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Author Topic: Tips for Dwarf Fortress  (Read 8597 times)

Rooster

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Tips for Dwarf Fortress
« on: July 20, 2010, 07:39:17 am »

This is a thread for posting DF potentially helpfull tips that DF wiki is so lacking.
Maybe beginners will learn the most. Who knows.
Tips are selected by me, but if anyone says that a tip I omitted should be posted here I will.

Tips:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

I remade the post. Is it better? Are you content with the changes, or is there something that can be improved upon?
Are my english skills sufficient? :P
« Last Edit: July 22, 2010, 02:52:25 pm by Rooster »
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Rooster

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Re: Advanced strategy guide book: Making the new better player
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2010, 07:41:54 am »

reserved
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Rooster

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Re: Advanced strategy guide book: Making the new better player
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2010, 07:42:21 am »

reserved
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noodle0117

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Re: Advanced strategy guide book: Making the new better player
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2010, 09:33:36 am »

hmm... never knew that about embarking.
I would always set off with barrelloads of fish, meat and plump helmets whenever I start out.
While this might seem obvious, you should also mention that when you build your first fortress surrounding wall, you should check if there are any openings by locking all the doors when the migrants/traders arrive and seeing if they could get in. If they can, that means the goblins probably can too.
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Krash

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Re: Advanced strategy guide book: Making the new better player
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2010, 09:48:28 am »

Good tip for increasing artifact value: 
- make stockpiles with only the most precious gems enabled close to workshops, dwarves will pick them when making artifacts and their value will skyrocket. 
- Have small stockpiles of precious metals (gold, plat, etc) closer to the rock using workshops than normal crap rock; this way dwarves will pick them when making rock artifacts.
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Rooster

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Re: Advanced strategy guide book: Making the new better player
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2010, 10:15:13 am »

Krash: Added your tip to the list.

Also I made two: one about roads and one about embarking on savage areas
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Kon

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Re: Advanced strategy guide book: Making the new better player
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2010, 12:48:38 pm »

Buy milk on embark and make cheese.

Only allow the craftsman with the highest skill access to the workshop. This is especially important for masons where I may have half a dozen building walls and floors, but want only the best one making furniture and crafts.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2010, 12:23:41 pm by Kon »
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Daywalkah

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Re: Advanced strategy guide book: Making the new better player
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2010, 01:24:11 pm »

You recommend only one smith? Is it efficient enough? Your guide is pretty good. I vote that it should be stickied at some point.
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Re: Advanced strategy guide book: Making the new better player
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2010, 01:33:23 pm »

- Wooden axe is valid tool for woodcutting.
This means that you can embark without axe and take wooden logs instead (or no logs at all - you get three logs from deconstructed wagon, so you can just turn one of them to axe.). This is very important for bare-ass embark challenge.

- Herbalism is underappreciated: single herbalist can easily feed 50 dwarves on 3x3 map.

- If you embark with stonecrafter and plan on making tons of stone mugs, also bring few pieces of obsidian along to make swords once stonecrafter is skilled enough. Masterpiece obsidian swords are deadly weapons and you can have several before first ambush.

Fedor

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Re: Advanced strategy guide book: Making the new better player
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2010, 07:16:43 pm »

I honestly think there's way to much "this is the best way to play" as opposed to "here's a good idea that may help you play better (depending on how you play)" going on in this guide. 

I support the development of a more reader-oriented guide, but am going to have to be a bit critical of this early draft.

1) The advice on not bringing meat might be OK, but you lose out on those free barrels, which means you have to spend more time gearing up for booze-production.  As I see it, you lose at least two nickels for the dime you gain.  Also, the comment that "You will get less barrels, but it's supposed to be a challenge." comment is out of place in a guide FILLED with tricky moves designed precisely to better deal with challenges.  In other words, a guide that says "players should impose challenges X and Y on themselves, but here's how to negate or solve challenges A, B, and C" depends on the reader's sharing the writer's approach to the game. 

2) I don't understand the emphasis on trading raw materials to the caravans.  Honestly, has it ever been difficult in DF to buy whatever strikes your fancy?  Just crank out more of those roasts if you can't be bothered to sell goblets.  There's certainly no need whatsoever to waste hauler time dragging crops to the depot when your cooks can combine them into fewer and more conveniently haulable meals and earn far more money besides.

3) Idlers.  Yeah, what the writer describes is the way I've always played the game, but working all the dwarves all the time just isn't what a lot of people want to do with DF.  For one, most of us flat-out refuse to deal with the internal job-assignment interface and rely on external programs such as Dwarf Therapist.  For another, many people like to see lots of friendships and romances among their dwarves (makes great story-telling materials, for starters), despite the danger of tantrum spirals.  Truly advanced play is the creation of beauty.

4) The list of dwarves in this section might be suitable for the way the writer plays the game, but I can't believe that it'd fit the playstyle of most readers.  For example, I have *never* in a ~60-strong fort had either a) so much as 1/6th of my dwarves devoted to food/drink, or b) not specialized my food-producers starting very early on.  If you want anything like efficiency - or even value the happiness boosts from better quality food and drink too! - you won't allow every idiot to dabble in the sills and kitchens.  Another example:  It simply shocks me that there is but a single dwarf assigned to all of metal production.  No armorsmiths or weaponsmiths -in-training, no specialized metalsmith cranking out ridiculous value in goblets, no devoted smelters churning out the massive amount of metal bars needed to achieve my grandiose ambitions, no glassmakers turning unlimited sand into valuables ... just one dwarf for it all.  A third example:  Five haulers wouldn't even BEGIN to cover the moving I want done in a fort of this population.  More than half my civilian population hauls most of the time!  And, to speak objectively rather than subjectively, anyone who always has ~1/3rd of his dwarves in the military in all games with ~60 population or even most of them is playing DF in a very particular way.  The right amount of military is whatever the situation demands.

