(This is from what I personally know of the major update coming to Evolve)
Holding the dome is a major issue in Evolve ESL at the moment. It makes games last for about one dome, and it has very little counterplay outside outplay the hunters in the dome. It’s not fun for anyone, and it’s nice to see that TRS has noticed this and is trying to fix the issue. The issue is that I believe that Evolve 2.0 will not fix what is fundamentally broken at high level play. To understand how to fix an issue it needs to be understood what is causing the issue.
To understand why the hold the dome meta is being employed lets look at one of the most fundamentally broken maps in the game.
The fundamental issues with this map lies in wildlife placements, and how the map itself is designed. Heavy wildlife spawns are near the Speedway and Pass, both in the southern parts of the map. If you play or watch Evolve ESL you’d know that nearly every monster player that stands a chance on this map rushes towards the SE, Pass area. This is for a few reasons
- Enough wildlife to obtain an entire Evolve meter
- Safety of being able to eat and kill all of that food without the fear of the hunters
- Safety of pillars and pathing that make dealing damage to the monster extremely difficult if they decide to dome you.
- Ease to make it to the caves compared to any other part of the map.
The reason the Speedway isn’t rushed is because
- Not enough wildlife to Evolve
- Hunters can shoot you off of most of the food
- Terrible dome location for the monster
- Difficulty to use traversals to head back north
- It’s impossible to juke a trapper that doesn’t make a mistake in this location of the map
The reason no ESL monster ever sneaks on this map is due to how small the map is, and how most of the wildlife is congested in the North (which can be checked extremely quickly due to steamadons, and glaciopods) and then your SE and SW locations. You could sneak into one of these areas, but be found before you have half of your Evolve meter. If you decide to sneak around into less congested wildlife areas you’ll be in the same boat, but instead be caught by birds. Even if birds weren’t a factor an ESL team can use multiple methods to track a sneaking monster i.e. wildlife spawning, broken terrain, prefered pathing, minor wildlife spawns etc.
From what I’ve seen of Evolve 2.0 doesn’t change this
- Monster has a stronger early game for a slightly less burst late game
- Doming is much easier
- Monster has less armor for more damage in the early game
So this means that you’ll no doubt land a stage 1 catch on a monster on Distillery. The issue is that you’ll still likely do little damage as the monster is going to do damage mitigation. The monster will still have a full evolve meter and rush to the caves when the dome falls. With most trappers already running reload speed on this map it doesn’t feel like the change is going to do anything.
To fix Evolve the maps as a whole need to be reevaluated and fixed so that one path is not viable, but instead multiple paths are viable. It’d be ideal that sneaking would be looked into (mainly bird RNG, wildlife spawning, and wildlife locations), so that it’d be viable to both sneak or go loud as a stage one monster on these maps. Because right now buffing a monsters stage one will not do anything if the hunters aren’t splitting up. You will never break through a hunter team stage one unless they make multiple major mistakes. This is how it should be, but the monster should have more options to make the hunters make mistakes.
tl;dr Evolve 2.0 will allow monsters a fighting chance, but without reevaluating sneaking and map favor Evolve will never be balanced and will likely be always hunter favored.