This video was made in partnership with Curiosity stream. Every game goes through a development process, and Outside is no exception. During the game’s early access alpha stage, It was mostly just a chemistry simulator. There wasn’t too much interesting content, and you could only play as single-cell builds at the time. Once the devs finished work on the first multicellular classes, the game started to pick up some steam. They released an open beta for the game which received so much attention in such a short time that it became known as the Cambrian explosion. So, today we’re going to talk about the meta during Earth’s beta, and also discuss the most important abilities and stats at that time. So, during the Cambrian meta, the devs hadn’t released the terrestrial expansion pack yet. So at the time, gameplay took place entirely within the marine biome. There also wasn’t much in the way of mobility, intelligence or stealth yet, as those stats weren’t considered very useful by the player base until more advanced techniques were discovered. This doesn’t mean there wasn’t a bunch of diverse builds to choose from though. Not at all. The Cambrian meta was dominated by arthropod builds. Arthropods had two perks that gave them a huge early lead in the story of Earth’s meta game. The first was an exoskeleton. Offensive strategies weren’t too advanced at the time so all you needed in order to shrug off most attacks was decent armor. The second thing is that arthropods were among the first builds to unlock more advanced eyes. Most players had simple light-sensitive eyes during the Cambrian. But compound eyes granted crucial accuracy bonuses, the best in the game until camera style eyes were unlocked later. One of the most popular arthropod builds of the time was the trilobite. It didn’t have anything too spectacular about it in terms of abilities but it was very easy to play, making it a great beginner pick at a time where just about everyone was a beginner at the game. It had solid defensive stats because of its thick carapace armor, making it very difficult to deal damage to. Players did eventually learn how to get past their defenses, though. And at that point trilobite dropped in viability. I’d place them in low C tier. The meta during the Cambrian explosion advanced so rapidly that the truly low tier builds weren’t around long enough to be remembered, so they really aren’t worth talking about. Next up on the tier list is Hallucigenia, one of the few builds that wasn’t running a carapace shell as part of its build. Instead, Hallucigenia players opted for a different type of defense: Instead, Hallucigenia players opted for a different type of defense: spikes. Spikes are the perfect defense against tough armored opponents because focusing all of your force into a single point can often be enough to pierce armor, even when your character is relatively weak otherwise. This is why piercing type weapons dominate the insect meta today. Slash and crush type weapons would easily be forwarded by chitin armor, but piercing damage is super effective. Anyways, even though this is a great strategy, Hallucigenia wasn’t really any sort of threat and could be easily ignored by other players due to Its small size and low mobility. So it’s only in high C tier. While this build did eventually fall out of the meta, a non spiked version of it is still run by some loyal velvet worms mains today and this build even has a projectile attack. In B tier, we have one of my personal favorite ancient builds: In B tier, we have one of my personal favorite ancient builds: Opabinia Opabinia was one of the first grappler builds to find any significant success in the game and it’s no surprise why. The meta at the time was heavily defense based and grapplers are always perfectly suited to dealing damage to a blocking opponent. The key to its success was its trunk, an attribute seen surprisingly few times across all the different expansions that have come and gone. Opabinia’s trunk gave it an excellent grab with extended range, making it perfect for grabbing smaller players and preventing their escape in spite of their heavy armor. It also had excellent perception skills because he speced into compound eyes with five eyes giving it full 360-degree vision. With that said, its mobility wasn’t stellar and had little in terms of defense. So it had basically no options if a player from a higher weight class attacked it. Unfortunately after they suffered heavy losses and starts to fall out of the meta, Opabinia mains started to spec into heavier defenses to compensate and just kept doubling down until they’d sacrificed size, power and uniqueness in order to become some of the most resilient yet useless low tiers in the whole game: yet useless low tiers in the whole game: tardigrades. So B tier is as high as Opabinia ever got. In A tier, we have the only mobility based build that existed during the Cambrian: In A tier, we have the only mobility based build that existed during the Cambrian: Haikouichthys. Haikouichthys was the first fish the devs ever added to the game, and it offered a lot of advantages over his arthropod competitors Instead of compound eyes which could see in all directions, Haikouichthys had the first camera type eyes- which didn’t have 360 revision, but in exchange were better at focusing letting them see through camouflage and track targets more effectively. In addition to their eyes, their internal skeleton give them much more flexibility than builds with an exoskeleton head, allowing them to change directions faster to evade attacks. Haikouichthys was extremely small, putting it barely outside the microscopic weight class. However, the potential of this build only improved from here. Fish have been a meta staple in literally every single expansion and it all started here. While they weren’t top-tier yet, they gain top tier status pretty quickly after the game released. This build’s potential could not be overestimated especially considering that a future fish build eventually unlocked the legs attribute and was able to enter the terrestrial servers. But in the Cambrian, there were no match for the top-tier: But in the Cambrian, there were no match for the top-tier: anomalocaris The anomalocaris build was the first in the game’s history to achieve top tier status. Nothing could match its power and defense at the time. It could deflect just about any attack thrown at it because of its armor, while at the same time having a strong enough power stat to crack most other players’ armor. If it couldn’t crack their armor, It could use its tendrils to grab or flip its opponent, allowing it to attack their weak point for massive damage. Its only real threat was other anomalocaris players because they could hit hard enough to crack their armor. Anomalocaris also had the most advanced compound eyes of any build at the time, rivaling that of present-day dragonflies. This gave them an edge when other players finally started specing into stealth abilities. Anomalocaris was such an oppressive force that it ended up getting banned in the game’s very first balance patch which opened up several new niches and allowed fish, mollusks and other arthropods to diversify their strategies. So yeah , that’s what Earth’s meta looked like during the open beta. The meta progressed quite rapidly after that, with the devs adding the terrestrial DLC and with various players unlocking crazy new OP abilities like flight. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss future episodes discussing the broken builds of the Ordovician, Silurian and Devonian DLC updates. By the way, the source footage for this video is from two amazing prehistory documentaries. I’m sure many of you familiar with one of them: BBC’s walking with monsters The other is a new one called Leaps in evolution which details the evolution of sight starting from the earliest life on earth all the way through to today. It features some of the best CGI ancient arthropods ever made so I highly recommend watching it. Both of these awesome documentaries are available right now on Curiositystream, my favorite streaming service. There are over 2400 documentaries on there so there’s plenty more to binge once they’re done with Leaps in evolution. The subscription is only $2.99 a month, but if you go to curiositystream.com/tierzoo, you can get a full month free. And in doing so, you’ll be supporting both my channel and good educational content in general. Thanks so much for watching and thanks, especially to our patrons on Patreon. Until next time, good luck out there.