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Author Topic: Taming the Terror (spoilers)  (Read 1853 times)

Schmaven

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Taming the Terror (spoilers)
« on: December 29, 2018, 03:35:57 am »

My first embark into a terrifying biome was filled with reanimating corpses and giant undead cougars.  Quickly relocating to the caverns, the 16+ monster slayers I accepted for security turned every cavern creature into an undead monster.  They then died to these undead monsters 1 by 1, adding to the growing number of threats.  Having no buckets nor wood, all the woodcutters slowly dying of thirst in the hospital with most of the other injured, it wasn't long before the hospital turned into ground zero for the T-Virus as all the patients turned and killed the rest.
 
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

A wave of 25 migrants arrived with no axes or picks, and no dwarves were left standing to pull the lever to open the drawbridge.  But it didn't matter because a pack of undead monkeys and Giant Cougars made quick work of them all before they could assemble themselves.  The last dwarf standing died fighting an undead chicken.  Being knocked unconscious by a ferocious right toe'd kick, several combat log pages of being scratched in the head weakened her until the giant undead Cougar came in to finish her off.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Edit: In her defense, he was a muscular chicken.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

The first reclaim attempt ended not even 1 month in as the 25 migrant undead brutalized the starting 7 together with the local fauna.

The second reclaim attempt with 10,000 embark points: All 7 have bronze armor, iron war hammers, are skilled in war hammering, proficient dodgers, and disciplined.  They put down the rabble and made a quick bunker box to get out of the green "rain" and giant undead carnivores.  The aquifer under most of the map requires a long tunnel to the lower biome section of the site before stone can be mined and the army of angry ghosts memorialized.  It turns out bringing stone would have been a good idea.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

It will be tamed...
« Last Edit: June 27, 2019, 07:05:48 am by Schmaven »
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Immortal-D

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Re: Taming the Terror
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2018, 11:11:30 am »

Bravo!  Are you using DFHack to remove Stress?  Challenges like this are effectively impossible with the current Stress system.

Schmaven

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Re: Taming the Terror
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2018, 02:55:12 pm »

I haven't used DFHack at all yet.  It's been on my mind to look into it at some point though.
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arkhnchul

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Re: Taming the Terror
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2019, 10:02:27 pm »

Challenges like this are effectively impossible with the current Stress system.
not exactly. Maintainig stress in reanimating biome quite hard, but possible. Main trick is to completely destroy all corpses and body parts as fast as it can be done - mainly not because they are obviously dangerous, but because of strong negative thoughts even seeing them. So no refuse stockpiles and no burials, standing order to dump everything, magma or automatic smasher on dump zones instead of quantum stockpiles. Starting seven (except maybe miners, who will be all-time busy far from main carnage) and some waves is doomed to die either from wilddeath, weather or stress-related insanities, but established fortresses (mine, at least) arent have serious stress issues then.

I haven't used DFHack at all yet.
it is same "must have" tool as therapist, i think. Besides of many manipulations which can be considered as cheats, it contributes to interface. At least search in many in-game lists is a big deal.
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Superdorf

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Re: Taming the Terror
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2019, 05:12:01 pm »

I've been fooling around a bit with evil biomes, and the stress issues aren't so horrid as I expected-- thus far, at least. As it turns out, being constantly attacked by the undead really does wonders on a dwarf's psychological resistance; after putting down a few reanimating body parts apiece, most of my dwarves pick up "don't care about anything anymore" and come to handle the horrors just fine.

Corpse horror in general seems to be fairly manageable in the current version. Unfulfilled needs, and random psyche changes from rain and miasma-- those are the real killers...
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Schmaven

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Re: Taming the Terror
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2019, 08:30:38 pm »

I had to abandon the initial starting zone and find another.  Having several migrant waves, trade caravans, embarks, monster honters, and wild critters all die on the surface makes for almost an insta-death embark. 

The new site is equally dangerous, hopefully more so.  It took a few probing embarks, but I found another reanimating evil biome with high savagery.  It's a hot climate, so not much evil rain, but there's potential for giant elephants and rhinos which is always good.  It seemed like a worthy trade off.  So far just undead boar packs and cougars have been roaming the surface.

