Lots of questions this time. Apologies if I skipped something that wasn't addressed, and apologies if I didn't write a lot for some of them. It is a project! There was copying and pasting and moving around of questions, so if there is some weird non-sequitur, please keep that in mind, he he he.
Any plans for food of desperation to be available? Boiled shoes for dinner tonight, but it beats starving.
We haven't specifically thought about it for this time. Getting to the point of acts of cannibalism is probably inevitable in the long run though.
Will we be able to get roads made on the world map, in both dwarf and adventure mode?
We had talked long ago about having world construction projects you could engage in with dwarves that have left your map. It still seems like a reasonable thing. During adventure mode play I guess it would be a continuation of whatever is going on in world gen.
Will you be able to finance various things in adventure mode?
Will it be possbile to hire a band of mercinaries to go over and attack our rivals caravan therefor we get more profits due to less items being in the market? In other words "Eliminating the competition"
Toady, when adventure mode caravan's are implemented, will we be able to hire someone to run our caravan for us?
You won't be able to have people acting independently of you this time around, but it should happen with one of the major release soon after. Having groups of subordinates running around causing trouble is important, whether it is carrier working for you, or army people, or bandits, or some sort of crime family. Should be fun as we pick up more of that. Right now you'll have to eliminate the competition directly, but that should be effective insofar as you can find them.
Are Elves going to have any preference/dislike for trading for metal? They can't really tell if it was made using charcoal or coke, and it's generally superior to what they can do natively, so could that be something effected by the ruler's preferences?
Also, will we eventually see other civs trying to trade for your metalworking secrets? A human king offering an alliance in exchange for you teaching some human smiths how to make steel, for example?
In the same way that they might no longer trade for clothing that doesn't fit, elves might reject metal weapons as a matter of entity definitions, but not as a matter of tree-cutting ethics. I guess if there's a ruler that can override the entity defs, then they'd buy metal. It probably won't happen now.
I haven't really thought about technology issues that much, but it would be reasonable to go into what the permitted jobs and reactions mean in the entity defs (whether it is a matter of knowledge or cultural preferences for example). At that point it would definitely be fair to pass the information around as a game mechanic, even if your dwarves don't look kindly upon it happening (I imagine that would be the norm).
When we get to explore a region revealing the map as we go, will there ever be a chance of mapping error leading to strange maps?
The old Microprose game "Machiavelli the Prince" started you out with an inaccurate map, which you then filled in correctly as you explored. So some of the islands were a little bit off, some of the terrain was wrong, landmasses tilted a slightly different direction, maybe a city a little further away--or maybe a city that wasn't on the original map at all!
I think it would be neat to buy maps in this, which may be inaccurate.
We were going to do inaccurate or downright deceptive maps that you can obtain, but if the player maps inaccurate maps, that could be very frustrating. Although it might align with the character's lack of skill, forcing the player to bust out the graph paper might be unbearable... at least for people that aren't used to busting out the graph paper.
I'm wondering whether the testing arena will ever be expanded upon to include skill levels beyond grand master, quality modifiers for weapons/armor/shields, quivers, etc.? The testing arena has already been a great boon for players learning the game mechanics, hunting down bugs, and just generally having fun.
I didn't want to spoil legendary skills in the arena, but that'll probably be even less important once we have combat styles and so on (in which case those probably won't be available at the highest levels instead). Doing quality modifiers would be a good addition.
Toady, If the number of skills used for adventure mode go higher, will you add a scrollbar to the skill menu or will skills be sorted out between eachother in different menu's?
Having categories seems like the best way to do it, though if I remember that screen doesn't have enough room for it... and the text runs over the other text.
What would happen to the local meat economy if you sold the townspeople a dragon corpse?
I haven't done anything about the economy within a single site, since world gen doesn't resolve down to that level. When I get there during play, it'll probably glut the market stalls with cheapish dragon meat for a bit for everybody to eat. I'm not sure how merchants from neighboring towns will see it though, or when they'll have opportunities to pick it up. It would probably be a very attractive item for a short distance haul to a nearby town that doesn't have any dragon meat. Depending on who gets their hands on it first in the routines, the locals might not actually end up with lots of cheap meat. I'm not sure how the local economy is going to work in play yet either -- if you sell the dragon corpse to a butcher, the butcher could process it, and it might be natural/easiest for them to just put all the meat on the market, but later if they can preserve it maybe it doesn't make sense to sell it all immediately and locally.
