Thanks to Max^TM, Shonai_Dweller, Putnam, DG, Japa, Rockphed, PatrikLundell, therahedwig, burned, vjmdhzgr, MrWiggles, Repseki, kontako, Untrustedlife, LordBaal, Vattic and anybody I missed for helping to answer questions.
1. Are there any plans to allow for public transportation? You know, rent a wagon or something similar.
2. Will it eventually be possible to create a non-conventional transportation system? Perhaps a system of portals allowing for quick transit or a BALLOON OF GLORIOUS DWARVENNESS.
I don't have anything specific planned at this point along those lines, though the "Adventure Role: Trader" section of the dev page has some related stuff that'll open it up.
Ha ha, I don't know what the odds are of flying craft. Once there are boats, the movement code would all be roughly the same for the air, aside from worrying about running out of sky blocks when the elevation changes.
Do you have plans to add/increase any features that were limited by technology, once computers get more powerful?
For example I think you set the max number of sites per civ under such considerations.
Do you think after 10 years when computers are significantly stronger you will start increasing the fidelity/scale of things that you had to limit due to today's technology?
Is there any chance that some of the abstraction that has to be in due to memory/processor constraints and whatnot will be taken out in the future due to improving technology? An example would be how currently, only some fraction of the creatures in the world can be a historical figure that is tracked in any level of detail, because it would be too much to do this for all of them. Similarly, not all items are tracked individually, etc.
I'm not specifically planning for it. We used to simulate every historical figure, and the entity populations were only added because we couldn't do everything we wanted to do with a small number of critters. If that situation changed, we might revert back, but I don't expect it to happen any time soon. Doing items would be even more difficult.
Do you do Sudoku?
Not as a habit, but I've messed around with them. As with go and chess, I lost interest around the time when I'd have to start learning specific nuggets of information (like openings) to improve quickly. Might be the same as my experience with programming for all I know.
1)Are artifacts more likely to be recoded to take damage the way a body part would ("It is mangled!", etc.) than non-artifacts are?
2)Are there currently any plans to use one artifact as a reagent to produce another, different artifact, including both cases where the original is and is not broken? Could this be also extend to turning one larger artifact into several smaller ones or several small artifacts into one larger one?
3)Are artifacts planned to occasionally be tied to specific unique entity positions (The four crowns of Narnia, the crown jewels, etc.)?
Nope -- artifacts have some extra information, but they just point to a regular item for most of it. When we get to item components, damage for all items will probably be changed to reflect that.
We had some vague plans along those lines in the notes and stories, but we haven't done much with it yet. The book-binding code is actually stored
as an artifact transformation, so we have some backing.
This release has artifact claims that tie those artifacts to specific positions, yeah. They don't change the name of the object though (we're always behind on that due to the restrictive way our names are currently stored). There can also be multiple such claims on one artifact by different civs.
Especially now with myth stuff upcoming, and their being able to affect terrain, what about worldgen disasters? Mundane stuff, maybe, such as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, or more interestingly, meteor strikes. And for high-magic worlds, magical disasters, like an evil mage wipes out a region and turns it to desert, or the moon crashes into the planet, or a god/demon does something disastrous (great floods, smiting a city, fiery apocalypse). Something that would have major effects, at least in a part of the game world.
In a similar vein, magical artifacts will be created, but what about magical landforms made during worldgen? I know about the cosmic eggshell thing, and you mentioned that the HFS will be more abstracted, but what about something like a holy pantheon on top of a mountain, or magical creatures/gods who have a home in the sky, for example?
Yeah, we're hoping for various trouble during historical world gen and during play. With the magic release especially, it's really hard to say what we're going to get to on the first pass since there isn't enough time to get to everything. The maps are going to be affected, in any case.
The current myth generator has locations that get set aside, the special mountains and gardens and caves, so we'll see certain things along those lines. The more planar stuff will remain highly abstracted in the beginning.
Will AIs ever have a more complex approach to combat? Will they ever make "threat assessments" and view combat as a series of stages? Players can make combat revolve around the creature type or on combat stages (address enemy charge attack, address enemy grab attack, address enemy weapon attack, address enemy body material, address enemy special attack, etc, etc).
They do some of that, but yeah, not very much. I'm not sure when we'll next change it, but it has been slowly added to over time and will continue on that way. I don't know when we'll get to concentrated combat additions, but that was also a hope at some point.
How would world demographics/population dynamics work in a setting where there is no death at all (of intelligent races)?
