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Author Topic: Future of the Fortress  (Read 682242 times)

Mesa

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #2535 on: October 03, 2017, 07:02:43 pm »

Relax, it's coming. (Though I feel you; the one time I look forward to a FotF post, it's delayed. Oh well.)

To avoid coming off (well, solely) as an impatient and whiny B12, here's a question:Will there ever be limits with regards to areas in which you can embark, beyond the obvious "literally can't embark here because it's the middle of the damn sea"? I know people enjoy having the freedom to settle anywhere they please, but it seems rather odd that you can choose to go to places where that your civilization (or any civilization, as the case may be) isn't even aware of the existence of, let alone has access to.
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mikekchar

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #2536 on: October 03, 2017, 08:17:25 pm »

In my experience, when a programmer delays reporting it's mainly because they are programming and don't want to be disturbed.  Now, I wonder why that might be the case... ;-)
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Thundercraft

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #2537 on: October 03, 2017, 08:23:20 pm »

...I know people enjoy having the freedom to settle anywhere they please, but it seems rather odd that you can choose to go to places where that your civilization (or any civilization, as the case may be) isn't even aware of the existence of, let alone has access to.

But that's just it: Many players enjoy the freedom to settle (almost) anywhere. And if that was taken away, you better believe that many would complain about it.

Did Christopher Columbus know about two huge American continents thousands of miles away when he set out to discover a new trade route? And, yet, he was allowed to travel that direction and "discover" them. And now we hear this happened long after the Vikings had established settlements there and, possibly, after the Chinese had already made said discovery. Never mind that Native Americans had already immigrated to the Americas via an Ice Age land bridge.

The idea of dwarves (or any civilization) knowing something about a certain location on the opposite side of the world really isn't that far-fetched, if you think about it. The very fact that such locations are named indicates that members of some civilization had to have visited the place or heard about it from someone who has. I mean, look at how rumors are spread in Dwarf Fortress and how they can be used, already.

How would they know about the presence or lack of flux stone, clay or aquifers? Who's to say that dwarves don't send out a scouting party to prospective locations before actually embarking? Maybe they pay for information or hire mercenary prospectors?

More likely, dwarves know because they received this info from the deities they worship. In DF, deites and other supernatural beings actually exist and actually have a measurable impact on the world. Anyway, the player basically takes on the role of a deity guiding the dwarves. We don't have direct control of individual dwarves. We only guide them. Perhaps we should call it "deific omniscience"?

The real issue here is not the knowing of an exotic location far away. Rather, it is a matter of travel. That's the problem: The lack of boats. But then, this is supposed to be addressed eventually, right?

DF seems to gradually be getting slower with the introduction of more and more game complexity and more and more things for the game to keep track of. IMO, it's kind of telling that DF benefits from the move to 64-bits for the sake of more memory as some where experiencing out-of-memory issues with really lengthy world gens and huge maps.

Toady's to-do list is a mile long and will occupy him for years to come. And you want the game to keep track of which areas a particular civilization does and does not know about in order for it to restrict players from embarking at an unexplored location?
« Last Edit: October 03, 2017, 09:01:59 pm by Thundercraft »
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Mesa

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #2538 on: October 04, 2017, 12:07:39 am »

Toady's to-do list is a mile long and will occupy him for years to come. And you want the game to keep track of which areas a particular civilization does and does not know about in order for it to restrict players from embarking at an unexplored location?
I'm not suggesting it's a priority, I'm well aware it isn't; Besides, this is a game that keeps track of way more minute things already, ones that are of far lower gameplay or immersion impact, except for the most narrative-oriented players. It's not the most far-fetched to expect something of that nature in a game that attempts to be as detailed of a simulation as it can.
Bottom-line, make it optional, or have a starting scenario (once those are in) that are effectively what we have now, a group of seven going into the world without any greater goal in sight set by their lords.

