Ludia Forums

The State of the Game and Some Suggestions (long post)

Firstly, I could have put this topic under suggestions I guess but as I wanted it to be more than just thoughts and ideas, General Discussion seemed the best place to put it.

We are coming up on JWA’s second birthday and I wanted to take this opportunity to examine the current state of the game and offer some suggestions and observations. Obviously this all comes from my point of view but hopefully we can generate some good positive discussion.

Prehistoric Beasties.

At the time of writing this, JWA has 196 creatures, a mixture of actual prehistorics and hybrids. 84 of them (if my maths are correct) are hybrids. Since launch we have received a really nice of mix of prehistoric creatures, many of them well known and a few that even a life long dinosaur fan such as myself had not heard of. We have also had the inclusion of pterosaurs and various Cenozoic creatures. I fully expect us to get some marine creatures and hopefully, Paleozoic creatures as well.

There are some issues though. Firstly is the existence of exclusive creatures which has caused some irritation from the player base. Dinosaurs like the Allosaurus G2 and Nasutoceratops appearing as part of the Battle of Big Rock promotion were fine at the time but remain tough to get otherwise, especially for newer players. Dsungaripterus has been almost non existent and Titanoboa’s exclusive release earlier this year caused quite an uproar.

Secondly, we have spawnings and habit zones. We have 196 creatures in the game after two years, so after four years I fully expect us to be close to 300, not even considering further into the future. What will that mean for spawns and habit zones? We can’t keep having creatures added to exclusives so that means they must appear in the wild, which is going to add more to each habitat zone making creatures less likely to appear. Hopefully Ludia have a plan for this and I’m sure they do. Maybe creating more habitat zones (5 and 6?) and condensing the others down in size might work.

Personally, I feel that as more creatures are added, that habitat zones should go away. No more exclusives. All non-hybrids can appear anywhere in the wild. Some creatures may well become harder to find but at least we can go looking for them, which is a problem raised frequently, that for many long time players there is little reason to actually go out hunting for creatures because nothing new spawns. If habitat zones go away then we all have a reason to go out hunting again. It’s meant to be a big part of the game after all.

Third, the game started off with a mixture of dinosaurs and a couple creatures from the Permian era. After pterosaurs we got some megafauna from the Cenozoic. At the time a lot of people were up in arms about this and even I may have had a knee jerk reaction (sorry). Some have said that it’s Jurassic World not Prehistoric World but as someone whose childhood through to the present day has had a continual love of prehistoric creatures from giant sea scorpions to the woolly mammoth, I am happy to have such bio-diversity in the game. I’m still holding out (as I said at the top) for sea monsters of all eras and we all have favourites that are waiting in the labs for Ludia to give us to go out and find and create.

Lastly, I want to touch on hybrids. With each new update we get a few more. Hybrids are really the end game goal for a game that has no actual end game. Obviously they need to be something worth the time and effort (and money in some cases), to go after but it has begun to feel like JWA is less and less about the dinosaurs and has become far too much about the hybrids. It would be nice if the prehistoric creatures could remain viable further up into the Arena. But that is just my point of view.

Some hybrids, Proceratomimus and Indoraptor Gen2 being the recent points of discussion, are proving to be arguably overpowered possibly to the detriment of certain elements of the game, namely the Arena and tournaments. We don’t know what Ludia has planned for the future with regards to these but we can hope that it leads to some sort of rebalancing.

Strike Towers.

I have been thinking about strike towers and how they could be made more player friendly. For as long as JWA has been out, there have seen comments from players in rural areas or who live on the edge of towns that there just isn’t enough strike towers. Even I, who live in a large high population town, have seen days where whole chunks of nearby neighbourhoods have absolutely no strike or event towers. We have also had the suggestion that we should be able to place down a “home base” where we live so I had the thought about how we can combine these two options in a nice easy way.

Each player gets a “base camp” and when they activate it, the base camp appears where they are in the centre of their drone radius. A strike tower appears on this spot. Surrounding it in a circle within the non-VIP drone radius appear six strike towers, two of them green event towers. These are only visible to that player and not to others playing in that area. These remain where placed. However, for a cost in HC (I’d say 50 but certainly no more than 100) you can move it to your present location once per day. This way when you are at home you will always have access to strike towers and event towers but it also means if you are away from home and somewhere with no or minimal strike tower presence (say you go on holiday somewhere remote or something) you still get to play.

VIP.