If prices are generated entirely dynamically based on production and consumption, we could easily get absurd situations, maybe involving worthless diamond goblets and the highly-sought-after mule skin. Will there still be the equivalent of e.g. baseline material/item values in the raws?
I'm guessing that material values will take a few hundred years to really settle out. If you only gen fifty years, people won't know their platinum from their copper value-wise.
What about value that comes from factors that aren't yet implemented, either in entity definitions or material definitions? For instance, one particular reason people have cared much for gold traditionally is the fact that it's a noble metal, never really corroding, but that sort of thing isn't implemented yet. I guess the fact that it's interesting looking counts, but would be secondary. Simply analyzing entity and material definitions as they are now, wouldn't gold actually wind up being fairly valueless, as an example of the limitation of this sort of thing? It would still be rare, I guess, if it weren't for the abundance of minerals we have now.
So I saw the trade routes and all, and I was wondering. Do you think you'll ever invent value based off how exotic an item is? Say you've got a trinket made from the opposite corner of a large world, or from a civilization that isn't even connected with yours through trade routes. It should be rare and unique. Adventurers could get items from distant civilizations for eccentric collectors.
We do need more properties for metals to work out correctly, and I don't think I'm going to put in any placeholders for that in terms of value numbers or whatever, so if I don't get at the right properties yet, it might just be based on rarity in the world and otherwise be worth as much as other soft metals. Worthless diamond goblets and valuable mule skin is fine if that's how availability and demand work out. If everybody has a few diamond goblets, they are worthless in trade, pretty much, unless there are so many of them that they become valuable as currency or something weird (which won't be in, with possible exceptions for goblins we haven't thought out yet). On the other hand, rare materials/objects will generally command higher prices, yeah. That's going to be tempered by how useful they are or how much the civ needs more of that sort of object in general -- because individuals aren't involved at this point, it's just sort of a nod to the luxury market and that even not so well-to-do people might pay just a bit more for something unusual. As we get more groups/people involved, the rarity-based pricing might gain some more resolution.
That's in terms of world gen trade -- individuals can be involved once you are in play, and we might do a bit there. We'll probably have to for it to make any sense.
Toady, as 31.19 will be the Caravan Arc, does that mean we'll get boats too?
I notice some of the trade routes go over water. Will there be some kind of sea travel anytime soon?
so, if there are path over water and if there are no actual ship travelling and ports and such, can we assume caravans are abstracted away from the world map? if that's the case, isn't there no caravan raiding in adventure mode? (apart from abstracted away caravan raiding, that is)
Yeah, it's not the whole caravan arc, unless you want to wait many months. I'm just going to try to pull together something coherent and get it up, but even that is going to take time. There aren't going to be any moving boats this time. It's quite possible there won't be any other boats. The potential routes over water might not be used. Once play starts, it is very likely only going to use actual (land) merchants moving things around, and you'll always be able to raid those. There could be special boats, but it seems like the kind of thing that it is easy not to have time for.
Will we ever be able to choose between Region and Island in the simplified "Create New World Now!" parameters?Currently, if you wanted to gen a region; one must go into the "Advanced Parameters." This is kind of a pain, since you also have to manually change the otherwise simplified parameters. Changing even simple things like history lenght is really confusing for players unaccustomed to world gen stuff (not to mention natural savagery, civ and site numbers).
That seems like a reasonable enough candidate for an option for the simple screen. I suppose it might be extended to other options once we've got more robust boats (many small islands, two continents, etc.).
Do you think Toady's going to go the whole way and make sure to differentiate between value and price like in reality? And, how will you define value? Using the extended labor definition?
A theory is useful to me only if it leads to building blocks and simple rules that I can use in the simulation. In world gen, there isn't a lot of political or individual information about ownership at this point. The sites consider what they need for consumption/building/trading and try to get it, and whether or not they can get it depends on what the other sites with stuff are willing to part with cheaply enough. It's fairly simple, but I don't need more yet.
Will we encouter the 'encouragements' for burial in old 31.xx forts moved to 31.18, or do we need to regen a new world?
Yeah, old forts should get them, but only on new dead I think.
Shall the repercussions of not burying dead, ever expand beyond ghosts? For instance prolonged time above ground, being desecrated, or large numbers of un buried dead becoming ghouls or zombies hostile to your fort?
We had wanted to do more things but ran out of time. So yeah, we're all for it.
