Why counterpicks are bad in 4v1


I was going to just reply to this inside the teaser topic, but I feel this deserves more attention.

DISCLAIMER: I’m not saying a counter-picking system is bad in all games; I’m saying it doesn’t work in Evolve.

Here’s the issue with finding perfect imbalance in Evolve: there is one monster pick vs four hunter picks.

When the hunters have four options, they can either pick a comp devoted to destroying a specific monster by having each character they pick be mildly strong against the target monster.
For example, if a team wanted to pick a comp devoted to killing Behemoth, they could go Rogue Val/Cabot/Abe/Hyde. Or, the team could go Caira/Hank/Crow/Markov to give any monster a hard time.

In these two scenarios, a monster has a chance of either royally fucking himself over by picking Behemoth, or having a balanced game with every other monster(bar Kraken). So basically, the game’s outcome hinges on the monster’s single pick unless the hunters play well-rounded hunters.

Basically, because the monster has miniscule plasticity in playstyle post-pick compared to hunters, it makes any counterpick hard and fast, and on top of that, hunters have the option to stack small advantages through single characters into large advantages through whole comps.

Returning to our two scenarios, counterpicks force both scenario outcomes into unfun mechanics(that have long been reason for players leaving the game). In the first scenario, which usually happens due to the hunters playing what they want to play or having known what monster the opponent will pick(because of experience or recorded clip viewing), it leaves who receives the advantage up to chance(what monster is picked); a dice roll decides a huge advantage which is not a fun “mechanic”. And to reiterate, this is only because the hunters picked the characters they wanted to play most of time. In the seconds scenario, the hunter team “plays it safe,” which only leads to extremely common comps and the spread of conformity which is exactly what counterpicks try to fight.

Now, if the monster faction could do the same(play it safe by having a well-rounded arsenal) this would be a completely different story… but they can’t. The single, sole, monster pick leaves one team with permanent weaknesses and strengths that can be taken advantage of at the roll of the dice, lest the meta succumbs to bread-and-butter comps.

Eh. At least that’s how I see it right now.


While I know not having counter-picks in a game with 30+ characters is nearly impossible,


Xtrem put it best



Yeah, Counter picks can royally screw a monster. Right now, there just needs to be more variety in team comps, and they’re working on that. Yeah, there will forever be the, “Choose w x y z characters against x monster” but it should look better in the TU. Once more characters at least work in x team comp vs x monster, I doubt we will have this problem.

Competitively though ((like ranked)) phased picking is a must. You’re going Slim Hank huh? Guess I won’t pick behemoth. Something along that line just to help smooth it out. Neither side should be able to COMPLETELY counter pick the other.



Evolve is never going to not have counter-picks. Lenny is never going to perform optimally against Kraken, Markov will likely not perform optimally against Kraken or Wraith, Jack is less useful against Behemoth than Goliath, Slim is going to give Behemoth more problems than he’ll give Kraken or Wraith…

I am happy that the devs are being realistic in that overall team comps are going to never be able to be balanced to be equal, I’m also happy that the different system of perk picking is stated to be one of the ways to mitigate the “counter-picking” they talk about.

Hopefully the devs can come in to this thread, as they did the tease thread, and clarify for you more.


I think Evolve is way too young to say about most characters. We havent really seen the META evolve.

What I mean. First we need Jack to be hard for Goliath, but we need 3-6 months of pro level small level exploitation of Jack versus Goliath. Usually, Goliath players should come up with counterstrategies, the more main meta something comes the easier it should be counter.

Thats my experience from other high level games. We dont have enough highest level play to achieve that at the moment. Like I have no idea why I dont predominantly see Abe in this Kraken dominant meta we have at PC. I hate to face Abe and love to play versus Maggies. So easy to fool Daisy and make fast S2.


I also think that someone else in the other topic was pretty spot on… in other games with lots of character possibilities to select from there is no expectation that you can only play one character and get away with that without it putting you in a position of people finding an optimal set-up to take you on. I think Evolve suffers a little from players getting really dug in with their favourite monster and wanting that monster to be at least on an equal footing with any team comp it comes up against.

Learn other monsters, if teams are regularly counter-picking for your main then switch it up so that you are counter-picking their regular hunter picks. This is what you’d be expected to do in any other game and, like I said before, the new variety in how you pick your abilities with the 4/3/2 system, and the perk variety you can use to tailor your build to help mitigate those weaknesses against counter-picks (I’m hoping that this perk pick selection phase has moved but even if it hasn’t you can pick a much more useful array of perks blindly)


Counterpicks don’t belong in a game where you can’t see what character(s) the opposite team has picked.

