General Gameplay Weather & Randomized Events

This is Part 2 of the series, today I am proposing ideas on weather and disaster events.

The lack of variety of weather phenomena or randomized events in the game is the biggest missed opportunity. When it comes to actual gameplay (Sandbox aside) while simplistic we can work around some of the terrain constraints and limited behaviors of the guests/dinos, but the game enters periods of monotony and stagnation where you are just sitting around waiting for something to do. During this downtime is a perfect opportunity for some randomized events to kick in and preoccupy you while you wait for things to finish.




Weather

Weather in JWE is very narrowly defined and typically it changes very quickly same could be said for the two disasters in the game. I suspect something similar to how the Day/Night Cycle was handled before the big patch leading into the Secrets of Dr. Wu. The weather system is lacking in how dynamic it can be and requires more variety and long duration weather events. Among these are:

  • Sunny​
  • Starry (Night only)
  • Cloudy​
  • Drizzle​
  • Misty​
Right now we only have sunny as weather, all rain in the game is currently associated with thunderstorms. Cloudy days don't exist, but if they did, aside from adding much needed atmosphere it can be used to predict weather at a glance. When it starts to get cloudy you could assume it will rain soon and, so its best to be prepared in the event it is a thunderstorm rather than a light drizzle. Mists are incredibly atmospheric and would also be more dependent on the time day such as in the morning, acting as a way for you to gauge time the way clouds would help predicting rain.

By themselves the 4 aren't doing a whole lot, it does help prevent eye strain and make the world feel more alive though. Splice these weather conditions in with the occasional disaster and you could establish a reliable weather forecast. Forecasts would be accessible from the Storm Defense Station. (See Part 3)

For example, a transition into a Heatwave would bring with it some slight alterations to the weather until it is in full effect, the intensity of the sun would increase, heat mirages would form, or a Flash Flood would be foreshadowed with an unusually frequent amount of rain and rough waves.

Exotic Weather Conditions
  • Snow
  • Drought

These sort of weather conditions aren't something you would really see too much on tropical islands. For that purpose, they are unique to special maps distinct from the Muertes Archipelago. This is greatly presuming a sequel tie-in with Jurassic World Dominion in which we might seen more locations in the broader world. Snow as a weather condition would not be so easy predict as it dark cloudy skies could indicate rain, a thunderstorm, twister, or a blizzard. However, due to the nature of the map you could probably argue there might not be too many rain showers or twisters to help you narrow down your predictions.

When it comes to a drought, I am thinking of a very arid desert environment. Heatwaves would be common here as well, but it would be a dry heat foreshadowed by what amounts to a drought. Very little rain will fall, the forecast will be nearly bone dry of any precipitation, and a steady increase in intensity of the sun. As it starts to enter a Heatwave mirages will form and the lighting will greatly reflect that of Muerta.

A Dust Storm is a very common follow-up in arid regions which sows confusion and agitates guests. So, be careful in arid environments, you can very easily get struck by a follow-up disaster than with other environments.




Disasters

These are pretty self-explanatory. Emergent gameplay is the result we are after, and a disaster accomplishes this task. Most are natural weather phenomena, but there are human made disasters as well. Opening all gates as a sabotage is too punishing and annoying, so I did away with it, but I was sure to replace it with something of consequence. Each disaster will force a response you cannot ignore, there will be no more loopholes or ignoring of guest shelters. Some disasters may prompt similar responses, but others require entirely unique responses. You'll be encouraged to pay attention to the weather and think about how you want to run your island and manage these series of crisis events.


Twister

The most recognizable weather event/disaster in the game, the frequency of these guys used for difficulty and as part of missions makes them very obnoxious. Twisters just existing on Pena in general is frustrating. Now, this isn't a bad thing except that its overused and the chance of these randomly happening twice or more in a row is not so great. They can either be totally devastating or really disappointing in how little they do. I believe they were balanced so as not to kill guests or your dinosaurs since their frequency of use can make them too devastating which is precisely why a change to them needs to occur in tandem with the inclusion of new weather and disaster events. Starting with reducing the frequency these can occur, so they are rare, but truly a test of will.

