In OC, a biome roughly corresponds to a certain type of ecosystem. The concept of a biome is central to the way that OC models the natural aspect of its worlds.
- In OC, biomes are areas defined by their natural content.
- Each biome is inhabited by certain ratios of certain species of plants. This composition corresponds to the specific environmental requirements of OC’s plant species.
- Each biome is also inhabited by certain species of animals.
- Some human cultures have climatic predispositions that tends to place their settlements in particular biomes. For example, certain groups are more likely to be found in deserts, while other might prefer the mild conditions of a temperate forest.
- Biomes also exhibit certain geologic features, like ground composition and covering.
- 25 biomes occur naturally in OC. These are described below.
Ranging from marshy jungles to desolate glaciers, OC’s biomes are meant to model a wide range of habitats and bring variety to its worlds. Some biomes, like temperate forests, are very common, occurring under a broad set of criteria. Others, like frigid swamps, occur only under narrow and extreme conditions, making them relatively rare. Terrestrial biomes ultimately develop as a result of mean annual precipitation and temperature, although other factors, like elevation, can play a role. All biomes contain some wildlife or other conditions that are unique to their climate, making most useful to an expedition in some way.
The sections below provide overhead views, inspection images, and brief descriptions of individual biomes.
Alpine biomes are defined by their extremely high elevation. Only short, stubby trees and specially adapted plants can grow at these altitudes.
Desolate glaciers are dry, permanently frozen regions covered in ice. Precipitation rarely occurs here, temperatures are always inhospitable, and they’re nearly devoid of life. Subterranean mineral resources are among their only attractive features.
Snowy glaciers are permanently frozen regions that receive relatively heavy snowfall. Surface snowpack can last year round in these locations.
Frigid swamps are as awful as they sound. They receive heavy rains and snows year round, creating icy bogs and nearly impassible terrain.
Regions of tundra are dry, cold places, where only lichens and simple plants can grow. They’re snowbound most of the year, but briefly support plant and insect life during the summer.
Snowy tundra is a variety of tundra that receives significant precipitation. It usually spends the winter blanketed in snow, but often becomes swampy and infested with insects during its brief summers.
Frigid wastes are awful, cold deserts. Very few species of plant can grow here, and what little fauna there is tends to be violent.
Taiga regions are the polar forests of worlds. They experience extremely cold temperatures for much of the year, but become pleasant during the summer. They’re densely wooded and all trees are evergreen.
Badlands are cool, arid regions. Their reddish hue is derived from oxidized minerals in their surface soils. The tower cactus, OC’s largest species of succulent, occurs only in badlands.
Prairies are grasslands that experience very cold winters and hot summers. Precipitation is sparse throughout the year, but enough to support grasses and shrubs.
Temperate Dry Forest
Temperate dry forests are seasonal, broadleaf forests. They receive less precipitation and are generally more sparse than regular temperate forests.
Temperate forests are dominated by deciduous trees and experience marked seasonal changes.
Temperate Rain Forest
Temperate rain forests are a rare biome that occur where precipitation is extremely high. Forests here are dense, comprised chiefly of evergreens, and support a wide variety of plant life.
Deserts are hot, dry, sandy places that support only specialized vegetation. During high winds, they can experience sand storms.
Xeric shrublands are hot, semi-arid regions. They receive more precipitation than a desert, but less than a savanna. Only scraggly, woody shrubs and tropical grasses can survive here.
Savanna are tropical grasslands. Precipitation is erratic, but sufficient to support tropical grasses. Giant, specially adapted bumbo trees dot the landscape.
Tropical Dry Forest
Tropical dry forests are hot regions that receive enough precipitation to support significant concentrations of trees. Though sparse by comparison to jungles, tropical dry forests are an ecologically productive biome.
Jungles are hot, humid regions that receive ample precipitation. They’re very densely forested.
Marshy jungles are sweltering, swampy areas of extremely dense forest. It rains almost constantly in these regions, and they’re prone to severe storms.
Scorched lands are the hottest, dryest places possible. Virtually no precipitation occurs in these regions, and they are extremely hot year round. No vegetation can survive here.
Cold seas are large, cold bodies of salt water. Despite their low temperatures, they’re rich in plankton and support some of the largest creatures in OC.
Warm seas are tropical and semi-tropical, salt water environments.
Lakes a freshwater bodies of water that do not flow. They tend to occur in basins that are fed by rivers or creeks.
Rivers are large bodies of flowing water. They can occur in any terrestrial biome that isn’t permanently frozen.
Creeks are shallow, narrow bodies of flowing water. They can occur in any terrestrial biome that isn’t permanently frozen.