Mechanics for Environmental effects Discussion.


    The latest spotlight mentioned that weather will be implemented shortly after the start of beta.
    This raises the question of what weather will be in the game. Cosmetic? Stacks? Damage? Debuff?

    Putting parts of a discussion that happened on discord here for a record:
    Topic: Weather effects and mechanics.
    Spoletta noted previous mentions of various armors being more common on different worlds (leathers on Tartaros and fibers on Arboreus) and connected that with other descriptions of Tartaros being hot to come to the conclusion that different armor types will be required to survive different environmental conditions and associated weather.

    I pointed out that adding some new mechanic and limitation on equipment choice would be excessively complex when all mobs, players, and equipment already have elemental resistance stats and a elemental stacking mechanic in place. I pointed out that having environmental effects simply causing stacks of cold/warm/shock/corrosion/etc to accumulate at a rate of 1/sec during storms to all in an areas would be simpler especially if also paired with the elemental resistances having an effect on the decay time of stacks.
    Notable example is the sea trolls which have 2080 shock resistance (85%). They are not immune to shock damage but would be totally vulnerable to the stun that triggers on applying shock stacks... unless elemental resistance affected the decay rate of said stacks. Normally stacks decay at a rate of 1 per 1.5 seconds, if elemental resistance had an effect then sea trolls would have shock stacks decay 1 per .25 seconds instead which would mean that they -could- be stunned, but would require a lot more than just one source to overwhelm their resistances.
    This example was then mirrored to the proposed Mamoth mob where I hypothesized that were it to have 2080 cold resistance you would expect it to be very resistant to cold attacks and not be frozen in an ice block at 10 stacks.
    This system could easily incorporate the existing elemental resistances in place for various armor materials and imbued gem elemental resistances such that a simple 200 resist (35%) would be sufficient to protect against weather stacks.
    While this would also be reducing the effectiveness of mages who apply stacks the simple answer there is to increase the number of stacks that the abilities apply or just remember that most of them reduce the associated resistances and thus in this system increase the time for a stack to decay.

    I hope that the reason that weather effects will not be avalible right away in the coming beta is because they are working out this system because they want weather to be more than just a cosmetic effect.

    Other thoughts?


    @OlivePit It is a sad fact of gaming life that it always seems impossible to achieve a perfect balance of realism VS enjoyment with these sorts of things (weather)
    Playing Valheim at the moment, which is somewhat appropriate for the 'style' of Aerhen, there is the obvious solution, for cold weather at least, of a required item/buffs (warm cloak/shelter/fire), which works in Valheim because of the various other aspects of the game, but also because the zone where the cloak is required is also the one that contains the resources to craft said cloak, thus the loss of the cloak on death is a severe consequence, particularly if you are foolish enough to have set your respawn point within that zone...
    However, this is unlikely to be the best solution for Fractured, though it may work as part of the solution for certain areas.
    Nevertheless, as I was considering Valheim, I thought of the way that food works in that game, which reminded me of various books I had read wherein certain foods are made specifically for certain environments, giving the traveller the greatest required nourishment in the smallest possible package.
    As Fractureds current food system is relatively simple, perhaps part of the environmental requirements could be certain specialised foods.


    They could make food stuffs (like the healing herbs) which remove or protect from environmental effects... but then it would be just another consumable that is easy to make and ever present, thus a minor inconvenience less than a world mechanic that needs to be built around.
    Currently poison is treated as such. You just have your inventory open and if you get poisoned simply click on the herb and you are all better. This is a very sad thing as the cost to deal with a significant mechanic is so low to be trivial, you do not even have to sacrifice a hot bar slot. It is so bad that for poison to be viable in pvp or pve (for mobs hurting us) they really should do some kind of rework as it is otherwise only useful for attacking mobs.
    If they did the same with cold/hot weather then I would see it as them throwing in the towel and giving up on a potentially interesting mechanic and instead just creating -another- thing to craft, click, and forget.

  • Moderator

    I'm wary in using the elemental resistances as a way to offset environment.

    If the environment does indeed act through the stack system, then it would go against the design of the stacks. Stacks are (IMO) supposed to be the way that a player uses to fight against someone who is resistant to his elements. Even if your effects are severely diminished by his resistances, effect after effect the stacks start lowering his resistances and you can have a fight. Consequently, having the stacks deplete faster by effect of the resistances, seems a bit counterintuitive.

    I'm fine with a sea troll getting shocked and stunned, after all he is reducing by 85% the damage I inflict him with those shock effects! At least let me stun him!

