We are the Balance Bros @ Turtle Rock Studios -- AMA

Boom, question from @GSUser43
Do the balance team really think the following characters are balanced?

Caira
Quantum Caira
Rogue Val
Wasteland Maggie
I hope they get buffed because no one ever picks them unless they’re new players or just want to Elite them.

2 Likes

What do the Balance Bros think of Goliath in his current state? Any major (or even minor) adjustments planned for him?

First of all, I want to thank you guys for doing this :slight_smile: Here are my questions:

  • Do you have any ideas about how to minimize the feeling of being completely dominated in a match, to provide more gratifying games whether the player won or lost?

  • Ever since launch, one of the most common complaints is that you often lose purely because of character select. For example, the hunters pick Emet / Bucket / Crow / Hyde. Monster picks Behemoth, Meteor Goliath, or Elder Kraken. We all know which side just won.

So, I would like to know if you plan on including a pick system when you release your own matchmaking service, similar to what we see in tournaments, so that players at least have have a chance to avoid being completely hard countered. (Trapper and Support declare picks, then Monster, then Medic and Assault). The only downside I see to this is time management before the match. For example, the monster delaying his pick until the very last second to not give Medic or Assault a chance to lock in their characters. Though, I think that could be easily circumvented by either giving each pick segment a time limit of thirty seconds each or just not having that part timed at all.

  • What can the community do to help you make the game better? Is there anything we can do to help make balancing easier?

  • I think it’s fair to say that with S2, Evolve has become stagnant. There is not much variation between matches anymore, aside from how much chase damage is inflicted and how many downs happen at S2. Monsters are forced to take the same feeding route on every map because other paths take too long and buffs are both vital and limited. It unnecessarily exacerbates the problem of a limited map pool, and I think it’s detrimental to Evolve’s health.

I think the biggest problem is that up until the very end of the game (and even then really only on Weather Control) there is only ever one good buff up at a time, giving monsters no reason to deviate from the path that leads them to that buff before the hunters have a chance to contest. Would you consider adding in more buffs to the maps, to give players more incentive to mix it up? And, would you be willing to consider giving monsters say, three different spawn locations on each map to shake up the early game?

  • There is a large difference in perspective between high and low skilled players. This becomes most apparent when talking to low-mid level hunter players, who often claim things like “Behemoth is OP!” or “Cabot is useless!”

What do you think can be done to reduce the gap in those points of view? I think removing all deployables on the monster side would be a good start. I’ve discussed this with Gentlemansquirl before, and I still believe they are one of the most frustrating, difficult things for pubs to deal with, while being almost useless against good teams and unreliable in general. I also think it’d be immensely helpful if you guys sat down and wrote out some general tactics for dealing with different monsters/hunters. You could take a spin on it, and have a section where players can read through Caira’s field notes and Parnell’s journal. I think it’d be a tasteful way to info dump. For example, Caira could have descriptions of how different equipment or monster abilities work with her personal notes on what does the most damage, different passives, etc, and Parnell could have descriptions about tactics, like how to push a monster out of a cave, how to position in dome, etc.

  • There is an astounding lack of general knowledge in the majority of Evolve players. Would you agree that, eventually, it will be a good idea to have a stat database in game that players can view to find out about what different tools/abilities do, how effective they are, etc? Also, would you consider having an alert pop up at the different spawn times for buffs to alert both sides when a buff has appeared? And would you be willing to add markers on the minimap to show hunters where each buff is? I can’t tell you how many times I have said “Okay guys, timer just hit 7:30 and we’re not close enough for a dome, so let’s go get damage increase”, only to have one of my fellow hunters go “Where does that spawn?”. I think that lack of awareness is a huge, and again unnecessary disadvantage that most people have against more experienced players. I also think having an alert pop up would be good because it’d be a reminder that buffs are strong and at the very least should be considered.

  • Perks are confusing and complicated. It’s difficult to know how much benefit different loadouts are actually giving you unless you know the specific stats of your character and you know how to calculate the changes. For example, I saw someone in the recent community tournament take switch/damage/damage on RAbe. Had they sat and thought about it, they’d have seen that they were giving up an extra (I think) 33% extra swap speed for 2% more damage. There are many similar examples, and all could be fixed if there was a system that showed you the changes your perks made to the base stats. Will we ever see something like that implemented?