5) It would surprise me greatly if the butchery industry was the "best all-in build" in the first year.  Better than cooking sweet pods?  Better than iron goblets?  That's a mighty claim...
« Last Edit: July 21, 2010, 07:20:39 pm by Fedor »
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alway

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Re: Advanced strategy guide book: Making the new better player
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2010, 12:37:28 am »

Building off what Fedor said, it is always a good idea, in cases of anything which comes in a barrel at embark, to buy just enough that you get the extra barrel with 1 of said item in it. So if you have a few extra points at the end, buy 1 of each of the cost 2 food items, as each will come with its very own barrel. This is of course very useful on a map on which wood is scarce or dangerous to get at, and generally helps avoid nasty of things happening involving a lack of barrels. The same goes for alcohol; instead of 40 dwarven wine, bring 37 dwarven wine, 1 rum, 1 ale, and 1 beer. This will give you an additional 3 barrels for no additional cost. Heck, it might even make them a tiny bit happier due to food variety.

And builds will certainly vary greatly from fort to fort. I personally prefer mechanized defenses to an army, and as such have very small armies, if any at all. I also want a good deal more miners and masons to both speed up my large construction projects and to replace those lost in the all to common mining accidents.
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Rooster

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Re: Advanced strategy guide book: Making the new better player
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2010, 03:20:24 am »

Hmm. Maybe you're right.
I'll change it when I have the time.
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breadbocks

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Re: Advanced strategy guide book: Making the new better player
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2010, 04:06:51 am »

This is ridiculous.
1) Hunters are INCREDIBLY useful. For one thing, a hunter comes withe armor and a crossbow. Optimal? Yes, very.
2) You play your dorfs in your way. Not mine, or any other noob looking for help with the game. You also contradict yourself madly. "Make lots of metal crafts, durrrr" then 1 TOTAL metalworker? What, do you have Morul or something?
3) Food is a great investment on embark. Invest your extra points so you can be just that much safer before you need to set up farms.
All in all, it needs quite a bit of work before it get to any state of use.
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Miggy

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Re: Advanced strategy guide book: Making the new better player
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2010, 05:49:58 am »

A key thing to keep in mind in these recent versions, is that with the material re-haul, bronze is a better material for armour and weaponry. However, bronze's value hasn't been edited to correct for this. Therefore it is relatively easy to set out with a full combat gear's set worth of bronze on embark, then use it to create a fast military dwarf. I usually embark with: One pickaxe, no battle axes, some 10 bronze bars (depending on how well you want to deck up a single dwarf, you can spend between 7 and 10 bronze bars, seeing as you can add mail shirts and caps) as well as a handful (5-8) copper bars. Of my starting 7, I always have 1 dwarf with proficient weaponsmith and armoursmith. This guy turns the bronze into combat gear and the copper into pickaxes and battle axes for woodcutting. I usually have my first dwarf doing individual combat drills by the time I get my first wave of migrants.

Always ensure that your first military dwarf has: positive level(s) in agility and no laziness trait. With laziness he will never do individual combat drills, which is what will make him an unstoppable monster. Without agility, he will never be able to chase down anything that tries to run for him, which will be disastrous if you want to hunt with him, or just for general usage. His agility will increase doing combat drills, but it is vital that he has it from the get-go.

I disagree with your 60-dwarf fortress layout. You have way too many military dwarves, and you have no way to sustain them. How are you providing armour and weapons for all of them with 1 smith and no furnace operators? Or are you simply not, and is that why you need so many of them? Never send out unarmoured, unarmed or unskilled dwarves to fight as they *will* die. In order to get a metal industry going (aiming for steel weapons and armour) I usually have 4 or 5 furnace operators. At all times 2 are making coke, the other 2 are switching between iron and pig iron, or iron and steel. If you don't have a sedimentary layer you can go with charcoal instead, but that's an even bigger work investment. You can always bee-line for magma early on (or simply never embark somewhere that isn't a volcano), but given how far there sometimes are to magma, I can't make this work.

You have a lot fewer miners and haulers than I have, and I guess this has much to do with the way my fortress is designed. I used to be all about efficiency, but things got so easy that I simply dumped it, and now I'm doing these overly extravagant hallways and open spaces. This requires a lot of miners, and subsequently a lot of haulers. My miners (or projectworkers, rather) double as relatively unskilled masons for whenever they need to build walls rather than tear them down (for instance, when I have to continue my pre-set spiral staircase through a cavern), and my haulers simply dump stone from around my fortress next to whichever project needs building.
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zwei

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Re: Advanced strategy guide book: Making the new better player
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2010, 06:09:48 am »

I honestly think there's way to much "this is the best way to play" as opposed to "here's a good idea that may help you play better (depending on how you play)" going on in this guide. 

...

1) Indeed. Containers are very important early on and 2 points wroth of currency for barrel And its content is simply great. I would take that even if i did not want any food.

3, 4) My build is too way different: I go with narrow specialists, which works out quite well with hauling: When miller or engraver or armorcrafter is not working, he is free to haul stuff. Hence, i simply do not understand that someone would have dedicated haulers or go through pain of decreasing amount of idlers by work reassigment

5) Butchery is GREAT, it can singlehandedly provide military with full equipment set (bone armor pieces, leather armor and boots, waterskin, backpack, quiver, crossbow, bolts: ready to kick some ass) as well as exportable crafts and provides food. Problem is that is is not good starting build, but it is quite valid industry to aim for in year two.

So, yeah, it is pretty much matter of taste, personal tactic and what goals you have.
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