Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
robert4818

MMO's Calendars, and seasons

This topic is 4009 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

This is a thought that has been floating around my head for ages. If done well it can add a whole lot to an MMO in terms of immersion, and complexity. If done poorly, it would be merely superficial and a waste of time and resources. I believe MMO's could use a actual season/calendar. Using a 365 day calendar, I would suggest the following. Use a 6 hour day. This makes a week about a 1 1/2 RL days long A month about 8 RL days long A season about 3 RL Weeks long A year about 3 RL Months long. This will drag out everything so that there is a good amount of time between everything, but not so long that players get upset. Holidays, ceremonies, magical energy flux, all would be tied to the in-game calendar. MOB's could change depending on the season. SOME quests could only be available during certain times of year, (i.e. gathering fire wood in winter) Other quests with big rewards could only be completed on certain days, (such as killing a certain mob on the summer solstice) Please keep in mind that not EVERY quest would be tied to the calendar, only certain ones for flavor, or special ones with larger rewards. I do know it would be frustrating to have to wait 9 weeks to turn in the 4 wolf pelts because I collected them at the end of a season... Drawbacks include the art department needing to come up with 4 versions of every zone/building. Tying NPC interactions to 4 different seasons, etc. However I do believe that if implemented as an integral part of the game the extra work would be worth it, but if done as an afterthought the work would be a waste. What is your opinion?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
I'm already working on the design for a real-time weather system that can be used for MMOs. It allows weather to move across the map in realistic patterns. The type of weather is adjusted by the time of year,altitude and the type of terrain (e.g. swamps and deserts). All that would be left for the designer to do is take the flags coming out of the weather system for type of cloud cover, wind speed and direction and precipitation and pass it into the game engine and rendering system.

Effects such as precipitation on visibility, wind on missle weapons, temperature on objects (frozen potions?), and ground conditions on movement speed can all be included simply by reading the data at that moment from the weather engine. Since the weather systems are dynamicly moving, you could say, "let's wait out this thunderstorm". Since they can be tied to seasons, you could say, "this time of year, that area is a bitch". Since they have an effect, you could say "with this wind, your bow is going to be useless."

I don't have any documentation up on it yet since I am in the early stages of development. Just wanted to toss that into the fray here since without effects like this, the only thing that changes with the seasons is the artwork.

Love your idea, though!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have always wanted to see more weather in MMOs. To see your favorite zones covered in snow, or changing rain/wind patterns is a fairly simple way to add a ton of additional aesthetic appeal.

What would really be amazing is if the weather affected the gameplay, as InnocuousFox mentioned. One thing I remember about Runescape, is that in a particular desert zone, you could die of thirst, and thus you had to take detours to gather water from cacti and such. Other games allowed you to slow down or lose health due to cold.

And it doesn't have to be extreme like the hot/cold survival gameplay. It could be little things, especially in a game that draws on the environment with magic (water spells +10% effective when raining...).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My opinion is you need to try out The Saga Of Ryzom (aka "Ryzom")
There is a season/weather system very similar to what you describe, though imho the developpers didn't push the system to it's full potential.
One major feature of the game was the ability for a player to harvest a variety of natural resources from the ground (like wood, oil, etc.) Each kind of resource existed in different forms (e.g. there was like 5 type of wood) which could be found in different areas. Then, each of these could be harvested in different quality, ranging from base, fine, choice, excellent and supreme. Of course crafting items with supreme mats would give the best possible items.
All the system was closely bound to the season and the weather conditions (some mats were available only during certain seasons, etc.) Of course none of this was documented, the players had to find out for themselves and become awesome resource harvester, knowing all the best, hidden spots and when to harvest them. Add to this that the fauna was also bound to seasons, so of course on some of the most interesting spots during the most interesting seasons, there was a handful of very aggressive beasts and you had to come escorted by warriors to clean up the area before you have a chance to harvest anything. And I'm not even talking about the PVP that occurred at the season change, when everybody knew some rare mats would become available.

Cheers
JA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Humble Hobo
I have always wanted to see more weather in MMOs. To see your favorite zones covered in snow, or changing rain/wind patterns is a fairly simple way to add a ton of additional aesthetic appeal.

What would really be amazing is if the weather affected the gameplay, as InnocuousFox mentioned. One thing I remember about Runescape, is that in a particular desert zone, you could die of thirst, and thus you had to take detours to gather water from cacti and such. Other games allowed you to slow down or lose health due to cold.

And it doesn't have to be extreme like the hot/cold survival gameplay. It could be little things, especially in a game that draws on the environment with magic (water spells +10% effective when raining...).


I've always been a fan of the idea of taking weather into account, especially with the items/gear you equip. i.e. If you're in an icy region, your equipment had better be suited to help you deal with the climate and conditions. Ditto for desert, swamp, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

We are the game development community.

Whether you are an indie, hobbyist, AAA developer, or just trying to learn, GameDev.net is the place for you to learn, share, and connect with the games industry. Learn more About Us or sign up!

Sign me up!