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 Post subject: Make Darkness/Weather/Temp Notifications More Prominent
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 10:16 pm 
MegamekNET Moderator

Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:02 pm
Posts: 1246
The Suggestion:

I'd like to suggest some additional formatting for weather notifications in MegaMek. At present weather is reported like this:

Battleboy rolls a 8[8+0].
Jackal rolls a 5[5+0].
Wind direction is Northwest. Wind strength is Storm. The weather is Clear. Visibility is Daylight.


Note: The information is all standard type and all shown in a line. And temperature information is completely absent.


Because weather and darkness effects 1) have significant game impact, and 2) would be very noticeable to combatants on the field, I would like to suggest this alternative formatting:

Battleboy rolls a 8[8+0].
Jackal rolls a 5[5+0].

Wind Direction: NE
Wind Strength: Storm (!!!)
Weather: Clear
Temperature: 51 C (!)
Lighting: Daylight

Basically the suggested formatting breaks the weather/lighting/temperature information into multiple lines and is color-coded to show severity of effects. Storm weather, for example, kills all infantry on the map, so it's a very severe weather type. A 51 degree temperature adds +1 heat per turn to units that track heat.


You guys probably have your own thoughts on what the color codes should be but here's some posibilities:

Lighting:
Pitch Black (!!!!)
Moonless Night (!!!)
Full Moon Night (!!)
Dawn/Dusk (!)
Daylight


Wind Strength
Storm (!!!!)
Strong Gale (!!!)
Moderate Gale (!!)
Light Gale (!)
Calm


Precipitation (Rain)
Torrential Downpour (!!!!)
Heavy Rainfall (!!!)
Moderate Rainfall (!!)
Light Rainfall (!)
No Precipitation


Precipitation (Snow)
Heavy Snowfall (!!!)
Moderate Snowfall (!!)
Light Snowfall (!)
No Precipitation


Temperature
61 to 70 °C (!!)
51 to 60 °C (!)
-30 to 50 °C
-40 to -31 °C (!)
-50 to -41 °C (!!)



Expected Outcome:
I believe that adding this formatting to the conditions reports would make both veteran and (ESPECIALLY) new players much more aware of weather effects in the game. This in, in turn, would probably help players to make better decisions about initial placement and moves (and in the case of new players it would provide a powerful visual clue that something is going on in the game which they need to educate themselves about.


How Strongly I Feel About The Suggestion:
I had a recent game in which the battle started out with calm weather conditions and, in the space of 4 turns grew rapidly to storm weather conditions (something which turned out to be a bug), causing all of my infantry to suddenly and instantly die. During that game I felt completely blindsided. I didn't even know there had been wind, the game had started out with calm weather!

In other games I've observed heat effects from temperature or weather where, again, I was at first unaware that anything was going on.

The formatting and color coding that I have suggested would have made a big difference in making me aware of what was going on. As it stands now I actually had to do some sleuthing work to figure out what was even going on.


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 Post subject: Re: Make Darkness/Weather/Temp Notifications More Prominent
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 10:27 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2008 12:59 am
Posts: 1145
Location: Austin, Texas (on assignment from Luthien)
I believe we had an update recently that was supposed to both get rid of the extreme (i.e. instantly infantry-killing) and variable weather; not sure if that was completely successful or not. How recent was this game?



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Got a good idea to add to MekWars? We'd love to hear about it. (from that page, go to "Tickets", then "Feature Requests")
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 Post subject: Re: Make Darkness/Weather/Temp Notifications More Prominent
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 11:15 pm 

Joined: Sun Dec 08, 2013 7:17 am
Posts: 490
I like Jackal's suggestion.

I would only add to it by suggesting that providing a quick summary of the rules of the current weather might also be useful for new players.*

example:

Battleboy rolls a 8[8+0].
Jackal rolls a 5[5+0].

Wind Direction: NE
Wind Strength: Normal
Weather: Clear
Temperature: 61 to 70 °C (!!) - All heat tracking units will gain an extra +2 heat this turn.
Lighting: Pitch Black (!!!!) - Visibility reduced to 3 hexes. All attacks will receive a +4 penalty this turn (reduced to +1 if searchlights used). Entering any hex costs an extra 3MP unless reckless movement is used.

* Is this something CGL would get mad at Megamek/Mekwars for doing?


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 Post subject: Re: Make Darkness/Weather/Temp Notifications More Prominent
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 11:23 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2008 12:59 am
Posts: 1145
Location: Austin, Texas (on assignment from Luthien)
I like this idea, for what it's worth.



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Got a good idea to add to MekWars? We'd love to hear about it. (from that page, go to "Tickets", then "Feature Requests")
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 Post subject: Re: Make Darkness/Weather/Temp Notifications More Prominent
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 11:37 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2009 10:28 pm
Posts: 425
Klingon wrote:
I believe we had an update recently that was supposed to both get rid of the extreme (i.e. instantly infantry-killing) and variable weather; not sure if that was completely successful or not. How recent was this game?
The configuration file was updated. However, there is a bug and the individual terrain files are not updating. No word on when this bug will be fixed yet.



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 Post subject: Re: Make Darkness/Weather/Temp Notifications More Prominent
PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2014 5:07 pm 

Joined: Tue Dec 03, 2013 4:54 am
Posts: 176
I like these suggestions, and I think that most of them (the color coding ones) can be done by just changing the internationalization files (the .propeties files in the l10n directory, more specifically the report-messages.properties file). Creating a feature request on the MM feature tracker will make it much more likely that this gets implemented



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 Post subject: Re: Make Darkness/Weather/Temp Notifications More Prominent
PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 8:06 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2008 9:06 am
Posts: 132
I love the basic idea and I really like the colour coding you suggested. About the !!!! I have to quote somebody:

'Multiple exclamation marks,' he went on, shaking his head, 'are a sure sign of a diseased mind.' -- Terry Pratchett, in Eric


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