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Swimming, drowning, and Exertion


Stroam
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Just want to say the swimming animations are awesome.

Now that that's out of the way, I think swimming should be drastically altered. Most individuals in 3rd world countries don't know how to swim. Most in history did not know how to swim. Therefore swimming should be a skill and not a given. This also increases game play by making things like bodies of water actual obstacles. This is how I would change swimming.

  • First give the player a swimming skill bar.
  • Add some more animations. High jump, and dog paddling.
  • Give players different animations and water movement types depending on their skill in swimming starting with high jump and ending with swimming.
  • Player gains swimming experience when performing a swimming type action in water that's at least three deep. 
  • As skill goes up slightly increase swimming speed and decrease the amount of exhaustion added. This allows an experienced swimmer to swim faster, longer.
  • Add an exhaustion bar that goes up when during exertion.
    • Exertion activities include swinging a weapon, swimming, and sprinting. Wearing armor multiplies the exertion added during an exertion activity.
  • Disable activities that make the exertion bar go up when the exertion bar is at max.
  • The exhaustion bar goes down when stand still on a solid block while not in water. (Can play catching your breath breath animation)

These all combined would create fun, engaging mechanics. It would also make boats and bridges more than just a faster way to cross water.

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I'm not sure what 3rd world countries have to do with the subject or why you would assume that the people there don't know how to swim.  The first world isn't that great at teaching swimming either.  In the US, 1/3 of European American kids can't swim, and over 1/2 of African American and Hispanic kids can't swim. In NSW, Australia 1/2 of kids can't swim.  Mostly it's about access and culture.  If we are to go by the middle ages European time period that TFC is based on, then history shows that even most sailors from that time could not swim. 

On the other hand, yes swimming is a learned skill for humans, unlike animals like wolves, felines, elephants etc.  However, once learned humans are much faster in the water than said animals.  I like the mechanic of using the player's stamina for swimming or sprinting.  Once depleted, the player must rest to bring the bar back up.  If skill levels are implemented, then how fast the stamina bar is depleted should be the effect, along with a speed boost.

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I will have to agree that swimming is more about culture and opportunity, If you live in a fishing village you will know how to swim if you live far from big bodies of water them things get a little more complicated, as you would need access to a swimming pool.

Now as for swimming in the game. I never liked the concept of players being able to swim across oceans for days without end. At the same time, I do not like the idea of the player not be able to swim until he learns some skills and practice. I mean I like that we are having this discussion right now. When there is still time to make some changes to the game development.

My question is this: How can we limit how far a player can swim and at the same time allow the player to cross small rivers and dive into the water at least to a certain depth? I mean is not like the player will have to count how many blocks distant is the other shore before attempting to cross a river or lake. 

If we choose a distance system or a stamina system, one way or another the player may die 10 blocks from the beach. If the player is capable of float and rest to recuperate stamina, he/she will still be able to cross oceans and that is the thing that bothers me most.

I would not like a system that would prevent me from occasional swimming and diving. I have hopes that in the future the game will have fishes as entities and coral and lobsters and oysters, and the player would be able to harvest these.

I think maybe the solution would be to limit swimming while carrying heavy loads. this way the player would be encouraged to build bridges and boats or ships. This way the player would still be able to swim across big lakes and oceans, ( For me a cheat) but if he finds resources that he wants to bring back he will have to build a ship. If we make shipbuilding to require specific  materials the player will be better off making a ship before he goes on a trip of that nature.

It does not solve all issues, but I think is an advance in the right direction. Maybe others can help with ideas.

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Swimming, especially in medieval times was only necessary if boats capsized, or sank. Granted most people didn't know how to swim, i agree that a basic level of swimming knowledge should be given to anyone. 

But i don't care who you are, a basic level 1 skilled swimmer in the middle of the ocean is shark bait. It's important in emergency situations, and as such it should be treated with those sort of medieval limitations.

Heavy armor should drastically decrease your stamina depletion. And if water currents/ any heavy weather system is added it can either help you get to shore, or tear you away from shore with even more stamina use being drained in the later. 

Going to sea is a huge decision and should not be treated lightly, even with max swimming skills and no land in sight, you should only barely make it to shore over lets say a 120 block swim. I agree that block counting is atrocious, but in all seriousness even if you knew how to dog paddle. In the medieval times you wouldn't know what a breast stroke is, or how to tread water.  So you are heavily wasting stamina trying to dog paddle to shore, which is why boats are so darn important.

the limit is how much endurance your character has, how much stamina is drained per block, and the skills that associate with stamina loss such as swimming skills, or any other stamina skills taken into account.

Having a danger to sailing is an experience in itself , and should have you on your toes. You should be able to swim a large river just fine, you might have trouble with a big lake. There should be no tom, dick or harry swimming across the sea no problem.

Edited by Unclesid
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The swimming part I'm not wild about, but stamina bar could have tons of applications.  A tie-in with food benefits, smithing could use stamina, mining/digging/chopping of course.  So I definitely support that part.  I guess swimming across oceans doesn't offend me that much.   You're just exploring.   You don't get to the other side and find a pile of iron ingots waiting for you.  It's probably just more wolves or hyenas.  If we don't want people crossing deep ocean without a boat I'd think mobs would be one way to handle it.  Possibly bad weather.  If we eventually get a body warmth system, it would sap that.

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