Sanctuary Challenge mode questions

Hello there, has anyone actually completed the Sanctuary Island Challenge mode on Legendary? I am asking because I am stuck at just under 4 stars with dinosaur after dinosaur dying on me and unable to make progress and running out of funds. The contracts I have been given not only don't work, but I don't have the ability to cancel them and try for better ones as my funds are shot and I am surviving on the resources from expeditions. I also have many issues with this mode, which I have stated before in a post several months ago, but I was hoping someone here had a suggestion on how to get this pain train over with as I just want to get all of the skins and have had enough with the most common thing I am saying while trying to play is "not another dead dinosaur". I don't care about trophies, I don't care about completing in a certain time, I just want help getting the last few alt skins and then never playing that mode again.
 
When you complete a contract always save before accepting a new one and reload if the new one is garbage. Also when struggling for cash save immediately BEFORE sending out expiditions and reload until you get some minerals to sell.

Aside from that if you don't care about time I'd say always go for lifespan modifications and hatchery success rate.

When the first of a species dies sell all the others that were released at the same time as they won't have long to live either.
The exception should be if you have a very young carnivore you could feed them to it to boost it's rating rather than just letting them die. For example when my T rex is nearing the end of it's lifespan I create another and constantly heal the new one when they fight so that it gets an additional 50% to it's rating.

Never build multiple creation labs. They're expensive and waste space. Build one and use multiple gates and the ACU to separate your dinosaurs
 
I was about to ask the same question lol. I can’t complete Jurassic difficultly either on sanctuary. Everything keeps dying right when I hit 4 star as well. I’ve done all the others on Jurassic and for whatever reason this one is giving me a heck of a time. Done like 3 play throughs already.
 
I was about to ask the same question lol. I can’t complete Jurassic difficultly either on sanctuary. Everything keeps dying right when I hit 4 star as well. I’ve done all the others on Jurassic and for whatever reason this one is giving me a heck of a time. Done like 3 play throughs already.
I am only one thousand points away and now even my sauropods are dying. I have sunk over twelve hours into this mess I am never getting back and have had enough. Challenge mode is the worst game design I have ever tried to play and it is nothing but a massive amount of stress, irritation, and random rewards, and the contracts are completely antagonistic at times to running a park. I will try to knock out this one last island but I am never buying another game from this company as this game has permanently left me with nothing but anger and the sensation that the ones responsible for this don't understand that a game should not just be challenging, but also feel like you have agency and you can recover from a mistake. There is no such thing in this mode and trying to keep everything running from one problem to the next with no breaks to sit back a moment and earn income to complete the task means this is not a game but a massive stress test.
 
Whenever I start a new game on Challenge Mode, the first thing I do is look at the three starting contracts and make sure that they're all good ones (i.e., quick and easy to complete). If I have even one bad contract, I'll restart. Once I finally start with three good ones, I save my game. As David said above, save IMMEDIATELY after completing a contract; that way, if the new one is garbage, you can just reload. I never cancel contracts unless it's inexpensive to do so and I have loads of money to spare. Having to keep reloading until you get a good contract can be a bit tedious, but it saves money.
 
Whenever I start a new game on Challenge Mode, the first thing I do is look at the three starting contracts and make sure that they're all good ones (i.e., quick and easy to complete). If I have even one bad contract, I'll restart. Once I finally start with three good ones, I save my game. As David said above, save IMMEDIATELY after completing a contract; that way, if the new one is garbage, you can just reload. I never cancel contracts unless it's inexpensive to do so and I have loads of money to spare. Having to keep reloading until you get a good contract can be a bit tedious, but it saves money.
Thank you for the suggestion, but this seems like an extremely bad way to play what is supposed to be a game. I have completed every other island on Jurassic Difficulty (Nublar North taking only just above par time) and had about 16 million going into my fourth star. I only had about 2 million on Sanctuary and was only about 1,000 points away before I said enough as I had only a few hundred thousand and my dig sites were drying up while every minute another dinosaur died. I admit I am not a micromanaging expert and often just want to focus on one thing at a time so I can get work done, but this mode has been and will always be extremely bad as a game design goes. This is due to all the little problems that can be ignored in campaign become glaringly obvious and there is no ability to plan due to being at the mercy of random events.

