Write-up on the Beta (1800 words)


#1

Hey TRS devs and TRS forum members I thought I was time for me to do a write-up of my thoughts and experiences on Evolve and it’s beta.

Gameplay
Ever since the Alpha I found playing Evolve amazing it when it worked(see Connection section), and the beta didn’t disappoint. However over the 5 days it wasn’t all sunshine on the gameplay front, but it wasn’t any fault of TRS. Evolve is very much a know your role and play your damn role game, and with people being people that doesn’t always happen unfortunately. Evolve I would say has a moderate learning curve. Now because I’m a crazy person and have really geeked out about Evolve, I feel that gave me a good knowledge base about Evolve heading into the beta. I would say the game is like a fighting game in some sense in that the more you put into learning about Evolve the more you get out it. I did this by reading a hell of a lot of the TRS forums and watching way too many hours of @GentlemanSquirl streams picking up tips and tricks on how to play, and when to do the “walk of shame” as the hunters. However playing with people that aren’t crazy like me or didn’t understand that this is not COD was at times both annoying and boring.

What I’m talking about is with a team of inexperianced hunters you are kind of screwed due to each character being vital in doing their role, especially when the person that doesn’t know what they are doing are playing Trapper or Medic. One time I just quit out of an evac game after I noticed our Val wasn’t healing anyone and just shooting her sniper rifle. The boring comes from when you have inexperianced trappers that never do any trapping since they never try to cut off the monster or don’t remember to use the dome, which just leads to chasing the monster for 10 minutes until it’s stage 3 and then it rolls the hunters. So most the time if I was in a party be it 2 or 3 we almost always knew we would have to put medic and trapper as our 1 and 2. In time I have faith this will get fixed as people learn the game and matchmaking pairs you with people of higher skill.

Where the game really shined was when I got a game full of people knowing their role and if I was lucky talking on the mics. When I finally got together a full crew of 4 people Evolve was one of the best multiplayer experiences I’ve ever had. The trill of trapping the monster and taking it down by everybody doing their part was just so rewarding. The monster, well hell the monster is just fun to play all the time, albeit very stressful at times too. Once you start to learn the intricacies of the monsters, of how to successfully fight at stage one and where to set up the perfect fight with the hunters, is very satisfying.

Friends
Evolve by its very nature is a social game, and I am a big fan of working with others in multiplayer games. However, at least on the consoles, since the advent of chat parties the amount of random people talking has plummeted. As everyone knows by now the best way to function as a hunter team is by talking to one another, and I feel at least some people learned this over the beta as more and more people started to talk as the beta went on. It was actually fun going into game, finding someone that talked, and saying hey I’ll add you to my friends list, then grouping up to fight some monsters. Not since Gears 1 did I add people to my friends list at this pace, and I thinks that’s really cool.

Now as fan of Evolve already I’ve been trying to champion this game to the friends I know that play a fair amount of games. Unfortunately its been met with mixed results. The best example I can give is my friend Nick, he played 2 rounds of Evolve at Pax Prime and was really interested in the game. So I kept bugging him to play the beta on PS4 since he signed up for the Alpha, but missed playing the alpha because he didn’t know the alpha was only for a few days. Now the problems start with is him on PS4 and me on Xbox as I wouldn’t be able to play directly with him. So after getting him to play the beta for a bit I asked what he thought and it was a meh. I asked him why, and he said it was because he spent most of his games just chasing the monster, never getting the “thrill of the hunt” feeling. Turns out it was because he kept playing with other new people that didn’t know how to really play Evolve, and trappers that failed to do any trapping. So I decided I would have him stream over Twitch, and I would coach him on how to play Val. After that he said the fun he had went up exponentially since he had a better understanding of the game. He came out of the beta with the thought of, if he had 4 friends he knew would get the game it would be an instant buy, but for now it’s a forsure Redbox rental after the player base understands the game better.


