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Author Topic: Two thing to suggest: optional starting dwarf numbers and more immigrant control  (Read 8938 times)

tilly

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1st I'd like to thank Toady for such an amazing game with so many variable options.
2nd my suggestion is that toady implement a option to allow you to start with an optional amount of dwarves. One being the lowest and 7 being the cap. (Mainly because I'd like to see if this could also be a very good lone survival simulation)
and also to complete the simulation the next thing I'd like to ask for would be an option to allow absolutly no immagrants to migrate into your fort. To allow authenticity to the whole lone survivor aspect. (Sieges can already be turned off which is another aspect I would have concidered.)

The reason I suggest this for dwarf mod instead of adventure mode is because you can't build and it isn't automated. Although, i think it would be an attractive addon for either or both. It would utilize all of the game mechanics in a very presumptuous way if not atleast concidered. I hope you guys like the idea and hope Toady will see it.
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Maklak

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I'd like to see the reduction of number of immigrants by a factor of 5. As it is, too many cheesemakers come too fast.
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irmo

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I'd like to see the reduction of number of immigrants by a factor of 5. As it is, too many cheesemakers come too fast.

It should be reduced by a procedurally generated factor of 5.

/sarcasm
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NW_Kohaku

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Part of Toady's eventual goals with starting scenarios is to enable starting with more (and presumably, less) dwarves, depending on the situation.

However, I don't think Toady quite grasps how much players hate migrants as they stand. 

I'd honestly rather see them cut down by a factor of 20 or 40.  Make players WORK for dwarves, and actually see children as a benefit, and make 20+ year forts more common.

No migrants should come at all until a successful trade caravan comes and goes.

Losing a dwarf should be something more major, and we don't need endless reinforcements because we need to be coddled with the difficulty levels of the game.  I thought Losing was Fun?
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Maklak

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I'd like to see the reduction of number of immigrants by a factor of 5. As it is, too many cheesemakers come too fast.

It should be reduced by a procedurally generated factor of 5.

/sarcasm


"Proceduraly generated factor of 5" sounds cryptic, and I don't understand what you mean. You probably didn't understand what I meant as well, so I'll elaborate. As it is, the number of immigrants is based on population cap, fortress wealth, number of recent deaths, and perhaps other factors, but that doesn't matter. There are just too many of them, and fortress wealth is generated very fast just by cooking, making weapons and armour, and other necessary things to survive.
My point is: too many immigrants come too fast with normal gameplay, and their number should be reduced. The easiest way would be to require much more wealth to attract immigration. I don't care if it is 4, 5, 6 or ten times more as long as the end result is that I cap them at some high number, like 100, and not worry about overpopulation.

As for the original suggestion, the possibility to get fewer starting dwarves, (or more, paying embark points for them) would be nice. Population cap works to a degree, but finer control would be nice too.

Yeah, what NW_Kohaku said.
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MAurelius

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I have always wanted a way to slow down immigration rate. So like maybe 5 a year rather than 50. This would be adjustable in worldgen maybe?
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NW_Kohaku

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No, we need migration drastically cut. 

Getting migrants at all should be big news.  If this game is to be balanced, getting dwarves and the labor they provide should be precious and rare.  The best migrant year you ever have should be 4 dwarves, and those probably all being in a family.  Many years should see 0 dwarves, especially if you lost dwarves in an ambush.

What this game needs in order to have meaningful choices is actual limits on the amounts of resources you can spend on your various goals - and with the game as it stands, you essentially have free limitless food, stone, and labor, with wood and metal only occasionally being precious, and nearly no other resource being worth mentioning, as they are little more than possible replacements for wood, metal, or stone.

Crippling labor until you actually have to seriously consider who you are going to assign to what jobs exclusively, and what jobs you can give to a dwarf who bobs around between jobs would be just the fastest, simplest step in that process.
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Personally, I like [DF] because after climbing the damned learning cliff, I'm too elitist to consider not liking it.
"And no Frankenstein-esque body part stitching?"
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Maklak

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Nah, 4 per year is too few. Getting around 4 per migrant wave would be more like it. There is a balance. 4 per year is too few, while two waves of 30+ (half of them children) is too many.
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Since you seem to criticize most things harsher than concentrated acid, I'll take that as a compliment.
On mining Organics
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NW_Kohaku

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Nah, 4 per year is too few. Getting around 4 per migrant wave would be more like it. There is a balance. 4 per year is too few, while two waves of 30+ (half of them children) is too many.

No, that's exactly the point: We need too few dwarves per migrant wave.

Just like how people complain when armor starts taking 3 bars per piece of armor, even though that is too few, as well, we need to seriously ramp up the costs of things in this game before the game will start giving players meaningful choices and challenges.

It's only when you have too few resources that you start really having to start considering what you really need, and what you can skimp on.  If you can just say "do everything", then there's no point in putting any thought into your actions, and the game becomes boring.
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Personally, I like [DF] because after climbing the damned learning cliff, I'm too elitist to consider not liking it.
"And no Frankenstein-esque body part stitching?"
"Not yet"

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Buoyancy

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I'd honestly rather see them cut down by a factor of 20 or 40.  Make players WORK for dwarves, and actually see children as a benefit, and make 20+ year forts more common.

I'd rather see the number of dwarves in each wave increased by two or three times.  There's no reason that I shouldn't have 200 dwarves or more in my fort if I can feed that many as there have to be millions of them out there in any realistic world.  The game also needs serious optimization so that you can run a fort with a thousand or so dwarves on a modern computer with no slowdown.  Hack things out of the code that don't add anything useful like individual bodypart tracking and don't put them back in unless you can maintain performance.
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NW_Kohaku

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I'd rather see the number of dwarves in each wave increased by two or three times.  There's no reason that I shouldn't have 200 dwarves or more in my fort if I can feed that many as there have to be millions of them out there in any realistic world.  The game also needs serious optimization so that you can run a fort with a thousand or so dwarves on a modern computer with no slowdown.  Hack things out of the code that don't add anything useful like individual bodypart tracking and don't put them back in unless you can maintain performance.