Also, the dev page said there would be a spectrum from "No death or violence to regular settings to bleak and horrifying", but as you described it in your answer to my previous question, it sounds like you consider the regular settings to already be the bleak and horrifying end of the spectrum. Is that indeed the case, or did you just not go into the other side of things? If it's the latter, could you elaborate on what would be different on that side of the spectrum relative to the regular settings as we know them now? Perhaps just quantitatively more violence by changing some numbers around? Or would it be a qualitative difference somehow?
Even as it stands, population hits a cap pretty quickly, due to mem/speed constraints.
No, I don't consider the current settings to be the bleak and horrifying setting. The current settings are in the middle. The worlds can be much more bleak and horrifying. Nothing is set in stone at this point, but we'd likely start by biasing the myth generator toward terrible starting points, events and outcomes, with a hard ceiling on how pleasant it can be. This can be directed toward pervasive body horror and/or an oppressive hopelessness. At the current settings, even though parts of the world are scary and there are conflicts and bad critters, you can still build something lasting and positive and make the world a better place. This doesn't need to be true for the game to work, as long as legends still carry through between plays and stories arise, though at the extreme settings (in either direction) it would probably take a certain frame of mind to enjoy it for long. I don't think it'll be easy to pull off without being campy or unfair, but failure in that regard hasn't stopped us so far, he he he. If we start out with a typical result being "dwarves replaced by worm people living in a world-intestine and routinely being snatched by spirits to be drowned in a lake of bile", or something like that, it's fine, and we can refine our sense of horror (and playability) from there.
What is the plan to deal with the oceans?
What about poisons, or different syndromes?
I'm not sure what you mean... like oceans overall? It's a broad subject. Same with poisons. Was there some context to this that I missed?
Right now, jobs are set in a fixed "priority list." Will we be able to change those priorities someday? It seems like dwarves hardly ever dump items any more.
Yeah, for jobs not attached to workshops/map-tile-designations especially, it's not ideal right now, since they are still in the same order as before but the overall free-time behavior has changed.
Are there any plans to revamp handling of aquifers?
Also possibility to make some
man dwarf made floors collect water same way how "murky pool" works. (when you don't want to use aquifers and have no rivers nor natural pools around)
I don't have any particular plans for aquifers. We were hoping to make rain collectible at some point, but there's something missing in terms of the game recognizing how to do that in any useful way. Not sure when we'll get a chance to look at it.
Question 1 - If you are personally in charge of a army in adventure mode (or some kind of abstract fortress mode) will the player have any say in how a battle's victorious result is handled or will it be pre-determined? Such as determining a slaughter of the inhabitants in order to move in your own entity (typically building on top) or integrating them with a forced administrator (alternatively just pillaging/razing the place and running back home) with some small details of additional policy.
Question 2 - Will in the future more flexibility be given to adventure (in leading/being part of army) or fortress mode players in wiping out non major settlements off the map entirely (such as goblins destroying hillocks/hamlets to burnt smears and smashed houses the player can embark on freely with the space unoccupied but leaving the market bearing fortresses in reclaimable ruins) such is the case you might want to force the goblins to retreat to their towers to cut down their max population and huddle them all up for a final killing blow to take the citadel.
Question 3 - Are there any plans for adventurers to commit to their own hearth loyalties (ground up little kingdom respected as a minor independent model of the parent civilisation for simplicity) or have any function to forcibly (or be coerced into it) join opposing/alternative hearths (such as a knowledgable flip from dwarf civ to goblin civ in line with betraying your race etc) even if its functioning as a sell-sword for getting caught up in foreign conflicts rather than a blood-pact or anything requiring solid commitment.
Final question - Will goblins (and anyone else) ever be able to realise and fulfill their dreams on ruling the world.
It's unclear what is going to happen when we get to that point. We haven't focused on army or political stuff yet. I'd prefer if players leading armies get to make the important decisions themselves, but the specifics are up in the air as usual.
> Now that materials are more accountable for their material properties post-armor nerf, are there any plans to use this to forward (as detailed by threetoes stories) a way of chemical warfare by bringing vials and other potentially breakable containers into the domain of [TOOLS] (therefore additional modding support) rather than hardcoded objects (giving players moddability for advanced concepts like very crude fuse lit and comically heavy and large iron hand grenades/barrels that explode and because they are wood, splinter outwards/shrapnel)
A bit suggestiony, but a adventurer could take account of a particularly corrosive/flammable substance such as a cave blob's substance, scoop it up in the item then throw at the floor/target to shatter and release/load it as a ammo type into a specially made crossbow to deliver to the target OR catch some smoke/compounds to create smoke to load into a tiny handheld bomb to reduce visibility and sneak away
It comes up occasionally, but we don't have a specific timeline.