When adventurer's are able to purchase livestock/pet's, will the animals be inherently loyal to you or will they be able to wander off if you don't fence them in and/or keep an eye on them, and if they aren't instantly loyal will there be a skill/attribute that determines how well your character can handle animal's. also will they follow like companions do or will we have to hold/lead them around?
will there be adventurer made sites anytime soon?, and if so will purchased livestock respect the borders of your land,as in not wandering away while you go off to kill some bandits?
If/while we don't have adventurer made sites how will livestock management work?, will there be stables in towns that you pay to take care of and/or store any owned animals?
Toady, with the advent of goods/caravans we will likely end up with alot of loot. I know you probably have no idea when you plan to do it, but how far down the list are the adventurer sites? Some of us can't carry all the dragon hides and diamonds that we would like to...
It's fluid right now, but if I remember, we were considering adv sites for the non-bug-fix release after this one, where you'd be able to run a group from a site more along the lines of bandits in addition to whatever army stuff is available. Your unmounted horses and pets will probably just hang out with you like companions, running around in houses and being a nuisance until we get to something better. I'm not sure about livestock purchases, or how they'll be different if at all right now. Once sites go in, you'll probably need fences or other boundary structures, and we'll also need the hunter tracking system to deal with the locations of animals that run off. Before that, if you decide to run off and kill some bandits, you should probably sell whatever animals you were going to sell to the butcher first.
Well, dragons, titans, and such are not what the systems base will be made to handle. It's the fixed wagons that will be sometime during this arc, then siege engines next arc. Hm, will the multi-tile work you do during these two arcs lay the foundation for giant creatures expanding into more tiles?
I'm not sure if that would end up being related. I suppose it could be related, but those creatures would end up having very different minds compared to regular creatures, especially when it comes to pathing. It might make them too dumb to live.
If mining is in for worldgen, will worldgen mines potentially awaken Forgotten Beasts... or worse? And will we be able to eventually enter and explore these mines?
Will civs Have mining operations that present themselves as physical locations?
They mine in world gen, and we're planning on having the mines be physically present, yeah. I don't know if we'll have them breaching the cave layers yet though. It seems like they should be able to go through the whole end game in world gen, as long as it doesn't ruin it for regular play.
Will the deep metal still be as common as it currently is? Will stuff like cave features along the lines of water, plants/trees, pits, magma pipes, cave creature civ sites, & other things homes (surface access or not) appear on the feature finder list?
1. The old 40.d version had a parameter for magma pipes. Is it possible this parameter could be brought back in the current version of the game? I know that access to magma is guaranteed at any site by the magma sea. Sometimes I still find myself wanting a magma pipe for easy access to magma at the surface levels without building a 100z level pump stack.
2. Would it be possible to have site finder parameter for different categories of stone (Sedimentary, Igneous intrusive, Igneous extrusive, Metamorphic). Having a parameter for every single type of stone would be better but these broad categories would be nice.
I haven't changed anything else yet, but there could still be some additions for this release, since the site finder has become more important again. I don't know if I want to get to the level of showing every type of stone. That seems to be something that should be default off in the world params or something, since it's kind of a spoiler/TMI, although it might be good to share types of metal available.
With the new more important caravans, will we be able to keep our doors closed most of the year, and get a grace period for opening up when the caravans arrive on the edge of the map? This would allow more security whilst minimising lost trade opportunities.
If this is in reference to wagons (vaguely remember that from the thread), then it might be moot, since I'm not sure we'll have wagons/carts until we get around to the big vehicle rewrites now, or maybe even the road stuff as well. This doesn't mean that there can't be large important caravans. It'll be different all around.
Will size ever matter for trading, and will you ever get the ability to make things sized for creatures larger/smaller than yourself? For example, would a human caravan refuse (or pay less for) dwarf-sized armor because it will be harder to sell? Will you be able to make human-sized armor for trade instead?
Yeah, size will matter in world gen, and it's very likely that non-fitting clothes won't command very much from traders now, if they even want to take up space with them. I'm not sure about producing clothes for other races. I guess it makes sense that you should be able to go into that export trade if you want to take a stab at it, but it's not something that's a high priority.
when will item decay and item damage make it in? Will decay hit even mundane objects like chalices and doors? And will decay exist in worldgen, too, in some abstract form?
Decay already occurs for things like doors, although it is hard to see in practice most of the time. I'm not sure when we'll get item damage. When there's a big combat push, I imagine it'll be up there now. I don't have it yet, but I'm pretty sure we'll see some objects in stockpiles passing to debris/disappear just to make things make sense. We might not get to larger scale ruins until we get to that part officially, dev-wise.
