Disclaimer: I talk a lot in this article. If you just want to see the results, images are near the bottom for a TLDR. However, I still reccomend that you read the article for context.
Hi all! You may remember, a while back I did a statistical analysis of all the dinos in the game, asking which ones were objectively balanced within their tier. You can read the original article here. I had based this article on the previous Gamepress tier list. Well, now we have a new tier list, so that means we can do a new analysis!
For those who haven’t read the original article, or just need a refresher, here is my process. First, I labeled every dino with their rarity (counting hybrids and non-hybrids separately, with one exception) and tier from the 2.5 Gamepress tier list (with Tier 1 corresponding to the “Hatchling” tier and Tier 10 with the “Tyrant” tier). Looking at each rarity separately, I found the average tier for dinos of that rarity, and estimated the variability within that rarity with a standard deviation. Dinos within a generous 1.5x standard deviation above or below the mean were considered to be “balanced”. Dinos one tier above or below the balanced range were labeled as requiring minor nerfs/buffs, respectively, and those two tiers above or below this range were labeled as requiring major nerfs/buffs. This allowed me to visualize the balance curve of the game, and which dinos fell significantly above or below this curve.
Before I start, a few things to get out of the way:
- These are NOT my opinions. While I do agree and disagree with some of these results, my own opinions did not influence the results themselves, outside of deciding on 1.5x standard deviations for the “balanced” range. I would be happy to share my own thoughts if you’d like.
- As such, these are not suggestions. I used the labels of major/minor buff/nerf because they help understand whether a dino fell above or below the curve, and by how much. But this doesn’t mean that dinos labeled as needing “Major Nerfs” need massive nerfs to their kit, or even any nerfs at all. Likewise, it also doesn’t mean that dinos within the “balanced” range couldn’t benefit from rebalancing themselves (especially at the lower end of each rarity - I may re-do this analysis with a 1x standard deviation as the lower bound of the balanced range to see what I find). This article is only intended to facilitate discussion on what might need rebalancing, nothing more.
- No data source is perfect. I did not use objective data (e.g. usage rates) for a few reasons. For one thing, I don’t have access to this data. Additionally, even objective statistics can’t account for everything. For example, usage rates may place Geminititan as low tier because relatively few people run it; but this is because Diplodocus is hard to get, not because Geminititan is bad. Tier lists inherently encorporate some subjectivity, but can account for some of these nuances that purely objective data can’t. I used the Gamepress tier list because it’s made by a relatively large group of very experienced players, and does encorporate simulation data, making it more objective than a purely opinionated tier list.
- This analysis, like the tier list itself, mostly represents Arena and tournaments. There are some low-tier dinos here that get stronger (sometimes SIGNIFICANTLY stronger) in raids. Gamepress apparently may be working on a raid tier list, so I’ll be curious to see where these dinos fall on a raid tier list.
With all that out of the way, let’s get started!
First, here’s the new balance curve. Rarity is on the X axis, and Tier is on the Y. Blue dots represent which tiers dinos within a rarity are placed in. The orange line shows the average tier for each rarity, and the black bars show the balanced range (1.5 standard deviations) around each tier.
Not too much has changed since I did this analysis before. There were a few changes though. The epic hybrid balanced range went up, meaning that epic hybrids in tier 4 (Beta) now qualify for “minor buffs”. For Legendaries, the balanced range expanded and moved down slightly, meaning that legendary dinos in tier 5 (Alpha Low) now count as “balanced” (barely), and legendaries in Tier 4 now qualify for “minor” rather than “major” buffs. This means that Epic Hybrids and Legendaries have the same boundaries for the “balanced” range (statistically speaking), though for Legendaries, the high end is much closer to Tier 9 (Elite High) and the low end is much closer to Tier 5 (Alpha Low).
From here on out, I’ll tackle each rarity on its own. I’ll try not to discuss things I brought up last time, and focus on the notable changes. A summary image of my findings will be at the end.
The commons were mostly unchanged, with Tier 5 (Alpha Low) commons still counting as “minor nerfs”. Joining Glyptodon in this tier is Eremotherium. Whether or not you think these two actually need nerfs is up to you. I personally think they’re fine, since they’re almost always fighting better dinos, but maybe they’d need changes if we had “common only” tournaments?
Not much has changed here. The biggest change is that Tenontosaurus has moved down a tier to “Hatchling” meaning that now both it and Irritator need “Major buffs” (and are actually the only dinos in the game with this label). It is worth noting that these are both raid dinos, so it will be interesting to see how these two do on a raid tier list.
We didn’t get any new rare hybrids, and none changed tiers, so this rarity remains unchanged from before.
The biggest change here is that Woolly Rhino moved up one tier to “Elite Mid” (tier 8), meaning it joins Diplodocus in the “minor nerf” category. According to Gamepress this is due to the meta shifting to a swap meta. I personally agree with this placement, and I wonder how much Rhinos strength as a swap-in played in the creation on this meta in the first place.
We did get a few new Epic Hybrids, like Ankylodicurus, Ovilophosaurus, and Aquilamimus. But not too much changed. Being the only Epic Hybrid in Tier 4 (Beta), Edmontoguanodon qualifies as needing a “Minor buff”. But again, its a raid creature, and anyone who’s ever done an Epic raid can probably speak to how useful it is for these raids.
I chose to count Parasaurolophus Lux along with the rest of other legendaries, even though it isn’t a hybrid, simply because I couldn’t get any meaningful data from placing one dino in a tier by itself. That said, I expected Lux to fall at the low end of the rarity, and it certainly did, placing into Tier 4 (Beta) and qualifying for a Minor Buff. With tier 5 now within the balanced range, Darwezopteryx and Dsungaia no longer qualify for minor buffs. Tragodistis, however, was moved down a tier to Beta and still does. Again though, all the Legendary dinos that qualified for buffs (these two plus Bajatodon and Skoolasaurus) are raid dinos, so their strength may change significantly in raids. On the high end of things, Mammotherium got moved up a tier, joining Allosinosaurus, Draceratops, and Monolometerodon as barely qualifying for minor nerfs. I expect this classification for these dinos to be fairly controversial, given the number of topics that have been created about a certain legendary in this tier. Given how close these dinos are to being balanced though, I would expect any potential balance changes to be extremely minor.
To no one’s surprise, Poukandactylus joins Entelolania in Tier 7 (Elite Low), qualifying for minor buffs. Antarctovenator comes out as balanced in Tier 8.
We only got one new Apex since before, Gorgotrebax, which got placed into Tier 10 (Tyrant). This makes Mortem Rex the only Apex to not be a Tyrant, but it still isn’t quite below the curve enough to qualify for a buff. So overall, the Apex tier didn’t change, and all were balanced. Part of this is due to the low sample size, since we only have 4 Apexes, and you can’t really get meaningful data from that.
Here’s the summary of my findings:
What do you think of these findings: do you agree or disagree? Are there any dinos that didn’t make the list that you think should have? Should I use a smaller lower boundary for the balanced range so that more dinos quality for buffs? Please let me know!