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Good or bad idea?

Very good.
good.
meh.
bad.
Very bad.

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Author Topic: Masterwork Reborn - Discussion/Suggestions  (Read 36391 times)

Meph

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Masterwork Reborn - Discussion/Suggestions
« on: January 06, 2015, 08:09:22 am »

Dwarves: Strongly simplified, lots of stuff removed.
Humans: Stay as is, remove knights/paladins, add magic system known from Dwarf Mode.
Kobolds: Get a little bit smaller, removing mostly high-end stuff.
Warlocks: Either stay mostly as is, or get changed to have lots of uncontrollable undeads running around.
Hermit: Stay as is, get extra separation of Dwarf/Elf/Kobold/Human/etc Hermit.

Ideas for later:
Goblins
Elves
Reptile/Snake/Amphibious Race
Insect/Underground/Bio Race

Orcs, Succubi & Gnomes: All changes done by Smakemupagus, Boltgun and IndigoFenix.




Ok, here a writeup of the extended plan for the new mod, about the races:

Team Civilized: Dwarves, Elves, Humans. Gnomes, but no sieges/caravans unless you call them.
Team Slavers: Goblins, Orcs, Nightcreatures (Vampires, Werebeasts, Monsters, Boogyemen)
Team Savages: Kobolds, Reptile/Snake People, Antmen/Insect People (Wasps?).
Team Evil: Warlocks, Succubi, Titans.
(Hermit. Inactive, no sieges, caravans or migrants. He is in no team, but can be in any if you like)

I will leave underground races alone this time, its been ages since I read a report about them attacking. Maybe they dont even work in the new version, I have to check that. Till then its underground tribes like in vanilla DF and more interesting cavern monsters.

Team Civilized: Dwarves
 - You can find info on them in the new dwarf thread. It's mostly metalsworks, smithing, mining, engineering that they are good at. Several unique metals only they have access to as well as metal transmutation. Some explosive, basic blackpowder for landmines. Some basic tech for stationary flameturrets. Some basic magic to improve weapons and armor with runes, and animate statues to golems.

Team Civilized: Humans
 - They will stay as they are, but get a higher degree of magic. Guilds, traders, a sneak peek into other races, library learning, blackpowder weapons, good masons and capenters, economy mostly based on gold coins. Aboveground forts, pretty much everything with business as usual.

Team Civilized: Elves
 - They will use seeds as buildmats and grow items from plant parts. I might or might not restrict mining for them, but most items will be grown, taking time. Effects are affected seasonally, with them being stronger in summer, and weakest in winter. Elves rely on nature, so they are pretty bad when most nature is shutting down. I plan to add Ents/Treants, animated trees, which turn immobile/inactive in winter. Otherwise they use wooden equipment, iron and steel grade yes, but no mithril anymore. I want to keep it more DF lore friendly, with elves using no metals. They tame animals and are at peace with wildlife. Might be hard with no digging/no walls and I'm not sure what they could have as late-game tech, but thats the basic plan. Elves would be hard to play.

Team Civilized: Gnomes
 - They stay as they are, or at least however IndigoFenix wants to port them. Without any active seasons, they can be summoned to Dwarves, Humans and Elves with reactions, but otherwise don't siege or trade. This decision is both to keep to the Gnome lore (careful, catious creatures) and DF lore (freeze rays, tesla coils, time travel and steampunk doesnt fit well with 14th medieval theme). They are a race that is both nature and tech aligned.

Team Slaver: Goblins
 - A tantrum-heavy force of digging goblins with different clans that form grudges against each other. One more disciplined and learns faster, one breeds more, the third gets boosts underground. These are just examples, crude ideas. You could have lots of tantrums and infighting if you keep them together, or you build several little fortresses on your map to keep them apart and happy. They would mass-produce iron gear cheaply and form large, badly-trained militias, but have no access to steel or better metals. They might have some evil blood/dark magic, and they will have trolls as pets.

Team Slaver: Orcs
 - A proud warrior race that takes captives during raids. Pretty much stay as they are, conversion will be done by Smakemupagus. However he sees fit.

