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Design Discussion: Weather and Night

May 15th, 2016

Design Discussion: Weather and Night

We’ve briefly talked about weather and day/night cycles when discussing survival mechanics, but now that we are beginning to explore these mechanics and add them to the game it’s time to delve a little deeper into their working parts.

Server hosts will be able to adjust both the overall length of a day on their server as well as the ratio between day and night. Since day and night are so very different in ToA: Exile than in many other games, this is an important customization. Night time becomes very, very dark and thus has a significant effect on the vision of the characters. Temperatures at night drop by several degrees, which can be a good or bad thing depending on the biome and the character in question. Darkness also brings about different behaviors of the local fauna, with some seeking safety until dawn while others seek food for their bellies.

While there are some similarities in how nighttime impacts each player species, they each have different ways of coping with it. Human vision is greatly crippled in the darkness of night, but they will be able to see the moon and stars in the sky if it is not overcast and they can create fire and torches to keep back the darkness. Colder night temperatures can be countered with the heat of fire, shelter, or clothing.

Dragons and raknar will not have any way to combat falling nighttime temperatures except to find warmer places to rest and/or continued movement to generate their own heat. However, they do have a significant advantage over humans at night; they can see in the dark. Dragons will have a limited range, possibly in grey scale, that would represent low-light vision similar to that of a cat along with their sense of smell. After centuries underground, Raknar don’t have a significant change between light and dark for their vision. We hope to experiment with a sort of infra-red vision for them, as that would make the most sense for how they can see so well without any light what-so-ever.

Weather is one of the features we decided to scale back on for ToA: Exile, but we still wanted to include regular rain or snow in the Lost Isles. Depending on the temperature of the biome, the island you are playing on will either receive rain or snow. The weather will change first by slowly becoming overcast, the wind will pick up, and then precipitation will fall. Once it has finished, the clouds will slowly disperse and the sky will clear. Overcast skies will visibly darken the island, and the rain or snow will cause the temperature to drop. Becoming wet from rain or snow will lower your character’s temperature, so be sure to find shelter and wait out the storms unless you have protective clothing.

Later down the road we hope to be able to explore adding seasons and possibly severe weather events like thunderstorms, flooding, tornadoes, blizzards, and hurricanes. Such events could potentially do siege damage to structures.

Share your thoughts on these features over at: http://www.trialsofascension.com/forum/threads/design-discussion-weather-and-night.5685/.