  • Injures and kills guests & dinosaurs
  • High winds ground ACU helicopter(s)
  • Damages Ranger vehicles (thrown)



Thunderstorm

Another common weather event in the game and lifted straight from the Jurassic films, thunderstorms kind of function about how you would expect them to, lots of damage to your park and upsetting your dinosaurs which can cause them to want to break out. In JPOG, the high winds of the storm had a bonus effect on gameplay which JWE could sorely use, namely in that it made use of the helicopter a major problem and thus limited its near universal ability to solve a problem. I too propose we bring back the high winds threat over from JPOG so that the ACU helicopter doesn't become the universally safe option and since Return to Jurassic Park gave the ranger teams access to tranquilizers, this is also less essential to keep immune.

  • High winds ground ACU helicopter(s)

This change is shared with twisters, but thunderstorms are otherwise the same. A countermeasure obtained on Isla Pena as part of a Security Division unlock "Storm Rotors" would restore the ACU helicopters ability to operate during high wind events that are accompanied by storms.




Heat Wave

Rounding out the 3 bad weather events found in JPOG, I have put a bit of thought in how to modernize this weather condition and give it an effect that both triggers a response and has actual counterplay to manage it. It's far too easy to get into the habit of everything triggering a lowered comfort threshold or making every animal too aggressive in JWE to create challenge, in JPOG you always ran the risk of your dinosaurs becoming comatose and minor guest inconvenience. A heatwave should have more to offer and a bigger impact on gameplay, so I have thought of a few ways to help it along.

  • Increases wetland requirement (Drought)
  • Heatstroke medical condition
  • Operating costs spike

To start off, by requiring an increase in wetland requirement this will specifically upset the Spinosaurid family the most, meaning you will have to factor that in if you have Baryonyx, Suchomimus, or Spinosaurus in your park. However, it doesn't just negatively impact those three dinosaurs, its all of them, the Spinosaurs are just going to be the first to get upset, so you really need to take preventive measures or respond immediately before its a total crisis. That is where the heatstroke condition is introduced, this is a new condition that happens during a heatwave in which the water need of your animals is continuously depleted, the longer this goes on the more negative the consequence until your animals collapse and slowly die.

Entire herds of herbivores can become stricken with heatstroke and begin to perish if you ignore the heatwave. A countermeasure is to place more water to meet the increased wetland comfort threshold, but also requires you have sufficient tree/brush coverage for your animals to shade themselves under. Despite that you are still likely to have some animals suffer heatstroke in which case you will need the help of a new system: veterinarians. This would require a new building complete with research while being a forward thinker. You can't just plop down a veterinarian's clinic and do a quick 1-2 minute research and expect to have the situation under control. (See Part 3)

The increased price of operating your facilities on account of the heatwave will also mean you don't have as much money on hand to just throw around unless you have managed to accumulate a bank against the odds.




Flash Flood

Another opportunity for the future is introducing flooding as a disaster event. Right now it doesn't make a whole lot of sense with what the Cobra Engine and JWE is currently capable of, but let's assume we will get aquatic reptiles in the future, Frontier will have to make accommodations in the terrain and how water functions in the game that could allow this to be a realistic possibility.

  • Coasts become temporarily inaccessible
  • Damages structures built along coasts
  • Injures & kills dinosaurs and guests

Nothing quite like it in the game, to have your beachfront completely inaccessible during this event could be a really big deal. I mentioned the injuries/deaths to your guests and dinosaurs and while that is normal in the current game this could actually happen in a real unique way if you have aquatic organisms. Say a flash flood occurs and your aquatic enclosures are badly damaged or are broken, what if those aquatic organisms could gain access to the newly flooded coast? They could cause a lot of damage and when the flood recedes you could wind up with beached animals that could die on the sands far from their habitat.

Good countermeasures would be creating levees using your terrain tools and building flood walls or simply being more cautious about how you use coastlines on your island. You get more land to build on, but also run a risk for doing so, some of that good old give and take.




