Edited: The post has to be rewritten to be more focused on this game and limited in scope.
Some FUN ideas first before I dive into the negatives
instead of darting just one dino’s DNA, wouldn’t be nice all DNAs from the same genre of dinos can be converted? What’s the point of Triceratops Gen2? how about give the option to convert to Triceratops at low conversion rate, in turn it will be converted to SinoCeratops at an even lower conversion rate? You can do 1 conversion every 24 hours, you can accumulate total of 7 conversions before it is full, so use them wisely. Isn’t it more fun to see Tarbosaur as your future t-rex?
darting and collecting dart/coin are just repetitive mini quests. how about some variety? escort? avoidance of stampede /predators? trace footprints? triangulate/map nests? looking at the tree tops and buildings for flying dinos?
introduce plants. It is a WORLD. So many things you can do with it, so few resources you need to implement it.
Events doesn’t have to be in or near parks, you will get more plants in or near parks, in turn you can concoct scents to lure Event dinosaurs to any supply drop of your desire. not related to the topic, but just to add in here: STOP gimping players due to geological features which they have no control of.
How about shoot me some dinos and hang their heads, I want to Drone the the dodgy beasts (epic dinos) with a big fat missile so I can collect DNAs by the ton and its liver! This is Murica’! This my right! 2nd amendments! and stuff!
The “augmented reality” part (aka. what you do in the real world) is never the true fun part.
The fun I think we are having are from the accumulation of things after lots of effort. We usually call this “The Grind”. Collecting dart and darting is the grind. Right now, it is important, as that’s the “lots of effort” part. Do you really explore a different place everyday? or just trek the “optimal route” to minimize road time to maximize the darting/collecting? Being a routine is part of the grind.
There is certainly joy if you suddenly encountered a T-rex, but the “joy” part is really born out of the repeated encounter of the plain. This is more akin to “kill 100 boars because it has 1% chance to drop something good”. it is another aspect of the “Grind”.
Making grinding the sole progression mechanism exacerbates the Grind, without putting a limit on the grind kinda makes it worse
Basically Developers mandate players to go outside to brace the elements (sun, wind, rain, snow, traffic, insects). It without writing an essay about game play incentive. I consider it as a “mandate” because it is the only way to progress any where in the game. Because there is no cap on how much you can grind, the mentality of “every minute I am not grinding I am left behind” (The coin cap thing was just an anomaly, not a real cap). The lack of cap may be appealing to the hardcore players, but are they the group generating the most revenue? How many of you hits coin limit every day?
The darting mini game in particular doesn’t work well with the elements (sun rain etc), increasing the unpleasantness of the grind. That’s why driving or GPS spoofing on a computer much much efficient and better.
I personally is affected in another way, I live in remote area, I can not even grind properly if I want to. So none-urban players there is no incentive to be competitive nor pay nor stay for the grind.
That’s why Arena is such a distinguishing feature that makes this game stands out.
It is actually fun, highly variable, none of tediousness. (The bot thing and raptor thing are just anomalies)
It takes effort, more importantly it takes experience and thinking.
It gives reward, very good ones once in a blue.
It is capped by how much you can do per day, so there is no compulsion mentality.
The Collecing DNA premises is…a bit copy-paste-y
At least PoGo is about “Collect them all”. We are collecting DNAs to… build dinos? shouldn’t just one sample of DNA be enough? we need a progression mechanism, yes, but this is more like a background-story-GameWriting thing that is a bit forced.
Do you just want to go and dart, go and dart, go and dart, go and dart, just to watch some health and attack numbers grow? or Do you want something more than just that.