Playing the main campaign mode in 2019.

Hello Everyone!
We just passed the first year anniversary of JWE, and with patch 1.8.3 out I went ahead and replayed the main campaign all over again since the game first came out. I will be writing down my experience here in the discussion so that the devs and community members could get an idea on how much the game grew in quality and what else is needed to streamline and improve the experience altogether. I will be writing on each island experience first with their changes, followed by the overall pros, and what could be improved.

It will be rather lengthy so I made some subtitles, grab a drink of your choice and see how the game’s main campaign changed after the first year of dev support.

Before this playthrough I:
• Unlocked all the skins in challenge mode.
• Installed the secrets of Dr.Wu DLC.
• Installed Claire's Sanctuary DLC and finished her campaign to unlock the content for the main campaign.
• Installed the deluxe edition, carnivore pack, and cretaceous pack dlcs.
• Have the game with patch 1.8.3

Goal: Complete all missions and 5 star all Islands.
Total Playtime: 30 hours and 43 Minutes, played it on a casual mindset.


THE FIVE DEATHS

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Isla Matanceros

First Island is tutorial island. I found the experience to be very simple, easy and straightforward as it should be.

Dinosaurs:
The large enclosure allows for dinosaurs to be themselves and for players to experiment and understand how the dinosaurs react to their environments. When the game first released, you will observe the drinking and eating behaviors, and how carnivores would eat the herbivores as they start to panic and flee or fight if it is a triceratops against the ceratosaurus. Now there are a few more additions to their behaviors that are observable. Dinosaurs of the same species would form packs in which they will move together and do everything with a group mentality (food, water, sleep), and triceratops would display the new dominance fight mechanic to become alpha of the pack. Sleep is also a needed inclusion as it makes these animals feel less robotic as they at one point be eternally awake and full of energy. Likewise, carnivores like the ceratosaurus would not massacre all life within her vicinity, she would appropriately kill and eat when she is hungry. One welcome change is the size decrease of the ceratosaurus, players will familiarize themselves with this carnivore as it is their first predator. And she will act as a means of comparison to the later carnivores, to which carnivores of larger sizes will be more dominant and intimidating as a result.

Viewing options:
With viewing galleries and hotels in Isla Matanceros, players could now view the dinosaurs of their park from the guest’s perspective. A much needed implementation.

Terrain and Scenery:
It is amazing how this changes the playstyle of exhibit building, now it is a whole lot of fun building exhibits for our dinosaurs. Prior to update 1.8, all exhibits felt the same. Same grass, trees, and bush brushes with a bit of water. Now with different terrain options, multiple trees, rocks, and different bush brushes, exhibit building would allow for a lot of cool and unique designs to make each exhibit feel different, thus complimenting the dinosaurs.

Quality of life:
There has been a lot of subtle changes over the year the game has been out and it is astonishing how we managed on release day.
• The various tooltips that showcase the different info of each building has made managing the park a whole lot simpler, no need to click on everything to see its status.
• Dinosaur selection will not be interrupted when dinosaurs go into trees as it zooms out in the new sky view, plus you could swap between dinosaurs of the same species without opening their info menu.
• Being able to cancel an incubation is a needed change.
• Terrain constraints now show what is blocking your building placement, so it has been easier to get an idea on how the engine functions.
• Being able to see the elevation of the ground is a blessing to determine the best locations for the buildable objects.
• Highlighted fencing also helps when placing fences in trees and determining how it will look like from a clean vector point of view.
• Dinosaur genomes are present on the fossil map, alongside their diet. This helps understand how complete our dinosaurs are without resorting to the fossil extraction center or hammond creation lab.
• Dinosaurs that were created now showcase their population number, social number, exhibit size, and comfort level after the first dinosaur of that species is released.

Overall, the first island does a good job introducing the player to the overall game and mechanics. Nothing major has changed mainly as it is where a lot of the game is introduced.

