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Author Topic: Tips for designing a Fortress meant to last hundreds of years?  (Read 5989 times)

bool1989

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Tips for designing a Fortress meant to last hundreds of years?
« on: September 20, 2021, 02:47:39 pm »

I want war cave dragons like what Sethatos had in Archcrystal.

I'm aware of FPS problems, so I've already set my population cap at 30, strict population cap at 45, and child caps at 8:15, and plan to follow this guide as closely as I can: https://dwarffortresswiki.org/index.php/DF2014:Maximizing_framerate

However, I'm wondering if any of you have any other tips for building a fortress meant to last. I could use all the advice I can get.
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Quarque

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Re: Tips for designing a Fortress meant to last hundreds of years?
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2021, 07:30:11 pm »

That's a very broad question. There isn't really any specific problem with a long running fort, except that it will cost you a huge amount of free time.. you need to be good at dwarf fortress in general. So asking more specific questions about the areas you struggle with may help you more. What is the longest running fortress you've had so far? What was usually the reason you stopped playing a fortress?
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delphonso

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Re: Tips for designing a Fortress meant to last hundreds of years?
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2021, 01:06:19 am »

With a low pop cap, you can find the balance between crops, food, and booze that works for you. Automate that so you don't have too much or too little of any of them.

Currently dwarves are pretty hardy when it comes to stress, so just leaving them to socialize and pray should be enough.

Dorsidwarf

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Re: Tips for designing a Fortress meant to last hundreds of years?
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2021, 08:14:56 am »

I'd recommend looking up that one 500 year fort someone had around here a while ago
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delphonso

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Re: Tips for designing a Fortress meant to last hundreds of years?
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2021, 08:17:32 am »

Probably has, considering the reference to Archcrystal in the OP.

Realized another useful tidbit - dwarves like to craft. You might use DFHack's autobutcher to generate bones for crafting. If you can balance that automation, that'd be great.

Quarque

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Re: Tips for designing a Fortress meant to last hundreds of years?
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2021, 10:59:50 am »

One more little tip. Getting rid of garbage (especially worn down clothing) is going to be a major problem over the years. You can use a DF hack command to force dwarves to release the heaps of XXsocksXX from their cabinets, but if you just dump it in magma or something, your clothier is going to take major stress from all the masterwork items that are destroyed.

A workaround is to trade it away. A small benefit is that traders might sometimes have something you actually like. The drawback is that trading can't be automated.

If you get goblin sieges, look for a way to handle them as cleanly as possible. Chopping them to pieces with weapon traps is fun, but atomsmashing is much less micromanagement as it doesn't leave garbage behind.
Same with forgotten beasts: try to get rid of them as quickly and cleanly as you can. Build a trap that can repeatedly trap them in obsidian, for example.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2021, 11:06:42 am by Quarque »
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bool1989

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Re: Tips for designing a Fortress meant to last hundreds of years?
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2021, 11:57:48 am »

Regarding the garbage clothing, I find that I end up with a lot of forbidden clothing as my fortress progresses. Is that the garbage you're refering to? Or is it related to something else?

Regarding goblins, at such a low pop I don't think i'll be getting sieges.

But I do plan to line my entrance with cage traps, to catch any goblins that turn up, then I'll strip them and mass pit them and let them sort themselves out.

I'm aware it could lead to FPS problems down the line, but naked goblins shouldn't be too hard for my military to deal with.
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Schmaven

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Re: Tips for designing a Fortress meant to last hundreds of years?
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2021, 08:00:57 pm »

Make sure you have a reliable way to replenish your population, whether it be via natural births, or reliable migrant waves.  For migrant waves, being able to successfully trade is pretty important.  So have a protected entry from whatever sieges / giant undead birds / thralling clouds / toxic rain that your embark might visit upon you.

