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Evolve Or Be Left Behind

January 15, 2015

Looks like a bunch have already pre-ordered. And, I know that there are at least three people in our raggedy crew that will very gladly, and most creatively and expertly play the Monster (Mr. Zoso, that Taifu guy, and J. Nishiki). Any others?

The rest of us can have fun on the hunt, workin’ together. It is now time to get officially excited. Impressions of the beta welcome below! See you on Shear!

Throw me the whip, I’ll throw you the idol!
Throw me the idol, I’ll throw you the whip!

  1. January 15, 2015 9:26 am

    I started the beta download before I left for work this morning. I really hope the party system / matchmaking works. I only played 1 game of the Alpha due to the 20 minute wait…

    My initial thought / fear, is there is a high bar / learning curve with this game. 4 Classes, and even multiple “abilities” within each class depending on the hunter group you are in.

    Same goes for Monsters (though not as complicated).

    My point is that I (as to not be overwhelmed), want to pick one class (two tops), that I will play pretty much exclusively through out the beta period, so as to get good at something (and know what to do…).

    Has anyone picked a preference? I assume you all did some of this with the Alpha (i.e. Johann usually was the Hunter, Cornie was Medic and Zoso was the …..) Who should I use?

    • Blankman permalink*
      January 15, 2015 3:50 pm

      You can be the dude playing BF4 & Destiny, Jimmy. J/K Hahaha! You sure seems to love those two games. The learning curve is pretty high. Many of us have already fallen into our preferences (rED: Trapper, Grymm: Medic/Assaulter, Zos: Assaulter, me: Support/Medic)

  2. Herandar permalink
    January 15, 2015 2:08 pm

    I sucked at everything but Assault in the Alpha. I expect similar results in all incarnations, but since the different hunters do play so dramatically differently, maybe one of the higher tier characters will grok.

  3. Johann Nishiki permalink
    January 15, 2015 2:37 pm

    Open Beta is live! Anyone with a gold membership can download and play. Everybody start downloading ASAP!

    • Herandar permalink
      January 16, 2015 9:09 am

      Ugh, Microsoft and their compromised vision. I couldn’t download the Beta until I signed in as my brother, who is the only one in my house still with Gold.

  4. January 15, 2015 3:58 pm

    Played 2 games as the monster and got my shit so pushed into me, that it was spewing out of my mouth. Hunter is definitely where my natural habitat is.

  5. January 15, 2015 5:11 pm

    LOL at Grymmie and Kenny.

    Jimmy, getting used to using the weapons/abilities for any class won’t be a huge task. How the learning curve hits you is in strategy/tactics. This is a very “intelligent” game, and since your secondary abilities almost always have a cool down, timing and placement are crucial. The game is incredibly deep, though mismatches will make short work of whoever chose poorly.

    So, I have a purchasing question. Currently, there are two digital download options:

    $69.99CAN (Digital with Pre-order Bonus) and $89.99CAN (Digital Deluxe with Pre-order Bonus)

    I spent about ten minutes trying to figure out the difference and all I could determine was that the extra $20 bought me three more skins, and four more Hunters. Is that correct? That is correct.

    What has everyone gone ahead and purchased?

    If anyone is on real late tonight, I can join you. I should be able to leave here by 5pm JST (3AM EST). Tomorrow will be even worse! LOL Anyway, please take some time (between matches lol) to give us (me) your impressions!

    • Blankman permalink*
      January 15, 2015 5:57 pm

      Suns, we went with the digital standard edition (w/o the Season Pass). Many have been burned with Season Passes before, so the $5 savings simply isn’t worth it. If the game is awesome & maintains longevity with the community, we can pick up the Hunters/Monsters ala carte.

    • January 15, 2015 6:09 pm

      Thank you! Great to hear and I agree 100%. However, now is not the time for me to declare some self-righteous campaign against yet-unveiled DLC and put my foot down while everyone else is trying to hang with the crew.

      Whew! I will follow suit. Also, I think it will be easy to see which characters have personal appeal. I suspect of the 12 included ones, I will only play 5 or 6. Wonderful news! I haven’t payed 90 dollars for a game since BioShock, and that was only because of shipping!

  6. January 15, 2015 5:29 pm

    GameInformer has the edition details here. In fact, the Hunters can later be purchased later for $7.49 each.

    Some impressions of the the new marketing model.