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Isla Muerta

The 2nd island. It introduces the player to the dangers of park management on these islands. Light storms that agitate dinosaurs and break buildings, and the introduction of small carnivores to the park. Also is the introduction to the secrets of Dr.Wu DLC side story, allowing the player to branch out to another map once the player meets the needs for Dr. Henry Wu.

Dinosaurs:
The experience has been the same as my first playthrough, nothing new besides the introduction of the dlc dinosaurs, but one notable introduction is the baryonyx. This is the first spinosaurid introduced into the game that the player could unlock from the security division. With update 1.8, spinosaurids now have a wetland need and Isla muerta is a great early introduction to these dinosaurs as the player could have a first experience of raising a spinosaurid, and learn how these species of dinosaurs are agitated when there is a lack of water.

We also got the introduction of small carnivores (if the player did not get the carnivores pack in which the proceratosaurus is unlockable on Isla Matanceros) that could battle the dracorex. Prior to 1.8 the pachycephalosauridae would not battle carnivores at all, and now in isla muerta, we get to experience these dinosaurs fighting against the small carnivores for survival, which is an overall improvement in defining these small herbivores from the ornithomimidae in terms of game mechanics.

Sand Tool:
This is the first island to have sand as a tool option. It is especially great as it allows for desert and beach themed exhibit, especially to the baryonyx stated earlier.

Overall, not much has changed in terms of content and improvements has affected Isla Muerta. It still feels different from Isla Matanceros thanks to the island layout, introduction to storms, and easily agitated carnivores.

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Isla Tacano

The 3rd Island. I am happy to see how the updates made this feel different. My biggest gripe back when the game was released was how stagnant it felt on Isla Tacano. It was basically Isla Matanceros with more dinosaurs. Sure they were big name dinosaurs like T-rex (who was given a slight decrease in size but still rather large), Diplodocus, and Brachiosaurus, but they are dinosaurs nonetheless, so it felt samey after the wow factor.

Gyrosphere ride:
This ride has a lot of major and needed updates. In the game's initial release, you can't even ride the tour if I remember. Sure, you could unlock the drivable gyrosphere by 3 star-ing Isla Sorna, but there was no way to sit down and enjoy the ride. Now the gyrospheres are rideable, you could move the track to different enclosures, and there is even a tour guide voice over that talks about the dinosaurs in the vicinity. This is cool! And a great way to introduce something new that makes you think differently when building parks.

Paleobotany:
If you own the Claire's Sanctuary DLC, then this is when you get access to the Paleobotany gameplay. The lab, feeders, and plant options are available to research on Isla Tacano, with it and the next two islands having a capacity upgrade. Paleobotany is an interesting mechanic introduced to the game. It benefits the dinosaurs to make them more popular and live longer, it benefits the park as the rating from paleobotany increases the dinosaur rating without needing a lot of dinosaurs and thus land space, and it lets the player think of unique exhibits. The plants benefit some dinosaurs but harm others, and this makes exhibit design a lot more interesting as not all dinosaurs could be with each other but the ones that could be partnered based on diet will reward the player greatly.

So far, Isla Tacano got two major upgrades, that with some of the more recognizable dinosaurs available makes the island a much more enjoyable experience. This is a great direction that I like frontier to focus on, to add a new gameplay mechanic that makes each island feel like a growing process.

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Isla Pena

Isla Pena is a shorter experience, but difficult if you have yet to grasp how the game mechanics work. This island challenges the player with a tight map to work with and heavy storms that increases the likelihood of dinosaurs escaping and twisters that would make the challenge of 5 starring the island rather difficult.

Genetic Gameplay:
If you own the Secrets of Dr.Wu DLC, you have the chance to go to the dlc maps and play that side campaign up to the mission in which you unlock the ankylodocus. The genetic modifications you would get up to that point helps the player make dinosaurs calm enough to not be bothered by storms and not mind the confined space as much. Thankfully it is not a dealbreaker as the increased hatchery success rate is limited to 20% per upgrade (60% total). So you could either have easy dinosaurs or high ranking ones, it will be harder to get the ultimate dinosaurs that benefit from both criteria until you move onto Isla Sorna and unlock the 3rd and 4th success rate upgrade.

