So, I took the time to go through and play atleast one match with every character. And so far there are some good, but also some SERIOUSLY bad issues that have shown up since the update:
First the good:
- The new dome system is interesting and encourages regular combat, rather than just monsters dancing around the dome aimlessly
- The new tracker system helps, especially with newer players
- Anyone can dome, allowing for less of a reliance on good trappers
- The feel of the monsters is more challenging, and less about dome dancing until stage 3 (with one SERIOUS caveat)
- First and foremost… WHO IS THE FOOL WHO UN-NERFED THE WRAITH!!! HAVE YOU LEARNED NOTHING???
- The wraith is (again) the bane of the player bases’ experience. Didn’t you guys learn the first time that giving a death machine the ability to spit out a clone that DOES DAMAGE and allowing you to attack along side it would be game breaking?
- Wraith is comically able to nuke players with little to no effort, either by decoy-nova spamming or just flat out nuking them yourself in the nova, with little to no recourse aside from FORCING your players to play characters like hank/sunny.
- Wraith on launch was so broken it drove away the player base very, very quickly. So what tremendous fool though it was a good idea to un-nerf the wraith with all of these new players coming in?!?
- The tutorials are still hot garbage and do not teach players how to use their role, or not to revive when there is a laz, or not to go off on your own and walk into a plant, or not to dome the monster on the other side of the map all on your own, or not to dome the monster the moment it gets near the relay at stage 3… I think you get the idea
- New players are still clueless on how to play monster to any real capacity, causing them to hate playing monster
- Many of the games characters are still easily defeated by the age old meta of “wail on the medic”, any good monster does it, new monsters do not and that is why they feel more fair to fight.
- Monsters are still able to cap out a single nuke skill (And now can carry another skill thanks to the 4 skill starter) allowing them to be effectively able to deal as much damage at stage 1, as they would at stage 3. Good monsters still max out a nuke skill, and carry a feeding skill.
- Overall, the meta for pub play has not changed, if your the monster, wail on the medic until you win. If your the hunters, well its more complicated and you have a less than 50% chance of winning against a not-new monster unless you play with premades. Most of the time, this process involves picking specific team compositions.
- On the negative side of the new dome mechanics, it is now unwise to use crow’s charge shot anymore, as it will cause the dome timer to drop, without doing any significant hp damage. Similar can be applied the Kala’s armor drain beam, using it early in the fight will result in a fully armored monster running out of the dome early with minimal hp damage.
- There are no real consequences for poking the hunters in the dome, but not actually fighting them. As poking them causes the game timer to pause, but you are not in any real danger if you wait out the dome this way. There needs to be consequences for monsters that do not attempt to down hunters in the dome, preferably something to the lines of automatic damage from the dome if the monster spends too long in it.
- The perk system could easily be seen as “Pay to win”, given how you can buy actually, substantially influencing gold perks, which give you an advantage over others. This disparity leads to many teams of hunters having unusually varying traversal speeds, which results in easy separation.
On a Character by Character basis:
- Markov: Works as intended, good starter character
- Blitz: Feels like a cheap imitation of Lennox without the infinite 4x damage
- Hyde: Works as intended, though I do feel the chem bombs are not much of a deterrent
- Parnell: I do not feel does enough damage based on his level of risk. He feels kinda pathetically average
- Torvald: Mortars still feel janky and extremely situational, what with their really small ammo count and slow travel speed. Would it kill you guys to give him a legit barrage? Maybe spread out the damage over 10-20 rapid fire mortars?
- Lennox: Still the most powerful as constant 4x’s will devastate any monster trying to single out a different hunter. Shes almost too good (and was called pay to win back when)
- Griffin: Why does he even need to exist? With so few sound spikes, he cant get good coverage anymore, there is no real reason to benfit from knowing where the monster is when it evolve as you have both a ping, and monsters have armor when they evolve. And to top it off his harpoon is still the most dinky peace of easily broken, hardly useful waste of time that now serves NO meaningful purpose now that domes are automatic. It used to be you used the harpoon to keep the monster in the dome as it landed, now it just is a minor, mostly dysfunctional nuisance to monsters, most of which can just attack it from a 90 degree angle and free themselves anyway. Even Maggie’s harpoon traps are more functional. This is especially the case with wraith, which for some reason still nearly ignores the harpoons effects, able to traverse and warp blast nearly unaffected.
- Maggie: Works as intended, though I still find Daisy to be 90% useless as she is almost always either behind me, or telling me the obvious.
- Abe: Works as intended
- Crow: Borderline too good given how long he can stack stasis, and how much area he can cover with Gobi (horizontal dust tagging). The new issue is that using his famed “shoot through armor” charge shot is now detrimental to your team, as it reduces the dome timer prematurely.
- Jack: I have yet to see the repulsor used in any useful manner. It is mostly a 2 second nuisance that does not work half of the time as the angles typically only work when facing directly in the path of the monster. Now with the new ping system, his satellite is still kind trivial at best.
- Wasteland: Really… couldn’t let that joke slide huh…
- Val: Is still one of the easiest to beat medics. She has so little in the way of self-defense that hank is basically mandatory. Even then the amount of healing she provides is not worth her burden. It would help if traq’s had more of an effect on traversal speed/regen/combat stamina as even when slowed the monster can easily traversal into your face and your effectively helpless without a good support to carry your burden.
