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Season Refreshes and Variants


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Alternate titles: Seasoning the Seasons, or Spicing Up Your SEASONings... or something or other

Seasons Greetings! This post is all about seasons and how they should be refreshed to sprucen up gameplay as seasons make up a huge chunk of it. In addition to expanded seasonal mechanics, I would also like to see seasonal specific biomes as well as debuffs (diseases), and seasonal variants of differing diificulty. Below are the 4 seasons and simply examples of the types of ideas I would like to see implemented in terms of new content once ROT ends.

Autumn

Gusts of wind infrequently occur, similar to Shipwrecked these affect the players movement. Moving against the wind slows the players movement speed while moving with it grants a speed boost. Holding a pinwheel grants a sanity boost during a gust. Boats react to gusts of wind in a similar manner except that the speed is factored by the amount of sails a ship has installed.

Winter

Blizzards can occur, gusts of wind along with heavy snowfall that impedes vision and movement occur. Blizzards put out fires. Similar to sandstorms and now moonstorms, these are only on certain random areas of the map. Desert goggles (renamed to just goggles) will remove the effects of the storm. Extended stay in a blizzard causes the player to get the frost bitten debuff which causes a sanity drain but provides the players inventory with reduced spoilage. A booster shot can be used to cure frostbite.

Piles of snow can build up and be harvested for 3 clumps of snow. Piles of snow have an increased chance to spawn in blizzards. A snowpig can be crafted with 9 clumps of snow and provides a small sanity aura around it until it melts. Clumps of snow and ice can be used to craft ice blocks. Ice blocks and a campfire can be combined to craft an igloo. Igloos function similarly to tents except they heat up thermal stones and can be used by multiple players and provide a small light radius, similar to Walrus camps. Igloos last a set amount of days before they melt.

Glaciers form on water, and small patches of water become walkable ice. Boats can dock here and explore the ice. Pengull dens spawn on the ice. Shallow ice patches are spread throughout the ice and if not paying attention to visual cues will break once stepped on and drown the player. The Emperor Pengull boss can be fought in this winter biome and includes the ability to create these shallow ice patches during the fight. The Emperor Pengull will accept ocean fish for loot rewards including Jet feathers for manageable blow dart farming. Rarer fish grant rarer rewards. If fed a drumstick the Emperor Pengull will become hostile and start the boss fight. This ice biome melts and sinks into the sea once winter ends.

Spring

For spring rather than rain and the wetness mechanic, which is fine and really imo doesnt offer much in terms of expanding, I would like to see a focus on the growth side of the season, as in nature. 

Mushrooms in every biome grow twice as big and can be harvested for 2 mushrooms instead of one. These mushrooms, if left unharvested can grow to a third stage where they release toxic spores in an area around the mushroom and cause the player to take damage but also spawns mushroom spores that can be planted in the mushroom planter. Any player that has come into contact with the spores has a 10℅ chance to recieve a debuff called mushcucleosis that lasts a set amount of days.  Red Mushnucleosis increases player hunger drain but also gives the player an additional temporary max HP.  Green Mushnucleosis causes increased player hunger drain but gives additional temporary max Sanity. Blue Mushnucleosis causes increased hunger drain but gives additional max Hunger. Mushnucleosis variants can be cured with a booster shot.

Berry bushes grow vines with thorns during Spring causing a player to take damage while harvesting. Razors can be used to prune and harvest the vines. Bramble husks can negate thorn damage. Vines and logs can be used to craft vine wood walls which deal damage back to mobs that attack them until they are destroyed. These walls cannot be repaired and must instead be recrafted.

A new springtime boss setpiece of thorned berry bushes spawns an aggressive plant like boss encased in thorns that cause the player to take damage when they attack. 

Summer 

A new wetsuit clothing item prevents items in the player inventory from becoming wet while still allowing the player itself to gain wetness. Heat waves appear randomly on the map, similar to blizzards. Heat waves are denoted by their intense light in the zones and increased heat. Once inside the heat wave  for an extended period of time the player starts to experience mirages of items, mobs and structures on their screen that aren't really there, similar to Wagstaff's nearsightedness perk. Food put on the ground here is immediately cooked. Extended stay in this area gives the player the heat stroke debuff which causes sanity drain but also grants the player inventory the ability to cook food. A booster shot can be used to cure heat stroke. 