I know the game makes some immersion-breaking sacrifices for gameplay purposes (hell, even the way fortress mode operates is kind of wonky, if you try to explain it from an in-game perspective), and I'm fine with those being around, but I would like to see them reduced eventually, or at least integrated into the game's many systems in some meaningful organic way.Maybe I'm alone in that, though.
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DG

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #2539 on: October 04, 2017, 01:28:51 am »

You're not alone.
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PatrikLundell

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #2540 on: October 04, 2017, 03:58:58 am »

It would make *logical* sense that some embark scenarios would restrict where you can embark (a defensive outpost in the middle of an otherwise uninhabited island?), but I think the logical reason should be quite strong for the game to *restrict* you from embarking in illogical places: after all, if the players care, they can impose such restrictions upon themselves, without burdening those who don't care with restrictions they don't like.
I am in favor of additional pre embark info that facilitates players' ability to embark in appropriate places, along the line of scenario dependent shading of the map to indicate where borders/... are to help player make choices that make sense. In general, I find it is better to help players make the choices they want to make than to forbid players to do what the developers think does not make sense (but is otherwise "harmless" from a game mechanic consistency point of view, even if it harms the narrative).
If it's cheap to program you might consider embark scenario embark restrictions that the player can toggle off/on in the pre embark phase to (not)/enforce logical embark locations.

A bit too suggestiony, but I couldn't come up with a better way of explaining what I mean.
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JesterHell696

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #2541 on: October 04, 2017, 06:30:29 am »

But that's just it: Many players enjoy the freedom to settle (almost) anywhere. And if that was taken away, you better believe that many would complain about it.

And? I don't see how people complaining about it is an issue, if Toady decides to do it then that's that and whether any of us agree is largely irrelevant, Toady has said before that he would get a "real" job to support himself and dev-DF on the side if necessary, and if it was added I can see it being one of the many init options, like how aquifers are and sapper are apparently going to be so there would be no reason to complain anyway.

I fully support Toady if he wants to add features I don't want or refuses to add features I do, so long as he's motive is that it does not fit his or Three Toes vision of DF.

Did Christopher Columbus know about two huge American continents thousands of miles away when he set out to discover a new trade route? And, yet, he was allowed to travel that direction and "discover" them. And now we hear this happened long after the Vikings had established settlements there and, possibly, after the Chinese had already made said discovery. Never mind that Native Americans had already immigrated to the Americas via an Ice Age land bridge.

This is reasonable, there no reason why you can't just travel "west" and see what you find, the problem is that the player can cherry pick a site even though there would be no real way of knowing until it is discovered and scouted by that civ.

The idea of dwarves (or any civilization) knowing something about a certain location on the opposite side of the world really isn't that far-fetched, if you think about it. The very fact that such locations are named indicates that members of some civilization had to have visited the place or heard about it from someone who has. I mean, look at how rumors are spread in Dwarf Fortress and how they can be used, already.

I could be wrong but I think pre-named regions are a place holder, once myth gen is in and region can change their sphere alignment then region will have to be re-nameable, doesn't make sense to call it the swamp of ducking muck if its been turned into a fiery hellscape now does it?

How would they know about the presence or lack of flux stone, clay or aquifers? Who's to say that dwarves don't send out a scouting party to prospective locations before actually embarking? Maybe they pay for information or hire mercenary prospectors?

DF is a simulation, which mean if they do send out scouts then that must be simulated, at least on some abstract level and it is, at lest a little as when you play adventure mode on large maps you can see the bounds of your civ's known lands in the travel map, so how do you know about the areas outside of these scouted lands?

More likely, dwarves know because they received this info from the deities they worship. In DF, deites and other supernatural beings actually exist and actually have a measurable impact on the world. Anyway, the player basically takes on the role of a deity guiding the dwarves. We don't have direct control of individual dwarves. We only guide them. Perhaps we should call it "deific omniscience"?

If they get this info from the god then how? do prophets have visions? is it a ritual? if yes then whats involved in that ritual? and what about worlds without gods or magic, how do they know then?

The real issue here is not the knowing of an exotic location far away. Rather, it is a matter of travel. That's the problem: The lack of boats. But then, this is supposed to be addressed eventually, right?

That's not the "real" issue, its another issue, something else on the list to be done whenever he gets around to it.

Toady's to-do list is a mile long and will occupy him for years to come. And you want the game to keep track of which areas a particular civilization does and does not know about in order for it to restrict players from embarking at an unexplored location?

Yes I do, I also want the game to track civ boarders and enforce them though civ actions, not simply telling the player "you can't embark here" but giving them a message saying "You risk war by embarking here : warning normal siege triggers are reduced for trespassing" meaning yes you can embark next to another civ's capital but don't bitch if they siege you on month 2 because you are within their boarders, unless of course those two civs have a mutual "settlement" agreement in which they can settle within each others boarders.


