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As the Crows fly? Or how to tell bad weather is coming

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Been chatting with a couple of buddies about TLD and the topic of the crows as weather predictors comes up.  Essentially the claim was that a player can predict what the upcoming weather is going to be like by observing which direction the crows fly towards and the number of crows in the flock.  Supposedly the storm front will be following their path.  Their number is supposed to indicate how long the storm is going to last.  3 crows signify a day long blizzard, 4 crows being two days of bad weather and 5 crows being a mega storm of 3+ days. 

I'd be surprised if this claim has any merit.  Anyone have the low down on crows in this game?

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My best advice is: Don't believe everything people tell you. Honestly. Not in TLD and neither irl.

There are no blizzards that last longer than 4-6 hours in TLD at all, not even in Stalker mode. There is (or at least was) a low possibility for two blizzards to happen on the same day (which might lead to the impression of a daylong blizzard), but I've only observed that a very few times so far - and not once since V.332 was launched.

I know people tend to interpret the flying crows as all sorts of things (indicators for bears, wolf packs, bad weather and whatnotelse), but I personally think they don't have any meaning. At least I can definitely confirm that they're not linked to blizzards.

I've had numerous days where crows seemed to announce a blizzard, but just as many days where their flight was followed by a sunny day or a fog. I don't even believe they indicate a change of weather, for the weather changes every few hours anyway.:winky:

Edited by Scyzara

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Crows flying overhead sometimes indicate immediate change in weather (e.g. I often hear them at the same moment when wind stops blowing or fog starts lifting), but this can be accidental - maybe the "crow event" is triggered in the same intervals as the "weather change event", making it seem there is a connection. But I couldn't find any link between crows and future weather. Crows or no crows, weather changes any way it likes, or doesn't change at all.

19 minutes ago, Scyzara said:

There are no blizzards that last longer than 4-6 hours in TLD at all, not even in Stalker mode.

I've been told about one- to two-day blizzards, with short pauses, in Pleasant Valley. Is that true? Or are the weather patterns the same everywhere in the world?

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16 minutes ago, Drifter Man said:

I've been told about one- to two-day blizzards, with short pauses, in Pleasant Valley. Is that true? Or are the weather patterns the same everywhere in the world?

I for one don't believe that there are predetermined weather patterns.

I rather believe weather is randomly generated, but it's following certain rules (i.e. "true whiteout blizzards" can only happen after "wind+snowfall", "true fog" only after "light fog", etc.). So each weather state might have different possible following states and which of these happens is determined by rng.

Just to give an example: "Wind+snowfall" could e.g. either be followed by a blizzard, only wind or only snowfall.

I believe it's determined by a random roll which of these weather states will occur because of some experiences I made with reloading savegames. If the weather was really following some predetermined, unchangeable long-term pattern, one would expect reloading a savegame to always lead to the same order of weather events.

However, if you save your game e.g. unter the condition "cloudy sky+wind", continuing to play might lead to the pattern

"cloudy sky+wind"-> "cloudy sky without wind" -> "snowfall".

If you quit the game then and reload to the "cloudy sky+wind" save, the weather may afterwards take en entirely different course, e.g.

"cloudy sky+wind"-> "wind+snowfall"->"blizzard".

 

I personally believe this to be an indication of random weather events. It's certainly not supporting the idea of predetermined weather patterns at least.:winky:

 

Regarding Pleasant valley:

Well, there is a rather high frequency of blizzards in PV compared to other maps, that's true. I guess it's absolutely possible that a blizzard can be followed by "wind+snowfall" and then by another blizzard again. (At least if my random weather theory is right). Haven't experienced that during my current V. 332-trip to PV, but it might ofc. be possible.

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Thank you. My observation and conclusions about weather changes is in agreement with yours, although "heavy snowfall, no wind" can quickly develop into a blizzard, too, I think. Some types of weather can only follow after some other specific types. I just don't think that crows have much to do with it.

Different maps can have different rng settings and different periods during which weather stays stable, resulting in different patterns.

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Thanks for the heads up on the crows, @Drifter Man and @Scyzara, you guys rock!

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7 hours ago, Drifter Man said:

I've been told about one- to two-day blizzards, with short pauses, in Pleasant Valley. Is that true? Or are the weather patterns the same everywhere in the world?

I have definitely been locked indoors in the PV farmhouse for 3 days, sometimes 4 on Voyager.  The blizzards themselves usually last 4-6 hours, but I did have a couple go for 10 hours.  At least, I believe it was 10 hours, but I was indoors and it was hard to tell since I only had the audio cues.  The more common scenario for multi day was 4-6 hours, a short break in between (usually during inopportune times like the middle of the night), then it would start up again.  I have not been locked indoors multi-day like that on other maps.

I lived on the PV map for 100 days, and that was what I observed.  This was on the v.302 build, though.  I have not been playing on the new builds, but I did notice that the weather on PV was slightly different when I was playing briefly, so it may have changed.

My observation about crows is that they can signal weather change, but you can't predict from them the severity.  Crows don't fly in very heavy wind (they disappear around corpses), but crows flying doesn't mean always a blizzard.  Just means it's going to change from the current.  I have found this consistent enough to rely on it, especially in regions with wide open areas like PV.

