I’ve been typing on this article for an extremely long time. Longer than you think, I can guarantee you. I’ve been working on this ever since I quit JWA a few months ago. I wanted this to be my final goodbye to the JWA community, as I will be moving on to new ventures, leaving behind this once-gem of a game. However, I just couldn’t finish it due to me constantly scrapping the entire article. I couldn’t get it right and to my usual standards. I kept trying to type my reasons and such out but couldn’t get it right. I just couldn’t. So, this time, I hopefully will finish this piece by just typing what I think on the matters I wanted to discuss. No clear schedule to follow, no etiquette, just write down what I think (and filter out the many curse words that I’d otherwise add to the sentences).
I initially decided to make a relatively quiet exit at the time I left. I didn’t want to draw attention to my departure as I didn’t think it would make much of an impact. I said my goodbyes to the JWA Discord Moderation team, my wonderful alliance ApexPredators, and stayed in some servers to still have contact with the community I love. So why am I writing this article highlighting my departure? Good question. Goodbyes make you think. They make you realize what you’ve had, what you’ve lost, and what you’ve taken for granted. And I did some thinking about it too. I want to let my reasons be known. Because they are reasons that have been plaguing the game for a long time, often too long. A lot of my reasons come from recent times, but there are times where the things that bugged me came from older times. However, it’s primarily recent developments that have forced my hand to the uninstall button. I know many other people feel this way, and I want to write this final article for Ludia to see. I want Ludia to see how the game is being ruined for many players, whether they say it or not. Because I can guarantee that there are plenty of people that are on the verge of walking, and that they will share at least one of the points I make in this piece. So, sit down, have something to drink and/or snack, because this is going to be a bit of a long one.
When I started this game, it was all about hunting and collecting your DNA to level up your creatures and unlock new hybrids to battle with. The Arena was fun, and while there were strong things at the time, they didn’t feel unbeatable. Hunting was fun and lucrative, as you could find everything relatively easily, with the rarer Rarities of course being a bit more difficult to find at times. But that made the enjoyment of finding one all the better. Very few things excited me about this game as seeing that golden glow appear on the map with the creature I needed to get and using that creature to unlock a new hybrid to stomp the Arena with. It always felt like an accomplishment getting a new creature. Alliances were a welcome feature that got this community together in various media, be it Discord, WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook – name a social media platform and it likely has an Alliance in it. It allowed people to communicate with each other and cooperate to help each other develop. JWA was in its prime at that time if you were to ask me.
Ludia did their best to bring us proper updates, making sure that time and care was put into each update. Were they perfect? No, but they were good. Good creatures that didn’t have mistakes, fleshed out moves and descriptions for them that didn’t have mistakes or had to be changed last minute, features that were solid when dropped, and quick fixes and responses from the team when it was needed. Good communication all around, and just a good experience. Were they perfect? No, but they didn’t have to be. They tried and put their best effort into getting the updates out as well as they could. And while we were critical, they listened and let it know that they listened. Most of the time.
Then 2.0 dropped and changed everything for the creatures we loved, introducing the now infamous Class System. This class system was supposed to turn JWA into some form of Rock-Paper-Scissors, where one class would be strong against one class and weak against the other. A good idea in practice but executed extremely badly. Ludia always made sure (unintentionally or intentionally) that one class was clearly on top for a while. Resilients destroyed the early stages of the 2.X updates, then Cunnings rose to the forefront, then Fierces, and now it seems Cunning is the strongest again. This was all increased when Jam City acquired Ludia. The creatures that got introduced became more oppressive, forcing older creatures out of the line of play, or buffing old creatures to the point where they too would become oppressive to other creatures, forcing them out of the limelight. The recent Compsoraptor and Giganyx would be good examples of this. These two creatures are seen as very powerful and were almost required to have on your team. Giganyx has already fallen off due to the introduction of Compsoraptor, but before it was introduced, Giganyx was a staple on many teams. Each update brought at least one creature that was pretty much required to run on teams, simply because of how powerful it was, or buffed older creatures to the point of requirement to run it. Examples are Albertocevia, Imperatosuchus, Indonemys, Compsoraptor, Giganyx, Parasauthops, Refrenantem, Diloracheirus, Ankylos Lux, Hydra Boa, Rexy, Phorurex, Arctovasilas; don’t get me wrong. I could go on a very long time. I won’t for the sake of avoiding boredom, so I shall digress.
