Press release feedback from a competitive point of view


#1

So to get straight to the point I’ve been playing the press build for almost the whole weekend with my team and against all the people I could in the last week. About 55 hours in (~120 across all builds) and I just wanted to gather all my thoughts so far and get some discussion going about the game and it’s potential in the competitive scene and other balance issues I’d like address.

Most of my viewpoints are coming from the hunter side of things (Medic mainly) sadly I don’t have too many games on Monster

Blind Pick vs Draft mode

  • This is one topic @GentlemanSquirl and I have talked about a bit (coming from Dota) but this game desperately needs a proper picking phase. One issue I constantly find myself and others having is when the game is played in competitive match there is no way to counteract certain play styles and team comps that the hunters will run. For example the Beam team vs Caira teams vs Lazzy. You need a different skill build (and perk) against each hunter team to even have a chance against them. So the idea we had was to start the picking phase as such: Medic, Support and Assault pick first then followed by the Monster pick then followed by the Trapper. Then each team gets to choose their perks and the monster gets to decide on a skill build after the hunter team is fully revealed. I feel this is 100% needed if the game is even looking towards a competitive future.

Map Buffs

  • I like the idea behind the wildlife buffs on the map, they’re fun to fight over and present a good mini objective for both the hunters and monster players but I honestly think in their current state they bring too many swings in the game depending on what perk you get at a given time. For example 35% damage reduction/bonus is way too much and is honestly too broken at this point when Hunters and the Monster are on even footing. I think scaling the perks down to a more reasonable level (Or having to the option to set them in the custom game settings much like Halo did) is something that should be looked at. I want them to work right now, but I think the big ones like CDR, damage/reduction, and health regen need to be looked at if we want to use them in competitive matches.

The Medics

  • My favorite class in the game and I feel that for the most part this class is pretty well balanced across the 3 characters in the game right now with just a few issues in the game right now in my eyes. I honestly think that Caira is way too good at healing since with capacity I’ll be able to keep constant grenades going out in a fight and she is also the most durable medic since you’re able to heal yourself in the middle of a fight unlike Val and Lazzy. I love her kit and I think it is just the numbers on her healing (and possibly her 4 ability) that should be looked at, since as it stands right now I just feel like I do way too much with Caira in comparison to the other medics. Val and Lazzy I think are both pretty damn balanced as they stand right now, so I can’t really say I would change on anything on them right now.

The Assault

  • I say “The Assault” mainly in reference to how powerful Markov is in his current state and that he is the super Swiss army knife of the class. He honestly has no draw backs aside from a knock back on mines (which @MaddCow found can be used to block rocks damage as well) so I can’t even call that a downside to the mines. The big issue with him is it mines just do way too much damage and bring too much zoning to the team (being able to create a safe zone for medic/support is an amazing ability to have). As it stands he needs to have a weakness in his kit or he will always be picked in every single competitive game just like he was in the DGL tournament.

  • Now looking at Hyde I think his kit has a lot of potential, and maybe the flamethrower buff from the patch notes will push him in the right direction but he runs way too many risks with his toxic grenades in comparison to Markov’s mines. I don’t really know how to fix this issue either, but I think it should be talked about so I actually have to make a choice between these two every pick phase. And now comes Parnell who I think is in a really awkward spot with his kit. He brings no team wide utility aside from raw damage but I still feel he doesn’t do enough as it stands right now to pick him over Markov or Hyde. I just never feel when I see Parnell get used (even with Cabot/Val) that he has enough in his kit to make him a game changer like Markov. Maybe he needs a tighter spread on his shotgun to help him land more damage on a weak point/headshot but I really can’t think of much from my point of view to fix him.

The Supports

  • The wild card of the group and one I think is actually pretty well thought out. I used to think that AoE invisability was worthless but playing with TRS guys like @OldNick and @MrStrategio I’ve been shown how useful and effective a proper use of invisibility can be. With that aside, moving towards the two big players in the class with Cabot and Hank. They’re both great at what they do, full on offense or defense. I think right now they’re both pretty balanced and the only thing I think with the two of them is just keeping an eye on the Damage Amp and Shield Projector numbers to make sure they’re not too strong as the game goes on.

  • Now on to Bucket who feels like the odd robot out of the class. Maybe the new buffs to him will actually make him feel like he has an impact but I can’t see myself ever picking him over Cabot/Hank in a competitive match with his current kit. UAV not being able to ping really makes it feel mediocre, and the fact that he is stuck in UAV mode in comparison to the near instant cast times on Orbital and Dust just makes him feel weak in comparison to Cabot/Hank. I think he needs big changes to his kit to make him stand out in the support class at a competitive level.