Gusts of wind can also periodically occur which will reduce the player temperature, this number is multiplied by player wetness.

Seasonal Variants 

Each season should have a random chance to occur with added weather difficulty and strategies. Using the added mechanics proposed above every season would have a Normal, Mild, and Harsh variant. Normal would stick to how things currently are with no new mechanics or only mechanics that are introduced as part of a season refresh. 

The rainometer and thermostat buildings should be built in order to properly forecast which type of weather variant will occur during the season. Or be merged with a new all in one forecasting station that includes new seasonal mechanics such as gusts of wind and blizzards.  For example, high precipitation, high windfall, and low temperature would categorize the incoming winter as harsh. A harsh winter would be more prone to blizzards, more snowfall, and more wind, with a temperature that is colder than your usual winter, meaning while venturing from your base you may need to wear proper winter clothing instead of slapping on a tamo and calling it done. A mild winter on the other hand, while having increased snowfall might not be as cold temperature wise. Harsh springs might be more prone to thunderstorms. Exclusive bosses could also be tied to harsh variants, or simply given new moves and stats to current seasonal bosses.

The variant system could either be implemented so that all year 1 weather is normal and then variants are introduced starting on year 2, or be random from the start. However, If I know anything about this community the answer is always a toggle. 

In conclusion, I think its time we look at adding interesting mechanics and gameplay to existing base game content. If the farming rework has proven anything its that there is a popularity and demand for this type of content.

 

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These are just my examples. I tried to frame new mechanics in ways I could see them being added feasibly in without technical limitations. So if the new moonstorm mechanic is something you think a mod could've added since it basically functions similarly to the sandstorm mechanic then that is what I was going for.

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17 minutes ago, JosePapp said:

I was thinking on suggesting something similar! Namely, game changing mechanics that add more texture rather than changing the core game play 

Yes, exactly! I would love for Klei to approach seasons as they have character refreshes. Namely we recognize that they are a good foundation but there can be more depth and complexity that can be added. Take for example Spring, I would love to see more gameplay decisions that arrive from spring content other than just rain come in spring need umbrella.

And not only that but I would like to see gameplay problems that challenge us, and when I say challenge I don't mean difficult, but more in the vein of challenging our thinking and usual strategies, which is why when I propose seasonal sicknesses they not only have downsides you would want to avoid like say sanity drain but also provide unique buffs or perks so that if you are prepared for them you can make use of the mechanic in a unique way.

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5 hours ago, sudoku said:

Desert goggles (renamed to just goggles) will remove the effects of the storm.

So the first winter is really annoying because you can't get the goggles, your first summer is really annoying because you're forced to fish for a random amount of time that could be all summer, and then further winters are really annoying because you need to lug around a pair of goggles? Or when you say "a specific area" you mean there'd be a new biome that it occurs in which is basically inaccessible for the first winter because you can't get the goggles?

6 hours ago, sudoku said:

Extended stay in a blizzard causes the player to get the frost bitten debuff which causes a sanity drain but provides the players inventory with reduced spoilage.

It'd make more sense for it to drain your health and freezer burn your food.

6 hours ago, sudoku said:

For spring rather than rain and the wetness mechanic, which is fine and really imo doesnt offer much in terms of expanding, I would like to see a focus on the growth side of the season, as in nature. 

These ideas are really cool, though.

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14 minutes ago, Cheggf said:

So the first winter is really annoying because you can't get the goggles, your first summer is really annoying because you're forced to fish for a random amount of time that could be all summer, and then further winters are really annoying because you need to lug around a pair of goggles? Or when you say "a specific area" you mean there'd be a new biome that it occurs in which is basically inaccessible for the first winter because you can't get the goggles?

It'd make more sense for it to drain your health and freezer burn your food.

These ideas are really cool, though.

Oh right, I forgot that the goggles couldn't be obtained first year. I didn't want to introduce another goggle type hat item when we already have one. They could make the oasis pond fish-able during winter, similar to ice fishing in real life so you can obtain the blueprint that way. Perhaps the rate of fish is decreased during this time. Then again ocean fish can be obtained during winter so idk if there really would be a balance issue.

