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Author Topic: *We need your help with game ending stress*  (Read 11025 times)

FantasticDorf

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Re: *We need your help with game ending stress*
« Reply #150 on: November 05, 2019, 06:13:36 am »

Longish term player here @ThreeToe, since least before the tavern arc went in and the last few builds before 40. Things markedly changed in dwarf behaviour beyond the tavern Arc in general and it became a real slog with stress afterwards in 44.10. I've posted every manner of theory and practical demonstration but there are a four constant factors

Four particular points to mention.

  • Additional needs are player box ticking exercises, not motivated goals held by the dwarf. You build a library out of nessecity to fill the need rather than a dwarf scrambling to obtain and read by themselves, this frustrates the player with micro-management of each individual which isn't feasibly easy and also not very fun with the ui and controls. Some of these things should be outside of the players zone of control like dwarves holding private ownership of copies of books or least until the author of the original is dead and has stopped claiming it
  • I remember vividly the parties dwarves used to hold, this event squirreled them all together into a common area, and absolutely cleared their schedules in which in the current state of the game you can work them to death without complaint, either by ethic or whatever, dwarves are made for working but the game doesn't have scope to have them doing that forever and inevitably dwarves need to relax, procreate and try to entertain the player socially.
Everything beside, taverns dont work, i never build inefficient 10x10 ones because they fit 200 dwarves packed into the squares and massive voids of space when using anything less than that amount of patrons. I've already offered suggestions like special code for spacing them out. Temples never require more than 1x3/1x5 on the logic that a small shrine fits 12-20 worshippers because they stand on the same tiles.

Libraries are the most succesuful becuase they dont have a floor activity and are just modified meeting area's with a activity to fufill within them if it is a bit repetitive because of possible dwarf code, which should ideally be the archetype like we have in the previous definition of statue garden modifiers to art, or meeting halls all being one big dining room.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2019, 06:15:38 am by FantasticDorf »
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ZM5

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Re: *We need your help with game ending stress*
« Reply #151 on: November 05, 2019, 08:28:09 am »

I understand this imbalance alone doesn't create a problem, but it does show a preference for negative emotions in the system and a lack of positive emotions to make up for the bad experiences.

It doesn't show much anything of the sort, since that would suggest that there's a uniform distribution of all emotions, which... I don't know, have you ever seen grim satisfaction? I have, once.

I have actually.  Isn't this essentially what schadenfreude is?  (specifically in the case of poetic justice, where somebody who has been a source of great distress to others, suffers the consequences of such behavior in a profound, and significant fashion?)

It's a lot more visible in adventure mode if you go around killing bandits. Nonetheless its just a neutral moodlet rather than positive or negative.

Splint

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Re: *We need your help with game ending stress*
« Reply #152 on: November 05, 2019, 12:52:29 pm »

There is a problem with stress?  ???
Have you not played the game since 44.10 or so? That's when most of these issues started.

Yes I have and I found no issues with stress.

Everybody spends all their time being deliriously happy about how great their dining hall is and how great their bedrooms are as well as how interesting their chair is.  Then there is alcohol on top of that; the occasional bad thing that happens does not counteract in any way the general barrage of good things.  Bad things happen occasionally, good things happen constantly

Given your lack of mention of combat (be it with animals or invaders) it indicates you spend most of your play-time buttoned up and avoiding contact with everything if at all possible. Which is fair, that's your prerogative to do so, but it's also going to skew your perception of the topic at hand. I will concede I'm making assumptions, maybe you're just part of that 2% of the playerbase that enjoys them some hyper-micromanagement in one or more aspects of the game, in which case hats off. :P  But the point stands.

Many of the the people who've replied to the thread make mention of serious hazards beyond a troll occasionally killing one guy in a side tunnel or some other minor shock that's easy to weather. Much of then problem stems from those hazards (or even just minor inconveniences really, like rain or nausea from going topside to get something) effectively enforcing very specific playstyles that just aren't going to be fun to everyone, and preventing projects that say, demand going out on the surface - such as building an above ground tavern to prevent/reduce cave adaptation - because the work crew might get rained on or nauseated and be traumatized by one or the other forever.

