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