Having learned my lesson on the last 4 failed embarks, I first set up the butcher / drawbridge smashing dump zone.  There's also a lockable pen where grazing pets are spared the zombie mauling of trying to graze on the surface and can instead starve to death in relative peace.  Where upon they then maul the other pets in the pen having just turned into zombies themselves.  Phase 2 of that plan involves digging out more rooms to isolate grazing pets from each other, but as it is now, it protects the fort in its current configuration.  Two migrant waves managed to have excellent timing and pass the undead boar herds completely unnoticed.  The trade caravan unfortunately was not as lucky, but managed to put all the boars down.  ....For now.  I'm not going to venture into the caverns so early and unprepared this time either.  And any monster hunters petitioning to join my fort can go straight to hell.


Here's the dumping pit, next to the butcher's shop (surrounded by other associated workshops), and the dining hall as it is at the start of year 2.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Side note: I just started using the "Meph+Vordak (lite) 32x" tile set included in my Lazy Newb Pack, and it's really nice.  The detail put into it is great.  For instance (not shown) marble furniture such as tables, chairs, tombs, coffers, etc. look different than those of common stone.  The smoothed walls are also quite nice to look at (hence why I smoothed everything).  My room mate even told me "It looks like an actual game now."


At this point, it feels easy having learned from the past several losses, so I'll have to take some steps to increase the challenge.  Starting some wars might do it.  Establishing a surface presence is another idea I'm leaning toward.

it is same "must have" tool as therapist, i think. Besides of many manipulations which can be considered as cheats, it contributes to interface. At least search in many in-game lists is a big deal.

It turns out I have been using it.  The list searching, and sorting trade goods by value or distance are incredibly helpful features.  I just haven't used the command input interface of it.  Notifications of starving dwarves is nice too for when the miners have mined themselves into a place they can't get out of. 
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Meng Lolorked

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Re: Taming the Terror
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2019, 04:34:29 am »

Wouldn't it be awesome to keep all dead zombified animals near surface behind a drawbridge, provoke war with elves (or anyone else), and then release "your" zombies at any invading force that arrives?
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Schmaven

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Re: Taming the Terror
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2019, 08:52:56 pm »

That's a great idea!

I could pasture them on 1x1 platforms next to a retracting bridge over a 3 z drop, wait for them (or not) to turn zombie, walk onto the bridge and drop them into the holding area.  The holding area could be isolated except for 1 point:  Drawbridge access gate to the surface. 

Then there could be a series of retractable bridges spanning gaps between pillars of gradually increasing height up to a drawbridge gate into the fortress to lead invaders onto the bridges above the zombie horde.  They could then be dropped from varying heights depending on how much advantage my zombies need.

If it goes successfully, the zombie horde population will quickly become a problem, so magma will be involved at some point somehow.
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Schmaven

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Re: Taming the Terror
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2019, 05:59:37 am »

Careful planning would have been a good idea.  But I went for it all at once: Dig the zombie pit, construct a maze of bridges, build retracting bridges to pasture starving animals, and construct a drawbridge to seal the pit from the fort.  I had 80+ adult dwarves so there was no shortage of labor.  The first thing completed was pasturing the starving animals on the bridges.  Since not all of them were linked to levers, a single 2x2 bridge had 5 animals on it.  The original plan was to seal the animals in rooms, then open a bridge and wait for them to path onto another bridge where they would be dropped.  But when I found that I could create pastures on top of retractable bridges, that just seemed better.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

As it turns out, having just a 1 tile gap between the bridges, and a shared back wall, the zombie animals are able to cross from 1 bridge to another.  Also, dwarves walking nearby to get to the dig site find it irresistible to attack them.  And dwarves too are able to somehow scurry along the walls to get to the zombies on the bridges.

When fighting on the bridge, some of them fell or dodged off and fell 5 z levels.  So did some of the zombie animals.  No big deal I thought, I'll just dump their corpses into the atom smasher...  That was until several other dwarves died to the zombie cattle and new zombie dwarves.  A squad of 10 well trained mace Dwarves was stationed to protect the cleanup efforts.  But hat quickly spiraled out of control and 26 dwarves were killed and turning into zombies on the spot.  This was now ground zero of the zombie apocalypse. 

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Hastily, a lever was constructed in an attempt to link it to the 1 bridge that could seal off the pit from the rest of the fort.  But before any links could be made, the zombie horde was chasing the living over that same bridge.  In hind sight, that would have been a good thing to set up first.  But it was time for plan B: construct a wall at the next choke point where the initial tunnel was dug.  These zombies however are not like the ones you see in the movies.  When charging after critters, they are FAST!  And that's exactly what they were doing, chasing after the few remaining living pets right down that tunnel.  ...It was not sealed in time.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Fortunately, the barracks was right around the corner, and Team Alpha was able to put them down as they approached.  At this point, 40+ dwarves had died, so the entire tunnel and pit was mass forbidden to prevent any more temptation to recover wounded or store items in a stockpile.  Most of the surviving dwarves were now in the sub-par hospital (no soap, no water), with 10 sharing a single bed.  Desperate times I guess...    Checking in on the status of Team Alpha revealed that they were down to 6 from 10, so they retreated back to the subterranean farm plots / stairway entrance to the main fort.  The breach was lost.  The farms will be the last stand. 