There's also some needs simply being unfulfillable and causing increasing stress burdens, or due to bugs. These needs usually being focused on food and drink that can't be provided by trade or local output or are so specific as to be virtually unobtainable, or bugs concerning what they worship - a hydra for example, will never have the worship need filled, no matter how much the dwarf prays and meditates on the hydra and it's spheres, so they sit praying endlessly in a loop unable to take care of other things unless the player physically forces them to do something else.

additionally, while it's perfectly possible to crowd out a minor shock here and there (like a troll getting in and needing to be killed before it smashes everyone's bedrooms up, or a single werebeast attack,) the best thoughts to do that require ridiculous amounts of micromanagement to even give your dwarves access to in the latest version, these being from friends, pets (because you have to find them something they like and hope nobody else adopts it before them,) and marriages/having kids.

Quote
if bad things are happening constantly the problem is you the player and not the game.

Also dial back the attitude. The 'bad things' in question could be as mundane as not knowing the place one decided to start a fort lacked a dry season to interrupt the constant rainfall and not being able to get insanely specific foods in trade for a few problem dwarves, or as extreme being under attack by the local wildlife constantly and dealing with periodic necromancer attacks. You playing a specific way that minimizes absolutely every possible negative impact doesn't give you the right to essentially belittle other styles of play.


I understand this imbalance alone doesn't create a problem, but it does show a preference for negative emotions in the system and a lack of positive emotions to make up for the bad experiences.

It doesn't show much anything of the sort, since that would suggest that there's a uniform distribution of all emotions, which... I don't know, have you ever seen grim satisfaction? I have, once.

I have actually.  Isn't this essentially what schadenfreude is?  (specifically in the case of poetic justice, where somebody who has been a source of great distress to others, suffers the consequences of such behavior in a profound, and significant fashion?)

It's a lot more visible in adventure mode if you go around killing bandits. Nonetheless its just a neutral moodlet rather than positive or negative.

Honestly it'd be a better response to battlefield clean-up for most playable dudes to have. Not happy, not sad, but glad it's been dealt with, and dealt with permanently, with it being the select few true nutjobs being gleeful and bleeding hearts getting upset. Because yes, on the one hand a person died and that's terrible. But on the other, that same person wanted to kill you, your friends, your pets/livestock, and loot your corpses afterwards, so it's a little bit difficult to feel bad about their grisly demise at the hands fo the local militia/goblin grinder.

Although I will say it's ridiculous for anyone to be upset or uneasy over the corpse of a werebeast, considering if the werebeast wasn't killed, it'd just continue murdering people and killing livestock.

Pillbo

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Re: *We need your help with game ending stress*
« Reply #153 on: November 05, 2019, 03:34:57 pm »

I agree with most of comments and suggestions so far, I'd say stress doesn't make the game more challenging, it makes it less fun. Stress is bad right now, these dwarves (and elves and humans) live in a violent, monstrous world and I think they should really reflect that emotionally. Medieval people thought gruesome violence like executions and burnings was entertaining, they should at least be tolerant of the sight of the corpse of strangers.  Right now you can get 80 year old migrant axelords that will lose their minds from rain exposure, by the time you're that old you should know if you hate nature too much to travel. Migrants should show up expecting inclement weather, violence, tough living conditions, being separated from family, and not getting their favorite ingredients very often in meals. Someone prone to mental fracturing shouldn't be migrating around the world to be a pioneer, they should just stay in the mountain homes.

Just about anything I can think of has been said, but here are some suggestions that may help:

Dwarves could path around miasma, bad weather, known corpse piles or upsetting things.  It makes sense that an emotional creature would avoid upsetting things.

Allowing dwarves to craft and acquire things by their own choice would be great.  I know some people would hate materials being used without permission, but I think it's more interesting. Maybe you could designate a workshop as open to the public and have a linked stockpile of permitted materials for crafting, then anyone with a need to craft can stop in on their free time.

Highlighting in some way trade caravan goods that fulfill some dwarves food preferences, because there is no way to know what would be wanted from the trade screen.

Clothing options that protect from the weather, like raincoats, waxed hoods, jackets or boots. Alternately I'd rather a dwarf refuse to go out in the rain than do it and devolve into insanity or violence.

I love the idea of them building shrines or collecting things in their rooms that make them happy, of their own accord.

