Pro vs. casual?


#1

Pro league. Where a game can be won or lost due to a single mistake. Where demigods of game who have memorized every possible opportunity, for every character, and can maximize their potential in ways is mere mortals can’t imagine or perform…

It seems like a lot of hype to me… I consider myself a pretty driven gamer. It’s my favorite and only release from reality, and I’m in it to win it and have fun.

I’m not shy about giving out my opinions, But I also listen to the other side of the discussion. But this one topic really irks me. I know the forums are a place for everyone to voice their concerns and feedback… But apparently some are of the opinion that casual feedback doesn’t matter.

I always like reading the telemetry thread. It shows who is having the most success with which character… For casuals. It’s been argued that it’s not correct data because casuals don’t know the characters… pro’s do, and in pro matches the character is a non performer and nobody takes it. I’m at a bit of a loss as to how their pro performance opinion is that you can only use certain characters or you will lose? That doesn’t even sound right to me as a gamer.

I don’t know the pro side of the story, is there really that big of a difference between a pre made and a pro team? Are we really playing two games that need to be drastically balanced differently? Are pro players really that much more in tune with the characters a casual picks up and learns because it’s a favorite.

This isn’t intended to be a rant. I’m honestly curious if the difference of opinion is just that, or if pro game balance really needs to be different.


#2

Pro Gamers play for maximum efficiency.
Casual Gamers play for fun.

There will never be a perfect balance and always be a more efficient way to win. If a character underperforms it won’t be played at a competitive level, it’s as simple as that. While casual gamers pick their characters often out of personal preference for a certain character design.

Balancing this on both ends is often hard, as you have to give a character a decent baseline efficiency that it’s feasible to play as a casual gamer without being frowned upon but at the same time provide a certain skillceiling to make them viable for competitive play.
See for example Bucket, he is utterly useless with his current skillset in competitive play yet somewhat fine for casual gaming. As is Val, Lazarus and Parnell. They provide nothing more than their counterparts do, while being easily countered/shutdown by a competent Monster.

An even better example would be Sunny and Torvald.

Sunny has a good baseline in providing passive shielding and her booster in casual games. She’s an all around solid support at the casual level. Yet in the hands of a competent player… her booster is borderline overpowered as it provides complete damage mitigation while at the same time repositioning the boosted Hunter. The current mitigation Support Hank can only provide the damage mitigation up to a certain point without being able to reposition the Hunter to keep them out of followup attacks.

Torvald has a pretty good baseline as well for casual games with his skillset. This is based around him hitting only a certain amount of mortar barrages, hence his low cooldown on the ability. Now imagine this high damage ability on a fairly low cooldown in the hands of a ‘pro player’ that hits about >50% of those shells and you got yourself a compeltely over the top ability that was originally balanced around hitting maybe 15-20% of those mortars.

It’s pretty much a matter about balancing a proper baseline yet providing an acceptable skill ceiling for a character. Since that balancing process is somewhat off for certain characters and the majority of the playerbase being ‘casual gamers’ those discussions happen. But as stated, discussions about balancing issues should always happen on two different levels. Telemetry about casual games is the way to approach balancing the baseline, telemetry from competitive games is the way to approach balancing the skillceiling. And with the ESL and EHL I guess TRS will finally get some decent data to approach the latter properly as well.


#3

Just look at the dominance of Kraken in competitive Evolve. No other monster gets even close to him in terms of times picked or winrate


#4

Pros will always take the way of least resistance when it comes to picks. Like with medic, Caira is a boring character, but she has a ridiculous healing potential compared to the other medics, alone this is why she is picked, even though Val offers the better utility and takes way more skill to be good at.

I think the devs are having good troubles to find a balance between the vast difference that is casual play and top tier play in Evolve, while playernumbers drop further, it’s quite a predicament.


#5

A big difference is casual gamers can enjoy a game for what it is and usually play for that simple reason “to play”. And "pro gamers or “hardcore gamers” play relentlessly and feel the need to put casual gamers down for not being as good as them and they don’t ever seem to actually enjoy games from what I can tell because all they ever do is complain.
Another big difference is pro gamers tend to live in their parents basements :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


#6

And they should. And to keep it fun for them the game is being balanced around telemetry from the majority of casual gamers. Completely fine with that. People need to see though that balance has to be done properly on different levels. As the discussion was more about people who think casual feedback doesn’t matter around here, it’s really just that, some people who can’t properly distinguish between the two sides and trashtalk casuals for their issues in casual play, which are just as valid concerns as any ‘pro-players’.

This is an inherent problem in team based games. Even more so without a proper matchmaking/ranked system. Evolve is no exception to the general issues of online games.

