This Next DLC is Make or Break

Tbh for a content pack to be something big, it needs to do more than just as animals.

It needs actual game improvements and objectives added to give players something to work towards.

If they did things like significantly improve the pathing system, added more freedom and options in each game mode, new building mechanics, behaviour mechanics and shops it would be a much bigger deal (especially the pathing part, that would be huge for a lot of people)
 
Tbh for a content pack to be something big, it needs to do more than just as animals.

It needs actual game improvements and objectives added to give players something to work towards.

If they did things like significantly improve the pathing system, added more freedom and options in each game mode, new building mechanics, behaviour mechanics and shops it would be a much bigger deal (especially the pathing part, that would be huge for a lot of people)
I agree, when it comes to animals, there isn't much game changing stuff to do. However, deeper management mechanics, playgrounds, new building systems, new pathing system, in-game seasons, achievements, new campaign types, could all be "game changing" in that they would allow entirely new types of gameplay, compared to marine animals and aviaries which is just a nrw type of habitat building.
 
Tbh for a content pack to be something big, it needs to do more than just as animals.

It needs actual game improvements and objectives added to give players something to work towards.

If they did things like significantly improve the pathing system, added more freedom and options in each game mode, new building mechanics, behaviour mechanics and shops it would be a much bigger deal (especially the pathing part, that would be huge for a lot of people)
Every single DLC thus far has been accompanied by substantial free updates that add new features and improvements, just as you suggest…

animal ageing, multiple sandbox options, game difficulty settings, negative building effect radius, group behaviour, educators, barriers and curbs, elevated path length, etc. etc.. There is no reason to think this won’t continue.
 
Can someone please explain to me why the pathing system is so bad. Like, I have no problems with it. Maybe it’s just the style I build in, I don’t know. Is it the best, no. Can it be better, yes. What’s wrong with the pathing system, someone explain.
 
Every single DLC thus far has been accompanied by substantial free updates that add new features and improvements, just as you suggest…

animal ageing, multiple sandbox options, game difficulty settings, negative building effect radius, group behaviour, educators, barriers and curbs, elevated path length, etc. etc.. There is no reason to think this won’t continue.
While I agree, most changes are QoL chabges, which are amazing, but don't really bring new gameplay.
 
Can someone please explain to me why the pathing system is so bad. Like, I have no problems with it. Maybe it’s just the style I build in, I don’t know. Is it the best, no. Can it be better, yes. What’s wrong with the pathing system, someone explain.

The problems I have are about things like elevation changes, the ability to create plazas (or not) the frustrations of trying to build close to water, habitats, or exhibits, the limited width (I've never been able to successfully use the que trick) and, of course when you do weird things with the path, the guests can get stuck/unable to access areas etc.

  • The fact that the exhibits and facilities auto-generate a path connection (that screws up surrounding path) is annoying and requires extra steps to mitigate - that should have a tick box to turn it off since it's not actually required that the path connect to an exhibit or shop for guests to use it, so long as the item is very close to the path.
  • The invisible hitbox/size conflicts between water and paths is vastly irritating if you want to build bridges or water right up to a path and, god forbid you try and create a tunnel under water, which is a common thing in many zoos.
  • Making the paths go up or down terrain changes can be mindbogglingly difficult - and using flatten terrain creates a huge terrain 'border' that you may not want, and tunneling - I find difficult to control.
  • While I don't like the look of the very flat, painted on style of paths I see in games like Dinosaur Kingdom or JWE the fact that it's so easy to lay paths makes me very envious. And honestly, when I create elevated areas there's always that 3 feet of fake concrete support that is super annoying from a visual perspective. I wish they'd just crated a ... dunno something that's no thicker than the flat roof/floor pieces tend to be, if not slimmer. Visually, a set of smaller cross braces could be used to create the illusion of support.
 
What would constitute new gameplay in your opinion? From my POV, several of the updates have done exactly this.
I wonder this as well. To paraphrase the very insightful post from @Iben adding in avians and marine animals might add some new things, and would certainly go a ways towards adding in a variety of types of animals, but they're not going to suddenly transform the spirit and style of the game into something it's not.

