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Author Topic: Dwarven Power Mining; Cave in SCIENCE; Collapsing Semi-Molten Rock  (Read 23217 times)

itg

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I've been working on a sky fort lately, and as a byproduct of my skyfort research, I've discovered a new and extremely counter-intuitive technique for quickly creating a large shaft down to the SMR/magma sea.

Oddly enough, the fastest way to dig deep is to build a tower up to the ceiling, then build a ring of supports at sky level. No, seriously. Here, look at these pictures:

Spoiler: Top of mining tower (click to show/hide)
Spoiler: Base of mining tower (click to show/hide)
Spoiler: Shaft to the magma sea (click to show/hide)

The first two screenshots were taken just before closing the top of the two rings of supports. The next to were taken right after. Closing the ring evidently cuts off all support to the stuff inside the ring, unless that stuff is sitting on semi-molten rock, as in the lower ring (SMR appears to be the primary source of support).

Why I think this works:

There are two types of support in fortress mode, which I will call standard support and sky support.
  • Semi-molten rock is the source of standard support. Based on dfhack testing, the SMR itself appears not to need support at all.
  • A tile has standard support if it is either attached to semi-molten rock or attached to a tile with standard support.
  • A tile has sky support if it is either attached to the sky or attached to the bottom of a tile with sky support.
  • Now, here's the key: sky support overrides standard support. If a tile gains sky support, it no longer gives support to the tiles on any of its sides.
So, by building a ring-shaped tower up to sky level and attaching it to the sky with supports, you transmit sky support all the way down to the semi-molten rock, and everything inside that ring, no matter how deep, is now unsupported from the sides. It will cave in it there is no source of support inside the ring. If the ring is over the magma sea, all that rock will drop in and disappear. If it is not, you should be able to engineer the same effect by exposing the semi-molten rock inside that ring and removing the last bit of support.

Applications

  • This has to be the easiest way to make a magma death pit, on most maps.
  • You ought to be able to use the cave-in effect to totally flatten the caverns.
  • Have you ever thought about collapsing your whole fort into the magma sea? The correct answer is yes.
  • This technique would make building a magma piston much easier.
  • This would be an interesting way to breach a many-layer aquifer, although it won't actually stop the water flow.
  • This ought to be the fastest way by far to do the often-started, seldom-if-ever-finished "mine out everything down to the semi-molten rock" megaproject.



Collapsing Semi-Molten Rock   (Update 12/16/13)

As promised, here are pictures and instructions for caving in SMR. I did it on the map's edge, too, for extra difficulty points. Casting obsidian up there is a real bitch, but some savescumming trial runs, I got it to work.

Why mess with obsidian casting? Turns out you can't build supports withing 5 tiles of the map's edge, and as you probably knew, you can't build walls or fortifications there, either. Making things even more awkward, you can't build track stops on the top level (so using minecarts to move magma is virtually impossible), and you can't really use buckets of water (since dwarves won't empty a bucket onto the level they are standing on). Basically, your only option is to pump both magma and water up to the top level, then somehow control the flow so you only cast obsidian where you want it, since casting anywhere else will probably block you from casting on the intended tiles.

Spoiler: Obsidian casting rig (click to show/hide)

In the above picture, you see my casting rig just after successfully casting on all necessary tiles. It's a bit of a mess. The pump stacks were located in the lower right corner of the picture. Water went through the long pipe to the left side, magma took the short pipe to the right side.

The plan was to cast the right wall first by flooding the middle area with water to about 2/7 (using a bridge to block the water from entering the magma shaft), then "disabling" that bridge (see this thread), causing the magma to spill onto the water, casting a line of obsidian just to the left of the bridge. To do the left wall, I carved fortifications in the right wall to let the magma through, then did the same thing, except this time the magma filled up the middle area.

As you might guess from the picture, there was a lot of spillover in the middle area, and it did set a lot of the map on fire. It's not necessary to do it that way.


Spoiler: Cavern Preparations (click to show/hide)

In each cavern, you need to build a structure to extend the sky support downward. Stairs are easiest. The structure shown extends upward to the cavern ceiling, and I built similar structures in all three caverns.

Spoiler: HFS Preparations (click to show/hide)

I built stairs underneath all SMR tiles I wanted to cave in. After building these stairs, removing any last support should be enough to bring down the whole column, SMR included.

Spoiler: Aftermath (click to show/hide)

In the first shot, you can clearly see that the edge of the map, normally unminable, has collapsed. That edge has been permanently lowered by 5-10 z-levels. Unfortunately, it cannot be further collapsed, because the edge is unminable and it has caved in as far as it can go. An edge created over the magma sea could be totally destroyed, because the magma flow tiles would still swallow the cave-in.

The column is not swallowed by the eerie glowing pit. Instead, it sits on the bottom of the map. Since the bottom of the map is at two different levels in my site, and the column fell on the border between the two areas, the column was split slightly.

At this point, if you did not have too many layers of SMR, you can clear out the natural stone above it to create a large skylight in Hell.

Spoiler: Skylight (click to show/hide)

Spoiler: A Cold Day in Hell (click to show/hide)

Ok, I had to use dfhack to make it snow, but that's not the point. If you have a cold map, you can literally make Hell freeze over.

coldmonkey

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Re: Dwarven Power Mining
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2013, 07:29:28 am »

Allow me to be the first to congratulate you for this momentous discovery. No? Well, I'm doing it anyway. Time to install a new fortress in the heating system.
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I found a human city named Sleevevirgins. It was easily the biggest city in the world, so clearly I wasn't the first person to come inside the city's walls.

