Now that 1.5 has launched and the tournament has ended, we’ve officially entered the early-patch lull. We’ve seen this a few times now. This is the period of time when Ludia gets a little quiet, presumably as they begin preparations for patch 1.6 and work through bugs from this patch and previous patches.
So it’s a nice time to talk about the state of the game and what we at Metahub see most often discussed in our community (and others on the forums and fan pages), focusing on what we would really like to see in the future.
As someone who works in project management, it only makes sense to me to approach this topic from that perspective. So let’s talk about the good stuff Ludia has done, the minor lifestyle improvements we’d like to see, the big changes that desperately need addressing, and the bug fixes that get the most attention.
So let’s talk about the good stuff, and the lifestyle improvements today, and we’ll get to part two of this article another day.
Some people have complained about the balancing changes in this patch. Sure, we all know Dracorex Gen 2 is probably going to get nerfed (even though swap-in Defense Shattering Rampage is crazy useful), but honestly the balancing has been by far the best we’ve seen since the worldwide release. For one, the middle-tier arena is an absolute blast of varied dinosaurs right now (which is super exciting). The path to end-game is no longer so simple as “get a higher level Stegodeus and win every match.” And even the upper-tier arena is feeling it. Suddenly everyone doesn’t have the same 8 dinosaurs. High level stuff (like a scary Monomimus at level 30, or a Touramoloch at level 30) didn’t get dropped off teams, while other new dinosaurs became really interesting and are being added. The new terrifying chompers are being used everywhere, even when not quite up to team level. There’s a lot to appreciate, and more classes of dino’s are viable than ever before.
DNA donations and alliances have been a wonderful addition to the game so far. We’ve got no doubt that Alliances will continue to grow. But so far, we’re able to help one another out, and get rid of useless DNA for things we weren’t leveling up. Plus, it does appear that the system was built intelligently enough to really not give anyone too much opportunity to abuse it. The risk/reward was well thought out.
Stuff To Do:
Some of us forget too quickly what playing this game was like back in April. You had two primary things to do. Go dart dinos, and battle in the arena. That was it. And initially, the whole event schedule was supposed to be temporary. We only had featured dinosaurs and didn’t have nearly the distribution of event supply drops, or dinosaurs to choose from as we do now. Not to mention, event drops ONLY had featured dinos. There was no chance of any other dino spawning.
Fast forward to today and we have whole schedules of featured dinos with high-in-demand Epic dinos each weekend. We get strike towers that pose new challenges and award Epic and Rare incubators (which we previously could rarely ever get). We get treasure chests and scents to help us aim for particular hybrid components. We get tournaments and rewards for participating. We get DNA donations from our alliance members and daily quests for little rewards! And there’s actually stuff to get in the in-game store that doesn’t cost 10,000 dino-bucks. Common scents are by far the most underrated and useful tool ever. The fact is, there’s a LOT of stuff to do in this game these days.
Still, there are some smaller changes that would really improve the game on the whole. These are the things that the average JWA player would REALLY appreciate having, and get brought up pretty often.
In-game chat is nice, but here’s the deal. No in-game chat is ever going to be as useful as the apps specifically built for gamers to chat. Apps like Discord are the gold standard for competitive guilds in pretty much every game on the planet. Their channel system, tagging, features, it’s all going to be better than what any game dev can do with in-game chat. Don’t get me wrong, in-game chat is nice. It’s a great way to connect with people and it’s totally useful, but it certainly is not on the list of competitive advantages for any game dev I’ve ever heard of. So two minor changes can help in this regard. One – make in game chat a separate tab from donations. Two – don’t auto-remove words like discord, slack, irc, groupme, whatsapp, etc. JWA doesn’t need to have the best in-game chat. It wouldn’t be appreciated even if it was the best in-game chat on the planet. All JWA needs to do is have a chat room for alliance members to connect in game and talk there or direct members to applications that are solely focused on it. That will absolutely lead to more time in-game. That’s what’s happening now. Communities formed around this game on in-game chat apps, and people are discussing the game there, driving them into the game more often.
Another improvement that would add a TON to the daily JWA player is a spawn timer. It’s an almost universal experience. We see an epic spawn, and we want to get closer so we get more drone time. We get closer to it and it disappears before we can click on it. Now, we’ve been in range of this spawn for 3 minutes. We just had no idea the spawn had been in the wild for 27 minutes and 52 seconds and was just about to disappear. This small change would be extremely appreciated.
Daily Quest Rewards – Streaks
I hate to compare to another geo-location based game, but the reason that other game that rhymes with Stokemon Glow (Pokémon Go) benefits from daily quests isn’t the daily itself. It’s the streak. They offer far more valuable rewards for streaks than we get in game now. Getting four hard-cash for opening 11 incubators is a little insane. You get 4 free incubators that you’d have to open EXACTLY on time (every 6 hours) to get all of them in (and not sleep, mind you), plus your one daily incubator, plus at least one 15 minute incubator and.. what… FIVE 3-hour incubators to get that? For four dino bucks? So basically, if I play JWA all day long, don’t use any of my 8 hour incubators or 12 hour incubators or 24 hour incubators, and open every incubator exactly on time, i get 4 bucks that buys me literally nothing in the store. In fact, if I use a 24 hour inc or a 12 hour inc, i’m punished for it. I won’t get the daily reward that day without paying 100x the hard cash to force-open incubators. Not to mention, when you do the math on this, i basically need to not sleep 8 hours to open at least one daily incubator just to get to the right number.
If I play PoGo and spin one stop per day for a week, i get the equivalent of like 50 Legendary DNA – enough to power up something really good at least once. Way less effort, way more incentive.
Rehash the daily rewards to either stack (better rewards for further completion) towards something actually useful to most players, or just give us rewards that have more than fractional value. Heck, I’d open 11 incubators a day if it meant at the end of the week I got to pick any legendary and get 50 dna for it. I’d lose sleep for that. Not for 4 hard-cash.
We’ll dive into part two of this article perhaps tomorrow or later in the week depending on what surprises Ludia has in store for us. Do you agree with the above? Let’s discuss!