Toady will people in places with scarce vegetation turn to herding of say sheep* instead of farming? Will some regions begin to specialise theyr products like growing Mulberry for silkworms instead of delivering a certain food surplus for Cities?
We might wait for the overall farming overhauls before we can really distinguish between appropriate areas for pasture/crops. It could use rainfall now, I suppose. Right now the sites always have to grow food in at least half of their fields, but if the area were somehow to secure a surplus from abroad once trade is fully underway, we can see about specialization. The lack of political information is part of the problem here -- an empire might have an easier time devoting a large swath of land to something. For local governments to commit to it, they need to be very worried about their food, especially as unforgiving as it currently is in world gen.
Why did you use this symbol, ?, for currency in DF?
I didn't want to use a dollar sign next to the numbers, and the yellow turtle seemed bright and shiny.
Once civs become less of a hivemind when you attack a citizen, how would the spread of word be handled if you assaulted someone who lived? Also, how far is it from now before the A.I. of someone decides you are too strong to fight in ways excluding dismemberment?
I'm not sure how the spread of word is going to work -- it might first come up when we go after the thief section of the dev page. I didn't understand the second question. If you are talking about early morale failures based on sensible evaluations, it'll probably be combat arc material.
Will elf, goblin and koblin civilizations be integrated into the new economy system as well?
If yes, how will they get their food seeing that they don't do farming?
The elves pretend farm right now. Goblins don't need to eat. Kobolds forage for vermin. They should be part of the new economy, although kobolds are just parasitic.
When mounts are implemented, will we be able to purchase mounts for our companion's? or will they have to slog it out on foot while the hero rides upon his valiant steed.
I'm not sure how it's going to turn out, but I'd hope that they get to have horses too, since you probably won't get a travel speed bonus without having everybody properly situated just as a matter of how the code'll work.
what's the plan from mountainhome requests? will there be only prices hints as they're now about mountainhome needs, or will the caravan arc means that the mountainhome will now also make 'mandates' for us to comply?
There probably won't be anything like mandates until we get to fortress embark scenarios, but we are hoping to let you have more interesting trade agreements and interactions this time around. We'll have to see how it turns out though.
1. Will town structure change? Including bigger/higher buildings and concentrated shop-area (Marketplace?)
2. Will peoples have beds again? Or/and maybe food containers?
Hopefully, yeah. It has the information about population, town vs village/agriculture %s for the use of their territory, and the items stockpiled, so it just needs to place it all. That's a bit of map-making, which'll be where there's some time spent. And we'll have to work a bit to support the higher populations as you walk through town.
Have you planned further limiting the availability of plate armour? As far as I know, it is not 'one size fits all' equipment. So if we wanted to commission a set to our measurements, it'd cost a lot and take (a lot) of time make. Adventure mode in particular would benefit, fortress mode perhaps less so.
How about proper shield damage to make them less reusable? This is possibly coming with item damage though.
I don't have any particular plans, but it sounds reasonable enough. People have posted some relevant quotes and things here for the issues in fort mode.
I have read in the past that between the interviews, DF Talks, bug fixes, active development, and little things like sleep, you have less time to go through the Suggestions forum. Is there a plan to revitalize or refocus that aspect of the forums?
I was wondering if [you] had had any thoughts on ways the community could do things to make it easier for [you]. Ways to group suggestions under arc, etc.
I still read threads, but I'm always behind. It's hard to keep up with email and PMs and questions here as well. I don't know if there's a lot that can be done about it. There's just a point when there's more input than output, as with the dev pages and everything else. I'm not sure that voting or anything like that would really focus things well in terms of which suggestions I'm going to get the most out of reading.
Since we're getting some new plant extracts, will the jobs these extra be used for extend to just beyond cooking with these release, or ever?
Olive oil comes to mine, as a plant product that has multiple uses from cooking to cleaning.
Well we see other minable things, like salt anytime soon?
We're up for anything reasonable, but we're starting with cooking and soap. Dunno about salt mines. We'd want to do food preservation first probably, and I'm not sure when I want to go down that road.
How will clay be gathered for pottery production? Are we looking at the sand style ordering a patch of ground, or will clay soil now drop rock-like objects?
Is that refresh of sand gathering also coming now as a result?
How far into pottery did you go? Glazes, bisque firing vs glaze firing, high fire ware being water tight, porcelain vs stoneware vs terracotta?
To build on Quatch's earlier question, does this mean that we will be able to collect clay like sand? If so, how raw-definable is this collectability? E.g. would I be able to add the ability to collect an entirely new resource (say, peat, or sea salt), or is it just clay mining being added?