Adaptation - all people adapt to their circumstances, I read recently that levels of life satisfaction seem fairly consistent across cultural circumstances, from third-world poverty to first world comparative wealth.  Dwarves should adapt to what they have to deal with and balance their moods, but have strong reactions to things out of the norm. Like if you have a wealthy peaceful fort then everything goes to hell and their are corpses everywhere people should lose it.  But if you're living in a haunted biome with skin and hair trying to kill everyone those emotional hits should be weaker every time (barring the emotionally unbalanced).

Related to adaptation, food/drink preferences could change from experience like other personality traits.  If you have a lot of fish in a fort it's realistic that people would start to consider it a favorite food.

A simpler solution might be a stress / emotion slider so people can just decide how fragile they want the average sentient being.

Some way for corpses to disappear would be a huge help to the corpse stress too, I like the scavenger - suggestions people have posted. As a bonus it makes the wildlife more interesting.
___

Sorry for any redundancies, this thread is too long to read.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2019, 03:51:59 pm by Pillbo »
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Nameless Archon

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Re: *We need your help with game ending stress*
« Reply #154 on: November 05, 2019, 04:12:56 pm »

Long time (2010!) player. I ran four or five forts on my livestreamed charity event this year.

The only forts which did not have eventual stress problems were those where I played in the absolute most-buttoned-up fashion possible, with minimal or no combat events. Dead bodies which were not created did not get hauled. Bodies which did not get hauled did not get dwarves onto the rainy surface to haul them. In this way I had "mostly okay" forts, with most dwarves being fine, and a few happy dwarves who made artifacts or had the right combination of personality traits and events.

If unchecked, this means an end to:

1. Fighting in the open. (Bodies, parts, rain, cave adaptation!)

2. Weapon traps. (Bodies and parts!)

3. Use of non-spear weapons. (Body parts! Teeth!)

4. Embarking in marshes or swamps. (Rain!)

5. Creating a surface-level statue garden to fight cave adaptation. (Nausea! Rain!)

Please review the impact of negative events on dwarves. The magnitude and stacking do not appear to be in sync with the frequency of events and probability of multiple exposures. Additionally, positive events are lacking, broken or do not seem to have a properly offsetting magnitude.

Provide feedback from your dwarves. If they're meeting with the manager and mayor, why aren't we getting that feedback in the announcements log? For an example (from a not-so-good game) consider Maia, where your colonists send you email about the things they're in need of.
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Pillbo

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Re: *We need your help with game ending stress*
« Reply #155 on: November 07, 2019, 04:18:21 pm »

(response to derail removed)
« Last Edit: November 07, 2019, 09:42:03 pm by Toady One »
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Splint

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Re: *We need your help with game ending stress*
« Reply #156 on: November 07, 2019, 04:42:01 pm »

(response to derail removed)

DG

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Re: *We need your help with game ending stress*
« Reply #157 on: November 07, 2019, 08:39:28 pm »

Please stop engaging with GoblinCookie. There is no point. He'll go back to haunting the Suggestion Forums.
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ThreeToe

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Re: *We need your help with game ending stress*
« Reply #158 on: November 07, 2019, 09:54:42 pm »

Thanks for responding everyone!  You have all been a real help moving DF forward to a more user friendly experience.  It was a real oversight not playing a game out multiple decades.  That will be corrected for sure, and we'll find more of these design problems and fix those too.  Please feel free to continue the discussion with thoughts and observations.

(Note: For the record, I should have said I gave my dwarves every kind of alcohol the wagons traded.  Acquiring every type of drink is an outstanding accomplishment!)

(Note 2: removed flaming)
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PlumpHelmetMan

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Re: *We need your help with game ending stress*
« Reply #159 on: November 07, 2019, 10:33:28 pm »

Really we ought to be thanking you and Toady for being so committed to breaking down these long-standing barriers to user-friendliness in the first place, but glad we could help anyway. :)
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Korva

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Re: *We need your help with game ending stress*
« Reply #160 on: November 08, 2019, 05:29:31 pm »

Bit late to the party, but let me say thanks for this thread -- and your efforts with this awesome game overall.  :)

I'm a returning player from before these reworks, and while I do like the idea of dwarves having more needs, and agree that it was too easy to make everyone permanently ecstatic in the Old Days(TM), the implementation of the new systems has been quite demotivating. A lot of good points have been made here already so I'll keep it brief. My main issues are:

1) Lack of autonomy on the dwarves' part.
2) Clunky and opaque mechanics, especially regarding socialization.
3) Being "punished" for things I can't do anything about.

