Bay 12 Games Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Author Topic: Improvements to fortress mode based on recent play experience  (Read 2758 times)

Riemann

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile

I've been playing a fair bit of Fortress Mode lately and these are the pain points I really noticed. I would like to keep this thread focused on problems that are both specific and reasonably actionable. We all know the things Toady has said he isn't interested in working on so lets not waste precious seconds on them yet again. Also, please keep the discussion focused on the most recent (though by now not at all new) version.


So, here are the things that actually came up during gameplay:

1 ) Some way to filter and multi-select items in the trade screen. Dwarf forts that survive the first couple years inevitably turn into bargain-bin emporiums for gently-used Goblin clothing. It would be really handy to have a way to select all foreign goods at once in the trade screen. Or select all goods of quality "x" or worse.

After the 5th year or so it gets pretty crazy how long it takes to select 30,000+ monies worth of troll hair hats in that damn trade menu :)

2 ) The rate of melee training is crazy slow. I've been playing DF since quite a while before the 3D version and right now training is just about the most useless I ever remember. I actually preferred it when training was a knock-down cage match with frequent maimings and fatalities. The widespread use of "danger rooms" seems like a copout for the basic training function just not working right.

3 ) I think I hit a bug in calculating when a Count gets unhappy thoughts because an underling has too fancy of a bedroom. After the King showed up (who was a Vampire in my most recent fort btw, he had over 1000 kills and all of them dwarves) he was also elected mayor. Since he had a Royal quality bedroom the Count then went crazy because the mere mayor (who, again, was also the King) had a better bedroom then he did.

4 ) Dwarven justice needs to be a bit more harsh for vampires. Those guys heal so fast that a hammering doesn't phase them at all. If they get convicted of murder they need to be assigned something a bit more permanent.

5 ) The job for bringing food and water to prisoners in the cells is too low priority. Even with a huge amount of food and booze and excess labor on hand prisoners in the cells almost always starve to death (expect for vampires of course).

6 ) From a given archery range building a way to indicate what kind of bolts can be used for practice there. Just a selector like the menu for what goes in a store pile where you can turn on or off bolts of any given materiel. Maybe I have a ton of iron bolts and want to practice with them.

7 ) A global setting for what materiel bolts can be used for hunting. This could go in the options menu. Same kind of selector as in #2.

8 ) A setting to automatically grind seeds into paste when you have more then X of a given kind would be really nice (yes, I know DFHack has this but it is so useful).

9 ) Some way (preferably a global setting) to set the min/max engraving skill for smoothing and engraving jobs would be really nice (just like how you can set skill levels in the manager menu for a workshop).

10 ) When building walls, it seems that about 1/10 times (which really adds up) a dwarf will get confused and try to build the wall while standing on top of it (even when there is plenty of space nearby). The dwarf then gives up trying to build the wall as a creature is in the way (himself) and the job is suspended. If you resume the job whoever comes along to try it again will hit the same problem. The only way around this is to cancel the job and redesignate the build.

11 ) The healthcare tasks, and especially the rescue wounded one, seem to have a remarkably low priority. For a fort of 120 I usually need at least 5 doctors with no other jobs at all (not even hauling) to have a reasonable response time. Dwarves seem quite willing to let some poor bugger with arrows through both knees crawl back to the fort using his eyelids rather than go help out.

12 ) The screen where you assign work animals to a given dwarf is bugged. It does not update until you go back to the general menu then back in to it. So if you select one dwarf and assign a war dog then switch to another dwarf it will still be on the assign work animal screen and show that 1 is assigned even though none are.

13 ) Dwarves never seem to actually do the "clean" task. Even with that labor on and nothing else they'll stand around idle rather than clean up blood or mud.

14 ) Siege engines need better targeting.

