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Author Topic: Setting out for the first time. Advice?  (Read 549 times)

Screamy

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Setting out for the first time. Advice?
« on: March 20, 2017, 01:56:59 am »

So!
Realizing that the chaotic nature of this game made for interesting viewing, and having binge-watched LPīers Aavak and Kruggsmash take on this game, Iīve decided to take the plunge mīself.

It does seem like the learning curve in the game is more like a brick wall, though I realize failing is part of the game.
So, errr, I might be bothering you lot for advice quite a bit in the beginning.

That said, Iīve made a world, picked a hopefully non-dreadful spot, stolen the rough expedition set-up of Aavak, aaaaand i will soon up-pause my first expedition ever.

So. Any advice before I set out to get my first seven brutally deadened?
Apart from "Dying is Fun", as an old Dark Souls player, I have to say, that slogan is actually even more terrifying than "Prepare to Die". ^^
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mikekchar

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Re: Setting out for the first time. Advice?
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2017, 03:15:57 am »

I think my best advice is to not worry too much.  My first ever fortress ultimately got killed from boredom and the desire to "do it right this time!".  Some people play this game like an RTS game -- crank up the FPS, try to optimise production, kill everything in sight, "win" at all cost.  That will result in more FUN, but you don't have to do it that way.  I tend to play at 20 FPS on purpose.  I like watching what's going on.  Keep looking at the wiki when you don't know what to do.  Everything is explained there.  Even though a few things are out of date, if you follow the wiki then you can pretty easily run a fortress for as long as you want.

The last thing I will say is that the UI/UX is a bit like the fire swamps in the movie the Princess Bride.  Once you learn the secrets you can live there comfortably :-).  Besides, I don't think that the rodents of unusual size actually exist....

aaarrrgghhhh....
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Screamy

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Re: Setting out for the first time. Advice?
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2017, 03:54:27 am »

Thanks for the answer sir!
I will do my best to temper my fear of doing it "wrong". ^^

Oh, how can I lower my fps artificially? 20 sounds a lot more relaxing than 100!
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Thisfox

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Re: Setting out for the first time. Advice?
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2017, 04:19:32 am »

I recommend enjoying yourself, and taking notes for the sake of your next fortress. Make short-term achievable personal goals. And don't get too attached to your first seven.

Also, make a still pretty early on. They drink a lot.
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IndigoFenix

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Re: Setting out for the first time. Advice?
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2017, 05:43:33 am »

DF's difficulty curve is steep, but once you get the basics of the UI down it's not really too hard.  Now that tantrum spirals are smoothed out, animals tend to run away, and people have to go looking for goblins, it's generally more forgiving than it was when it gained its reputation for difficulty.

Pick a location with some vegetation, but avoid aquifers, they are a pain to deal with.  Staying away from goblin civs will reduce your invasions.  Also avoid towers and evil regions for your first game.

Make sure you have drink to spare, especially before winter, dehydration during the first winter is a common mistake of beginning players.  Warm regions are more forgiving than cold ones for this reason.

If you're worried about invaders, remember: a hallway full of traps is your best defense.  Cage traps are particularly effective.  But watch out for titans, who will ignore normal traps.  Also remember: nothing can break through a constructed wall.

When you're ready to increase the challenge, you can open up the caverns.  If you open the caverns by mistake, you can wall them off.  Although even caverns aren't so dangerous now that most monsters will either ignore you or run away.

Ironfang

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Re: Setting out for the first time. Advice?
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2017, 05:46:15 am »

Learn the following basics.

-Moving between Z-Layers.
-digging.
-gathering food.
-storing food.
-brewing food into drink.
-how to trade with caravans.
-how to build walls to protect you from were-beasts and goblins.
-how to build beds and dining rooms.
-how to train dogs for war.
-pray that you won't get hammered by your first attacker.
-have !!FUN!!
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Human King: "So, how was your travel to dwarven lands?"
Human Diplomat: "Never piss off the dwarves, they have an army of hydras"

Dwarf Cook: "Another baby hydra meat roast coming up!"

PatrikLundell

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Re: Setting out for the first time. Advice?
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2017, 06:21:59 am »

Don't know what to do? Search the wiki!
Don't understand something? Search the wiki!
Wonder what that soil/rock is? Search the wiki!

The learning curve is greatly exaggerated (at least in modern versions). The issue is the volume, as there are a lot of mechanics (and then, once you get somewhat familiar with them, various stupid/ingenious ways of using them). Check the wiki!

When I started I used an starter guide on the wiki to get going. Once you do, you can expand your bag of known tricks gradually. When you run into trouble understanding how something works, check the wiki!

Asking questions here works as well, but if you read it on the wiki you don't have to wait for someone to come around and answer, so the wiki is usually faster.

