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Author Topic: Assorted suggestions (mainly AI, interface, and combat)  (Read 10178 times)

leafbarrett

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Assorted suggestions (mainly AI, interface, and combat)
« on: June 13, 2012, 10:03:45 am »

So, I've got a lot of ideas, but I don't want to flood the board with a bunch of topics, so I'm just going to combine them here. I'll update as I think of more ideas.
...Somehow I get the feeling that these are going to be ignored (if not by the forum, then at least by Toady), but meh, may as well post them anyhow.

AI: Dwarves knowing where other creatures are when digging
By this, I'm mainly referring to the, um, "quirk" dwarves have, where they're perfectly happy to channel the ground right out from another creature's feet (or another dwarf!), which often leads to injuries (from a single z-level fall ::)), and on rare occasions, deaths. This makes flattening a landscape either take forever by having one or at most 2 dwarves channeling, or be incredibly perilous for your dwarves.

AI/Combat: Backup weapons for marksdwarves
As the wiki states: "Although it sounds like a cool idea, equipping a marksdwarf with a backup shortsword just in case doesn't often work, as dwarves are just as quick to run up their foes and start bashing them with a crossbow as they are to draw their swords and do it properly." This seems exceptionally silly to me. I propose that the AI be modified so that if the dwarf has another weapon equipped alongside a crossbow, and they run out of ammo, they switch to the other weapon.

Interface/Combat/AI: Choosing attack strategies for the dwarves
Now, anyone who's played DF for any halfway-substantial amount of time has likely run into incidents where a dwarf has tried to do something silly, such as grapple a hydra's toe. I propose a system where players can command their dwarves to attack enemies in a certain way. ...ugh, I'm so bad at explaining things. Here's some examples of what I mean.
Go for the kill: Dwarves will prioritize attacking the head, throat, and (if they have a stabbing weapon, particularly a spear) stabbing at where the lungs and heart are.
Cripple it: Dwarves will aim for the arms, legs, and wings, to try to render a creature unable to move or attack properly. They would prioritize slashing attacks when available, to outright sever limbs. They might occasionally try to gouge out the enemy's eyes.
Smash it apart: Dwarves would prioritize blunt attacks over edge attacks.
Aim for the weak point: Dwarves will try to aim for the least-armored part of an enemy's body.
You get the idea.

General: Size representation
I personally think that huge creatures, like dragons and bronze colossi, should actually take up more than a single tile, and maybe even more than a single z-level. It just seems silly that a giant dragon can fit down a corridor only wide enough for a single dwarf to fit down. In addition, tall enough creatures, such as- again- the bronze colossus should be immune to drowning from 1 z-layer of water, but be submerged by 2. (I know that bronze colossi don't breathe, but it's the principle of the thing.) On top of that, tall creatures should be able to step up single z-layer cliffs even if they don't have ramps or stairs.

Combat/Interface: Assigning civilians armor
One thing that's always bugged me is that you can't assign dwarves armor unless they're in the military, leaving them almost completely unprotected during something such as an ambush. I suggest that players should be allowed to assign civilians armor, or even better, assign them equipment.

AI: Cleaning up
Dwarves seem to be resistant to the idea of cleaning and putting clothing where it belongs, and so on. When they're told to bury a body or dump a rotting goblin corpse, they should actually do it, not just kinda put it off until there's nothing else to do. I can't count the number of times I've had to unassign every single job except for burial just to get a single dwarf to bury someone, and even then they don't always do it.

Combat: Throwing
Do I need to explain this one? ...Yes? Fine, fine... Throwing is hilariously overpowered. You can injure enemies by throwing teeth and even WATER at them. Obviously, this needs to be balanced. (As much as it pains me to say it, because throwing in Adventure mode is a godsend.)

Pathfinding: Jumping up small ledges
If a dwarf has functioning arms/legs/hands/feet and is at least average size, they should be able to jump up and grab the edge of single z-level cliffs, then pull themselves up... or occasionally fail to do so and fall back down, possibly leading to fun if you're really (un)lucky. This goes double for Adventure mode, where short cliffs constantly seem to get in the way, at least for me.

General: Grasping categories
Grasping mouths, tails that grab by wrapping around the item/enemy, grasping feet, and so on, all of which would be independent of one another, so that you couldn't, say, dual wield a great axe with your mouth and tail, as well as item restrictions so that you couldn't use a shield with your mouth.

Combat: Knockback and throwing/firing across z-levels
Being able to shoot over walls in an arc, or getting knocked skyward by an attack. Fairly self-explanatory.
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Quote from: leafbarrett
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They can do whatever the heck they want. That's why they are nobles, cause they CAN.
King Henry the IV or something had a lot of wives, most of whom he executed. Because he could.
A ton of them mass-murdered Jews and Muslims. CAUSE THEY COULD.
A roman emperor made his horse a noble, cause he could.
And I modded them all out of existence, because I could.
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helmacon

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Re: Assorted suggestions (mainly AI, interface, and combat)
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2012, 10:51:09 am »

I have a few responses to a few suggestions, though i would recommend next time making a few different topics and sorting them accordingly.

First of all, i think that the mining AI quirks mentioned are already planed to be fixed eventually

As for size representation, this is something i have wholeheartedly agreed with for some time, but i never posted it because i didn't think it was prominent enough to start a new topic.

As for knock-back and flying, this is already implemented. look at your battle reports! " Mcdawrf charges at the goblin and the goblin is knocked over and tumbles backward." Things can be thrown skywards as well, such as when a goblin got caught in my crundle pen, and if you went a few Z-levels up you could view a shower of goblin teeth flying through the air.
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GreatWyrmGold

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Re: Assorted suggestions (mainly AI, interface, and combat)
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2012, 11:18:09 am »

So, I've got a lot of ideas, but I don't want to flood the board with a bunch of topics, so I'm just going to combine them here. I'll update as I think of more ideas.
...Somehow I get the feeling that these are going to be ignored (if not by the forum, then at least by Toady), but meh, may as well post them anyhow.
Now, now, don't be so negative.