The Trappers

  • I really don’t have much to say about this class aside from it being the most balanced across each of the 3 current hunters. Each have a strength and a weakness and I believe all are viable in their current state against each monster and I don’t think there needs to be any changes at all with this class, aside from maybe some dome cast time being shorter and the Trapper not shouting “Dome going up” right in the Monsters ear would be some changes I think are needed. Just from watching and playing it seems once Monsters get some experience under their belts getting/baiting out domes are super easy.

Really that is all I have for right now, so hopefully @MacMan @SlabOMeat get a chance to read through this, I’d love to get feedback from you guys on some of the issues I brought up and hopefully others in the thread will bring up as well.


#2

I disagree about needing a Blind Pick/Draft Mode. I don’t think it needs either. While certain compositions give way to certain strategies, a stage 2 evolution will give you access to the skills you need to negate those. Stage 2 should be even, stage 1 in favor of the Hunters. I feel that pre knowledge about Hunter line up gives TONS of advantage to the Monster if he can pick the perks and skills before dropping.

There is an option to disable map buffs. Eventually if this goes forward they could have a map that has less RNG issues. I’m surprised Carrion Birds weren’t mentioned. It’s by far the biggest grievance for competitive play as sneaking has so much downside due to RNG birds. Having them occur at every X meat would be much better.

I disagree about Lazzy currently. He is a hard shutdown. Either it’s a blowout on one side or the other. I feel the other 2 medics are viable.

With assaults I agree that Markov is just great all around, I’ve played against good Hydes. Both were equally viable. The idea of the Toxic grenade REALLY forces the monster to commit at stage 1 domes instead of hiding. His flamethrower is also all sorts of good. Parnell, however, seems neither great nor terrible. He’s just ok. But doesn’t bring anything that the other two wouldn’t and I see him being chosen a lot less than Hyde/Markov. I agree that the mines do a tad too much damage. Slightly tone it down and I’m ok.

Supports. I hate HATE Bucket as a support. He literally brings NOTHING to the table as a support. PLEASE retool him as an assault and buff his damage. Cabot and Hank are both good in their own regards, but Hank is just amazing.

All 3 trappers are pretty good and I would agree that Trappers are arguably the most balanced for all 3 tiers.


#3

The problem with Bucket is he takes too much time to support his team where Hank and Cabot can do it in a quicker fashion and with much more consistent results.

Bucket’s Issues:

UAV - Very little use in an actual fight and still has the problem with his body lagging behind. This ability is essentially left alone in a battle so you’re left with 3 other abilities to rely on.

Missile Launcher - Damage output is OKAY, fires slow, only 4 missiles in the magazine, but the biggest problem is that the reload speed is so horrible that the downtime doesn’t allow Bucket to pressure the Monster enough.

Sentry Guns - These can deal a lot of damage, but the amount of time to set them up is lengthy and the damage output you get from them varies greatly. I found myself having to constantly redeploy and spread turrets out various times in a fight hoping a Monster would be in range just to get a few shots off. I think the deploy time for turrets should be reduced so that Bucket can support his team quicker and increase the range of them.


#4

Good read and I also agree with most things you mentioned.

I still find Abe a bit weak. As a tracker, at least. He has no means of finding the monster apart from spamming darts on wildlife, hoping they get eaten. He only comes ‘online’ once the monster has actually been found.


#5

Everyone should be using their ears and eyes. I think Abe is in a great place right now tbh. He gives up the early game for, arguably, good combat and not letting the Monster get away after that.


#6

I agree, you have to look around yourself. But both other trappers have tools which help locate the monster but Abe just doesn’t and I feel it hurts him. He’s amazing at keeping track of the monster, but you really have to rely on footsteps and birds for actually finding him.
Having the ‘birds ignore you’ perk + sneaking as monster would be quite devastating against Abe.


#7

This is why Abe is the tier 3 Trapper because he is the most difficult to play but you get great benefits when he is used correctly.


#8

Really well written, and an interesting read.


#9

I disagree. Look for eaten corpses and knock over terrain. I’ve had plenty of games when we found sneaking monsters with these methods. Like @Zerneborg said, there is a reason he is T3. He needs to rely on his/herself and their team to find the Monster.