VIP is another topic which over the last two years has raised a few comments. As a VIP myself for the game I find the monthly subscription to be fair for the extra range and the drone battery life. I want to support this awesome game as well, so I am happy to pay it. However, that being said, many on these forums have made fair points that it really needs something extra as an incentive. Often it is suggested that we should get an incubator every month. An Epic incubator every month might be a bit much for the cost but perhaps it could be a Rare incubator but only if the subscription carries on without interruption. In other words, if the subscription lapses for some reason but is then restarted, you wouldn’t get the incubator. Having an incubator each month, even a Rare, might make the playerbase happier with the idea of a subscription and ensuring that the subscription remains active.

Arena & Matchmaking.

The Arena has never been the best area of the game, let’s be honest. At time’s tweaks have been made and for a short while things seem to balance out for a bit. Something always seems to pop up to cause problems however. For a long time it was Arena droppers, purposely losing games in order to get Arena specific incubators or in cases, just for jollies to crush the lower level players. Then boosts become a problem becuse they distort the expected skill and opponent abilties.

Matchmaking is the biggest problem though. I think the problem is that there are too many variables to adequately match one player to another as it currently stands. Those variables could be boosts, trophy count, expected power level of team and any combination there of. Some very good suggestions have been made on these forums. I’ve suggsted a blanket ELO system (like Chess uses) myself and even the idea that each Arena level should be dinosaur team levels specific.

Whatever Ludia decide to try in the future, I think it needs to be unbiased. It won’t need to concern itself with whether a player has X trophies, or a certain team power level or boosts. It should just look at winners and loses. Stronger players/teams will win and rise, and should ensure that the better players continue to climb and start to face only themselves. Same for the lower players who should end up playing opponents more their equal. We should end up, over a short time, facing appropriate opponents. Is is how I feel is the only way to balance out the Arena and keep people happy.

Boosts.

Boosts. Oh my. Where to begin. I am in the anti-boost camp but boosts are here to stay and we have to live with it. There is no argument there. The only way I can see boosts balancing out is if used with what I just suggested in the Arena & Matchmaking section above. That way boosts help those players win and climb up the ratings and the Arena. Those players will face one another further up the Arena ladder where their matches should be more equal. That way players who want to remain unboosted can still play fair battles and slowly make their way up the Arena all but slowly. They will plateau out at a certain point if they don’t use them but that would be the trade off here. You won’t get to the top tiers if you don’t use them but you do slowly get them for free from incubators and the relevant strike towers if you don’t want to spend money on them.

Tournaments

Tournaments are fun but as the recent/current Alliance tournament has shown there need to be changes to how they work. I recommend the following change for future events. Please don’t cap players on Alliance points if they can’t increase their top score. You want tournaments to be playable by both the competitive players as well as the casual. Competitives are going to the win the events but at least the casual fun players get a chance to enjoy the torunament. Winning matches should be the way to do it. Otherwise a fair chunk of the players have no reason to participate or at least not after they cap their advancement.

That being said, the Alliance tournament has been good fun. Much nicer to participate in than previous events I think. More like this, but with the suggested changes above, would probably be welcomed by a lot of players. While not everyone wants to participate, I have noticed that of the players in my Alliance, participated more in this present tournament than they normally do in the regular Arena.

Bugs?

There are always complaints about bugs in the game. Often, contarary to posts here, they do tend to get fixed. A few, like the Alliance chat have been bad but do seem to be slowly getting better and better. However, of all the bugs mentioned on these forums, I have probably never experienced the majority. I often wonder whether some (not all) of these issues are down to individual phones and connections. I myself spent months after the pterosaur release not getting to decide my first creature each battle as it timed out before the icons appeared. Turned out it was because I had such an old phone that the update wasn’t all that compatible. Wasn’t anyone’s fault.

There are bugs but they are most often minor little things and while irritating, they do get fixed over time. Every new update fixes a load that we as players were probably never even aware of. Nothing makes this game unplayable and no program is perfect.

Lastly…

Coronavirus.

Ludia have been stars in my my mind for what they have done for us with the current global crisis. The extra range to play from our safe locations, daily pile o’ darts and the gigascents have kept the game alive and allowed us to continue playing. Not every AR game out there has done this to myn knowledge or at least not as quickly. I think JWA may have been the first (citation needed?) and I just want to use this opportunity to say thank you to everyone at Ludia.

At the start of all this, I said that we are coming up on JWA’s second birthday. I look forward very much to seeing how this new Permian expansion works out and to where the game takes us in the years ahead. I fully hope to be playing this game when I’m an old fossil myself.

I look forward to seeing your responses to this. Please don’t turn it into Ludia bashing. I would like this to be a positive thread.

Thank you all for taking the time to read this. :t_rex: :sauropod:

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As much as I like creating new creatures, I wish they would slow down on the uniques. I have only been able to complete my Dinodex once before an update. This time around I am two away with only one that I am realistically able to start fusing for. I am hoping that the epic deer Eucladoceros becomes an all day global spawn so there are more chances to dart it. :grinning:

I am always in hope that things in the game can always be improved. :grinning::heart:

Also, I am glad for the things implemented during the coronavirus pandemic. They have helped so much and I hope they get extended.

