Thanks to Broken, Mephansteras, King Mir, Valtam, Vattic, Putnam, monk12, MrWiggles, irdsm, Heph, rhesusmacabre, Knight Otu, Talvieno, Helgoland, Urist Da Vinci, Caldfir, MrWillsauce, Objective, Japa, CaptainArchmage, PTTG??, Demonic Gophers and anybody I missed for helping out with questions this time around. I also removed a number of suggestion-questions, many that were too vague to address succinctly and so on.
For islands, I'm not really sure. It's one of the things that start scenarios are meant to address -- why are you on an island? Ideally, it would detect that (it knows where all the land masses are as it stands), and restrict your scenario options based on that -- assuming you choose location first and scenario second. I'm not sure if you'll pick the location first or the scenario first. I think that'll probably be a matter of taste. I'd personally pick the scenario first, but with things like the site-finder and people looking for the ideal fort spot, I imagine being able to pick any location first would be a high importance item to a lot of people.Will this be a world-gen toggle? Or maybe you're given the map of the world and then given an option to pick site or scenario? Could scenarios actually pick sites for you?
It'd be neat to have some stuff, like founding a trade outpost, be site driven while others, like a shipwreck, be scenario based where it picks a site for you.
With regards to starting on islands, my question was regarding the upcoming release. Are we going to have starting scenarios in already? As it is you just pick anywhere that isn't mountain or ocean to start, hit embark, and go, even if its a totally stupid Fun jungle on an uninhabited volcanic island with no access to any race. I was wondering whether in those situations in the upcoming release, you'd get deep or hill sites appearing around your fortress (without the implementation of "scenarios").
Yeah, I don't think it needs to be a hard rule, and there could be some scenarios that lead you to a site in a natural fashion. There's probably a good way to handle the whole thing that avoids an init option or toggle, though that might be proved wrong for some scenario or other that could really go either way in some horrifying fashion.
We don't have starting scenarios yet. I was entertaining the idea of jumping into them along with fortress retirement, but I'm not sure that would be wise. You won't have any linkages to hill/deep sites in a formalized fashion at this time.
I have a question here (or several questions). Will you be able to, for example, join the milatary of a town/civilisation and be part of their army as they invade places? Because that seems badass. Also, will civs fight for "land" (army vs. army in open battle) or will battles only take place in city's (attack/defend)?
Edit; Oh, and another thing. How will we be able to tell who is on our side and who isnt if 2 of the same races are at war? Will there be some kind of marking that members of a civ wear, or a different color, or it could just be in their name. Also, on the subject of armour, could you kill a member of a civ then wear their armour as a discuise and infiltrate into the other civ?
You can't join an army at this point. Of course we'd like to allow you to do whatever you like, but we aren't there. We haven't even arrived at army vs army battles at all, or even city battles. There isn't anything tactical going on. Villages just get sacked. We aren't covering a lot of things we wanted to do for the "army arc" yet.
We haven't gotten there yet, but we were thinking of showing civ symbols on people when it was reasonable to do so. Every civilization has a symbol already, and for the most part that should address any confusion (though I'm sure the symbols are sometimes identical or whatever else). Too much flashing is annoying, but color is used for equipment, so there aren't that many options. Alternate symbols might be a possibility, though that could get a little weird.
Disguises are up on the dev page but we aren't there.
Will the products of trees have any quality levels, either visible or invisible?
There isn't anything right now. They are like plump helmets or whatever else.
Particularly in Adventure Mode, will there be some way of dragging creatures you are in combat with?
I've always wanted to drag a bogeyman around by his feet and see how long I survive. Or drag animals and toss them off cliffs.
Yeah, I think that was a suggestion way back in the original Armok that's now been lingering on the combat pages for a zillion years. We'll arrive there sometimes.
are we going to see climbing-oriented creatures (i.e. monkeys) be using the new climbing system? Or nests in trees, allowing creatures and characters to steal eggs for sustenance?
They should in certain contexts. It's the same as with flying creatures. In combat contexts they can make more decisions that they do for global path-finding.