If people don't like building habitats and just want to enjoy the animals (which is totally fine!) I don't see them becoming suddenly excited to do so with new animals. It's a play style. So....with new gameplay are they meaning a first person mode of care for the animals, like ZT2 and the ZT game from a few years back? That's really about the only thing I can think of that's really "gameplay" changing. Are they wanting first person animal mode where they can "be" the animal (see through the eyes of the animal)?

Otherwise it's just new animals an some additional features. Even overhauling the exhibit system into a more modular customizable system wouldn't really be adding a lot of new gameplay. You still end up putting the animal in a box. It'd just be a more interesting box.

While avians and marine animals might give a small bump in terms of game coding, I am not certain they'd add actual new gameplay. And certainly, new standard habitat animals won't add new gameplay. You're just expanding the roster at that point. Which don't get me wrong, is not a bad thing at all (I love it! More animals please!)

Same applies to builders. What are the big gameplay changing things that are being asked for building wise? We see requests for adding flexicolor to sets, and while I totally support that, is it really game play changing? More suggestions for styles of grid based sets? Same, it's just new looks, not really gameplay changing. I may have not much building skills but I can recognize that Planet Zoo's building system is, if not perfect, very good. Give us the ability to un-grid some of the grid-locked items so we can change their world axis, and make all those sets flexicolor, and I'll be thrilled.

For me for example, aside from personal issues of motivation attributing to this, I really spent the first half of the year not playing that much. Part of that was because it was missing a very "key" animal for me. Without meerkats I really felt I could not really build the zoo I wanted, that's how much I wanted them in the game. We got those, and then the really necessary North American pack, and my interest has gone back to early 2020 levels. I may not have time to play every day but I'm still putting in 10-15 hours a week - that may not sound like a lot to some, but I don't have a ton of gaming time. Still....it's to the point that when I want to play I game, I don't have to think about what to play, Planet Zoo is pretty much automatic for me - I don't need new gameplay, just more animals, something I'll always keep saying!

But if someone could tell me what suggestions they have for game play changing I'd appreciate it. It may end up being those aren't really gameplay changing at all.

Edit - going back and rereading I realize my last comment may have come off a little condescending and if so I apologize. What one considers gamechanging to them is valid for them. If you consider birds or marine animals gamechanging, that's great, your opinion is right for you. But I still believe it doesn't change the theme, spirit or style of the game, and that it's just a visual difference in what's already in the game -they're still animals to take care of that require the various needs - not a bad thing, that's definitely want I'm wanting them for - visual differences. I just wonder if we get them and they end up being disappointing to some because they're just flying/swimming variations on what we already have.
 
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For me, birds and aquatics are game changing. Definitely birds are more game changing than aquatics. And there's a simple reason for that... not every zoo has marine animals (I'm talking dolphine, sharks, etc.) but every zoo has birds, or just flying animals in general. Thinking about birds and aquatics, they almost add different realms to animals we have in game. Animals on land, animals in the water (oceans) and animals in the air (hopefully!).
 
Game changing wise would be the following
  • path revamp - fix connecting issues, have the ability to paint paths instead of placing so you can make obscure shaped path areas to fill unusually shaped areas.
  • sandbox setting or a creation system to allow the ability to modify genetics to 100 % and change custom colours manually (this to me is why I stop playing most times and have been waiting for)
  • new species behaviours incorporated (social grooming, better herding behaviour and Inter species interaction)
  • planet zoo foundry - a mod kit to allow players to create their own stuff for pz including animals, shops and more. (This would be absolutely game changing, and while the argument may be pz wants to not allow it so they profit from new animals, they still can. Ark survival evolved had a Dev kit, but even if a modder makes a new animal, or adds an animal as standalone from a new dlc players still pay for the official version of that animal)
  • structures able to be unlocked from grid and toggleable rotation ability
  • more means of travel, escalators, elevators, helicopters.
  • revamped animal coat colour system (the current system is very basic, only allowing a lighter/darker shade of a single texture, not actual full coat and marking variation with multiple coat patterns)
  • "allow players to visit" options, enabling any player with pz or friends only in your Steam list to actually come and visit your zoo in first person.
  • Innovations pack that includes genetic modification, new research that can extend animal Life/fertility and a Cloning lab - the ability to retain DNA of your favourite animals to clone when they die (might be SciFi, but plenty of people would likely use it to store DNA of their perfect max genetic animals to clone later, or to help with breeding)

These to me are game changing things that could be added. I tend to be more excited for the big update that comes along with the animal pack as they do bring game changing features, but if say a new content pack had a mod kit as part of that pack, that is a huge deal and would make me super excited to buy.
 
