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Author Topic: I, Dwarfbot - Dwarven Autonomy discussion  (Read 12569 times)

NW_Kohaku

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I, Dwarfbot - Dwarven Autonomy discussion
« on: August 03, 2010, 04:09:30 pm »

So, I had this suggestion about how to rework dwarven society so as to make a place for a greater variety of finished goods that dwarves would actually start using, when the discussion veered off somewhat to talk about dwarven autonomy.  (See: http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=61620.msg1427690#msg1427690)

Now, unfortunately, the thread doesn't seem to be generating much conversation, possibly because of the sheer verbosity and reach of the original post, so I thought that perhaps this could be its own thread:

How autonomous would you like to see dwarves become?  Would you want to see a dwarven fortress where you do not directly control who is what job, but that dwarves instead see employment on their own according to their own personalities and whims and the financial incentives you set up for them (and the Orwellian propoganda techniques to influence personal tastes)?  Instead of building every part of your fortress by hand, you would instead zone residences, and dwarves would rent the rooms and buy furniture to place within those rooms.  You would zone for certain types of industry, and dwarves could build their own workshops, and potentially even own their own workshops.

If this is too far, would you be fine with, instead, idle dwarves being able to start enabling labors on their own, hence giving those idlers the ability to give themselves work without requiring your own babysitting?

Would this be fine if it were included in a raw-editable way of managing how dwarves decide to do these things, so that you can shut some of this off, and manually start writing a sort of script for when and how dwarves start deciding things on their own?

(Also, don't be shy about going onto the suggestion thread itself and discussing the broader issue.  More debate is healthy.)
« Last Edit: August 03, 2010, 04:19:10 pm by NW_Kohaku »
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nbonaparte

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Re: I, Dwarfbot - Dwarven Autonomy discussion
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2010, 04:14:24 pm »

I would like to see something like this. Perhaps an option in the game itself to change it, sort of along the lines of the "all dwarves harvest", "only farmers harvest" etc. that's as opposed to an init option. I think this would have to be more dynamic than that. Personally, it would depend on my goals as to the level of autonomy I give my dwarves. In regular play, I would probably set idle dwarves to find things to occupy themselves. If I was doing a large masonry project or the like, I would want total control. But there are times I would like to turn on total autonomy and just watch.
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thijser

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Re: I, Dwarfbot - Dwarven Autonomy discussion
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2010, 04:20:13 pm »

This is quite difficult and I would prefer to have something as strong as this in the init. The main thing is currently df is all about managing your whole dwarfs. It's not a political game however if you make them more autonomous this could change the whole game. I have no problems with dwarfs doing things that are only logical (for example we already have gather refuse and stuff like that) however it should not be that you actually have some kind of option screen that you use to influance what your dwarfs do trough propaganda ext.. I think the best thing is something inbetween where dwarfs do stimple tasks themself (esp. tasks you know will have to be done with no alternative for the material or things like vein minning.)
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monk12

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Re: I, Dwarfbot - Dwarven Autonomy discussion
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2010, 04:39:49 pm »

I think that this should be one of the demarcations between having the economy running and not having it. Pre-economy the game plays largely like it does now. The economy, implying a supply/demand economy, would also make sense for dwarves to have more say in what they do. And players who don't like dwarves with free will could disable it by nuking the economy.

I could see the manager and preferences getting involved in this. Lets say that you have Urist McHauler, who has a lot of creativity and/or likes shale. Not being satisfied with his work, he asks for a meeting with the manager for new labors. The manager decides whether to allow the new labors to be enabled based on some kind of criteria. Availability of the labor could be decided by backlogs in job orders, available workshops, desired number of skilled professionals at a position, etc.

