PSA: Hunter Balance


#1

An asymmetrical game of 4v1 has a peculiar balance. I see a lot of posts that say this hunter is OP, that hunter is OP, this one will always be taken over this one, etc. However what many people are missing is that the 4 is a team against the 1. The balance isn’t 1v1. The hunters are balanced with a team orientation because no single hunter will take on the monster solo and win, period. When discussing balance consider the team composition and hunter combos. Those combos are what will be OP and UP and will determine which hunters are individually strong and which ones need a change.

TL:DR - Balance is about the team make up, not the individual hunters.


#2

I don’t know. Until we see lots of high end competitive play its hard to say what makes the balance. Is it a specific team setup? I doubt it. I think that 4 Great players would be good with any team make up. Team make ups just dictate your strengths and weaknesses. Good players will utilize those and create more scenarios where they are strong more often than weak. However, a good monster knows this to. I think ultimately it comes down to individual skill + teamwork. Or in the case of the monster, a good sense of knowing which the strengths and weaknesses are for the hunters.


#3

That’s what I’m saying :smile: There won’t be a “best team” and ideally OP hunter teams (If any exist) will be hammered out before launch.


#4

Ah, thought you meant that Team Make up was the same as Team Roster :stuck_out_tongue: That great thing about Asymmetrical games is that even if something is considered ‘OP’, there are ways to counter it. Also, never underestimate a surprise strategy against the FoTM setups. I know that in Netrunner LCG I’ve been able to surprise my opponent by playing cards that were considered ‘sub par’ and womp them because they hadn’t been thinking about/practicing against those.


#5

That’s the idea. I love this game precisely because I can’t do everything by myself. Successful team-play is, in my opinion, far more rewarding than being a lone wolf. I can’t take down the Monster by myself, and that’s what makes it fun, doing your part and supporting your teammates to take him down together.

Whether or not there will be “FOTM” setups…I kind of hope not, but I know that thing happens often. But it seems like TRS will have good support for this game for a long time, so hopefully they can continue balancing the game as time goes on.


#6

Many people without a tactical capacity will look to min/max the game in order to give themselves the highest chance of success. But this is a mere pipe dream and is an idealistic belief; not a realistic one.

Truth is, no 1 persona in a class will be better than another. Your playstyles, how you interact with your teammates, and tons of other variables during gameplay will modify this. People will adapt to tactics, and things may change where your choice is no longer the most valid. Those who think the battlefield is a stagnant place where dynamics can be presumed are often the ones seen as canon fodder by the better players.

Don’t fall into the belief that 1 is “the best”. The only best class/persona is the one you feel you are doing the best with.

But as an aside, since players dont control a “team”, the overall team balance IS a made up of individual player balancing. One begets the other, and has a direct affect on it.


#7

Op…ill leave


#8

A whole lot of your statement applies to MOBA’s as well, and there are tons of champs/gods/whatever that are just obsolete because someone else can do their job with less required skill. This game so far only has three characters for a given role, so I agree with you in the fact that there currently are no characters who fall into this description. Each one is balanced around the combos they can create, or the niches they fill in the team.

For instance, having Cabot’s Dust Tagging on the team does a whole lot to reduce the efficiency of Val’s tranq darts. Thus, with Cabot, Laz becomes a stronger choice due to his safety and ability to keep his allies without strikes. Val’s darts are still useful, but, since the outlining is already done by another character, there’s some power lost that went into her balance decision against Laz or Caira.

Eventually, though, unless TRS does a tremendous job with balance and character design, there will be a point where one character is obsolete due to another being considered better at the primary job, and equal in value for secondary jobs. I have my doubts if this game will have the same number of champs as League or Dota have, so I think that this problem might not come to fruition.


#9

I dunno, I can see Cabot working well WITH Val because Val can now make 200+m shots because the monster is still being highlighted. Cabot helps with spotting, Val helps with slowing. In this case, laz at long distance wouldn’t be helping too much with his skills if the monster is 200+m away as well.


#10

True, she is still functional, but the point I’m trying to make is that you can imagine each character has a certain pool of balance points to work with. Give each character the same points to spend, and allocate them wherever. There are points going into Val’s highlight (now redundant thanks to Cabot), that Laz and Caira put into something else.

It’s not a big thing at all, really… so far. As I said, this game is done well right now, but there will probably come a point where one character will just do the same job as another character, but better. It’ll take a while, but it’s REALLY hard to avoid.

Another point that I agree and disagree with you on, is the fact that, even if there is character A, who does the same job better than character B, B will still get used. So many games really do come down to familiarity with your favorite character. For instance, I play a very interesting Dr. Mundo (League of Legends) build, that works fantastically well for me, but not for anyone else, purely because I am well practiced with it. The point is, still, that character A will likely be easier to pick up and easier to be good with than B, because less skill/familiarity is needed to reach a certain performance level.


#11

Medic Sniper rifles are odd things.

Traditionally, the Sniper in a game is a high-damaging player, and his ability to engage the enemy at range makes sense because you can lethally kill an enemy before they close distance with you.

The Evolve Medic Snipers play a weakened role to that effect. Both Val and Laz place weakpoints at long range, but these serve very very little utility because (a) they either spook the monster to continue escaping you, thus making engagement via the team more difficult, and/or (b), the weapon itself does relatively low-damage, thus negating the “Powerful Sniper” persona.

Instead, the weak point system really only helps out effectively when you’re engaged with the monster, at which time “scoping up” is often less beneficial, because the monster is close enough that you can easily no-scope them.

This was the other aspects of Medics (aside from burst heal) that I was not happy with, because it lowered the usefulness of the item/class.

:medic: I would personally love to see a Medic’s weakpoint actually NULLIFY the monster’s current perk for its duration of application. That would fall in role with the Medic as a team buffer/monster de-buffer.


