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Author Topic: The Last Frontier: Draining the Magma Sea (even the bottom) [Colony Complete!]  (Read 35670 times)

itg

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Introduction

So, you've slaughtered goblins by the thousand, dined with clowns and on clowns in the circus tent, launched kittens into orbit, and yet you're still looking for a challenge. It's thrown about that there's one true last dwarven frontier: the magma sea.

Colonizing the bottom of the magma sea is something that has never been done before to my knowledge. I did find an old post describing a method to cast an obsidian wall on the bottom layer, but having tested it thoroughly, I can't find any interpretation of the method that works in this version (0.34.11), nor any evidence that anyone actually ever did it. In any case, I'm sure no one has done a writeup in this level of detail before, so it may be of some use even if it's not a first.

Although this is definitely an advanced project, I've done my best to write a guide which a moderately experienced player ought to be able to understand. If there's anything I could explain better or anything I left out (fairly likely, I'm sure), please let me know.



Part I -- The Upper Layers

Getting through the upper levels takes some patience, but it's really not too hardcore. You can make it to the next-to-bottom layer with nothing but buckets and a single pump stack, if you like. I did. Chances are, you'll expose a couple swaths of magma flow you can use for an extra-dwarfy throne room or something if you don't want to go hardcore and settle the bottom layer. If you're experienced with magma and obsidian, you can just skim this section. Maybe read the HFS-related part.

Spoiler: Clearing out the magma (click to show/hide)


Part II -- The Bottom Layer

This is where the real work begins. You can't directly cast a wall to seal off the magma sources (if you try, the magma and water both turn to steam), and you can't cave-in one, because the magma flow will eat it. To make any headway at all, you'll have to dump so much water into the magma sea that you crowd out a large portion of the magma. Aggressively draining or pumping out the magma (see "Clearing out the magma" above) will make this task more doable. Unfortunately, I lost access to the pictures I took while doing this myself.


Part II a -- New and Improved Technique for the Bottom Layer (Update 12/22/13)

I discovered a new technique that makes this whole process MUCH easier. It turns out that, one you've emptied everything but the bottom layer, it is possible to cast obsidian on the sea floor using only buckets of water and stairs. Rather than redo the whole thing from scratch, I made a little demonstration, casting a single block of obsidian. The pictures I took are probably overkill, but whatever, screenshots are easy.

Use these steps INSTEAD of the steps from "Part II: The Bottom Layer."

Spoiler: Setup (click to show/hide)
Spoiler: Cast obsidian (click to show/hide)

Part III -- The Colony
Spoiler: Full map (click to show/hide)
Spoiler: Entrance (click to show/hide)
Spoiler: Offices and jail (click to show/hide)
Spoiler: Necromantic arena (click to show/hide)

Update (July 29th): I've uploaded the map to the DF Map Archive: http://mkv25.net/dfma/map-11838
Update (October 13th): I've updated the map on the DF Map Archive: http://mkv25.net/dfma/map-11905-heartmine
Update (December 22nd): Another update to DF Map Archive: http://mkv25.net/dfma/map-11952-heartmine

Aseaheru

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Re: The Last Frontier: Draining the Magma Sea (yes, even the bottom)
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2013, 03:33:31 am »

Just... How?
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
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Gavakis

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Re: The Last Frontier: Draining the Magma Sea (yes, even the bottom)
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2013, 03:59:13 am »

You should fill the pit with the captured enemies (if you do choose too ) and send brave recruits down. Best way to earn honor.
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Sabretache

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Re: The Last Frontier: Draining the Magma Sea (yes, even the bottom)
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2013, 04:38:50 am »

Perhaps you can construct an ex-magma sea farm?, anyways...Truly amazing!
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Matoro

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Re: The Last Frontier: Draining the Magma Sea (yes, even the bottom)
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2013, 04:49:14 am »

Awesome.

Can you smooth/engrave SMR? If you can, build a dwarven halls or something there.

What the next project would be digging out semi-molten rock and slade, and building so long chute that there would come sunlight to the hell. Then you could farm aboveground plants down there.
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PDF urist master

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Re: The Last Frontier: Draining the Magma Sea (yes, even the bottom)
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2013, 06:44:37 am »

start an aquarium down there.

i'm also assuming you've colonized hell already, so flood that too.
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KingBacon

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Re: The Last Frontier: Draining the Magma Sea (yes, even the bottom)
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2013, 07:56:11 am »

Super Dwarf Bonus: Seal off and pump the magma to the first cavern layer to make a new magma sea! Given that magma refills through teleportation (in magma biomes you get random magma spawns 2 levels above the lowest magma layer, found this out the hard !!fun!! way when when building a fortress into a volcano) you could theoretically force drain the magma seal off the area by hand.

Uber Dwarf Bonus: Collapse the whole surface of the world into the magma sea. Might try that this week.