Team Slaver: Nightcreatures
 - A mixed race of Vampires, Werewolves, Nighthags, Boogyemen and everything else that is procedually generated and more on the evil side. This race is low on the priority list of playable races, just because it would be chaotic and hard to use. Its mostly intended as a more challenging invader, sending single snatchers your way. This fits nicely in the DF lore, with nightcreatures abducting people, or Vampires looking for prey. They will use interactions a lot and are harder invaders, but low in number. If they manage to snatch too many of your children however, they will start sending ambush parties, because they see you as a weak target.

Team Savage: Kobolds
 - Pretty much stay as they are. Tiny, fast breeding, tantrum resistant race of dog-like humanoids that love stealing and sneaking. Low tech, mostly based on animal materials, leather and bones, as well as wood and clay. Some druidic and shamanistic influences, tribal behaviour, tents. They dont care for alchohol, maybe even getting negative effects from it (drunk), but only eat meat. They can dig with cheap shovels, but are really bad at it, mostly living in the soil levels or caves. I will downsize the mode a little bit, making them harder to play.

Team Savage: Reptile/Snake-People
Based on vanilla DF cavern tribes, I'd like to make an egg-laying, naturally venomous race of cold-blooded creatures that are living underground (buff when underground/dark, nerf when aboveground/light) and are heavily water based. They would lay their egg clutches near water, move faster in water, get special interactions and hopefully end up flooding most of their fortress to 3/7 water. Eko did good basework in his Naga mod, but he sadly disappeared. They would otherwise be rather low tech, having no access to steel, but rely on poison and their amphibious-ness.

Team Savage: Antmen/Insect-People
Based on vanilla DF cavern tribes, I'd like to make a Insect or Arachnid-based race. Maybe with a queen, maybe not. Natural chitin armor, weapons grown naturally from biomass, converting dead invaders and killed animals into fodder for their organic workshops. A bit zerg-like, a bit real-life ants, a bit starshiptrooper bugs. They wouldnt have access to vanilla workshops (just learned that you can remove them now), but grow their things on biomass-based economy. They would also have plenty of pets and get different effects depending on what they eat. Feasting on normal, good, evil, cavern 1,2 or 3 grasses should have a big effect on how they develope, hopefully getting the player to settle the caverns, instead of digging an artifical looking fortress. Their life-circle would be Egg, Larvae, Pupae, Adult, similar to most RL insects.

Team Evil: Warlocks
 - Pretty much stay as they are, with a somewhat smaller scale. Magic-based race of necromancers that create undeads and use killed animals and invaders as basis for most production. I might allow migration for them, because its the only way for them to show up and siege other races. They should be fully-integrated invaders, not just a race you can play. Still working out the details on how to do that.

Team Evil: Succubi
 - Get a slight rework, gearing them more towards HFS, magma and demon-worship. All done by Boltgun, when and as he likes. They are a race of corruption-based demons that are both decadent and narcissistic, conjuring demonic warbeasts and working with gems and glasses.

Team Evil: Titans
 - Replacing the Frost Giants, Titans would come in many castes and types. They should be based on vanilla DF procedually generated Titans, but instead of one lone attacker, you get a siege full of Titans with combat skills, armor and weapons. They are designed to be a late-game invaders for people that want a challenge, while at the same time keeping up with DF lore. The land itself raises up against the sentient beings that farm, mine and burn it. I'm not sure if it would be feasable to make them a playable civ, because they would be trivial to play and I cant simulate attacking/eradicating other civs in fort mode. If people have a better idea for the Big Bad, the difficult end-game race, let me know.

Team Hermit: The Hermit
 - Lone guy building his own home. Stays as is, but I will give the option to play different races. The changes would be minimal, but story-wise it makes a big difference if you play a dwarven hermit, elf, kobold, goblin or orc. :P I plan to make one hermit creature for each sentient race, except the Titan/Nightcreatures.

This leaves us with a slightly smaller set of races than before. No cavern races, just tribes as in vanilla DF, and instead of 16 aboveground races, its 13. 3 per team, with the gnomes as inactive addition to the civilized people. If I cant get the Necromancer/Warlock sieges/migrants to properly work, I might change them to an inactive race too, and add a new Evil race to replace them as attackers. Maybe the fallen angels or hfs demons, or split the Nightcreatures into two, with one being werebeasts and the others being vampires. One way or another, it will be based on DF lore.