And yeah I was hesitant on suggesting debuffs that might be perceived as too annoying to deal with like a health drain (people hated the poison mechanic in SW so much so that it was nerfed to oblivion). But yes I think the idea of risk/reward debuffs is cool and worth exploring.

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Another solution to this would be to add some of the challenges (like the blizzard) to the future years. As you survive year after year, you face these different or increased challenges. Or even randomize certain weather events per season, sometimes you get a clear winter, sometimes a blizzard, sometimes another winter weather event. This would create variety in seasons this way, and force you to react a bit rather than knowing what to expect every season.

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Just for the love of God don't make the events fully random and unpredictable because I'll never be able to fight a boss without something screwing me over halfway though. I already suck at timing hound attacks as it is. 

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Currently playing No Mans Sky on Survival difficulty and I’ve begun to realize how simplified DS has become with DST..

I would like some of the stuff I’m currently doing in NMS in DST, atmospheres of freezing temperatures, heat storms that force a wall of flames in my direction instead of just wildfires starting randomly.. highly toxic landmass or even toxic rainfall..

NMS has a lot of the environmental challenge that DST is currently missing...I would love to see the hazardous biomes of hamlet properly restored to the game where we need protective gear to travel the biome

I can’t really say I agree with seasons that progress in difficulty over time unless it’s entirely optional content you can toggle on/off... my friends have a hard enough time surviving the game as it is... should they be brutally punished just because they choose to join my world on day 500?

I don’t think that would be the right route to go about adding content..it sounds cool on paper but unless there’s ways to control/disable it... it’s going to make playing with friends a pure nightmare.

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37 minutes ago, SkepticnotCynic said:

Another solution to this would be to add some of the challenges (like the blizzard) to the future years. As you survive year after year, you face these different or increased challenges. Or even randomize certain weather events per season, sometimes you get a clear winter, sometimes a blizzard, sometimes another winter weather event. This would create variety in seasons this way, and force you to react a bit rather than knowing what to expect every season.

Yes while I would prefer they refresh seasons with additional mechanics, having any new mechanics at all be variants for later years would be fine by me too. Just anything to spice up seasons from the ROG experience we have played since the beginning.

28 minutes ago, W0l0l0 said:

Just for the love of God don't make the events fully random and unpredictable because I'll never be able to fight a boss without something screwing me over halfway though. I already suck at timing hound attacks as it is. 

I proposed a weather forecasting structure that would give you the specifics of the whether so you would know what to expect sort of like the rainometer and thermometer except it would have an actual use other than decoration.

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2 hours ago, W0l0l0 said:

Just for the love of God don't make the events fully random and unpredictable because I'll never be able to fight a boss without something screwing me over halfway though. I already suck at timing hound attacks as it is. 

I'll admit I didn't think of this lol. Maybe rainometer and thermometer could find a use? The points I spent on their skins MUST be justified!

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15 hours ago, SkepticnotCynic said:

I'll admit I didn't think of this lol. Maybe rainometer and thermometer could find a use? The points I spent on their skins MUST be justified!

I'd be cool if the rainometer had a fourth stage denoting when a storm hits. And there could be like a divining rod item that leads you to it on the map to go storm chasing.

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On 4/18/2021 at 4:05 AM, SkepticnotCynic said:

I'll admit I didn't think of this lol. Maybe rainometer and thermometer could find a use? The points I spent on their skins MUST be justified!

Rainometer doesnt have much uses because how predictible is rain (just spring and winter if you are in caves) but i love the thermometer, is very useful to know when will end or start seasons

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Im a pub player most of the time and the thermometer is pretty useless imo. Most players have it memorized that Winter is day 21 and then every 15ish days is the start of the next season. But I guess it would be more handier in long-lasting worlds where the day count becomes very big and easy to lose track of. I still think these structures could have so much more potential if seasons were refreshed. The farming rework added in a bunch of new stats for you to manage and read with the gardening hat, seasons should provide more complexity to weather forecasting in the same way.