The surface was sealed off to prevent the large pack of giant undead hyenas from coming in, and also to prevent dwarves from venturing top side to say hi to the surface zombies.  A good long last stand it was.  Only 1 zombie at a time managed to straggle down the other tunnels and into the farms, where they were pulped by the 6 mace wielding heroes.  But then someone had to go and die of thirst in the hospital and turn into a zombie.  In mere moments, the hospital corner became the second outbreak of this zombie apocalypse. 

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

No big deal - doors had already been built everywhere, so they were locked and forbidden.  Urist McStupid however was able to open forbidden doors to haul some stone to the stockpile next to the hospital, and release them into the main stairway.  Team Alpha valiantly fought them back, more dwarves were hastily recruited into the squad, and walls were built around the doors to stop the rest of the horde from being let in.  Now it was a fight to atom smash all the corpses, and also fight their severed body parts crawling everywhere. 

At the darkest hour, 5 adult dwarves (1 insane, 3 totally stressed and harrowed) and 7 children were alive before a migrant wave arrived.  Everyone was drafted into inactive squads and given just 1 labor: Refuse hauling.  A few more died, but the corpses were cleared, and another wave of migrants arrived. 

With the apocalypse under control, the task of engraving 181 memorial slabs begins.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

The plan remains to use zombies for defense.  However magma may have to be pumped into the pit for now to deal with the zombie horde before progress can continue. 
Edit: I honestly did not expect to have to resort to magma so soon.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2019, 06:01:50 am by Schmaven »
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Superdorf

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Re: Taming the Terror
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2019, 03:44:35 pm »

Ahhahaha. That was glorious.

I salute you, sir.
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Schmaven

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Re: Taming the Terror
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2019, 07:27:44 pm »

The few survivors luckily had a massive food and booze stash that was uninfested by zombies, so they were able to go into full memorial slab carving mode.  Ghosts really get in the way of productivity.  Also, a few iterations of attempted hospitals had to be sealed off to help contain the zombie explosion.

Spoiler: Field of Slabs (click to show/hide)

With the ghosts under control, and all the remaining corpses and crawling limbs atom smashed, it was time to get that magma involved.  It was a few firsts for me: first pump stack, first windmill farm, first dwarven micro water reactor.  It took over 700 Urists of power to bring magma up above the zombie pit.  With only 20 power per windmill, I gave in to the allure of the Micro-Reactor which instead nets 90 power each.  I was going to need way too many windmills otherwise.

Spoiler: Wind Farm (click to show/hide)

The giant square space was going to be a magma holding tank with levers for particular hatches to target magma drops on certain points of the zombie pit trap with laser-like precision.  Due to the zombie apocalypse however, no hatches were ever constructed, and only a few drop holes were dug. 

Spoiler: Magma Pumps (click to show/hide)

The moment of sweet revenge: magma begins pouring down into the pit and onto the zombies :)
Saving and re-opening the game seems to clear much of the magma smoke from view.

Spoiler: Magma vs Zombies (click to show/hide)

Edit: with all that has happened so far, and the dead count up to 256, this thread should be re-named Riling up the Terror.  But it's just the storm before the calm.  There are grand plans for this embark.

Spoiler: Diagrams (click to show/hide)


Just waiting for a 7-Z level deep pit to fill completely with magma.  The magma sea level has dropped to 3 in some areas from the so far 18 month pumping operation, resulting in the magma forges now being unpowered.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2019, 03:17:43 pm by Schmaven »
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Meph

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Re: Taming the Terror
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2019, 05:37:44 am »

I guess this fort has died?
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Schmaven

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Re: Taming the Terror
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2019, 11:55:35 am »

I guess this fort has died?
Depends on how you define died.  There are 70 undead, and 263 dead/missing compared to 52 citizens.  Not exactly a thriving with life ratio.  But I like to think it's still hanging in there.

The magma forges and smelters shut down a while ago due to excessive pumping into the zombie trap, which I'm still filling with magma.  Pumping water into it to obsidiafy it all was the plan, but to make components for a water pump stack, I need to allow the magma sea to refill.  But not before the magma incinerates the zombies who are currently occupying the trap work area.  The surface and caverns are also too full of zombies to get any more wood. 

