Bay 12 Games Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Author Topic: ". . . has grown attached to [WEAPON/ARMOR]" too frequent, not necessarily fun  (Read 908 times)

Rekov

  • Bay Watcher
  • Elf Aficionado
    • View Profile

This topic is about the mechanic where military dwarves will become attached to a piece of armor or a weapon, and then no longer automatically upgrade to better equipment when it is available. It isn't necessarily a bad mechanic, and I think it has the potential to be a really good one. But in its current implementation, it is more frustrating than rewarding.

The problem can be condensed to two issues, and there are multiple ways it can be addressed depending on the desired outcome:
  • Attachment simply happens to frequently, and too soon after receiving equipment.
  • The mechanics of forcing dwarves to drop attached equipment are tedious and annoying.
Too Frequent, Too Soon
Essentially, the attachment mechanic becomes tedious for anyone who wants to set up a military in an early fort. Dwarves end up attached to no/low quality bronze and copper equipment, because that's all you have at the time. Dwarves get attached to gear so quickly that they outpace the skill progression of your smiths. The weaponsmith might be making better weapons, but some dwarf is already attached to a crap one.

Tedious to Work Around
Once dwarves are attached to equipment, it's an enormous pain to work around. There are multiple solutions, from disbanding the entire squad and melting undesired equipment before reforming, manually assigning specific gear to override attached gear, and cycling uniforms with different kinds of gear to do the same. Ultimately, the tedious mechanical work around has to be done away with, either by preventing it, or making it unnecessary.



Improving the Mechanic
The most important thing to fix is the tedious manual circumvention of attached weapons. It is so unpleasant to do, and it doesn't make much sense anyways. What is the point of having this mechanic if it can be circumvented? Is the point just to create tedious work? No...

Solution One: Prevent circumvention by adding happiness penalties when dwarves lose attached gear, similar to those suffered by artisans when masterpiece works are destroyed. Make attachment significantly rarer. Possibly tie it to kills so that players can prevent it from happening, or it doesn't happen just over the course of training.

Solution Two: Create some path by which dwarves eventually voluntarily and automatically relinquish attached gear. I don't know what kinds of events would trigger dwarves to do this, but I'm sure someone could come up with something.

Both of these solutions aim to free the player from the tedious work around, either by penalizing it, or by making it unnecessary. In either case, I think attachment needs to be made rarer.
Logged

Moeteru

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile

I agree with all of this.
It seems inevitable that every single military dwarf will end up with a named shield and weapon even if they never see combat. As far as I can tell there's no mechanical advantage and it doesn't produce any interesting stories because it's so ubiquitous. The main effects are to clutter up the list of artefacts, make it harder to tell what a dwarf is actually equipped with, and make changing their equipment more tedious.

It goes along with the problem of artefacts, particularly crafts, being far too common. When something is a frequent and inevitable occurrence then it stops being interesting from a story perspective. A weapon/shield receiving a name should imply that there are epic stories being told about it, or at least that it is a family heirloom. Dwarves with named equipment should be the exception rather than the rule, and ideally it should give some kind of a buff to offset the annoyance of swapping/upgrading equipment.
Logged

Rekov

  • Bay Watcher
  • Elf Aficionado
    • View Profile

Just to clarify, the "has grown attached to" mechanic is different from the naming mechanic. Dwarves can grow attached to weapons and armor long before they're named, and will refuse to trade them out for better equipment.

If we take one of the goals of Dwarf Fortress to be a game which generates stories that are interesting enough to tell to other people, yeah, that's a tricky thing to accomplish just with this mechanic. Growing attached to weapons doesn't really have the potential to generate stories in its current state, and it doesn't happen as a reaction to potentially interesting events either.

I could potentially see an interesting story coming out of attachment if it could some how turn the tide of a battle. Toady has suggested that attachment gives a slight mechanical advantage:

Quote
Later, the same deflection roll is used directly with relevant worn items one by one to modify attack momentum using the material/etc. -- dodge rolls don't enter into this.  Item familiarity can increase this deflection bonus.
http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=159164.msg7312290#msg7312290

But even here, if we imagine the absolutely perfect scenario: A dwarf is losing a fight, suddenly grows attached to a weapon or armor, and the slight mechanical advantage of this is enough to turn the tide... It doesn't really work. How would the player even know what had happened?

I think instead, this mechanic is just another one of those quirky things dwarves do that has to be managed. The problem now is that managing it is too much of a pain.
Logged

Orange-of-Cthulhu

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile

Yeah I agree. It's nor working atm. As another user said, the point is to create an interesting story. But when they all get attached to whatever weapon they're using, it's not really interesting.

My suggested fix: Remove attachment/naming from training altogether.

Instead: If a dwarf kills somebody in combat while wielding the weapon/shield, there's a 25% chance either the weapon/shield gets attached/named.

This would prevent spam-attachement, lessen the problem of attachement to crappy weapons and it would to me feel more correct that a dwarf gets attached to a weapon that served him/her in combat and that the dwarf thinks really made the difference.
Logged

Atarlost

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile

I'd suggest that attached items become keepsakes if they're either sufficiently obsolete or the dwarf has been assigned an incompatible uniform.  This would be a reason to give military and ex-military dwarves personal weapon racks and armor stands to prevent them from generating owned wooden training sword clutter. 
Logged

FantasticDorf

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile

It wouldn't be as so bad if the actual item itself was "upgradable" by the owner as a workaround. Whether that's dependent just on it being a unique attachement or extends outwards to a generalized improving weapon quality QoL addition to smithing im not sure.
  • Periodically, said attached dwarf may want to maintain their weapon, and gain some skill out of working it using the base materials at a workshop, so that eventually that crap weapon may become a well wrought masterful weapon. Any unspent artifact moods could contribute directly to it.
Eitherway, its a very unusual quirk to have, if it was tokenized i could also preferably turn it off to prevent the influx of immortal warriors in sub-par equipment, set aside to the dwarves who are most certainly strange mooded, and slayer moody?
Logged

Timeless Bob

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile

"has become attached to items become Pedestal items in their rooms when I want them to upgrade.  As a pedestal item, its no longer equipable.
Logged
L33tsp34k does to English what Picasso did to faces.

Dwarfopoly
The Luckiest Tourist EVER
Bloodlines of the Forii