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In my opinion Planet zoo has a huge advantage when it comes to talking about the possibility of a lifetime, which in my opinion is many years unlike most games, because just see the meta-wishlist, I'm sure most we would be willing to pay for packages that had at least 1 or 2 animals from our top 20 (several are extrapolated at the top of the list), Frontier could milk with several dlcs, in addition to as some points out when adding new things such as birds or marine they open the doors for another whole year of DLC each.

Not only that, but please see Zoo Tycoon 2, that game came out in 2005 even before Planet Zoo came out it had its active community quite alive for the game's age. In the worst scenario we have 1 more year of DLCs and the community with mods keeps the game afloat for other years of life and in the best scenario we have more than 1 year of dlcs, improvements and support for mods making this easy to be a game that has a community to last for years, but up to decades until the next heir to Zoo games arrives. So in my opinion, unlike other games that I like, Planet Zoo has a long and guaranteed lifespan.

In the end that will depend more on us than on Frontier or Youtube (although of course their help would be invaluable).
 
You can't just label an opinion as being correct or incorrect.
Yes I can - your opinion is incorrect. The game is successful and continues to be successful, as evidenced by the financial records. The perception that YouTube is somehow important is just your imagination. Like I said - if I told you my opinion was that the sky was green, not blue, you'd be nuts to just accept that at face value.
 
Just intrigued, but if aquatics (not the DLC just the free game update) wasn't game changing, then what is?
Because it only added a new layer of animal navigation, which technically already existed with the hippos. Sure, they improved upon it in a great way and made it more complete, but ultimately we could build underwater viewing windows before and we could still build them afterwards. The guests don't get any special bonuses for seeing underwater animals, having underwater viewing windows with aquatic species doesn't contribute to your zoo's rating in any way, so really while it was something that made the zoos we build a little bit more realistic it wasn't "game-changing".

You know what would be game-changing? If they separated the guests from the pathing system so they could behave as individuals, or as adults and children. Right now there's no way that can happen. Or, if they added in animal personalities which affect their behaviour in a meaningful way. Or if they went through every species and individualised behaviour and needs based on the species instead of the 'type' (rather than just "dog=pack, hyena close enough to dog, lemur close enough to monkey").
 
Has anyone ever thought that games have a naturally SMALLER shelf life these days?

Anyone over the age of 30 will likely realise how fast the world moves these days compared with when they were a teenager.

Maybe it's just that people's attention for the same game isn't what it was and as @Iben suggested, the game can't change in such a way that it will bring new players back because there's nothng significant to change. There will always be a core group that will continue to play and luckily, the mechanics of Franchise mean you're not playing the same thing over and over again to some degree - it's always slightly different depending on market conditions (what animals are available).

I played Banished over and over for ages. Then one day, I realised I was completely bored with doing the same thing over and over again. I haven't touched it since.
I played Medal of Honour: Allied Assault for nearly two years straight because the online multiplayer was different every time.

But with newer and newer games coming out every few months, people will always stray.

And any "new" users are unlikely to invest in a game where the forums already have posts about "Planet Zoo 2" - another example of people who are desperate for new, new, new - can't even use the current version for more than a couple of years before wanting some sort of revamped one.
 
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Yes I can - your opinion is incorrect. The game is successful and continues to be successful, as evidenced by the financial records. The perception that YouTube is somehow important is just your imagination.
Is that how you measure success?
By how much revnue the game has made?

Because I don't measure the amount of Twitter followers someone has as how successful they are.