    I have an instinctive aversion buying Season’s Passes sight unseen, whatever the content.

    On the other hand, buying new Hunters as opposed to maps has two factors of appeal. Of course, the community will not be split up because of new maps, and it has a much more Collectible Card Game feel to it. “Oh, you have that rare Hunter!! Cool!” It also motivates the devs to come up with interesting and creative characters, and to keep pumping out the maps so that people play the game more.

  7. Herandar permalink
    January 16, 2015 9:06 am

    So, having spent most of the night in an impromptu party, an interesting thing occurred. Since being in a party excludes one from being the monster, the one guy in our game that wasn’t in the party was the monster every time.

    The game strongly prefers a human monster, and you can’t switch out of it once tapped. SO the chances of playing monster are much higher if you are lone wolfing it. But if you don’t want to play as a monster… Well, too bad. I was in the same situation earlier in the night. I didn’t want to play the monster, and bailed out of the game when I was selected for the second straight game.

    Later, as my party beat up on the guy that clearly did NOT want to be the monster (he evolved in the middle of a fight in the arena in the third match, and waited right under the dropzone to start and quickly end the fourth.) I noticed that established sessions don’t seem to ever add new players. Dude dropped out after he was selected in the fifth match, and we got our asses handed to us by the AI Kraken. AI Monsters may be too good for most hunters. Especially when it’s the Kraken and it doesn’t seem to miss.

    I was a bit surprised to find that you can’t change classes in the character selection phase, even if the game isn’t full. You can still change once the match starts, and I did it accidentally in the middle of heated chases and fights more than once last night. Very confusing when you switch accidentally as there’s no specific indicator that, oh hey, you are somebody else, especially when the action is chaotic on screen.

    People stuck with sessions that were not loading for quite a while, possibly because the game charges you with a one-minute penalty for dropping out of a session. Loading time does seem better. Not great, but slightly better than the Alpha. Not sure there is much they can do to cover the long load times.

    Anyway, I still am loving this game. I suck at lots of it, but it is engaging, well thought out and polished. Communication among the hunters is key (and another thing I suck at, honestly) I’m not playing it to unlock the next thing, I’m playing it because it is fun and challenging and unpredictable. I am a bit concerned about sessions not being refilled with people, but it was the first night of a Beta.

    Oh, and I’m sure Blank will agree with me on this one. A trapper that doesn’t use the tools at their disposal is a major major handicap.

    • January 16, 2015 7:13 pm

      Herandar, thanks for taking the time to write this. Helpful to know ahead of time. I look forward to checking it out tonight. (again, won’t be home until 7pm JST tonight).

  8. January 16, 2015 9:42 pm

    Excited to play!

  9. January 17, 2015 3:46 pm

    I have gone ahead and most willingly pre-ordered the standard digital edition. I played with Kenny, Cornie, and Frenik last night. My ever-noob, mad skillz got us into some hot water, reputations were damaged, friendships were tested, but ultimately, we were able to end on a high note.

    As soon as I started playing, my worries about this game vanished. It feels as fresh and deep as L4D did when it was first released. It is a completely different game, but no less entertaining.

    Each class is equally important for victory but the Assault class is undoubtedly the easiest to play, especially if you play very aggressively in FPS games. The support class, with its extendable shield, and varied but essential arsenal, is probably just as difficult as the Trapper class. Cannot comment on the medic, but it isn’t a class I want to play soon. I want and need to develop some reflexivity with the Assault and Support classes first.

    Again, like L4D, the game is designed with considerable expertise and polish in the sense of variation, class development, extensive testing and balancing.

    Right now, the abilities/controls have me a little overwhelmed, but because this game is far more about team-work, communication, game knowledge, and strategy, it is something that I think I can get much better at, and enjoy for a much longer time than most FPSs out there.

    By the way, Kenny hit 17th in the world last night playing as the Support class. Epic!! He has video to prove it, too! Thanks to Kenny and Frenik for playing into the wee hours of the morning so that I could explore the jungles of Shear with friends, rather than with randomoniums.

    • Blankman permalink*
      January 18, 2015 11:22 pm

      Evolve is a very deep game. The haters have absolutely no idea about what they’re missing. Either they have no friends to team up with, or they simply discount it based on Twitch streams or vids that are floating around. Look, it’s no secret that the game doesn’t translate well on vid, that’s why it needs to be experienced before anyone can drop their two cents about it.