The big issue here is having dwarves change jobs too often so that the player doesn't understand why his mechanic keeps making bins instead of setting traps. If the manager disables the old labors, then the player is stuck with annoying things like having dwarves get assigned to needed positions who then request transfers to unnecessary fields (glassmakers on maps without sand, etc). On the other side, if the manager leaves the old labors alone then you start seeing that dwarves are getting new jobs, but since they don't spend much time on it then they just end up being mediocre at a few different things and good at nothing. And if the player misses all these announcements, then they will have no idea what is going on in their fort.

The solution for that problem is twofold; First, restricting the skill level of dwarves on appropriate workshops keeps the grower who is dabbling in metalsmithing from wasting materials. Second, a new Manager Report screen could be used to detail each change, perhaps with a brief explanation of the transfer. This would make sure the player knows every time a labor changes on one of the dwarves, and utility could be added to lock a dwarf into their profession, or forbid certain professions.

In general, I think this would be a good thing as it helps shift the focus of a fortress in the mid and late game. Early game is all about building the fortress, but later I see the direction of DF as a whole moving towards social interactions. Later on in the game the minutia of designating labors and placing apartment furniture just gets in the way of building your megaproject or waging your war. Giving your dwarves some small autonomy in the little stuff lets the player focus on the big stuff, only jumping into the labor designations and such when personal attention is needed.

Shrugging Khan

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Re: I, Dwarfbot - Dwarven Autonomy discussion
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2010, 04:47:43 pm »

I'd like to see maybe a slider system for this. So you can set up in detail how much dwarven autonomy you tolerate - not just ECONOMY: YES or NO, but something a little more differentiated.
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NW_Kohaku

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Re: I, Dwarfbot - Dwarven Autonomy discussion
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2010, 04:54:33 pm »

I'd like to see maybe a slider system for this. So you can set up in detail how much dwarven autonomy you tolerate - not just ECONOMY: YES or NO, but something a little more differentiated.

Well, that's what I meant by giving you a raw that would let you decide what autonomy dwarves do or don't have.  (A slider doesn't let you specify what specific actions you do or don't want.)

The big issue here is having dwarves change jobs too often so that the player doesn't understand why his mechanic keeps making bins instead of setting traps. If the manager disables the old labors, then the player is stuck with annoying things like having dwarves get assigned to needed positions who then request transfers to unnecessary fields (glassmakers on maps without sand, etc). On the other side, if the manager leaves the old labors alone then you start seeing that dwarves are getting new jobs, but since they don't spend much time on it then they just end up being mediocre at a few different things and good at nothing. And if the player misses all these announcements, then they will have no idea what is going on in their fort.

The solution for that problem is twofold; First, restricting the skill level of dwarves on appropriate workshops keeps the grower who is dabbling in metalsmithing from wasting materials. Second, a new Manager Report screen could be used to detail each change, perhaps with a brief explanation of the transfer. This would make sure the player knows every time a labor changes on one of the dwarves, and utility could be added to lock a dwarf into their profession, or forbid certain professions.

I was thinking a solution to this could be that dwarves with higher skill ranks will start to prefer to keep working on that kind of job by a significant degree (they start to think of themselves AS "mechanics", and take more pride in doing a mechanic's work, and will quit to find better-paying jobs later than the amatuers will).  Dwarves could also see pay raises based upon their skill (or just upon their ability to create higher-quality goods, or in the case of things like miners or engravers, they could have an effectively inflated pay (which would have to be implimented by an even stronger preference for that job) simply because they do their jobs so much faster)
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Heavenfall

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Re: I, Dwarfbot - Dwarven Autonomy discussion
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2010, 04:58:14 pm »

A small market economy would be pretty cool... but supply would probably make a lot more sense if there was actual demand for items beyond food. I don't know anything about the economy really... I've yet to experience it in df2010.