Edited by Vhalkyrie
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6 hours ago, Scyzara said:

I believe it's determined by a random roll which of these weather states will occur because of some experiences I made with reloading savegames. If the weather was really following some predetermined, unchangeable long-term pattern, one would expect reloading a savegame to always lead to the same order of weather events.

I have seen this to be the case - where I entered an interior during a blizzard to save before quitting, then when I reloaded the save, there was no blizzard or it ended very quickly, even though it was just starting up when I quit previously.

I'm with @Vhalkyrie regarding blizzards in PV. I have noticed that the blizzard sound effects would die down, I'd get a indicator of "x hours daylight/night remaining" for a brief moment or two, then the blizzard sound effect would rise up again and I'd lose the time again. I have not yet made it to PV since the update, so I can't really say if that's different now.

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I can offer some Pleasant Valley V.332 experience. It wasn't 2+ game days of continuous blizzard, but multiple blizzards strung together by heavy wind +heavy snowfall and ridiculous cold the whole time. I left the farmstead one morning to clear, cold, but tolerable weather. Explored my way over to Three Strikes and got trapped there by a blizzard. Ultra cold, even with fur gear, and zero visibility; no way I was making it back to the farmstead. No biggie, I figured, there's a fire barrel and I can manage to shelter from the wind, I can overnight it and hike back tomorrow. Tomorrow didn't get better and I had to make a couple quick, freezing runs out to grab wood. If I remember right, there was one brief episode of clear enough weather that day, but it was still ridiculously cold. I set out to push back to the farmstead, but before I even got to the river the storm kicked in again and drove me back. The rest of that day and night the wind kept shifting around and I had to keep moving me and my bedroll around within the barn to find a windbreak so I could be warm enough with the fire and bedroll.

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I can also shed some more light on crows: you'll often see them flying at dawn and dusk. For instance, if you're outside at dawn just before or after your character says "looks like I made it through another night" it is not uncommon for crows to fly overhead. I have also seen them during weather transitions but I have not observed any correlation between flock size or flight direction and the weather.

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3 hours ago, cekivi said:

I can also shed some more light on crows: you'll often see them flying at dawn and dusk. For instance, if you're outside at dawn just before or after your character says "looks like I made it through another night" it is not uncommon for crows to fly overhead. I have also seen them during weather transitions but I have not observed any correlation between flock size or flight direction and the weather.

Which also makes me think that the crows flying overhead are triggered at some fixed times during the daily cycle, as maybe are weather changes.

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5 hours ago, SteelFire said:

I can offer some Pleasant Valley V.332 experience. It wasn't 2+ game days of continuous blizzard, but multiple blizzards strung together by heavy wind +heavy snowfall and ridiculous cold the whole time. I left the farmstead one morning to clear, cold, but tolerable weather. Explored my way over to Three Strikes and got trapped there by a blizzard. Ultra cold, even with fur gear, and zero visibility; no way I was making it back to the farmstead. No biggie, I figured, there's a fire barrel and I can manage to shelter from the wind, I can overnight it and hike back tomorrow. Tomorrow didn't get better and I had to make a couple quick, freezing runs out to grab wood. If I remember right, there was one brief episode of clear enough weather that day, but it was still ridiculously cold. I set out to push back to the farmstead, but before I even got to the river the storm kicked in again and drove me back. The rest of that day and night the wind kept shifting around and I had to keep moving me and my bedroll around within the barn to find a windbreak so I could be warm enough with the fire and bedroll.

Yep.  That sounds exactly like v.302 behavior, so not much has changed.

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I have wondered about the crows myself, and have tried to determine if maybe they fly in the direction of a dead deer.  I have tried to follow in their direction a couple of times in different maps and not really found anything, but it's hard to say since some maps you can't just walk in a strait line for very long before having avoid an obstacle, and then try to get on the correct line afterwards. 

I'm sure there is probably nothing significant about the crows but I'll keep looking for something.  Weather is definitely not related, but would be kinda cool if it was...

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On 18.5.2016 at 8:22 PM, the_watdabney said:

I have wondered about the crows myself, and have tried to determine if maybe they fly in the direction of a dead deer.  I have tried to follow in their direction a couple of times in different maps and not really found anything, but it's hard to say since some maps you can't just walk in a strait line for very long before having avoid an obstacle, and then try to get on the correct line afterwards. 

I'm sure there is probably nothing significant about the crows but I'll keep looking for something.  Weather is definitely not related, but would be kinda cool if it was...

I do not think that there is any significance to the direction they are flying in as I have seen them vanish into the border rock wall several times.

But they do seem to appear at fixed times and always fly straight overhead.

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On 5/26/2016 at 1:40 PM, Landogarner said:

I have seen them vanish into the border rock wall several times

They fly at constant altitude, ignoring the terrain. They caused me a minor shock once when they emerged from a hill slope just a few meters in front of me.

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I'm actually wondering if there is something to this. There's an old weather proverb that says, "If crows fly low, winds going to blow; If crows fly high, winds going to die."  Thanks to this thread, I've been noticing that the crows fly at very different altitudes when I see them. I haven't paid enough attention to what happens with the weather following seeing them but I'm wondering if, at a minimum, Hinterlands put this into the game. If they did, I think that's an awesome detail.  As far as direction goes, I'm not sure. Typically, birds fly away from impending weather. I think I just should start keeping a notebook next to my computer and trying to log what happens after I see the crows.

Edited by tnbp
Fixed that awful font issue

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