Good news for all zoo builders, as Frontier Developments’ Planet Zoo will be receiving a sizeable update with lots of new things to play around with on April 7. From more information about your park to tweaked gameplay elements, update 1.2 is a lovely surprise for all animal lovers out there. And perhaps we can look forward to a DLC announcement soon?
Difficulty settings introduced to Planet Zoo
Difficulty settings are coming that affect how much you’ll be managing your zoo. On hard difficulty, animals will get bored with their enrichment items and guests may request refunds. They may also be less inclined to spend money and pickier about how educational they find your zoo.
Your staff, being the inefficient lot they are — or perhaps I’m just bad at managing them — are also affected. The happiness boost they get from training and their energy levels will depend on the difficulty setting.
Better zookeeper AI, more information about guest happiness and education
The most annoying thing about zookeepers in Planet Zoo is that they take their sweet time in a critical situation. A hippo is starving out there and the zookeeper is casually strolling towards the habitat, only to start filling the food tray the furthest back, crisscrossing through the habitat as they do their job. Fortunately, update 1.2 will make them a bit better at their job, as they’ll finally pick up the pace and sprint towards habitats where needed. They will also start filling the food trays closest to them and work to the next closest one from there.
It will additionally become easier to break down what guests liked and disliked about your zoo, where your pathing could use some work to increase these aspects, and which animals have the desired impact. New tabs will be added to show all the relevant information with timestamps.
Pathing improvements, shared Franchise research, and more quality of life changes
One of the nicest additions will be the ability to set path height in half-meter increments. This will allow you to make a small nudge upwards instead of a whole ramp when that annoying bump in the landscape is in the way. Double-clicking a path will also allow you to continue working on that path with the appropriate path type already selected.
In Franchise mode, all research you do will be shared across your Franchise. This means you save a lot of time when you want to start building a zoo in that specific theme or make sure your animals are completely happy right from the get-go.
Staff buildings ruining your guests’ happiness despite all those pretty trees you built around them? No longer. Hiding your staff facilities with decorations will decrease the radius of negative impact for up to 50%.
Other additions include a search function to the Zoopedia UI, more genealogy information to track down which animal is which animal’s parent, and unit settings for metric and imperial.
What’s next for Planet Zoo?
One small bit of information has the community excited. Update 1.2 will add extra creativity with new enrichment items, building pieces, and all that good stuff. But among these items are the Tropical and Moss rocks. Now, by themselves, this wouldn’t mean much, but add the fact a free update was released just before the Arctic DLC was announced, and the community is logically hopeful for a tropical DLC announcement. All we can do is wait for now and keep working on our zoos.