From what I’ve observed so far Evolve is mostly more of a game for mature gamers and the competitive evolve scene seems to be following that impression. It’s really not comparable to the average age in the competitive scene you may be used to from SC or LoL.


#7

Yeah my last bit was more just a p##s take of a lot of the kids that seem to think that because they are moderately good at a game that they are “hardcore” whilst sitting in their parents house being grounded and such.
But I agree with everything you’ve said I’m competitive in every game that I actually play and care about but still take everything casually so it’s nice to know that trs care not just about one group of players. And I’m not sure what sc is but I hate lol with every bone in my body.


#8

Starcraft is a competitive pc game


#9

casual players usualy dont care shit about balancing so the devs should just try to makes as much characters viable in high lvl play as possible, balancing depends on the metagame and is a never ending process

no casual bucket main player will complain if they buff him, but the pros will always complain if they balance they game around casual telemetry


#10

The pros will complain about anything. And without a competitive Playlist there is no real telemetry to balance towards. It seems your reasoning is a bit flawed


#11

I’m not a pro player since my team doesn’t play steady enough to enter the ESL. But we do play end tier matches and only lose to the best monsters out there, most of which need wildlife buffs to defeat us at all. We hate the current character picks for pro matches and refuse to only play with 8 out of 16 characters basically. Caira is boring to play, Hank is kinda boring to play, and Markov is also boring to play. Then there is the Kraken that 60% of the ESL matches have. If “pro” matches only “allow” the choice of good characters there is something flawed in the design.

YES, omg, yes. From my experience, that is a end tier pre-made, simply doing 1 random on my own makes me want to punch a wall. It feels like this complete foundation of strategies and logical gameplay choices are just “not there”. We make optimal choices, calculate in a few heavy hits from a monster and we expect to have 1 teammate going down to unreasonable fast combo’s at least. Random/casual teams don’t. They play their class in a combination of other classes. Setups that they like.

And i’m sitting there. Val + Bucket… alrighty, we are going to lose (before the match started). In the end we didn’t, but that was because the monster was equally skilled. Me and my teammate (both top 200 world global) had to pull every skill out of our ass to down a Kraken with full health stage 2 + sloth buff without support and a healer. Them cheering, us being pissed off because they couldn’t even dodge one hit.

You want to know what the problem here is? Balancing rules out casuals basically. You simply need to make a character that the best players can’t abuse, and the casuals can still use to be effective (to a point). Take Hank for example. Very easy to learn, very hard to master. A pro player will be 90% more effective with Hank, but the casual player can still play him effectively. Problem is, only the pro player will try to get maximum efficiency from a character. When that level of gameplay is reached, you will know if another character is more effective.

Take the same argument we see more often now: Tier 4 hunters. We still play mixed setups and if someone can down one of our “weaker” teams, we pick our best. For me, that is either Sunny or Slim. Goliath players that can snipe you out of the air with rocks? Fine, i’ll pick Slim and see how you do then. We often win those matches. Love to corner hunters and eat through their shield? Fine i’ll pick Sunny and see how you fare when you lose grasp over a hunter. We often win those matches as well.

Before T4, the best Goliath players all picked 3p Rock Throw stage 1, or at least had it stage 2. Now that strategy doesn’t pay off anymore. Eating through a shield can still be done, but it isn’t as effective anymore. Going stealth and bypassing the hunters going the other direction ‘jucking’ has become MUCH harder with Crow. Body camping? Still doable pre T4, now with Torvald… hold ur horses because health damage becomes permanent quite fast.

The thing is, if “pro” matches are balanced so every character is viable to pick, then casuals will play with the same characters that at the ‘end-game’ level of play are balanced. Really, casuals don’t have anything to add to it, because if the characters have been abused to the max their experience like giving your dad the key’s to a F1 race-car and telling him to beat the lap record of the day with it. He can’t yet, he can try, but the car/character won’t be experienced by the hands that need to handle them to tell if the car has been modified or not. Your dad won’t see the difference if they point at it. THIS is why feedback from casuals is worth less.

BUT,

There is an exception. Take the Wraith early stage. Any noob could kill entire teams with it and every random group actually feared the damn thing because it was so strong. While pro teams said that they could down the wraith pretty easy if you knew what you did. If the Wraith really was balanced it would be as it went with the Behemoth. Where learning to play the monster should be hard, and fighting it still full of surprises. But it didn’t. Even the best teams had trouble fighting a good Wraith. So they nerfed it and this monster seems to have found common ground with the others.

Casuals started to say the Wraith is too strong, pro players backed this argument up. Patch included almost a rework of the Wraith.