The dwarves of "Blazedtin" are currently relying heavily upon trading with the humans to make leather clothing.  It seems to fair better than pigtail clothing when dwarves are surprised by reanimated limbs and such.  The dwarven caravan no longer comes after they had to fight through a herd of undead, even though they survived and made it to the depot.  Maybe the liason died?  I didn't check.  A human trade caravan arrived, and in the much appreciated hustle to get all the goods to the depot, the dumping tasks became a lower priority.  This lead to announcements such as, "Cattenvudthar, Dwarven Child cancels Harvest Plants: Interrupted by ´ngizstibmer's left hand." and "Urvad Stinthńdkalal, Hen <Tame> has been found dead."

I got discouraged by a lack of sieges, so I checked the civilization screen 11 years in to the fort to find that there were only 3: 2 dwarven and 1 human civilization.  I wasn't looking to start trouble, but rather to meet it with a giant zombie trap.  But it seems I'll have to start a war once the trap is ready for functional testing.  Edit: The civilization list shows only those I have made contact with.  Checking the other tabs in the civilization screen showed that the world is indeed full of goblins, elves, humans and dwarves.  Probably just the thick hordes of undead keeping them away from the fort.

Fortifications were carved into the containment area, marksdwarves got some practical training, and the old crafting area / hospital has now returned to being a normal part of the fort!
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: June 15, 2019, 08:48:24 pm by Schmaven »
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Schmaven

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Re: Taming the Terror
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2019, 05:22:04 am »

Draining all the magma into the caverns was a quick way to empty the pit, but not a good idea with regard to FPS.  The 9-Z tall windmill farm was demolished, and the micro-water reactors disabled, but FPS has not improved.  Sitting at 12 now. 

When the wind farm came down, it punctured several Z levels into the fort, destroying the gears and axles for both the water and magma pump stacks, and leaving a lot of openings to the surface.  Team Alpha is currently stationed by the breach while the remaining dwarves build floors and walls to seal it off amidst giant undead monarch butterfly, and undead armadillo boar attacks.  The farms had to be fallowed, and stockpiles disabled to free up some of the labor force. 

Also probably not very good for the FPS was a previous incident where a planned cave-in unexpectedly punctured the floors below, dumping magma onto the memorial slab garden, lighting many of the slabs on fire (lignite was a bad choice of slab material), and releasing many ghosts in the process.  Several of the slabs are still burning, but much of the magma has evaporated. 
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

The primary task now is increasing FPS.  I have never had a fort get this low on FPS before, so this is new territory for me.  First step, trade or atom smash every non-essential item (though I am tempted to preserve an iron shield with 2 kills associated with it).  Second step, reduce path finding options.  Third step, reduce the cavern layers of undead and flowing liquids.  Fourth step, research.  A human caravan just arrived, so I'm currently gambling on deactivating the surface breach guards and suspending sealing the breach in order to trade as much crap as possible (mostly old clothing it seems), as 12 FPS is brutal when you're accustomed to 70.  I can say for certain that the drop was due to filling a 23 x 25 x 7 pit 100% with magma, turning the top into a variable 3-Z topogrophy of obsidian with chaotic mining / cave-ins, then draining 23 x 25 x 4 magma into the caverns.

On the plus side, I now know how to make a ghost bomb.

Update: After trading away just about everything, atom smashing everything else, limiting path-finding options, and only gaining a handful of FPS, I resorted to DFHack to see if this fort could be saved from FPS death.  10 FPS is not really a workable speed for me to clear the caverns with dwarf might.  Especially when every season, "The Fortress Attracted No Migrants"

Reveal showed me the true cause of the FPS drop.  I checked the units screen and found over 1300 undead on the map.  And in the most inaccessible places too:  Very narrow and maze like caverns.  There were isolated cavern pockets on the edge of the map, just filled with undead crundles that would be like finding a needle in a hay stack.  There appears to be no population limit to the crundle.  Surely the total unit count above 1300 was the cause.  But I had to be sure.  I was about to surrender to FPS death at this point so I figured, what the hell, I'll cheat a bit...  I found the biggest clusters of undead and with the liquids command in DFHack, gave them nice refreshing magma showers - dropping the 'Others' count in the unit list down to 470, with the 'Dead/Missing' count up to 1235, and FPS up to 24 rather than 10, with spikes up to the low 30s. 