Does "Pottery" include bricks and other uses as Building material (like filling for timber-frames)? What about Pipes? Also how many pottery items per wood-log, if they get fired in the kiln, can we expect? Are fruit trees in for this release?
Dunno yet on pottery in general. We were leaning toward digging out the clay, since the excavation of large open spaces seems to match more with what I've read, but I don't know if that is going to change sand. We have kaolinite so were thinking porcelain would be fair game that way, but I'm not sure where we'll get with the other distinctions. We'll probably have bricks. It would be nice to get to fruit trees, but getting to everything is going to be hard.
The mention of new raws for domestic animals got me wondering about domestic animals in general. Will we be able to define entity specific domestic animals any time soon? While most races should draw from the local surroundings some more fantastical races should be able to keep animals specific to them. Currently you have domesic, evil, and/or local animals leaving little room for modding.
The same question again but with seeds/crops instead of animals in mind?
It sounds reasonable, but I can't offer a timeframe for it.
Will there be Hydra eggs? And dragon eggs? And giant eagle eggs? And giant desert scorpion eggs? And alligator eggs? And giant cave spider eggs?
Will vermin have eggs? So we can like have fluffy fluffy wambler eggs and toad eggs.
I guess scorpions are born live, so you might be disappointed there. I don't know about wamblers. The others seem fair, but vermin might depend on whether chickens are vermin or small unit-style creatures.
I assume roads will be effected by trade routs, right?
Nothing has happened yet, but I hope so.
Any Plans to make the civ-leaders aware of this network (in parts)? Will civs or entitys try to actively search for new resources and tradepartners?
For example, if that little country on the other side of the world has some rare kind of plant or metal, will cultures eventually set up a much longer trade route? Will cultures that trade directly to faraway lands, cutting out the middleman, get a better deal on the merchandise than cultures that rely on an extended trade network where distant goods must change hands many times?
Also, I wonder how trade routes are set up in world gen, how static they are over time. Are they recalculated every year, or every century? If a town expands its hamlets and gains access to a kind of resource, will it cease its trade with a distant town which previously was providing them that resource? Is there a concept of discovery, where a culture might have too little information about another culture and so would not be able to trade with them, or are all cultures assumed to be aware of the relative availability and value of goods all over the world?
With the coming of the caravan arc, will there be any feature that fully utilizes the world-gen time? I mean, will there be something that makes year 900 really different from year 300? I can imagine the trade routes will take some years to develop, then small markets would start popping up, then small fairs, which over the course of hundreds of years could develop into huge cities, making the late-gen worlds pretty unique. But right now, the only difference between year 1000 and year 100 seems to be the number of dead people in the legends mode.
Without sea trade, they'd have to pass through territory held by others in a situation where it should probably be routine to compel traders to offer their food for trade at least to hungry cities and other goods as well, and we lack the political structures to arrange for a proper setup. Smuggling is possible I suppose, but we haven't really thought about how long distance interactions are going to work, aside from the fair mechanic which allows several steps on the network to trade at one location. The lack of information about the civilization and subgroups and so on makes it all sort of handwavy right now, but we just want something to build on. TurnpikeLad I think mentioned the Silk Road, and I'm not sure how they worked in terms of passing goods through a succession of political entities, if there were long distance traders instead of a succession of short distance trades. The things I've read about European systems indicate a lot more control applied making it difficult for that to work on land, in the absence of a strong authority that can grant safe passage over a longer route.
Some trade properties are recalculated weekly, and the rest are done yearly. If a town expands its hamlets and gains a new resource, everything can change, yeah. There has been a (weak) discovery system from the beginning. I'm not sure if I'm going to get a chance to strengthen it. All in all there should be a bit of dynamic activity, though it might take more political information and imperial muscle flexing to get the world to be really lively. Long-term, that is one of the things I care about the most, and I want the world map between 300 and 900 to be very, very different in terms of political boundaries, major cities, goods traded, etc., but I think we're only going to be partially there this time around. I haven't really gotten into it yet, but I suspect development will still be a little too fast. The site cap is such that the world has its settlement cap around year 100 or so, and that also means that agricultural output has maxed out, pretty much. It still takes time for a town to accumulate enough of an advantage to get more of that food directed to itself and grow into a city, but it probably sticks too long, because we don't really have internal catastrophe or other troubles/rot that cause power to shift to other locations/civs. I think succession struggles, plagues and famine, that sort of thing, will be most useful here, but we don't have them yet.
