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I saw a couple of posts touching at it, but nothing more general than flowers die back, so here's a more general one.
I want.
To suffer.
... apparently.

Skip to the bottom for a bullet list of "Liked" and "Want"


My spouse and I were discussing our surprise at the way a harsh winter turned out. I can understand if it makes it too difficult to play for the standard setting (don't want to scare off new users) but I'd like to have winter be even more punishing without switching over to the seriously-don't-die mode, because that's more about unlucky reincarnation and scary monsters than dealing with a Napoleonic winter. A sort of "do your ancestors proud" setting that really kicks you when you're down if you weren't fully prepared. I enjoy the standard difficulty settings, but I struggled to settle in for a devastating cold season that was only mildly inconvenient. I'm glad to see fewer animals, and they have less meat or fat, sometimes none at all, but the plants were unexpected - once fall came, I had hurriedly stocked up on horsetail and reeds (I intended to explore caves and needed poultices handy) and gathered a couple stacks of hay bales so I could breed animals all winter and/or keep them fat enough to be tasty. But the grass grew back, the horsetail stood out like a red flag, and perhaps the most convenient but not immersive, any and all wild crops were fluorescent green against a snowy backdrop. I could climb a mountain and pick out every tasty or seed-bearing target within my very long line of sight. Berries falling off in the snow was a nice touch (I've definitely found mid-winter or last-year berries on bushes and eaten them IRL, but it's super rare), but I wanted more than that. Here's some of what we considered, liked, and wanted.  I understand that animal husbandry has a lot on the menu already, so I'm not touching that at all in here. I look forward to others' suggestions!

As an aside, the first time I started shivering, I thought it was an earthquake XD Classic human-imposter mistake. Glad no one was around to see my telltale blunder.

Liked:
*Trees didn't regrow, just got ready.
*Snowed-on bushes lost berries (I did find a single bush under a pine tree that had fresh fruit)
*Devastating cold (I look forward to clothing crafting lol)
*Animals became more scarce and leaner
*Snow piling up meant animals (or drifters) could jump fences
*If I forgot to light a fire, I froze my butt off while sleeping
*Oil lamps appear to keep snow a little bit at bay

Wanted:
*If skeps are either unprotected or without a full store of honey, bees die (I brought one in side just in case)
*Immature wild crops die, or die back to their smallest form to start again next spring
*Flowers die/hide
*Any short grass the gets snowed on gets buried/destroyed, no grass grows.
*Tilled, uncovered ground becomes untilled. Perhaps you could put hay bales across the dirt to protect it/crops?
*Snow packing/building. Maybe right click with a shovel to compress or toss more onto your in-progress block?
*Dirt gets hard - the top two or three layers of dirt should take double or triple time (and durability?) to dig up once it's below freezing.
*I may have just not noticed if snow wets you, but once there's access to clothing, non-oiled clothes should slowly get damp and then soaking in snow.
*Food preservation dramatically increased near the cold/snow
*Using a saw, collect ice to pile up for later in the year, re: previous food preservation. Underground, in a cave, under a linen tarp all work. Packed snow and piled ice can last until August.
*Hot potatoes: heat up a brick (not too much) in a fire and carry it with you. In your pocket, very slight warmth, in your active or off hand grants much more heat at the cost of a free hand.
*Naked trees - leaves disappear, branchy leaves replaced by plain branches, trees drop seedlings much less often in winter and spring, much more often in summer and fall.
*Hot food, like fresh or reheated on a fire, should boost and/or maintain your body temp.
*High activity, like running, chopping wood, shoveling snow or dirt, should keep you warm in most conditions, but at a significant cost to your satiation.


A couple parting thoughts - these things will mostly make the game harder (hot potatoes and food preservation notwithstanding) but there will also be other benefits to some of that. Were all the vegetation to die back, sure it'd be rough on me, but if I had food and firewood stocked (I did, in this first case) then I'd spend the winter planning, preparing, and prospecting. Caves and ruins would become more hazardous, but also easier to find, either for a risky expedition or to revisit in the warmer months if you can find them again. It would be easier to find surface deposits after vegetaion but before snow, or in a lull. Finding an animal, or a mature plant you had missed, would be immensely more rewarding. Warming by the fire on a long winter trek is good, but eating some toasty wolf steak will stick with you longer. The lessons learned the first time around, about leaving food for your bees or collecting ample firewood, would significantly reshape your second-winter preparations, and I think would further endear anyone who managed to stick it out :)

Hit me with your ideas.