The whole "making a hoard of gold" could be a sub-"goal" in the game, possibly used later on to pay for mercenaries/supplies in wars and such.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2010, 05:00:02 pm by Heavenfall »
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NW_Kohaku

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Re: I, Dwarfbot - Dwarven Autonomy discussion
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2010, 05:03:02 pm »

Well, creating the demand was part of the original suggestion that this conversation was a spin-off from.
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monk12

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Re: I, Dwarfbot - Dwarven Autonomy discussion
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2010, 05:34:30 pm »

I'd like to see maybe a slider system for this. So you can set up in detail how much dwarven autonomy you tolerate - not just ECONOMY: YES or NO, but something a little more differentiated.

I was thinking a solution to this could be that dwarves with higher skill ranks will start to prefer to keep working on that kind of job by a significant degree (they start to think of themselves AS "mechanics", and take more pride in doing a mechanic's work, and will quit to find better-paying jobs later than the amatuers will).  Dwarves could also see pay raises based upon their skill (or just upon their ability to create higher-quality goods, or in the case of things like miners or engravers, they could have an effectively inflated pay (which would have to be implimented by an even stronger preference for that job) simply because they do their jobs so much faster)

I actually had the thought while eating that if dwarves with big enough personal spaces build their own workshops to sell their own goods, then you would effectively have a cottage industry. I could see a system where the Guilds are in charge of government mandated work orders and random entrepreneurs could supplement their income by ducking into unused workshops or building their own to make items for themselves and for sale.

Of course, the question of free will opens up the question of what dwarves do with it. Or more specifically, what dwarves do with their free time. Right now they just kind of stand around doing nothing for a while, which is odd for short creatures fond of industry. I know playing music and playing with toys is in the works, but I'd like to see the crafting tools headed for adventure mode make it into dwarf mode. They could be an additional component for making a workshop, and/or loose dwarves could invest in a set of tools to make things on their own time. This keeps the workshops free for official business, and work in a workshop would presumably proceed faster than with only tools. A dwarf with tools could go back to their room on their free time and, say, whittle a figurine or make some scrimshaw. Whether a dwarf decides to make things on their off time, whether they sell or keep what they make, and whether they do something else or do nothing at all would work well with the personality traits. Perhaps more interestingly, this system could be adapted to parties so that instead of fortress halting nuisances they become the activity engaged in by socially minded off-duty dwarves.

I like the idea that dwarves doing certain jobs helps them be happy. I think it could be implemented using the thoughts system, where "was satisfied at work lately" gets replaced by thoughts where Dwarves doing jobs they like get happy thoughts, and dwarves doing jobs well get happy thoughts. That way, even if your dwarf doesn't care about masonry he could still get happy thoughts from a job well done and reinforce his willingness to stick with his profession, and dwarves doing things they like would get thoughts from doing that. Ultimately this makes your dwarves find a job and stick with it, instead of situations where a creative dwarf bounces around all the craft labors or whatever. A preference for "physical labor" or "hard work" could be made to help miners/haulers align with the rest of the system.

And upon further thought, I bet a "free will" toggle like The Sims had would work well here.

freeformschooler

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Re: I, Dwarfbot - Dwarven Autonomy discussion
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2010, 06:22:06 pm »

Hmmm. Dwarven Autonomy would be interesting, but I garner there'd be extremely varied views on the subject. It'd probably be best to have autonomy, particularly the extent of it, be optional.

In the dev log Toady mentions things like locally controlling and focusing on dwarven squads and military even when in dorf mode, in a war scenario. A problem would be how to control what goes on in your fortress while you're trying to defeat a faction/town/guild/race/what have ye. In such cases, autonomy would be incredibly useful.

Personally I love controlling dwarves on a case to case basis but for large fortresses it gets repetitive fast.
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NW_Kohaku

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Re: I, Dwarfbot - Dwarven Autonomy discussion
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2010, 06:52:31 pm »

Hmmm. Dwarven Autonomy would be interesting, but I garner there'd be extremely varied views on the subject. It'd probably be best to have autonomy, particularly the extent of it, be optional.

Well, I'd expect varied opinions, but I created this thread in a more bustling forum because I wasn't really seeing them.