I don't want my dwarves to be jaded sociopaths who wade through mountains of gore without a care in the world, but I don't want them to feel like a bunch of fragile spoiled waifs either. It makes me wonder how these beards survived the trip to my fort and how they built a society to begin with, if they'll suffer for years because of that time they got rained on when I sent them outside to gather herbs so they'd stop being unhappy about not being able to wander. I want a red arrow be an emergency, all hands on deck, what did I do wrong and how can I fix it situation, because I'm a sucker for trying to keep my fictional people happy, and the current system makes it harder to empathize and sympathize in that way.

My most urgent wishes would be:

1) Give us ways to enable dwarves to autonomously fulfill all or at least most of their needs, and improve existing ways, especially regarding socialization. Lonely dwarves are my biggest frustration right now.
2) Weather and cave adaptation effects really need toning down IMO, and proper clothing could help reduce the impact further.
3) Add more ways to give dwarves happy thoughts based on what is happening. For example, a fortress-wide mood boost after opening a tavern or beating back a siege. "Urist McSoldier was proud to defend the fortress from our enemies!" and "Urist McCivilian was relieved that the military defeated our enemies." Something like that. Such a victory, as well as events like the creation of a artifact, could also make the population like the involved dwarves a bit more? That would help the fort feel more like a community.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2019, 05:32:01 pm by Korva »
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wierd

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Re: *We need your help with game ending stress*
« Reply #161 on: November 10, 2019, 03:25:19 am »

Personally, I think a good deal of the "I saw a bit of a corpse!! OH NO!" nonsense has to do with 3 things.

1) Each little bit of corpse counts as a whole corpse being seen (Sure, a mangled corpse is more horrific than a peacefully reposing one, but "I SAW UNCLE URIST'S HANGNAIL! OH NO! And now I am double traumatized by seeing his left index finger's fingernail! GODS!" is just absurd.  Urist is dead. That shock should happen once, and once only, no matter how many of his body parts you find.)
2) Each corpse piece can be experienced repeatedly.  (Instead of having an emotional shock about the tragic loss of Uncle Urist, followed by acceptance and going forward with life, dwarves keep re-experiencing the trauma of losing Uncle Urist over and over and over and over and over again, every time they see Uncle Urist's hangnail. This is absurd. Dwarves should move on with loss, and stop being traumatized by bits of exhumed corpse. You know that scene from Hamlet? "Alas, Poor Yorick--"? Yeah, dwarves NEVER get to that level of acceptance.)
3) Dwarves never get over emotional loss of people in general (which is why they slowly go insane from lamenting that their loved ones aren't in the fort all the damn time.)

So-- To fix:

1) Track entity ownership for corpse items.  If the dwarf has already seen one corpse item, do not keep calculating negative emotional state changes related to the death of that entity. Once is enough.

2) Once they see Urist's severed head, they should stop experiencing mortal shock after that; They already know he lost his head, and how he died. Seeing it a second or third time should not affect them much at all. 

3) Implement emotional healing such that these kinds of losses no longer continually accumulate negative emotional tallies.  EG- implement some kind of "long tail" like mechanism, where the amount of negative emotion added by "Missing Uncle Urist" gets diminished each time it gets applied, based on time passed since separation.
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PatrikLundell

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Re: *We need your help with game ending stress*
« Reply #162 on: November 10, 2019, 05:18:08 am »

- If I understand it correctly, DF does NOT hit dorfs with Urist's half tooth * 20, but rather one hit per individual per time interval (so if your cleanup takes time, the dorfs may be hit by the same individuals several times). This logic requires considerable skill from the dorfs when it comes to identify all the bone pieces in a newly opened cavern, but I think that's a level of suspension of disbelief that's reasonable. Repeated hits is a somewhat questionable mechanic when applied to outsiders (forced to suffer the decay of ones mother should still be a repeated/ongoing trauma), while returning to the not yet cleared battlefield ought to "just" result in a "saw the horror of the battlefield again" of a lower impact than the first time, rather than one hit per individual.
- According to what Toady reported a while back, the corpse piece matters, so half a tooth should have little impact, a hand considerably more, and the head or other major part of the body the most. This ought to mean that first encountering a tooth and then the head should upgrade the impact to the "head" level or replace the tooth one completely. This change is the one that made caravans able to pass by goblin teeth and sometimes corpses without fleeing.
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wierd

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Re: *We need your help with game ending stress*
« Reply #163 on: November 10, 2019, 05:45:59 am »

I can see that, but still suffers from the "Just like a fresh trauma!" problem.