Quote
AI: Dwarves knowing where other creatures are when digging
By this, I'm mainly referring to the, um, "quirk" dwarves have, where they're perfectly happy to channel the ground right out from another creature's feet (or another dwarf!), which often leads to injuries (from a single z-level fall ::)), and on rare occasions, deaths. This makes flattening a landscape either take forever by having one or at most 2 dwarves channeling, or be incredibly perilous for your dwarves.
Single z-level falls do not noticably harm creatures. Aside from this, yeah, a bit of knowledge about what's going to hurt people (e.g. removing constructions in such a way as to cause a cave-in), but it'll take a while--the game needs to be able to distinguish between "stupid" and "what the player wants."

Quote
AI/Combat: Backup weapons for marksdwarves
As the wiki states: "Although it sounds like a cool idea, equipping a marksdwarf with a backup shortsword just in case doesn't often work, as dwarves are just as quick to run up their foes and start bashing them with a crossbow as they are to draw their swords and do it properly." This seems exceptionally silly to me. I propose that the AI be modified so that if the dwarf has another weapon equipped alongside a crossbow, and they run out of ammo, they switch to the other weapon.
Not a bad idea overall, although crossbows are decent weapons in melee against unarmored opponents, especially if metal (their large contact area means they hit vitals more often).

Quote
Interface/Combat/AI: Choosing attack strategies for the dwarves
Now, anyone who's played DF for any halfway-substantial amount of time has likely run into incidents where a dwarf has tried to do something silly, such as grapple a hydra's toe. I propose a system where players can command their dwarves to attack enemies in a certain way. ...ugh, I'm so bad at explaining things. Here's some examples of what I mean.
Go for the kill: Dwarves will prioritize attacking the head, throat, and (if they have a stabbing weapon, particularly a spear) stabbing at where the lungs and heart are.
Cripple it: Dwarves will aim for the arms, legs, and wings, to try to render a creature unable to move or attack properly. They would prioritize slashing attacks when available, to outright sever limbs. They might occasionally try to gouge out the enemy's eyes.
Smash it apart: Dwarves would prioritize blunt attacks over edge attacks.
Aim for the weak point: Dwarves will try to aim for the least-armored part of an enemy's body.
You get the idea.
Good idea, complex, eventually planned.

Quote
General: Size representation
I personally think that huge creatures, like dragons and bronze colossi, should actually take up more than a single tile, and maybe even more than a single z-level. It just seems silly that a giant dragon can fit down a corridor only wide enough for a single dwarf to fit down. In addition, tall enough creatures, such as- again- the bronze colossus should be immune to drowning from 1 z-layer of water, but be submerged by 2. (I know that bronze colossi don't breathe, but it's the principle of the thing.) On top of that, tall creatures should be able to step up single z-layer cliffs even if they don't have ramps or stairs.
Planned, but it'll be a while. For instance, even ignoring all else, think of interface issues. How do you represent a nine-tile dragon, or a three-z-level, four-tile colossus?

Quote
Combat/Interface: Assigning civilians armor
One thing that's always bugged me is that you can't assign dwarves armor unless they're in the military, leaving them almost completely unprotected during something such as an ambush. I suggest that players should be allowed to assign civilians armor, or even better, assign them equipment.
Yeah, it'd be nice. I'm not sure how many forts have armor to spare, though. Maybe the ability to assign equipment dwarf-by-dwarf?

Quote
AI: Cleaning up
Dwarves seem to be resistant to the idea of cleaning and putting clothing where it belongs, and so on. When they're told to bury a body or dump a rotting goblin corpse, they should actually do it, not just kinda put it off until there's nothing else to do. I can't count the number of times I've had to unassign every single job except for burial just to get a single dwarf to bury someone, and even then they don't always do it.
For me, dwarves are perfectly willing to dump items and do other hauling, even the non-haulers, whose hauling labors need to be turned off. (The exception, of course, being those dwarves without functioning hands.) It works well for me.

Quote
Combat: Throwing
Do I need to explain this one? ...Yes? Fine, fine... Throwing is hilariously overpowered. You can injure enemies by throwing teeth and even WATER at them. Obviously, this needs to be balanced. (As much as it pains me to say it, because throwing in Adventure mode is a godsend.)
At high skill levels, sure. At low ones? Good luck even hitting.
This issue has been WAY toned down since the old days, when a fluffy wambler could decapitate a bronze colossus.

Quote
Pathfinding: Jumping up small ledges
If a dwarf has functioning arms/legs/hands/feet and is at least average size, they should be able to jump up and grab the edge of single z-level cliffs, then pull themselves up... or occasionally fail to do so and fall back down, possibly leading to fun if you're really (un)lucky. This goes double for Adventure mode, where short cliffs constantly seem to get in the way, at least for me.
Dwarven parkour? Um, no. I can see elves and goblins climbing up ledges, but dwarves wouldn't unless they had to. I agree with adventure mode, but how many 1-z-level ledges are there? Oh, and BTW: Planned.

Quote
General: Grasping categories
Grasping mouths, tails that grab by wrapping around the item/enemy, grasping feet, and so on, all of which would be independent of one another, so that you couldn't, say, dual wield a great axe with your mouth and tail, as well as item restrictions so that you couldn't use a shield with your mouth.
You try holding a knife in your mouth or foot. It's better than nothing (like if your hands have been disabled), but knowing dwarves, they'd stick their axes in their mouths despite the combat penalties. Maybe mouths could be used to sorta-grasp for dwarves that can't hold things in their hands, but that's about it.

