Hello Evolve fans! I wanted to share something new to Thunderchild that I thought you guys would find super interesting: DOME HEATMAPS!
#Cool! What are heatmaps?
Heatmaps are a graphical representation of data, in this case data related to Evolve maps. We can take mass amounts of data and place it on an image and see some interesting things.
#Spectacular! What can heatmaps be used for?
The short answer is a lot. I started typing out a wall of information and examples but decided to let some screenshots and photoshop do most the talking instead.
Technical notes for those interested- A dome coordinate is where the dome spawns (10m in front of the trapper when the dome is thrown) - Data only shows the top 50%+ of domes thrown in a specific area. Anything below the 50% margin is either black/transparent. Simply put: if there is an uncommon dome spot, you won’t see it, where the most common areas will be red. Below are the specific colors found in the heatmaps: - Red: 97-100% - Orange: 85% - Dark Yellow Orange: 75% - Black: 0-50% (0% is completely transparent) - Every instance of a heatmap is percentage based given the applied filters. It grabs the highest valued coordinate (usually around the Power Relay) and will show that area as red. For example let’s use two hypothetical coordinates: 100x100 and 200x200. We’ll say 100x100 has 30 domes thrown, and 200x200 only has 24 domes thrown. The coordinate 100x100 will be a solid red, while the 200x200 coordinate is only 80% of the max value (24/30), and will be half “Orange” and half “Dark Yellow Orange”.
Shows how accurate the heatmap correlates to the map geometry.
You can see that the most fights happen at the power relay, with two other red areas that are common dome locations every round. Let’s take out monsters who got to stage 3 and see how it affects things.
As we expected, much less action going on around the power relay and more in those two areas previously mentioned.
Both of these charts show off insight on where our high and low traffic areas are. Knowing this gives us a good starting point when focusing on balance, optimization, scenery, … whatever the situation may be. Let’s take it a step further and use it for something character related. Behemoth excels in tight close-quarter areas, right? Let’s see if we can verify this. Below is a picture of The Dam with non-Behemoth monsters and winning team being monster.
Again, as expected the majority of the domes are thrown at the power relay since almost every game will have a dome at the power relay. Ignoring the power relay we can see some lighter yellow areas where there is common traffic between all non-Behemoth games. Since we’re not looking at a specific monster only common areas between all monsters (excluding Behemoth) are showing up. Now let’s look at Behemoth-only games and see how it changes.
With Behemoth we can see much more activity in the “Main Caves” towards the top left, and even in the “Plateau” towards the bottom right of the map. There is even a little color in the “Center Caves” which was not on the non-Behemoth heatmap.
I took these two heatmaps a step further and exaggerated the differences between the non-Behemoth heatmap and the Behemoth-only heatmap and applied some photoshop magic:
The bright yellow is where there was more Behemoth-only action that didn’t exist for non-Behemoth domes. Looking closely at it we can see for the most part it takes place in caves, choke points (for example cave entrances/exits, and areas where Behemoth takes the high ground; all scenarios where Behemoth arguably is more dangerous compared to other areas on the map that are more open.
#Amazing! What other heatmap related things do you plan on for the future of Thunderchild?
Right now we have round-based filters for determining what happened in the overall round for just about any graph in Thunderchild. These filters include, but are not limited to Date, Player Rank, Round Length, Monster Stage Reached, Monster/Hunter characters, Winning Team, … (that’s about half) and can be applied to all charts and graphs current in Thunderchild. We also plan to extend the dome heatmaps so we can filter dome-related data such as monster-favored or hunter-favored domes. We need some extra logic in order to make this happen which doesn’t exist in the live build, so it’s another reason why I’m looking forward to the summer update
We are also thinking about other ways to utilize heatmaps like these. We are talking about starting to collect coordinates for things like food being eaten and other core mechanics like monsters stage up locations. With food eating areas we could potentially make a heatmap showing feeding routes and common feeding areas.