If in adventure mode we kill all the farms that feed into a town will the town suffer?
If you manage this, then yes, I'd expect suffering, even if it is a peaceful starvation at this point.
Are the purple cities dark fortresses? Does that mean the goblins actually trade this time?
These are potential routes -- I marked them at this point just in case places end up getting conquered. On the other hand, I think trade might end up being possible, especially with those human civs that are led by demon-gods, but maybe more generally.
Looking over the maps posted in the devlog, I've noticed that there are many potential trade routes unused, and several of the marked sites are not connected.
With that in mind, how does the game determine the connections? Is it simple distance combined with relations? Is there something more complex going on?
Hmm. Some of the hamlets don't seem to connect to anything. Are those ruins, or just isolated hamlets?
I also noticed that a number of the dwarfen civs (on the middle-sized island) didnt trade at all not even between theyr own settlements. Bug/Feature?
What kind of algorithms are being used for determination of the trading patterns of cities, civilizations, and species?
It's just distance for the yellow routes -- I haven't really started that kind of trade yet, so that's subject to change. The hamlets connect to the nearest market, but they'll only connect currently to markets of their civ, so you get situations where some hamlets remain strictly as subsistence farmers. This should change, but I'm not sure at this point what I want to do there. An isolated elven settlement might not want to show up at a human town market regularly, but isolated humans might not have any problem with showing up at a dwarven market or at the market for another human civ. It's just not settled yet. The lack of distinction between cultures and political arrangements is causing trouble here, since lots of trading should still occur when a war is on, for instance.
Toady, will player built fortresses need to pay attention to the trade network to get caravans? As in, will the embark screen point out stuff like "no human town is close enough to you to send caravans"?
Yeah, I think it's going to matter more than it used to, and it should help you a bit with that. You might be given a significant amount of leeway if you are treated more like a fair than a market, so you can have a time where lots of traders come to visit. The acceleration of time in fort mode makes that feel more appropriate, anyway, since the traders stay for several weeks.
Does the simulation account for the value of the goods being traded when determining the length of trade routes? Does the simulation account for how risky the trade route would be when trading, and do trade routes that regularly lose their caravans "dry up?"
I haven't gotten to that point yet, but it's the distance is going to add to the cost of trades in world gen, so more valuable commodities should travel farther when fairs roll around. There's a missing element of long distance ventures that aren't fair related at this point, because the sea isn't really considered properly and I'm not sure how long distance land routes work -- the ones I've read about had to deal with the intervening towns along the way and didn't seem like a pure long distance venture between two distant entities. It might be a little tricky getting the exact danger level during world gen compared to what's going to be happening during play, so they might be in for a rude awakening once the caravans are actually moving around. I'm just going to have to try to account for that as well as I can. The loss of pack animals is probably going to be as bad as anything for the continuation of trade if they keep losing caravans.
Are these trade routes literally routes or are they abstracted representation of the trade network?
More specifically, I'm asking if the caravans will follow the 'routes' as paths or are the 'routes' a simple representation of the fact the two locations are trading.
I actually think that the straight lines are more to make understanding trade connections easier, rather than actually lining out the actual route
Yeah, the lines are just lines for visualizing the network.
Are there plans to be able to have multiple embarks at once, and to be able to zoom from fort view to world view and back on any of these embarks? An example of this would be in the old Accolade game Deadlock, though that was provinces instead of embarks, but a similar idea.
It's difficult to do this while time is passing and have what you come back to make sense, especially if you've got a lot of fluids or machines working particular ways, and you've got your stockpiles all set up in certain ways etc. The first thing we were thinking of was sort of freeze-time army battles where your fort comes back exactly how you left it. After that, it is harder.
Will we ever be able to access the legends mode information directly from fortress or adventurer mode? Like in: you click at the leader of the enemy siege, open his details (z) screen and click something like (h)istory? I know you are planning to do books and some other "in-game" applications of legends, but these are hardly as useful as the legends mode. And I am able to copy my safe to a different folder, abandon the fortress, and open the Legends. Why prevent me from doing it the easy way?
I don't like having easily accessible histories in play, especially in adventure mode. I think it breaks immersion and it will essentially break features to be omniscient as we get a little further down the line. In fortress mode it isn't as bad, but you'd still be able to spoil for instance what sort of creatures are likely to come with an enemy leader before a siege for instance. It probably works best as a world init parameter.
Is there a limit to how many ghosts can exist at a time?
There isn't, as far as I remember, but it meters them, so you won't just get 20 at once. You can get several at once though.