Suggestions, if anyone is reading this, make contracts a way to speed-run but not a requirement to survive. This could be done by making the resources gained from dig sites take time but cover the expenses especially if one is using three upgrades to the expedition center to increase dig yield. Second big issue would be to remove the limit of a dinosaur's lifespan (which seems very short in this mode) so that death occurs by starving/dehydration, disease, predation or other conflict, but never age as this completely undermines the hard work you have done and renders the effort you have put in pointless. For other islands this isn't an issue all the time, but for 12,500 points you bet it will be and you need to have breather between issues happening or you are going to break your controller just wanting to fix a single problem and five more pop up that aren't from you making a mistake. Want the dinosaurs to attack the fence because they aren't happy? That's fine and it is on you to make sure they are happy. But when you didn't remember how many social dinosaurs you had left alive because you were busy trying to repair a fence and you had a few kick the bucket while dealing with a cyclone is not a challenge but instead is a design mistake that makes what should be a fun but honest test of your skills and knowledge instead a one way trip to either the darkside or wanting to Hulk-smash something. Now before anyone says I hate this game or the like, no I don't, but just wanting to get a few cosmetic skins for the dinosaurs you like being locked behind an unfair challenge where skill means nothing is not a good game mechanic. Again I am no speed-runner and I am not someone who buys these games types of games often (mainly I am just a dinosaur nut), but I should be excited to have completed this rather than on my knees saying "thank you God" that it is finally over.
 
It is slow and tedious, but it works.
So to unlock a single altskin (I beat Sanctuary on easy mode to get the last Albertosaurus skin) I am not likely even going to use, I have to slog through a tedious mess of a system where you aren't able to recover for a choice that may not even be a mistake while you are constantly undermined from your hard work but forces outside of your control and dump hours I will never get back that I could spend outside of my job doing something fun instead playing a game mode with almost no actual reward? Did no one think this idea through when they built this system? I appreciate the attempt to help, as before with the suggestions I got, but no I will not spend the hours I have not trying to earn real money on an escape more stress-inducing than actual work for something that should have been free to begin with.
 
Make sure you pack each paddock to the limit. Dilophasaurus is a great dinosaur. They tolerate 12 of themselves. At the end pack any sauropod or large carnivore paddock with 12 of them to push up your dino rating.
 
Make sure you pack each paddock to the limit. Dilophasaurus is a great dinosaur. They tolerate 12 of themselves. At the end pack any sauropod or large carnivore paddock with 12 of them to push up your dino rating.
I had packed the enclosures to the brim and was just shy of getting the reward when the die-off occurred and the cost of repairing the park from one storm after another had shot all the savings from the resources I got so I couldn't replace the points I lost much less get that one last enclosure needed to complete the challenge. I had Dilophosaurs, Diplodocus, Brachiosaurs, Apatosaurs, Troodons, multiple species of hadrosaurids (which started to kick the bucket one after another), dozens of Iguanodon, and three large theropods. The method works well, but when the points you have are lost as the dinosaurs die off (including my sauropods for some reason), it is unsustainable much less winnable.
 
So to unlock a single altskin (I beat Sanctuary on easy mode to get the last Albertosaurus skin) I am not likely even going to use, I have to slog through a tedious mess of a system where you aren't able to recover for a choice that may not even be a mistake while you are constantly undermined from your hard work but forces outside of your control and dump hours I will never get back that I could spend outside of my job doing something fun instead playing a game mode with almost no actual reward? Did no one think this idea through when they built this system? I appreciate the attempt to help, as before with the suggestions I got, but no I will not spend the hours I have not trying to earn real money on an escape more stress-inducing than actual work for something that should have been free to begin with.
So if you're not gonna use the skin and you don't think the challenge mode is fun. What's the problem?
 