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Madventurer

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Re: The Last Frontier: Draining the Magma Sea (yes, even the bottom)
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2013, 08:04:02 am »

I tried to think of words to match the awesomeness, but I don't think such words have been invented yet.
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silverskull39

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Re: The Last Frontier: Draining the Magma Sea (yes, even the bottom)
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2013, 11:13:16 am »

PTW. You're doing Armok's work, son. In fact, I suggest you make the fort on the bottom of the magma sea a temple to armok. Sacrifice a few enemies to christen it in their blood, and then let the magma flood back in to bathe the already bloody temple in the blood of armok. Bonus points if it's self sustaining and you don't need a shaft to connect it to the old fort.
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Re: The Last Frontier: Draining the Magma Sea (yes, even the bottom)
« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2013, 12:16:28 pm »

Impressive. I lost a lot of fortress-raised dwarves just to secure this much SMR for !!SCIENCE!! The idea was a failure and the room still sits unused.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

I used pumps and controlled rate water flow to get passable tiles on the SMR to build on.

Sutremaine

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Re: The Last Frontier: Draining the Magma Sea (yes, even the bottom)
« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2013, 02:20:15 pm »

Ah nuts, I was working towards this with my current fort... Different method though.

How do you deal with magma pools using this method? Those refill by generating magma on top of the SMR in the embark tile they're in, and are what wrecked my first attempt.
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Shadow Creator

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Re: The Last Frontier: Draining the Magma Sea (yes, even the bottom)
« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2013, 06:25:05 pm »

To my knowledge there have been a number of attempts to colonize the magma sea. One such attempt involving submarines from years past can be found here...
http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=56305.0

It was obviously not successful but still fun to read through in case anyone was curious or if you wanted to reference it in the OP. Good luck, I look forward to seeing more on this!
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itg

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Re: The Last Frontier: Draining the Magma Sea (yes, even the bottom)
« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2013, 06:43:30 pm »

Just... How?
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Truly amazing!
Awesome.
I tried to think of words to match the awesomeness, but I don't think such words have been invented yet.
PTW. You're doing Armok's work, son.
That's beautiful.
Good luck, I look forward to seeing more on this!

Thanks! :) You do me too much honor, sirs.

You should fill the pit with the captured enemies (if you do choose too ) and send brave recruits down. Best way to earn honor.

I'm pretty sure I'll be installing a subfort (maybe accessible only by minecart, if things work out), so I can definitely include an arena.

Perhaps you can construct an ex-magma sea farm?

You can't build a farm directly on the magma flow because it won't take mud, but I could definitely build a floor and put a farm on that. I'll probably put one in the subfort.

Can you smooth/engrave SMR? If you can, build a dwarven halls or something there.

Sadly, no. First thing I tried.

What the next project would be digging out semi-molten rock and slade, and building so long chute that there would come sunlight to the hell. Then you could farm aboveground plants down there.


I like that idea. Sunberries in Hell! I did the slade mining/candy duplication trick in an old fort (I think I wrote a post describing an easier way to do it, too), and while it was fun, I don't really plan to do it again.

Super Dwarf Bonus: Seal off and pump the magma to the first cavern layer to make a new magma sea! Given that magma refills through teleportation (in magma biomes you get random magma spawns 2 levels above the lowest magma layer, found this out the hard !!fun!! way when when building a fortress into a volcano) you could theoretically force drain the magma seal off the area by hand.

Uber Dwarf Bonus: Collapse the whole surface of the world into the magma sea. Might try that this week.

I'm not familiar with this magma teleportation mechanic. I haven't observed anything like that in my fort. Is there any way you could show me what you mean? Oh, and good luck destroying the world!

PTW. You're doing Armok's work, son. In fact, I suggest you make the fort on the bottom of the magma sea a temple to armok. Sacrifice a few enemies to christen it in their blood, and then let the magma flood back in to bathe the already bloody temple in the blood of armok. Bonus points if it's self sustaining and you don't need a shaft to connect it to the old fort.

Very doable.

start an aquarium down there.

If only I had the fish...

i'm also assuming you've colonized hell already, so flood that too.

You, right, I did, but I don't want to muddy up the ~10,000 engravings.

Ah nuts, I was working towards this with my current fort... Different method though.

How do you deal with magma pools using this method? Those refill by generating magma on top of the SMR in the embark tile they're in, and are what wrecked my first attempt.

Hmm... I didn't have any magma pools to deal with in my site, so I can't say for certain. Worst case, you'd have to wall off all the magma-generating flow tiles (all the way up to the ceiling, of course), treating the borders of the region kinda like the edge of the map. With enough water, though, you ought to be able to build up stairs on the magma flows from above to block magma generation. It would be quite a bit harder, no question.

Also, I'm curious, what's your method? Could be worth adding to the OP.
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