Paleobotany:
On isla pena, you only unlock the next upgrade to have 4 different species of plants to utilize. But the cramped map of the island promotes players to also experiment with the plants and create exhibit combinations that would benefit the player in earning a high dinosaur ranking.

Shale tool:
Here the map has the shale tool as a new ground brush. It is an Isla Pena exclusive, but delivers in an interesting gravel texture that makes the look of this island stand out from the others.

Dinosaurs and Unlocks:
One thing I want to note is how the DLC and FK Patch greatly increases the dinosaur rewards from this island.

Compared to the base game, the new dinosaur unlocks are:
Acrocanthosaurus
• Albertosaurus
Carcharodontosaurus
Carnotaurus
Suchomimus

All of which are high rating carnivores, something the game lacked on release day. Alongside these dinosaurs, the giganotosaurus got a size buff to match the size of the T-rex. All of these new carnivore dinosaurs would incentivize players to conquer Isla Pena and reap its rewards for the next islands.

The truck tour is also a new unlockable from this map. It is basically the gyrospheres of the previous island but catered to players who prefer a more traditional safari tour. With 3 different camera angles and a more rustic approach, this is a welcome addition.

Pena has grown a bit thanks to the updates. I find the island to be enjoyable as it makes me think of quality over quantity, but also enjoy the rewards earned here as it opens a larger scale of choices for the other islands, and Isla Sorna.

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Isla Sorna

The last island of the 5 deaths. Isla Sorna has some of the least inclusions from the update. However, all the unlocks achieved from the first island up to this point is greatly appreciated, as we now have more dinosaurs, buildings, genes, and game experience to make the most of this map.

New Research items:
Thanks to update 1.5, we now have expanded feeders available. This is a great time to get said feeders as it allows for large scale management for such a map without getting annoyed by the constant need to tend to the feeders. Drivable options are also available for the gyrosphere and truck, the drivable option for the gyrosphere was available since launch but has a greater significance now that we were able to ride these attractions up to this point, and now we get to control them. The 4th success rate for the hatchery is also available now after unlocking the 3rd, allowing for greatly modified dinosaurs. The final paleobotany capacity upgrade is now available too, allowing for greater options for exhibit combinations.

Ability to unlock 3 hybrids:
Indoraptor is the 2nd hybrid to be introduced in the FK patch. And from the stegosaurus and spinosaurus genes, the player could go to Isla Tacano research facility in The Secrets of Dr.Wu DLC and unlock the stegoceratops and spinoraptor respectively. The indominous rex camouflage gene is also available, alongside the remaining genetic modifications for the player to use on their dinosaurs.

Aside from the listing above, Sorna does not have as many improvements from patches. One could notice the larger spinosaurus and DLC dinosaurs, but not much else is added. At this point I don't think this is an issue as we reached the end of the game, and this is when players are slowly unlocking every research item and 5 starring the maps.

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AREAS TO IMPROVE AND INCLUDE

Campaign mode has been a whole lot of fun this time around, however, it still has some areas that need improvements or additions to make the experience a whole lot better.

1. Make the larger carnivores more dangerous.

I find myself hoping to have the large carnivores to be a lot more intimidating to have in our parks. It will help make these carnivores different from each other by making some more of a handful to take care of than others. I find myself having carnivores break out and eat my guests during the sabotage that opens the gates or missions that agitate mission dinosaurs to break out every now and then. Thanks to the secret of Dr.Wu DLC, managing these carnivores feels easier when you could drop their comfort threshold to not be bothered as much by storms and investing in electrified concrete fences. I think these two features to the carnivores would make the experience a whole lot more interesting

• Have the carnivores breakout when there is no food:
If I have a Tyrannosaurus rex be in a light fenced enclosure with all of its habitat and social needs met, then she won't attempt to break out. And when I remove her food supply, she would starve to death. I want the T-Rex and similarly dangerous carnivores to be more destructive to take care of. If a prehistoric predator could not find food and will nearly starve to death, then it should make sense to have it escape its enclosure and attempt to hunt other dinosaurs or the guests. This will make taking care of carnivores a bit more tricky as not attending to an empty feeder to work on something else could lead to some easily avoidable but catastrophic results.