#12

Strongly disagree. The ability to nullify an entire perk for doing what should be done normally does not make much sense. If there was an ability that you had to fire a laser at the monster (Similar to damage amp) and that as long as you held the button down it negated the perk that ‘might’ be balanced in the sense that you are negating a perk by removing 25% of your team from doing something else. However, I still really dislike the idea of shutting down your opponents actions.

People in games don’t like being prevented from using abilities/going somewhere. It’s not a good feeling being told, hey, you know all those cool things you just got, well guess what, you were knocked unconscious and have to start back at level 1. (While it’s cool to see what you could become before the end of a game, NO ONE likes to start off as all powerful and then get nerfed into oblivion and have to crawl back to that point. Yes, it does offer a HUGE carrot, but most people don’t like it.) There should be nothing in the game that prevents a player from using a skill/ability/perk that they want to.


#13

The suggestion would not stop the Monster from performing abilities. If he had, say, a “Eat food 35% faster Perk”, that would be nullified. In battle, such a loss of that perk’s bonus is nothing to the team. But if he had a “Do 35% more damage Perk”, that would be helpful and promote the incap of the Medic strategically. (I’m a belief that if the Medic is downed, all weakpoints should be instantly removed)

I would never suggest you prevent the player from being able to use abilities.


#14

I’m not saying that you mentioned abilities, but the moment you negate one thing in the game the possibility to do it to other areas increases significantly. Slippery slope and all. Still, the medic should be using all of her tools and I find that the increased damage multiplier is plenty incentive to use it once in a while. No need to make it even stronger.


#15

The Sniper Rifle (Val/Laz) are not strong weapons in my book. Weapon strength is measured by their damage, and the Sniper rifles, despite FPS games to the contrary, does not do high damage. Not even moderate damage. They are low-damage sniper rifles. The only utility the sniper rifles provide is the “weak point system” which requires the utilization of other classes to amp their damage on the monster. (Yes, it will amp the subsequent sniper files is the Medic is a crackshot, but it makes your weak sniper rifle do weak/barely moderate damage, and that’s ONLY if you hit the marker)

I see the Sniper Rifles as, no weapons, but just tools to provide some recon (in a tunnel vision) and a weak point damage application system. This is probably why Caira’s gren launcher doesn’t offer the same ability, as it would make her moderate gren damage be moderate/high. Instead, they put damage amplification on Cabot (different class) and gave him a much simpler mechanic to amp damage.

To me, the Medic Sniper Rifles hold little utility, as does the Healing Burst. The GL, Speed Burst, LD, Medgun and Tranq are the unique utility devices worth their weight. Just saddened to see near half of a Medic’s loadout having very sporadic usefulness.


#16

I think that creating weak points, even if the rifle did no damage themselves, is good enough reason to use it. You are effectively doubling the damage (For Val, 1.5x for Laz) that your team’s ballistic weaponry is able to do for a period of time. I think that alone is worth swapping to and shooting at once in a while for Val. (Laz is sort of a moot point as he’s almost always peppering the beasty with those. Paired up with bucket and making lots of gut shots makes a huge difference)


#17

But here’s the thing. The utility of weak points is most beneficial at ranges where utilization of a Sniper scope is less than ideal. For example:

I have a sniper rifle. I see the monster in the distance. If I SHOOT it with my rifle, chances are I spook the monster to continue fleeing us. Tactically this is a bad move to give away the fact that you see the monster. The damage it does is next to nothing (low-damaging) and the application of the “weak spot” is useless, as the monster will now be fleeing, and the rest of the teammate will not be able to put that to use.

When you’re in battle, up close, where scoping is much less effective, THEN the utility of the Sniper rifle comes in, where you can cover the Monster in weak points and hopefully have a smart enough team to utilize them. Placing this kind of functionality on a Sniper Rifle was, IMO, a bad move. Sniper Rifles promote the mentality of being powerful weapons (in terms of damage), which they are not, and the utility itself has little usefulness at long ranges (which Sniper rifles excel at).

To me, they should have given her a gun that was more close/mid-range. It would have fit a lot more mindsets about the utility and weapon range matching up in effectiveness.


#18

Oh, I see. You are talking about the scoping portion of the Sniper Rifle. That makes sense. True, I think that the zoom doesn’t add as much, however, I feel that a medic could flush the monster towards a trapper if you are going for a pincer capture. It’ll spook the monster and possibly interrupt his eating and flush him towards the other team members.


#19

Yeah. Val has tracers. So, if I understand it correctly, getting hit by Val’s Sniper not only shows a tracer leading the Monster right back to Val’s position, but the damage direction indicator and SFX gives up a generalized direction as well.

Lazarus has a silenced sniper rifle, which prevents the generalized location finding via SFX, but even though it does not have tracers to give pin point location information of where Lazarus is, there still IS damage direction indication for the monster, no? This would allow the Monster to still move in on Lazarus relatively quickly. And aside from being mired in weak points, the collective sniping, though annoying, really is doing next to no damage, so the Monster can still afford to investigate the shots if Lazarus was being so bold/stupid as to solo hunt the monster and assume this system would give him immunity to being found.


#20

I also strongly disagree. I thought Val was the most useful of every Hunter I played (all but Hyde) in the Alpha. I found her to be extremely useful with her tranq, with her rifle, and with both healing methods. I did not have an issue with the way the sniper rifle worked, and I did not have an issue with finding balance between the rifle and the tranq gun during both chase sequences and fight sequences.

edit: I was also able to “go off by myself” more comfortably as Val with my jetpack fuel perk and skillful use of the tranq gun to make sure the Monster could not engage me.

This helped corner the monster more often.