Will unbalances in gameplay be better managed then in left 4 dead?


#1

Hello,

I’d like to start Introducing myself, keeping it simple. I’m a gamer, musician, like to read books, I’m a fan of horror and scifi and adventure sometimes I like to endeavor in some mapping work for games like l4d and portal 2.

So I’d like to ask about the balance of power in this new game.

I’ve clocked 6000+ hours in left 4 dead. Imbalance annoyed me to greath lengths in that game. Added to it that there’s some “tryhard” mentality just to abuse all the glitches made me stop playing versus altogether and play coop only, which is much more fun for these reasons if you ask me.

IN VS/ Not only did the survivors have too much overpowered weapons, the idea that you could shoot a hunter with a sniper from behind a wall was downright silly and it made the game very unbalanced and unfun for the SI. They would just play “the spawning game”. And believe me if I say that I saw those problems from both sides. Rushing tanks, willfully sitting in unreachable spots to troll the other team, 4x autoshotty on tank, and the fact that you could just rush out events are the things that made the game somehow feeling “broken” if you would be in the SI team.

You also had stupid stuff on the SI side though, like hunters that can jump on skyboxes and could wrongfully have the benefit from 25damg pounces where the level design wouldn’t even account for it. Inconsistent boomer puke, trough walls, from a skyscraper, (bile dispersal falloff, nope, source physics never heard about it :P) And a myriad of other glitchy stuff like pounce mechanics glitching out

And don’t get me started on these people that need to set their lerp high to make it seem like the tank has russian arms.

These sort of crazy finnicky things that players could modify to troll the other teams, (even crashing the server when it’s not going as planned), make left 4 dead versus a totally arbitrary unconsistent thing to play.

Also headshots!. When In a good team vs an average SI team, it was a cakewalk. I just don’t think it’s good fun if in a coop monster game you can “headshot” a monster out of the way without the notion that you need teamwork to kill

For Evolve: For starters, I wonder if headshots will be an issue ? It’s out of the question with goliath ofcourse so that’s already a good start. At least this is a mode that I hope where the “OP” ness comes from goliath naturally growing, being skilled in stealth or and being skilled and tactical as hunters.

Will there be better netcode to make attacks consistent and the experience for the “monster team” (if any) better than in left4dead ?


#2

You bring up a lot of good points. The crew here has learned a bunch from what happened with Left 4 Dead post-launch, and I assure you we all have that in mind on everything we work on.

You’re definitely right that headshots against a 30 foot monster probably won’t be as big of an issue as it was in Left 4 Dead - while they certainly do damage, you won’t be seeing one-shot kills :smile:

As for consistent attacks, proper networking and the monster team experience, I can tell you I just spent weeks on that exact issue so if it’s not up to snuff… I’m in trouble :wink:


#3

Thanks for this :). It’s fun to hear that the team has been aware of l4d’s “underbelly” growing some weird “cancers” because of the issues mentioned. Believe me if I say that “being pro” in l4d versus means for many players that you need to know every gamebreaking glitch in the book and you’re considerend “noob” if you don’t. That is pretty sad actually and Evolve doesn’t deserve this fate. It looks mighty good.

I still play left 4 dead daily in coop though and it continues to be fun with friends ofcourse. The game was a benchmark coop game for me, also especially because of the team oriented experience that you can have in coop if you don’t play like a troll but play as intended.

Can we expect in evolve things like

  • visual aids like team glow (togglable maybe for those who don’t need it, but I greatly beneifit of it like in l4d, because of my visual impairment)
  • A matchmaking pool that correctly tries to match players to players of their skill level ?
  • quickgame doesn’t join expert games (maybe configurable)
  • a “troll” matchmaker pool where residivist griefers are placed when they don’t behave ? (I wrote an extended article on this in my blog: http://www.cosmicdreamer.be/blog/detail/one-big-rant-griefers-in-left-4-dead

thx in advance and looking forward to it.


#4

These are great points to discuss! I’ll mark this post as something to circle back on and discuss when we release more info down the line. Asymmetrical games by nature have imbalances, but they can actually add a lot to the game if utilized in the right ways!

