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IDK any actual numbers, but I feel as though my time in HotS has been a better one then most other MOBAs. Probably has something to do with it's smaller population, shorter games, and the fact that I had regular chat turned off for quite a long time and didn't even notice.
If you do turn the regular chat off, you can still communicate effectively with the fairly robust quick chat system by holding down alt while pressing what you want to communicate. Alt+click on your mana/energy bar to announce that your OOM. use it on your ult to let your team know it's almost off cooldown. Alt-click on the minimap, or the ground itself, to bring up a wheel and choose the info you want to convey, such as that you are gonna move from bottom lane to the objective up at top. It will also show you're path on the mini-map to your team.
Good to use even if chat is on. Quick and concise.
If you want someone nice but maybe too quite to play with and maybe coach you along, then feel free to add my id to your friend list.
I've been watching and reading a bunch of discussion on the game, and combining it with my own playthrough have come up with some interesting notes on the game.
1: This is an asymmetric multiplayer game that while acknowledged by a majority of the playerbase, the full concept of which is not grasped by everyone. A well done very asymmetric game makes two almost separate games into one. In this case, the hunters and the monster. They all abide by a few shared rules but each play differently. The different playstyles can be called separate games entirely depending on the players personality. For example, some players will play anything in Evolve. Others only want to play as Hunters, and then only as a set few of the Hunters. Still there are some players that only want to play Monster. These preferences are so strong for some that they will leave the lobby if they get assigned a role they don't want to play. Then some hunter get upset because either they wanted to be monster and now that the role is actually open but they can't swap to it, or now they won't have a challenge hunting a bot monster. Also there seems to be a "You must play as the monster timer/count." in the matchmaking. You can play with a pug and everyone has the role they want, but eventually you all will get shaken up into other roles. Grouping with 4 friends or less is suppose to always make a pug the monster. This isn't always the case either.
2: The game should have been advertised differently. MANY people thought it had Day One DLC (finished gameplay content sold separately at release.) The only extra content out right now are skins for the monsters and weapons (the pics above.)
3: It's worth it's price now if you enjoy it as it is now. I knew from my time in the alphas and betas that I greatly enjoyed this game as a whole, and preordered it then. If you are unsure, I would highly suggest you keep a look out for it going on sale as you may get more bang fore your buck and get more content you feel it may need.
4: Points 2 and 3 above lead to a potentially really big problem. The game's community is relatively small (I've actually run into some people multiple times in matchmaking.) and doesn't look like it will change anytime soon. People will inevitably drop off as time goes by. Only the die hard veterans will remain. Enter the Steam Summer Sale for example. Sudden wave of new players who will likely get grouped with the veterans. This has 3 main outcomes: The veteran community shows no mercy and no manners, turning away the new players and potentially wasting their purchase. The veteran players are welcoming and understanding and show the new players the ropes. The new players will still likely get their asses handed to them but it wont' be an outright miserable experience entirely. Or neither happens in mass and people come to their own conclusions on their own or with outside help.
It will most likely be a majority of the third option with the rest being the other two options with one of those two options dominating the other. Hopefully it's just the latter two so the game grows, making it more fun for everyone.
Personally I'll try to be the second option and be as welcoming and friendly as I can be. I normally try to be anyways.
5: The price for the 4th monster is $15 USD. With my new understanding of the game and it's development, I still find it hard to justify $15 for it. $10 I feel would be a worthy estimate personally. $15 I can understand for all 4 of the next hunters. An option to buy them individually for a reduced price each but more total would be nice though. Keep in mind though that their pricing has not been announced. Nice thing about this dlc is that you don't need to buy the content in order to play with or against them. So everyone's game is enhanced to a degree by the few who do purchase these.
6: The other game modes add some nice diversity. There are many different strategies both sides can use on each mode. Hunt could use some of that though. It does have it's own nuanced strategies both sides can use, but some other mini-objectives in hunt could add some diversity to the main mode. For example it's been suggested that should a hunter(s) be killed by the monster but other(s) remain, that they have another option to work at should continuing the fight be unfavorable, which it regularly is should that point be reached. Currently, the hunters just run and hide as the game is flipped to the hunters being hunted. If certain characters were chosen, the hunters can choose to make a great trap now that the monster may be coming for them, if they have those characters on the team and they are alive. The monster can choose to find the remaining hunters and kill them, or continue hunting wildlife and level up, potentially nullifying that great trap factor.
This is only really a concern when pugging through the skirmish option. As Evacuation adds other objectives/bonuses based on gameplay and custom matches can have these bonuses manually chosen.
Result of all this analysis: Optimal way to have the most fun in the game is to play with 5 friends in Evacuation or Custom Games since everyone gets to play what they want to play, and many factors are added to the gameplay. Pugs have the typical pug problems, but the main issue for pugs comes from the asymmetry and matchmaking itself. Is the content worth it? Depends on your own personality and preferences. Be a savvy shopper and find out.
Anyway, should you get this game, I'll gladly play with you should you purchase this now or in the future. Hit me up on here or in steam and we'll have some fun hunting.