Quote
Combat: Knockback and throwing/firing across z-levels
Being able to shoot over walls in an arc, or getting knocked skyward by an attack. Fairly self-explanatory.
"Getting knocked skyward by an attack?" Unless you're a cat being attacked by a bronze colossus, an adventurer being thrown from a dragon's maw, or Team Rocket being zapped by Pikachu, there's no way that'd happen. You can get knocked over and back, and sometimes even flung a bit into the air with enough of a size differential. Arrow arcs would be neat, but (seeing as you can't see your target) not much use, so it should wait until projectiles fly in better arcs.
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leafbarrett

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Re: Assorted suggestions (mainly AI, interface, and combat)
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2012, 04:30:06 pm »

Thanks for the feedback ^.^ I do have an issue with one thing you said, though.
Single z-level falls do not noticably harm creatures.
Tell that to the constant stream of dwarves I get with gashes from falling, with the occasional severed tendon/nerve or fractured bone, and one confirmed death (from a completely healthy dwarf to dead upon impact).
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Quote from: leafbarrett
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They can do whatever the heck they want. That's why they are nobles, cause they CAN.
King Henry the IV or something had a lot of wives, most of whom he executed. Because he could.
A ton of them mass-murdered Jews and Muslims. CAUSE THEY COULD.
A roman emperor made his horse a noble, cause he could.
And I modded them all out of existence, because I could.
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GreatWyrmGold

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Re: Assorted suggestions (mainly AI, interface, and combat)
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2012, 04:34:32 pm »

For me, falling one z-level results in bruises, if the damage isn't deflected by clothes. What version are you using? Are you sure they're falling ONLY one z-level? Are they moving horizontally, too? (Skidding can be lethal.)
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leafbarrett

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Re: Assorted suggestions (mainly AI, interface, and combat)
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2012, 04:46:45 pm »

No skidding involved, and I'm using 0.34.11.
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Quote from: leafbarrett
Quote
They can do whatever the heck they want. That's why they are nobles, cause they CAN.
King Henry the IV or something had a lot of wives, most of whom he executed. Because he could.
A ton of them mass-murdered Jews and Muslims. CAUSE THEY COULD.
A roman emperor made his horse a noble, cause he could.
And I modded them all out of existence, because I could.
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GreatWyrmGold

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Re: Assorted suggestions (mainly AI, interface, and combat)
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2012, 07:14:27 pm »

Either you have really unlucky dwarves, or I have really lucky dwarves. Or maybe there's a mod involved. Probably one of the first, though. (Or maybe cave-in dust was involved? That stuff throws dwarves into walls like a bronze colossus who doesn't feel like breaking all of the dwarf's bones first.

Let's get back on topic. If dwarves are dying from one-z-level falls, the falls need to be toned down. Something like the old system, where only falls greater than a z-level do nothing. Then, we can hack at the problem of dwarves inadvertantly murdering each other. (Which would be neat, come to think of it--that is, if dwarves had a better idea of cause and effect, and prosecuted dwarves who channeled holes under their friends' feet, leading to their death, as murderers.) And...um...let's hear your thoughts about my thoughts about your other ideas.
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leafbarrett

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Re: Assorted suggestions (mainly AI, interface, and combat)
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2012, 12:43:49 am »

There was some modding involved, but the injured "dwarves" (pokemon in this case) were TOUGHER than normal dwarves by a considerable margin. That includes the one that died from the fall. There was no cave-in involved, otherwise I would have mentioned that.
The idea of considering an injury caused by digging the ground out from another's feet to be a crime is actually a really good idea. Same could go for causing a cave in that hurts or kills another dwarf, or activating a trap/mechanism that causes the death of another dwarf.

Combat: Using multiple body parts/weapons at once
Stuff like an overhead smash using both hands held together, smashing two war hammers together on an opponent like a pincer, etc. Attacks that would not only allow but require all involved body parts to perform. (On a related note, why is punching/kicking determined by grasp/stance instead of hand/foot?)

Combat: Attacks linking together
Similar to the above idea, having attacks that could only be performed immediately after a specific attack (preferably being performed within the same action as the other attack). I don't quite know how to explain this one well, sadly. :<

Combat/Movement: Attacks disrupting flight without needing to break wings
An attack that hits an airborne enemy (such as a roc) with sufficient force would cause it to lose its balance and start falling, and crash into the ground unless it managed to right itself first.

Combat/General: Separating body size from wielding capabilities
Shouldn't the ability to use a weapon be based more on strength than size? I mean, I dunno about you, but I'm a fairly large man, and I know people much smaller than me who can pick up bigger things.

Adventure: Retaining map knowledge when traveling
I've never quite understood why an adventurer spontaneously forgets everything about a map just because he travels 10 feet on the quicktravel, or why he/she forgets areas they were just in less than 10 minutes ago just because they moved farther away. Maybe give memory a more prominent role in this?

Fortress: Make mandates and/or demands have some rhyme and reason to them
No, nobles do not need and should not be allowed to ask for windows in their underground tombs. No, nobles do not need and should not be allowed to ask for platinum goods when there's not a single civilization in the entirety of the worldgen that has access to platinum, least of all the player. NO, NOBLES DO NOT NEED AND SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO ASK FOR TOY HAMMERS WHEN I CAN'T EVEN TELL MY CRAFTSDWARVES TO MAKE TOY HAMMERS. No, the soapmaker had nothing to do with production of a native gold armor stand or whatever, and nobles should not be allowed to arbitrarily punish someone completely unrelated to a mandate. No, a dwarf does not deserve 50 hammerings for butchering a cat. I honestly cannot for the life of me figure out how anyone can stand nobles' horribly retarded demands and punishments, let alone find them enjoyable to have as a game element. Frankly, I just removed demands from the raws altogether because of how infuriating they were.

AI: Canceling digging to avoid a cave-in
Similar to how dwarves cancel digging if they find damp or warm rock, dwarves should cancel digging if digging in that spot would cause a cave-in, especially right on top of them.

Combat: Dragging/carrying targets
Being able to literally drag your opponents along with you seems like a basic idea, but it would open up so many possibilities.

Combat/Movement: Giving a better sense of directional facing
Is there any indication as to what direction a given creature is facing? And is there anything specifying if a tail, nose, etc. is on the front or back of the body?

Combat/Movement: Utilizing said directional facing
For example, being behind a dragon would give you better access to its hind legs, but would also leave you far more open to a direct smack from the dragon's tail. (If alligators are anything to go by, tail attacks are no joke, and one from a dragon could probably snap both legs like twigs.)

Interface: More detailed information on size, weight, etc. in-game
Such as saying if a dwarf is large enough (or strong enough, if that gets changed) to wield a certain weapon, saying if they're carrying too much and are being significantly slowed down as a result, how effective a weapon's attacks are, how good they are at piercing armor, stuff like that.

Combat: Weapons having range
For example, a whip would be able to hit enemies up to two tiles away, and a two-handed sword would be able to hit enemies from 1 tile away (treating 0 tiles away as being directly next to the target).