Also, welcome to the forums Cosmic! Been a while ;D


#5

I love this point. The reality is, the Monster is actually quite unbalanced when compared to any given Hunter. But it’s the combination of class abilities and the Hunters working as a team that gives them a balanced fight against the Monster. Likewise, any advantages the Hunters gain by utilizing their abilities the right way would flip that balance scale in their favor.

This leaves it up to the Monster in this scenario to disrupt the Hunters’ tactics and formation to tip that scale back towards his favor.

So “balancing” in the traditional sense of the word isn’t anything like it is in any other game. In so many cases in Evolve, the players have to utilize their skill to decide the balance at any given point in a match :wink:


#6

Hello! Yes it has been since your time with Firefall right? Cool that you’re now working on this game too and we meet in another situation and you chime in on the discussion this early in development.

I consider left 4 dead one of my top favorite games of all time and thus I have a passion for this assymetrical stuff. I do ofcourse realise that “balance” isn’t like balance in, quake tf2, or other “people vs people” games. I guess in this case balancing is somehow split between the tactics of the team but also the level design which might be equally crucial to create these opportunities of attack, avoid and find places where to get the tactical advantages and trying to avoid this as goliath.

The balance “problem” in l4d was imo, that once you reached a certain level of skill, not even a tank was a threat anymore, banging it to death with 4 autoshotty in 10 seconds isn’t cool for any tank player. Undoing any move a SI team would do partially because of the issues I mentioned in the OP futher demotivated lots of the “pubscene”. and ragequit ensued, where everyone complained about.

Ofcourse there were “pro” modifications that disallowed the usage of hunting rifle and you had rotoblin / confogl which in its latest installment made a hunting rifle a true skill weapon again because the community made it less of a spam weapon wich lower accuracy. Lots of teams that took l4d seriously were playing in roto only , where at least the teamplay was a bit more fair with only t1 weapons.

If you look at the special infected side of things: all these mandatory glitches you have to know like instant smoke spots in dead air map 2, spawntable abuses where you could move a boomer at the end of the level and then rejoin so you would be 4 hunters, chokepoint traps, made this game an absolute chore to play for casual players because they were just pitted “in the wild” by a team of “pubstars” who love no other thing than to “abuse the imbalances” so to speak.

This I feel is a big point that the versus community in l4d is overall very sour. And I’m not going to pretend that we an have all the right solutions to have a 100% peaceful Evolve scene. Nothing but a good old cussing match to keep the adranaline going. But what I’m saying is that the gameplay itself shouldn’t give you the feeling that you’re being denied any chance whatsoever.

I can understand tha because of left 4 dead’s high octane gameplay that sarcrifices had to be made to elements that would slow it down too much. Giving the SI too much health with all the zombies around would be a bit annoying given it’s pace. But at the same time “good” survivors had too much individual benifits. 2 snipers could carry an entire team and leave the SI team completely unable to do anything. I’ve always dreamd about the SI team being able to pose more of a threat, to actually able to push survivors back. And I just hope that in Evolve: The monster (or monster team) is scaled like that. Can’t wait to play as the female medic and see how I can contribute to that!


#7

l4d will always hold a special place in my heart. I was visiting a gamer friend in Indiana who was Pres of the University’s videogame club, and they hold fairly large LANs, 200+ byoc. And the guy right next to me was competing in the l4d tournament. His team was doing pretty well, and then some bug happened and totally screwed over his team and he was pretty pissed, but for the most part keeping it together, and then the same bug happened again and he just lost it, and was screaming and cursing at the top of his lungs and making this huge scene. And all i could do was keep myself from bursting out laughing. It was a pretty unforgettable experience, never have seen such nerd rage before or since.

But yeah, balancing multiplayer is a tricky beast, wish you guys the best of luck. Really glad when we have seen so many studios make games focus on very large scale matches, to see a studio focusing on really small scale cooperative encounters.


#8

To me it always seemed like left 4 dead was more focused on the co-op game mode and the versus was more of an extra mode. Don’t get me wrong, I played way more versus than co-op (1000hrs), but I always felt like the game was balanced towards the survivors because that was the primary mode.

I think a lot of the problems in L4D didn’t become obvious until after the game was released and the meta game evolved over the first several months. Once people became experts at the game then it became apparent that the scoring system was flawed and there were too many medpacks etc.

