I’ve written before about how every build outside of human has become an afterthought to Outside, to the point where many players who only own the Anthropocene Expansion don’t even know you can play as an animal. As a tiger main, this is kind of distressing to me, and today I’m going to talk about a related concept: The human meteor.
The human meteor refers to a potential extinction level event on the same scale as the one at the end of the Cretaceous Expansion, which so drastically changed the available resources on the map that high- and top-tier builds were immediately obsolete and suddenly the only viable builds from the existing meta were tiny gimmick builds. The top tiers got repopulated by new builds as players figured out how to adapt to the new maps, but the meteor is still remembered, and rightly so, as this apocalyptic event that totally upended the meta and destroyed dinosaur builds forever (TierZoo has a recent video that points out that there’s a build in the current meta which is basically just dinosaur players trying to recreate velociraptors on the current maps, and it actually works really well, but it’s not even close to what utahraptor mains used to achieve – the power creep in the dinosaur trilogy was nuts).
Some people posit that the devs might use another meteor-level event to clear out humans, who have made even dinosaur builds look underpowered with some of the crazy shenanigans they get up to, especially since, unlike the fairly straightforward dinosaur builds that the devs probably anticipated players creating, the effectiveness of the human build mostly comes down to how absolutely insane the advanced tool use ability is when you get good at using it to exploit the game engine (and dear lord have human players gotten good at that). That’s not what I’m talking about, though. Outside’s devs are infamously indifferent to player feedback, so an obscure blogpost calling for a meteor to clear humans from the meta isn’t going to make it any more likely.
No, the human meteor that I’m talking about is a meteor-level extinction event caused by human players. The reason why I know about this is that, as a tiger main, I pretty much only get to play my favorite build because human players are worried about causing this by accident. See, the sad truth is that when I’m playing a tiger (as usual) and a human shows up and wants to kill me, there is bugger all I can do to stop them. The tiger build is a closet troll with monstrous melee capabilities, some of the best in the game right now, plus some pretty good stealth abilities in order to get into melee range without getting taken out by ranged attacks. Now, anyone who plays Outside knows that humans have ranged attack power that’s easily on par with tiger melee power, in addition to having range that’s absolutely insane. Even mid-tier equippable weapons for humans are basically line of sight and inflict potentially or even instantly fatal wounds with one well placed shot. So, you might think that the counterplay here is to git gud at stealth, except that humans can attack from so far away that a tiger player might literally be unable to detect them. Like, they’re so far away that the computer doesn’t even bother loading their model for me, but they can still shoot me. On top of that, human camouflage can replicate most tiger stealth bonuses, which means I need to be way better at stealth than they are to win because I need to stay hidden for much longer in order to get close enough to win.
So if human players can kill me whenever they want, why do I still play a tiger? The build’s obsolete in the current meta, right? Not quite. See, human players are super worried about what happens to the meta when tigers (and other threatened builds) completely cease to exist. Builds that we’re strong against but which humans don’t usually bother hunting (usually because the XP and resources they drop are puny compared to a build as expensive as human) will become way more competitive and way more common. That could lead builds weak to those builds from becoming uncommon because no one wants to play rock when suddenly there’s paper everywhere. Who even knows where these kinds of chain reactions will end. Just like with the dinosaurs, when all the top tiers got wiped out all at once, everything else went completely crazy as players scrambled to establish a new tier list. The meta is really unpredictable, and a lot of humans have realized that the current meta is really nice for them, and are terrified of what might happen if the meta shifts. Humans are dependent on their supply chains to maintain the gear that makes them so hyper dominant, which means that if one of the builds they depend on hunting for those supply chains becomes unviable and people stop playing altogether, their whole build could fall apart.
So a lot of humans have got together and are (mostly successfully) trying to ban hunting tigers. And that’s why I still get to play my favorite build. Because an unquestionably superior build is so overpowered that they’re worried they will destroy the world if they keep griefing me.