My unsalted opinion is that Casuals aren’t very trustworthy when it comes to balance issues. They haven’t experienced every strategy yet, nor have they seen every composition work against it. The more experienced player you are, the more you play, the more you have seen and the more will work against a certain monster. If you make a complicated machine, are you going to let the intern give you feedback or the experienced worker? Reality does state that fresh players give new insights that can be very valuable, but the real stress points pointouts are from the people who worked with it for a longer time.

Because they play at the ‘edge of knowledge’ they will still overlook some aspects, but the real problem is much closer to their eyes than to that of a casual. Best way to check how good they really are is to look at the trapper. Does he follow the monster? Does he anticipate his routes, does he dome close to the monster or further away. Does he run to the rest of the team after a dome, or start to fight the monster right away. In a pro team, these questions aren’t even asked. You work your character like you are supposed to do. No discussion possible, and none needed.


#12

Unfortunately right now a lot of game companies seem to have a hard on for marketing a game as an e-sport right off the bat. Which often neuters most of their design ideas since they are so obsessed with balance they arent willing to push new ideas to their fullest. Or they do, and end up knee jerk patching a month later and ruining the idea half of the time.

The best e-sports were games first and sports 2nd. They were initially developed without a pro’s paycheck on the line. Brood War, Counter Strike, Street Fighter, etc. I personally know that Brood War’s patches came in 2-3 big laundry lists of interrelated changes, and i feel like that is part of the reason the game ended up so fun yet balanced (terrible blizzard maps aside).


#13

Pro is a weird term. Nobody earns a living by playing Evolve. But yes, I fully agree that telemetry isn’t a good sole date source. Yeah, it kinda shows how, on average, a character performs, but it doesn’t really mean anything. It can be heavily influenced by bad luck and a LOT of really, really poor players. For example - Yeah, Valerie is a weak character and honestly, I don’t think she should ever be picked. But the fact that a lot of CoD casuals come to Evovle and think they can 360 YOLOscope instead of healing with her is dragging her telemetry down.


#14

They should definitely seperate the telemetry from the tournaments and the telemetry which only takes place in random matchmaking only, those are the two extremes. Compare them, instead for aiming for smooth numbers globally only. But i guess the devs already do that.


#15

Can’t say I agree with this. By the definitions I’ve seen here, I play casually. I feel that there should be a balance to the game that benefits the majority of players. If the game does not have a balance, it will not be played (Something sorely witnessed recently on steam). All new players start out in the casual bracket. They are new, try out the game, develop into effective players (if not effective teams), and eventually make friends and start pre-mades (allowing them to develop effective teamwork). Having an imbalanced game is simply put… un-fun.

So… “pro” players aren’t actually good at the game, they play just like the rest of us… except that they only play a limited variety of characters that are easier to play in order to maximize their chances of winning?

Even as a casual player, I’ve witnessed both of these problems. It’s why I’m VERY avid that Torvald is OP. In the right hands, his DPS should skyrocket to disturbing levels. I’ve seen it and it’s really tough to play against. Sunny I think has a great mechanic as well which i hoped would bring life to other characters and make their gameplay more viable… But from what I’m hearing, it won’t happen… because pro matches will instead use this only with the certain characters they deem “most viable” further increasing the gap of viability…

@Silverborn Thank you for all your responses. So team’s are the next upgrade to pre-mades by your definition. I can appreciate and respect that. I’m sorry to hear you could not get into the ESL though. I really like your take on the game and wish you the best of luck!I

I did have a few questions though:

Does this mean, even though I’m in the top 300 with Bucket, I’m not a good player or viable to be in a pre-made or even team? Literally, it mean’s nothing?

I don’t think balancing rules out casuals. Casual players have just as many people who try to min/max their behaviors and abilities to win. Casual’s still want to win just as badly as pro teams do. Not EVERY player is skilled, and I can appreciate that. But I think you’re cutting the bar a little low. Casual players can still potentially play MORE than a pro team. They can get very into the game, really enjoy the game, and even make it into the top world rankings. They may even face the same monster players (who can join the same games. After all, monster players may not have/need teams). Does this still make their feedback not valueable?

I think we’re finally meeting in the middle. With the realization that casual players can be experienced players :smile: We develop our friend network, create strategies that synergize with those friends and their play styles, and can even enjoy winning streaks.

But once again. Thank you for your imput. I like how you put it, although I still don’t think I agree with all your points, I do respect them. TY.