- Lazarus: I feel laz went from OP to not worth the effort. This is mostly thanks to the new dome mechanics, as with laz there will always be downs, but those frequent downs now result in the monster getting out early without having to focus down trapper. With laz now needing to be in the dome, hes very much a likely to fail gambit now.
- Caria: Works as intended
- Slim: Well his bug is now 100% worthless as players all self-heal. I feel he needs to be a bit tankyer to be honest, as he suffers in the keeping team-mates alive department, he should atleast be able to keep himself alive better. Perhaps replace his 3-key with the ability to have the bug heal yourself constantly for a duration.
- E.M.E.T: I don’t know what to make of him, he seems really good with his insanely low heal burst timer, and with the new dropship mechanics he is rather useful lategame provided he is not already dead.
- Rogue Val: Why even call her a healer if she heals at such a pitiful rate. There is rarely a situation where the monster is blindly damaging multiple people to the point you could tank them. She cant even keep herself that alive with her occasional full-self heal. As any monster worth their salt will either wail the medic down, or in her case just ignore her and attack someone else, as she can barely heal.
- Hank: Works as intended
- Bucket: I feel went from strategic to mindless. He uses to be useful in helping trappers like abe/jack, but now hes just a random fire “reduce cooldowns to double spam shield boost” character with a pitiful 3 turret cap.
- Cabot: Works as intended, by that I mean getting just about every medic killed because he has no real support capacity. The medics are just on their own and he does not really offer enough to compensate for that, specially now that his dust tag is effectively meaningless.
- Sunny: Still the most powerful support, clearly better in every way, as she can provide shields, shield herself, and give hunters the ability to get out of harms way. There is no support that is better. (also has been viewed as pay to win in the past)
- Kala: I don’t get it, specially with the new dome mechanics getting off some free hits on the hp just means a quicker dome drop while the monster retains their armor to escape with. The teleports rarely ever see a good use as well.
- Tsgt Hank: I like the shield mechanics of stacking shields, compensates for his lack luster damage and orbital.
- Goliath: I feel is the most vanilla and fairly balanced. Still has weird traversal issues when looking up and jumping, frequently ignoring ledges and stupidly falling back down. Also one of the MOST effected by harpoons of unknown reasons.
- Kraken: Still feels like a nuker that tends to be the better of the monsters (without being flat out broken).
- Wraith: How do I even begin to describe the level of easy mode that is wraith right now. How about lvl 2 victory without taking any HP damage in the very first fight easy mode? Wraith is just an insanely broken powerhouse that deals ungodly damage with no real consequences. Decoys have no right having such low cooldowns, dealing damage and concussion to hunters. Not only that but some fool un-nerfed them so that you can use decoys AND STILL ATTACK. Its basically a “call your bro, were gona wail on a medic” button. Meanwhile your decoy can take large quantities of damage consequence free, acting as a bullet shield for you. You guys really need to figure out just what the hell is Wraith suppose to be, is she a glass cannon or is she a skill based deception class? Because right now she’s just an indomitable tank with nukes for arms.
- Behemoth: Still feel is actually very easy to wombo-comb people into submission even at stage 2. The only compensation being that behemoth tends to take a lot of damage in the process, so I imagine it is acceptable.
- Gorgon: A bizarre monster with no real strength other than the be annoying as hell. The cooldown on the spiders can be unreasonable, leading to hunters constantly being dragged at all times. The mimic skills is 9/10 times just used as a winbomb mid fight for extra damage. Overall the only real skill that is used most of the time is the acid skill as it tends to do most of the damage aside from the mimic winbomb. I feel that the gorgons actual abilities (like hanging on walls) goes unused as it does not honestly benefit them much to do so.
- Metor Goliath: Basically the same as Goliath only with more DoT
- Elder Kraken: Interesting but still lackluster in comparison to the normal kraken. Elder is capable of rather copious short range damage, but a regular kraken can do about 80% of that damage at range anyway. (but the effects are great anyway).
So there you go, honestly, im not too interested in the new evolve so far. It seems like it will still suffer the same fate. Soon enough people will reach higher levels, noobs will all leave due to the rather high skill demand placed on pub hunters, pub monsters will almost always win outside of hand-picked hunter team-comps or premades. And as such the pub players will leave, causing the population to drastically drop, again, then it will be difficult to find matches with anyone other than old-pro monsters, which usually win due to the very nature of how pub games are balanced. Then even the more hardened fans will quit playing as it is not fun to just face the same pro monsters again and again meanwhile you as a hunter have to either play a very SPECIFIC selection of hunters, or just suffer constant losses.
I hope that something will be done to address the balance of pub play in the future, preferably something that makes it harder to just “wail on the medic till you win” hopefully in a way that does not demand support players all play hank or just lose. The only idea I have to offer would be to make some mechanic that will keep monsters from just wailing on single targets. Something to the lines of maybe allowing the support to give out a single target invulnerability shield for a time period long enough to force the monster to stop focusing down a target. (In a sense, like hanks shield, only for all support classes).