Combat: Unarmed civilians automatically grabbing a nearby weapon if attacked and cornered
This is, of course, assuming they can't just run away in the first place. If they get chased into a dead end by, say, a goblin, and there's a spare sword or cabinet or rock nearby, they would grab it and throw it/use it to defend themselves, unless specifically instructed not to.

General: Simplifying all the identical leather types and wood types into single wood materials/leather materials
If there's twenty different animal leathers that are all identical in every way except for the animal they came from, all that does is clog up the menus. Unless there's something special about a type of leather or wood, they should just be compressed down into a single wood/leather item. I have no desire to scroll through thirty different types of identical leather just to get to the next item type.

Fortress: Happiness caps, and tragic events reducing the cap
I've had a dwarf whose happiness was up at 5000-something. Perhaps the cap could be at 200? And when a dwarf experiences a truly traumatic event (such as the death of a spouse), the cap would be permanently reduced for that dwarf. Enough trauma and the dwarf's mood would never climb back above miserable. This is to prevent the silly event where an unhappy thought from the dwarf's spouse getting eaten by an elephant is offset by eating in a really nice dining room, and stuff of that sort.

Fortress/Combat: Happy thoughts from protecting others, even if it results in an injury
A dwarf who helped to protect an ally in combat or the fortress in general would receive a happy thought if their personality values were lined up right for it ("likes helping others" comes to mind). Bonus points if the dwarf being protected is a loved one. Also depending on personality, any unhappy thought from an injury could be lessened or outright nullified if the dwarf was happy to defend or save another person or the fortress, and even in some cases be happier for it, i.e. "was proud/honored to take the hit for a friend/spouse/hero". This particular idea was spawned by an incident from a goblin siege where one girl lost her arm and received several other injuries (among them a broken leg and a gash to the chest) while holding off several goblins until the rest of the military came to her aid (which was a few in-game days). After she was brought in and treated, I checked her mood in Dwarf Therapist, and not only was she not unhappy from losing an arm and having her leg broken, she was actually happier than she had been before the attack (in fact, she had gone from content to borderline ecstatic).

Fortress: Specifying an area of water as a bath/swimming pool
I've seen several fortresses where the player created a public bath of sorts, but to my knowledge, there's no way to actually designate a body of water as an area specifically for dwarves to clean themselves off. Being able to specify a place for dwarves to train swimming would be nice as well.

Fortress: Placing a cap on the number of cats a single dwarf can be adopted by
This would also place a hard limit on the number of cats that can be considered pets, so that any excess cats could be slaughtered with no negative consequences.

Combat: Why can socks be used as weapons
It doesn't matter how hard you hit someone with a sock, you are NEVER going to do any damage to them. Period.

General: Nerve damage healing
It has been scientifically proven that nerve damage (and brain damage) can and does heal. It would be nice to see the "ability to grasp impaired" due to nerve damage go away, given time. And related to that...

General: Physical therapy
A workshop, zone, or something of some type that would allow doctors to increase the healing speed of an injured dwarf's broken bones, nerve damage, muscle damage, and so on, as well as letting doctors train injured dwarves in crutch-walking much faster.
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Quote from: leafbarrett
Quote
They can do whatever the heck they want. That's why they are nobles, cause they CAN.
King Henry the IV or something had a lot of wives, most of whom he executed. Because he could.
A ton of them mass-murdered Jews and Muslims. CAUSE THEY COULD.
A roman emperor made his horse a noble, cause he could.
And I modded them all out of existence, because I could.
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Corai

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Re: Assorted suggestions (mainly AI, interface, and combat)
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2012, 12:52:43 am »

On your mandate idea,




There dwarves.

Scratch that, they are nobles. They can do whatever the heck they want. Thats why they are nobles, cause they CAN.

They do that IRL too, King Henry the IV or something had alot of wives, who alot died. Because he could.

A ton of them mass-murdered jews and muslims. CAUSE THEY COULD.

A roman emperor made his horse a noble, cause he could.
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Jeykab/Bee: how the fuck do you live your daily life corai
Jeykab/Bee: you seem like the person who constantly has mini heart attacks because cuuuute

leafbarrett

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Re: Assorted suggestions (mainly AI, interface, and combat)
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2012, 02:06:27 am »

They can do whatever the heck they want. Thats why they are nobles, cause they CAN.
They do that IRL too, King Henry the IV or something had alot of wives, who alot died. Because he could.
A ton of them mass-murdered jews and muslims. CAUSE THEY COULD.
A roman emperor made his horse a noble, cause he could.
And I modded them all out of existence, because I could.
At least make the stupid demands optional. I'd be perfectly happy to keep nobles in if they weren't batshit retarded.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2012, 02:08:49 am by leafbarrett »
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Quote from: leafbarrett
Quote
They can do whatever the heck they want. That's why they are nobles, cause they CAN.
King Henry the IV or something had a lot of wives, most of whom he executed. Because he could.
A ton of them mass-murdered Jews and Muslims. CAUSE THEY COULD.
A roman emperor made his horse a noble, cause he could.
And I modded them all out of existence, because I could.
sig text

Putnam

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Re: Assorted suggestions (mainly AI, interface, and combat)
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2012, 02:24:27 am »