Any short/long term plans for babies to gain any interesting roles in world gen? Heirs of kingdoms being hidden away by evil uncles, babies being visited by religious leaders upon their birth and having prophecies told about them, babies being sent down the river and adopted by monarchs or just eaten by elves? You know, baby stuff. Seems like at least some of it would fit in with myths.
It's a little harder than it might seem since they are only babies for one world gen frame (though we have some weekly stuff now). But yeah, it's all reasonable.
In what cases does the worldgen 'dead' counter go down?
Was it historical figure culling? There's a setting that deletes old dead historical figures that aren't important to save on memory.
What compiler do you use for compiling the new versions of Dwarf Fortress? Did you upgrade the mac and linux compilers for the 64-bit version as well? Do you use -O3 on the mac and linux compilers to provide optimizations to the software?
I use -O3, yeah. I don't recall exactly what happened over in those threads. We reinstalled linux so I think we're on a new gcc there at least for the 64 bit version (unless we specifically aren't? I don't remember all the juggling that went on), though it is all a haze of me being helped by people that knew what was going on. For the 32 bit, we had to remain in an ancient place. Was it mac where I have a new(er) gcc but that was near the end and I didn't use it for the release?
I'm not much use. Max^TM suggested looking at the release threads, and that's probably best.
> Will small item tools like boning knives/ladels cast out into adventure mode only, ever find their way into the fortress mode gradually as a \component of reactions in order to create alternative results/constructive new use without a new take on zone based workshops? As per methodically skinning and slaughtering a animal with a slicing knife, deboning it with a boning knife (especially useful in fish), then carving the valuable meats off it with a carving knife for greater productive output.
I don't think they'll come to fortress mode without a larger rewrite of workshops, due to the amount of item spam and logistics that would be involved in simulating all the tools needed for jobs.
You mention specifcally Dwarvern historical figures will make artifacts through worldgen Strange Moods, will other races also get a chance to make stuff? If not by moods (which seem kind of Dwarfy) then by some other mechanic? Or is that what holy relics are? How about goblins - will they or their demon masters make evil artifacts?
Actually as a part two to that question, will Strange Moods actually be limited to Dwarves (as a race) or be available to anyone who's part of a Dwarf civ? Maybe not now but after Mythgen in the future will we start to see some difference in behaviour and ability between races from the same civ?
Right now we just have heroic items (elves and others do this quite a bit), and holy relics (which humans seem especially fond of). We haven't branched out into anything really odd, but we'll get that in the myth/magic release.
Strange moods are a dwarf raw tag at this point. Probably remain a vanilla setting thing that gets smeared out with slider settings, however that is going to work. (discussed a bit more a few questions below)
Can historical figures fail their mood during worldgen ?
Yeah, with the associated problems.
You've mentioned that you intend to allow heroes in worldgen to name their weapons and armour, will this extend to our adventurer characters (say, after our character earns a nickname for heroic deeds)?
I could imagine my companions beginning disputes over who inherits my named items after my character dies.
You mentioned world-gen heroic items and holy relics (the temples will be so awesome!) and I am curious if this will be a thing where you get the option to name something after some point, or even having them acquire names like we do after 5 hist-fig kills?
On that note, I'm sure you intend to get around to it at some point, but would other things which would/could bestow a title besides the kills mechanism in place now be a sooner or later type of change, like something that comes in with a language structure/dictionary rewrite?
The basic naming of adv items on the list of things to consider for this time. I'm not sure how far it'll go, and hopefully people in the world won't suddenly care about all of your random junk just because you name it (that would be the default behavior, he he he).
Yeah, we'd really prefer the language rewrite first. Then we can just start doling out names over historical events and reputation changes. The 5 kills system is place-holdery and should be replaced.
-Will holy relics be tied to specific gods (so a relic associated with the god of war would be a weapon, for example) or just cultures in general?
-Will there be artifact instruments?
The holy relics don't use the spheres yet aside from naming. There are artifact instruments.
When mythgen is complete will the civilizations be limited to Dwarf, Elf, Human, Goblin, Random Monstrosity (depending on your 'random' setting) or are you looking into having it throw out existing races as civs too (gnome, minotaur, gorlak, mountain goat, etc)?