I thought about this long and hard, and I think the best way to go about MDF and future DF releases is to start from scratch. There are many features I cant port, lots of hidden bugs, a cluttered Dwarf and Kobold mode; the overly-full dwarf mode actually deters new players; and the fact that every creature and even the .exe is altered, makes updating the mod quite hard.

I noticed that I went about modding a completely different way when I wrote the Warlocks, Humans and the Hermit. I had a concept, a clear plan and I knew exactly whats possible. But when I started Masterwork over 3 years ago, I did not. Feature creep, bugs and random additions  just to try out stuff were the result.

So what do you say? A smaller, more streamlined Masterwork for the new Df? With clean raws, no bugs (I'm an hopeless optimist) and a clear concept for all races?

It would still have a Gui, multiple races, tilesets, utilities and so forth, but it would be way easier to keep up to date with vanilla Df versions too. I'd make sure of that.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2015, 01:35:16 pm by Meph »
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Sver

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Re: Masterwork Reborn - A new mod?
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2015, 08:57:13 am »

Well... um... I would say that the most important in Masterwork is it's features. All of them. So, while it's possible to keep all the currently working features and additions of MDF, I'm all-pointy-hats-up for updating... That's it, I guess.
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Vitellozzo

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Re: Masterwork Reborn - A new mod?
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2015, 09:00:28 am »

I think that this is possibly a really big work.
Aside from that, if you think you can manage to work on the mod from scratch again, that's clearly better. But I fear a work so big could be too heavy for your shoulders, since you are going to Siberia and stuff.

So, my advice is: work on it only if you're 100% sure you can put your mind into a project so huge. Being able to play costantly updated DF is surely the best option, but I like it only if everything runs smoothly after that.
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than402

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Re: Masterwork Reborn - A new mod?
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2015, 09:56:00 am »

it's possibly the best route. especially giving actual features and a purpose to the dwarf mode.

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Boltgun

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Re: Masterwork Reborn - A new mod?
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2015, 10:51:38 am »

I think it's possibly faster then trying to convert everything. But I am partial because that's how I dev things, and not only in df.

I could get the succubus civ working this way, one feature at a time despite a busy schedule and move it to masterwork at some point and while my race is probably the most feature poor, at least I never felt burdened or stuck.

In the end, you made an effort to bring harmony in the races design when i added the succubi and that helped a lot.

Trying to convert all this work back into vanilla was a pain. I gave up and decided to go straight into 0.40, by converting only the bare minimum and moving forward. I think moving the whole masterwork into 0.40 would end the same.

To be honest, I never liked dwarf mode in MDF. There is everything and their opposite there and a lot of this does not feel like an upgrade. I ended seeking other races for a more focused experience (plus adding mine). The mod also changed a lot, it shifted from an uber dwarf mode to a multi race game with a non canon universe of its own. So I'm all in favor for a completely new dwarf civ focused on dwarfy stuff.

As a suggestion, it would be good to start with a list of critical modules. I would guess that simple materials are much more important then, let's say, spring loaded knifes. Then making an alpha with only the dwarves active until the civ is complete.  I guess porting kobolds, warlocks and humans would not be so hard then.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2015, 10:55:16 am by Boltgun »
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smakemupagus

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Re: Masterwork Reborn - A new mod?
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2015, 11:40:52 am »

I think it's a good idea -- honestly I wouldn't be surprised if it's faster to do it this way, or at least clearer in your mind so it won't feel like such an overwhelming task.  Plus, if you're looking for an opportunity to do some overhaul on the core features and/or dwarf mode then this seems like a good chance to do it. 