HOW to play is very much an issue of personal preferences:
- Want to run the sleekest, most optimized machine around?
- Want to kill everything?
- Want to balance on a knife edge of ruin?
- Want to decorate your fortress with color coded and matched furniture?
- Want to pamper your dorfs like cats?
- Want to embark on more or less stupid/megalomanical mega projects?
- Want to explore the mechanics in every detail?
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Screamy

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Re: Setting out for the first time. Advice?
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2017, 07:48:33 am »

Many good answers, thanks folks!

Itīs summer now and everyone is still in one piece, will follow your advice and try to get a stock of food and drink before the colden times.
 Havenīt attempted any proper constructions like walls yet and have not seen a caravan so far, but iīll obliterate those bridges when i get there.

Getting a little better at the day to day stuff, i might actually be able to learn this!
« Last Edit: March 20, 2017, 08:10:56 am by Screamy »
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Ironfang

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Re: Setting out for the first time. Advice?
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2017, 11:34:19 am »

You mean obliterate with those bridges.
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Human King: "So, how was your travel to dwarven lands?"
Human Diplomat: "Never piss off the dwarves, they have an army of hydras"

Dwarf Cook: "Another baby hydra meat roast coming up!"

PatrikLundell

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Re: Setting out for the first time. Advice?
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2017, 01:45:53 pm »

Caravans are tied to seasons, with the dwarven one in autumn (unless playing a dead civ), and the elves in spring, followed by the humans in summer (assuming elves and humans are within trading range and aren't at war with you, which they usually are not). Due to the parameter setup, you don't get a human caravan the first summer, unless adjusting parameters (there's no reason to, unless playing a dead civ with no elven trading partners, as the human caravan appears only after having traded a little).
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Screamy

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Re: Setting out for the first time. Advice?
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2017, 05:52:21 pm »

Now the caravan info is -very- interesting!
 Will have to figure out how trade depos work!

So, time for session two, game rolled the save back to 1st spring which is odd, oh well, this time Iīll be able to get to were I was far faster and with fewer long wiki-pauses.
Oh, and I may have made drawings of my first seven, guess itīll make it even more FUN when they die of a combination of consumption and sadness! ^^

Itīll be a while before I figure out how to obliterate WITH bridges, see it as a progression meter. :)
« Last Edit: March 20, 2017, 05:54:26 pm by Screamy »
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Immortal-D

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Re: Setting out for the first time. Advice?
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2017, 07:33:24 pm »

Welcome to the party mate :)  I second 'short term goals and taking notes'.  The only advise I will give here is regarding your wagon-animals; either learn how to butcher them, or learn how to create a pasture.  My first several Forts saw my poor Oxen starving to death (usually on top of the dining room table ::)).  Wasn't much of a problem until the Necromancer showed up.
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bloop_bleep

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Re: Setting out for the first time. Advice?
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2017, 11:59:55 pm »

Welcome to the party mate :)  I second 'short term goals and taking notes'.  The only advise I will give here is regarding your wagon-animals; either learn how to butcher them, or learn how to create a pasture.  My first several Forts saw my poor Oxen starving to death (usually on top of the dining room table ::)).  Wasn't much of a problem until the Necromancer showed up.
Do you know what he meant by "Necromancer"? No? Let's just say, if you happen to suddenly see a load of creatures marked "Undead" in the units screen, you made a HUGE mistake embarking.
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Screamy

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Re: Setting out for the first time. Advice?
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2017, 03:07:09 am »

Holy hells! i guess you shouldnīt be surprised that you can get necros showing up! Sounds dreadful indeed!
 And yes, Iīm a longtime nerd, Iīm well aware of why this would be a terrible thing indeed.  :-X

 Watched an LP of a gent trying to build in a haunted biome, kind of fun watching his poor dwarves trying to destroy a clump of haunted llama wool, and being haunted by a disembodied bird head. ^^
-----------------------------------
On a sidenote, how do I tell my bumbling oafs to collect animal corpses? A lungfish has chosen to croak on my doorstep and Iīm hankering for some fish and chips.
Oh, and itīs got some mates nearby, any way I can tell one of my stunties to poke it with sticks, thus turning it into more scaly noms?
« Last Edit: March 21, 2017, 04:26:50 am by Screamy »
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PatrikLundell

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Re: Setting out for the first time. Advice?
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2017, 07:13:01 am »

No. Lungfish are "vermin", which are creatures that pop in and out of existence. Cats can kill vermin, but I don't think you can eat most of them. There are vermin traps, but not much reason to bother with those for the time being. If you want fish&chips you should enable fishing (which does catch vermin fish, so you might actually get some lungfish that way, if they bother to get out of the sky into the water at some time) on some dorfs and fish cleaning on twice as many. Dorfs LOVE to fish, and basically won't perform any productive work if fishing is possible (you also need to get hold of potatoes, but there's no chips generating reaction for those, so you have to imaging it's there).
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