That's like measuring the success of forums on the amount of registered users.
An older forum may have millions of users but only 3 posts a month. A newer one may have just a few thousand but hundreds of posts every day. Which is more successful?
You could say the older forum has been a success in i's hayday but it certainly isn't now. Just like I'd say the only real measure of success is currently users... the amount of people who play Planet Zoo every week.

Someone could have billions of pounds but do next to nothing with it.
Someone else could have a modist income but able to buy their own house, go on holiday a couple of times a year, raise a family and have money to give them.
Who would you say is more successful in life?

All depends on the measure of success.

And FYI: YouTube is still fairly important - that's where a lot of (free) marketing comes from.
It's by no means a measure of how successful a game is but to disregard it's importance in the success or failure of that game is... as you put it... bonkers.
 
Is that how you measure success?
By how much revnue the game has made?
The previous and on-going revenue of the game is literally the only thing that matters to a company measuring the success of its games.

And FYI: YouTube is still fairly important - that's where a lot of (free) marketing comes from.
It's by no means a measure of how successful a game is but to disregard it's importance in the success or failure of that game is... as you put it... bonkers.
And while I agree youtube helps the game, most players mostly engage with the game by... playing it. The people watching youtube videos of a game are by default just a subset of the community. A better social media engagement stat would be views and likes on official dlc announcements, as they show you the number of active community members that are still interested in the game.
 
You can't just label an opinion as being correct or incorrect. If I say, in my opinion, bananas are better than apples, you can't just say that's wrong, or really right. If you say, "I don't think that the games popularity is based on YouTube content" that's your opinion, that's what you think. It's not a fact.
There is a difference between optinions and false facts.
"The game is dead TO ME" = opinion. No one can say anything against it.
"The game is dead" = false fact. People already gave you plain facts why the game is not, the only proof that matters are the sales and they are good. PZ is doing pretty well if you look at the financial report.
As long as a game is profitable (= players invest money) and the company still produces content for the game, it is neither dead nor even retired. The fact that your YouTube bubble does not play the game anymore does not change that. Maybe you are just in the wrong bubble, when you still want to play PZ and want to watch PZ content. Change your onw watching behaviour and the problem is solved.

I agree with a few others, that neither aquatic animals nor birds are "game changing" and non will bring players back, that prefer and enjoy theme parks more and whine ever since the game was released that "zoos aren't as divers as theme parks" (false narrative again,by the way), just because they were in 2 zoos their whole life time.

Game changing for me by the way would be something that touches the core of the game. Diverse animal behaviour that enhances animal management, because tiger A don't want to breed with Tiger B, Tiger C hides from guests all the time and is bad for the reputation, Tiger D is knowen for abdondon their offspring so breeding isn't possible as well, Tiger E needs more space than tiger F to be happy etc. - THAT would be game changing for me, for example.

But of course there would still be those players who turn off everything in sandbox and then whine again, that the game doesn't change and management is shallow -.- Believe it or not, if you are not willing to accomodate your playstyle at the slightest and be creativce, the game won't be creative for you.
 
Game changing for me by the way would be something that touches the core of the game. Diverse animal behaviour that enhances animal management, because tiger A don't want to breed with Tiger B, Tiger C hides from guests all the time and is bad for the reputation, Tiger D is knowen for abdondon their offspring so breeding isn't possible as well, Tiger E needs more space than tiger F to be happy etc. - THAT wou
I think this'll happen. I have a gut feeling.

I know this is the classic "if JWE 2 has it PZ will", but, as I mentioned once somewhere else, something that JWE 2 has is animal traits.
For example, when I cloned a batch of raptors, 2 of them had "Dominance" traits, which means they're more aggressive and will attack more often; which it did, my raptors were fighting a lot and getting injured. One of my trikes had the "Weak" trait, which meant it had "-30% attack". My parasaurolophus had another trait which makes it more thirsty.
So, with a but of experimenting, PZ could potentially add animal traits into the game.
Zebra 1 is dominant and must be alone. Zebra 2 gets thirsty all the time. Zebra 3 is shy and requires hiding places.
Maybe it's not super deep animal behaviors, but it already makes them far more interesting than simply "Eat here. Sleep there. Run around in circles for no reason".

