Note: there is a TLDR at the bottom!
First things first, I’m no god tier hunter, at all. I love the game to death, but I’m simply an average player with a lot of time on his hands to think about these things. I’m not gonna bring numbers into this, or turn this into a debate of hours played. I’ve just been wondering why there are so many complaints about the balance issues going about right now, and how there are constant requests for change to be made.
I did a lot of thinking about it, and at first I couldn’t come up with an answer. I just chalked it up to, like many others do, 4 players working together is better than 1 player working against them. However, I started doing something I’d never really done before, and I compared Evolve to other games. I compared the professional scene to the common pub levels. Of course, comparisons can’t be perfect because there is no game quite like Evolve, it’s incredibly unique. However, J did my best to point out as many consistencies/inconsistencies as I could.
The first game I looked at was actually kind of surprising, but it was one of the first that came to mind: Rocket League. Now, this may sound absolutely crazy, but I’ll do my best to break down my thought process.
When you first start Rocket League, and enter your first match, people are just fumbling about. They have no idea which way to jump, how to dodge to gain speed, how to hit the ball properly, or even at all. Some of them don’t even know what Ball Cam is, which is a staple to the game. As you progress, and play the game more, you start to under stand these basics. You get a grasp of them, and you go from there.
However, once you start to master these basics, and love up in the ranks, you’re faced with a whole plethora of things to now learn and master, to keep getting better: Aeiral control, solid contact, Aeiral hits off the wall, properly flying, boost management, wall saves, juggling. The list goes on, and on, and on. There’s an incredible amount for you to learn, however it’s given to you at a decent pace. You don’t need to know how to do a backflip aerial into a dunk in order to play the game at rookie levels, however you may need to do that in order to play at Expert, Master, and Legendary levels. once you’re past these levels, and into competitive Rocket League, you can see all sorts of crazy hits, plays, teamwork, and otherwise just stuff you couldn’t even try to imagine.
The other game I’m going to talk about is a tried and true classic, which is Team Fortress 2. The game has endured for a long time, and so has its competitive scene! I’ve followed Highlander for a long time now, and I can attribute most of its success to the small intricacies and the incredibly high skill cieling that each class has.
In a pub match for TF2, you see the bare bones of what each class can do, yet everyone still enjoys themselves. Some spies don’t know how to discuss, a pyro player may never even touch airblast, medics might not know how to use an uber at ALL, and sometimes I’ve even seen soldiers, who just kill themselves with rockets thinking they’re shooting an enemy or trying to rocket jump. Point is: you see a lot of people hardly grasping the main mechanics of the game. People will gradually get better, however. They keep growing and reaching new heights, mastering the basics of their class and going on to learn much more.
I’ll be quite honest, writing out the entire plethora of things that is the skill cieling in TF2 would probably take a post twice as long as this one. I can barely scratch the surface of all there is to learn with every class, so I’ll be picking one of my personal main’s: Engineer.
The Engineer is considered a very easy class, for the simple reason of his main ability: building a non-movable sentry and hitting it with a wrench, to make sure it keeps shooting. People who make this assumption, however, barely come to realize how much thought process goes into what an engineer does, or the other parts of his gameplay. Proper teleported placement to ensure it isn’t destroyed, spy checking, managing metal properly, knowing sentry locations, knowing when and how to push the payload, proper dispenser placement to keep your team stocked and on the front lines, all while keeping enemy attacks at bay. There’s much more I didn’t add, but that’s for the sake of keeping this post somewhat short. All in all, Engineer is very complicated class with a very low skill floor. And remember, that’s just one out of nine classes
What it has to do with Evolve
I apologize for making this post so long, but this is the final part to it. When I was thinking about all these games, I compared two things: the skill floor, and the skill cieling. These other games have a relatively low skill floor, yet they have a massively high skill cieling.
However, I look at Evolve and I almost feel like there’s a lack of depth. Outside of the basics for competitive gaming in general (Good positioning, good aim, good communication, things you NEED to even consider playing a game competitively), there isn’t much to learn about a character outside of their basics. The characters are almost 2D, in that once they learn the core elements of that character, there’s nothing to move on to. Once you learn that, say, Sunny’s Drone should go on a cliff that will watch over the fight, what more is there? You hold the jet pack boost on people in trouble, shoot your gun when you need to, hit 4 when people are in trouble. Drone gets broken, you move it to a new spot where it can sit.
All in all, I just feel like the game lacks depth. Hunters in general seem to have a much lower skill cieling, some especially more than others, and I feel like that’s the reason as to why this game faces so many balancing issues. Monsters seemingly have a much higher skill cieling, and with continuous balancing due to the competitive Monsters who do reach that skill cieling, it simply punishes the casual player who likes monster
TLDR: Comparitively, Hunters have a much lower skill cieling, which removes depth from the game and causes unnecessary balancing issues, since Monsters have a higher skill cieling and seemingly get an edge over hunters.
I’d love to hear your guys thoughts and opinions, if I’m right or wrong, so tell me what you think!
And, thanks for reading this hell of a long post.