Blizzard

There is rumor floating around that JWE will have snowy environments in the future based upon that leaked pitch of the game and reinforced by footage of Jurassic World: Dominion having filmed in some cold environments. Just to anticipate such a possibility, I want to propose one last natural disaster, a blizzard.

  • Hypothermia medical condition
  • Low visibility
  • High operating costs

Very similar to a heatwave and best defined as its counterpart, a blizzard is the exact inverse of the heatwave and is countered in a similar way. You will require a vet's office and the necessary medical research to treat hypothermia. Operating costs are elevated on account of the condition and as part of something else I have been planning on expanding on is visibility and sight radius. This is the only disaster that explicitly effects visibility, but it'll make more sense later in my series of proposals. It introduces certain risks, but revolves around dinosaur behavior and your ranger/tour vehicles operations and partially only considered it thanks to the new visibility options Frontier themselves introduced in Return to Jurassic Park.




Dense Fog

A seemingly harmless weather condition initially, it has a variety of effects on gameplay some guaranteed and some situational.

  • Poor Visibility
  • Drop-off in Revenue
  • Facility Rating temporarily hit hard

This is intentionally not so destructive to your dinosaurs comfort for variety and giving the player a reprieve. Fog is aimed more at impacting the guests than the dinosaurs although there are instances where it does play role. Dinosaurs have visibility functions as well and fog does impact hunting, herd defense, and some other unique behavioral situations.




Dust Storm

Similar to a Blizzard, this disaster is map/island dependent unless in Sandbox. It is somewhat an in-between of a Blizzard and Dense Fog event.

  • Low Visibility
  • Confusion
  • Guest Agitation

Visibility is low like during a Blizzard, but not as bad as Dense Fog. Guests get very agitated during these kinds of storms, there isn't much counterplay to them except trying to go to indoor activities and weather it out. Finally, the disorientating nature of dust storms can cause confusion among your dinosaur that may lead to fights, breakouts, and stampedes.




Corporate Espionage

In the films, InGen and the Jurassic Park/World operations have had a lot of issues with rivals and disgruntled employees. Moreover, we are moving in a direction where BioSyn was named dropped and Mantah Corp as a new rival came up in Camp Cretaceous as being hostile to InGen's operations. I also think we could address a longstanding complaint about always being sabotaged by your own division heads.

Triggers as 1 of 3 random events

  • Power Outage
  • Tracking System disabled (dino icons on map)
  • Stolen Research (Lost Genetic points & genome completion)

Power outages are pretty straight forward and is directly lifted from what we already have in the game. The tracking system idea is basically that BioSyn, etc. hacked into your park systems and corrupted data that has brought down some functionality. In this case, you can no longer see your dinosaurs via icons on the map while this event is occurring. Not a big deal most of the time, but it can prove to be pretty bad during severe weather or a dinosaur having comfort issues for one reason or another.

Finally the stolen research; losing precious genetic points is clearly a straight forward loss, but the genome completion rate of a species is also effected. For example, you have a Carnotaurus at 84% genome and this sabotage occurs, your Carnotaurus winds up only have 64% genome afterwards due to the stolen data.

Species with 100% genome are unaffected only those below 100% can be impacted.

Countermeasures

  • Backup generators
  • Cybersecurity infrastructure

These new structures and how they work with the divisions will be covered in more depth later, but suffice it to say that there are ways to harden your power grid and data security.




With that I believe this is sufficient to meet our needs for having some new random events, I tried to make them logical both in terms of lore and through the use of common sense. I have updated the list to include suggestions/feedback from the comments.

In Part 3 I will cover the Divisions, new rewards, new systems, new contracts, and mission potential.
 