      With all that being said, this game is about teamwork. Well-oiled machine kind of teamwork. Yes, it’s a game, but this game brings out a competitiveness in many of us because it focuses so much on each player playing their role well. This is about the A-Team, and Hannibal Smith loves it when a plan comes together. Evolve is not about selfish play, but selfless play. Knowing your role, and playing it. Tactics need to be on-the-fly because it focuses so much on the ability to adapt. TRS has balanced the team play to such a degree that it’s like an engine, if all pistons or components aren’t firing together; the machine fails.

      I believe the key to solid team play is to master a specific class before tackling another. Knowing what to do with whatever scenario essentially makes you more effective and dependable since each teammate is reliant on the other. Evolve isn’t about rewarding an individual that does more damage to the monster. Instead, it rewards each class for doing what they’re supposed to do. It’s not about kill stealing, glorification of selfishness, or idiotic K/D counts. The omissions of those aspects are what makes the teamwork gel.

      As in regards to tempers flaring up, that’s a very unfortunate side effect on people learning how to play the game. Like I said, there’s just something about this game that brings out the overwhelming sense of competition in me. However, it is a game & I apologize if I got testy with anyone, especially you, Suns. I just want all of my buddies to appreciate and stick with this game like I’m currently doing. Even if controls don’t seem intuitive, it is what it is. Situational awareness and HUD management are skills that must be second nature when hunting.

      BTW: The Evolve servers were wonky last night, and reset many of the class leaderboards. Who doesn’t love being recognized for playing well? Broke my heart since all data carry over to the game proper. 😦

  10. January 18, 2015 5:47 pm

    Played Evacuation with Seth, Zender and a random. Against a bot (no small feat). We lost the first two rounds, but surprisingly, we started to catch on and won the final 3. Totally love this game type. This game is spectacular. On many levels. I’ve been going with medic lately. Starting to get comfortable with this class. That is working for me. Learning one thing at a time. Just unlocked Lazarus. Haven’t tried him yet, but will tonight.

    This is such an intense game that it’s understandable for things to get heated. Especially since each class is vitally important and a screw up can be doom in an instant.

    Bottom line, it’s just a game, a very sweet one at that.

  11. January 19, 2015 12:04 am

    Thanks, guys, for the impressions, and even more so for the games!

    It is actually quite difficult to keep focused on work and family. My thoughts keep going back to Shear! LOL

    Kenai, good for you winning the last three rounds, especially the final round where you really need specific characters playing specific roles. Kenny was telling me earlier in the night that Bucket is absolutely essential because of his sentry guns. And so on.

    Kenny, understood completely about tempers. I wasn’t callin’ anyone out on this because I can yell with the best of them (and I was). But since we’re namin’ names, I have to give the surprise Gandhi award* to Grymmie, who was as calm as a man who has spent the last 20 days fasting.

    You guys mentioned two seemingly unrelated things: intensity and the boredom of video spectating.

    By the end of our final EPIC game where we took out Goliath in overtime, my chest, from my waist to my armpits was all cramped up – and that was mostly just from chasing the beast! I used a damage modifier for my perk, and so without a jetpack perk, I was really struggling just to keep up with the team (lagging too far behind can cost the team the game). It was almost a relief to fight the monster. None of that intensity comes across in the videos. It just looks boring, and maybe occasionally humorous when environmental hazards of flora and fauna capture a hunter. In reality, even the just the chase can be incredibly intense.

    This is definitely next generation. In order for it to be the full experience that it is, it requires not only sprawling, lush environments with changing weather effects, but also abundant ambient and hazardous life. Imagine the game without either of those, and you are darn near back to Pacman. With it, it is a full-on adventure movie.

    So much to learn. So deep.

    * After the Beta goes offline, how about we extend the fun by making another FOD Awards Page just for Evolve?

    And here is CGN workin’ the Kraken and bringin’ the pain! (This was a round played when no one was watching.)

  12. January 19, 2015 4:40 am

    A great guide in the official Turtle Rock Forums.

  13. January 19, 2015 7:57 am

    Played Evacuation once with Johann and Cornie. Our random was the medic and he made sure we had no health. “I can’t heal you when I’m sprinting” (He was always sprinting all by himself.) The pain and agony, all y’all who are always gamin’ with TEAM ZOR, you have no idea the pain! I cannot wait until the game proper comes out and we can go with A.I. for our fourth.