I wouldn't recommend a balanced food / booze production though.  Stockpile it to the limit, it doesn't go bad.  To save on space, I usually have food and drink quantum stockpiles directly under the main food and drink stockpiles.  But locked away in their 1 tile room.  That way when calamity inevitably strikes, and you have to shift everyone into slab carving / corpse cleanup duty, you simply unlock the doors and don't have to worry about food for a couple years while you keep everyone sane and regain your footing.  Just disable the QSP loading mechanism if it's sucking out all your food and drinks too quickly, and toggle it back on briefly to deal with the bumper crops.  Yes, yes, FPS and whatnot related to large stockpiles...  Just cap it at some point.  Maybe run the fort for 50 years without it, then stock it up to 1,000 each and see if you even notice a difference.

A panic room, fully stocked with food, drink, soap, a well, medical supplies, a couple picks, good armor and a variety of weapons is also helpful if you intend on avoiding reclaim missions.  I suppose the alternative is to not ever let things get so bad where you need a panic room, but where's the fun in that?
« Last Edit: September 21, 2021, 08:03:31 pm by Schmaven »
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Thisfox

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Re: Tips for designing a Fortress meant to last hundreds of years?
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2021, 08:39:54 pm »

Panic rooms and walled-in panic rooms are brilliant for when the inevitable happens. I have them even in perfectly normal forts, and never have any regrets. Stockpile a years supply of food and drink, some supplies for moods and so on, lock the door, wall over it, unlock the door, and when you need it, designate the wall to be undone. Otherwise, you have the worlds most annoying cat trying to get through the locked door into the panic room for three sodding years....
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Quarque

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Re: Tips for designing a Fortress meant to last hundreds of years?
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2021, 12:45:30 am »

Regarding the garbage clothing, I find that I end up with a lot of forbidden clothing as my fortress progresses. Is that the garbage you're refering to? Or is it related to something else?
Not exactly, I mean all worn down clothing that piles up over the years.

Regarding goblins, at such a low pop I don't think i'll be getting sieges.

But I do plan to line my entrance with cage traps, to catch any goblins that turn up, then I'll strip them and mass pit them and let them sort themselves out.

I'm aware it could lead to FPS problems down the line, but naked goblins shouldn't be too hard for my military to deal with.
I've gotten sieges with 7 grown up dwarves and a bunch of dwarf kids, iirc.

Your method is exactly what I used to do. Eventually I realised that the stuff I am stripping from the goblins is just unwanted garbage, and so are the dead naked goblins. I was better off just atomsmashing the caged goblins instead of going through all of that hassle and produce garbage that I was going to atomsmash anyway. But if I'm going to smash the cages, why build cages in the first place? You can just atomsmash the invaders as they arrive instead and save yourself even more work.
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PatrikLundell

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Re: Tips for designing a Fortress meant to last hundreds of years?
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2021, 02:33:20 am »

You won't get goblin sieges without changing the siege pop cap as long as your pop stays below 80 and you don't provoke sieges (by raiding). However, necros don't care about pop caps, and can show up during the first summer. I'm unsure how the siege pop is calculated though (i.e. whether kids are included, and whether residents are included), although that's not important for my fortresses.

Note that (mass) pitting is broken: prisoners somehow get free occasionally, and when they do, all the ones designated at the same time get free as well, even if the previous ones have been killed off before the new ones are brought it.
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Quarque

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Re: Tips for designing a Fortress meant to last hundreds of years?
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2021, 02:38:15 am »

Oh I remember now, I had lowered the siege pop limit.

If it is iron you wanted to strip from the goblins, it is easier to set your demand for steel anvils to max each year and buy them all, to smelt them. If your worn down clothing doesn't cover the cost, throwing in a barrel with masterwork egg roast or a masterwork large serrated disk will do the trick. You can also demand and buy up iron anvils, iron ores and flux stones if you really want to milk it.
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bool1989

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Re: Tips for designing a Fortress meant to last hundreds of years?
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2021, 11:37:46 am »

You won't get goblin sieges without changing the siege pop cap as long as your pop stays below 80 and you don't provoke sieges (by raiding). However, necros don't care about pop caps, and can show up during the first summer. I'm unsure how the siege pop is calculated though (i.e. whether kids are included, and whether residents are included), although that's not important for my fortresses.