With hillocks springing up about our forts will we see civilians fleeing to our fortress when they are under attack, kind of like the villagers fleeing to the keep.
And on that note, how and to what extent do we communicate with the Hillocks? As of right now it sounds like they are passive, how will they interact with the fort?
The issue with this is the sheer number of dwarves. Ideally that's something a fort would sometimes accomplish for its surrounding lands, but here it is harder, processor-wise.
I haven't yet added specific hill/deep sites for your fort, so I don't know how it will work.
Will Dwarf Fortress try to deliberately make navigable climbing paths up trees and through the tree-tops outside of forest retreats?I don't understand this one -- you mean to make the elf sites accessible by climbing without blocking things off? The elves exercise quite a bit of power over the shapes of their trees.
I think what he meant was whether it will be generally possible to move from treetop to treetop in any random forest or whether the trees will be too far apart to actually do that except in elf retreats.
It's often possible, but it doesn't do anything deliberate.
Will deep sites be built anywhere or just in mountains?
If deep sites can be connected to a fort by a tunnel, that's a permanent trading presence even under siege and ambush with multiple forgotten beasts roaming all the caverns and the circus spilling out uncontrolled into the bottom cavern layer.
Will forgotten beasts invade us through tunnels either in the next release or afterwards? The idea is that if we embark on top of a tunnel, forgotten beasts can arrive through the ends, and if a tunnel is dug to our fortress, we may get forgotten beasts arriving through them.
If a site connected to other settlements by a tunnel falls to siege of the HFS, will the other sites deliberately collapse the tunnel or block it off?
Deep sites are placed in the mountains. I haven't addressed player forts vs. deep sites yet, in any way, nor player forts vs. hill dwarves. We aren't to that point yet.
Toady, in the most recent DFtalk you mentioned other dimensions and how Dwarf Fortress is not quite there to implement them. I've also heard in a previous DFtalk that the game is already able to deal with "alternate dimensions", say, from where some night creatures may come from. Do you think players will be able to colonize those alternate dimensions in the future? Its been a theme in some games (i.e. Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic).
Yeah, that goes back to at least Master of Magic as far as civ-type video games go, which had an alternate dimension to settle, and aside from the dangers /quirks there, and getting there, there wouldn't be anything stopping you. I think the trick would be determining when a dwarven civilization has access to it for the embark screen. Perhaps that's a time when adventurer-based or oregon-trailish based embarks make the most sense, at least for the first site. Once you have a beachhead, getting more sites for free on embark isn't so bad.
Now when I mention dangers and quirks, that can be significant -- certain places might not be very settleable simply because they aren't permanent enough, etc. It becomes a tendency to systemetize on the computer, but some magicalness can be maintained, and settleability runs counter to that for the most part. That said, if you've got a group of seven dwarves that enter plane X, just as an adventurer's party would enter plane X, and they proclaim that they live there... well, it's a settlement, even if they are idiots. It's dwarfy enough, anyway. We'll have to see how it plays out.
Toady, do you plan to accept bitcoin donations or donations through other means than check or Paypal, such as Google Checkout?
I don't plan on holding a bitcoin balance, and I didn't feel comfortable giving bank account information to any of the auto-conversion sites. I don't remember the obstacles for Google Checkout, but it didn't happen immediately the first time I looked at it.
you mentioned wars being fought on the border sites of your civilization, will these sites fall during fortress and adventure play exposing your sites to war, and will your site potentially end up the last standing fortress in the world( of your civilization)?
After a bit of thought, I realized that if death and birth are tracked during fortress mode, would it be possible for your entire civilization to die out as you play due to, say, old age or famine, and result in you being the last of your civ? Would that result in the leader of your fortress becoming the king of that civ (whether it be the expedition leader, mayor, baron, count or duke, whichever you have)?
It could happen, yeah. I haven't worked with caravans at all, so you might see some weirdness with them arriving since your civ is still flagged as "alive" (since you are alive). Once caravans join armies as non-generated people, we can finally make sense of that.