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everything in this is spot on.

I love various prehistoric creatures over a wide variety of time periods. If JWA was just dinosaurs, it would get old. There wouldn’t be pterosaurs. There wouldn’t be dimetrodons. none of the cezonics. You would have the classic dino models and each being more or less the same as the others. I think that’s boring. I enjoy bringing in new creatures. It allows for new abilities, new models and much more variation and representation of prehistoric favorites.

Your base camp idea is really cool. I think it would be a blessing to those who RNG decided they don’t get any event stuff near by. Even i have trouble finding green stops and strike towers in my range from one day to the next so this could be really helpful.

I have done VIP 2-3 times over my time playing. I stop the subscription when i’m taking a long break. But as it stands now, the increased range and drone battery isn’t enough incentive to keep me coming back. You suggested a rare inc per month. I’ve also seen other suggestions with tier based perks. both of those would make VIP a bit more enticing, at least to me.

Arena matchmaking is just all over the place to say the least. you have “power based” below 5K. ( i think that decreases in effectiveness the higher you go) and trophy based cold turkey at 5K+. There are so many factors that make the arena a horrible place for many. Boosts, Droppers, bad matches, season reset, etc. I like the ELO system suggestion as well as Arena team levels. But those will only be a part of a solution. They won’t effectively work if the Season Resets continue their domino effect. If we fix that then add in those other two suggestions, we may end up getting the start of a really good matchmaking system.

Boosts should also eventually balance out when matchmaking gets an overhaul. But i would also like them to be reworked again. they are too expensive, the refund is a joke and might as well not exist, and they hurt the speedster class of dinos with how they work.

I would enjoy tournaments and the championship more if my efforts to try and increase my high score were not pointless. If i want to bang out 50+ fights in a tournament, but i don’t get anything if i don’t win/ increase my score, why would i do that? There’s no incentive there. Giving points for not just wining, but also battling would give many the incentive to actually play longer. You gain x amount of points for a battle. Then y amount of points on top of that for a win. And finally z amount of points for increasing your high score.

I never considered that the phones themselves could be the cause of some bugs all along. Gives me a new perspective on that.

I’m appreciative of all Ludia has done to keep this game playable during the pandemic. Big heartfelt thanks there.

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Great post.

I would also like them to slow down with the release of uniques, like QueenRexy. However, I am also mindful of the people who have no life outside this game, and how vocal they’ll get if they complete it too quickly. I find there are always a handful of people like this with every game.

I feel that one of the problems with VIP comes from the dino spawn points. Since having the extended range, I’ve realised it’s basically pointless, because there are so few dino spawn points outside the regular range. I feel like the game should be spawning critters nearly everywhere, rather than in a handful of designated areas.
For example, my extended range covers a small portion of the field nearby - but not a single dino has ever spawned there, despite being pure grass with no roads (which, by the way, dinos do spawn on near me).

Something needs to be done with matchmaking. I blame an atrocious trophy system on this right now. I shouldn’t lose 40 trophies to someone with a full team of level 30 boosted dinos. Nor should I gain that amount when I thrash someone’s team of level 21 dinos.

I find that the bugs affecting the arena are the only ones that irritate me. Losing 30 trophies because the game glitched out on you isn’t fair in the slightest.

The only thing with the Covid updates I wish for is zone rotation. I cannot stress enough how bored I am of getting the same dinos.

I do still love the game, and I appreciate Ludia taking note. I just hope a few of these concerns can reach them.

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I should have included zone rotation as well. It was on my list.

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Very spot on. Couldn’t have said this any better.

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For VIP, I agree they need more incentive to have that. I have my own ideas for some things to add for VIP only.

We have too many creatures now to have exclusives. I like the idea of smaller and more zones. The 2 mile (3 Km) square zones as we have now are a bit large for walking. Biking is even a trip to get to other zones and then to ride around looking for what I want makes for long 2-3 hours out riding around, usually 6 to 10 miles of riding, stop and go. I’ve passed 250 miles of riding already this year dino hunting on my bike & trike.

I would like to have player created AI’s. Winnings could be coins, darts, boosts or FIP’s. Rewards would be given for take downs and wins gotten by our AI teams.

I like the new tournament thing with but they need to make it so take downs and wins continually add points for the alliance to keep people playing. They could have it give extra points for improving your personal score as an extra bonus for the alliance.

Matchmaking seems fine at my 2nd account level. I barely play in the arena at all on my primary still. My 2nd account is more fun.