With the upcoming (probably in the far future, but even so) generalization of fantasy races into a system where you can be toward the realistic (just humans) or toward the totally fantastic (naught but procedurally generated creatures), will at some point the stock races also see some more variability? Currently (for example) goblins are rather evil and elves are immortal cannibals; this is certainly not true in all fantasy. In Warcraft, goblins are a bit sneaky and rather capitalistic, but not necessarily evil or violent, and I don't think the LotR elves eat their own dead. Sometimes elves also just live longer lives rather than being fully immortal (to death by aging). Will such alternate possibilities at any point be included, and if so, how much, if any, player control do you envision over such things?
I haven't thought very much about the mutation of the raws to allow things to become partially what they are -- the side project myth generator kind of adds magical properties while trying to respect some pre-existing data, but those problems will be much more difficult when I actually try to plug it into DF. It might be too difficult/etc. to rewind the raws, rather than having some sort of more unspecified version of each creature that it can use in place of the vanilla versions (which would amount to the dragon generator we'd wanted to experiment with in terms of random creature raw files). It's unclear what we'll end up with, but it's certainly in line with our "fantasy world simulator" goals.
You have previously said that the version number is derived from a list of the features you are going to implement. It would be impractical if this list was mutable (because the version number could go down between releases) but assuming it is immutable where do your new ideas / player suggestions go?
I have a couple of lists -- the simple suggestions list (which I dip into with every bug fix cycle), and the long-term suggestions list (which is tied to broader subjects). They don't directly impact the version number, though sometimes they are intertwined with something on the official list. Sometimes I spend a while working on suggestions or tangents that don't impact the number at all.
Speaking of this, will artforms be able to have artifact/magical properties?
I'm thinking of someone going into a mood and coming out with a song/dance/poem that causes weird things to happen to people who perform or witness it, or maybe certain wizards using songs or poems in their spells.
Yeah, they will likely come up. They are already included as part of the magic system generator in the side project.
When the game is more optimised in the future, will we ever see any development on 'the wind' in regular fortress play/greater map extent, since it is mostly defined by static air tiles at the moment and has no basis on the game. Its either in the air tiles or it is not for windmills, thermodynamics would be greatly aided by more hot/cold air gas floating around and weather patterns akin to 'evil rain' would have reason to exist and travel instead of being static to a biome to where even side by side tiles of a different temperature and biome can rain and the other will snow heavily.
Hot and cold air currents meeting between biomes sounds like a fun recipie for a thunderstorm/extreme weather and a bad time to be wearing metal on high ground and have stubby little legs that can't run that fast when you think walking across the mountains is a cheap shortcut.
I'm not sure it'll ever be that optimised, and it's a difficult problem. We're planning to do a bit more, but right now weather is already too expensive for what it does. We haven't added lightning, but squall lines/cold fronts are already formed by meeting air masses, so the game would know where to put one sort anyway.
What happens when your adventurer dies post worldgen via world-activation, for example your adventurer dies by say dying in an invasion/insurrection or dying from starvation or dying from old age due to world activation while you were playing another adventurer or playing a fort. Does the adventurer get entombed in the crypts underneath the city or do they just cease to exist or does it just drop their corpse somewhere in the city?
There's a framework set up, but it's unfinished -- I had to handle some issues with the critter's existing body saved to disk that were annoying, so I just marked it up and moved on.
Toady, I quoted the last dev blog about magical items. I'm not sure I have understood it perfectly.
Does it mean "heroic items" are the item counterpart of the "heroic name" given to people when they have fought enough ?
If this is the case, will magical items/artifact still have a name before they are involved in some fights ?
It's more like the items in dwarf mode that people name after they have carried them a while. Crafted mood artifacts and holy relics receive names when they are made.
Have you looked into OpenCL as a way to help offload calculations, in roughly the same way people talk about multithreading? It would have to be optional, but could still be beneficial.
I know it has come up before, but it didn't turn into anything immediately, anyway. I don't recall the details.
How far off are plans to expand the dye system? Specifically to the point where we might get earth-based dyes like ochre?
I really have no idea when we'll get to it. We have about a page of dye notes, but like most other things, they just sit there.
Do you plan on having a sort of action sequence for lords , (like you already do with tavern keepers where you can order a drink and they will go, get a mug, then actually go to the barrel and fill it with your alcohol then bring it to you), where the lord will, upon receiving an artifact may, say, call over a servant and have the servant put the newly acquired shiny on a pedestal, or walk over to the pedestal themselves and put it there, after you retrieve it for a quest, it would be extremely satisfying if say, the following happened:
Yeah, this came up in the planning. What happens if you just place the artifact on a pedestal yourself? What happens if you give an artifact to a person that wants it without saying anything, using the normal trade interface? Is there a special option that sets a sequence into play? Do we need servants? So we ended up with the dev notes "ability to present artifact (quest or not)" and "recognition of where artifact is placed by player and others". We didn't make a decision on the servant question, since it would be more work, but we thought a hearthperson or page or something might have to carry it over if available.