Depending on how the successsion stuff works out, a dwarf of yours would technically be a candidate for the kingship. I'm not sure how far I'll get with claims and conflicts and all that, or if it's going to remain fairly mechanical.
Toady, when armies are in and moving about, will your civilization's armies ever come and help defend to your fortress in Dwarf Mode? (perhaps conditional on how important your site is, how close you are to the enemy, ext.)
I imagine that would be automatic, yeah, though one of the principal problems of all of this is handling the numbers and the fact that your site is loaded. Moving people/armies between hill and deep sites through your fort is the main example -- the numbers can just be too large, so it might end up somewhat artificial.
Toady, you've mentioned that hill dwarves will have mounds. Are these artificial mounds of earth (and possibly rock) that have been piled up by the dwarves, or are they mounds that have have been dug out by the dwarves?
You mentioned that dwarves will have drinking halls, but they won't have taverns until the next release. Will there be new taverns for each site type or will it depend so the drinking halls in hill settlements can become taverns?
They are artificial mounds when the ground is flat, but they can also burrow into hillsides. I doubt the hill settlements will need different taverns from what they've got now, though it'll all need to be fleshed out.
In which cavern layers are the deep sites going to be?
Right now I've got forts going from the surface down to the magma and deep sites up in the first layer. Currently the thinking is to reserve the secret stuff for the forts (not just player ones, but that special category of site), which are also better armed for dealing with deeper troubles from layers two and three. It'll be fine to make deep sites more interesting over time, but I also don't want to smear things too much, especially since they aren't reclaimable -- this makes keeping the most interesting stuff in forts more important.
If an entire mountainhome is lost, and then a player claims one of the border forts, would the population spread from that fort prefer to spill into the old deep sites, prefer to build new sites, or simply not care? Does the presence of those sites increase the rate at which the population spreads?
I haven't gotten to this part yet -- non-player reclaims and migrations post world-gen, though I think some of it is on the list for this release, so we'll see how it plays out.
Toady, will all ruined dwarf fortresses be reclaimable or will there be fortresses that cannot be reclaimed because of crossing region tiles and so on?
They are all reclaimable, even if that means dealing with some issues there. I don't have a plan to update the embark interface at this time, but we'd be closer to that.
Toady, do you plan to remove the region tile boundary limitation for player embarks and if so what limitations on embark size will be in effect?
How do dwarf settlements react to aquifers in worldgen? If we have a mountain range with an aquifer, will dwarves just not settle there, or will they construct shafts down to below the aquifer level? How do hill dwarves react to aquifers?
I have no immediate plan to address this. There are still various annoyances, though I'll address them to the point that reclaims of world gen forts should always work.
Like all other sites in the game, dwarves currently cheat with regards to the aquifer.
As Cities Grow do they preserve structures from their older 'smaller' versions? How do you manage the interaction of the old proceduraly generated layout and additions?
Is this the same method your thinking to use when overlaping entity sites (one conquering another and then growing)?
Cities don't grow yet, and we'll have to tackle those problems when they do, but yeah, it's all set up in a fairly modular fashion and it should be possible to grow various civ types on top of existing areas, though they do conceptualize things a bit different sometimes, so it might get strange.
Toady, will the walls of fortresses be engraved, smoothed, rough, or will it depend on certain factors and wind up being a mix of the three at times?
It'll be a mix, depending on the function of the area.
If Ruined NPC forts are reclaimable, what items should I expect to find scattered around? Will metal items correspond to local ore deposits and/or will armor and weapons usually be iron and steel What creatures would I find lurking in the ruins?
Like the human towns, it'll be the things they were building in world gen. That leaves some gaps right now, but it'll slowly be changed to include everything.
Does the MoMA have a fixed version of the game or do they download the latest every so often?
I'm not sure what their plans are. They're going to have a video which is reasonably version-independent, and then a copy of the game off somewhere, which they can update from the web page whenever they feel like it, though they haven't told me how it's going to work. I don't remember how many of the other games on the list are still being updated, but it is an interesting curatorial problem.
With the inclusion of Kobold sites, retired Fortresses and kidnap/rescue mechanics in place, are you planning to allow us to reunite a stolen artifact or specially valuable item with it's owner or maker?
