Temperature effects


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This would be a fairly big change to how the game handles the player's temperature, and change gameplay habits a lot (so I don't necessarily expect it to be terribly popular!), but I do think it would be a change for the better, and lead to more various and interesting gameplay choices.

So, right now, if the "feels like" temp is just 1° C (I'm going to use C as a measure here, because I don't understand the Fahrenheit scale!) above zero, you will gradually get warmer and warmer until your temp bar maxes out - if you wait long enough. Therefore, if the "feels like" temp is positive, you are safe and you don't need to worry; the only advantage to being above +1°C is to make the warming process a bit faster if you are already cold - if you're not already cold, there is no advantage at all. On the other hand, if it is 1°C below zero, you start freezing at a consistent rate and will eventually die if you don't do something about it (if you "feel like" -35°C you will start freezing at exactly the same rate as if you are at -1°C).

I've never really liked this state of affairs.

First, I would like to see your freezing rate scale with the amount below zero that your "feels like" temp is. This would make it advantageous to stay as warm as possible, whatever the temperature, and utilize wind protection and light sources for heat more often, since it would slow your freezing rate if you keep your "feels like" temp as close to zero as you can. It also makes the system much more intuitive and removes some silly exploits like stripping naked in a blizzard in order to preserve the condition of your clothes, if you are freezing anyway, since it doesn't make a difference to your health (frostbite risk notwithstanding).

Second, and perhaps more drastic, I would like to see your character's temperature bar max out at different levels, depending on the "feels like" temperature, assuming it's positive. For example, if you "feel like" +1°C, your temp bar could only reach a relatively small maximum level, while if you are at +15°C it might max out at about half way, and, say, +30°C and above would allow you to reach the top of the bar. Again, this would make being as warm as possible more advantageous. It would especially affect indoor areas where the temperature is just above freezing - it would give you incentive to light a fire in order to get your temperature up. I have always felt a bit disappointed that lighting a fire indoors for warmth is effectively a waste of resources, since you can max-out your temp bar by simply waiting.

I was recently playing a Bleak Inlet start (my first time on the map!). I had explored and looted all (I think) of the lower part of the map, and was making my way from the broken lighthouse to the little cabin that's a little way inland by the wooden bridge over the river. I play with no condition recovery when awake, and the lowest level of recovery while asleep, so I don't 'spend' condition like a resource as a general rule, because I don't get it back again easily - and I was already down to about half condition with my temp bar starting to bottom out. The "feels like " temp was about -8°C out in the open, but it was -2°C if I was sheltered from the wind; this meant that I could keep my "feels like" temp above zero if -and only if- I both carried a light-source and I was sheltered from the wind. This I was (mostly) able to on the whole journey back to the hut, by taking a very careful, indirect route, hugging rockfaces and one side of the river gully, and then running across the open areas as fast as I could.

This was an interesting dynamic to the gameplay, one which I enjoyed, but one that cops up all too rarely - it only occurs when the combination of your clothing level and the weather leaves you with a "feels like" temperature within just a few degrees of zero. Most of the time it doesn't matter because you are either too cold or you are warm enough for it not to make a difference. Another more general example is with cars - logically, you'd want to jump inside one if you were caught outside in a blizzard, but with the current mechanics there isn't any point: even though it is significantly less cold inside the car than out, you're still freezing either way, so you're actually harming yourself by taking shelter.

When I got back to the hut in my Bleak Inlet game, I paused only to drink water before going to bed, where I woke up 7 hours later (7 hours is the most you can sleep in one stretch without getting dehydration damage when you have maximum thirst rate settings in the custom mode - again, I do this to limit condition recovery to a level that feels right for me) and was completely warm as toast, even though the cabin temperature + bed temperature only "feels like" about 10°C - I'd wake up feeling chilly in real life at that temperature, and I'd want to warm myself up further before going outside into the snow! Intuitively, I wanted to light a fire in the grate and have a nice cup of coffee, but I knew this would be a waste of time, matches and fuel since it would make absolutely no difference to my character's well-being - so I didn't.

I really think the game would benefit from making temperatures - their effects, at least - just a little bit more dynamic. It gives you a whole load more choices and decisions to make and it would bring more of the current survival options into play more frequently. Currently, indoor fireplaces are almost useless - you don't need them to warm up, and outdoor fires are more efficient for cooking in terms of fuel usage. Factors like wind-chill only come into play on rare occasions, as described above, making it feel like a largely wasted mechanic. Cars and other low-level shelters are even rarer in their usefulness as places to wait out bad weather. Clothing kind of caps itself out as well - once you're warm enough to be above 0°C reasonably consistently, there's no point in being any warmer, and going out of your way to improve your clothing further is a waste of effort; in fact, once you get to that level, you tend to forget about temperature as a survival factor altogether. I think all this is a shame, makes the game more bland than it could be.

By scaling the effects on the character according to the feels like temp in more depth, I think the game would be much richer and more fun. I'd be interested in knowing what people think!

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I think I agree with everything you've written here. I would be happy to have temperature be a bigger part of the game.

One thing to mention though is that your warmth meter does, I think, go down more quickly the colder your "feels like" is. It's only once that runs out and you start taking damage that it doesn't matter anymore. Since everything just does health damage your health becomes a currency that you can spend on things like food and warmth. If you make a lot of currency each night you can spend a lot of it on warmth making freezing not matter.

The solutions I see are making it so that you get less currency(possible in custom), make it more expensive to freeze(as you suggest), or remove warmth as something you can purchase by replacing freezing health damage with "core temperature". If your core temp gets too low you die, regardless of how much health you have.

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