  • Since its release, one of Evolve’s core problems has been that it is absolutely unforgiving. One mistake on either side can, and often does, mean a loss. For example, someone is caught out of position once in the stage 2 dome, monster sees the mistake and downs them. This often leads to people either being camped so the monster is basically fighting three people the entire dome, or the dropship comes right as that person dies, and someone else gets cycled. In that one dome, the hunters lost all momentum and are in all likelihood going to lose. Do you think this sort of immediate momentum shift is unavoidable with Evolve’s design, and if not, do you have any ideas about how to fix it?

  • For characters like Jack and WLM where there is no alt. fire mode, would it be feasible to do what you did with Slim, and cap the max fire rate and make them fire by holding down the button? Playing with them currently kills my wrist :confused:

-What are your thoughts on what Ryke and his team have been saying about medics not out-healing melee, fire breath, and charge?

5 Likes

What are your thoughts on the medic class? The general consensus on the forums is that outside of Slim and PaPa that all medics are UP. Thoughts? Possible solutions?

Can you give us any details on Wraith and her reworks? Will she get more durability? Mobility? Damage? What will her passive look like?

Is there any way Bob will be able to fight against Slim anytime soon? Or will Slim jus always be a hard counter?

In the new matchmaking system you’re working on, will there be a pick and ban system? Will there ever be a pick and ban system? Details on the new matchmaking?

What are your thoughts on Sunny and Slim? I am asking because to me they seem to be the most inconsistent characters in the game.

While firing on Behemoth with either the shotgun or rocket launcher as Parnell without Supersoldier, the living armor stacks go up to 10 and reduce my damage output by 40%(from 10 damage per pellet, to 6). What is the purpose of reducing normal damage from an assault?

The question we are all waiting for
Could you leak any dates for big updates?
Not what will happen but just the dates, we want a hype train!

2 Likes

Another question, will leaderboards or replays of matches ever return?

For the balance bros:

  1. What was the reasoning behind the reduction for sneak pounce radius and do you find that sneak pouncing is still viable in combat?

  2. Since the Megamouth buff for monsters is more eaten as buff denial rather seen than an actual buff for monsters, would you consider changing it to a more interesting buff gain?

3 Likes

Any thoughts you care to share on Wraith? If so are there any thoughts you care to share about her adaptation? (if you can that is)

1 Like

I know people are going to ask so I might as well be the first, what was the idea behind the new perks? Damage increase for monsters and increased dodges for hunters.

While the cooldown is noticeable for monsters, if a hunter is caught by a combo (Wraith abduct into warp blast or Goliath leap smash into charge) they will instantly be incapped, while this can be prevented by fast shielding or healing the monster can easily burn through it by a few heavies or another ability, rock throw or super nova in this case. The hunters are forced to take jet pack dodges in order to compensate, more dodges but really high risk if you get hit.

I have two questions.

  1. I like what you have done with Q Caira and I have not played her enough to judge her in this update so my question is do you guys feel that decreasing her cool down is the right idea to getting her balanced instead of buffing the healing numbers.

  2. I love that with battle Cabot you made it so that his orbitals go through ceilings so my question is why not do it for the other supports like hank as they suffer hard on maps like weather control.

1 Like

Are there any plans to start playing in some of the competitive tournaments (currently Sunday in the HGL)? It would be great to see you guys in action and also help the pro scene as we don’t have many strong teams right now.
I’m a bit disappointed to not see you guys play even once yet. If you’re ultra busy then I get it but otherwise it would help so much and be a lot of fun.

2 Likes

So, can we talk Crow? A lot people say he’s got an identity crisis, that he really wants to be Abe on the inside but Crow on the outside. Do you feel the same? If so, what might be done to change this?

How did you guys all come to get this job, and is it something you thought you’d end up doing?

In your opinion, what was the worst meta of Evolve? I still shudder when I think about the instant dome with cooldown affecting the dome timer era. Griffin’s everywhere.

Edit: Where does Battle Cabot fit into the new “era” time thing of Evolve? Is he Cataclysmic?

1 Like

Question for Brandon I think
What timeline is Battle Cabot in?

What are your thoughts on the way the wildlife buff system has turned out and do you have any other plans for it?

What is your way and philosophy of balancing the game.
How hard you guy test before making new balance patch

You have answered that you think Goliath is balanced and Caira, Rogue Val are weak. Personally I feel differently: Goliath is too strong and Caira and Rogue Val are balanced.

Do you have any particular reason why Goliath is the balanced one and not the “weak” medics?

What are your plans to keep things from getting monotonous? For instance: Always taking one optimal feeding routes and always fighting in the same locations because of said feeding routes or because of the wildlife buffs spawning in the same place at the same time every game.