15 ) Corpses don't seem to decay to nothing in an outdoor refuse stockpile anymore. This can be worked around in-game with a drawbridge atom-smasher or a handy volcano into which they can be dumped. Still, it's something that used to work in DF but no longer.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2014, 02:53:09 pm by Riemann »
Logged

BlackFlyme

  • Bay Watcher
  • BlackFlyme cancels Work: Interrupted by bird.
    • View Profile
Re: Improvements to fortress mode based on recent play experience
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2014, 03:29:36 pm »

You can actually set what ammunition hunters use. In the same menu that you assign bolts to your military, you can assign ammunition to hunters, and this includes what material they are made of. The allowable materials are metal, bone, and wood, and you can specify what type of metal, or which animal the bones came from and what type of tree the wood came from.
Logged

Riemann

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: Improvements to fortress mode based on recent play experience
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2014, 03:40:41 pm »

You can actually set what ammunition hunters use. In the same menu that you assign bolts to your military, you can assign ammunition to hunters, and this includes what material they are made of. The allowable materials are metal, bone, and wood, and you can specify what type of metal, or which animal the bones came from and what type of tree the wood came from.

Huh, never noticed that. Nice, will give it a try later.
Logged

Koremu

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: Improvements to fortress mode based on recent play experience
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2014, 04:38:02 pm »

One that grinds my gears is that when you are looking inside a bin & want to forbid an item, just pressing F forbids the bin, not the highlighted item.

Makes it much more time consuming to forbid bin contents than is strictly necessary.
Logged
It's a dwarf.  Their natural habitat is "trapped on the wrong side of a wall".

Flinging children halfway across the map to land in magma is good, wholesome fun, but extramarital reproduction?  Why, that's just unseemly!

Baffler

  • Bay Watcher
  • Caveat Lector.
    • View Profile
Re: Improvements to fortress mode based on recent play experience
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2014, 04:48:01 pm »

And how marksdwarves are completely useless in the current version. It seems that I have to wait years for them to even pick up their ammunition, and they refuse to use it even if by some miracle they actually have any.
Logged
Quote from: Helgoland
Even if you found a suitable opening, I doubt it would prove all too satisfying. And it might leave some nasty wounds, depending on the moral high ground's geology.
Location subject to periodic change.
Baffler likes silver, walnut trees, the color green, tanzanite, and dogs for their loyalty. When possible he prefers to consume beef, iced tea, and cornbread. He absolutely detests ticks.

Riemann

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: Improvements to fortress mode based on recent play experience
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2014, 05:07:38 pm »

And how marksdwarves are completely useless in the current version. It seems that I have to wait years for them to even pick up their ammunition, and they refuse to use it even if by some miracle they actually have any.

I actually haven't had that problem. As long as they have access to the crossbow, a quiver and ammo they don't seem to have trouble. Now bolts are less machine-gun deadly than previous versions. It often takes a hell of a lot of shots to actually kill a goblin. But usually the first shot or two leaves them with injuries that greatly reduce their effectiveness. A combination of marksdwarves to cripple the enemy and melee to actually kill them quickly works wonders.

In my current fort the sieges started very early. I didn't have any elaborate defenses or traps up during the first 3 sieges. In the first two, 20 dwarves with crossbows held off the enemy with only injuries (though some were pretty bad). The third siege was huge. Multiple troll squads, two gobbo leaders and tons of goblins. In that one I had 20 marksdwarves and 13 melee all with iron weapons and leather armor.

Between battlefield casualties and lingering deaths to injuries only 3 out of the 33 survived. But they held off the siege. Just as they were about to be overwhelmed they killed enough of the gobbos that the rest broke and ran.
Logged

Gigaz

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: Improvements to fortress mode based on recent play experience
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2014, 05:27:29 am »

1 ) Some way to filter and multi-select items in the trade screen. Dwarf forts that survive the first couple years inevitably turn into bargain-bin emporiums for gently-used Goblin clothing. It would be really handy to have a way to select all foreign goods at once in the trade screen. Or select all goods of quality "x" or worse.

As you don't really need much from the traders you can as well create a short minecart track and dump all that crap into magma. This can be automated. Be careful with the masterworks, these should go on a seperate stockpile.



2 ) The rate of melee training is crazy slow. I've been playing DF since quite a while before the 3D version and right now training is just about the most useless I ever remember. I actually preferred it when training was a knock-down cage match with frequent maimings and fatalities. The widespread use of "danger rooms" seems like a copout for the basic training function just not working right.

You might be doing something wrong. I always set the in the training options the number of dwarfs to 2 soldiers minimum. They spar like hell and are usually experts after 2-3 years of training. No danger room required.