So if you're not gonna use the skin and you don't think the challenge mode is fun. What's the problem?
The problem is that as a game mode it is fundamentally broken and I am probably not the only one who finds themselves stuck on this last island through no fault of their own. Yes I can save, clear a contract, and if the next one is bad just reload and try again, but that puts far too much time into wasted actual time for what is a game and makes the game not only tedious but liken to an additional job. I completed every other island's challenge modes on Jurassic Difficulty (granted only once at par and never fast enough needed to get a trophy) following the very methods suggested for park layout and dinosaur cloning amounts and types. However as the required points to complete this challenge is so high mixed with the time it takes to complete and there is no recoverability, the contract system being a random selection that you have to sink time into a prolonged method of "re-rolling" for better odds, and the fact that the work you have put into the park is undermined by dinosaurs dying because the time it takes to get the resources needed to expand, you are left with a situation where you can do everything you can right and spend hours upon hours working towards the goal of finishing, and yet you stall out because the work you did is undone while you are doing hundreds of other things. I have offered a few suggestions on how the challenge can exist, but not remove the feeling of agency a game requires as well as not feel what you are doing is pointless. If they removed the whole dying from old age bit then it would fix most of the issues this game mode has, as that means the work you have done and the merit earned from it are not irrelevant or undone by chance.
 
I am only one thousand points away and now even my sauropods are dying. I have sunk over twelve hours into this mess I am never getting back and have had enough. Challenge mode is the worst game design I have ever tried to play and it is nothing but a massive amount of stress, irritation, and random rewards, and the contracts are completely antagonistic at times to running a park. I will try to knock out this one last island but I am never buying another game from this company as this game has permanently left me with nothing but anger and the sensation that the ones responsible for this don't understand that a game should not just be challenging, but also feel like you have agency and you can recover from a mistake. There is no such thing in this mode and trying to keep everything running from one problem to the next with no breaks to sit back a moment and earn income to complete the task means this is not a game but a massive stress test.
I mean this in the least antagonistic way possible, but isn't that the whole point of challenge mode? The whole point of a hard difficulty is that it's... well... hard, and may even feel unfair at times. You sound like you've never played a difficult game in your life.

I had packed the enclosures to the brim and was just shy of getting the reward when the die-off occurred and the cost of repairing the park from one storm after another had shot all the savings from the resources I got so I couldn't replace the points I lost much less get that one last enclosure needed to complete the challenge. I had Dilophosaurs, Diplodocus, Brachiosaurs, Apatosaurs, Troodons, multiple species of hadrosaurids (which started to kick the bucket one after another), dozens of Iguanodon, and three large theropods. The method works well, but when the points you have are lost as the dinosaurs die off (including my sauropods for some reason), it is unsustainable much less winnable.
I would leave out the Apatosaurus, and maybe have one Brachiosaurus so you have one more unique species. Otherwise, just fill enclosures to the brim with Diplodocus with Dilophosaurus or Troodon. If by "large theropods" you mean dinosaurs such as Tyrannosaurus or Spinosaurus, I would leave those out too. If we're talking about medium carnivores, the only two I ever use are Ceratosaurus and Baryonyx.
 
I mean this in the least antagonistic way possible, but isn't that the whole point of challenge mode? The whole point of a hard difficulty is that it's... well... hard, and may even feel unfair at times. You sound like you've never played a difficult game in your life.[QUOTE

I would leave out the Apatosaurus, and maybe have one Brachiosaurus so you have one more unique species. Otherwise, just fill enclosures to the brim with Diplodocus with Dilophosaurus or Troodon. If by "large theropods" you mean dinosaurs such as Tyrannosaurus or Spinosaurus, I would leave those out two. If we're talking about medium carnivores, the only two I ever use are Ceratosaurus and Baryonyx.

