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Author Topic: Designate tiles to add mud just like mining/engraving etc  (Read 639 times)

Tamren

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Designate tiles to add mud just like mining/engraving etc
« on: January 07, 2023, 08:18:33 pm »

This suggestion is intended to make small scale farming and "touchups" more practical compared to mass irrigation by flooding. I'm sure almost everyone here has had to create mud at one point or another. Underground this is required to grow crops on stone floors and on the surface there are scattered tiles of stone that restrict how big you can make a surface farm plot. Since most interactions with terrain tiles such as digging, channeling, engraving etc are designations you can use to "paint" the job command onto the intended tiles. I think it would be useful to have a command to add mud to specific tiles. This would be much easier than the game's current solution for mudding single tiles which is to dig a hole in the ceiling above it, or building a wall and a ramp so that you can create a pond zone and get dwarves to drop water from above down onto the floor below.

How this works is pretty simple, you just tag the tiles you want to add mud to as if smoothing or engraving the floors. This creates a hauling job where dwarves will first find a bucket, fill the bucket at a designated source of water and then carry the bucket to the tile where they dump the water onto the floor. This creates a 1x1 tile of mud after the single layer of water evapourates. You can designate as many or as little tiles as you want, however the limited throughput of buckets means that you would be better served using pumps and other methods to irrigate large areas. This job shares the same type as filling pods or pits, so if that task is disabled dwarves will not muddy tiles.

At the same time as the above command you could add a second one for cleaning up mud on stone tiles (which the current cleaning task does not handle). For instance if some water gets dropped halfway up your nice stone staircase that tile will be muddied and begin to grow cave moss. Cleaning a tile works the same way as mudding the tile, a dwarf carries a bucket of water to the intended tile and after some "smoothing" the tile will be clean and free of mud and other growths.

In both cases when multiple tiles are to be muddied or cleaned dwarves who take up this task will "reserve" more than one tile and immediately refill their bucket to work on the next tile after the first tile is done. This prevents dwarves from wasting time repeatedly bouncing buckets in and out of stockpiles if you wish to work on a large area.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2023, 10:35:11 pm by Tamren »
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Bumber

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Re: Designate tiles to add mud just like mining/engraving etc
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2023, 06:02:57 am »

This would be much easier than the game's current solution for mudding single tiles which is to dig a hole in the ceiling above it, or building a wall and a ramp so that you can create a pond zone and get dwarves to drop water from above down onto the floor below.

Seems like it would be easy enough to just allow filling ponds from the same z-level.
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Tamren

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Re: Designate tiles to add mud just like mining/engraving etc
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2023, 02:21:53 pm »

Maybe they could integrate irrigation into the pond/pit command?

Basically, if you put a pond zone on flat ground with no elevation changes and then you tick a box that says "irrigate". Dwarves with buckets would pour water onto each dry tile one at a time until all tiles are covered with mud.
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FantasticDorf

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Re: Designate tiles to add mud just like mining/engraving etc
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2023, 02:49:52 pm »

Personally that would sort of destroy the fun of making irrigation systems that wash a big area out at once with a bridge or floodgate, but i guess that's the most median-dwarf labor intensive way of going about it compared to the big awkward walkways people use.
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Tamren

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Re: Designate tiles to add mud just like mining/engraving etc
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2023, 05:22:06 pm »

I don't see any downside to making this easier to do. Irrigation by pond zone is already extremely laborious and time consuming compared to using pumps. If you do a large area you generate hundreds of hauling tasks and need an equal number of buckets. I think most players would continue to prefer pump irrigation and only use this tool to patch up small areas or even single tiles here and there. If you just want to muddy one single tile it feels really silly to have to build a section of wall and a ramp just so that dwarves can dump a bucket from above instead of just dumping it on the tile directly.
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Pillbo

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Re: Designate tiles to add mud just like mining/engraving etc
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2023, 08:28:14 pm »

It would make sense to gather soil/mud and spread it in an area to farm instead of making better ways to wet stone. Wet sone=mud seems more like an example of a mechanic not working right but you can exploit, so we got used to it. I think it could be replaced with a easier solution that also makes more sense.