Urist McRas

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Re: Dwarven Power Mining
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2013, 07:59:55 am »

Yeah, that's great, thank you.
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The fortresses are penal colonies.
The mountainhome has far too many degenerates too deal with by itself, so it sends out minor nobles to establish penal colonies across the world.

doublestrafe

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Re: Dwarven Power Mining
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2013, 08:48:32 am »

Well, I gave this a try instead of going to bed. It penetrated a few layers into the ground, but stopped in the middle of a big aquifer. I'm really not sure exactly what happened, but some of my dwarves are now buried under solid soil deep in the bedrock. At any rate, there's more !!SCIENCE!! to be done here before any conclusions can be drawn.
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Nooooooo

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Re: Dwarven Power Mining
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2013, 12:31:49 pm »

This is genious! I just might abuse this for a future fortress (once I've completed my current megaproject, I have some !science! to reveal about some odd features of the ocean in the coming weeks)
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itg

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Re: Dwarven Power Mining
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2013, 03:40:55 pm »

Well, I gave this a try instead of going to bed. It penetrated a few layers into the ground, but stopped in the middle of a big aquifer. I'm really not sure exactly what happened, but some of my dwarves are now buried under solid soil deep in the bedrock. At any rate, there's more !!SCIENCE!! to be done here before any conclusions can be drawn.

Sounds like you hit a cavern. Any air space under the ring breaks the chain of sky support, so if your tower is built over a cavern, the big plug of rock will fall through the cavern ceiling, but it will stop when it hits the cavern floor. If you build walls to fill in the gaps under the ring, the plug should fall the rest of the way.

I haven't messed with aquifers yet, so it's still conceivable that they just behave differently, but I doubt it.

As for dwarves getting buried, just assume all of my projects will end with a few dwarves badly crushed. Sacrifices must be made if we are to achieve progress.

doublestrafe

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Re: Dwarven Power Mining
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2013, 03:53:44 pm »

Well, I gave this a try instead of going to bed. It penetrated a few layers into the ground, but stopped in the middle of a big aquifer. I'm really not sure exactly what happened, but some of my dwarves are now buried under solid soil deep in the bedrock. At any rate, there's more !!SCIENCE!! to be done here before any conclusions can be drawn.
As for dwarves getting buried, just assume all of my projects will end with a few dwarves badly crushed. Sacrifices must be made if we are to achieve progress.
Crushed I expected; buried, with corpses seemingly holding space open, I didn't. It's a remarkably neat entombment.
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itg

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Re: Dwarven Power Mining
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2013, 04:00:36 pm »

Wow, that is interesting. I can't think of any explanation for that. The next question that comes to mind is, can you bury the dwarf alive?

KingBacon

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Re: Dwarven Power Mining
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2013, 04:12:54 pm »

Wow, that is interesting. I can't think of any explanation for that. The next question that comes to mind is, can you bury the dwarf alive?

Relevant http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRnSnfiUI54

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ImagoDeo

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Re: Dwarven Power Mining
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2013, 11:06:29 pm »

  • This ought to be the fastest way by far to do the often-started, seldom-if-ever-finished "mine out everything down to the semi-molten rock" megaproject.
Hm. I think, when I do a reboot of that project, that I will do it both ways...
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What would it be like to live in a world that was copy/pasted? Would we even notice? If not, how many times have we switched celestial harddrives or whatever?

wierd

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Re: Dwarven Power Mining
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2013, 11:50:46 pm »

Why do I suddenly have 3 different humorous ideas now begging to be combined? Do you see what you have done here?

This thread: Exhibit A
Exhibit B
and of course,
Exhibit C

Necromancer reverse-space-elevator is now a moral imperative! It must be done!
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Sergarr

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Re: Dwarven Power Mining
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2013, 11:37:31 am »

This is, like, cool. It's like an orbital death cannon, except it bring the sky down on earth. It's like, local apocalypse, man. So cool.
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._.

KingBacon

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Re: Dwarven Power Mining
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2013, 01:20:05 pm »

Question, would this work with raised bridges? Would a bridge cut off support, if then we now have a lever of doom application.

If not, I suppose you could create an elaborate magma mechanism which forms an obsidian wall to finish the ring...
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itg

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Re: Dwarven Power Mining
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2013, 05:34:54 pm »

Why do I suddenly have 3 different humorous ideas now begging to be combined? Do you see what you have done here?

This thread: Exhibit A
Exhibit B
and of course,
Exhibit C

Necromancer reverse-space-elevator is now a moral imperative! It must be done!

I wholeheartedly endorse this endeavor. I also have visions of embarking on an island and pulling an Atlantis.

Question, would this work with raised bridges? Would a bridge cut off support, if then we now have a lever of doom application.

If not, I suppose you could create an elaborate magma mechanism which forms an obsidian wall to finish the ring...

This won't work with raised bridges, because bridges don't actually attach to things above them. The obsidian wall approach would definitely work, though.

Urist Da Vinci

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Re: Dwarven Power Mining
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2013, 09:16:38 pm »

If I understand the principle correctly (I haven't tested anything yet)

1. The corners are not necessary as there is no diagonal support.

2. A continuous 1x1 column connected to the sky will not support anything attached to its sides (I know this from previous "nailed to the sky" research). It will also prevent the transmission of "support" through the column.

3. The minimum size of the device should be 4 columns surrounding a 1x1 space, which will become a 1x1 shaft once the space is complete.

4. Normally the device will trigger instantly when the last column's support is installed. Does anyone know of a way to assemble the device such that it could be remotely activated/completed?

5. If we collapsed the map onto a cave-in proof surface just above the magma sea, instead of being "eaten" by the SMR we would end up with a hole filled with "compacted" solid rock?
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