Difficult does not mean insurmountable. Nor does it mean time-sink. It means that you can by your understanding and agency overcome the objective and win because you have trained, done the work to understand the way the game is played, and can win by either determination, skill, or cunning. It also means that hours upon hours of work is not undone because something outside your control wrecks your ability to win.

The random nature of the contracts and the unknowable amount you get from resources means that skill doesn't mean a coprolite as you eventually run out of dig-sites to harvest from and the contract requests such as clone x dinosaurs and have them fight don't make sense in a park where you are trying to keep dinosaurs alive. Also again dinosaurs dying means that the ground work you have built on is not only unstable, but cuts you off at the legs right at the finish line.

Have you attempted Sanctuary? you need at least 22 species and a point score of 12,500 to get five stars on Jurassic Difficulty. On other islands Spinosaurus works just fine as you can have two, and I beat Nublar North with Ceratosaurs and Albertosaurus. I five stared every other island, but Sanctuary is an absolute mess in challenge mode.
 
I mean, it just sounds like Challenge Mode on Jurassic difficulty is just not for you. It's called Jurassic difficulty for a reason.
 
I mean, it just sounds like Challenge Mode on Jurassic difficulty is just not for you. It's called Jurassic difficulty for a reason.
You are right it isn't. But this is due to how broken the difficulty mechanisms are in game. Having to waste time save scrubbing just to get the contracts needed to progress? Having hours and hours of work completely undone because of things outside of your control rather than being able to react to (dinosaur death primarily)? And even if you are surviving the challenge you reach a point when you will not succeed because of random events hours ago you have zero input into? The game mechanics are fundamentally broken when it comes to the concept of a challenge where you are having to in essence cheat the system to win. Not your skills, not your planning, not your ability to use the resources you have wisely, but instead you are cheating the games mechanics to play. A well designed game allows you to win with what is inside the game's mechanics and following the rules within the system, not by exploiting them.
 
Have you attempted Sanctuary? you need at least 22 species and a point score of 12,500 to get five stars on Jurassic Difficulty. On other islands Spinosaurus works just fine as you can have two, and I beat Nublar North with Ceratosaurs and Albertosaurus. I five stared every other island, but Sanctuary is an absolute mess in challenge mode.
I beat Sanctuary in just under 8 hours on Jurassic using the same strategy I used for every other island. It does have among the highest rating and unique species requriements, but there's nothing fundamentally different about Sanctuary compared to the other islands. I do agree that there are some fundamental flaws with challenge mode, but it's far from unbeatable.
 
I beat Sanctuary in just under 8 hours on Jurassic using the same strategy I used for every other island. It does have among the highest rating and unique species requriements, but there's nothing fundamentally different about Sanctuary compared to the other islands. I do agree that there are some fundamental flaws with challenge mode, but it's far from unbeatable.
We probably will go around and around on this, but in your win did you do so by playing the system or by playing the game? I followed the exact same way I won every other island, and while yes it took a while, I was finally able to beat each one by careful resource investment and species selection. I didn't just choose large carnivores because they were cool, but only those that I could have two or more in the same enclosure (Ceratosaurus, Spinosaurus, Albertosaurus, Baryonx), or (in the case of the Tyrannosaurus in Sanctuary) it was required by a contract to clone and I needed another species and more points. The unbeatable bit I am talking about is how if I am playing fair and square that I by my agency and adaptability should be able to win by my merit. And so long as I haven't lost, I should be able to recover and win. But that isn't the case in this system. I had the facilities, the hotels, all the required work put into my park and as I approached only a thousand more points to go, every dinosaur I had was dying and my contracts were for actions I couldn't do. That is why the mode is broken, and that is why I called it insurmountable. To win I am told you have to game the system, not play the game.
 
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