Combat: Using multiple body parts/weapons at once
Stuff like an overhead smash using both hands held together, smashing two war hammers together on an opponent like a pincer, etc. Attacks that would not only allow but require all involved body parts to perform. (On a related note, why is punching/kicking determined by grasp/stance instead of hand/foot?)
Planned, I believe.
Quote
Combat: Attacks linking together
Similar to the above idea, having attacks that could only be performed immediately after a specific attack (preferably being performed within the same action as the other attack). I don't quite know how to explain this one well, sadly. :<
Definitely planned; this could be counted under "stances" for the combat overhaul that's coming by the end of the caravan arc.
Quote
Combat/Movement: Attacks disrupting flight without needing to break wings
An attack that hits an airborne enemy (such as a roc) with sufficient force would cause it to lose its balance and start falling, and crash into the ground unless it managed to right itself first.
I think this actually happens now, with collisions.
Quote
Combat/General: Separating body size from wielding capabilities
Shouldn't the ability to use a weapon be based more on strength than size? I mean, I dunno about you, but I'm a fairly large man, and I know people much smaller than me who can pick up bigger things.
I like it.
Quote
Adventure: Retaining map knowledge when traveling
I've never quite understood why an adventurer spontaneously forgets everything about a map just because he travels 10 feet on the quicktravel, or why he/she forgets areas they were just in less than 10 minutes ago just because they moved farther away. Maybe give memory a more prominent role in this?
I think this is actually determined now by the memory skill; I know that my characters remember maps better as elves.
Quote
Fortress: Make mandates and/or demands have some rhyme and reason to them
No, nobles do not need and should not be allowed to ask for windows in their underground tombs. No, nobles do not need and should not be allowed to ask for platinum goods when there's not a single civilization in the entirety of the worldgen that has access to platinum, least of all the player. NO, NOBLES DO NOT NEED AND SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO ASK FOR TOY HAMMERS WHEN I CAN'T EVEN TELL MY CRAFTSDWARVES TO MAKE TOY HAMMERS. No, the soapmaker had nothing to do with production of a native gold armor stand or whatever, and nobles should not be allowed to arbitrarily punish someone completely unrelated to a mandate. No, a dwarf does not deserve 50 hammerings for butchering a cat. I honestly cannot for the life of me figure out how anyone can stand nobles' horribly retarded demands and punishments, let alone find them enjoyable to have as a game element. Frankly, I just removed demands from the raws altogether because of how infuriating they were.
Windows are pretty. Also, planned.
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AI: Canceling digging to avoid a cave-in
Similar to how dwarves cancel digging if they find damp or warm rock, dwarves should cancel digging if digging in that spot would cause a cave-in, especially right on top of them.
Smarter cancellations are planned.
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Combat: Dragging/carrying targets
Being able to literally drag your opponents along with you seems like a basic idea, but it would open up so many possibilities.
Definitely planned, maybe even with this version. Restraining is planned for this version, so dragging should come with it.
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Combat/Movement: Giving a better sense of directional facing
Is there any indication as to what direction a given creature is facing? And is there anything specifying if a tail, nose, etc. is on the front or back of the body?
Only for combat and no. Planned.
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Combat/Movement: Utilizing said directional facing
For example, being behind a dragon would give you better access to its hind legs, but would also leave you far more open to a direct smack from the dragon's tail. (If alligators are anything to go by, tail attacks are no joke, and one from a dragon could probably snap both legs like twigs.)
Definitely planned.
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Interface: More detailed information on size, weight, etc. in-game
Such as saying if a dwarf is large enough (or strong enough, if that gets changed) to wield a certain weapon, saying if they're carrying too much and are being significantly slowed down as a result, how effective a weapon's attacks are, how good they are at piercing armor, stuff like that.
I like it.
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Combat: Weapons having range
For example, a whip would be able to hit enemies up to two tiles away, and a two-handed sword would be able to hit enemies from 1 tile away (treating 0 tiles away as being directly next to the target).
I think this may be planned. I'm not entirely sure about this one.
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Combat: Unarmed civilians automatically grabbing a nearby weapon if attacked and cornered
This is, of course, assuming they can't just run away in the first place. If they get chased into a dead end by, say, a goblin, and there's a spare sword or cabinet or rock nearby, they would grab it and throw it/use it to defend themselves, unless specifically instructed not to.
I like it.
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General: Simplifying all the identical leather types and wood types into single wood materials/leather materials
If there's twenty different animal leathers that are all identical in every way except for the animal they came from, all that does is clog up the menus. Unless there's something special about a type of leather or wood, they should just be compressed down into a single wood/leather item. I have no desire to scroll through thirty different types of identical leather just to get to the next item type.
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Fortress: Happiness caps, and tragic events reducing the cap
I've had a dwarf whose happiness was up at 5000-something. Perhaps the cap could be at 200? And when a dwarf experiences a truly traumatic event (such as the death of a spouse), the cap would be permanently reduced for that dwarf. Enough trauma and the dwarf's mood would never climb back above miserable. This is to prevent the silly event where an unhappy thought from the dwarf's spouse getting eaten by an elephant is offset by eating in a really nice dining room, and stuff of that sort.
I like this. (Note that pretty much all of your ideas are either good or planned :P)
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Fortress/Combat: Happy thoughts from protecting others, even if it results in an injury
A dwarf who helped to protect an ally in combat or the fortress in general would receive a happy thought if their personality values were lined up right for it ("likes helping others" comes to mind). Bonus points if the dwarf being protected is a loved one. Also depending on personality, any unhappy thought from an injury could be lessened or outright nullified if the dwarf was happy to defend or save another person or the fortress, and even in some cases be happier for it, i.e. "was proud/honored to take the hit for a friend/spouse/hero". This particular idea was spawned by an incident from a goblin siege where one girl lost her arm and received several other injuries (among them a broken leg and a gash to the chest) while holding off several goblins until the rest of the military came to her aid (which was a few in-game days). After she was brought in and treated, I checked her mood in Dwarf Therapist, and not only was she not unhappy from losing an arm and having her leg broken, she was actually happier than she had been before the attack (in fact, she had gone from content to borderline ecstatic).
I like it.
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Fortress: Specifying an area of water as a bath/swimming pool
I've seen several fortresses where the player created a public bath of sorts, but to my knowledge, there's no way to actually designate a body of water as an area specifically for dwarves to clean themselves off. Being able to specify a place for dwarves to train swimming would be nice as well.
I think that wells work as a bath, and designating as a water source should work.
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Fortress: Placing a cap on the number of cats a single dwarf can be adopted by
This would also place a hard limit on the number of cats that can be considered pets, so that any excess cats could be slaughtered with no negative consequences.
Well, that's more of a fix, isn't it? :P
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Combat: Why can socks be used as weapons
It doesn't matter how hard you hit someone with a sock, you are NEVER going to do any damage to them. Period.
Because they're items, and items can be weapons. The problem is mostly that they actually work, and that should be fixed.
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General: Nerve damage healing
It has been scientifically proven that nerve damage (and brain damage) can and does heal. It would be nice to see the "ability to grasp impaired" due to nerve damage go away, given time. And related to that...
Yeah. That's a fix.

leafbarrett

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Re: Assorted suggestions (mainly AI, interface, and combat)
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2012, 06:39:58 am »