Is the number of families limited by the starting creatures, or do creatures elevated from entity positions create new families?
There are the starting historical figures, and then every historical figure created from the abstract entity populations also starts a new family (whether they make a larger family or not). It also gives a new family to generated migrants in fort mode (when it runs out of historical ones). Right not, it's lightweight since it's just a shared id number until something like an artifact claim comes up (at which point it has to track more), but when we get to actual families after the myth stuff, we'll see if there are some growing pains there.
With the addition of family heirlooms, do you have any plans to add surnames?
I know you mentioned in a DFtalk a while back that surnames have some historical inaccuracies for the 'time period' of DF - but I'd imagine it'd be quite the hassle to keep track of family heirlooms if every new family member has a totally unique name.
Patronyms and matronyms would be interesting, but in addition to the hard code, the language files would need a dwarfy word for "son/daughter of" to add to it. But which sounds more dwarf-like to you: placing the word at the start of the patronym (Urist McDwarf), at the end of it (Urist Dwarfson), or as a separate word (Urist Bin Dwarf)?
Also, the impending fiddling with inheritance and family groups brought to mind an interesting question: do you intend to redo the naming system to respect things like family names, clan names, places of birth, patro/matronyms, or notable deeds? What about the naming of non-sapient creatures by civilizations, whose lineages aren't really paid attention to as much? It always seemed strange that creatures like giant dingoes were given the same extensive names as dwarves that were just as random and hard to remember, making for rather underwhelming villains.
I'm not going to do anything with it now, and I'm not sure what's going to happen later. Thinking about that sort of thing is more likely to happen with the proper cultural additions that come after myths. This was just a quick structural addition I needed for heirlooms. For now, as needed, they'll refer to their family group by the ancestor id it uses to track it, but it isn't incorporated into their own name.
Toady, can someone have several family tag ? If yes, how will people choose which family group to defend if a conflict happens ? If not, how will family change will work (marriage, adoption, etc.) ?
There's only one id per critter, and it just flips a coin on marriage right now, if the spouses are of equal "importance" according to entity position precedence. This can lead to some odd situations with heirs to important positions at this point, but I'm not going to worry about any of it until I get to the proper structuring of it later on.
Can animals or prisoners be claimed by families? It is on the plans? I keep imaging wars over dragons or a chicken hehehe or perhaps a incarcerated goblin and things like that.
Also do you have any derivative development low hanging fruits, related or not to families and artifacts with this work yet?
Is intelligent living 'property' like slaves (existing in that state and being enslaved as a result of ethics) liable to be taken as loot or interacted in some such way if the invaders deem them useful enough to use (liberated into spare entity population or sold on etc even if not explicitly needed/wanted as slaves if a quick death to 'free them' is not enough)
The existing system is rather bare of details, as it's given that slaves are survivors but then incarcerated and released instantly as seemingly normal working citizens in worldgen usually after less than a year, natural slaves belonging to folk for doing actual work or trotting following behind their masters looking rather glum are actually rather rare.
I haven't done anything like that yet, but I imagine the property additions after myths will have to more robustly address all of these issues (regarding historical figures and other populations being property or otherwise under the control of entities or families). There are already some liberation mechanics in world gen invasions but I don't know if it makes history for it.
The family id numbers were the tangential low-hanging fruit, kind of, since they weren't directly in the path of the artifact release. There are a lot of other things coming up now, with questing world gen groups and so forth, but I'm trying to stay on track as much as possible.
Are/can slabs be worthy enough artifacts (for both goblins and necromancers) to prompt wars over if they are stolen/claimed by a adventurer or entity? In such a case that goblins may wish to reclaim their demonic master, or as per not engaging in apprentice training, armies of the dead lead by necromancers and apprentices chase down to punish the thief, chasing them and where the tome ends up (potentially in a fortress prompting conflict) all across the land relentlessly as a hostile factional night creature force (like a loyalty cascade where usual night creature pacification rules don't apply, as necro-on-necro macabre pokemon undead infighting)
Slabs occupying a strange place between books/scrolls and the newer worldgen artifacts. I had to remove books/scrolls from the new processes or they'd overwhelm the narratives, but slabs are sometimes considered right now (I had to stop kobolds from easily stealing all the vault slabs!). Eventually it'll need to understand which ones are important.
