain with the game modes it has now, although I do find that Defend needs to be improved though.