So I’ll start by saying I’m in the “non-OP” camp. I’ll also state I’m not opposed to changes to a game I think is fine if it improves the overall experience.
I’ve been doing a good handful of battles in my arena (Arena 4) which seems to be about my level (both in skill and collections, since my collecting has vastly slowed). The Raptor is part of my team and is a prevalent opponent as well.
Normally, with the right mix and about equal levels, I tend to win whether I have my own raptor or not, and even if they always have theirs. I’ve had enough losses in a row to see where there could be some improvement.
I’ve also been hit by someone’s level 16 VRaptor which actually did finally 1-shot all the counters I had. Just once, mind you, but it does feel a little incredible when it happens.
As a one-trick pony, the VRaptor doesn’t have a lot of dimension to it. It hits fast, and it hits hard. The problem with tanking it to survive doesn’t come with the fact that it hits hard, it’s that it hits with a sizable debuff; even my T-Rex, which normally is my tank/chomp for Raptors when my armoured dinos are out/unavailable, has lately not been able to out-bite the higher-level raptors before it’s rendered useless.
IF the raptor was to be changed - and I’m iffy on that still - either the damage scaling needs to be reduced a little so that Pounce doesn’t insta-gib nearly everyone, the debuff needs to be removed or reduced so that stuff that does survive can better punish the little ambush predator, or an extra cooldown turn needs to be added to Pounce so it’s not “One-two-one-two-one-two-win” to an unprepared team. Only one of these changes needs to take effect for things to change drastically, and I’m most inclined to agree only with the last one.
To not be able to count on turns refreshing abilities when not on the field is not something you want to ask for, because that will have to apply across the board and in the end will drastically hurt slower dino teams than faster ones, which brings me to what I feel is the REAL problem with the raptor: speed teams. You can deal with a VRaptor, but once it’s all said and done if your opponent retains the speed advantage then it’ll feel like the raptor put you in a place where no recovery is possible because you’re always on the defensive.
In this game, speed is king. Most battles are determined by who hits first, not who hits hardest. This makes choosing your team an actual strategic decision, which I love - but the raptor tends to get the focus of ire because it’s at the top, and is the only one at the top.
See, in my opinion, the Velociraptor isn’t so much the problem as its position is the problem. There isn’t a single dinosaur with a speed stat to match, making it a must-have for all low-level teams, most mid-level teams, and even a handful of higher-level teams. If the raptor shared the speed stat with, say, two other dinosaurs (maybe one fast tank with low damage, and one mid-range counter-striker that happens to have Usain Bolt’s legs) the variety would likely sort this problem out. As it is, to out-pace a Raptor right out the gate is impossible without one’s own Raptor at an equal or higher level. This is the opposite of creativity, and we need creativity in strategy to keep the game interesting.
I use counters like Kentrosaurus with an instant-cripple, effectively neutering the first Pounce. I like the dinosaur, but I’ve come to the realization that at my level now, if I don’t get my own Velociraptor, I really need to have the Kentrosaurus otherwise the rest of my team is on the defensive as my beloved Stego simply doesn’t survive as well anymore and the rest of my team is just too slow to properly address a speed team. While that’s partly on me for team makeup, I don’t actually have many options (and I go out walking 4x per day, so I am out catching stuff but am limited to what I can find).
SO the TL;DR version is I don’t think the Raptor is necessarily the problem, I think too few other options are. After all, the Kentrosaurus - which outpaces the Stego for the fact that without having to take the the Pounce hit Kentro > Stego - is a RARE dino, while the Velociraptor, one-trick though it is, is common and plentiful.