Game weather can kill your character

Continuing the discussion from New gaming rig + whats everyone playing?:

[quote=“Skyentist, post:25, topic:566, full:true”]
Frostfall essentially adds weather that can kill you, so you need to have a tent, cloaks, warm clothing, etc to live through blizzards or heavy ran without freezing.[/quote]

Please explain the appeal of this to me. Is it for the sake of immersion?

The only gameplay that i can see coming from it would be the task of obtaining such critical gear. That is, the game starts as a kind of survival game, with the character dropped into the wilderness with the shirt on his back and not much more. From there, he needs to kill stuff to get skins to make heavy clothes, find shelter and so forth. THEN the player could go about exploring the wilderness around him, finding or making stuff of value, and eventually finding nearby settlements (which wouldn’t be places you’d want to stay, inspiring the player to maintain his character’s independence in the wilds), trading with them, and so forth.

Of course, after a while, the whole “gearing for the wilderness” becomes just a checkpoint on the list of To Dos before heading off into the wilderness, like any skier would gear for going skiing.

So without the game of survival at the very start of the game, why bother with the gear requirement if the player only needs to get his character to a store to buy the correct gear? After that, there is no gameplay to it that I can see.

this kind of mechanic is best used as a temporary way to limit people and change up gameplay. It;s not great if it’s a permanent thing, things get tedius, but if there’s a blizzard or sandstorm or other type of harsh weather situation and everyone needs to hunker down it can be fun. depends on the kind of game your putting it in, though.

I guess I don’t understand how “hunkering down” is fun. I can see how it improves the sense of immersion, or enhances the overall game experience, but there’s no actual gameplay in waiting out inclement weather or being unable to see anything around you.

EverQuest did stuff like this back in the day. A mage had to study his spell book to regain mana, meaning that the player just sat there with a static spell book graphic filling his screen. Night was completely dark, requiring players to carry a light source and hoping against hope not to trip over anything nasty (and I mean nasty). Blindness could be cast by enemies, meaning that the player just looked at a black screen while trying to play. Great stuff for those interested in immersion in a fantasy environment, but rubbish for gameplay.

So I’m guessing that this is about immersion in the game experience. That you guys want to face killer weather that requires you to get your character to safety, and that surviving the lethality of the game environment is itself a kind of entertainment. That’s what EverQuest provided. That game was so nasty that it fostered a very tight player community. It was very much the players versus the sadistic gamemasters.

I’m proud to have done it, but I’d never repeat it.

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As @mattk50 says, depends what you play. If it’s a paper RPG, it makes a lot of sense: you better remember it or the GM may give you nasty debuffs after this cold rain :smiley:

In PC games, typical games that revolves around survival are plenty: “Minecraft”, “Don’t Starve”, “DayZ”, … Of course, the majority of the survival games don’t really include RP. Same on the reverse side for RP games: they don’t usually go any further in survival than “warmth” or “food/drink” considerations, which is already a lot to take into account.

As for MMOs: there’s even less interest in including survival elements. More of a distraction / annoyance, unless the MMO is strictly survival-oriented … I havent seen that kind of game yet :slight_smile:

EDIT : I was taking “survival” definition a little too … one-person level.
As cybercritic points out: if we take RTS games, then environment effects are very often multiple and dangerous. Take “tiberium” crystals in “Command & Conquer” games: both a valuable ressource and a deadly threat to infantry. Or any “Dune” games, with sand storms and worms.

Put some of that imagination of yours into effect and weather conditions can have a gameplay impact.

How about leading your retreat into a sand-storm, losing some units before it gets too bad and then the attacker needing to decide if he should pursue or not? How about going willingly into a bad weather system and hunkering down because you know that finding you will be hard and that the attacker will suffer more by fighting the weather than you by hunkering down? How about weather patterns that kill off the city population, then somebody placing a city needs to decide how important those resources the city is harvesting are comparing to the continual loss of human resources? How about something a bit more trivial, not being able to fly at high velocities through the harsh weather systems, this changes actual combat and adds a strategic component?

I bet there are many more ways to use a weather system for gameplay purposes and others could probably come up with better implications.

It adds depth at minimum.

Last time I played Skyrim I was using Frostfall (among many other mods) and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Most of my mods were geared towards making the game harder and more immersive. I also had the environment mod that plunged the whole of Skyrim into wintery conditions, rather than just the north coast, which integrated with Frostfall nicely. Combine that with not using fast travel and the difficulty didn’t just go away once I had some nice gear, it still influenced a lot of decisions throughout the playthrough.