Lottanubs

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Re: Masterwork Reborn - A new mod?
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2015, 11:52:58 am »

Yah, if you think that'll net you a better product in the end, sure! I just hope it doesn't get too tedious for you.
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Meph

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Re: Masterwork Reborn - A new mod?
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2015, 01:55:32 pm »

Its less tedious, because I can make Masterwork Reborn V1 with dwarves, V1.1 with humans, V1.2 with orcs, and so forth. It can be many small releases, that I work on in small steps over my travels, instead of doing this one, massive, bug-prone port of 34.11 to 40.23, which will be outdated in little while again. At the moment I need to update all utilities, dfhack, .exe, some files for the Therapist and more, every time I want to jump from 40.22 to 40.23 and so forth.

With this new mod that wouldnt be such a big issue.

I would also take care to keep it more lore friendly, and maybe (this is not 100% sure yet), that the mod can be reduced to vanilla DF if you disable everything. That was often requested. ;)

A question for Boltgun, IndigoFenix and Smakemupagus: Would you three rather port the races yourself, should I port them, or can (do you want them to) change a bit?

Both Orcs and Succubi are not really DF lore, but Goblins and HFS-Demons are. If you keep most of the features then Orc Mode could become Goblin Mode, and the Succubi become Clown/Circus Mode. Gnomes have tech and nature, and I really like how they are set up, but unfortunately not many people play them... so I thought maybe I could add the tech-part into Dwarf Mode (fits perfectly) and the nature part for a potential Elf Mode (Druidism and advanced creature control).

I'd like to discuss that a bit more with you guys, because you put a lot of work into these races, and I can just as easily add them how they are (updated dfhack scripts permitting), or I can come up with a concept that incorporates both, df lore and your lore. I'd like to do this as democratic as possible, I dont want to override anyones decision. :) Goblins are not quite the proud warrior race of Orcs, and the procedually generated demons are not the lavish sexualised Succubi, so there would be changes...

From my point of view it looks like this:
DF races:
Dwarves keep the guilds, metal, forges and tech.
Humans the trading, religion, blackpowder weapons and knights.
Elves would be some nature-based race, most likely with mithril too.
Goblins would be the war-mongering slaver race. (Maybe replace Orc Mode)
Kobolds would keep the stealing, swarming warren civ they are atm.

DF entities, but not real races in vanilla DF:
Necromancers (Warlocks) keep the undeads, magic and soul system.
Demons would be fire-based race. (Maybe replace Succubi Mode)

Future Expansions could include:
Maybe a water-based race, based on cavern animal men tribes, Fish/Reptile people.
Maybe a good-aligned race, based on the Angels/Guardians of the new DF vaults.
Maybe a Nightcreature-based race, full of boogeymen and werebeasts, vampires and night hags.
Maybe an insect-based cavern race, like the Antmen tribes that you find in vanilla DF.

The Hermit could stay, but I might expand it to "Dwarf Hermit, Elf Hermit, Goblin Hermit, Human Hermit, Kobold Hermit". Its easy to do.

The Gnomes I can leave in as inactive civ, as they were initially intended, seeing that their invasions are often easily defeated and their weapons/armor rather eccentric. The infrastructure to call migrants and traders still works in the new DF/dfhack version. Otherwise I'd recycle their features and use them in Dwarf and Elf mode. IndigoFenix has to decide that, its his work.

As an alternative I can make the aforementioned DF-lore based races the core content, and include as optional features the Orcs, Succubi, Gnomes, Hive and whatever else is being written by other modders. These would be included in the GUI, off by default (like the Fortress Defense races atm), but could be enabled on a whim by the player. That way each modder can still work on their own respective races. :)

I can mod and do the raws on my netbook, but trying to compile the GUI is a horror. I'd need the help of poor old Splinterz for that, probably doing the first couple of releases without a GUI. The current one I'd use as a base, but many of the old additions would be gone in the initial releases.

PS: Personally I dont play DF so much, so it took me a long, long time to figure out that Dwarf Mode is super cluttered. It was kinda in my blind spot, until I made that thread in the general discussion forum and asked non-mod players why they dont play. :P A clean dwarf mode would work wonders.