Ludia transitioned to a more regular Update schedule, with Updates dropping about every 5 to 6 weeks. Each update usually comprises of new creatures, a crapton of new moves to give to said creatures, a new feature that often requires spending to get full use out of it, and the occasional bugfix. At times they also rework older creatures to get them up to speed with the rest of the new powerful creatures. Each time, the new Update pushes creatures on us that are more powerful than the one before, creating a ginormous sense of powercreep and rushing to keep up with the ever-changing meta. And don’t worry if you don’t have the time to get out and hunt – the store has you covered. Within a few days, you’ll find plenty of Incubators selling the new toy. Apex creatures are the crème de la crème on this, as they usually appear after one or two days of the update being live. In the early 2.0 days before Jam City took over, it took MONTHS to even get one Apex Incubator sold. Right now, it’s almost expected for them to sell the Apex immediately. People could get it to L30 before F2P players could even unlock it, which is just baffling. Another thing that is always there is the new Event Exclusive creature that is introduced, that will have some busted hybrid the same update or the update after. It takes ages for any F2P player to unlock that creature, and by the time they have it, it’ll have fallen out of the meta already. Unless you buy all the bundles of course. Then you can keep up. Yeah, this game is becoming extremely P2W, and I haven’t even touched upon the blatant cash grab that is the Pass. Putting the good stuff behind paywalls, not being able to unlock the Unique creature from the free Pass but offering enough DNA to not only unlock the creature but also level it up to about L23/24, including the component DNA fused up to that creature. This is incredibly tempting to buy, especially for younger children who are more easily tempted to buy something like this. Or if you want to keep up with the top of the Arena, where you pretty much need to unload your wallet in order to keep up.
This is a problem that drips down into the lower Arenas as well, as former Shores players who can’t keep up with the spending will drop down, beating up lower players, who then drop and beat up lower players, etc. This means that the teams in each Arena become stronger and stronger, and eventually you will see that the strongest creatures will come into even the lowest Arenas. This creates a situation where players who want to play casually with creatures they enjoy will suffer, as the stronger creatures and players should really be up in the upper Arenas, but they aren’t. This combined with the Class system and the not-talked-about-by-me-increased RNG from moves, Critical Hit chances being increased, Stuns, and Resistances can create situations where phones will fly through rooms from frustration. Unfortunately, that has also happened to me too many times.
The Arena is bug-ridden and RNG-filled. From Indonemys animations reducing the time to select your moves, to unclear icons and descriptions, to moves that have become so complicated that most people don’t understand them, to RNG being worked into every kit imaginable. It takes a lot of patience to not ragequit after one battle, and one-sided battles are prevalent with the Class System. If you draw Compsoraptor against the opponents Rexy, Giganyx, Diloracheirus and Ankylos Lux, and you manage to get rid of the Ankylos Lux with the rest of your team, the opponent will never be able to beat Compsoraptor anymore. These lopsided games weren’t as present before, where there would be at least a chance to take down the oppressive creature with multiple creatures. Nowadays this isn’t present as each creature can be self-sustaining, Flocks in particular. In Tournaments this is shown even better, where there is pretty much always one creature that overpowers the rest. Fukuimimus, Argenteryx, Rexy, Megalotops, Thylaconyx – just a few of the powerhouses that will overpower anything if the opponent does not have the few available counters to them.