3 ) I think I hit a bug in calculating when a Count gets unhappy thoughts because an underling has too fancy of a bedroom. After the King showed up (who was a Vampire in my most recent fort btw, he had over 1000 kills and all of them dwarves) he was also elected mayor. Since he had a Royal quality bedroom the Count then went crazy because the mere mayor (who, again, was also the King) had a better bedroom then he did.

You can always change the mayor.
Still, the mayor might not be your problem. Maybe a dwarf has a platinum wall in his personal bedroom or something like this.

4 ) Dwarven justice needs to be a bit more harsh for vampires. Those guys heal so fast that a hammering doesn't phase them at all. If they get convicted of murder they need to be assigned something a bit more permanent. 

Why would you not wall in a vampie, anyway?  :P

5 ) The job for bringing food and water to prisoners in the cells is too low priority. Even with a huge amount of food and booze and excess labor on hand prisoners in the cells almost always starve to death (expect for vampires of course).

I agree. Minecart food delivery helps but that's tedious to set up.

6 ) From a given archery range building a way to indicate what kind of bolts can be used for practice there. Just a selector like the menu for what goes in a store pile where you can turn on or off bolts of any given materiel. Maybe I have a ton of iron bolts and want to practice with them.

You can set some bolt materials to be used for training and some for combat. However, this is buggy and when a dwarf carries only one type of bolts he might not train or fight.

7 ) A global setting for what materiel bolts can be used for hunting. This could go in the options menu. Same kind of selector as in #2.

m-e-f
Military screen, equipment, ammunition. There's an option to set hunters ammunition.

8 ) A setting to automatically grind seeds into paste when you have more then X of a given kind would be really nice (yes, I know DFHack has this but it is so useful).

I agree but I think it's a minor inconvenience. Butchering produces so much fat and this can be turned off for cooking, so that you can create much more soap than you need. For other foods, I'd just use meat, eatable berries and pump helmets, and quarry bush roasts. Anything beyond this is just large gems.

9 ) Some way (preferably a global setting) to set the min/max engraving skill for smoothing and engraving jobs would be really nice (just like how you can set skill levels in the manager menu for a workshop).

That would be nice. I usually have only 3-4 engravers and they all train with smoothing and track carving before they do any engraving at all. But then it's difficult to train a new engraver.

10 ) When building walls, it seems that about 1/10 times (which really adds up) a dwarf will get confused and try to build the wall while standing on top of it (even when there is plenty of space nearby). The dwarf then gives up trying to build the wall as a creature is in the way (himself) and the job is suspended. If you resume the job whoever comes along to try it again will hit the same problem. The only way around this is to cancel the job and redesignate the build.

Set the wall space to a high travel restriction. This works most of the time and also it makes it clear for you how the bug arises in the first place.


11 ) The healthcare tasks, and especially the rescue wounded one, seem to have a remarkably low priority. For a fort of 120 I usually need at least 5 doctors with no other jobs at all (not even hauling) to have a reasonable response time. Dwarves seem quite willing to let some poor bugger with arrows through both knees crawl back to the fort using his eyelids rather than go help out.

I agree but the issue might be partly a consequence of the job being buried under "gather goblinite" jobs  :P


12 ) The screen where you assign work animals to a given dwarf is bugged. It does not update until you go back to the general menu then back in to it. So if you select one dwarf and assign a war dog then switch to another dwarf it will still be on the assign work animal screen and show that 1 is assigned even though none are.

No opinion on this, I never assigned an animal. Maybe I should.


13 ) Dwarves never seem to actually do the "clean" task. Even with that labor on and nothing else they'll stand around idle rather than clean up blood or mud.

My dwarfs to clean, it's just a low priority job.


14 ) Siege engines need better targeting.

Yes and better firing rate. They are rather useless.


15 ) Corpses don't seem to decay to nothing in an outdoor refuse stockpile anymore. This can be worked around in-game with a drawbridge atom-smasher or a handy volcano into which they can be dumped. Still, it's something that used to work in DF but no longer.