Slag for example would go completely, that feature never worked as I wanted it too... and I dont really know what to do with the religion and magic sections of the dwarves. Or the guilds... Guilds are very much human/medieval style, but DF lore doesnt have guilds... maybe I should set up lots and lots of polls ;)

PS: Name suggestions for the new Masterwork are welcome. Maybe something less pretentious? :D
« Last Edit: January 06, 2015, 01:58:58 pm by Meph »
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smakemupagus

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Re: Masterwork Reborn - A new mod? - Added poll.
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2015, 02:33:38 pm »

Quick thoughts, and we can talk in more detail later:

Things that are "just porting" (no substantive changes) I'm happy if you do it, but I'm also happy to work on it too if that helps you.  Mind, I'll probably need a bit of help learning about what has to be done for the port.

For real changes in Orc mode I'd like to actually be the one who makes the final decisions.  I think my Orcs are sufficiently different than DF Goblins (on purpose) and I don't want to overhaul to turn them into Goblins.  I'm happy to contribute if you want to use assets or other help making a new Goblin mode, and if you want to replace Orcs with goblins in the core package that's fine. ... I can appreciate the idea of having the default be more DF canon friendly.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2015, 02:36:01 pm by smakemupagus »
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Meph

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Re: Masterwork Reborn - A new mod? - Added poll.
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2015, 02:37:08 pm »

Smake, understood. I thought that the vile, lesser goblins dont fit the theme of proud orcish raiders. ;)

Its all in the future anyway, I'll do a little bit here and there, but its not like I suddenly release that thing in 2 days. :P

The things that would change would be some of the reactions that use dfhack, and many of the custom inorganics that I introduced might be gone. And the creatures would be slightly different, the extra brain and soul would be gone. Probably. Its all in concept stages.
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SabbyKat

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Re: Masterwork Reborn - A new mod? - Added poll.
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2015, 02:51:11 pm »

Short term lose, for long term gain - what I and others I work with would call a wise move. yes, it will upset SOME people short term (me included, I want 0.40 damn it! I wanna have undead I can bloody kill! ;D), but looking at it logically - DF isn't going to stop updating even after 0.40, so you'll have to do this bloated updated-feature-losing-bug-infested fun time every few years (or hell, months depending). That's time wasted on mindless effort, that instead could be used to do something creative/expansive on the mod.

I play dwarves almost exclusively (the other races, IHMO, don't feel fleshed out right, or to my play style). I can agree they are bloated as hell. I would 110% definitely say cut off the magic aspect of dwarves, it makes very little sense in any real form of dwarven lore (yes, we can be deviants - but still), at the very least - make it earth and fire magic only if you must have it (molten magma and the stone all around, it makes sense for them to 'worship and weave those as magic).

Guilds, I'm... 50-50 on. They really don't feel like they add much, yet are mandatory normally. What do they add to the game, beyond a hassle? You can argue you don't need them, but with harder learning - you really do. The Libraries do not make up for it at all. And most importantly, the military castes are a MUST, there is no 'I'll not use them' - you MUST use them if you want your military to do anything productive before being a decade old fort.

I do like the concept of the priests aspect, but it is rather convoluted and overpowered (all you need is 20 guys working for 2 years and you can damn near produce enough of anything the altars provide to run a fort of 100+ without any concern) - but... does it fit dwarves? In one way it does, another, it doesn't. Really depends on the 'lore' you want for them (how they are designed/played as a race) imo. I'd argue to keep the religious concept, but differentiate it from humans or other religious races.

Slag I agree is simply a pain in the ass with absolutely no purpose. yes, metals are too easily gained - I do fully agree, but Slag never stopped me. I have 4-8 crucibles going non-stop. even if max clutter, it doesn't hamper me enough to care, especially due to how easy the game is.

Speaking of easy, the poisons, the runes, the crazy-super-mega-materials like volcanic and bi-frost, the castes for military, all this is so... cluttered and excessive it makes anyone who knows how to play dwarves, ABSOLUTELY pathetically easy, as I've complained many times. I would be happy to give sane suggestions once I see what path you want to take dwarves to fix this, but won't bother until asked.