I always tell myself the following: If a game is not fun anymore, don’t play it anymore. And that point was reached in JWA. No matter what I tried, I just did not have fun anymore. Hunting is a mere shell of what it used to be, with the Global and Local pools being extremely overloaded, reducing the chance of getting what you want significantly. The Arena is one giant RNG-fest infested by oppressive creatures that keep getting introduced before we have time to adapt, power creeping the creatures that came before them. It just gets tiring to see my L30 fully boosted team of older creatures being beat up by L24 new creatures, even if they aren’t fully boosted. But it made me realize that this game is changing into something that is unhealthy for me. It expects you to pay to keep up properly, as there is almost no way to obtain everything you need quickly aside from getting your wallet out. If people want to do that, fair play, if you feel that that’s the right thing, go ahead. I’m the last person to stop you. However, when it comes down to it, Ludia/Jam City is almost forcing you to pay in order to keep up with everything, and that is a worrying trend. A game is at its best when you aren’t forced to be paying to keep up. And right now, Jurassic World Alive seems like a cash grab by Jam City to get some cash back from their Ludia purchase.
I wish I could say something positive about the game now that I haven’t already touched upon. Oh wait, I definitely can. Design team, props to the amazing creature design each update. That is one thing I will 100% miss from this game. But other than that, I’m glad that I took the step to move on from the game. JWA felt like a chore to do. Keeping up with Tournaments, trying to unlock all the creatures, keeping up with the Arena, FIPing the new creatures in sanctuaries – it has burned me out of this game. The fire that was once there when I started is gone. I spoke about Ludia and updates earlier, and I want to briefly call back to that. The updates right now are not even remotely perfect. Often bug-ridden, new creatures having wrong fusion requirement/costs, Weekly Events being screwed up three times (Stegoceras/Stegoceratops really aren’t the same Ludia, you’re not fooling me), features that are so buggy that they’re disabled for a while until they fix it, and little communication when they are revealed aside from a “Known Issues” page on the Forum. Updates feel rushed, and it gives the sense to us players that Ludia does not care about the game themselves, as long as it makes them some cash. Just take a look at the store offers, as those are barely ever wrong, and if they are, they get fixed within minutes. Whereas game breaking features will take days to fix, if not weeks. Like that one incident after an update where players were locked out of the game for over a week. Yeah, fun times. It shows a clear lack of interest in your game, and this in turn makes the community not trust you. And trust is something that a game developer needs above all else.
So, will I ever return to this game? No*. Unless Ludia does a MAJOR overhaul of the creatures and fixes those damn bugs that have been plaguing the game for such a long time, I will not be back. And even if they do, I’m not sure if I’ll pick up the game again. I’m staying around in the community to talk to the friends I made there, but I have moved on from this game in favour of others, and for me it was a good move.
I want to take this moment to thank the people I am lucky to have met in the time that I have played this game. Without you, my experience would not have been as good as it has been. A couple of special mentions go to the GamePress Alliance, ApexPredators, the APF Discord Server, the GP JWA Discord Moderation team, and the GP Staff. My enjoyment to JWA would never have been as good as it was without you guys. I hope you all will continue to prosper, and for this game to be something players, new and old, to enjoy. Thank you to everyone who supported me in the community, allowing me to make articles, and thank you for the kind words whenever you enjoyed it, or the discussions that started because of my works. It has all been a great experience to me, and one that I will continue to cherish for a long time.
I also want to thank Ludia for creating this game and providing years of fun. I know I just bashed the things you do beyond belief, but I want to let it be known that the game was still a big part of my life, and I have to thank you all for that. Keep continuing to improve the game, and listen to your players. They are the ones that want to see you succeed the most, and they will support you if you support them. If you improve the communication and the game itself, the community will support you as well. Let this game be a game both new and old players can enjoy.
But with this final sentence, I am signing off of GamePress. Goodbye everyone, and until we meet again. The writing is finally done.