I think it’s very difficult to balance a game like this and who knows how Evolve will play out several months after it’s release.

For me the biggest issue in left 4 dead that made the game less fun was the low skill ceiling of the infected classes. What I mean by that is that there was no way for players to distinguish themselves, for example as “a great smoker player”, In counter-strike you can get players who are amazing with the AWP, because it is linked to the real world skill of pinpoint aiming with the mouse. In L4D the infected classes required very little aiming or movement skill and being better at aiming offered very little in the way of increased effectiveness.

What this meant was that as survivors got better and better at aiming and moving etc. the infected couldn’t keep up as the players were limited by the game. Even if they had god like aim it wouldn’t matter since it had no effect on the outcome. The game kinda had to be this way though since the infected had many lives but the survivors just had one. If they were entirely equal then the infected would just need to get the better of the survivors one time and it would be game over.

The same thing could happen in Evolve. I see the monster and it seems to have lots of area of effect attacks like melee swipes and flame breath. I’m guessing decent players will reach the skill ceiling of those abilities pretty fast and then the game will become more about trying to out manoeuvre the humans. Perhaps that’s just the way these games need to be designed.

With that said, I always liked the first L4D over the second. I hope that whatever turtlerock magic was part of that carries on in this game. It looks really good already so I can’t wait to try it out.


#9

Exploits and balance issues will certainly crop up after release, but we want you all to know that we will still be here, looking at the telemetry, listening to player feedback and making adjustments to the game (fortunately the new console generation is much more friendly to frequent updates.) This has been our process for the last three years and the plan is to continue after release - the major difference being that you are now part of the process! Players will always adapt, change strategies and discover new ways to play, especially in a game with this many pieces of equipment, abilities, perks, etc. We need to keep up. :smile:

We are excited to have you all on board to help steer the ship!


#10

@wilson I agree with you that once 4 survivors were pro aimers , no skill from the SI would matter. BUt I must say that I’ve seen some “pro boomers” but it’s always by proxy and on it’s own that’s good. but the problem in left 4 dead is that this is more for the SI team than for the survivors team. in the SI team, It does’nt matter if you had a good boom and then the 3 other SI didn’t have the notion of when to attack, but on the survivor side they could level the plainfield by just being counterstrike/shooter vets and weren’t actually required to play as a team if they were good aimers, that is the huge problem in the game IMO. Suddenly you had a team of 4 snipers who bypass “the danger of having to work as a team”.

The intensity curve of “required teamwork” for the SI team grows exponentially high when the survivor team would be good aimers. It’s good that the SI team has to work together, but with the survivor team with 4 savvy autoshotties/HR, they litterally “bypassed” threads of ever having to play as a team. And then you have situations where “pubstars” just would run sepparately in a map and not experience any threat watsoever. That brought forth a couple of “asshole” teams that made this into a hobby and the worse thing you can see is that some teams are just camping right outside the arrival saferoom just to be annoying and to make the SI team ragequit as they could repel any attack easily.

In evolve I already see a good counter against that, namely that if people camp like that, the monster can evolve :slight_smile: We need to make sure that “asshole behavior” like that punishable by the gameplay of evolve :slight_smile:

So on the hunter’s arsenal and perks, It’s gonna be interesting to play with perks and such, but especially in l4d2 (vanilla) versus, it’s especially annoying that you can resurrect a player with a defib, there were generatlly too much medkits and pills around that made the “monster team” sigh. It was to the point that it would be even worse if a survivor team didn’t even need any of this and made it with green health and all saferoom medkits on their backs. But tldr; I talked about that already. It just felt sometimes like the very gameplay mocking the SI team :stuck_out_tongue:

We have to ask ourself the question that in a game mode where “death means death”, is it ok to have somebody being resurrected ? It’s different in l4d coop though; There you play for the “adventure” and you play against bots and the story went that you constantly meet “new” survivors in spawn closets. But that’s because it’s not competitive in nature, it’s cooperative.