Note that (mass) pitting is broken: prisoners somehow get free occasionally, and when they do, all the ones designated at the same time get free as well, even if the previous ones have been killed off before the new ones are brought it.

My mass pitting technique invovles droping them down into a 3 urist deep pit, with floors around the edge. it generally keeps non-flying types in. I just leave the flying types in their cages and set them up in a different room.

I mainly do mass pitting so I can see what kind of fights break out.
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bool1989

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Re: Tips for designing a Fortress meant to last hundreds of years?
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2021, 11:44:53 am »

Make sure you have a reliable way to replenish your population, whether it be via natural births, or reliable migrant waves.  For migrant waves, being able to successfully trade is pretty important.  So have a protected entry from whatever sieges / giant undead birds / thralling clouds / toxic rain that your embark might visit upon you.

I wouldn't recommend a balanced food / booze production though.  Stockpile it to the limit, it doesn't go bad.  To save on space, I usually have food and drink quantum stockpiles directly under the main food and drink stockpiles.  But locked away in their 1 tile room.  That way when calamity inevitably strikes, and you have to shift everyone into slab carving / corpse cleanup duty, you simply unlock the doors and don't have to worry about food for a couple years while you keep everyone sane and regain your footing.  Just disable the QSP loading mechanism if it's sucking out all your food and drinks too quickly, and toggle it back on briefly to deal with the bumper crops.  Yes, yes, FPS and whatnot related to large stockpiles...  Just cap it at some point.  Maybe run the fort for 50 years without it, then stock it up to 1,000 each and see if you even notice a difference.

A panic room, fully stocked with food, drink, soap, a well, medical supplies, a couple picks, good armor and a variety of weapons is also helpful if you intend on avoiding reclaim missions.  I suppose the alternative is to not ever let things get so bad where you need a panic room, but where's the fun in that?

I only do quantum stockpiles for stone, since stone is such a pain to stockpile normally.

For food and drink I set up repeating 'prepare easy meal' and 'brew drink from plant' orders with the appropreate conditions. With the right conditions everything is stored up in barrels or stone pots, sometimes clay or glass pots when I can get them.

With my special world gen parameters I have 5000 emark points to work with, so I bring a lot of drink, food, plants, and seeds with me, and I usually embark in places with soil, so a solid food industry usually isn't a problem.

I'll probably do the panic room thing, though.
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NordicNooob

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Re: Tips for designing a Fortress meant to last hundreds of years?
« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2021, 06:45:24 pm »

I have some experience in the question of long term forts with Angelcrux, and unfortunately you can't automate everything unless you are very dedicated and willing to pick up some programming, though you can get pretty close. You're not trying to automate everything, though, so a simple "yeah I only have to input stuff to replace born children" will work fine. Some tips:

1. You will not have a big fortress. Storing stone (and most stuff) isn't going to be critical to your fort's FPS because you won't have more than a thousand, and for any object, if you have a lot you should just be destroying it instead of storing it better. Webs will be a problem, and you may wish to periodically destroy them with DFhack. I find they hurt my FPS a noticeable, but not crippling amount, so if you don't like cheating them out like that it's not the end of the world. I also disagree with mass production of food, as that will significantly hurt your FPS over time. You should go for a bit more than balanced since you need to prep for the unknown disasters, and then you can just turn off your farms when you don't need food for a decade or two, which isn't actually that much food when your pop is so low.

2. Seal your caverns (or cavern, if you just use one). From the edge. If you have long term projects you need cavern creatures for, having a single possible entryway is the best way to capture them too, so a bridge on the edge is handy to let them in from. In a similar vein, don't open the HFS. If you want candy, use your dwarven radar method of choice, since the HFS is damaging to FPS.