    This means that to fight the environment you need something different, and it should probably be tied to equipment. I understand that it can feel limiting not being able to wear full plate in the desert, but as long as proper alternatives are provided (heavy scale armor from a giant desert lizard in that case), I think that it can work.

    With the addition of the new continents and planets, we are going to have so many minerals/hides/fibers/scales that we can probably cover all necessities.


    I thought of stacks as a unique mechanic to make elemental effects more like environmental effects than just flavors of damage. And elemental magic damage the extreme expression of the natural environmental conditions of the world, thus doing damage.
    We already have multiple types of physical damage and armor (slash, crush, pierce) and to get around a targets higher defense in one you naturally just switch weapons and focus on another.
    I see this to be the same with elemental damage and resistances. If the target is resistant to one type, swap to a different magic weapon with different damage type.
    The stacks is a newer thing which is applied via abilities but not elemental typed damage. making them more similar to toggled on hit melee abilities and bleeds than much else. Note that there are mobs that are simply immune to bleeds and as such it would follow that there will be some mobs that are immune, or highly resistant, to elemental stacks.
    As you note, running into mobs with immunity can be incredibly frustrating (hello whisps) but under my proposed system that could be removed and replaced with just very high resistances so you still have the possibility to overcome with friends as you are overwhelming their evolved resistance to the hostile environments via concentrated magical energies mimicking the environments.
    Having the environment place stacks and resistances decay them would allow for -=imbued gems=- to have a real place in the game by allowing you to -weatherize- your favorite gear type instead of having to go off and hunt down specific mob types to make a specific item.
    I would love to see you be right in that we get flooded with new unique materials in each biome unique to each continent and world, it would create lots of trade demands! but I am worried that it might be too much of a burden on the players as well.

  • Content Creator

    @OlivePit It actually makes sense, in a magical world, that certain creatures would be immune to, or even regenerated by certain attack types.

    Example: A fire elemental should actually be healed/strengthened when attacked by fire...or at minimum, impossible to damage with a fire-based attack.

    This is often how they are reflected in fantasy literature. Conversely, they should be vulnerable to another type of attack, like our Fire Elemental taking extra damage stacks from Water/Ice based attack forms.


    @OlivePit I agree with you that it could turn out like that, but I think it would be good, both in terms of realism and mechanics if environments had an initial effect focused on Rest/Hunger, and then whatever other effects when those bars fell below a certain level; in kinder climates food/rest is less important, but in harsher areas it is very important.

    I also would like to see Constitution play a part in environmental effects, which could arguably be misused I'm sure, but I think it could have very interesting results: high constitution bandits that prey on players weakened by the environment, low constitution players that need magic/money to protect themselves from the weather.

    Another thing that would be good is if there were multiple ways to combat the effects: Magical (spells, enchantments, Physical (clothes, food) etc. Perhaps the appropriate clothing could be in place of regular armor, giving that tradeoff; defend against the elements or against attack.

    But basically, what I had in mind, and this would probably only work for cold weather, was more along the lines of a handful of foodstuffs that 'warmed' you; fatty, energy rich foods like sausages and maybe some alcohols? But the specific idea I really like from these books i read somewhere is this quasi-magical food, in this instance a cake, I cant remember the exact ingredients but there was honey and fruit and the cake was dark and heavy and there was some sort of seed that was basically magic and very rare, that was supposed to give people energy.

    This would only be part of the solution, but instead of people just running around with a stack of roasted wolf meat or grabbing some onions when you're hungry, and basically not really caring about food because the only difference is degree (also, could there be foods that give you MORE than 100% satiety? like rare expensive foods that you eat on quests so you don't need to worry about getting hungry in the middle of a boss fight)
    Instead, for cold weather particularly, you need either 'prosaic' foods specifically to give yourself energy for warmth, or 'magic' foods that contain rare ingredients.

    As to what effect the food would provide VS environmental effects, I don't know, but what if the environment had a number of effects?
    So, you start out fully rested and fed and clothed, and so long as you remain so there is no real disadvantage (there could be a debuff that all living creatures (breathing, blood-pumping creatures) get in the cold because, come on, unless you're Conan there are going to be disadvantages to freezing air, maybe only during storms? debuffs based around: cold air/being rugged up that sort of thing)

    It may be too much to ask for environmental effects to be landscape related as well as weather, ie: is extra tiring to walk through snow etc. but cold areas would potentially:
    -Increase hunger/rest drain (hot areas might give you a lower maximum?)
    -Frost damage without adequate apparel, and after rest and hunger are depleted/low
    -Some sort of Buff/Debuff depending on your Rest/Hunger levels, where if you are well rested and fed, the 'rarefied air' GIVES you some sort of 'invigorating' buff, but as your levels drop you begin to get debuffs from the cold.