With the approach of the artifact revamp, what do you intend to do with moods? It seems to me that the fey, possessed, fell, and macabre moods are in the same camp as the good/evil biomes, being more placeholders than final features (though you could say that for everything in the game, really). Would you replace the moods with a more generalized, procedural framework that accounts in some way for power sources or actual deities? On a sort-of tangentially related note, would you have artifacts carry some of their inspiration's properties or theme, like a sword divinely inspired by a death god withering plants and binding the undead to the wielder's will?
I don't have a specific plan at this point. It goes with everything else specific and magical in the raws. It'll likely remain in some sort of vanilla form, since it'll be hard to gut absolutely everything on the first pass, but it'll also likely not be a core part of a generic "dwarf" template. We've been doing a lot of "sphere" tracking with the myths, so I expect most magical objects linked to some deity or other force will be at least partially aligned with it property-wise.
Will other races/entities generate thieves to steal artifacts or just kobolds (as goblins thieves just kidnap children)?
I guess it's a matter of perspective with these heroic recovery quests. The "thief" hero type is still a kobold thing, and crime in general is still weirdly restricted and underrepresented. I'm not sure we'll drift that way at all before its proper time, and just stick with adventurers "adventuring" until we get there.
Are adventurer sites going to be worked on a bit more soon, or during which arc are the likely to be re-visited? Specifically curious about being able to dig and to build the other workshops.
They have their own arc on the dev page ("Basic Adventure Mode Skills"), but I don't know when it'll next be up.
Are there any plans for adventurers to be able to craft artifacts via strange moods either in the artifact arc or the magic arc? I know you said you might have any item able to be declared an artifact for adventurers, but could they gather materials and make something of the highest craftsdwarfship with that becoming their primary emotional need? Is that kind of how a geas will work?
I'm really not sure how dwarfy adv moods will work -- the game leans toward giving them to the various civilian craftsdwarves, and you'd kinda technically be one of those if you sit and carve bone all day with the vanilla reaction. But I don't have any plans there, and it would require specialized mechanics.
So, is the plan during fortress mode to have some invaders specifically target your site because you have artifacts? When rumours of your artifacts spread, will invaders potentially come from further away (i.e not neighbours) to attack you, or will it only effect the rate that nearby goblins invade (like wealth and exported wealth now)?
Oh, and if an adventurer loots an npc artifact and delivers it to a player fortress, are you likely to get irate invaders (or adventuring groups?!) specifically come looking for it while you're playing as that fortress?
I expect they'll be able to come from farther away. And yeah, if you secure an artifact by whatever means (sending out one of the new patrols, or through adv mode and then unretiring), you'll be on the hook for any claims. Adventuring groups are a different category of trouble (compared to invasions or visitors), so they'd need to be handled specifically, but we're leaning toward doing it to (1) avoid your fort becoming a dead-end for artifact stories and (2) not having another worldgen feature that isn't used throughout play. I'm not sure if that'll include a diplomatic angle or just a group sneaking into your fort mostly using existing code.
With the artifact release, will residents of small settlements and towns/forts without a library have somewhere to store books and slabs? Will they appear in the owners' house or on their person, or a mead hall/civic structures?
The game now understands how to store things in buildings (rather than sites), but I'm not 100% sure we'll see respect of books. They are technically artifacts, but there are so many of them on some sites that I'm going to have to handle them some other way, which may or may not be finished.
What does "placeholder mechanic" mean in the context of Dwarf Fortress, where any any mechanic is subject to potential improvement in a future release?
Just to add a bit to what people have said, for me personally it tends to come up more when I kicked a can down the curb knowing at the time that there was a better way to do something, but it's sort of a spectrum. At this point in development, it'd probably be best to retire it, but I'll still keep saying it out of habit. For instance, above I have "5 kills naming" as "place-holdery" -- we knew at the time that there are better ways to name things and that we wanted a language system, but at the same time we certainly weren't going to do it back then, and yeah, it's sort of unfair to call it a place-holder when most other things fall in that category to different extents.
I think the example of the new family mechanic is a better example though -- after the myth release we already have specific plans to improve families, but we wanted to take a small bit of it to make artifacts better now. So whatever we have for families is a placeholder with a clear improvement coming up in a bit. That said, if development wildly veers, as it does from time to time, and family improvements don't happen, then we'll just be in the same old spot again.