I think they do, it just takes on the order of 10 years for a loosy goblin. But I'm not sure. At some point I transport magma to the upper levels and dump all useless stuff there.
Logged

Larix

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: Improvements to fortress mode based on recent play experience
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2014, 06:53:39 am »

I fully support 1) and 2)
4) - i've no opinion on that. I usually have no hammerer and don't let vampires roam free.
8) - well, that'd require implementing some features into the main version that are DFHack-only right now, no? Perhaps the solution'd be a non-cheaty DFHack line with Toady's endorsement...


3 ) I think I hit a bug in calculating when a Count gets unhappy thoughts because an underling has too fancy of a bedroom. After the King showed up (who was a Vampire in my most recent fort btw, he had over 1000 kills and all of them dwarves) he was also elected mayor. Since he had a Royal quality bedroom the Count then went crazy because the mere mayor (who, again, was also the King) had a better bedroom then he did.

I've never understood the logic of room jealousy. My nobility can live happily with others having royal rooms, only to become pissy over some else's "decent" tomb (while their own is a grand mausoleum). It's definitely worth looking into whether the monarch paired with any other function can mess up other nobles.

Quote
5 ) The job for bringing food and water to prisoners in the cells is too low priority. Even with a huge amount of food and booze and excess labor on hand prisoners in the cells almost always starve to death (expect for vampires of course).

11 ) The healthcare tasks, and especially the rescue wounded one, seem to have a remarkably low priority. For a fort of 120 I usually need at least 5 doctors with no other jobs at all (not even hauling) to have a reasonable response time. Dwarves seem quite willing to let some poor bugger with arrows through both knees crawl back to the fort using his eyelids rather than go help out.

I don't think there's a priority problem here, there are some outright bugs which prevent most feed prisoner and some rescue wounded jobs from being generated at all. Many healthcare jobs spawn only after lengthy delays, which might be a priority problem, but those are diagnosis and the various treatment jobs.

Quote
6 ) From a given archery range building a way to indicate what kind of bolts can be used for practice there. Just a selector like the menu for what goes in a store pile where you can turn on or off bolts of any given materiel. Maybe I have a ton of iron bolts and want to practice with them.

As adressed by others, this idea clashes with the way ammunition is handled right now - as equipment of military squads, not as a "raw material" to be used by an "archery range workshop". Putting the ammo stockpile right next to the target works somewhat already.

Quote
9 ) Some way (preferably a global setting) to set the min/max engraving skill for smoothing and engraving jobs would be really nice (just like how you can set skill levels in the manager menu for a workshop).

Hmm, make this a global "skill requirement for non-workshop jobs" setting. Possible applications: masonry - an upper skill limit keeps the legendaries in the workshops cranking out masterworks, while the dabblers and novices mess around on the building site.
Architecture - get your skilled architect to construct the well with the artefact mechanism, for a good chance at masterful design.
Mechanics - high-skilled workers can establish links very quickly, while dabblers take several days.

Quote
13 ) Dwarves never seem to actually do the "clean" task. Even with that labor on and nothing else they'll stand around idle rather than clean up blood or mud.

They do. I think they'll only ever clean underground tiles, and must be idle while in the vicinity of a "dirty" tile with the cleaning labour enabled. The job spawns quite irregularly.

Quote
14 ) Siege engines need better targeting.

Siege engines need some solid work to become useful again. The inaccuracy is just one of the problems which plague them.

Quote
15 ) Corpses don't seem to decay to nothing in an outdoor refuse stockpile anymore. This can be worked around in-game with a drawbridge atom-smasher or a handy volcano into which they can be dumped. Still, it's something that used to work in DF but no longer.

I think the problem is that cartilage currently just doesn't rot away. If that was fixed, skeletons would once again disassemble into individual bones after a while. More effective bone-eating vermin could help, too.
Logged

Loci

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: Improvements to fortress mode based on recent play experience
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2014, 09:26:02 am »

While this is perhaps a better topic for the suggestion board, here are my top 5:

1. Lag

A few minutes with a profiler should provide a pretty clear view of where all the processor cycles are going. If it's an obvious bug that's easy to fix then great; if not, a config option to disable the problematic feature would at least make the rest of the game playable.

2. Hauling

Dwarves being able to carry more than one thing is a great improvement--but it's currently so broken that I gave up bins entirely. Here's my proposal for a fix.