Risk of Rain
Chawaa, I love this game! SO GOOD!
Gush over, serious now.
Risk of Rain is an action-platformer with heavy rogue-like mechanics. Made by Hopoo Games, a 2 man crew of college students. You play as one of 12 characters and try to survive as you make your way across a somewhat randomized alien world collecting powerups from the lost cargo of your ship.
Audio and Aesthetics:
The art style of the game is a simple but detailed bit style. Environments are toned back while the sprites for characters, mobs and bosses are bright and pop. You may lose track of yourself under the mass of activity that later hectic segments of the game can get to. The music really sets the mood for each level or fight while matching the games style. You can listen (and buy should you like it) the official soundtrack here. Give "Coalescence" a listen, I feel it sums up the experience pretty well (fitting since it's the track for the final level).
Levels and Progress:
There are 6 tiers of level environments you must progress through. You must find the teleporter in each level, activate it, survive & conquer the mob rush, and then use the teleporter to move on to the next tier. The first tier has 2 possible environments you'll spawn in, the next also has 2 and so on until the 5th tier and 6th tier which are one environment each. Each level (except for the final level) has a couple different possible layouts, and powerup drops and shrines are randomly scattered throughout the level, further randomizing each play through. As you make your way through the enemies, you'll earn gold and exp. You'll need the gold to unlock cargo chests or activate certain shrines and get the power up inside. Any leftover gold you have is converted to exp at the end of the level. The exp and level system tries to keep you minimally on par with the advancing difficulty.
Sunken Tomb - a 3rd Tier level
An Imp Shrine - Pay the fee and spawn 10 little and fast imps. Kill them all in time to get a powerup. Fail and you've wasted your time and money.
A Unique Factor:
A key feature to Risk of Rain is that there is a timer to your top right. Every 5 minutes (in "normal" difficulty) the difficulty gets harder. Enemies will spawn faster and faster and they'll be tougher and tougher, gaining more health, damage, and new abilities. This can culminate in super amped boss monsters constantly spawning in. This makes the game dynamic in how you choose to progress. "Do I get to the next level as fast as I can so that the harder enemies and bosses aren't so hard? Or do I stay and farm up powerups and exp?"
While exploring a level you may come across a strange gate similar to the teleporting pads. These gates hold an artifact that you can grab after completing a simple (if you have the right character or items for the job) puzzle. These artifacts give you another lever to adjust the difficulty by altering or adding core gameplay items. For example, one artifact called Glass, will drop your health to 10% of what it should be but you'll deal 500x more damage (glass cannon). You choose these effects at the beginning of a run along with the ambient difficulty and your character.
An artifact in it's gate.
The character/difficulty select screen with everything unlocked.
Classy Characters, Classy Items:
There are 12 survivors to play as but you'll start out with only the Commando. Naturally as you play and as you accomplish certain feats, you'll unlock the rest. You'll play as a energy bow weilding huntress, a noxious beast, a robot janitor and more. There is a handy section of the main menu that details how to unlock each class and other items. Each character is setup similar to a simple moba champion (one item is even a BIG nod to DotA/DotA2). Each character has 4 unique abilities with the 4th ability usually being something game changing.
Below is the Loader, a melee class, setting up his Tesla Coil and grappling to a boss and mobs for a smack down.
(Courtesy of the official website for the game.)
There are 110 powerups that appear in the game (the various icons at the bottom of the screen), and most won't appear until you unlock them through the listed means. The items have all sorts of effects that range from simple health regen and faster attacks to upgrading your character's 4th ability and calling down a deadly (to you, your allies, and your enemies) meteor shower. There are two types of items, regular passive upgrades and on use items. The items follow a rarity system that affects how often they drop and allows you to estimate their effectiveness or type.
White>Common, Green>Uncommon, Yellow>Unique Boss Drop, Orange>Rare and Powerfull, Light Orange>Use Item
Lot's of nuance and variety keep the replay value relatively high. I've sunk at least 72 hours into this and that's playing solo.
Risk of Rain has both Online and Local Multiplayer for up to 4 people. This is a strength and weakness for the game. Online has no official dedicated server or connection method. You'll have to ad hoc it or find a server setup by fans of the game. Should you get connected, you need to keep in mind that this is still a rogue-like game and is especially unforgiving in multiplayer. Powerups are not shared and if one of you dies, you remain dead (sometimes with a humorous message above your corpse ((rekt)) for the rest of the level. During that time, you do not gain any exp. So should your buddy or buddies make it through you'll spawn in at the next level but will be gimped as far as levels and powerups go. Also, depending on when you died it can be a LONG wait. If all goes well though you and your friends should have a good time.
Risk of Rain is a rogue-like action platformer with fun mechanics and intriguing style. Many characters with different playstyles combined with over a hundred power ups, randomized environments, many dynamic difficulty modifiers, and enemies give the game great depth and replay value. If you like rogue-likes or a challenge then I recommend this title. There is a demo available at both the game's official website and it's Steam Store page.
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