I don't have a particular plan for that for this release, though there are a number of mentions in the notes about that sort of thing.
Will NPC dwarves have some less conventional things in their settlements, like sizable art? Anything that just looks nice and isn't practical? Or maybe some player 'inventions' like artificial waterfalls/magma use?
Not yet, but I was hoping to get a few of those in.
Do you have any plans to allow civilizations to progress exotic animal training to fully "Domesticated" now that their history will extend?
Once a fort is successfully retired, will its local resources (minerals, wood, animal products, etc.) become available for trade to future forts of its civilization?
In Fort Mode, will succession be governed entirely by AI, or will the player have some sort of influence over the process?
I don't have any particular plans for animals that come to mind at this point.
The civ caravans rely on some aged material information inside the civ which isn't currently updated after world generation. That'll have to change at some point, but it can't be fiddled with carelessly. It might have to wait for more caravan work.
You have control over the initial selection of your baron, and you have control over appointments. You don't have direct control of elections or heredity, though you can influence elections a bit through friendships, which you have indirect control over.
Now that we're on the way to having multi-racial forts, are there plans to also make traders behave differently depending on the species of the dealer? For example, if your broker is a human, you might get better deals from human caravans than with a dwarven broker.
I don't have particular plans there. Any stuff that eventually goes into adventure mode conversation code won't apply since it's not actually a conversation, so it'd have to be handled on its own.
How will the the location of your dwarves be affected by retirement/unretirement of fortresses? Presumably dwarves will be meandering around the fort; if I haven't tunneled into the first cavern, can I expect to find them underground anyways? What if I were to order my entire population into a room and then build a wall around the exit, blocking them in right before I retire? Will an adventurer come by later to find the fort mysteriously vanished, save a muffled pounding from behind the wall? Would retirement/unretirement result in dwarves in impossible locations?
They will start in the areas you've designated for them, if you've designated them. They will likely circumvent any weird stuff you do like sealing them in a room. There are going to be a lot of contradictions like that, since it's hard to account for everything.
Toady, how close does this bring us to being able to play existing historical figures as an adventurer?
I am wondering if there could be an option to deliberately start an adventure as a dwarf from the player's fortress. After all, those are basically fully developed during Fortress Mode.
If I remember, the only real obstacle for playing historical figures is how playing somebody important would be utterly meaningless at this point. Ignoring that, it's just a matter of getting to it. There are some side issues in terms of spoiling things, or gaming things, but that's all pretty deal-with-able.
You've mentioned in the latest devblog post (on 5th December 2012 for those who read this post after the apocalypse that won't happen) that the adventurers are literally "pulled out of thin air" and this is noticeable when it comes to forts. Are all individuals "historical figures" now or is there still a site population that is for all intents and purposes nameless, identity-less, and skill-ambiguous besides being of a particular creature type and caste?
If there are still nameless members of a site population, would you consider having ancestry generated at character creation, or would that mess up the game?
When you add multi-racial forts (it looked like a valid thing for forts in the upcoming version as of devblog on 12/3/2012), as some players play goblin fortresses, these will get immigrants from other races. Goblins don't need to eat, but the other races do, so if you had a multi-racial goblin fort would we be able to set up farms anyway?
All individuals were originally historical figures, and we moved away from this because you can't get up to appropriate numbers and still have speed/memory work out without sacrificing some detail. So there will always be more nameless populations that are then realized, though we still have some tricks in mind to get them to seem more historical than they are. You can't perfectly ret-con them into the game without messing things up, but you can track some population information and generate information from within that context.
Your civilization won't learn new techniques, so I imagine in your modded case you'll need to import food.
How do you handle items in retired fortresses? Can an adventurer just grab them, or are they fortress property?
I don't have that intermediate category yet, so you can just grab them. I haven't done the broker yet, which I want to do, so it'll likely be changed before the release.
(there's no guarantee of survival for retired forts)
This caught my eye right away. What kind of factors affect whether or not a fort survives? Can we reasonably expect that retired forts will still be attacked by sieges and mega beasts?