• Introduce a hunting need and cow feeder:
"T-rex does not want to be fed, he wants to hunt" is such a significant quote from the first movie, and I think this could work well for carnivores of JWE. You could have carnivores in the game eat from the feeder, but if that carnivore is the kind that prefers to hunt then she needs to kill something every now and then to satisfy her instincts. And this could vary between the carnivores in the game. The ceratosaurus could be the most chilled carnivore to raise as they are the first carnivores to own. But once we move to Isla muerta, then there should be carnivores that crave the kill.

Velociraptors would attempt to break the fence as they can't simply be satisfied with a meat feeder forever, they want to hunt and takedown something. Throw in a goat and see how a velociraptor will prioritize to hunt that goat, and when she lunges and kills the goat, she and her pack mates have a more satisfied hunt need as they could all share the carcass.
However, when we move to later islands, and have large carnivores like carnotaurus live in packs, a goat won't satisfy the hunt need for the entire pack as the one who kills the goat ends up eating the animal whole. Which leads to the other carnotaurus getting agitated as time passes by, not being able to be part of the hunt. And to have goats be constantly supplied will be costly. So introduce the live cow feeder. This is when we could have 1 large farm animal satisfy the hunt need of a pack of large carnivores as they can't swallow a cow whole and share the kill.

This hunt need could vary and give each carnivore a difficulty in raising them. So dinosaurs like ceratosaurus, proceratosaurus, metriacanthosaurus, and baryonyx could be easily taken care of thanks to their low need to hunt. Whereas T-rex, giganotosaurus, and spinosaurus are extremely dangerous as they need to hunt a lot. Finally dinosaurs like the indominous rex and indoraptor would be the most ruthless killers, as they would go insane not being able to hunt for so long.

2. Introduce a permanent scarring mechanic.

Dinosaur combat is big in JWE, so why not show the effects of having these dinosaurs fight? Let's say on isla matanceros, you accidently released a ceratosaurus in a triceratops exhibit, and that ceratosaurus managed to take a bite of a triceratops before she got tranquilized. The triceratops is saved but is scared because you were not careful. Likewise, the champion T-rex of a park would often find herself fighting carnivores of many species, so she is sure to gather some battle scars. Having this feature be brought into the game would add personality to some dinosaurs, so it is not just a triceratops who got into a fight, but a triceratops who got into a fight and lived.

3. Restrooms and cleaning facilities.

The game has improved its management for the dinosaurs but we need to have guest management as well. Restrooms are a common building choice in tycoon and management games, its…natural. And adding restrooms in JWE will make the game much more believable. Cleaning facilities are also a key part of management, it will be a new feature to try to keep guest rating up as the guest population increases.

4. More attractions.

The game aims to make each park feel different from each other. You could have different dinosaurs in each park and still manage to attain a 5 star rating. What will keep the game interesting and not tedious is the introduction to new attractions for our guests to enjoy. It could be a balloon tour, a wooden tunnel, an elevated bridge, etc. Something that invokes a new way to think how to layout the park and keep players engaged.

5. New kill animations.

Combat is big in this game but the large carnivores feels too similar to each other. I was thinking that simply introducing new kill animations to the T-rex, Spinosaurus, and Indominous rex would make these dinosaurs distinguishable from the other large carnivores.
• Have the T-rex hurt the opposing dinosaur by bashing his head to make them lose balane and deliver a destructive crush.
• The Spinosaurus should have his jaw and arms on the opposing dinosaur to deliver that infamous neck snap.
• Finally, the Indominous rex should be savage, slashing and biting the opposing dinosaur to death.
These dinosaurs all held major movie roles and their respective fans would enjoy the added kill animations.