I like this. (Note that pretty much all of your ideas are either good or planned :P)
^.^ Thanks~
Fortress: Placing a cap on the number of cats a single dwarf can be adopted by
This would also place a hard limit on the number of cats that can be considered pets, so that any excess cats could be slaughtered with no negative consequences.
Well, that's more of a fix, isn't it? :P
General: Nerve damage healing
It has been scientifically proven that nerve damage (and brain damage) can and does heal. It would be nice to see the "ability to grasp impaired" due to nerve damage go away, given time. And related to that...
Yeah. That's a fix.
Is there something wrong with suggesting fixes? :( Did I miss something in the rules for this board?
Combat: Why can socks be used as weapons
It doesn't matter how hard you hit someone with a sock, you are NEVER going to do any damage to them. Period.
Because they're items, and items can be weapons. The problem is mostly that they actually work, and that should be fixed.
However, once that has been fixed, there's the matter of things still trying to use them as weapons. If an item won't do any damage whatsoever if used as a weapon, it should have a tag that prevents creatures from trying to use it as such.

Fortress: Fur for sentient creatures counting as clothing in regards to thoughts
If there's ever a entity whose members get unhappy thoughts from being naked, but which has at least one caste that has fur covering their bodies, the fur should count as covering them. Depending on how easy or hard that would be to implement, that could just be added in for the sake of modders and/or for the sake of making sense. (After all, fur DOES cover the body, doesn't it?) If they were to lose that fur in some way, they would get unhappy thoughts from being exposed.


Fortress: An entity token that allows for clothing to be worn, but prevents unhappy thoughts when naked
Um... I don't really have anything to add to that.

Fortress: Giving an alert when a dwarf is trapped behind walls, in a pit, etc.
There have been multiple times where I've been unaware that a dwarf (or in one case, several dwarves) were blocked from reaching any food or water/booze (in the case of multiple dwarves, none of the ramps leading up out of the bottom floor worked, so they were trapped) until it was nearly too late. If a dwarf that's trying to path to food or drink is unable to find any path for an extended period of time, the game should give an alert that they can't get to it and will die if they're left in that situation.

AI: The dwarf/dwarves that set up a mechanism that will kill whoever triggers it will refuse to trigger it themselves
"Urist McMechanic cancels pull lever: Not that (stupid/suicidal)." The same would apply to idling dwarves who were in direct eyesight of the mechanism when it was set up, along with any mechanics of lv5 or higher (presuming they would be able to figure out its function upon seeing it). Untrusting dwarves would hesitate or refuse to pull suspicious levers (for example, a lever that's within a couple of tiles of a support holding up a ceiling, if the lever's beneath that ceiling) However, if one of those dwarves were to be stricken with melancholy, that mechanism would be the first thing the dwarf goes for.


AI: Dwarves, humans, elves trapped in a room that's filling with lava or that's drowning in a flooded room will break down locked doors and open floodgates to escape if possible
I'm going to assume that sentient creatures (are meant to) have some sense of self-preservation, and since we know that dwarves, elves, and humans can bash down locked doors in Adventure mode, it wouldn't be too much of a stretch for them to do it in Fortress mode, would it?


Fortress/AI: If a dwarf goes missing, friends of the dwarf will search for him while idling/on break, and loved ones will sometimes cancel jobs to search
Friends will take breaks more often to search for the dwarf, but wouldn't outright cancel what they're doing. If they can't find the dwarf after five separate attempts, they will stop searching. Obviously, dwarves doing important jobs (being on active duty, treating wounded, cooking/hunting/fishing/brewing if food/drink is low, taking shelter from a siege, etc.) wouldn't cancel them to search, but they would get progressively worse unhappy thoughts based on how long they've been unable to search (with the thoughts escalating faster if nobody at all is looking). "Dwarf is (concerned about/worried about/anxious to find/fraught with worry about/desperate to find) a (friend/child/spouse)."


AI: Dwarves will refuse to go to sleep on trap tiles
Nothing short of literally passing out from exhaustion would cause a dwarf to sleep on a trapped tile. Even if they hadn't slept in days and there was no bed, they would at least move to the nearest untrapped tile before falling asleep.

Fortress/AI: An idling expedition leader/mayor with the right personality values and/or high enough consoler/pacifier stats will actively seek out and converse with unhappy dwarves
The unhappier the dwarf in question was, the higher priority the leader/mayor would place on talking to them, with miserable dwarves or dwarves on the verge of going insane taking high enough priority for the leader/mayor to cancel low priority jobs to talk with them.


I'll try to think of some more ideas later, but right now I have class.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2012, 02:20:41 pm by leafbarrett »
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They can do whatever the heck they want. That's why they are nobles, cause they CAN.
King Henry the IV or something had a lot of wives, most of whom he executed. Because he could.
A ton of them mass-murdered Jews and Muslims. CAUSE THEY COULD.
A roman emperor made his horse a noble, cause he could.
And I modded them all out of existence, because I could.
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MrWiggles

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Re: Assorted suggestions (mainly AI, interface, and combat)
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2012, 07:04:24 am »

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Fortress: Fur for sentient creatures counting as clothing in regards to thoughts
If there's ever a entity whose members get unhappy thoughts from being naked, but which has at least one caste that has fur covering their bodies, the fur should count as covering them. Depending on how easy or hard that would be to implement, that could just be added in for the sake of modders and/or for the sake of making sense. (After all, fur DOES cover the body, doesn't it?) If they were to lose that fur in some way, they would get unhappy thoughts from being exposed.

Fortress: An entity token that allows for clothing to be worn, but prevents unhappy thoughts when naked
Um... I don't really have anything to add to that.
Ehh.... just because you are furry doesnt mean that it should actually count as clothing. Needing and wanting to wear clothing comes from utility and social norms. I dont see why this has to be restricted to just things which are furry, when a more general and opened system offer more possibilities.