Some further magma cleansing got the 'Others' count down to 163 and FPS up to 88 calculation and 50 graphical (max setting for graphical).  This is now a speedy fort again like a fresh embark :)  Saved by DFHack!!!  Now I can continue with the original zombie trap plan unhindered. 

The one unfortunate consequence of my unskillful use of DFHack is that the map can no longer be un-revealed.  Don't save and exit before using unreveal.  You can always re-reveal if you need to.  I'm trying not to take advantage of it.  Already with hundreds of bars of iron, and having spotted the adamantine when the magma sea was breached, I don't really need to know what's veins are where, etc.  Either by design or by luck, large rectangles of normal hidden squares remain over the adamantine areas. 

Update: The first Dwarven caravan in years arrived, likely due to rumors from trading so much value to the humans last season, and were also generously paid for their goods.  Following that was 26 migrants, a much needed boost to the work force now that FPS has returned to normal.  But following that was the arrival of a WereElephant who made quick work of the unfortunate leatherworker by the entrance.  To my amazement however, the first macedwarf to arrive on the scene killed the beast with just 4 blows from her *iron mace*.  Luck was on her side as the first strike seemed to be very crippling: The Mace Lord bashes the wereelephant in the neck with her *iron mace*, bruising the muscle and tearing the upper spine's nervous tissue!

Update: A dragon arrived right in the middle of the entryway re-construction project.  Everything was forbidden / suspended to encourage everyone to get back inside.  The dragon scared 1 dwarf who went running away, and then waited around the corner by the entryway, melting him when he came back around. 
Spoiler: Dragon (click to show/hide)
The cook is apparently unconcerned.

Only 1 of the marksdwarves made it to the halfway constructed tower before the dragon did, but he quickly climbed down to fire 2 shots at point blank range before being melted.  Both head shots, leaving the bolts embedded. 

Everyone being cave adapted, the mace-lords were stationed just inside the burned down entryway, waiting for the dragon to come in.  Taking the gate entrance instead of the wagon ramp access left the dragon in a 1x1 stairway where dragon fire cannot spread as far.  Seizing the opportunity, the mace-lords charged in to the stairway, and surprisingly made quick work of the beast.  Only bruises were sustained underneath their iron armor as they pulped it. 

Update 6/25/19:  A Roc showed up shortly after the dragon, but didn't severely injure any of the 30 mace lords waiting for it by the caravan entrance.  It did survive a lot longer than the dragon, but also it was a lot bigger than the dragon.  Lacking fire breath, I'll take a Roc any day over a dragon.  The 30 mace lords seem capable of anything right now, but with 105 dwarves total in the fort, I don't think it would be enough to put down another zombie apocalypse.  Lacking flux, I only get about 25 steel bars on a good year from trading for flux / steel items to be melted.  Most of them have mostly iron armor.  Some patchwork steel and adamantine is being crafted into the mix as it becomes available. 
Spoiler: SPOILER (click to show/hide)
 
« Last Edit: June 30, 2019, 07:46:04 pm by Schmaven »
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Schmaven

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Reconstruction Begins!
« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2019, 07:42:58 pm »

With the pit now emptied of magma, re-construction has resumed.  This time with a little more preparation work to do before introducing the zombies.  Such as draw bridges actually linked to levers. 
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

And Ballistas!
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
If they dodge off the bridge, there are thousands of masterpiece upright iron spears to land on.  10 per trap, lots of traps.  I buy all the iron from the caravans in any form and melt it down to make spears.  Steel has only been very very slowly trickling in from the caravans.  Especially since more often than not they don't come; and when the do, they get slaughtered before making it to the depot.  Which is actually one problem this zombie trap is going to solve with phase 2 of the construction - the above ground portion.

The adamantine mines have been shut down after the clowns made an appearance; so it's mostly iron for the squads.  The last incident in the caverns left the few pieces of steel and adamantine gear they did have up in the trees surrounded by not only the zombies that killed the soldiers, but now too the risen mace lords and marksdwarves themselves.  There will have to be a reclamation mission at some point to salvage the gear and administer some good old fashioned Dwarven justice.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

As you can see, the reveal all command has unfortunately turned permanent.  At this stage in the fort, I already have an abundance of what is available on the map, so there's no real advantage to seeing everything.  The smelters haven't been able to keep pace with the trade goods, let alone what has been incidentally mined out to make the fort.  There is currently a stock of 334 iron bars, 392 copper bars, and 248 metal ores.  Enough to probably get another armorsmith trained up to legendary. 
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: June 30, 2019, 07:49:11 pm by Schmaven »
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