Well folks, it’s happened. The major changes for the upcoming patch have been posted on Ludia’s forums and holy cow they are interesting (check out our complete overview here). There’s some massive rebalancing to battles and some changes in mechanics, some new things to buy in the store that allow us to deploy and attract dinosaurs to our current location, and that’s not even mentioning all the cool new creatures we’re gonna see.

But before I start speculating about all the things that are going to change, let’s talk about what you should be focused on right now BEFORE it comes up.

Important: Before The Update

The one thing we all agreed on in the discord channel when the patch notes were released was that dinosaur migrations might cause different dinosaurs to be easier or harder to find. Which means, based on the patch notes, you may want to give some attention to a handful of dinos that you’ve probably ignored.

Commons:

SuchomimusSuchomimus – Not only will this dinosaur likely have stand-alone value, but it’ll also be used to create Suchotator, one of the new tank-buster dinosaurs with Lethal Wound — which the patch notes revealed will now be like a death timer unless cleansed away.

Dimetrodon Gen 2Dimetrodon Gen 2 – The first legendary hybrid using common dinosaurs has been announced, and this is one component that you’ve likely ignored until this moment. Collect every one you see.

Monolophosaurus Gen 2Monolophosaurus Gen 2 – The second common component in the first legendary hybrid that you’ve likely largely ignored. Collect every one of these you see as well.

DeinocheirusDeinocheirus – That’s right. The angry chicken is getting a unique hybrid. That means about 2000 per pop if it’s anything like it was with Indoraptor and needing Velociraptor DNA. Better start hogging them now.

ApatosaurusApatosaurus – Worth a mention as it is needed for the Nodopatosaurus fusion and that will be a key component for the upcoming Giraffatitan as well.

IguanodonIguanodon – I know you might laugh at this one, because it wasn’t specifically mentioned in patch notes, but I believe they’re trying to get Iguanadon more involved, and I think the swap in mechanics are really going to change things for us. I’d recommend picking up any of these you see as well.

Rares:

Giraffatitan – The new Nodopatotitan requires a lot of Giraffatitan DNA, so be sure to catch this monster if you see it out and about.

Nodosaurus – Same here. The new Nodopatotitan will require plenty of Nodopatosaurus DNA which is made from the abundance of Apatosaurus and Nodosaurus that we see around. So be sure to pick up every one if you haven’t already.

As always, I’d recommend collecting every Epic you see, regardless of value. But enough about that. For all we know, the patch will be released very soon. We would assume the patch will not be released until the Tournament is concluded as it would change everything drastically in rankings as people work out the new rules, but after that is over, it could be any day. Let’s dive into the highlights from the patch notes!

Scent Capsules

I’ve been hoping for a while that they introduce something like this, so happy to see it implemented. Scent capsules will allow us to attract dinosaurs to our present location, and those dinosaurs will only be visible to the person who uses the capsule.

Scent capsules will come in different rarities and attract different types of dinosaurs. Some will attract specific genus of dinosaurs (such as pterosaurs, theropods, etc.) and some will attract different rarities of dinosaurs. You can pick up one pod per day at supply drops. It’s unclear as to if these carry over or if that’s just your “daily pod” but we’ll find out soon.

As an added benefit, you will be able to buy pods from the store. I really hope they’re priced relatively cheaply so that we can use smaller dollar balances — something that free to play players would really appreciate.

Battle Changes

Ludia has made some significant changes to the mechanics of battle. The biggest change is more transparency with speed differences and how priority functions, and the addition of swap-in moves.

Swap-In Moves

Swap-In Moves occur immediately when a dinosaur enters the stage of combat. The new pterosaurs are the chief recipients of the new swap-in moves, but other creatures have had swap in moves added as well.