NOTE: All of the above is based upon my opinion that DF is first and foremost a simulation and a game second, this means that the player can do whatever they want within the simulation but they are bound by the rules of that simulation, like only using magic in worlds in which magic exists.
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"The long-term goal is to create a fantasy world simulator in which it is possible to take part in a rich history, occupying a variety of roles through the course of several games." Bay 12 DF development page

"My stance is that Dwarf Fortress is first and foremost a simulation and that balance is a secondary objective that is always secondary to it being a simulation while at the same time cannot be ignored completely." -Neonivek

Thundercraft

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #2542 on: October 04, 2017, 08:55:04 am »

...and if it was added I can see it being one of the many init options, like how aquifers are and sapper are apparently going to be so there would be no reason to complain anyway.

If it was made as an init option, then it would not be a freedom that is taken away from players - not really. But not all game features have init options.

I could be wrong but I think pre-named regions are a place holder, once myth gen is in and region can change their sphere alignment then region will have to be re-nameable, doesn't make sense to call it the swamp of ducking muck if its been turned into a fiery hellscape now does it?

From what I've read here, sphere influence is not meant to be static. I can see local inhabitants continuing to call it "Swamp of Ducking Muck" after being turn into a hellscape, even centuries later, if that is the way it has always been known to the inhabitants, particularly if it was labeled as such on maps and in historical documents and if that's how it was named in popular stories. I can even see this happening if rumors about a distant land turned out to be false.

IRL there are examples of places that were misnamed. Iceland is more green and temperate than Greenland. And Greenland would be far more appropriately called "Land of Ice".

Anyway, I have no problem with region names being changeable. But I don't see how this disproves my idea of civilizations already knowing about distant lands through unseen or non-simulated means, such as deity interactions, rumors or explorers.

...so how do you know about the areas outside of these scouted lands?

Like I said: Imagine whatever non-simulated scenario you think fits best. Myself, I think it makes perfect sense that Dwarves know about distant lands through deities they worship, with the player taking on the role of one.

Many players eschew graphics sets or visualizers like Stonesense in favor of a plain ASCII tileset. They rely on their imagination to fill in the details. That "H" is a scary freak'n Hydra. And that "g" is an evil, ugly goblin (or walking source of goblinite). Even with a graphics set, one still has to use one's imagination for certain things and text descriptions only go so far. To play DF is to celebrate imagination.

If they get this info from the god then how? do prophets have visions? is it a ritual? if yes then whats involved in that ritual? and what about worlds without gods or magic, how do they know then?

There have been several simulation games published over the years in which the player takes on the role of a god. Populous and Black & White are just two examples. How does the deity that the player represents convey their wishes to their followers? I don't believe such games simulate that. And I really don't think players care. "It's F'n Magic" is as good an excuse as any. I think it's safe to say that most players either don't dwell on it or they use their imagination.

NOTE: All of the above is based upon my opinion that DF is first and foremost a simulation and a game second...

Is it a simulation first and a game second? Has Toady answered this question before? If not, that's a good question to ask. If being a simulation is more important than being a game, does this mean that playability is to be sacrificed for the sake of making a more realistic simulation?
« Last Edit: October 04, 2017, 08:56:50 am by Thundercraft »
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PatrikLundell

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #2543 on: October 04, 2017, 11:44:42 am »

I've heard one version regarding the naming of Greenland as an early marketing ploy. When banished from Iceland for murder (as his father had been banished from Norway) the refugee wanted more people to come with him.

When it comes to places being inappropriately named, humans have a tendency to change the landscape by cutting down forests, drying out swamps, blasting away mountains, creating dams, etc.
Natural examples of inappropriate names are places called "bay" or "island" despite being kilometers away from the nearest body of water, this being the result of land (still) rising as a result of the ice age glaciers having melted away and no longer exerting a huge downwards pressure on the ground. I would also assume a number of formerly arable locations have been swallowed by deserts over the human history. Magic as an additional such feature bending force would be another example of where a formerly appropriate name no longer is.
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ZM5

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #2544 on: October 04, 2017, 11:50:33 am »

A question I forgot to ask, inspired by some discussion on the Discord...Will there be a possibility different AI settings for creatures that modders will be able to set in the raws on an individual creature's basis?

For example, zombies and very simple-minded animals would have a setting, lets call it "mindless", so they act like they currently do, charging mindlessly without utilizing advanced tactics, concern for their own safety and not taking advantage of combat opportunities or surroundings.

