When Ludia went about crafting update 2.0, they clearly did so having heard our complaints. One of the major arena frustrations was always summarized with this statement –
We wanted chess and we got checkers.
The goal was to illustrate how so many things were not chess pieces, well balanced in moves so that they only counter certain things. Instead, you had things that just sort of had moves from all categories. Where the Theropods like T-Rex had moves to break shields and cut through armor, you’d also see Sauropods like Geminititan doing the same thing, and sometimes doing it better. Where the hard-shelled turtles were originally the only things with devastation, suddenly we started seeing other creature classes get it too. The end result was a mish-mash of moves and hybrids that could do all things, and it really got out of control with 210 creatures.
But now things have changed. So many things have changed.
Creature Classes and Move Rules
There are some new unwritten rules in the body of Jurassic World Alive. Things like, cunning creatures can no longer break shields with defense shattering moves (sorry Indo and Indo g2). That’s reserved for Fierce creatures. And resilient creatures are now far more adept at beating cloak, with a sort of upgraded version of Superiority Strike to help counter those cloaking monsters that caused so much frustration for us all.
The goal seems to be, while a Fierce creature still may be able to beat a Cunning creature, they aren’t as well equipped to do so as a Resilient creature is – who should more handily beat Cunning.
All of this is really shown clearly when you consider the new triad of basic moves, Resilient Strike, Cunning Strike, and Fierce Strike.
Let’s look at each to see how this RPS mechanic should look.
Fierce is the easiest to look at because it essentially does what it used to do with some small exceptions. Here are the qualities to Fierce Strike.
- Cleanse Vulnerable – Why? Because resilient creatures generally cause vulnerability (think of our turtle friends) and Fierce is supposed to handily take them down. This does two things. It gives fierce an advantage over resilient and it also makes resilient better suited to take down cunning – who cannot cleanse vulnerability by default unless they have a cleansing move.
- Remove Taunt – Taunt is a new mechanic that forces a group of attackers to attack an individual creature. It makes no difference in PVP and at the moment is only relevant in raids, but it helps undo shielders who generally both shield and taunt opponents (such as with an invincibility shield).
- Remove Shields – This one is obvious. Resilient uses shields. Cunning uses distracting. Two different ways to cut damage by half. And if Fierce beats Resilient, it breaks shields.
- Bypass Armor – Again relatively obvious. Armor has now become something that mostly Resilient is using to be stronger versus cunning. Cunning seems to have distracting moves more often. Armor is a basic stat so it isn’t exclusive, but it’s more focused now on benefiting Resilient creatures.
The overall result is really not that different than Defense Shattering Strike, so it’s relatively easy to follow. Let’s dig into Resilient Strike.
Resilient gets a little more complicated. At first glance it seems mostly like Superiority Strike, but there are some major changes. Let’s go over the effects and why they are important.
- Cleanse Distraction – This one is obvious. Cunning distracts, so Resilient’s basic move removes distraction just like Superiority Strike.
- Remove Dodge/Cloak – I’ve grouped these two because cunning creatures tend to either use dodge or cloak to hurt opponents and reduce damage. This is a big change. Having a basic move that removes dodge/cloak for an entire class of creatures makes Resilient so much stronger in countering creatures who are dodging.
- Remove speed increase – This is another SNEAKY addition to the Resilient tool-kit. Cunning creatures can often speed up via moves like Minimal Speedup Strike, Cautious Strike, and Mutual Fury, and those small increases can often turn the tide of creatures that are close in speed.
- Reduce speed 50% for 1 turn – Like superiority strike, this helps resilient creatures which are generally slow to take priority from cunning creatures who are generally fast.
Resilient strike is really an upgraded version of Superiority Strike (which also got a little overhaul in that it now is precise, so it will always hit the opponent even when opponent is trying to dodge). Which brings us to Cunning Strike.
Here’s where things get weird. Personally, I do not feel Cunning Strike does enough to beat Fierce creatures because it has some irregularities. So far, it seems very clear that Fierce beats Resilient, and very clear that Resilient beats Cunning. But bringing Cunning back to beating Fierce to finish the circle? Well… it sort of does… Let’s take a look.
- Cleanse DOT – I have no idea why cunning should logically cleanse DOT. Maybe because nothing that Fierce does can really be cleansed. While DOT is more valuable versus Resilient creatures which generally have high HP, the other two Target Self effects are far clearer for the other two classes. Sure, cleansing DOT is great compared to getting nothing. But no Fierce creature is bleeding a cunning creature at the moment, and if the purpose is to counter Fierce, this has a lot more to do with making cunning better overall and a lot less to do with countering Fierce.
- Remove Crit Chance Increase and Attack Increase – This makes a ton of sense. Some Fierce creatures like the Theropods (Tyrannosaurus Rex, Thoralodosaur, etc) are pure damage dealers and don’t boost their own crit chance or attack. But there’s another type of Fierce creatures, the fast fierce creatures with damage boosts like Tryostronix.
- Reduce damage 50% for 2 attacks lasting 1 turn – At first some of the language is confusing, but the goal here is to provide clarity. Reducing damage for 2 attacks for 1 turn means it reduces damage for both the attack AND the counter attack when a counter attacker is present. Also, it’s worth noting that a lot of the immune creatures now are not fully resistant to distract, so this quality has a bit more widespread usage.
- Finally – Reduce crit rate by 100% -- this is awesome. This means Cunning creatures can take super-boosted crit rates like those on Thoralodosaur and effectively remove crit chance completely for a turn. This translates on Thor to a 10% additional decrease in damage (if it were to crit). That’s super helpful.
While Cunning Strike isn’t perfect in countering Fierce, it does indeed do a lot to take Fierce creatures down a peg. It’s hard to say whether or not it’s enough. Personally I think Cunning Strike should also Dodge for 1 turn like Cautious Strike, similar to how Resilient Strike is an upgraded version of Superiority strike. With so many creatures having a move that clears dodge, it would make sense to have a basic move that dodges, and it’d help immensely for the generally low health cunning creatures to survive long enough to take down things like Thor or T-Rex.
All in all, the new basic mechanics do seem to function pretty well as a RPS mechanic, though Cunning Strike may not be strong enough to match the other two for the reasons mentioned above. Still, this significantly changes the game in such a core way that it almost instantly makes relevant creatures that previously were not relevant. If this change brings more cunning creatures to the table, it should also bring more resilient creatures to the table. The real test will be seeing how useful those cunning and resilient creatures become and seeing if a larger number of them are brought in to counter what was a very immune-focused meta (which leaned towards things that broke shields and armor and made resilient creatures tougher to justify on teams – unless they were also immune).
One thing is for certain, this changes everything about the arena, and it’ll all take some time for most of us to figure it all out and see what it does to the meta.