With Corona, that has me working from home, I’m now able to take morning walks in place of commute time to work, That has helped for maxing coins sooner than later. The extra darting distance helps and I have been able to dart a lot of good dino’s where I couldn’t in the car driving.

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Now this post is amazing.

I would also like to see Ludia find a way for us to access far away strike events and supply drops because sometimes a epic would appear on the map and even with that drone increase it still doesn’t go as a far as I need to reach that epic.

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I fully agree. I’m not a VIP and I personally advise against spending money on the game (especially after JPB), but there does need some extra incentive or maybe a lower price.
The only thing I would add would be new types of tournaments which I have already discussed. But you hit it spot on

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Hybrids
So I generally agree here. My idea to overcome the ‘upper limit’ for ‘real dinosaurs’ was to have hybrids of Gen I and Gen II dinos so you could have a 4-move T-Rex Legendary for example. I feel like having this could only be a good idea (no model required, just a re-skin) and would keep a certain proportion of the player base happy.

Balance
So, I think Ludia actually benefits from some imbalance. I think Procerat is the most egregious example. There are a lot of super-boosted Procerats, which means there aren’t boosts somewhere else unless people pay. Eventually, Procerat will likely drop off from the top tier (it is already dropping). Same thing with Indoraptor Gen II.

However, now it is too late and certain tournaments (Epic Hybrids) are basically unviable now. So, it has big consequences.

VIP
So… when I first got my free VIP I was surprised because I misinterpreted Epic Incubator. I had thought it would change your free Incubators (you know where you get 20 darts and some common DNA) to giving Epic DNA instead (and perhaps exclusives). It would definitely improve the value.

Tournaments
I Love 'em. Even the broken ones. I do wish there was an incentive to keep playing though, even if it were ‘small’.

Zones
I just wish they were geographically smaller. I can’t walk to other zones (except parks) unless its a real ‘walk’. Changing to 6-8 smaller zones would improve my ‘going hunting’ ability. If zones were about… 1.5km across (they are currently at least 3+) it would improve the experience. The only other word I’d put on this… more migrations… please (from a Zone 4 person).

Home Base
This is an interesting idea.

Strikes
So these new challenges are interesting, although I wish they were level-based rather than stat-based and that it would automatically ‘reduce’ the level of any dino you have to the required level (i.e. my 26 Tragod would be level 22 for the strike or whatever). I find the strikes as one of the most interesting ‘puzzle’ parts of the game.

Strike Distribution
I just wish they would rotate them once every 6 hours or something. That way you could actually have two shots at getting one within range.

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Thanks for the replies. :grinning:

Some great suggestions - I applaud the effort you have put into this.

In terms of boosts I had one thought - there is a type of category that most creatures fit into, whether it’s Tank, Speedster, Chomper, etc. Boosts are here to stay as mentioned so why not fit each category of creature into each set of boosts… and then limit the maximum amount of boosts it can do in the other 2 categories.

We have all discussed / faced that overly powered Thor with 149 speed… he’s not designed to be a speedster so why let him reach that level in the first place!?? Ok let him reach 125 /130 or something like that, but set that at the maximum.

Even if you just restricted 1 type of boost category per creature I think that would personally help… just a thought.

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The size of boosts is the.problem. Imagine if.boosts were capped at 10 steps instead of 20?

Increase the number of dinos in a strike team and reduce the amount of boosts being pumped in per dino. So you have boosts but they dun have the unbalancing effect.

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Thats actually a really good suggestion. Or at least cap the speed boosts at 10 instead of 20.

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I think I broadly agree with this. I was considering what would happen if boosts ‘benefits’ were halved (i.e., you could still have 30, but each one would grant 1 speed or 1.25% stat (or basically 1/4 of a level).

I feel like boosts would still be a thing and just throw the balance into an interesting place (especially speed boosts) but at the same time, it would be less 1 BOOSTED dino > team of unboosted dinos.

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Colin has done a great job in the op describing in great detail where the game is now, and where it might be in the future.

I pretty much agree with all he has said.

What I would do as well as all Colin has said, is what arugono suggests - increasing the roster of dinos that our team of 4 is chosen from.

This would massively improve the diversity in the arena, wherever you are. Gone would be the same old match up time after time. Match ups would be way less based on who has the most boosts.

I would double the current 8 to 16

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That’s way too much for a game that’s been out for almost a year now. I’ve read from the Steam forums that the developers were supposed to deliver dedicated servers to the game, but they failed to keep that promise and they even swept that promise under the rug like it was never there.

Way too much in what way?

After the recent developments, it will remain dreams. there may be things that will bring some money.

VIP I expect more, better daily incubators. The range of the drone is the only good thing.