3. Workshop Automation

Quite a bit of my game time is wasted cycling through workshops telling dwarves to get back to work. Things like shearing creatures, spinning thread, milking creatures, making cheese, etc. cannot currently be automated--the jobs eventually cancel. Here's my suggestion to add automation to every workshop

4. Improved Trade

Marking large numbers of items to move to the depot takes way too long--minutes of repetitive keypressing even with fast-trade enabled. Since the select goods screen already includes a search function, "select all" and "deselect all" options would make this much less painful. The trading screen itself needs a "select everything" option to conveniently dispose of any trade goods left over after the trading is complete. And it would be really nice if the trade screen didn't reshuffle all the goods after each trade.

5. Stockpiles

Reorganizing the stockpile options would make them much more useful. Adding options for wear, value, stack size, local or foreign origin, and size would make it much easier for dwarves to sort items automatically. Replacing "total quality" with "decoration quality" (and adding an additional option "none") would make it orthogonal to "core quality", and much more useful. Separating types of animal products ("fat", "tallow", "meat", "hair") from the giant list of animals would make it reasonable to create a meat-only stockpile (currently it requires selecting items through 100+ pages).
Logged

blue sam3

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: Improvements to fortress mode based on recent play experience
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2014, 06:42:13 pm »

While this is perhaps a better topic for the suggestion board, here are my top 5:

1. Lag

A few minutes with a profiler should provide a pretty clear view of where all the processor cycles are going. If it's an obvious bug that's easy to fix then great; if not, a config option to disable the problematic feature would at least make the rest of the game playable.

2. Hauling

Dwarves being able to carry more than one thing is a great improvement--but it's currently so broken that I gave up bins entirely. Here's my proposal for a fix.

3. Workshop Automation

Quite a bit of my game time is wasted cycling through workshops telling dwarves to get back to work. Things like shearing creatures, spinning thread, milking creatures, making cheese, etc. cannot currently be automated--the jobs eventually cancel. Here's my suggestion to add automation to every workshop

4. Improved Trade

Marking large numbers of items to move to the depot takes way too long--minutes of repetitive keypressing even with fast-trade enabled. Since the select goods screen already includes a search function, "select all" and "deselect all" options would make this much less painful. The trading screen itself needs a "select everything" option to conveniently dispose of any trade goods left over after the trading is complete. And it would be really nice if the trade screen didn't reshuffle all the goods after each trade.

5. Stockpiles

Reorganizing the stockpile options would make them much more useful. Adding options for wear, value, stack size, local or foreign origin, and size would make it much easier for dwarves to sort items automatically. Replacing "total quality" with "decoration quality" (and adding an additional option "none") would make it orthogonal to "core quality", and much more useful. Separating types of animal products ("fat", "tallow", "meat", "hair") from the giant list of animals would make it reasonable to create a meat-only stockpile (currently it requires selecting items through 100+ pages).

For (4), I just have a macro that does trade by the page, and another that does it by the hundred items. Really helps with that stuff.
Logged

thegoatgod_pan

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: Improvements to fortress mode based on recent play experience
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2014, 05:10:10 pm »

And how marksdwarves are completely useless in the current version. It seems that I have to wait years for them to even pick up their ammunition, and they refuse to use it even if by some miracle they actually have any.

I bet you are missing quivers or backpacks or both. Marksdwarves are OP in the current version, easy to train, easy to maintain, wipe zombie sieges and work even with bone bolts (insane with silver bolts).
Logged
More ridiculous than reindeer?  Where you think you supercool and is you things the girls where I honestly like I is then why are humans on their as my people or what would you?

Loci

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: Improvements to fortress mode based on recent play experience
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2014, 04:31:28 pm »

And how marksdwarves are completely useless in the current version. It seems that I have to wait years for them to even pick up their ammunition, and they refuse to use it even if by some miracle they actually have any.

I bet you are missing quivers or backpacks or both.

Or your quivers are full of the wrong type of ammunition. Or your quivers are full of bolts marked for training. Or your hunters have requisitioned all the bolts in the fortress. Or your bolts are stored in bins. Or your bolts are installed in weapon traps. Or your military dwarves are too busy picking up other equipment in a loop. To say that marksdwarves are buggy is putting it mildly.

Backpacks, however, are unnecessary for archery, and unlikely to be causing problems.
Logged