I'd like to discuss the current weather system and ways it might be improved. (Inspired by the weather systems post
While the current weather system in Valheim is "fine as is", if compared to older games where having changing weather at all was unexpected and quite noteworthy at least, I believe it could benefit from some extra attention / polish to help make the game environment better and more noteworthy in relation to more modern games and their weather.
Now, to start with, I do understand the concept of "FANTASY WOOOORLD" (read in Torgue's voice from Borderlands 2 Tiny Tina DLC) and all that, so that abnormal conditions can exist, making it relatively easy to suspend disbelief.
But even then it's better, in my opinion, that things make a bit of sense, even if that just means that in-game lore actually exists that explains the specific things that are out of the ordinary from what we expect from our normal reality.
Moving on to those aforementioned specifics, I'd personally like for weather changes to be less abrupt, especially when moving between biomes. Stepping back and forth between swamp and another biome and watching the clouds rapidly form and dissipate really takes me out of the game by drawing attention to the artificial mechanics of it all.
Even just being out in the meadows and having to deal with sudden downpours every single time is just unrealistic. Maybe have a clear or lightly-clouded sky, then progress to medium cloud cover, then heavy, then finally rain, over the course of, say, 30 seconds minimum (instead of what feels like just 5 seconds)?
In other words, make it a bit easier visually for the player to say "oh, looks like rain is coming, better head back to base now" (maybe make it a bit more obvious that the wind is getting a stronger too? at least for storms, if not light rain). This would be a bit more immersive I believe.
Also, I believe specific weather types need more variable durations. It's too weird that rain, fog, and snowstorms always last for the same amount of time, every time.
What about the concept of a 'passing shower' or 'morning fog that burns off by 9 or 10am'? Or even (very rarely) 'rain that lasts a full day or two?
Variable duration weather events would be good not only for more realism, but also to introduce another factor in player activity decision making. If one doesn't know if it will be a short or lengthy rainfall or fog event, for example, one must decide whether to 'press on' (during a period of exploration for example), or 'give up and go back to base til it passes'.
Also, Rain 100% of the time in the swamp is a just odd. Canonically, it could be said that Freya's tears is an ongoing thing from the lore, yet the lore doesn't say it is supposed to be ongoing, and instead reads as though it was a one time thing done in the past ("…and Freya sowed their fields with salt tears.").
Now, I dunno what the decision process was for the devs in regards to that, but I can imagine something along the lines of it being progress preparation for the mountains. As in: "When players reach the mountains they're gonna have to deal with the constant threat of freezing, so we'll ease them into that with a constant but less brutal wet debuff in the swamp".
From a 'game mechanic to guide players into the next new challenge' perspective, I get that, really. But it doesn't make it any less illogical (without, at least, lore that essentially defines the constant rain with specific 'fantasy world' reasoning of some kind).
Besides the lore and game mechanic progress preparation though, it'd just be nice to have clear days in the swamp (even if just rarely), if for no other reason than the variety of atmospheres it would provide the player.
Clouds: The clouds are always huge, and I hate that there is never a fully cloudless sky. Besides a lighter cloud cover variation with smaller clouds (also different cloud patterns, like wavy/streak-y, instead of just big, fat and puffy), I would like to see a perfectly clear day and night time skies.
Plus, it seems whenever I try to check the time of day/night the sun/moon is 'always' behind a cloud (and usually a huge one at that), which is terribly annoying. Even if I'm not just trying to check the time, sometimes it's just nice to stop and look up at the moon. (not a werewolf, really. …. awoooo?)
Now for existing weather that's about all I have to say I guess, but if you wanted to get extra fancy with the weather, I suppose you could introduce 'seasons'. (pre-post edit: I searched first before posting and found someone else had already suggested seasons. [LINK].(
For example, meadows & black forest (at least) could experience a form of spring, summer, fall, and "winter" (winter being less extreme than mountains, mostly with just dusting the terrain with light snow cover and grass still peeking through, but maybe also at least requiring a deer-skin cloak for warmth and not the full wolf armor or cloak).
This would mostly be for the visual variation it could add to the game, as well as a sense of the passage of time, but would also give the possibility at least three more factors to the game play.
First, with 'meadows & black forest winter', you could still freeze slightly in winter (less damage per second than mountains though, like 1/2 or even 1/3) without at least having a deerskin cloak, but it would also make players plan ahead by making spare equipment in case of 'corpse runs'. In other words, winter would be a time of no naked corpse runs, even if spring, summer, and fall are fair game.
Secondly, seasons would allow you to introduce seasonal crops/berries, again just for the sake of variety.
Third, different seasons could have different likelihoods of rain/fog/storms. For example, 'rainy season', where rain is more likely and lasts longer.
Plains could (should?) always be far less likely to have rain/fog than even indicated in the weather systems post I linked to above, and maybe even shorter durations as well when they do? I'm a bit iffy on that, admittedly, but I think it might still fit well. <shrug>
That's all I've got for now. Thoughts?