It seems like i’m saying “make the monster OP so it will always win” in evolve but I don’t mean it that way. I’m more concerned about the shifts of balance (to either side of the spectrum) feeling “cheap” to the other team. Hunter teams shouldn’t litterally laugh in your face. The monster shouldn’t be “op”. Both teams should have a sense of accomplishment if they work hard, not win with the snap of a finger. But also for the hunter team: it’s not fun to have to constantly “plow until the end”

I know this is a difficult balance to nail right and I’m curious to find out. Ofcoruse it depends from what type of gameplay you’re proposing with evolve and without playing we can’t really say anything. I’m just listing some concerns I have.

So another few questions:

  • will “bot monsters” be having a good ai to play 4v1 with a coop hunter team ?
  • as the monster in vs mode, will the spawn behavior of wildlife propagate in such a way that there’s always something to eat or can you litterally drain the wildlife of a level ? My concern is that if a good hunter team has you pinned in an area you are left out on evolving and you’re trapped without being a further threat.
  • I guess there’s cooldown on when you can eat, there has to be a pause in between ? Or is the wildlife sepparated so much that this has to happen naturally ?
  • in the monster “sneak mode”, can you avoid alerting the birds so they don’t fly away ? (do they have glow) ?
  • is there “respawn” for the hunter team ? Or is it also different in game modes like in l4d ?

Thanks


#11

Well from one of the interview video i hear you can kill those Birds as Monster and as Hunters.
But i’m guessing you can sneak pass them if you go in sneak mode, but i dont think you can see them and they are Dynamically placed on the maps.

And the hunters can respawn 3 times max but they have to wait 2 minutes and will be droped from a dropship. well i need the devs to back me up on this, i’m not 100% sure.


#12

Games of Evolve frequently have shifts of fortune, huge upsets, and last minute come-from-behind victories. There is an ebb and flow to every round, with frantic skirmishes bookended by hand-tingling calmness. Even when you ultimately lose, you definitely gained some small victories along the way and made the other team earn their win.


#13

Great, really look forward for more news.

Is there going to be spectate mode that is more fleshed out than in l4d ? I mean in dota it’s solid but in l4d , the community had to make makeshift mods to make it work. Is this at all something that is considered for evolve or isn’t it just not that kind of game,

I bet it’s very tough to make such a game work in real pro competitive scenes. Although they tried in l4d it came no further than winning teams earning some rackspace, or 100 euros or whatnot…


#14

Makes me feel more at ease when I read this. I can feel that this game will get even better than L4D2.


#15

With the new gameplay and chars being detailed I’m so stoked. I mean this is a bit like l4d meets firefall meets dota with all the ways you’re going to choose your own playstyle even within classes. Really remeniscent of battleframes, but it’s even cooler becaus the pets actually have a function as well as opposed to in FF.

It really makes me wonder if you guys will have a coop botgame as well so that new players can ease into the experience and learn the details against (or with) non egobruisable characters :).


#16

They have said you can set up matches with any number of characters set as ai


#17

ah thats good!.Looking forward to see how smart they are :slight_smile: Also, I’m getting a bit scared because of watch_dogs super high spec requirements, seeing that this game will be released half a year later, we need a cray supercomputer with 10 titan Z cards now ? :PP


#18

Lucky ive got ps4. If consoles have any true advantage, it’s that you don’t need to worry about system specs. Can’t wait till Tuesday:D


#19

yes bought watch dogs also on PS4 for this reason. People underestimate that the console doesn’t require the performance for this game equivalent to the pc version. It seems to only play on “high” with a cpu which is a generation further than the ps4’s.I mean, I would have to buy a whole new computer and I’ve had it a bit. I could play with my last pc for 5 years, now this one is only 2 years old;

At least by doing it like this I can also buy games like the remastering of “last of us” and alien isolation on my ps4 without worry.

But I don’t think I would want to play evolve on console. This feels like a game I have to play on pc.


#20

The first L4D was the best game I´ve played so far. The only problem why I stopped playing was the ragequitting. If you want to play a Versus-match you have to wait ages to finally complete it, the enemy-team just vanish when they lost a single level.

So if you somehow manage to get this right in Evolve I may have a new favorite game. The jail-idea is a good way to counter it, if you ragequit a couple of times you can only play with ragequitters for the next X matches.

Any solutions against ragequit yet TRS?