Iíd rather have a mud/soil gathering area like with sand and clay, and then designate an area to spread it around for a plot.
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Tamren

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Re: Designate tiles to add mud just like mining/engraving etc
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2023, 09:40:24 pm »

That's a good point. I was thinking within the bounds of the current mechanics but now that you mention it a bucket of water magically making mud appear on stone doesn't make much sense. Harvesting a large amount of existing soil or mud and then transporting it to a new location is much more realistic. Sand and clay are already available in unlimited quantities from a single tile, that may change in the future but until then soil could work much the same way. You just need a tool to transport it from A to B, and what better tool to use than the gardeners favourite the wheelbarrow? A dwarf would also need a pick to harvest the soil.

This is even more dwarf labour-and-tool intensive than my bucket idea. But that fits because we want the *designation* of tiles to be easy, but irrigation to be more efficient overall, especially for very large plots.
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Pillbo

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Re: Designate tiles to add mud just like mining/engraving etc
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2023, 01:01:02 am »

You have a good point about irrigation. I know there are farming updates in the future which may include watering your soil, so I think you idea is still really useful either way.
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DwarfStar

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Re: Designate tiles to add mud just like mining/engraving etc
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2023, 04:22:29 pm »

I think itís a great idea because the current ďfill pond from walkway aboveĒ system is not only harder to use, itís more difficult for a new user to figure out. I do like to manually irrigate by hydro engineering myself and Iíll continue to do so. But just relaxing the z-level restriction on pond filling seems like it should be a one-line code change, and it really seems unintuitive that the restriction exists in the first place. Thereís nothing physically preventing dwarves from dumping water on the floor, thereís just no way to tell them to do that right now in the UI.

Iím surprised nobody complained yet that farming is already too easy. But to that concern, Iíd say there are other easy fixes to that, that would make more logical sense in the game world. Maybe just lower production, or at least nerf the farming skill production bonus?
« Last Edit: January 10, 2023, 04:26:00 pm by DwarfStar »
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Tamren

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Re: Designate tiles to add mud just like mining/engraving etc
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2023, 11:56:54 am »

Easy farming has already been nerfed due to the changes to soil richness, in order to get good crop yields you have to farm on cavern mud. Pond irrigation and pump irrigation are no longer the optimal strategy, so there's really no reason for farming on muddied stone to be difficult.
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Afghani84

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Re: Designate tiles to add mud just like mining/engraving etc
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2023, 01:33:06 pm »

I strongly agree that irrigation (especially of single tiles) needs a better solution. I sometimes even resort to channeling the entire top layer around my entrance, so that I can use the entire space for farming without the need for complex irrigation procedures. Needing to build a pit/pond zone 1 z-level above (especially annoying on flat embarks) is too labour intensive in most cases, not intuitive (especially for new players) and has no basis in real life. Would plants grow on stone just because I throw some buckets of (muddy) water on it? Maybe grass but bigger plants would still need deeper soil for proper rooting. In a game that is often called a simulator, this aspect could easily be simulated more realistic.

I guess having pit/pond zones not require a space 1 z-level higher would take away some of the tedium but I still don't see it as realistic. Personally, I would prefer that digging into dirt/sand/clay tiles leaves dirt/sand/clay behind. Some people might see this in itself as another tedium (similar to stones lying around everywhere) but it would greatly increase the realism in many aspects.

1. You could dig out the dirt tile and move its material to another location where you can then replace stone with it or fill a hole. This would enable an easy way of terraforming which I believe would be a great addition to DF's freedom on many other aspects of the game
2. Sand and clay wouldn't be endless resources (again, where is the realism here?) and would need to be procured by mining in order to be used for crafts. I don't mind if multiple crafts can be made from one tile. Just don't make the resource endless.
3. Since there are raw materials of dirt/sand/clay available, it would give modders more freedom to create their own ideas fir them (e.g. dirt walls)
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Maolagin

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Re: Designate tiles to add mud just like mining/engraving etc
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2023, 08:31:50 pm »

Easy farming has already been nerfed due to the changes to soil richness, in order to get good crop yields you have to farm on cavern mud. Pond irrigation and pump irrigation are no longer the optimal strategy, so there's really no reason for farming on muddied stone to be difficult.

Oh, to be sure, on most embarks the combination of light aquifers and the cavern mud mechanic still makes underground farming extremely easy. Dig out a 20x20 room in one and wait a month and you've got muddy cavern ready for farm plots. Smooth the walls to stop the seepage once it's done, although it's hardly even necessary - the seepage is so slow that in a large room it barely keeps up with evaporation.

In fact, on my current map I got my underground farming set up essentially for free, because I decided to mine out a bunch of iron veins in damp conglomerate and realized that the water was coming too slow to even think about hydro engineering to deal with it.
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