Weather is something that is appearing more often in MMOs these days. Though in the games I have experienced it is simply audio/visual effects added to the world. That does add some immersion, at least in game where it affects all players simultaneously, but that is about all. Nothing about the way you play is affected. Your character isn’t weighed down by their sodden cloak, or parched from fighting in the heat. As so often seems to be the case Chronicles of Elyria will be a little different.
During this week’s live chat with the developer community member Deffcon_1 asked about how dynamic weather would actually be. He wanted to know if it was as basic as rain makes things wet, or would it respond to terrain pooling in low points perhaps even rolling off roves. Jeremy ‘Caspian’ Walsh had some of the answer for us:
We know we want there to be an impact on water tables…. water levels lowering and raising, crops getting sunk under water, etc…. We know it’ll also be possible to fill water bottles, etc… in lakes. And, given the nature of survival, if it does begin to rain, I plan on making it so people can refill their water bottles in the open. As to whether it’ll roll off rooftops… I doubt it. But as you can see in our latest screenshots, there are puddles.
One of the interesting things from this chat was that not everything is nailed down yet. Words such as ‘want’, ‘plan’, and ‘doubt’ were frequently in use. Now you could see this as negative, that there is still a lot of development to go, which I am sure is true and I know while we all want the game now we will have to wait. However, to me it is also a positive there is still scope for change, player input, and further development of ideas.
Anyway, back to the weather! It looks like weather is going impact adventures that are going to need to drink when out in the wilds. Farmers will be at risk of flooding, but I wonder if drought too might cause their crops to fail. We also know people can dig mines, perhaps these too will be affected by the water table. A section dug during a try spell might later become inaccessible as water tables rises, cutting the prospector off from valuable profits.
The affect on adventures is also interesting not only will they need water out in the wilds it seems that they can stock up on route. Leaving your bottle to fill in the rain sounds an interesting way to react to weather, though I wonder how effective it will be, maybe we will need to carry a funnel! The part I am most intrigued by is taking water from a lake seems oddly risky! I wonder if there is a chance of death by dysentery? We know there will be diseases, but we do not know if they will be linked to drinking water.
What other effects might weather have? Well Maybach, a community member on the official forums, had some ideas such as:
For instance, if you are in the desert and are wearing heavy armor and a cloak you might get a -5 for being UNcomfortable…which makes you slower, clumsier, and weaker.
By removing non-essential armor and stowing your cloak, you would be back at 0. If you find an Oasis and jump in you would be +3 for a period of time.
Anything being planned along those lines?
And what deep response did we get to this from the developers?
Well that was brief! However, it does make me happy all the same. The idea that what we wear might have an impact on our ability to carry out activities is quite exciting. It means that we might actually have reasons to use different armour sets for a more interesting reason than just stats. Cloaks for warmth, light weight armour in the hot weather. To be honest, I am not quite sure what the possibilies might be beyond that but there were certainly some interesting ideas being raised in the thread.
This is certainly something I want to hear more about. We know that seasons will change daily in this game, that is quite fast. If the weather is also changing that fast you are going to be carrying a lot of clothing. However, if the weather is more related to the biomes you are in that could be a lot less inventory heavy. Another thing we are going to have to wait and see, and I will add to my list of things I really want to know!