The Hunter Skill Cap is too low

stage2

#1

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.

First Example

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.

Second Example

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.


Slim is way too strong and so is Goliath
Why I think that passive Abilities are the solution to skill gaps
#2

While it’s true that a hunter’s kit usually doesn’t have a high skill ceiling, you have to keep in mind the universal skills like jetpack management, environment exploitation, tracking, dome management, health and strike management, positioning and more.

I do agree that it’s rather hard to do a “OH MY GOD DID HE JUST REALLY” play in Evolve, but I still think there is more to this game than you claim.

Also, keep in mind that in Evolve it takes naturally longer to do stuff. You can score a goal in Rocket League with minimal effort if you are positioned well. You can snipe an enemy before he gets a chance to react in Team Fortress. In Evolve there is no kind of stuff like that - if you kill someone, regardless of the side, they had it coming.


#3

First of all,great and detailed post.

I think the lack of skill ceiling is supposed to be compensated with teamwork.Which is why people have 90% win in pubs as monster,but lose against good teams in competitive

Also i think thats one of the reasons people leave the game.Why keep playing if there is nothing to master? Lets say i like assault.The amount of aim or positioning required to play lets say,hyde, is less than what you need to win a silver nova game in csgo.Once you can make your hunter work,thats it.Nothing else to learn.Anything more competitive is just relying on a good team or helping them.


#4

On a first glance I agree, after learning the basics, there does not seem to be much more to do. But then i get games where I play with or versus people over 1000h and I just don’t understand what is happening. Why are they not getting strikes? How can that Torvald hit SO GODDAMN MUCH? If i’m the monster I just do not understand why do they not die? How did they randomly seem to be just out of the ability aoe that would have killed them?

I know how to dodge abilities, I know all the roaching theory etc, I have maaaany hours played as hunter, even if i’m a monster main, but i’m not in the same postal code with those guys, as people with 200 hours are not even close to mine.

In my opinion there are things to improve in a player that we don’t even know about, so we have the impression they don’t exist. Just like those nice reviewers like Angry Joe in Legacy when he said all the games are the same and the game is a running simulator.


#5

There is definitely more to Evolve once you get higher up, but a majority of it is somewhat what you’d expect from just any competitive game. Positioning is a bare essential in all games, I do agree with you on the front of Jetpack management, but the things like knowing when to dome, healing, all of these seem to come right back to just basics to play the game. I watch a lot of Evolve streaming, and it seems like even randoms thrown together in a match have a handle on those things. I just can’t see them as part of a skill cieling when it’s almost necessary to know those things.

As for it taking naturally longer to do things, that’s a given. When I say skill cieling, I don’t mean instant one shot KO from across the map, I just mean an addition of more mechanics, more gameplay elements, more everything period. In my opinion, the Hunters just have too low a skill cieling to be able to differentiate themselves in a noticeable way, as compared to monsters which have a relatively high skill cieling in comparison.


#6

while I can’t speak from an hours standpoint in Evolve, I can speak by what I’ve seen in competitive matches, and games played by competitive teams.

It seemed like most of the things you’re talking about are still, just basics of the game. Aiming well and predicting shots is a staple. Take for example the Demoman in TF2. Watch any YouTube video on airshotting with the Grenade Launcher, the people who manage it are ridiculous. It’s not something a normal player can do, because airshotting in itself is entirely different than just aiming well. You’re no longer calculating where the enemy is going on just the X axis of movement, but the Y axis as well. They can air strafe, they can rocket jump, double jump, all of these things need to be taken into consideration to even complete a single Airshot.

Now take Torvald’s mortars: Predicting shots, just knowing where the monster is going and who he’s attacking. You know the four moves of the monster, you know how the monster NEEDS to move in order to get damage, and some attacks lock the monsters in place for a good amount of time. For all just needs to follow the pattern the monster falls into. Which, let’s be honest here, the monster falls head first into one if they want anything to get done.

I think it might also be worth mentioning again, that part of the reason I don’t include “Good aim” in a skill cieling discussion is because you generally need good aim in every FPS to be created in order to play
Competitively.


#7

I do think it’s also a bit ludicrous to even rely on teamwork as part of your skill cieling. Teamwork is a staple, something that every team with microphones have from the get go.


#8

Yes it is.Tf2 ,csgo,lol,dota,r6 they all require teamwork for example.

The difference is none of them makes you completely unable to use your skill without it


#9

I can definitely disagree with you there, however. Teamwork is a staple in every game, and every competitive team will lose without teamwork.

Say, in TF2, without microphones no one can call out spies, which cripples your engine, which cripples your heavy medic, bombing soldier, pyro, etc, which cripples your entire offense. Engineer can’t place buildings because he doesn’t know who or where the spy is. Soldier can’t bomb because he doesn’t know where the medic is or where the engine nest is set up until it’s too late. Heavy will run out of ammo after too much sustained fire, and eventually you’ll be pushed back and away.

In every competitive scene, no teamwork means that you will lose. It’s not something unique to Evolve itself, which is why I have a hard time seeing it as the main skill cieling. Evolve itself lacks a skill cieling outside of basic gameplay mechanics and basic character mechanics. As it was mentioned above, once you learn a character and make them work, there’s nothing more to move on to aside from the next character.