Whenever a game decides to focus heavily on online multiplayer or co-op play, it's going to need balancing at some point. That being said, the amount of updates and patches it takes to get the gameplay to feel fair and "just right" will vary from game to game, in the same way that players may or may not feel largely affected by the changes. On one hand, it arguably makes the game better for everyone still playing, but it can also alter the way people play, to the point that it could turn people away.
Alpha and Beta tests usually help this particular aspect of development, as both the devs and players can get a feel for the game, while also determining what needs a bit of tweaking. Regardless of how much time is put into the development process, however, post-maintenance will still be required, because there's no better test than the real thing.
Evolve is one such game that has been discussed and criticized pre- and post-release, with one of the biggest topics of conversation being the balancing between the Hunter and Monster classes. Shortly after the game's release, Turtle Rock released an infographic that showed the win/lose ratio between Hunters and Monsters, with the Monsters clearly reigning supreme with a win rate of 51.9%. The beta, for comparison, saw the Hunters having the advantage.
As of right now, there's no telling which side is claiming victory more often, but maybe the studio is keeping that info to themselves for fear of having to also address Evolve's ever-dropping player base.
But as was said previously, games like Evolve will need balancing, and Turtle Rock is doing just that with upcoming Patch 1.3. It's not focusing on just one side either; Hunters and Monsters are both receiving improvements, which could result in a slight uptick in players. Maybe those that gave up on the game will see the balancing fixes as a reason to come back and see what's changed.
"If you’ve felt Wraith’s wrath or wished that Hyde’s Toxic Grenade could provide more ground control, we’ve been listening – and testing out the new balancing in the Evolve 1.3 Patch."
While every monster is getting improvements, including the ability to "see recent damage on their health bar to help make burst damage visible," only the Kraken and Wraith are having their moves altered in any way. Congrats to those that don't play those two, then.
The cooldown on the Kraken's vortex move has been increased by one second, while overall knockback has been reduced. Meanwhile, Aftershock will now break all harpoon traps or Arc Mines, whereas a bug was preventing that from happening consistently.
Speaking of harpoons, they now pull the monster down at the same rate, regardless of if it's in combat or not. Additionally, tranquilizer darts will no longer impact the Kraken's flight speed, so don't expect to see any more of those falling from the sky after being hit.
As for the Wraith...well, fans of it may soon consider the monster to be a mere husk of its former self. It definitely won't be as fast as it used to be, as the speeds for Warp and Warp Blast have been reduced by 25% and 40%, respectively; the max travel distance for the latter is also set to be 30 meters, no matter what the level is.
Other downgrades include Supernova's duration being decreased by 50%; Decoy's cooldown down increasing by 2 seconds, and Warp Blast's range no longer leveling up. It's not all bad news for Warp Blast users, however, because it does get a damage boost of 10%. Fair trade off, right?
9 Hunters have some of their abilities tweaked in Patch 1.3, but compared to the monsters - specifically, the Wraith - they're nothing too dramatic or overly negative. Markov and Hyde - two Assault class characters - have the most changes made. Markov's Arc Mine now has reduced damage and health, and the time it takes to arm the mine increases by a second.
Hyde's Toxic Grenade, meanwhile, won't fire as quickly anymore, nor will it last as long with its 15% lifetime reduction, but its DPS increases by 50%. His Minigun is probably the biggest benefactor from the upcoming patch (outside of the actual players, of course), thanks to the accuracy increase of 25%, and the damage increase of 20%.
Patch 1.3 should already be out now for PC players, while the Xbox One and PS4's community needs to wait until sometime next week. Be sure to check out the full list to see if your favorite Hunter has been (or will be) affected by the patch, and figure out how much it changes how you play.
How many of you out there are still playing Evolve, and are you looking forward to the new characters coming in April? Conversely, what made you stop playing? Looks like a decent number of people are leaving the 4v1 game behind.