3. Don't use clothes. Produce a small amount regardless for children and people like miners and woodcutters (silk is easiest to automate), but armor should be the norm around your fort. With regular training everybody can be legendary armor users, but you could also probably just get that much candy via bolt splitting and get cheap light armor for all. Clothes can be disposed of best by dumping all tattered clothes from stocks menu and having a dump zone over a refuse stockpile, which will rapidly decay them. This doesn't count as destruction for sad clothier purposes, since destruction by wear doesn't do that.

4. USE A SMALL WORLD. 65x65 is the most you should be using. Use advanced params if you want more stuff, but keep it limited; my rule of thumb is that if you have to wait any more than 1 second per year generated, you'll notice some serious hit to in-game FPS. Part of why Archcrystal is so slow (and was even during its formative years) is because Sethanos used a massive world with a ton of population for no reason, since even now he's not acting on a global scale, merely a regional one. Seth also has a more powerful computer than average even with his bad FPS.

5. Make sure your tombs are cool, because you'll be using them a lot. Unless you make everybody immortal, of course, but multi-generational forts are cooler than a zombie fort or a vampire fort, so even if you have a few immortals around for military reasons (you'll want your undoubtedly small force of soldiers to be inexhaustable for obvious reasons) it's more fun to have a mortal fort. It bears mentioning that the easily obtainable immortals of vampires and zombies are markedly worse at craftsmanship due to their traits, and while I'm like 50% sure werebeasts are immortal they also make bad crafters because they ruin everything every month.

6. For defense, atom smash or magmatize goblins directly. Burning goblins generate a lot of lag, so killing them before dropping them into magma is helpful. It's actually pretty hard to make fully automated defenses, since even if you can kill them you still have to clean it up without input or civilians, and you need to account for things like creatures too big to be smushed and trapavoid creatures. Or just disable sieges.

7. You should not need a panic room. If stuff has gotten that bad then I have no clue how you did that. Your defense is easy to make unstoppable, and if stress is an issue you should be trying to stop that instead of prepping for doomsday. Of course, you'll have no shortage of time for projects, so you could make a panic room anyways. I did actually need one in Angelcrux due to zombies, but you could also just take better safety measures than I was by making your entire inner fort a self-sufficient panic room, since when I actually needed it I was early in the fort's lifespan and hadn't had enough time for real safety.

8. Lower your migrant pop cap to like 10 after you get the fort started. You'll get enough births to keep you going unless you're really mismanaging stuff, but if you dip below your migrant cap you'll get dirty migrants introducing their funky clothes to the fort and getting mad when they rot off because you're not providing literally every kind of coverage. Not a huge issue, but worth trying to stop. Migrants have about as much practical skill as children anyways, and children are cooler bc multi-generational is cooler.

9. Honeymoon suites are nice to have if you fall behind on baby production for some reason. With 30 dwarves couples should be able to interact with each other pretty often as long as you're giving them free time (which is absolutely critical to keeping your fort happy and what you should be doing the majority of the time anyways), but as a safety measure I like to have them, especially since your first generation or two will die of age within a short timeframe and cause problems.

10. Have your labors very well organized. Small forts are tough on the player if you don't have good labor management, and deaths and births really mess with it as well, since a worker dying means you won't have a new one for 13 years unless you've got a few extras on hand, and you won't have a *skilled* one for a long while. Mentoring programs via guildhalls may be necessary if you don't want skills like masonry to die out and never get retrained fully, but I haven't experienced that en-masse in Angelcrux yet, not really, since my first generation of kids is alive even if the founding generation isn't.

11. Guildhalls are still very nice to have for non-moodable skills (like architecture, I made everybody in my fort legendary architects with basically no effort), and then you can make one for a moodable skill of your choice or farm the moodable skill manually, which is what I do bc unskilled dwarves doing weaponsmithing and armorsmithing are nice for the melt glitch. I cheat and leave moods off when the fort has kids, since otherwise every dwarf will make their artifact as a kid and I'll never get anything cool.

Probably some other important stuff I'm forgetting, but eh.
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