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.
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.
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 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. 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 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.
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.
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.