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1 hour ago, sudoku said:

Im a pub player most of the time and the thermometer is pretty useless imo. Most players have it memorized that Winter is day 21 and then every 15ish days is the start of the next season. But I guess it would be more handier in long-lasting worlds where the day count becomes very big and easy to lose track of. I still think these structures could have so much more potential if seasons were refreshed. The farming rework added in a bunch of new stats for you to manage and read with the gardening hat, seasons should provide more complexity to weather forecasting in the same way.

Please no, playing this game on Xbox One with my friends is already a pure headache.. It’s the entire reason the majority of Return of Them content has been entirely optional- they don’t have to engage with harder content until they’re ready for it.

If it was optional, and something you could toggle on/off then I’m all for it, but the thing I’m thinking about is that if someone is still trying to “Learn the Game” they don’t really need additional new hard things getting in the way of that.

Think of it like Minecraft and its Beta mode: The host of the world has to toggle on the experimental new features rather than those features just by default already being toggled to on.

As far as Public/Klei official servers go: Xbox has never had them available... so I have no idea how they work, nor do I have any clue how such a feature should work with them.. but as far as my personal hosted worlds go- I don’t need that getting any harder to play with my friends of various different skill levels.

To summarize: The game should be as easy or as hard as we feel like playing it at the time so playing with friends is less of a headache.

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18 minutes ago, Mike23Ua said:

Please no, playing this game on Xbox One with my friends is already a pure headache.. It’s the entire reason the majority of Return of Them content has been entirely optional- they don’t have to engage with harder content until they’re ready for it.

If it was optional, and something you could toggle on/off then I’m all for it, but the thing I’m thinking about is that if someone is still trying to “Learn the Game” they don’t really need additional new hard things getting in the way of that.

Think of it like Minecraft and its Beta mode: The host of the world has to toggle on the experimental new features rather than those features just by default already being toggled to on.

As far as Public/Klei official servers go: Xbox has never had them available... so I have no idea how they work, nor do I have any clue how such a feature should work with them.. but as far as my personal hosted worlds go- I don’t need that getting any harder to play with my friends of various different skill levels.

To summarize: The game should be as easy or as hard as we feel like playing it at the time so playing with friends is less of a headache.

How is adding more depth to a mechanic a bad thing? You are constantly advocating for character reworks which do exactly that and yet your friends seem to manage just fine playing refreshed characters. Adding depth doesn't necessarily make things harder it provides more oppurtunites for gameplay.

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13 minutes ago, sudoku said:

How is adding more depth to a mechanic a bad thing? You are constantly advocating for character reworks which do exactly that and yet your friends seem to manage just fine playing refreshed characters. Adding depth doesn't necessarily make things harder it provides more oppurtunites for gameplay.

Honestly it depends entirely on the size, scope, and difficulty of the new content- All the character reworks with exception to Woodie and maybe barely noticeable Wes.. have not had changes that impact playing them unless you seek those changes out yourself:

What I mean by that is it is content that my friends have to explore/trigger for themselves, to make Abigail stronger they need to quest to find Pipspook gather mourning glory etc.. but for the people who haven’t learned how to do all that yet- Wendy still plays roughly the same as she always has only now with a less dumb Abigail following her.

These changes aren’t as big or impactful as say: Every summer season a massive sandstorm has a chance to sit in that spans all biomes, hindering the distance in which players can see and slows their movement speed while at the same time rapidly draining their hunger faster (okay so maybe I play too much ark survival Scorched Earth..)

But the point is: Wendy’s Pipspook quests and almost all of the return of them content updates don’t make the starting biomes of the game any harder for my friend to play with me.

And like I said I’m fine with it, as long as it’s entirely optional and has to be toggled on by the player, and isn’t just automatically on by default in my friends world.

Let’s put it into a different perspective pretend you bought a racing game and you had learned that racing game and you enjoy that racing game for being the product you bought and throughly enjoy & your good at it, you survive, you win & you enjoy it- But Suddenly and for no reason out of the blue the developers decide to add weapons to the game and suddenly it goes from being the racing game you knew and loved into a racing game largely based upon car combat.. and the game you knew and loved suddenly becomes something unplayable to you, unrecognizable & you suck at it, you get your butt kicked because it’s no longer the game you originally bought knowing you would enjoy... instead it’s something else... something harder.. something more complicated- And completely unrecognizable to the product you originally purchased.

Hopefully this helps explain my point of view a little better.