Our Take: This is going to dynamically change the swapping games. Where right now there is a high cost to swapping creatures and taking a hit (which puts you one damaging turn behind your opponent), the addition of swap-in moves will mean you might essentially get a swap for free or with benefit. You know that feeling when you have a powerful dinosaur out and you can sort of tell that you’re going to win a match, but then your opponent swaps in a tank that is going to crush you? Well now it won’t be just tanks that get swapped in. You’re gonna see games swing a lot more often with swap-in moves. So be prepared. There’s going to be a lot more tricky things occurring that change the landscape of your matches.

Strike & Run Creatures

In addition to swap-in moves, strike and run creatures will now have predictable creatures swapped in. I’m not entirely clear on how this functions, but it sounds like the order you roll your team will mean you can predict which dinosaur will get swapped in.

So if your team consists of Indoraptor, Iguanadon (HA), Stegodeus, and Ankylosaurus, you will know that the creature to the right of Iguanadon (Stegodeus in this case) will come out with a strike and run. And if Stegodeus is dead, then Anyklosaurus would come out.

In addition, people will be able to daisy-chain a strike and run move with a Swap-In Move. So imagine you have the above lineup and are deciding who to play first. You might specifically choose Stegodeus not just because it’s a good lead, but because then your Iguanadon will be able to strike and run directly into Ankylosaurus who has the new swap-in move of Instant Invincibility. That’s right. So you’d get to smash something with a hit, swap dinosaurs, and toss up a shield all at once.

Our Take: For me it’s the daisy-chaining that will vastly change the strategy of this game. The potential to strike and run and essentially hit something again or protect your incoming dinosaur from the next attack puts you a turn UP. If you’ve read my previous articles, you know that I hold the firm belief that whoever moves most/hits most will likely win. And what this change offers is a way to GAIN moves that you might have lost due to bad RNG, or a dodge not working out quite right, or someone getting a critical hit off. This is a pretty monumental change, because it means you can come back from real bad situations, something that happens very rarely right now.

Damage Over Time: Goodbye Tanks

DOT effects change the game for the tank-meta and were specifically designed to do so. Where before, damage over time ignored armor and shields but based the total damage on the total attack of the attacking creature, now it will be based on the total health pool of the opponents creature.

This means, having a creature with 100,000 health points that would be impossible to defeat for any other dinosaur, would be possible to defeat for a creature with Damage Over Time moves. Because the amount of damage done is always based on the total health of the opponent, not on the attack power of the attacker. So in this crazy 100,000 health example, a Suchotator using Lethal Wound (Does .33 damage of opponents health over 3 moves) would do 33,334 damage per turn. That’s right. 33,334 damage per turn.

Our Take: Obviously this has interesting implication for tanks like Stegodeus. The only way for Stegodeus or Tragodistis for that matter to beat a creature like that would be to use Superiority Strike over and over again to cleanse the DOT effect over and over again. And that means a HUGE reduction in total damage done, and likely death. Adding the fact that some creatures will have SWAP IN damage over time, means you won’t be able to predict with 100% certainty and defend yourself against it.

Essentially, creatures with DOT effects become a REAL NUISANCE to all Tanks.

Interestingly, this has other implications for creatures that have a LOW health pool. That means the total damage output is actually quite low for the glass-cannon type of creature. So a counter like Pyrritator or Diloranosaurus who has a low health pool but hits REAL hard is going to crush these types of DOT dinosaurs. But there’s another huge interesting fact about Damage over Time moves that I’ll talk about next.

Immune Creatures

You see, although there was no change to immune creatures on the whole, the buffing of damage over time effects has an interesting secondary effect. Because damage over time doesn’t work on immune creatures.

Our Take: Because DOT moves don’t work on immune creatures, that means Immune creatures are going to start popping up a HECK of a lot more in battles. It’s going to be painful to see all those immune creatures in the arena. But hey, new challenges are always exciting.

Final Thoughts and Future Updates

This is now the second time that Ludia has taken their full deck of dinosaurs, considered a number of underutilized creatures, and decided to give them value in ways that add new dimensions to the present game. Future updates will likely continue to implement dinosaurs that are underused or generally seen as pretty weak, so continue to dart things that do not seem to have value now. For instance, we’ve seen in our datamining some symbols for potential moves that would do crazy things like –

  • Heal and strike at the same time.
  • Heal to a greater degree.
  • Take away an immune creatures immunity for a number of turns.
  • Force your opponent to swap dinosaurs.