In the dev log Toady mentions things like locally controlling and focusing on dwarven squads and military even when in dorf mode, in a war scenario. A problem would be how to control what goes on in your fortress while you're trying to defeat a faction/town/guild/race/what have ye. In such cases, autonomy would be incredibly useful.

Personally I love controlling dwarves on a case to case basis but for large fortresses it gets repetitive fast.

What this really requires, though, is not actual dwarven autonomy, but an ability to manage dwarves by priority or by building dwarven decision trees or scripts through some sort of raw mechanic or in-game interface.  (Such as expanding the scope of the Job Priorities and Standing Production Orders arc... although I've already kinda-sorta had that argument.)

If you are capable of generating dwarven priority scripts so that you can largely automate your fortress, it actually starts to run in conflict with the autonomy of dwarves themselves.

(Of course, this can be resolved by making a very, very elegant version of a combination of Standing Production Orders and the ability to pre-program adjustments to the financial incentives of your standing orders to dynamically respond to the changing conditions of the fort, although making an all-contingencies-accounted-for script for this would be absolutely labarynthian in length.)
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ledgekindred

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Re: I, Dwarfbot - Dwarven Autonomy discussion
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2010, 06:54:21 pm »

I like the idea of progressing the current personalization system that got added in 2010.  Some of the posts here are making me think of ways that can be evolutionary additions to systems already in place rather than an entire rewrite of dwarven behaviour to create self-aware AI dwarves.  I'm a programmer by profession, so I already have the mindset of using and reusing systems that are already in place rather than reinventing the wheel.  I'm gonna repeat some of the ideas already in the thread, but with my thoughts on them.

We now have some pretty darned detailed descriptions of what your dwarves are like, their likes and dislikes, what kind of physical shape they are in and their social relationships.  This certainly is a step towards more dwarven autonomy in terms of the kinds of jobs they do and how hard they work.

If you have a sturdy, strong dwarf who really likes stone but has little imagination and has difficulty with personal relationships, mining might be his preference.  He gets better at mining, gets to be bigger and stronger and spends days at a time down dark lonely tunnels alone pondering his stone-based philosophy.  A dwarf who is not tough, but has a great imagination and loves a certain kind of metal may become a metalcrafter and prefer to pick that kind of metal to build his crafts.  A lazy dwarf might not pick any job in particular, instead spending time loafing around and mooching off his fellow dwarves.   (Which ultimately will work against him.)  We already know a lot of this from the existing personality traits!

There is already a system that counts each dwarf's relationships, if there were feedback into that based on how productive another dwarf is, then you have the ability for other dwarves to get pissed off at the loafers and perhaps harangue him into actually doing some more work, or cut him off from the booze they are so industriously making.  Whereas a Legendary Miner may gain respect of other dwarves for his industrious hard work and dedication to the fort and a Legendary Weaponmaker would be the go-to guy for dwarves assigned to your military and looking for gear.  The better your dwarves think of each other, when the economy starts, the better "deals" they will get for goods from friends of theirs.  We're re-using the relationships data!

Urist McClothier really respects the work Urist McMiner has done.  When Urist McClothier talks to his best friend, Urist McChef, Urist McChef also gains respect for Urist McMiner and offers him an extra slice of dwarven bread next time he comes by to get lunch.  Expand the social network!

The idea of training is already present with the military system.  A Legendary dwarf may pick a new migrant or child as an apprentice, which would give him a leg up on skilling up his own skills.  The more craftsdwarves who hang out together the better quality their work can turn out to be, where they can teach each other tricks of the trade.  We're re-using the military training stuff!

The "rusty skill" system is already present.  It's no stretch to imagine dwarves ignoring skills as they rust away in favor of higher level skills.  Effectively allowing them to specialize themselves.  This is practically already implemented!

What about Urist McMoocher?  You're drafted, sucker.  Have fun with R. Urist McErmy screaming in your face you lazy bum.  But guess what, he becomes a productive and useful member of the community now.

