I have only been playing Dino for a couple of months and I have enjoyed hunting prehistoric beasts to pass the time and it is kind of addictive. I started to read the forums to see if there were any tips or tactics that I could learn from.
For players just starting out, this is not intended to be a negative post. More of a suggestion to Glu. The game is totally playable for free, and a lot of fun, but if you want to get to the end you will need patience and perseverance.
SPOILER ALERT (New players read at your own risk. Loss of enjoyment may occur if you continue to read.)
I know a lot has been already said about how the game changed at region 8 but I had to see it for myself.
I finally get/understand what so many other players have been saying for a while on the forums now. I am now "caught up". I am in region 8 and I currently have 6/9 map pieces for region 9. I have half of the AR series to complete and then the Bow series will unlock. Then I have the Darmin Gigawat series to complete before I can progress to region 9.
I have finally reached the point in the game where it is very repetitive and grinding to earn the crystals to move on. At the time of this post my region 8 bow was thankfully was purchased with hunter bucks but all the upgrades will require crystals. The Darmin Gigawat is available for 1200 crystals and upgrades will require crystals. I thought that the effort it took to get and complete the Harvester series (cool gun by the way) was a slight grind but manageable.
I don't have any issues with the crystal concept, it is very similar to the Platinum coins in Deer Hunter, but it will take me a lot of contract hunts to progress further in the game. I estimate that to purchase the Gigawat it will take 120 or so contract hunts just to buy the weapon. If you could earn more than 10-15 crystals at a time it might be better but also the variety of hunts that you had in previous levels or in other Glu games are not there in region 8.
Earlier in the game the economics didn't seem bad. You had to do a few cycles of contract hunts to earn the cash to help with the upgrades and purchases to progress. You had to work for it but it felt obtainable and you felt like you were moving forward toward something. But this is a new challenge. It will take true commitment to continue if I want to see the rest. I don't mind doing contract hunts to earn upgrades. You get to see more content, hunt a little more, and earn your way, but the path does not feel as well balanced anymore.
Maybe it was by design to slow down the die hard hunters who finish the newest level hours after it is released and have been waiting for new content with more hunter bucks than they could ever spend. What about the new person that just gets the game and does not read in the forum and find something is up at the end. Is this the impression that you want to leave on new players? Will they look favorable for future purchases or games?
Casual players may get bored real fast, drop the game, and may not have a good impression of a great game concept. I may be frugal with my discretionary funds, but I enjoy making small in game purchases if it adds new dimensions to a game or increases its replay value. I also view it like tipping for good service. But at this stage I am having trouble seeing the future replay value from this game. Do I want to purchase cool stuff to use later or see these contract hunts again later? Not at this time.
The timing of the offers to purchase premium weapons seems odd to me. After the fact instead of when I may be more willing to buy when the perception is there that I need something better or something of value to use later. Entice me with a weapon for the next level or optional hunts not required but exclusive. Hey buddy you may want to think about this small purchase it will come in handy latter. You only need 10% more gold than you have but here is a deal... x 10-16 levels, you do the math how much more could you make? It would still be my choice to buy but if I am having fun....
I may continue playing Dino, but I don't have the same enthusiasm for it that I had in the beginning. The draw for me was my compulsion to finish a series and see what cool stuff is next.
I hope that Glu pays attention to the forum and takes action on the many comments about the game. I hope they take this information and use what suggestions that make sense for future games. Making things even better in the next versions to encourage more in game purchases.
I don't expect an acknowledgment to this post from Glu but I just hope they are listening. I know that not every game is going to please every player but your hunting series have a very nice playable model that with a few tweaks could be grand slams. The graphics for this game and Deer Hunter are stunning and I look forward to your future endeavors.
Sorry for the long post but, I'd like to thank all those hunters who have come before me for their wisdom and I wish the hunters of the future good luck and good hunting.