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Subject: On Dinosaur Differences rss

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Reddish22
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Really enjoy the game so far - and the production values are off the charts!

One question--really for curiosity's sake more than anything else I had while playing--was why the different dinosaurs in the three groups all yield the same output?

Sure they cost different DNA to produce, but aside from maybe when you first pick it up, that doesn't matter that much because you can try to draft whatever type of DNA is required in later rounds.

What I mean is more why do all Large Carnivores, for instance, generate three excitement, 7 vps at the end of game, and 2 threat dots?

As it is I see very little reason to choose one dinosaur from a group over any other from that same group.

I like how streamlined and simple that approach is, but I have to admit I am a little disappointed that there isn't more to consider when trying to decide which dinosaur to take. It seems like it could have been very interesting to have a lot more variability between the dinosaurs, whether it involved outputs or even special abilities. Any hopes of something like this getting added in the rumored expansion that the designers are working on (I read something about rewarding certain adjacent buildings in the park)?

Thanks,
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Matt Smith
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This was a surprise to me too. Then I started thinking about how I wouldn't want all of my dinosaur recipes to require the same type of Basic DNA, as that would make me more dependent on that type of DNA appearing on the dice so that I wouldn't have to use my precious Market actions to buy Basic DNA. Also, requiring more of one type of DNA means I'm going to spend my Increase Cold Storage actions to increase just that type of DNA, possibly making acquisitions of other DNA less effective (e.g. I might not be able to store everything I would get). So I think I'd prefer to get a dino recipe that compliments my other recipes, rather than overlaps them too much.

For example, if I have a recipe that requires light blue, purple and green, I wouldn't want another recipe that requires all three of those DNA, or even two if possible. Requiring a broad mix of DNA means that I can take advantage of more dice faces, and would need to increase my Cold Storage less. At least that's my theory.
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Reddish22
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That's a good point Matt. There are some differences, to be sure. That doesn't mean there could have been a lot more differences (and I'm kind of surprised that they didn't capitalize on that).

Just for example - what if the T-Rex granted a greater excitement level, but if you didn't have a high enough security level, the T-Rex caused you to lose twice as many meeples or something. (Obviously you would need to balance the numbers out through playtesting) - just surprised there are no effects like this.

I am likewise surprised that there are no unique effects on the attractions.

I need to play again, I can see WHY the game was streamlined so much, but that doesn't mean I enjoy it (I am hoping that I do enjoy it more after further plays).
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Walt Williams
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I thought it had to do mostly with game balanace. If a T. Rex or Spinosaurus generated more excitement than other large carnivores, then it could sway the game in favor of the first player to claim them.
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Dustin Crenshaw
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One of my few big complaints about the game. I have no idea why they wanted them to be all the same. It removes a great deal of player choice by having them all the same.
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Reddish22
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mr_willi wrote:
I thought it had to do mostly with game balanace. If a T. Rex or Spinosaurus generated more excitement than other large carnivores, then it could sway the game in favor of the first player to claim them.


Well, yes, but that would be part of re-balancing them. The way that I see it, there are five "stats" for lack of a better term inherent in every dinosaur. (1) DNA Cost, (2) Excitement, (3) End-game VPs, (4) Threat, and (5) Space it takes in a pen.

Imagine, for example - that a Brontosaurus took up two slots in a paddock - so you'd have to upgrade the paddock to even be able to build one, but then it was worth more victory points at the end of the game. If you don't have the cash flow to make that work, the extra victory points would not be worth it. Do you kind of see where I am going with this? It would be part of your decision tree, including how the plot twists, objectives, and available market items impact those differences in dinosaur choice.

I fully admit that these are just general ideas and the actual number would have to be tested, but man would I appreciate some personality to these dinosaurs because now there is nothing in the game mechanics that makes them different in any way (if they fall in the same group). I'm not saying that's a bad thing, necessarily, but it certainly is a missed opportunity for those that enjoy asymmetrical games (which if you look at current trends is pretty much everyone).

TLDR - While all the same is guaranteed balanced, having the Dinosaurs be unique does not have to be unbalanced, it just becomes part of the equation.
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Reddish22
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SeerMagic wrote:
One of my few big complaints about the game. I have no idea why they wanted them to be all the same. It removes a great deal of player choice by having them all the same.


Thank you! Geez, I get that this game is new and hot, but I don't think its out of line to point out that this is at least an interesting idea (and wonder if the designers eliminated it and for what reasons).
 
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Pandasaurus Games
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reddish22 wrote:
SeerMagic wrote:
One of my few big complaints about the game. I have no idea why they wanted them to be all the same. It removes a great deal of player choice by having them all the same.


Thank you! Geez, I get that this game is new and hot, but I don't think its out of line to point out that this is at least an interesting idea (and wonder if the designers eliminated it and for what reasons).


It's also introduces situational balance issues. Because there are three dinos available at a time introducing additional differences could create issues where a dinosaur that you don't want is what's available.

I.e. if you need to increase your excitement a large carnivore is the best way to do so... But what if one with more end game VPs is all that is there.
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Reddish22
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stooge wrote:
reddish22 wrote:
SeerMagic wrote:
One of my few big complaints about the game. I have no idea why they wanted them to be all the same. It removes a great deal of player choice by having them all the same.


Thank you! Geez, I get that this game is new and hot, but I don't think its out of line to point out that this is at least an interesting idea (and wonder if the designers eliminated it and for what reasons).


It's also introduces situational balance issues. Because there are three dinos available at a time introducing additional differences could create issues where a dinosaur that you don't want is what's available.

I.e. if you need to increase your excitement a large carnivore is the best way to do so... But what if one with more end game VPs is all that is there.


I can see what you're saying and you're right, if you were to add variability between the different groups, you likely would need to add some different mechanism to choose dinosaurs (maybe even as simple as having two available at any given time).

To be clear, I really enjoy the game for what it is! I hope that comes through. I was just a little surprised at how streamlined it really was. There are no advantages or disadvantages to placement within your park (though I understand the designers are working on this for an expansion) and no advantages or disadvantages for specialization or generalization in dinosaur choices. These just kind of feel like missed opportunities, though admittedly would add difficulty/complexity so I completely understand why they were thinned out of the design.

And kudos on the production design. This is one of the most gorgeous productions I have ever seen! I am absolutely happy that I backed into it because it is a great design, I just think it is a little bit lighter than I was (unfairly) expecting.
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Dustin Crenshaw
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I'm hoping that when they do cool things with the expansions, they'll revisit and redo the dinosaurs. That's my hope. We all know the TRex should have brought in more excitement and threat. Raptors too.
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Brandon M
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SeerMagic wrote:
Raptors too.


They don't look very exciting. More like a six foot turkey.
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Dustin Crenshaw
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JBMoby wrote:
SeerMagic wrote:
Raptors too.


They don't look very exciting. More like a six foot turkey.


You are alive when they start to eat you. So you know... try to show a little respect.
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