Would it be alright if I make a swift list of ideas to consider when remaking the mod? Now is the prime time (like a quick suggestion of doing new 'hard' options for the GUI, for us who want it, but disabled easily for those who don't) amongst various suggestions to races, etc. Yes, I know what is possible/isn't possible for the most part now, so I'll be aiming at stuff I know can be done to improve what masterwork is now, into its new incarnation.

tl;dr

Yes, remake it. Don't rush it - think about it properly, as I doubt you wish to do this again in the future. Make it worth your time.
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qorthos

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Re: Masterwork Reborn - A new mod? - Added poll.
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2015, 02:54:07 pm »

A clean dwarf, or accelerated dwarf for the new version would be a great place to start.  Perhaps include the leather system with it as well...
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Vitellozzo

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Re: Masterwork Reborn - A new mod? - Added poll.
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2015, 03:14:17 pm »

Quote
The Hermit could stay, but I might expand it to "Dwarf Hermit, Elf Hermit, Goblin Hermit, Human Hermit, Kobold Hermit". Its easy to do.

The Gnomes I can leave in as inactive civ, as they were initially intended, seeing that their invasions are often easily defeated and their weapons/armor rather eccentric. The infrastructure to call migrants and traders still works in the new DF/dfhack version. Otherwise I'd recycle their features and use them in Dwarf and Elf mode. IndigoFenix has to decide that, its his work.

As an alternative I can make the aforementioned DF-lore based races the core content, and include as optional features the Orcs, Succubi, Gnomes, Hive and whatever else is being written by other modders. These would be included in the GUI, off by default (like the Fortress Defense races atm), but could be enabled on a whim by the player. That way each modder can still work on their own respective races.
I'm sure about everything you say as a good thing, I in fact love mods that keep lore-friendly... but I like those three points most:
I'm a huge fan of the hermit mode, even though I didn't went too far with it. I just love the idea, and the possibility to make more different hermit styles is just wonderful.

The only thing I can say about gnomes is that the idea of this race of shortly strangely equipped men is lovely... and the fact that they just don't send migrants nor invasions is exactly what gnomes are: smart but cautious.

And for the last thing: the possibility to have a lore df mod, AND to add other civs (like Hivemind Wasps or Orcs or Succubi) is to make it just bigger and more varied. I also like the orcs to stay as they are, since goblins don't fit that theme too much. And such Succubi.
And, as far as I've learned, that is also true for the Hive.
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Boltgun

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Re: Masterwork Reborn - A new mod? - Added poll.
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2015, 03:47:45 pm »

Like smake, I'd rather have the control of the race when it comes to big changes. And removing the succubi will cause me to lose interest. Besides, if you replace them with HFS demons that still does not fit the lore as it stand, and since demons are random what would you use? The humanoid ones that poses as gods? That would be the same in the end.

However, the plan is to shift the theme towards HFS by adding fort versions of older and future circus content (upright spires, slade forts, slabs with demons names, non random demons...). I already started by rewriting stuff and reskinning the workshops. To goal is to make a future slade spire mode like warlock mode is essentially necromancer mode, and reintroduce deactivated lore. So yes, I am okay  the civ less sexualized and more related to the lore, even if the main creature is an addition. All I need is to successfully explore the DF2014 HFS, me being a terrible adventurer does not help so I'm hungry for spoilers, in PM of course.

One last things I want to add is the current setting is okay, with civs active but not playable. It advertises the option without forcing it, marking them disabled would be the same as not putting them as 90% of users does not change settings before running a program (or else we'd have less bloatware laying around).

In any case, I'll migrate the succubi myself. You should not trouble yourself with our races imo.
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Meph

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Re: Masterwork Reborn - A new mod? - Added poll.
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2015, 04:09:25 pm »

Quote
Besides, if you replace them with HFS demons that still does not fit the lore as it stand, and since demons are random what would you use? The humanoid ones that poses as gods?
I wrote Toady about that, he said that there is no larger background behind current vaults/angels and hfs/demons, and that after the Tavern Arc, he will work on procedual myths regarding world creation. So I'm putting angels/demons on the backburner. Or we just make it up as we go, unbound by DF lore, because there is next to none.

The pathing of magma-proof creatures that dont run through magma and amphibious civ-members that dont run through water I mentioned as well. He doesn't know a fix yet, it is apparently a similar pathfinding issue that flying civ members have.

Are you sure about the 90% of players not using the UI much? Because I see so many forts and reports about people battling with the fortress defense races...
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