#2

Connection/Server Issues
In the beta I had a hell of a time with connection issues on Xbox. Now I don’t know how much of that was server issues, matchmaker being busted, or just my connection. I will say on my part my nat is Open and I have forwarded the right ports for Xbox One and have a 80down/90up connection. Overall I would guess ⅓ of my time in the beta was taken up with connection issues and having to quit the game and restart it. I would join a friend’s games, it would load, and right as it loaded into the character select screen I would get kicked. Other times I would get kicked after 2 rounds of evac then, have to restart the game before it would connect me to matches again. Another time I finally got 5 friends together and we launched a hunt game. One person got kicked loading into the character select screen. So we restarted and reformed it. Then a different person got kicked right after we touched the ground. Now like I said some of this maybe cause but my ISP(Verizon) or the Actiontec router I’m using somehow as most the people I played with had nowhere near the amount of issues I was having. I’m being lenient because it’s the beta but if this was my experience of the final product I would be very unhappy.

Suggestions/Thoughts

Balance - (Everything in this part is pure personal feeling and I could be 100% wrong in the way I think some things should be tweaked)
I think the game is very well balanced and your data goes to show that, however I did have some issues with Wraith. The decoy spam has already been addressed and I think @GentlemanSquirl mentioned the idea of having her be uncloaked for a bit longer when you hit her. My problem is more with Supernova, in that I also felt like it was being spammed a bit too much. Most fights with Wraith would be supernova to down someone, then decoy, have it recharged by the time decoy wore off, then supernova again, down another person, and repeat. Now I know the way to counter supernova is to get out of the bubble, but I found it really hard to do so most of the time. Maybe the bubble might be a bit too big it seemed to me. Also this might just be a technical thing, but after she left the bubble it seemed like she still got a few more super powered hits before it wore off. So even if you dodged out of the bubble you would still be hit by a supernova attack.

Suggestion
I know @Matthew doesn’t think games are a good way to convey written short stories, but I and others I’ve talked to would have to respectfully disagree. Look at the codex in Mass Effect or the books in Skyrim. They were great ways to get deeper into the lore inside the game. I know Matt thinks a website is a better way to read his character stories, but I think that’s just not true. Look at Destiny and how everyone HATED how you had to go to a website to learn more about the world of the game they were playing. So @Macman and @SlabOMeat I ask you guys to please bug Matt and put his short stories in the game in an update under the Extras menu. I don’t think it would take much work to add these text to the game and it would give the players another way to invest in Evolve’s world. As it stands now what percentage of the players that buy Evolve will know about these great world building stories that only exist on the TRS forums maybe 5% if that. What better way to build a brand then give people a way to delve deeper into the game they love.

I also think the advanced training videos will be really good for new players to watch, but are buried in the extras menu. I wonder if it would be possible to make players watch the advance training video the second time they play a new character.

Final Thoughts
I believe you guys and gals at TRS have made one of the most interesting and unique games in recent memory. I think Evolve on some level will greatly perpetuate asymmetrical multiplayer in future game. I have already put my $80 down (would have done $100 if the Monster race was on Xbox), pre-ordered the Art Book, and plan to get all the DLC you folks put out. I do this because I’ve loved what TRS has created, and I’m a big fan of fully supporting the things you love. I still have my concerns about how big a hit this will be just due to it having that high learning curve and perceived lack of content, but I have faith that in time the game will show its worth, and win people on the fence over. Thank you TRS for all your hard work in making this game and I look forward to the 10th!


#3

+1 (10 chars)


#4

Man, going above my head. That’s dirty pool. :smiley:


#5

Cmon you left us on a cliffhanger on the last one we need to know what happened to Sunny and what happened to Parnell. Really this is all your fault :wink:


#6

Yo OP, I had almost the exact same experience as you (reactions from friends and all). I wasn’t able to coach them like you did, which probably would have been a great idea. I fear some of my friends may have already written the game off, but I’m hoping they might give it a second look if my experience is good (I did notice it steadily improving as I was matched with better players).

What is your GT? I’m “Mr Suplex” on Xbox. We should play.


#7

But Matt it’s for the greater good haha :wink:


#8

That was the most brutal cliffhanger I’ve experienced in years. My hat goes off to you, sir.
But why did you have to kill Sunny? :cry:


#9

It’s the same as my forum name :smile:


#10

+2. That would be cool.


#11

I was able to reel in two friends and coach them. It was hard to let them out from under my wing, but i knew they were ready to fly.


#12

This needs to happen so badly. Lore-nerds like myself will rejoice!

+3


#13

+4. That’s a really cool idea. It’d be nice for some people who maybe don’t know the lore to get a better idea of character backgrounds.