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Author Topic: Seeking help with resolving crippling FPS  (Read 1339 times)


  • Bay Watcher
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Seeking help with resolving crippling FPS
« on: April 16, 2012, 01:43:06 pm »

Don't know where else to go on this forum or if anyone here will even care, but I started Dwarf Fortress about a week ago, watched some tutorials and figured out how to play the game entirely.  Very enjoyable game and I don't want to give it up but I'm getting fed up with this FPS drop.

I made a good fortress that easily fended off multiple sieges and megabeasts.  Have a room for every dwarf at fine quality at least and I'm working on refurbishing everything into higher grade material.  Have a gigantic stockpile, 600k-700k fortress value, a count noble.  24 Military dwarves of every melee weapon type and im planning on adding in 24 marks dwarves.  They have a really nice barracks, and I got an axelord within a very short time.  Have a hospital, a bloodied up arena and a legendary dining room.  So I have all bases covered, and all my dwarves are very happy save a couple that had their precious pets get killed.

But it's gotten to the point where I get 20 FPS ALL THE TIME, and it's taking my dwarves a lifetime to complete one simple task.  I want to make a giant room for my count so he doesn't go ballistic.  But my god, the hours go by and they still aren't done hauling all the stone out even if I que up TONS of dwarves to do it.  And its not that big of a room either.

I have 186 dwarves, 100+ livestock.  I tried tweaking lazy newb pack to set the population cap to 130-140, but I was too late, there were like 67 children >.< And I tried tweaking some of the other settings as well in LNP but nothing works....still 20 FPS.

I made a stupid mistake of letting cows, donkeys and other related animals be adopted to keep my dwarves happy early game so I can't butcher them.  Now these sob's play super smash brothers on each other in their pens, so I just let them duke it out and now the pens full of teeth, legs, arms, noses, etc but these freaks of nature won't die despite not having legs, arms or eyes and so on.  Which is why the only pets these dwarves are going to get are dogs, cats, bunnies and horses....period.  And yes, I switched them over to other pens, but when new calves were born, it was a pain in the ass to keep track of them and I had to put them all in the same pen to make sure they all got grass.

If anyone can help me resolve the FPS issue, then I'd be grateful, but if not...then I'll have to move on.  The slowness is killing the fun factor for me.

I have a phenom AMD computer, 2.1ghz, 4 gigs of ram and a very up to date graphics card but Im not a computer expert or anything and my computer is over 3 years old.  Yes, I do plan on getting a new computer but I have other expenses right now, if I can resolve this and make the FPS bearable for now, that can tide me over till I get a new computer.

I can also put in my save file so people can take a look at what might be wrong.


  • Bay Watcher
  • the Not-Quite-So-Great-as-Toady One
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Re: Seeking help with resolving crippling FPS
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2012, 01:59:45 pm »

You can build cages and assign animals to them, even pets, resulting in less pathfinding, fighting and breeding. This only works for non-grazers. Animals which need grass will die in cages, but that doesn't seem to be a problem for you...

Another problem might be too much stuff. If you have loads of items lying around, the game slows down by constantly keeping track of them. Low-quality items and excess stones should be smashed under a bridge or thrown into the cleansing heat of magma.

Those are the main issues. If you want to save more FPS, you can turn off weather and/or temperature in the init files. This results in a faster game, but creatures won't die by magma anymore and it's always sunny.

At any rate, you should get used to the fact that the game inevitably loses speed. Those measures will help, but your days of 90 FPS are over for this fort.
Quote from: Toady One
I wonder if the game has become odd.


  • Bay Watcher
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Re: Seeking help with resolving crippling FPS
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2012, 03:02:54 pm »

Use dfhack.  cleanowned X, cleanowned scattered, and autodump destroy.  I'm not 100% sure how the first two work.

But if you mass dump all of the extra rocks lying around, dump all of the useless clothing and then autodump destroy, it erases all of these FPS clogging items.

If you really want to be anal, [t] through all of the cabinets and coffers in the dwarves' rooms, and in the finished goods bins in your stockpiles, and dump the extra stuff there. You may have to set up an atom smasher.


  • Bay Watcher
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Re: Seeking help with resolving crippling FPS
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2012, 03:13:17 pm »

20 FPS is not that bad.  I've worked with 10 or so before.

I recommend you just set up your fortress to run automatically as much as possible, and then... just walk away.  Or rather, post in the forums while your game is being played in the background.

Sure, it takes a few hours to have a single task resolved, but that's OK, that just means it's done by the time dinner is over.

There are five major ways you can kill your FPS.
A - Pathfinding - you have too large a fortress in general, and that fortress is filled with too many giant open rectangles, and you are relying upon things like a central stairway and sprawling horizontal fortresses instead of compartmentalizing your fortress functions and taking advantage of vertical sprawl.

Also, embark in smaller areas.  The larger the area you embark in, the more area you pathfind over.

B - Breaking pathfinding - You are doing things like changing positions of a drawbridge frequently, forcing the map to redraw its pathing connections grid, which causes plenty of

C - Fluids - You have too many moving fluids in your game, especially if you set up dwarven water reactors or are perpetually draining aquifers into aquifers.  Reducing fluid flow helps immensely.

D - Too many dwarves doing pathfinds - pathfinding time rises geometrically with space, but it also rises linearly with the number of pathfinds you perform.  200 dwarves not only pathfind twice as much as 100 dwarves, but you will likely have a fortress twice as large, which means you're actually taking 8 times as much time pathfinding.

E - Too many items - every item in the game takes up memory, and this causes subgeometric slowdown of your game.  The game can run at 1/10th of its initial speed just having 10,000 to 20,000 objects in the game.  It will slow to a hundredth of its initial speed at 100,000 or more objects.  A million objects will have your memory squealing like a pig.

F - Corpses - You have killed too many creatures, generally, and they are cluttering up your memory en masse.
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"

Improved Farming
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  • Bay Watcher
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Re: Seeking help with resolving crippling FPS
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2012, 03:42:02 pm »

autodump destroy is your friend.

DF Hack in general really. Have a bunch of veins dug out that are messing with your pathfinding? Wall 'em off and use revflood and they'll be considered unrevealed I believe.


  • Bay Watcher
  • Hrm...
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Re: Seeking help with resolving crippling FPS
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2012, 08:46:29 pm »

I have a phenom AMD computer, 2.1ghz,
Ouch. If you're looking for hardware causes, this is it. Next time you buy a CPU, get something ~3.6 or higher for AMD processors.

Anywho: Items items items items items. Don't make so goddamn many. Limit foot. Limit clothing. Limit rocks. Limit everything.
Quote from: Chesterton
For, in order that men should resist injustice, something more is necessary than that they should think injustice unpleasant. They must think injustice absurd; above all, they must think it startling. They must retain the violence of a virgin astonishment. When the pessimist looks at any infamy, it is to him, after all, only a repetition of the infamy of existence. But the optimist sees injustice as something discordant and unexpected, and it stings him into action.