All in all, we’re thrilled with all these changes. The change to handling spoofers we’ve mentioned previously, in addition to the new features being added means Ludia really does take an active interest in what we are saying on their forums and elsewhere on the internet, which when you really think about it is pretty amazing. They’re committed to improving on a game we all love, and they’re listening to the different ways we are recommending to improve it.

So while it may be easy to focus on some of the frustrations with spoofers, minor glitches in the arena, frustrations with bad RNG rolls, Ludia is listening and actively making really great changes. I mean, just consider the following things that we all complained about on the forums in the last few months and look at the changes Ludia implemented:

  • We asked for friends lists – Ludia brought them.
  • We asked for friendly battles – we got them.
  • We expressed frustration with raptors – we got proper counters.
  • We wanted to be able to counter cloaking – we got that.
  • We wanted tournaments. We got them.
  • We wanted a better coin economy. We got treasure chests (a great step in the right direction).
  • We wanted more PVE opportunities. We got strike events.
  • We asked for flying and swimming dinosaurs. We’ve now got flyers.
  • We asked for spoofers to be dealt with – they brought temp bans and permanent bans.
  • We wanted spoofers to stop messing with us in the tournament – and they’re fixing that too.

I mean, I’m no expert, but those trends are pretty stellar. And sometimes we have too short a memory as gamers, and we could benefit from looking back at all the great changes so far. Keep up the great work Ludia. We appreciate it.

19 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks for this analysis, MNBrian! With so many new decisions to make in battle, I wish we had a smidge more time. This is one of those situations when dyslexia sucks.

    One reason I love the strike events is it gives lots of time to practice using certain dinos and their moves… and without p*ssing off someone who is trying to squeeze in a battle between trains etc.

    • I’d bet we’re going to see some major changes to the dinosaurs. Ludia mentioned something about many dinosaurs changing their habits in September, and things like Dimetrodon Gen 2 and Monolophosaurus Gen 2 (two components in the new common-based legendary) will appear much more frequently for a time. So I wouldn’t worry too much about your Suchomimus issues with the biome changes impending.

    • I might suggest travelling down a road you maybe haven’t before. A couple of weeks ago, I was trying to figure out where to get the same dino, and saw a local school down a road I didn’t normally go. Now going a couple miles down that road on my normal route has become part of my regular route since they spawn regularly in that area.

    • Presently the spawn guide is accurate. Focus on the local groups rather than the “armored stuff spawns at auto shops” because the latter has a much lower probability. The new spawn guide will likely be updated within a few days of the new update release.

    • I’m assuming Monday honestly. I’ve seen a lot of people predict that. There was a longer Alpha period in the previous update because there were a lot of PvE changes. I think this has far fewer and far more battle tweaks so my prediction is it’ll be a quicker rollout probably. But that’s just my opinion. We don’t know for certain.

  2. The swap in abilities is also going to mean that it will be harder to analyze the power of dinos. Daisy-chaining is going to mean that you cannot just reliably think in terms of 1 dino vs 1 dino anymore and you will need to think in pathways.

    • Exactly. And pathways will be really hard to predict with hands not face up. There was already enough variation in the meta to make it at least unpredictable what the lead in dino would be. People can reliably lead with a tank, a tank buster, or something that has a dodge chance right now in upper tier. And although I don’t know the lead like I did in the raptor meta, what I do generally know is the likely team makeup. Same 10-15 dinos used on every team. I really think this update will take even that predictability away.

    • I think the parks system definitely still needs a little tinkering for smaller towns/cities. I know how much of a challenge it can be in those areas. But you gotta admit, the rural thing, in PoGo versus JWA, they did amazing. Every road once you get to a certain low-traffic level has a stop every 100 meters or so it seems.