But yeah… if you’re not into survival games I guess there’s no point.

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Just adding a snow square on a board game or a strategy game that takes two moves to move through rather than one adds to gameplay decision making. Even in RTS and some tactical games, having weather affected squares changes the gameplay.

Weather systems are good beyond just survival games…

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I meant to refer specifically to Frostfall, which is a “survival” mod.

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That’s a large part of it. I also felt that the base game wasn’t hard enough. Skyrim is really really easy in the vanilla state. I don’t find any challenge in it, and so it’s not that fun. Especially since I’ve spent over 100 hours in the vanilla game…It’s not the largest amount, but enough to know how to play the game and break it to your advantage. Weather is something you always have to fight and it’s an unpredictable bitch. I have also been into survival games lately so that has a part in it as well.

I had the choice of installing a mod that would require me to monitor my food, water, and sleep as well but thats too much! I just want to play the game and have the clothes/armor/cloak I’m wearing mean something instead of running butt naked through the mountains 1 hitting frost trolls and dragons. There’s a point where that isn’t fun anymore…

This is exactly why I didn’t go for the food requirement mod. I felt it would become tedious after awhile. Weather is something that’s always there and I will have clothes on no matter what. If a blizzard rolls in then I just have to set up a tent and sleep it out. That’s no biggy…plus I’m sure it will cause some interesting battle decisions in the feature, especially with how the rest of my install is setup.

Okay, so that is, in fact, where this is going: making Skyrim into a survival game along the lines that I was speculating. I did a Google search on “survival in skyrim” and got a Rock Paper Shotgun article that talks about how Frostall is the essential mod for making Skyrim into a survival game. So I guess I have my answer.

For the record, I think I’d enjoy a survival version of Skyrim more than the stock game (which I have not played - too dark).

its not just that you absolutely need to stay in one place, that’s a bit dull. it’s best implemented in a way that changes up gameplay in an interesting way. For example, in EVE online there are wormhole “weather” effects that change how ships function drastically. Playing to the advantage of the current weather can be a lot of fun when pulled off right and adds depth to the game.

That kind of depth leaves room for interesting engagements when done right too, not just “sandstorm makes arrows useless”. Once was playing eve, we were up against an all shield rattler and domi with 1b fit basi’s in a pulsar with just our armor tanked ships, they overestimated the shields benefit of the pulsar and we tore them apart by exploiting the lower capacitor regen with neut legions and fought them off in their home territory. I think the variety factor is the main thing. There’s also some wormholes that nobody ever likes to be in, black holes that make all ships navigate like titans and turns fleet engagements into a mess.

Oh, I’m on that bandwagon for sure. However, the stuff that I was quoting early in this thread wasn’t about changing up gameplay. It was about “hunkering down” and gearing up properly. I didn’t see the entertainment value in those things, so I asked. Just gearing properly and hunkering down is consistent with a game of survival.

I know that we can’t keep other people’s ideas straight, but I’ve been lobbying for environmental impact on game systems for years.

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Gearing up for weather is the sane as knowing the wh you’re going into and fitting matt’s armor tanked fleet with neut assistance. Its all apart of it, in the sane way reentry heat and entering an atmo too fast will hopefully be an accurate weather effect for IBS. There are slight differences but it’s still just a mechanic that makes you think before you act. As long as that’s not repetitive I think that’s a good game mechanic.

Edit: I’d like to give a more elaborate answer but I’m on mobile…I’ll do it soon™

Soon means 5 hours later apparently.

I think space weather and various effects in certain systems could and should have an effect on gameplay in IBS and especially in TQFE. For a specialized and ideal case for example, In a system with a black hole(assuming we get them in tqfe) there should be a lot of radiation which would make it harder for you to remain undetected or whatever handwavium you can think of. In EVE it’s all apart preparing your ship to weather any storm(of pvp) you may find when you undock, or even a specialized one. I think this is a very important decision to make both lore and gameplay wise, as it adds strategic depth to anything you might do. In IBS, assuming we get the choice of how we fit our ships, this is akin to fighting in the “space” weather, or “planet” weather. I’m not saying that either of them actually have weather, but you may want to be fit differently for space battle than in atmo.

This sort of took a turn away from the idea of surviving weather which was the original point of the thread and sorry for that, but I had some ideas and wanted to run with them.