Dwarfs appear to suffer from PTSD from the very first instance of seeing somebody die.  This is improper.  If he is looking for a model to follow, consider the "Stages of Grief" model.

https://psychcentral.com/lib/the-5-stages-of-loss-and-grief/

Thus, when a dwarf first sees that their friend is dead, they will be in denial mode straight off. "I refuse to accept that this is real. Some divine or magical trick has been pulled!"

Then comes anger "Whoever did this is going to pay dearly!"

then comes bargaining.  "I would give anything to have my buddy back.. :( "

Then comes depression "I miss my friend. (big sad)"

finally comes acceptance.  "My friend is gone, but I will always remember him... (good memories)"


The mentioned scene in Hamlet has a character holding the decayed skull of a childhood friend of his, and remarking (fondly) about the deceased.
Dwarves NEVER get there.  They see the skull, and immediately go right to "BOOO HOOO HOO!!" mode, then go stark raving mad.


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FantasticDorf

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Re: *We need your help with game ending stress*
« Reply #164 on: November 10, 2019, 06:07:23 am »

Personally, I think a good deal of the "I saw a bit of a corpse!! OH NO!" nonsense has to do with 3 things.

1) Each little bit of corpse counts as a whole corpse being seen (Sure, a mangled corpse is more horrific than a peacefully reposing one, but "I SAW UNCLE URIST'S HANGNAIL! OH NO! And now I am double traumatized by seeing his left index finger's fingernail! GODS!" is just absurd.  Urist is dead. That shock should happen once, and once only, no matter how many of his body parts you find.)
2) Each corpse piece can be experienced repeatedly.  (Instead of having an emotional shock about the tragic loss of Uncle Urist, followed by acceptance and going forward with life, dwarves keep re-experiencing the trauma of losing Uncle Urist over and over and over and over and over again, every time they see Uncle Urist's hangnail. This is absurd. Dwarves should move on with loss, and stop being traumatized by bits of exhumed corpse. You know that scene from Hamlet? "Alas, Poor Yorick--"? Yeah, dwarves NEVER get to that level of acceptance.)
  • This sort of does happen by means of discipline into becoming a status of jaded and unphased like has been discussed previously, but yes, i think a mechanism of rapidly decreasing severity based on context would definitely help, including how drunk/brave the dwarf currently is.
Its a bit of a paradox how constant intoxication that makes them fearless or constantly vengeful for battle (another emotion that would happily be turned down as a stress accumulator for unreachable targets to 'annoyed' or a grey 'fearless') doesn't ever really have a effect.

3) Dwarves never get over emotional loss of people in general (which is why they slowly go insane from lamenting that their loved ones aren't in the fort all the damn time.)
[snip]
3) Implement emotional healing such that these kinds of losses no longer continually accumulate negative emotional tallies.  EG- implement some kind of "long tail" like mechanism, where the amount of negative emotion added by "Missing Uncle Urist" gets diminished each time it gets applied, based on time passed since separation.

The lack of any kind of 'Grim Satisfaction' (<- link for the wiki for related articles as examples/stringdump/references) or alternative response including a positive or apathetic baseline, which used to be a thing against grudged targets is evidently missing probably by dwarves requiring some relationship structures to dislike them first. Dwarves don't even like nature but hate caging animals up, there's some contradictions there with the baseline response and personalities.

I've tried fortresses of goblins with native goblin ethics, and they're as affected by it as dwarves are, and they're not much different really from the code. With a intense love of violence, they still become haunted by death occurring in their presence, but revel in everything that doesn't involve corpses inbetween with feelings of euphoria.

If a invader has come on terms to no-quarter you and route your fortresses population, without recognising a fellow bond of killing another dwarf pressed into goblin's service after kidnapping (as mind twisted as it may be), why should you feel much remorse for the foriegn nation's invaders? Dwarf v Dwarf War's and traitors would be more impactful on the player this way.
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