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A few notes:

- You do already get wet from snofall. Not from trudging through snow that's already on the ground, though.
- Trees losing their leaves was investigated during development, with the result of "anything we tried either looks awful in practice or kills performance, we're shelving this indefinitely".
- Sprinting already does affect you in a similar way as clothing does, and already costs a lot of satiation. You don't notice it much, though, because in situations where you are just slightly too cold, you are not paying attention to your body temperature. In situations where you do pay attention to it, you are likely already getting the freezing screen effect and need warmth right now - and then the outside temperature will be so far below the threshold that just physical activity alone won't make up the difference.
- Winter is already a performance killer. Systems which run fine during the warm seasons can suddenly hit a CPU bottleneck as soon as snowfall starts, which manifests in things like chunks suddenly shifting from snow-free to being completely snowed in as the simulation struggles to catch up. Many of your suggestions boil down to "I want the block makeup of the world to change dynamically", and that further costs performance. Things like wild crops shifting color and getting snowcover would be perfectly reasonable - but you should probably accept that anything along the lines of "grass breaks under snow" or the like will be near-impossible to implement for performance reasons.

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Many of those things are planned for future implementation.  The big hurdle is moving crop maturity from 'every few days' to a more realistic time scale on the order of months.  That'll change gameplay a lot, and there need to be systems in place to support that playstyle.

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Wolfes could be bit more dangerous in winters, they could do some forays, forays caused by hunger. e.g. Wolfspawn-Area 100 blocks away not a danger for your base, but in winter it could be a danger ;)

Edited by RobinHood
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Thanks Casey for your post and I am pleased to see that many of the items mentioned either have already been tried or anticipated in future versions.  Being a relatively new player, I was initially terrified of winter but some game mechanics enable you to thrive rather than suffer through them.  So rather than new content, I would suggest some (hopefully) small changes.

  1. Make the amount of damage you take proportional, maybe exponential, to the delta between your current body temperature and normal body temperature value.  That way if you made yourself more suited for cold temperatures using the "body temperature hardiness" value it would, conceivably, make you more susceptible to high summer/desert temperatures.
  2. Bees should go into hibernation once you go below 5 deg C at any time in the day and not reawaken until the temperature exceeds 5 deg C for a full day.  Maybe add a functionality in greenhouses to lower that value. (Wanted #1).
  3. Rabbits stop spawning once daily temperatures drop below 5 deg C.  I created a world just to test surviving through the winter solely on rabbits falling into a pit trap and had more than enough meat all winter.  (Liked #4)
  4. In additional I would extend this to all passive mobs.  In my first world I captured the a couple pigs, sheep, and chickens and I found that naturally spawned ones showed up at my barn so often I could have survived just killing them.  (Liked #4)
  5. I know this function exists in a mod, but make passive animal survival depend on significant about of food in troughs.  In my first world I didn't realize that passive animals only need to be feed to encourage breeding and it was a constant struggle to keep their troughs full.  Now that I know not feeding them only results in a small reduction in produced meat when slaughtering them, I find it simpler to trap new animals rather than breed them.  Obviously you have to breed the sheep to get milk, but that can be an isolated group.
  6. This may be addressed when the clothing crafting gets further implemented, but I would like to be able to add animal fat to clothes to make them water resistant (but reducing their ability to protect from cold).

Please let me know if I missed, or just misunderstood, some existing game mechanic.

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I remember reading a post in some other thread that brought up the idea of animals having 'nests' that they spawn from, wander around, and return to. Having such a feature would make winter a lot more immersive as, rather than just having rabbits stop spawning, you can have them staying at their nests unless they're out getting food. This way you can still stumble across a nest for some meat and bones, but they'll be lean and difficult to find, so you wouldn't want to hunt them unless you're desperate. Having wolves staying in caves, near their nests, would make finding shelter during winter all the more dangerous. 

Man, the more I think about nests, the more I like them. 

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8 hours ago, l33tmaan said:

I remember reading a post in some other thread that brought up the idea of animals having 'nests' that they spawn from, wander around, and return to. Having such a feature would make winter a lot more immersive as, rather than just having rabbits stop spawning, you can have them staying at their nests unless they're out getting food. This way you can still stumble across a nest for some meat and bones, but they'll be lean and difficult to find, so you wouldn't want to hunt them unless you're desperate. Having wolves staying in caves, near their nests, would make finding shelter during winter all the more dangerous. 

Man, the more I think about nests, the more I like them. 

If someone coded a nest setup like that, you could also reasonably adjust their behavior depending on species. Rabbits and hares are crepuscular, so you'd see them out foraging the most often right at twilight. The best time to get bunny meat when it's harder to find would also mean playing it fast and loose with drifters and wandering wolves.

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13 hours ago, l33tmaan said:

I remember reading a post in some other thread that brought up the idea of animals having 'nests' that they spawn from, wander around, and return to. Having such a feature would make winter a lot more immersive as, rather than just having rabbits stop spawning, you can have them staying at their nests unless they're out getting food. This way you can still stumble across a nest for some meat and bones, but they'll be lean and difficult to find, so you wouldn't want to hunt them unless you're desperate. Having wolves staying in caves, near their nests, would make finding shelter during winter all the more dangerous. 

Man, the more I think about nests, the more I like them. 

Yes, having a way for animals to reasonably interact with each other and affect an environment would be something neat especially for farming and preserving specific areas for hunting/gathering.

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