Topic: [Fixed - persists in 3.50b2] Unfair death due to extremely rapid ice melting  (Read 1505 times)


PALU

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« on: February 15, 2018, 10:08:03 AM »
My character saw a reindeer out on the ice on the overland map, moved there (on the overland map), and found it dead by a hole in the ice, move to the hole and butchered the carcass. When trying to zoom out again I was met with the report that it wasn't possible due to the uncertain condition of the ice. OK. Call on the dog and let it carry 65 cuts of meat, push over the meat, and the dog falls through the ice. Still not able to zoom out. Lie down and crawl. The ice makes cracking noises. Drop the rest of the butchered products. Still no zooming out. Crawl. New cracking noises. Fall though. Drop everything carried, but the ice keeps breaking when trying to get up, which eventually leads to death. Given that I had moved there on the overland map I didn't know which direction the closest land was.
I had no idea the ice had grown weak yet (snow still knee deep), and there was no warning when moving up to the carcass, neither on the overland map, nor on the local map. I agree I should have gotten the hell out of there when seeing the reindeer and its hole in the ice, but it's still extreme that the ice melts from no indication of risk to lethal during the hours it takes to butcher the carcass.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2018, 05:01:03 PM by Sami »

Erkka

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« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2018, 05:00:40 PM »
What was the weather like? Bright sunlight and heavy rainfall are both elements which wear down the ice rather rapidly.

PALU

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« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2018, 06:44:52 PM »
It was a bit above zero, but I don't think it was raining (but didn't pay too much attention to the weather: it was probably sunshine). I did check the snow depth in the morning to get a feel for how much longer skis were needed, and I'd expect the elements to wear off the snow first and the ice after that, once the insulating snow layer is gone, as the melting from below is rather limited. Once the snow turns into slush it ought to eat into the ice, making it brittle.

In general, it seems water temperature is changed far too quickly based on the air temperature (one day you can swim without getting cold, the next day you get cold, and the day after you don't get cold again), and the water temperature should not be affected at all before the ice is gone, as all the heat is used to melt the ice before the water temperature gets any "leftovers" to speak of.

Going from "no worries" to "you're dead if you move, and you're dead if you don't" shouldn't happen over the time span of normal ice activities such as active fishing or skinning/butchering an elk (I'm not saying you should be able to take all, or even any, of that elk or fish with you), at least not without either a warning before starting an activity, or an interrupt during the activity, allowing you time to get out. After all, the player has only crude measures with which to make estimates (snow depth, weather, and date, plus any observed holes in the ice and cracking sounds, of course), while the UrW character should be well versed in additional signs of nature, such as the thickness and texture of the ice.

Another horror scenario would be if you're crossing a big lake and suddenly get trapped half way because the ice has deteriorated (I don't know if the check is done every overland map step or only on the transition from land to ice).

A possibility would be the addition of a warning that the ice isn't dangerous now, but can be within 24 hours if there's heavy thawing, or immediately if you load up to your carrying limit, i.e. basically a "warning zone" in addition the the current "danger zone".

Erkka

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« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2018, 09:53:59 AM »
Quote
  I did check the snow depth in the morning to get a feel for how much longer skis were needed, and I'd expect the elements to wear off the snow first and the ice after that, once the insulating snow layer is gone, as the melting from below is rather limited. Once the snow turns into slush it ought to eat into the ice, making it brittle.

It is supposed to work about that. But I just checked the source code, and I think you are right: there was a small logic error which causes a bug potential.

The way it is supposed to work is that the thickness of snow cover slows down the ice melting rate in warm temperatures. In some conditions those checks fail, making the ice melt quicker than intended. Sorry about that, and thank you for pointing this out! We will fix this for the next stable version release.

Quote
the water temperature should not be affected at all before the ice is gone,

That is how it works. I also checked that, no bug potential there - it is coded in such a way that the water temperature can rise above zero celcius only after all the ice is gone.

The ice thickness it tracked millimetre by millimetre, hour by hour. So that means that in a warm sunny day the ice can be safe at sunrise, but become dangerously thin after the high noon, and be safe again in the night when the temperature drops. That is how it is in real life, too. And every year a few Finnish people drown because they fail to estimate the ice thickness correctly. Well, but yes - I take your suggestions as valid suggestions; it would be wise to have a bit more ice-related feedback. I'll talk about this with Sami.

PALU

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« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2018, 01:10:25 PM »
Thanks for looking into it Erkka!

Your answer also makes it easier on the conscience to perform a necromantic ritual to revive my character. As I make backups frequently I haven't lost much.

It seems a lot of the people who get into trouble because of thin ice do that not because of poor judgement, but total lack of judgement [I saw people out there yesterday, so it must be safe...], so they embark without checking the ice thickness and have no clue as to how to recognize conditions that will result in thinner ice than normal (may be mostly city folk, but that's a lot of people). Of course, there are a few cocky ones who think they know more than they do, and ones who think it'll probably be OK even when the signs are not good. (And no, I'm certainly no master, or even adept, at ice condition estimation. I just know about it in general, but also have no reason to venture out onto the ice, so I don't really have any need for the skill).

Sami

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« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2018, 05:00:42 PM »
Erkka did some tweakings and I'll hereby report this being fixed now. Luckily it's rare condition, but a nasty one.

Fixed - persists in 3.50beta2
- Sami | UnReal World creator