Looking at the new update, the raid feature looks interesting, but it also worries me. I like the idea of them a lot, but I think the devs made a massive oversight. Basically, it looks like it will require players to be in a large, powerful, and active alliance in order to get all the creatures in the game. I’m in an alliance currently, but I’m worried it won’t be enough.
What if you wanted to do raids by yourself? You can just not invite people, but then the level caps on creatures ensures that no one creature can win a raid by itself. So then you have to rely on your friends and alliance to do the raid with you. But then you have to have a) a large enough/active enough alliance to have someone else active and willing to do a raid at that moment and b) enough players of a high enough level to actually contribute to the raid (particularly important for the stronger raid bosses). I can say that for my alliance at least, this rarely happens. And if you don’t have these, you’re out of luck. And what about players with no friends or alliance? Are the raid exclusives just inaccessible to them? I doubt that was the intention. Even public raids don’t fix this. Like it or not, JWA isn’t as popular as pokemon go, so you just won’t find anyone to play with in most places.
Luckily, there seems to be an easy fix for this. Just let players choose to do raids by themselves, using a team of their own creatures. It could be interesting come up with different strategies using different creature roles (similar to traditional rpgs), and would be easier to coordinate than battling remotely (which is a great feature, I’ll give them that). Since many of the creatures seem to be geared towards team battles now anyway (looking at you Thor, with 2x defense shattering impact in solo battles; why???), why not embrace this for the single-player experience too? Not replacing traditional battles, but giving players who would rather play by themselves/only have that option to get some of the “co-op” experience.
I’ll have to see how raids work out in practice before passing my final judgment, but these are my thoughts. Hopefully Ludia creates a fun and balanced experience for ALL players.
Edit: It looks like there won’t be any raid-exclusive creatures besides the Apex ones, so that’s good that we don’t have to rely on raids as the only source of DNA for some epics. But knowing Ludias track record with exclusivity, I wouldn’t be surprised if this became more of a thing in the future. It seems like you only get the raid bosses DNA once, which is also good because it prevents you from farming the bosses for DNA. However, it also looks like you can’t even challenge raids with fewer than four players (unlike Pokemon Go, where you can challenge raid bosses with any number of players, though you’re more likely to be successful with more players). I’ve already expressed concern that many players won’t have that many active/capable alliance members and friends online at any given time, so I’m not sure how accessible raids will actually be for the majority of the player base.