#16

Player feedback is their first step in balance. Telemetry is the second. They look at both before making decisions :smile:


#17

I can agree with everything you say.Hank is not actually that boring with the shielding stuff but yeah that’s the issue here.I mean we play every esl to win right?Why would we pick Val since Caira’s healing is better?Why would we pick Wraith since Kraken is better?Its not that anyone dislikes Parnell or Laz.They simply are not in “pair” with the others.I mean Caira is the only medic that can heal herself efficiently.So yeah we need that.

As about Wraith.I was one of the people saying that he didn’t need a nerf.Why is that?Let me explain.
Wraith was never so OP that people made him to be.Wraith was annoying.Wraith could avoid domes and keep on running while on stage 3.Even stage 3 Wraith was the easier monster to die simply cause of his max HP/Armor.So Wraith only needed to be “slower”.If you could stop him from Warp/Warp/Warp blast,he would be in dome.Wraith didn’t need all the nerfs.Simply tune down his traversal and maybe Warp blast like it is now.Supernova had no reason to be changed whatsoever.Anyone could dodge out of the cloud.The decoy nerfs.Decoy was another annoying skill but easilly countered.I mean right now with the 0.5sec visibility when you hit him,i can keep going on him with my Lighting Gun.No really go try it your self.The momment Wraith pops decoy,while he still does the animation aim him with the lighting gun.The lighting gun will never stop hitting simply because 0,5secs are enough to keep him visible for ever while the lighting gun is on him.
What i’m saying is Wraith had to be fixed about the getting dome’d.About his “power”?Nop.


About your post OP.
I agree with what you are saying about Pro vs casuals(First of all i don’t agree with the term pro but i’ll use it for the sake of discussion)

The game needs to be fun also.I don’t agree with doing anything that the “pros” want.The game needs its fun elements so all of us can keep playing.

But

Everyone who is playing in the “competitive” scene of the game(ok most of the good teams i mean) have tried playing with different compositions.Bucket might be fun pick.But if you can do more damage with Cabot why pick Bucket?Bucket is an aggressive support.But Cabot “wins” him.If you want to play defence Hank wins him.Then why take him?Even when you want to play him for fun,don’t you want your character to be also viable and do his job?
In my opinion EVERY character must have his strong “perks” in order to be viable and fun.I’m not saying to rework them like what happened to Wraith.I’m saying something like.You want Cabot?You have his dmg amplifier which is strong.You want Bucket?You can have his Turrets (as long as they are even more buffed) to deal damage equal to what Cabot could amplify+assault attacking.
What i mean is if we want to have a good balance between characters,every character should have his OP “thing”.
Cabot=Amplify
Caira=Healing
Markov=consistent DPS
Griffin=100% dome(if you hit the harpoon.)

Something like that is what every character should have.
For example Hyde should have much more damage with his flamethrower to force more people picking him.But what you loose instead?The consistent DPS of markov.You always know when you are attacking with Markov.With Hyde?With his animation and all the flames in your screen,you are never sure if you are hitting the monster.
So it will depend on your assault preferance.Does he want to go full aggressive and risk not damaging the Monster?Or does he want to be safe and deal smaller ammount of damage but a standar one?
And every other character balanced with this “thinking”

Anyway sorry for the big post(It must be my first being so big)and ofc sorry for the pain in your eyes.My English sucks :slight_smile:


#18

As I said, if a character doesn’t provide a suitable skill ceiling but a decent baseline it won’t be used by players who value efficiency over anything else. It’s a competitive environment afterall. So they are better players at winning by picking accordingly, yes. You wouldn’t pick Belgium against Team Nintendo if you want to win a game in Super Soccer against an equal opponent you’d at least go with Germany.
And it’s not about the easier choice, it’s about the more efficient one. Hank for example is not easy to play efficiently at a competitive level.

Sure will. And it’s something for TRS to balance around, because some of the unpicked Hunters are underperforming even at a casual level. Again, Team Nintendo > Belgium

Yes. Because they play to win. If you don’t play to win you don’t want to play competitively in the first place and shouldn’t mind demigods discussing obviously underperforming picks.

So if you absolutely want to win pick accordingly to go into the fight with an advantage over other picks.


#19

I don’t even think the guys in tournaments are pro’s. Did you watch the stream yesterday with Source_TV? Every one of them plays the characters that are unbalanced. Sitting there playing Kraken, and doing a terrible job at it. Makes you wonder how they beat pugs…


#20

But I do play to win, with every bucket match… beyond my personal opinion that I’m good at it. You’re literally stating that: “Because you play bucket, you don’t care about winning”… but I do. EVERYONE wants to win the game. People aren’t playing it to lose.

I don’t know if I’m taking this too personally because it’s marginalizing my achievement, or I feel like I’m fighting a stereotype. But you CAN play to win and play Bucket at the same time.