If you honestly expect that, you don't know Toady...

Anyway, you are missing the point - the game is failing to provide meaningful challenges because all important resources are available in functionally infinite supply.

The game can only add meaningful decisions to the game when your resources are limited, and as such, you must learn how best to triage your needs with what little resources you have. 

Again, the simplest resource to cut is labor.

For as long as dwarves are an infinitely replaceable resource, there will be no meaning to their lives, and you can freely send them out to die with no negative consequences.  Play a fortress where you block out all migrants, however, and preserving dwarves becomes the highest priority, while managing what little labor you have effectively becomes the next highest. 

You can set the population cap as high as you like, but the necessary ingredient is that migrants are not limitless and freely available.  Limit the game to, say, 40 migrants total, and getting to 80 adult dwarves (through giving birth to and raising children alone), and you have given players a meaningful goal to strive for.

The current migrant system is basically a broken system, which, along with broken farming, broken stone/mining, broken metal production, and general broken AI and command/control systems means that the game functionally does not work as anything but a proof-of-concept. 

Survival is supposed to be challenging, and Losing is supposed to be Fun, but the game, as it stands, is challenging only in as far as it is difficult to understand how everything actually works, and is easy as soon as you learn that.  The game needs to be difficult at every stage, without the need for modding in greater and greater challenges, or just creating megaprojects.
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Personally, I like [DF] because after climbing the damned learning cliff, I'm too elitist to consider not liking it.
"And no Frankenstein-esque body part stitching?"
"Not yet"

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Buoyancy

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If you honestly expect that, you don't know Toady...

Well, hopefully he'll give control over the project up to somebody with actual programming skill at some point.  The whole thing obviously needs to be completely rewritten almost from the ground up.

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The game can only add meaningful decisions to the game when your resources are limited, and as such, you must learn how best to triage your needs with what little resources you have.

That assumes that the goal of this project is to develop a game and not a sandbox.  Games are common, sandboxes are rare.  Rarity is valuable.  making dwarf fortress more of a game and less of a toy would destroy the whole reason it's interesting to play with.

Further, since the real-world time investment in running even a single year of a single fortress is tremendous, there is very little need for greater difficulty leading to more abandoned fortresses and wasted time.  Make a year of fortress activities happen in ten or fifteen minutes of real-time, instead of several hours, and then you might be able to simulate a ten-year fortress within a reasonable amount of leisure time instead of it taking several months in the real-world.
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NW_Kohaku

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Well, hopefully he'll give control over the project up to somebody with actual programming skill at some point.  The whole thing obviously needs to be completely rewritten almost from the ground up.

If that's what you want, then why wait?  Just write a new game from the ground up now.

That assumes that the goal of this project is to develop a game and not a sandbox.  Games are common, sandboxes are rare.  Rarity is valuable.  making dwarf fortress more of a game and less of a toy would destroy the whole reason it's interesting to play with.

Further, since the real-world time investment in running even a single year of a single fortress is tremendous, there is very little need for greater difficulty leading to more abandoned fortresses and wasted time.  Make a year of fortress activities happen in ten or fifteen minutes of real-time, instead of several hours, and then you might be able to simulate a ten-year fortress within a reasonable amount of leisure time instead of it taking several months in the real-world.

Actually, no, the game isn't really much of a sandbox, either.

It's more a simulation.  Look at the things he is doing with worldgen, and it's clear he's more interested in the game as a sort of performance art project than as a sandbox.  And simulations need realism. 

Besides, having done some of those FPS experiments, I can tell you that I can simulate at least 3-4 years in a single day, provided I am not completely tanking my FPS on purpose.  Most of the time spent in the game is spent paused by the player as they try to digest knowledge and make decisions: streamlining the information-gathering and decision-making process would speed that aspect of the game significantly.



Beyond that, you aren't even making clear what you are even trying to argue for, aside from having a completely different game than DF.  You want a game that has less features and all its meaning stripped out just so it goes faster?  Why?  What's the point?
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Personally, I like [DF] because after climbing the damned learning cliff, I'm too elitist to consider not liking it.
"And no Frankenstein-esque body part stitching?"
"Not yet"

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dizzyelk

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Hack things out of the code that don't add anything useful like individual bodypart tracking and don't put them back in unless you can maintain performance.

But that does add something useful. It adds awesomeness. It adds greatness. Its things like the fact that injuries are tracked down to the internal organs that make me love this game.
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Somehow, that fills me more with dread than anticipation.  It's like being told that someone's exhuming your favorite grandparent and they're going to try to make her into a cyborg stripper.

Maklak

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I disagree with NW_Kohaku about making the base game more challanging. I actually enjoy being able to do a little bit of everything, and having a huge slack in mismanaging my fort.

I'd like to see the immigrant number decreased, but not to the point of having to make plainpacked artiffacts for years to attract more labour. A finer control of migration in the init file would probably be best for everyone.

I also really dislike it that it now takes multiple bars of metal to make a single piece of armour. Now it will take years of fully operational multiple magma smelters and forges to outfit the military and make weapon traps. There is no point in even embarking without 20k of iron ore on site. It gets even worse with funobtanium.
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Quote from: Omnicega
Since you seem to criticize most things harsher than concentrated acid, I'll take that as a compliment.
On mining Organics
Military guide for FoE mod.
Research: Crossbow with axe and shield.
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