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Fortress: Giving an alert when a dwarf is trapped behind walls, in a pit, etc.
There have been multiple times where I've been unaware that a dwarf (or in one case, several dwarves) were blocked from reaching any food or water/booze (in the case of multiple dwarves, none of the ramps leading up out of the bottom floor worked, so they were trapped) until it was nearly too late. If a dwarf that's trying to path to food or drink is unable to find any path for an extended period of time, the game should give an alert that they can't get to it and will die if they're left in that situation.
This mechanic is diametrically opposed with the concept of 'Hidden/lost' Dorfs, and with Toady overall goal that information the player has come from Nobility/Administrative positions. Also whats the definition of a trapped dwarf? How is that different from an idle dwarf but cant access jobs due to injury or burrow restriction?  And there also the fact, that 'trapped' dorfs can also be done on purpose, and everyone /loves/ alert spam. There various Danger Room Designs where the dorf is essentially trapped, and there also various Quarantine set up to weed out vampires and were animals, where they're all trapped too.

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AI: The dwarf/dwarves that set up a mechanism that will kill whoever triggers it will refuse to trigger it themselves
"Urist McMechanic cancels pull lever: Not that (stupid/suicidal)." The same would apply to idling dwarves who were in direct eyesight of the mechanism when it was set up, along with any mechanics of lv5 or higher (presuming they would be able to figure out its function upon seeing it). Untrusting dwarves would hesitate or refuse to pull suspicious levers (for example, a lever that's within a couple of tiles of a support holding up a ceiling, if the lever's beneath that ceiling) However, if one of those dwarves were to be stricken with melancholy, that mechanism would be the first thing the dwarf goes for.
This'll get more annoying then adding anything meaningful to the game. There are plenty of situations where activating a level, and it happening to be suicidal is important to the fortress, and more importantly goes again playing styles that have been around for years.
And for this suggestion to actually work, will require every dwarf who attempts to pull the level, be granted magical knowledge of what the level does. And the game doesnt want knowledge to be instantly know or magically known, and has been making steps to get away from that.

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AI: Dwarves, humans, elves trapped in a room that's filling with lava or that's drowning in a flooded room will break down locked doors and open floodgates to escape if possible
I'm going to assume that sentient creatures (are meant to) have some sense of self-preservation, and since we know that dwarves, elves, and humans can bash down locked doors in Adventure mode, it wouldn't be too much of a stretch for them to do it in Fortress mode, would it?
Would anyone be surprised if this was in the game at some point, and assume that no one ever suggested it? Right now its impossible because the only way to break constructions is to have a special tag for it. It'll probably come along with constructions can be destroyed more organically.

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Fortress/AI: If a dwarf goes missing, friends of the dwarf will search for him while idling/on break, and loved ones will sometimes cancel jobs to search
Friends will take breaks more often to search for the dwarf, but wouldn't outright cancel what they're doing. If they can't find the dwarf after five separate attempts, they will stop searching. Obviously, dwarves doing important jobs (being on active duty, treating wounded, cooking/hunting/fishing/brewing if food/drink is low, taking shelter from a siege, etc.) wouldn't cancel them to search, but they would get progressively worse unhappy thoughts based on how long they've been unable to search (with the thoughts escalating faster if nobody at all is looking). "Dwarf is (concerned about/worried about/anxious to find/fraught with worry about/desperate to find) a (friend/child/spouse)."
This is neat, but probably hard to balance between dorfs not being productive.

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AI: Dwarves will refuse to go to sleep on trap tiles
Nothing short of literally passing out from exhaustion would cause a dwarf to sleep on a trapped tile. Even if they hadn't slept in days and there was no bed, they would at least move to the nearest untrapped tile before falling asleep.
Again, granting dorfs magical knowledge.

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Fortress/AI: An idling expedition leader/mayor with the right personality values and/or high enough consoler/pacifier stats will actively seek out and converse with unhappy dwarves
The unhappier the dwarf in question was, the higher priority the leader/mayor would place on talking to them, with miserable dwarves or dwarves on the verge of going insane taking high enough priority for the leader/mayor to cancel low priority jobs to talk with them.
Neat.
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« Last Edit: June 25, 2012, 07:48:55 am by MrWiggles »
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leafbarrett

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Re: Assorted suggestions (mainly AI, interface, and combat)
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2012, 09:49:55 am »

Quote
Fortress: Fur for sentient creatures counting as clothing in regards to thoughts
If there's ever a entity whose members get unhappy thoughts from being naked, but which has at least one caste that has fur covering their bodies, the fur should count as covering them. Depending on how easy or hard that would be to implement, that could just be added in for the sake of modders and/or for the sake of making sense. (After all, fur DOES cover the body, doesn't it?) If they were to lose that fur in some way, they would get unhappy thoughts from being exposed.

Fortress: An entity token that allows for clothing to be worn, but prevents unhappy thoughts when naked
Um... I don't really have anything to add to that.
Ehh.... just because you are furry doesnt mean that it should actually count as clothing. Needing and wanting to wear clothing comes from utility and social norms. I dont see why this has to be restricted to just things which are furry, when a more general and opened system offer more possibilities.
Perhaps I worded these poorly.
First, the fur thing. This is assuming that animal people are ever programmed into more organized civilizations instead of living in caves/rivers and being adventurers' punching bags. The second tag could probably be applied to this effect, I guess.
Second, the part about wearing clothing but no unhappy thoughts if naked. Perhaps I'm not entirely clear on which unhappy thoughts affect creatures other than the dwarves of the fortress, but since I've seen dragons go insane in Arena after losing about half an army of them, I know for a fact that unhappy thoughts do play a role outside of the fortress's inhabitants. Now, can you honestly say you can imagine a goblin being embarrassed about being naked? I mean really, with how ass-backwards their society is, do you really think a little thing like rotting clothes would have any impact on their mental state (or lack thereof)?