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I agree that the game's weather system needs to be improved. I had already expressed these ideas on a previous post but here they are again:

In Jurassic Park Operation Genesis, we had an option in the "map" part that informed us of the upcoming weather, it was an interesting option. We could also have more diverse weather conditions with specific effects like:


Heat wave :
make dinosaurs more nervous
There are no clouds
Why not a higher demand for drinks from visitors
The appearance of the surroundings changes (a more yellowish color, like during a sunset but in the middle of the day, something that gives the impression of great heat)


Fog (more or less thick): https://forums.frontier.co.uk/threads/the-fog-nebel.522219/
Reduces visibility for the player, (making it harder to manage for a while, especially if there are breakouts)
Reduce visibility from observatories.


Cloudy:
There may be alternating periods of rain and cloudy periods. (I noticed that when it rains you can still see the sun and the stars, it's strange ...),
Why not a reduction in the number of visitors (when the weather is not good, you don't leave the hotel!)
As for the rain, we really need an umbrella or yellow jackets (reference to Jurassic Park) for visitors.
Cloudy periods could also herald a storm, there could be uncertainty as to the weather ... a simple rain, storm or hurricane.


For example, here is what could give an alternation of time on a time x:

sun / heatwave / cloudy / rain / cloudy / storm / cloudy / sun / sun / cloudy / fog / sun / heatwave / cloudy / hurricane / sun / cloudy / rain / cloudy / rain / cloudy / sun etc ...
 
I agree that the game's weather system needs to be improved. I had already expressed these ideas on a previous post but here they are again:

In Jurassic Park Operation Genesis, we had an option in the "map" part that informed us of the upcoming weather, it was an interesting option. We could also have more diverse weather conditions with specific effects like:


Heat wave :
make dinosaurs more nervous
There are no clouds
Why not a higher demand for drinks from visitors
The appearance of the surroundings changes (a more yellowish color, like during a sunset but in the middle of the day, something that gives the impression of great heat)


Fog (more or less thick): https://forums.frontier.co.uk/threads/the-fog-nebel.522219/
Reduces visibility for the player, (making it harder to manage for a while, especially if there are breakouts)
Reduce visibility from observatories.


Cloudy:
There may be alternating periods of rain and cloudy periods. (I noticed that when it rains you can still see the sun and the stars, it's strange ...),
Why not a reduction in the number of visitors (when the weather is not good, you don't leave the hotel!)
As for the rain, we really need an umbrella or yellow jackets (reference to Jurassic Park) for visitors.
Cloudy periods could also herald a storm, there could be uncertainty as to the weather ... a simple rain, storm or hurricane.


For example, here is what could give an alternation of time on a time x:

sun / heatwave / cloudy / rain / cloudy / storm / cloudy / sun / sun / cloudy / fog / sun / heatwave / cloudy / hurricane / sun / cloudy / rain / cloudy / rain / cloudy / sun etc ...

I do agree, weather should bring with it a certain difference visually to set the mood. I don't even know how fog or mist slipped my mind, that is such a big thing in the Jurassic franchise going back all the way to the first novel when the entire island was covered in dense fog. I imagine a heatwave might look like some sort of combination of sunny day weather and sunset as part of the day/night cycle. It'll be bright, but have this scorching intensity and all your guests and animals will behave accordingly, dinosaurs will move more sluggishly, laze about more, cluster around watering holes more, for instance.

From the title I definitely overlooked emphasizing general weather phenomena and focused more on disaster gameplay. That variety in weather can't be understated, it really helps keep your interest. Play a Diablo game for a couple hours especially the old ones and you will realize after a while how badly you miss some variety in the backgrounds, eye strain too. So, let me see if we can agree on something like this:

Disaster
  • Dense Fog
  • Dust Storm
Weather
  • Cloudy
  • Mist
  • Drizzle
  • Snow
Weather is more there just for some visual intrigue and is really great for Capture Mode. Whereas Fog and Dust Storms could be added on my earlier list of disasters which have gameplay repercussions. This visibility penalty plays a big role for my proposal on the Genetics System and 3 disasters (Blizzard, Dense Fog, Dust Storm) having this penalty should hint at some new behaviors we could expect as a result.

Past this you are really getting into a lot of details on guest behavior which I intend to cover soon, but this definitely is going to be added as part of it. (Will credit for the idea)
 
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