6. More Jeep and Helicopter skins.

I like to customize my ride, it is the closest thing we have in this game to represent us as a player. The jeeps are cool that they have skin options of the JW jeep, Jeep’s Rubicon in red and blue, and the original Jurassic park jeep. The helicopter does not have much. If you preordered the game, you would get a helicopter and ranger vehicle of the color of your platform. If you didn’t, you only had the default helicopter skin.

7. More dinosaur AI.

Dinosaurs are cool! We all know that, but we also know that they do not engage in battle the whole time. I wish to see some added docile animations of dinosaurs being themselves:
• A rest animation where dinosaurs would lay down and observe the world around them in a comfortable position.
• Small carnivores playing with each other like wild dogs.
• Herbivores grooming themselves and each other.
• Playful fights, like pachys headbutting without damage.
The more additions and improvements these dinosaurs would get, the harder it is to predict what they would do next, which makes having them in our park a lot more enjoyable.

8. Dinosaur enrichment items:

These items would add to the dinosaur’s entertainment value and add more to their behaviors. We could have large carnivores chew on a giant tire, or small carnivores climbing over a dead log, Triceratops could rub her horns against a stump and pachycephalosaurs could headbutt a dummy.

9. A few more scenery options:

I wish to have a few more decoration options for our exhibits. A few more trees would help, but how about some man made objects too? A fountain could work, alongside some fossil statues. I also would like to see some “abandoned” scenery objects like an old ranger vehicle covered in vines, or a small mist machine that could add to a swampy area.

(Edited Saturday July 27, I forgot these three... Whoops)

10. Expanded hotels should be introduced:

On isla Sorna, to 5 star my park, I had to build 3 normal sized exhibits, 1 large tour exhibit, and 4 hotels next to each other. This bothered me as it destroyed the layout of my park and made it look like a very odd semi city of apartments than a island resort. We should have grand hotels or hotel upgrade to be introduced so that the large maps feel more balanced. This should be implemented in isla Tacano as that is when island maps would get bigger (aside from pena) and would help in challenge mode when playing in Isla Sorna, Nublar, or Sanctuary.

11. More unique dinosaurs.

The thing I love the most of JWE are the dinosaurs themselves. It is a good reason why we want to play JW, we wanna be John Hammond. And dinosaur reveal is giving me the same hype value of Super Smash Brothers, as we don't really know who gets in until they get announced. The dinosaur selection was very lacking on release as some dinosaurs felt very similar to another. Thankfully, the roster has improved and grown a lot since release,, to which I wish to see some dinosaurs introduced that cover these 2 niches.
• More small herbivores: We need to have small dinosaurs in this game. A big dinosaur is great and all but the little ones help balance out an ecosystem. Dryosaurus, homalocephale, minmi, protoceratops, mussaurus, and europasaurus, dinosaurs like these would balance out the roster by filling in the niche of size diversity and complimenting the giant dinosaurs even more!
• Weird and Wonderful: We need dinosaurs that are odd, and makes us question "Dinosaurs were really like that?". If we could get dinosaurs like therizinosaurus, gigantoraptor, deinocheirus, amargasaurus, shantungosaurus, and einiosaurus. They are well recognized in the dinosaur community but otherwise oddballs to the general public. Having these dinosaurs in our parks gives us variety in diversity and not always aim for the biggest and strongest dinosaurs as our star attractions.

12. Some new fossil artwork.

With dinosaurs like the spinosaurids feeling very different from the common therapods in the game, I was thinking that we should introduce a fossil artwork for the spinosaurids. A fossil sample with them having the distinctive spinosaurid snout. And possibly different possil artworks for the ornithomimid, carcharodontosaurid, and abelisaurid. Since the number of carnivores increased a lot since release, it will be cool to have each family have a distinctive look to their fossils. So when you dig up their bones, you could tell you are in for something new!