Another thing I noticed: preferences. Many dinosaurs in JWE 2 have animal likes and dislikes. Like, sauropods love hadrosaurs, but dislike other sauropods. Ankylosaurs love ceratopsians but dislike stegosaurs. We kinda have animal likes in PZ (animal enrichment), but what about dislikes? Maybe not necessarily carnivores, but what if, for example, binturong A loves sun bears, but can't stand proboscis monkeys? So, you can't ever put them together, even if the rest can tolerate them.
See what I mean?
 
I think this'll happen. I have a gut feeling.

I know this is the classic "if JWE 2 has it PZ will", but, as I mentioned once somewhere else, something that JWE 2 has is animal traits.
For example, when I cloned a batch of raptors, 2 of them had "Dominance" traits, which means they're more aggressive and will attack more often; which it did, my raptors were fighting a lot and getting injured. One of my trikes had the "Weak" trait, which meant it had "-30% attack". My parasaurolophus had another trait which makes it more thirsty.
So, with a but of experimenting, PZ could potentially add animal traits into the game.
Zebra 1 is dominant and must be alone. Zebra 2 gets thirsty all the time. Zebra 3 is shy and requires hiding places.
Maybe it's not super deep animal behaviors, but it already makes them far more interesting than simply "Eat here. Sleep there. Run around in circles for no reason".

Another thing I noticed: preferences. Many dinosaurs in JWE 2 have animal likes and dislikes. Like, sauropods love hadrosaurs, but dislike other sauropods. Ankylosaurs love ceratopsians but dislike stegosaurs. We kinda have animal likes in PZ (animal enrichment), but what about dislikes? Maybe not necessarily carnivores, but what if, for example, binturong A loves sun bears, but can't stand proboscis monkeys? So, you can't ever put them together, even if the rest can tolerate them.
See what I mean?
I like that idea, it would make things more random via the animals, but that would also make it more interesting or challenging. And of course, there could be an option to turn that kind of thing off in Sandbox for those who didn't want that.
 
Game changing wise would be the following
  • path revamp - fix connecting issues, have the ability to paint paths instead of placing so you can make obscure shaped path areas to fill unusually shaped areas.
  • sandbox setting or a creation system to allow the ability to modify genetics to 100 % and change custom colours manually (this to me is why I stop playing most times and have been waiting for)
  • new species behaviours incorporated (social grooming, better herding behaviour and Inter species interaction)
  • planet zoo foundry - a mod kit to allow players to create their own stuff for pz including animals, shops and more. (This would be absolutely game changing, and while the argument may be pz wants to not allow it so they profit from new animals, they still can. Ark survival evolved had a Dev kit, but even if a modder makes a new animal, or adds an animal as standalone from a new dlc players still pay for the official version of that animal)
  • structures able to be unlocked from grid and toggleable rotation ability
  • more means of travel, escalators, elevators, helicopters.
  • revamped animal coat colour system (the current system is very basic, only allowing a lighter/darker shade of a single texture, not actual full coat and marking variation with multiple coat patterns)
  • "allow players to visit" options, enabling any player with pz or friends only in your Steam list to actually come and visit your zoo in first person.
  • Innovations pack that includes genetic modification, new research that can extend animal Life/fertility and a Cloning lab - the ability to retain DNA of your favourite animals to clone when they die (might be SciFi, but plenty of people would likely use it to store DNA of their perfect max genetic animals to clone later, or to help with breeding)

These to me are game changing things that could be added. I tend to be more excited for the big update that comes along with the animal pack as they do bring game changing features, but if say a new content pack had a mod kit as part of that pack, that is a huge deal and would make me super excited to buy.
A revamped animal coat color variation would go such a long way for me personally...! It would be something I'd really, really love.

I also love your last suggestion! I'd be very pleased with a gene bank of sorts, where we can store DNA / semen / 'essence' (lol) of our very best animals.
And more behaviors and actual animal personality is something the game is sorely lacking (even though it was advertised..)

And most importantly, selecting parameters for sandbox animals is an absolute must. I can't wait for the day that is implemented, so I can finally create the perfect zoo with the perfect animals.
 
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