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Fortress: Giving an alert when a dwarf is trapped behind walls, in a pit, etc.
There have been multiple times where I've been unaware that a dwarf (or in one case, several dwarves) were blocked from reaching any food or water/booze (in the case of multiple dwarves, none of the ramps leading up out of the bottom floor worked, so they were trapped) until it was nearly too late. If a dwarf that's trying to path to food or drink is unable to find any path for an extended period of time, the game should give an alert that they can't get to it and will die if they're left in that situation.
This mechanic is diametrically opposed with the concept of 'Hidden/lost' Dorfs, and with Toady overall goal that information the player has come from Nobility/Administrative positions. Also whats the definition of a trapped dwarf? How is that different from an idle dwarf but cant access jobs due to injury or burrow restriction?  And there also the fact, that 'trapped' dorfs can also be done on purpose, and everyone /loves/ alert spam. There various Danger Room Designs where the dorf is essentially trapped, and there also various Quarantine set up to weed out vampires and were animals, where they're all trapped too.
Again, I think I may have poorly worded this one, though in regards to the part about instant information, how can the entire fortress instantly know when migrants have arrived, or trade caravans?
First, I didn't say they would constantly spam messages regarding it, and I didn't say it would happen for being trapped at all. I meant that if a hungry/thirsty dwarf was unable to path to any food or water for a considerable amount of time, the game would let you know. A single message, nothing more.
And regarding dwarves being trapped behind a wall or in a pit and being starved, I'd assume they wouldn't sit there quietly, twiddling their thumbs. They'd probably call for help, at the very least.
Maybe I'm overestimating how much a dwarf starving to death because he trapped himself behind a wall matters to most players, though, but it seems to me that intentionally sticking random dwarves in inescapable pits for them to starve themselves to death (NOT trapping them in a room for training purposes or the like, or locking a bookkeeper in a room with food and alcohol - this is only for dwarves who are starving to death because they can't path to an available source of food) is a very boring way to cause fun, and not very efficient either. Nobles or insane dwarves, maybe. But just some random dwarf, or worse, your best legendary mason who built a wall that sealed him in a little hole? Seems like kind of a waste.

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AI: The dwarf/dwarves that set up a mechanism that will kill whoever triggers it will refuse to trigger it themselves
"Urist McMechanic cancels pull lever: Not that (stupid/suicidal)." The same would apply to idling dwarves who were in direct eyesight of the mechanism when it was set up, along with any mechanics of lv5 or higher (presuming they would be able to figure out its function upon seeing it). Untrusting dwarves would hesitate or refuse to pull suspicious levers (for example, a lever that's within a couple of tiles of a support holding up a ceiling, if the lever's beneath that ceiling) However, if one of those dwarves were to be stricken with melancholy, that mechanism would be the first thing the dwarf goes for.
This'll get more annoying then adding anything meaningful to the game. There are plenty of situations where activating a level, and it happening to be suicidal is important to the fortress, and more importantly goes again playing styles that have been around for years.
And for this suggestion to actually work, will require every dwarf who attempts to pull the level, be granted magical knowledge of what the level does. And the game doesnt want knowledge to be instantly know or magically known, and has been making steps to get away from that.
I'll grant you part of that, but I still think that at the very least, the dwarf who set up the mechanism to collapse a roof on whoever triggered it would be smart enough not to trigger it himself. If there are playing styles that rely on the dwarves being braindead, then there's something very wrong.

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AI: Dwarves will refuse to go to sleep on trap tiles
Nothing short of literally passing out from exhaustion would cause a dwarf to sleep on a trapped tile. Even if they hadn't slept in days and there was no bed, they would at least move to the nearest untrapped tile before falling asleep.
Again, granting dorfs magical knowledge.
I thought dwarves already knew where their own traps were, which is how they avoid triggering them? If not, then how DO they avoid triggering them, since they don't have TRAPAVOID?
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Quote from: leafbarrett
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They can do whatever the heck they want. That's why they are nobles, cause they CAN.
King Henry the IV or something had a lot of wives, most of whom he executed. Because he could.
A ton of them mass-murdered Jews and Muslims. CAUSE THEY COULD.
A roman emperor made his horse a noble, cause he could.
And I modded them all out of existence, because I could.
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Starver

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Re: Assorted suggestions (mainly AI, interface, and combat)
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2012, 10:20:13 am »

...but I still think that at the very least, the dwarf who set up the mechanism to collapse a roof on whoever triggered it would be smart enough not to trigger it himself.
For that to be possible the game itself (in order to grant the foreknowledge to the dwarf) would need to do a "look-ahead" of what the lever does.  It might well be as simple as being linked to a pillar with a disconnected wall sat on top, one tile away, which, when collapsed, provides copious cave-in-dust dangerousness to the lever-puller.  It might be slightly less simple by being such a device directly on the floor above, which then directly crushes the lever and the dwarf that just pulled it.  OTOH, the lever could have been connected to a floodgate, behind which there is now magma, but the linker never knew that (much as they might not even have known about the wall built on top of the pillar, even if they had linked to the pillar!).  Maybe you had other dwarves building the other bits, so now does the program (even assuming that it simulates the repercussions of the lever-pulling) prompt a wary alert in the lever-builder, or not?

I'm all for (what I call) "Mitigated Omniscience".  The entities within the game having specific knowledge of certain aspects (e.g. paths to goals) through a personal culling of "all possibly known information" down to what the entity concerned should be expected to know, but the complexities (without pre-simulation of the... simulation...) of predicting the future consequences of a lever one happened to build doesn't even easily enter that superset of knowledge, before one gets to the point of letting one dwarf know what will happen while another will not...


 If there are playing styles that rely on the dwarves being braindead, then there's something very wrong.

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I thought dwarves already knew where their own traps were, which is how they avoid triggering them? If not, then how DO they avoid triggering them, since they don't have TRAPAVOID?
"Minesigns" (to use the Discworld phrase)...  A dwarf trap obviously has "warning signs" in dwarfish set around it.  This is how dwarf traders know about this.  There's also got to be some explanation how friendly humans/elves are also warned, yet attacking humans/elves (crossing traps built only after prior trading missions, isn't it?) don't get trapped, and that might be human/elven-language sections on the signs, that are no longer integrated when war-conditions occur.  (Kidnapped humans/elves in other races' invasion forces may not know their home language, or have been briefed as to the common-tongue representation of "don't(/only!) step on the blue stones aspect of trap navigation.)

Wandering beasts on the map prior to embark also seem to have magical knowledge, that post-embark wanderers-on do not have.  Either that needs fixing, or a reasonable extrasensory knowledge reason should be considered for how they can detect the (specific, non-'convoluted with-pressure plates, etc') traps in their home environment.


There's a lot of distance the AI could possibly go, but some things are possible and some things are not.  And however much you complain about assuming (and exploiting) that the dwarves are dumb, surely you can treat them the same as with Lemmings, or just about any other 'directed, not controlled' creature in every other game that has such...
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