(I guess you'd be controlling an official, but you wouldn't have any actual powers)
What happens if an official is killed or leaves the fort while you control him? Will the position be open again or does that prevent you from putting someone else in charge?
If you come back to a fort after a reasonable amount of time, like 5 or 10 years, can you expect to see the fort changed? For example, will some old dwarfs be dead from enemies, died if they had an infection that the doctor couldn't fix, old age, bad luck, etc? Will there be new dwarfs from births and migration, and will they continue to get married while you are gone? Will new rooms, workshops, farms, and other constructions be built? i.e. Can we pretty much expect the fort to go on acting as if you're still in charge?
I haven't activated every aspect of the world, so dangers to your retired forts will only be increasing over time. Right now they might be attacked by armies and lost. There's also the problem of emigration, especially if you start a new fort. Once food use is activated, that'll be an additional worry, though I'm not sure how that'll be abstracted after the retire.
Regarding controlling an official (as an unretired adventurer that became an official), it updates your historical state when you go on a journey, but I don't remember if I made adventurers sever position ties when they leave sites. Probably not. So you'd still hold the position. If you die, once I get the succession stuff done, it'll be handled properly.
There are only as many changes to the fort as we have in place for every other site. Human towns don't change much, so your forts won't change much either. As we add more post-world gen feature activations, we'll see more there. You'll see new dwarves born and dwarves getting married and dying of old age. They won't expand the site until other sites can do the same thing, in which case I'll have to consider how they can do it (since it's a harder problem in player forts). You definitely can't expect the fort to go on acting as if you're still in charge. That's a very hard problem, and not really a high priority one.
Progress bars look good on loading screens, but will we see them elsewhere? For example, will workshops get a progress bar on reactions, or will buildings and constructions get a progress bar whilst being built?
Do dwarf fortresses and settlements incorporate minecart tracks yet?
I don't have any particular plans for other progress bars right now. I feel a little less comfortable with them during play.
I haven't given them minecarts yet.
How will religious groups act in future releases, will they exist purely as a passive quest giving entity within a civilisation, or will they act as a independent faction that actively tries to expand its own influence, eg converting locals, missions to set up new temples , pilgrimages, armed revolts and attempts to establish theocracies.?
The idea of course is for them to be more interesting. I don't think treating it as a completely separate faction is exactly how it's going to be thought about, since virtually every member of most religious groups is also going to be a member of some civilization, etc., so there's probably going to be conflicts all up and down the decision making process, which is good.
I don't know if this was asked before, but do you have plans for black markets and prohibited goods?
Like civilizations or sides forbidding selling or even owning specific goods or stuff made out of illegal materials, for whatever reasons.
People would pay high prices, if they could get their hands on it there.
I don't have particular plans, but it's certainly reasonable. Laws regulating trade were certainly already byzantine in places by our 1400 cutoff date, and this led to a lot of smuggling and so on. Ideally we'll be able to do a lot with that over time. We'll likely start our first real exploration of law with the thief role, or the merchant role, assuming we keep pushing along those lines.
Do you plan on making special starting scenarios for playing in young worlds? With the world activated, is there anything planned for starting a game in year zero? How would that work? It would be interesting to start a fortress with the entire civilization's population in it. I'm guessing the lack of migrants would deserve some explanation in this scenario, unless they are still being generated out of thin air.
How different would the history progression of a world you've played from year zero to 250 behave from one with 250 years generated in worldgen? Will there be still some things that only worldgen can make?
I'm not quite sure how it'll work, since I don't have start scenarios fully thought-through. In a young world, the list would be shorter and that might spur some activity to flesh it out but I'm not sure.
I haven't activated many of the world gen processes for play yet, so history would surely be quite different right now if you try to run it yourself. Once we have them in, it's hard to say how it'll be different, which is cool from my perspective. The goal is to not have anything special in world generation -- it should all eventually be possible in play and with more detail (since it isn't trying to cram it all into a semi-reasonable world gen time in real-life minutes).