However, as annoying as it may be, Evolve’s gameplay and wide roster of characters available makes it impossible not to have counter picks. I don’t think a lot of people appreciate picking Slim and then going “Oh for fuck’s sake” when they see Kraken picked or bumping their head against their desk when finding out the opposite team has Sunny after you just locked in Goliath.

But that’s just how it is. I really, really hope TRS will do their best to keep the effectiveness of counterpicks at a minimum, but in an assymetrical multiplayer game with 34 characters, there’s bound to be some complications. No way around that unless every character shoots the exact same confetti pellets and every Monster does the same Rock Throw.


Whilst also encouraging toxic mechanics? Unless they have a new picking system, I don’t see much change happening(perk picking is not enough).

The way I see it, they can at least try to weed out counterpick advantages. Instead they are doing the opposite. Why is the AA canon, the only useful weapon Lennox has vs Kraken, being nerfed(and don’t tell me it’s because assaults are being nerfed in general; they easily could have just nerfed the lance more)?

Losing before a match has begun is why so many players have left. Sure, one the game is more balanced it won’t be AS bad, but as long as the devs are promoting it, it won’t go away.

I’m just so confused.


Are they, or are you just taking the term “counter-pick” to an extreme for narrative effect?


Anything that has made 50% of my friends list leave the game is toxic. When you can’t play the characters you want to play, it isn’t fun.

Look, all I’m asking for is explanation as to why they want counterpicks instead of at least trying.


This is weird, I thought we were talking about the TU09 reality where the devs have been working hard to remove the “toxic elements” that made 50% of your friends list leave the game. Are you talking about the future here, or the past? Is this a genuine topic to do with what’s going on with the balance of the game, or a stick to beat the devs with for past game mechanics choices?

Edit: Because this thread could probably do with it…


I just always thought the ESL method was good; pick trapper, pick anything, monster picks, other two picks. A good balance of counter and blind picking.


Thanks to Brandon in the other thread for taking the time to expand on the subject.


To be fair Rick, EVERY team has Sunny, so it’s never exactly a surprise.


I never liked that pick order due to it favouring hunters too much. They can hide the two most important picks, medic/support, from the monster. I think the monster should know one of those two and ideally medic.


This is insulting.
I’ve defended so many of TRS’s decisions.
And when you read it over, I was looking into the future where counterpicks would deliberately have a larger effect on a matches outcome.

After reading Cory and Brandon’s posts, I have more confidence in their decisions, but more importantly have a better grasp on TRS’s definition of counterpicking, or perhaps my own previously incorrect definition.

Picking orders and drafts, had not been meantioned before I went to sleep last night, but I’m sure they will have a huge effect aswell. Like I said, all I was looking for was answers, not to take a jab at TRS, who frankly have the knife twisted by the community too often.

I’m glad the devs elaborated, thank you.


It wasn’t my intention to insult, my apologies if that’s how it came across :slight_smile: I’m all for waiting to see what devs have to say before letting panic set in though :wink:



Surprising enough I agree with you on something.


I think initial ESL was Trapper Medic Monster Support Assault, and was later modified so anybody could go second, third, or fourth. There was another tourney that had 3 Hunters, then Monster, then Assault. That seemed to work fine.


Let me weigh in as it seems my post really triggered this thread. The way I describe Counter-Picks may not have been explained well and so now it is being brought to an extreme.

In the ideal game, Hunters have to pick half of the line up first. Then the Monster picks, and finally the last 2 Hunters are chosen. Lets take for example the Hunters choose Cabot and Abe like you said to kill a Behemoth. As the Monster player I might see those two and Counter-Pick Kraken instead. No shields to stop my heavy hitters and I can fly pretty well out of Stasis. Your squad gets to Counter-Pick my Kraken to account for the Cabot/Abe weakness. Lets say you choose Val and Torvald.

If your Rouge Val/Cabot/Abe/Hyde team had a 55%-60% chance of beating my Behemoth but only about a 45%-50% chance of beating my Kraken, having the ability to adjust your picks after you’ve seen the Monster choice nets you somewhere in the neighborhood of a 48%-53% chance of winning, which can fluctuate due to player proficiency with a character or team synergy (Hunters only)

Right now in Blind MM if a squad wants to run an anti-BOB comp you have no idea until it’s too late or you play that team again and a lot of people don’t really like that. That’s why you see a lot of the same picks in the game. Everyone assumes everyone else is going to run X, Y, and Z so they run W as a result.


Pick orders (done right) can help the game immensely, that’s why all Competitive does them. Realistically, pure Counter-Picks would be almost impossible and thus result in a 47%-53% probability of winning, something that can easily be influenced by Player Skill, Character Proficiency, ect. On the non-competitive side, you would see more pick variety as Hunters would risk getting Counter-Picked if they didn’t adjust their choices to what the Monster picked.