    Anyway, following Kenny’s advice, I used Bucket (first time) for the Finale. Below is the score result from that one round. LMAO!

  14. Blankman permalink*
    January 20, 2015 2:57 am

    This is why TRS gets high marks in my book. I asked Chris Ashton (aka MacMan), one of the co-founders of TRS, about a concern regarding Cabot’s dust trapping being nullified by the Wraith’s decoy, and we exchanged several replies. Much respect for this developer!

    • January 20, 2015 8:34 am

      Blank, Very cool.

      I just completed the Beta survey.

      My main point (comment at the end) was that people should have the option of putting in “Only want to be a Monster” or “Only want to be Hunter”, so that there will be less quitting. At a minimum you should up the time penalty to something like 5 minutes.

      “Also, the Monster AI is pretty OP, and with so many people quitting when they find out they are the monster, there are a lot of games we ended up playing against an AI Monster.”

      Oh… I also plugged our website.

      Another thing. You gotta check out this thread from the TB forum.

      “Evolve Moments told by gifs”

      LOL!!! There are a Ton!

  15. FrenkoFrenik permalink
    January 20, 2015 3:20 pm

    Monster is where it’s at for me. I almost unlocked the Kraken before the beta ended, so hopefully will have all three when the game comes out. I like the hunters, but it’s too dependent on the team, and just like L4D once those 4 spots are taken it’s hard to find a good game.

    Monster on the other hand is easily available. Plus is more rewarding to outhink 4 hunters than just kill one monster.

  16. January 20, 2015 5:03 pm

    Great stuff, Blank! And the “another dimension” explanation is fantastic! I love it! Also, their rationale is solid. By the way, Cornie and Johann went up against the Wraith and at first found it frustrating, but as they played they started to understand how the monsters work. They killed it. LOL

    Gotta fill out that survey and will do the same as Kenai, asking for a Monsters/ Hunters only option. It will help eliminate quitting. Hey, where is it anyway? It is via the Xbox Dashboard, or on the official site?

    One thing that is fantastic about the use of dedicated servers is that people are jumping in half way through to replace the AI. Having AI and then also having mid-game swapping is great!

    And LMAO at that GIF thread!

  17. January 20, 2015 5:21 pm

    After reading a thread about the assault, I want to add here that I think it is way WAY too early for people anywhere to worry about balance. The learning curves for all 5 places in the game is just way too high for people to think, after 20 hours of gameplay, that one attribute or another needs to be nerfed. As soon as the team of four, or the team of one up their game, they will be playing like they are OP and won’t need any help or nerfing. I feel that TR has already done some incredible polishing, and it isn’t a matter of any thing being OP as much as it is the gamer becoming familiar with the complexity and interactions of the tools at hand.

    This one is a keeper.

  18. Blankman permalink*
    January 21, 2015 2:05 am

    Here’s the latest convo about DLC hunters & monsters that I had with MacMan.

  19. January 21, 2015 3:52 am

    Kenny, I will just do this once so I don’t spam this thread. Thank you always for hustling the devs and bringing the info over here! Also, great to know the devs care.

    I have been thinking about my experience with the hunters. In the few hours that I played, I tried Bucket, Markov, Cabot, Hank, and Val, and I liked all of them, though I found Hank the most difficult (turning the shield on and off at just the right time so as not to waste it is actually quite challenging). Since we are hunting Monsters (the size of barns), basically it is pretty hard to miss. So, probably any game I have played, this game minimizes the importance of pinpoint shooting accuracy. Which means, while I may take more time than many to learn a character, when I do, I should be able to play almost all of them. THAT is the biggest surprise for me from the Beta. The implications are that I will probably be buying all of the characters (and if not right away, for sure when they go on sale).

    By the way, thanks also for the info on the Behemoth. The Evolve Page needs to be trimmed a bit so that it loads faster so I didn’t want to comment and just make it that much heavier). So, I just watched the Indy trailer again and I am thinkin’, TRS could go crazy with gametypes, you know. They could have 8 hunters in a Horde mode, etc. etc. etc. etc. There is a ton of things they could do that would be genuinely different and a ton of fun! I feel that there is far more room for diversity in gametypes for Evolve than there might be, for example, in Titanfall.

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