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OVERALL

Overall, I had a much grander time playing the game compared to its launch version. The variety of dinosaurs was a great bonus as I recalled a lack of certain niche dinosaurs such as carnivores on release day. The paleobotany and expanded genetic gameplay helped made dinosaur management fun, to experiment in building the dinosaurs we would like and raising them afterwards. The new tour based rides are a blast, and I find myself enjoying the waiting time on some islands and appreciate the parks that I have built. I am happy with the campaign mode overall, and I think there is fun to be had if I did not get the DLC, but the DLC overall made the experience a whole lot of fun. I am happy to see this as a proper Jurassic Park game, as the release version felt a rushed in some areas. As it is, I find the game to be easily recommendable to others who enjoy dinosaurs and park management.

ONE FINAL NOTE

There is rumor going around that we may see sandbox in all maps. If this is the case then this could be a reward for completing campaign mode fully. It would add a lot to players who went the extra mile to unlock everything by rewarding them all maps with sandbox options.

This has been a lot of writing in my end and I hope the information I laid out is useful to give perspective on the game’s overall growth. I do apologize if I missed any details, as I was focusing on the ones that stuck out to me the most. Hopefully with the first year over and the game having a good 2 years ahead, I wish to see this game keep on growing. Fixing any remaining problems and adding new content and game options for us to keep coming back to.

Please let me know what you all think. I aim to do one campaign playthrough after each year of support, so hopefully if you all like this I could all this again next year too!
I hope to hear some good JWE news soon!

Kind regards,
Pixelated Sparkster.
 

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What a great post. (y)
I think I have to agree with everything you wrote here.
Saying that, I haven't played a new campaign yet but I'm thinking of playing a new one soon and experience first hand the differences that have been made over the year.
 
Thank you guys!

I was mainly worried to make any grammatical mistakes hahaha, but I am happy to see how my post made you guys actually want to restart campaign mode :) . It is a different experience now than it was on release day, and sometimes we forget how small but notable these changes are when we play the game on sandbox and challenge mode for so long.

I forgot to add three important bullet points for areas that need improvement and additions but overall I am happy with the post. I aim to do similar post soon when the game needs it. Thank you all for your support. 👋
 
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I'm in love with some of your ideas. Toys are a must. I can imagine my pachys slamming into a velociraptor dummy. Similarly, scenery gates, skeletons and signs for visitors. All those should be destroyable by large dinosaurs if they're rampaging. I truly hope they include "ruin" items such as the broke JP1 tour vehicule.

I had no idea carnivores would not break out if they are starving, this must be fixed asap!
 
Excellent post, I myself have started over now on my PC version. Taking my time though, challenging myself to fully complete each island and max out the rep bars before moving on to the next one.

I wish we were able to request contracts as often as we want with no two minute cool down period in between. Would speed up the game play a bit. Sometimes the campaign can be a little bit too time consuming, I lose track of time when playing, I played for 9 hours straight one night until I saw the sun was coming up. Oops lol
 
@Falco57 That's very true! I think challenge mode made us waaaaay more efficient in park building. Up to the point where I am confident in deleting the entire pre built park on the Islands and start from scratch with a meager budget. 😂

Go for it, it will be a more chill experience. And I myself don't mind the slower pace, dinosaurs actually live really long now thanks to the age update, genes, and paleobotany. So it will feel long compared to the first release of the game.
 
I loved playing the campaign again! An awesome experience. ☺
I do have a question. Any clue on how to save sandbox mode on the other islands? It’s says I have 0/64 blocks available and won’t let me save.
 
I loved playing the campaign again! An awesome experience. ☺
I do have a question. Any clue on how to save sandbox mode on the other islands? It’s says I have 0/64 blocks available and won’t let me save.
Sandbox mode is a new mode available to go to from the main menu. To get access to the content in sandbox mode, maps, dinosaurs, and buildings, you have to 4 star those islands in the main campaign. Then you could select whatever island you would like from sandbox mode and save it in the new sandbox save section.

Hope this helps :)
 
I am really happy with how the overall game has grown since I made this. I am excited to finally sink my teeth into the new DLC once update 1.12 goes live. Here is looking forward to 2020!
 
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