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20 minutes ago, Mike23Ua said:

Honestly it depends entirely on the size, scope, and difficulty of the new content- All the character reworks with exception to Woodie and maybe barely noticeable Wes.. have not had changes that impact playing them unless you seek those changes out yourself:

What I mean by that is it is content that my friends have to explore/trigger for themselves, to make Abigail stronger they need to quest to find Pipspook gather mourning glory etc.. but for the people who haven’t learned how to do all that yet- Wendy still plays roughly the same as she always has only now with a less dumb Abigail following her.

These changes aren’t as big or impactful as say: Every summer season a massive sandstorm has a chance to sit in that spans all biomes, hindering the distance in which players can see and slows their movement speed while at the same time rapidly draining their hunger faster (okay so maybe I play too much ark survival Scorched Earth..)

But the point is: Wendy’s Pipspook quests and almost all of the return of them content updates don’t make the starting biomes of the game any harder for my friend to play with me.

And like I said I’m fine with it, as long as it’s entirely optional and has to be toggled on by the player, and isn’t just automatically on by default in my friends world.

Let’s put it into a different perspective pretend you bought a racing game and you had learned that racing game and you enjoy that racing game for being the product you bought and throughly enjoy & your good at it, you survive, you win & you enjoy it- But Suddenly and for no reason out of the blue the developers decide to add weapons to the game and suddenly it goes from being the racing game you knew and loved into a racing game largely based upon car combat.. and the game you knew and loved suddenly becomes something unplayable to you, unrecognizable & you suck at it, you get your butt kicked because it’s no longer the game you originally bought knowing you would enjoy... instead it’s something else... something harder.. something more complicated- And completely unrecognizable to the product you originally purchased.

Hopefully this helps explain my point of view a little better.

I am fine with variants with differing difficulty being toggle able for people precisely because the main mechanic at play there is difficulty. However I do not just want variants I also want a season refresh and that should not be toggle able for exactly the same reasons character refreshes and the farming rework weren't toggleable .

Compare the old farming with the new farming : 

Old : Plant seed. Done. 

New : Plant needs, Watering mechanic,  Farm tiling mechanic, friendly Fruitfly, lord of fruit flies, huge crops, weeds

I want the same depth to be added to seasons where I will use Spring as the example.

Current Spring : Get umbrella, build lightning rod, maybe fight Goose

A Potential Spring Refresh has potential for so much more that can be done.

 

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2 hours ago, sudoku said:

I am fine with variants with differing difficulty being toggle able for people precisely because the main mechanic at play there is difficulty. However I do not just want variants I also want a season refresh and that should not be toggle able for exactly the same reasons character refreshes and the farming rework weren't toggleable .

Compare the old farming with the new farming : 

Old : Plant seed. Done. 

New : Plant needs, Watering mechanic,  Farm tiling mechanic, friendly Fruitfly, lord of fruit flies, huge crops, weeds

I want the same depth to be added to seasons where I will use Spring as the example.

Current Spring : Get umbrella, build lightning rod, maybe fight Goose

A Potential Spring Refresh has potential for so much more that can be done.

 

I 100% agree with you and personally I would want poison dart frogs raining from the skies.. but- again that should be a toggleable option I can choose to apply or not.

for example: they can add world Gen settings that allow me to choose if spring will be just rain, frog rain, or poisoned frog rain.

I think only a select handful of people would want poison dart frog rain on by default.

I would absolutely love to see things like earthquakes, landslides, land floods, strong hurricane winds & even tornadoes... but those things shouldn’t just be added to the game, they need to be optional or locked exclusively behind a harder mode.

The TL:DR New players to the game (and I mean truly new ones who just started playing DS for first time ever) do not need the starting area biomes & content getting any harder on them, Klei should reserve maybe 4-6 biomes around the portal exclusively to getting to know the game and THEN if players choose to: they can venture out (hopefully by breaking the existing biomes up into islands we need to sail to so sailing has more use & purpose) into harder more challenging content.

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18 hours ago, Starlogy said:

Honestly I'm all for making the core game play different. Seasonal variants like this could be exactly what this game needs to feel fresh again.

Exactly, it doesnt even need to be classified as different, more like evolved.

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