On the other hand, humans, dwarves, and other intelligent humanoids would have a setting, lets call it "intelligent humanoid", so that they wouldn't mindlessly charge, instead changing up tactics depending on the opponent and taking opportunities - i.e against dragons and other firebreathers they'd spread out instead of clustering together, or against giant enemies you'd have several units grabbing onto their legs to keep the opponent distracted while others actually do damage; alternatively the melee weapon users would cluster around the giant to keep them from going anywhere and mostly staying on the defense, while the archers would keep their distance and pelt the enemy with arrows.

I understand there'd be a LOT more nuance to it (how armored the enemy/allies are, distance, possibility of picking up weapons if disarmed, wheter surrounding area has potentially deadly drops, personality of the individual creature - I can imagine an individual with high cruelty would needlessly prolong the death of their foe, whereas an individual with high bravery would be more likely to perform reckless charges against much stronger/tougher opponents even if its not to their advantage, etc.) and that it'd take a long time to actually get working to even a basic degree - I'm just wondering if its a possibility at any point in the future of the development.

Thundercraft

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #2545 on: October 04, 2017, 02:03:45 pm »

...Will there be a possibility different AI settings for creatures that modders will be able to set in the raws on an individual creature's basis?

For example, zombies and very simple-minded animals would have a setting, lets call it "mindless", so they act like they currently do, charging mindlessly without utilizing advanced tactics, concern for their own safety and not taking advantage of combat opportunities or surroundings.

IMO, that's a pretty good question. I remember when dead bodies and body parts being reanimated was still a new thing. And players were frustrated as embarking in evil biomes became suicide because zombies were not balanced well. They were not defined in the raws, though, so players had to wait patiently for an official fix.
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ZM5

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #2546 on: October 04, 2017, 02:23:31 pm »

...Will there be a possibility different AI settings for creatures that modders will be able to set in the raws on an individual creature's basis?

For example, zombies and very simple-minded animals would have a setting, lets call it "mindless", so they act like they currently do, charging mindlessly without utilizing advanced tactics, concern for their own safety and not taking advantage of combat opportunities or surroundings.

IMO, that's a pretty good question. I remember when dead bodies and body parts being reanimated was still a new thing. And players were frustrated as embarking in evil biomes became suicide because zombies were not balanced well. They were not defined in the raws, though, so players had to wait patiently for an official fix.
I haven't played before zombies were introduced (I started playing in 40.xx) but I remember them being really powerful even in that version - it seems mostly fixed now since they're pretty suicidal and have terrible combat rolls (though I wish it was controlled by a token instead of tied to the effects of animation - same for the "instant companion" thing also being controlled by the animation effect instead of a token).

The AI thing could be tied to tokens as well, overriding the animated creatures default ones - since zombies aren't their own "creature" type, merely being a creature with a syndrome tacked on.

Would also be good groundwork for some new types of magic, like some kind of mind-break spell that reduces a creature's AI by one - with enough applications turning, lets say, a normal human into a simple-minded "zombie". Or doing the opposite - making an animal gain sentience.

Mesa

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #2547 on: October 04, 2017, 02:27:45 pm »

Would also be good groundwork for some new types of magic, like some kind of mind-break spell that reduces a creature's AI by one - with enough applications turning, lets say, a normal human into a simple-minded "zombie". Or doing the opposite - making an animal gain sentience.
A new explanation for the origin of animal men?
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ZM5

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #2548 on: October 04, 2017, 02:32:53 pm »

Would also be good groundwork for some new types of magic, like some kind of mind-break spell that reduces a creature's AI by one - with enough applications turning, lets say, a normal human into a simple-minded "zombie". Or doing the opposite - making an animal gain sentience.
A new explanation for the origin of animal men?

Could be - some random magician in a time before written history gave a bunch of animals sentience !!FOR SCIENCE!! and let them "evolve", resulting in animal people tribes.

FantasticDorf

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Re: Future of the Fortress
« Reply #2549 on: October 04, 2017, 02:38:51 pm »

A question I forgot to ask, inspired by some discussion on the Discord...Will there be a possibility different AI settings for creatures that modders will be able to set in the raws on an individual creature's basis?

Suggestion territory really here. I guess you could rephrase it to be "have you been thinking of any more types of generic/important creature raws?". Though im curious to see if toady will reply, the ability to either write our own code or mix-match coded behaviors (this already exists with the [Crazed] raw, but something more articulate perhaps) is interesting non-the less

You could say that most of the generic humanoid behavior is emergent via the value sliders (and existing raw tags) because they will act off those accordingly, goblins with high anger and malice values argue and fight more etc, and dwarves are more motivated & feel pride in their work because of craftsmanship values.
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