#10

Honestly MaddCow if you think this game doesn’t need a pick phase in order to be competitive I urge you to please play with @GentlemanSquirl and I’s comps we’ve been working on. Guidance was unable to break a certain comp we had and I would consider him one of the better monsters in the game. And another example was Brandon, who is the best Kraken in the game I’ve seen. We found a direct counter to Kraken in a hunter team comp we ran it against him for prob 5-6 games and never dropped a single game and they were clean wins with no issue at all. There was nothing he could do just because of the hunters we played with.

Those are prime examples of where a picking phase would help to alleviate some of the issues with picking blind into a group of hunters/monsterwhat perk and skill you need to take, if you take CDR against Caira/Hank instead of 15% damage then you’ll lose against skilled players every time. So I think you should reconsider the importance of a picking/draft stage at a competitive level, matchmaking is fine as is but for high level games you need something like that in the game.

Also I’m fine with carrion birds, sneaking monsters should be punished and have something that will give away their position. Do I think the RNG could be smoothed out a bit? Sure. Do I think they shouldn’t be in the game? Hell no.

Also Lazzy is a risk character and takes a whole team to play him well and a skilled player for him to work. He needs to have a risk in taking him just due to the nature of his glove, and that is ok.

Also to speak on the Abe issues people bring up, that is his downside and he needs to keep it. Once you find the monster you won’t get off his tracks, but until then it’s a pure hunt!


#11

While I still don’t think a ban system is needed, I am actually changing my mind on a pick/counter pick system. Especially for more competitive ranked games (once that’s implemented). Some hunter combos are just better versus certain monsters. Frankly it is unavoidable. You can not expect the devs to make a perfectly balanced game. You want some way to mitigate that, and not let random blind picks heavily influence the outcome of the match.

What bothers me the most about map buffs is their RNG placement. Its luck whether or not your run into one. You just hope you manage to run into the right buff at the right time. It would be make their values much easier to swallow if I know that the 35% damage is always by crowbill canyon. If monster wants to pick that up, hunters can make him pay for it. Something else to consider is for stronger buffs to not spawn until monster gets to stage 2 or 3. It would mitigate some of the early swings, and pace the game better.

As for your class assessments I totally agree. Not much I will add there.

overall 10/10 would read again.


#12

Well there are certain areas where they can spawn, it’s just a matter of which one ya know. Getting it smoothed out a bit would help better implement them into the competitive scene and again if their numbers are in a different state than what they are now.

I don’t think the game has enough hunters/monsters to have a ban phase. The only thing I could ever see banning is maps but that is a whole different post/discussion in itself.


#13

I have played with him and other people I feel are equally strong. I still think the new players are confusing game mechanics and meta. Also, while I agree that Brandon is one of the Best Kraken’s out there, he hasn’t been challenged in a while which means he might have sloppy habits. Not to say that he isn’t good, but if you are face rolling teams a lot of the time you don’t challenge yourself and therefore slip your style and experience.

And yes, I am talking about a competitive level. People have clocked ‘maybe’ 100-200 hours aside from Brandon and TRS/2K. That isn’t much in a competitive game. I say we wait before throwing these things out.

I never said to get rid of them. I even said, have them every X meat. That way there will always be one at a set time in the first stage and the monster can prepare for it.


#14

Right, there is usually 2 different areas they can spawn in, but I believe distillery has 4 different tyrant spawns. There is no way you can consistently plan for that, and its left up to the RNG gods.


#15

Also it depends on even if it does spawn. Sometimes it’s not even on the map.


#16

Remove team slow and increase the cooldown. The toxic grenades doesn’t need the team slow, if you want to discourage spamming then you up the cooldown and if they misplay with it then you’re stuck without one for awhile.


#17

I’ve brought that up with @MacMan and he was against that change. I’d have to find the post but it was somewhere in the beta patch notes thread.


#18

Found it:

I disagree with his statement. The slow is so detrimental to your own team that it’s not even worth using on most occasions and this is one of the reasons why Markov is a better pick over Hyde because at least his kit doesn’t screw the team over and it’s more reliable.


#19

At this stage, there are not enough characters for any bans at all, I agree.

I would like to see a pick 2, monster pick, pick 2 type of pick phase though and then everyone selects perks/skills after.

Agree with @Insane_521 on Markov, not sure I agree about Caira though. Everything else I think I agree with, especially certain wildlife perks being too impactful.


#20

Our man @Insane_521 is dead right about Bans and Picks, as it stands now, theres certain team compositions who abusively shut down a certain monster and you can’t do much about it. This is a problem, rather you think or not because it brings instability to picks and perks.

As for the remaining points I strongly agree with everything.