    Just some ideas, a bit higgledy-piggledy, but I would like to see Hunger/Rest have other effects other than slowly dying when they run out.

    Speaking of which, what if rest, instead of taking damage when you run out, you become 'burdened' for a while, and then fall unconscious and are forced to rest wherever you are? (like in Arena/Daggerfall)


    Constitution used to counter elements, but it was OP and was removed.

    It would be nice to have food do more than it currently does, a possibility, but still a cheep solution compared to investing in resistances... but that might be what they want.

    Considering you have to make campfires to rest, having a way to bypass that would be bad.

  • Moderator

    Apparently the stack system is moving from a 1-10 to a 1-100 scale, which probably means that indeed we are going in the direction of using it for environmental effects.


    Curious to see how well they balance resistances around the new stack threshold.


    Currently resistances have nothing to do with stacks.
    My proposed system does.
    The increase of stacks going from 1-10 to 1-100 makes the assumption that bad weather will be placing stacks on players but wont be a real issue as long as you have some protection (special equipment, consumables, etc..) vs abilities which will place them much faster and not be counterable by the said special equipment or consumables.


    A couple of thoughts:

    -I don't know if anyone has played Outward, but it has systems for environment/weather/temperature, which, not having played it much myself, I believe are mainly armour related, but also food? spells?

    -Something similar to Necrosis might work as a part of the system; a permanent status effect that requires something to remove it. Of course it shouldn't just be a 're-skinned' copy/paste of necrosis, but most environmental systems are only concerned with when you are actually in the environment, so something that can carry over outside that environment could be interesting.

    -I am a strong proponent of making fantasy elements work in realistic ways, so on that note, what if all armour types had 'inherent' properties relating to different environments, based on the realistic effects that wearing those armours in those environments would have, eg: Fur armour would give defence against cold/snowy environments. Metal armour would give debuffs in hot/desert environments etc. As well as this, enchantments could be added to armours relating to environments, so that a player might decide to use environment relevant armour with combat relevant enchantments, or vice versa, or focus on one and hope that their superiority in that aspect will outweigh their weakness in the other area, ie: a player could decide to defend against the environment in the hopes that they either wont encounter enemies, or that not having to worry about the environment will give them an edge in combat against a player that has chosen to go without environmental protection in favour of combat proficiency. This could add extra degrees of personal customization to a character as well as more variables to spice up combat and allow players that might normally lose to have a 'home field' advantage in their chosen environment, while players good at combat might find themselves out of their depth when fighting the weather as well.

    -But most importantly, I think it would be really good if there were not only different environments with different requirements to protect against, but if there were different types of systems for different types of environments; rather than simply saying hot areas require heat protection and cold areas require cold protection, whatever form that takes, there could be entirely different systems for dealing with different areas; one area might require elemental protection, while another area might require a specific item, and a third area might have a debuff that extends beyond its bounderies. one weather type might include periodic storms while another is a continuous hazard. and so on.
    There is a trend in many things, not just games, to make all aspects of the whole equal for all that they are different, but I think it adds more depth to have things be of varying difficulties as well as styles, and to have those varying difficulties themselves come in different forms; physical trials, mental trials, trials of endurance, of skill, of instict or wisdom.
    Think of those children's books with different animals and the pages for the heads, bodies and legs turn independently allowing you to create many more degrees of difference than there exists solely between the animals themselves.

  • Content Creator

    @Mirgannel12 Just have to maintain the balance between amount you want and amount you can reasonably code.

    Remember, everything that affects the game creates a new variable, and every new variable changes the equations underlying the code. As the Devs are working on balancing things, some degrees of uniqueness unfortunately have to be abandoned because the amount of code it would add and the amount of rebalancing that requires is not worth the relative in-game gains it presents.

    Time will tell.


    @GamerSeuss Very true, and personally I'm not too fussed with what they end up doing, there will always be (proper😛 ) RPG's with cool mechanics that I can enjoy, and I have no problem playing Fractured for what Fractured does well, whatever that turns out to be. Just mentioning a few ideas I had in case they were looking for some.


    WTB umbrella recipe 😄


    I like what they've done with temperature and insulation and all that, though the stacks have no effect until 100? (outside combat) so... Also, getting 60 stacks of warmth(?) just from wearing fur armour is interesting, I don't know whether in a good way or bad yet, I just equipped it for the first time (with temp) and watched the stacks build up with slight concern, I didn't realise why there were building up at first (I went from wearing cloth to fur) 😛

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