Toady, are you considering any population/building prerequisites before a fort can be retired and remain functioning through ad mode and subsequent reclaim? For extreme example, immediately retiring with your 7 embark dwarves before building anything might not be enough to have the site persist as a "Fortress"?
I think the extreme example might be the only example I go with if anything, since there's such a spectrum of possible fort ideas that it might be dangerous to lay too many restrictions. It might be reasonable to say that the fort needs to last a year or something like that, without trying to actually look at what's in it. That'll stop people from claiming land at an extreme rate, which is probably a good thing to do, since you aren't really staking a claim to the land with seven dwarves and a wagon.
Does the reference to pet information mean that all tame animals won't just magically drop dead when a fortress is abandoned? If that's the case, then will we see immigrants from a previous fort show up with their assigned war animals?
Abandonment still kills them, as it stands. This was in reference to retirement, where it was all being deleted.
What happens to your companions when you retire? Do they join the population of the fort? If you retire an adventurer
with companions in a retired fort and unretire that fort, do the companions appear as members of the fort?
I haven't handled this yet. There's a larger question of what the companion's attachment is to the adventurer in the first place, which is something that needs to be explored and constantly re-examined during play. I had hoped to get a bit of that in this time, but I'm not so sure now.
Can adventurers become "villains" for fortress mode?
There are a few pathways right now, although not nearly enough. Right now I think you'd need to do something like retire in a human town, and perhaps ascend to a leadership position, then you could siege your fort. It might pull you up just for being a citizen as it stands, actually. But we don't have things like banditry post world gen yet, outside of the harassment of non-player towns. If your adventurer becomes a vampire and retires at a dwarf site, they could come to your fort and prey on your citizens. They'd come with an alias too, so you'd probably have to pick them out by lingering gear or wounds or something.
Are 3D mineral veins going to be introduced with the generated dwarf fortresses?
I thought I might add them for mines, but I didn't get around to it.
To expand on the magma moats question: what's the extent of dwarven engineering in computer-run settlements? There will be normal cage and weapon traps, of course, but beyond that, what? Simple floodgate-and-lever irrigation systems? Small pump stacks to create simple drowning traps or more complex irrigation systems? Large pump stacks to ferry magma around? What of minecarts and the many extracurricular uses they can be put to?
I haven't added any of that.
Toady, any news on rope ladders that may potentially have gone in with elven sites and which may further potentially bring them closer to a fortmode implementation?
Nope, there weren't any rope ladders in the elven sites.
Why is only one gremlin available for a region (raws)? Is there a bug that occurs when more than one gremlin appears on the map?
There isn't a bug I'm aware of there (so there's probably two), but the way it works, I think that means an average of one per tile in the region, which then averages back out to one for your fort since you are on one tile in the region (though it does look at adjacent tiles which can increase it again). That system is as old as the hills though and pretty nonsensical. I'm not sure when or in what way I'll eventually change it. Part of the problem is that the regions are actually quite small, so they wouldn't actually be able to support very many predators, for example (assuming certain tile sizes, which are forced in this case by things like vision distances and how hunting/combat occurs). If a single cougar averages 100 square km territory, say, that would be one cougar in a 10x10 world map area (again, just for example), which is not very many cougars at all. Certainly not a genetically sustainable population. It's probably difficult to solve in a reasonable way that doesn't lead to a lot of fast extinctions, especially on non-large maps.
Now that we have armies going around and wars are more fleshed out, does the nobility and other people that make big decisions now have more personality? You mentioned before that with the advancement of the military arc the lords would become more than appointed "desk officers" whose job is solely to give adventurers their little quests.
It still doesn't feel like it is there yet, with the goblin armies, since that's all very simple. The succession stuff was supposed to help a bit, to give people more things to quibble over, but I've really just got to get started on some fighting between human sites and between dwarf nobles and so on for any of that to come up. I was hoping to get to a bit of that with the other army stuff that's going on, but it's not entirely clear what'll happen now.
Now that death and birth happen during gameplay, do you plan doing conversion by night creatures in the same fashion?
Everything that happens in world generation should eventually make it to regular play, but it's not all going to happen for this release.