But there's realistically no way a fort could totally run itself.  (Well at least until Quantum Computers become more commonplace and Toady finally puts in the Uncertainty code that causes the dwarves to become self-aware.) Something like the job manager system already present in the game, only for professions would be an effective way of managing it I think.  Like an employment section of the local newspaperengravings.  If you need mechanics, you would create a "mechanic needed" want ad and a dwarf with the right personality and skillset for mechanics would step up for the position.  Once you've approved a qualified mechanic, he would be able to go off and build his own workshop.  In a "workshop-zoned burrow" for example.  Look, now we can reuse the "burrows" mechanic!

The job manager is already in place.  You need traps?  Ask for some traps to be made.  Your new mechanic steps up and makes traps.  You don't need traps?  Maybe your mechanic spends time in his workshop practicing.  He can use up some of that extra stone honing his skills in between orders.  If he's lazy, he doesn't practice and the next time you put an order in, maybe some other dwarf who has been honing his mechanics skills gets the job instead.  Or at least fills most of the order and gets more Dwarfbucks out of it and a better chance of getting the next order.

You would still be managing things like what areas got built out, where to build traps, wall placement, the overall management of the fort.  But a lot of the smaller micromanagement, basically the exact reasons Dwarf Therapist exists at all, go away.   

edit: And that's a lot of words.  You're welcome, NW_Kohaku.  :)
« Last Edit: August 03, 2010, 07:04:01 pm by ledgekindred »
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I don't understand, though that is about right with anything DF related.
I just hope he dies the same death that all dwarfs deserve: liver disease.
The legend of Reg: http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=65866.0
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ledgekindred

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Re: I, Dwarfbot - Dwarven Autonomy discussion
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2010, 07:10:06 pm »

Short addendum to my previous mega-post.  I definitely think this is something that would be more visible in the later parts of the game.  I think at the beginning you certainly wouldn't want to have a situation where none of your dwarves especially felt like being a miner.  You would have to have the ability to "draft" dwarves into that profession.  Of course, by having the embark points to assign skill levels right off the bat, you are artificially giving your initial dwarves a preference for the certain activities that you really need up front.

With the military and noble systems, it gives you a very helpful "Dabbling Axedwarf" or "Accomplished Diagnoser" type thing as you look for a dwarf to assign.  A similar system, only based on personality traits, would be helpful for specifically assigning dwarves to a particular job.  i.e. you certainly don't want a "weak, fragile dwarf with little to no motivation" to be a miner.

Ok, not as short as I intended.  Still I thought it would be better than making an even bigger wall-of-words.
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I don't understand, though that is about right with anything DF related.
I just hope he dies the same death that all dwarfs deserve: liver disease.
The legend of Reg: http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=65866.0
Atir Stigildegel, Legless Hero of Diamondrelic: http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=83136.0

NW_Kohaku

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Re: I, Dwarfbot - Dwarven Autonomy discussion
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2010, 07:11:34 pm »

And that's a lot of words. 

Not by my standards  :P  (and thanks)

Well, this is partly why I want to see as much power and flexibility in the new Standing Orders arc as we can get.  Many problems in DF are caused by what essentially boils down to a lack of attention for the micromanagement.  The more that the micromanagement can be swept away by a little forethought in a utility like Standing Orders (especially if this screen is import/export capable, so that we can re-use code), the more we can get down to enjoying... well, the FPS death of our forts, I suppose, but at least we'd probably get a little further down the road if some of the tedium was taken care of.
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Vercingetorix

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Re: I, Dwarfbot - Dwarven Autonomy discussion
« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2010, 07:12:15 pm »

I would personally like to see something similar to a series of options enabling you to customize the degree to which dwarves can act autonomously.  Currently, I usually play as if in charge of the civilization, so my decisions are akin to the leader ordering the dwarves to do something or other; I should be able to give them more leeway or less depending on my needs and desires at the time...and there should be consequences for doing so.
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