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Author Topic: Improved Farming, Rebooted: Agricultural Revolution  (Read 75475 times)

G-Flex

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Re: Improved Farming, Rebooted: Violate the Earth!
« Reply #195 on: February 15, 2011, 07:53:12 pm »

Well, if the objective here is to come up with plausable interpretations for why dwarves are like the way they are, and there are meaningful differences between that and humans, then there's nothing wrong with making a suggestion that doesn't fly, it just means you need to go back to the drawing board for another one.  "I'm just thinking out loud about concepts," is a line signifying disowning your idea.

First off, I was referring to the fact that we shouldn't discount ideas just because some of the game's current limitations pose problems for them. For instance, you mentioned just building walls around things; yes, that's currently an impenetrable defense, but we shouldn't assume that will always be the case, as it shouldn't be and probably won't be. I'm also not implicitly disowning my ideas, just saying that the first step is to consider the conceptual possibilities, then consider which of those are worth implementing and how.

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Saying that dwarves don't farm aboveground because of the risk of death while humans are willing to put up with a few attacks implies either that attacks against humans are not as bad as attacks on dwarves, human villagers are stronger and better at combat generally than dwarves, or that dwarves are either cowards or humans are suicidally brave.

This is untrue. It could also imply that dwarves have an alternative that humans don't have access to.

My point was that dwarves are more capable of living underground than humans, and already do so, so farming above-ground instead of underground would provide unnecessary added risk to them. With humans, yes, they have to deal with that risk, but only because living underground is a much worse option to them for other reasons (including risks dwarves are more equipped to deal with). There are risks associated with above-ground and below-ground living, and each race is equipped to handle with one or the other more effectively, and even disregarding that, a race exposing themselves to both sets of risks is unnecessary unless there's damn good reason for doing so (see: the few examples of real-life underground settlements). That's what I was getting at.

I'd also have to ask "why don't they know, aren't there dwarves on the surface?"  Also, if the only bar to entry as an aboveground farmer is needing to do some research, then once it's done, there's no reason not to farm like a human.

Yeah, but it's research that, to some degree, every farmer would have to do. Stuff we take for granted, like being able to tell when it might rain. My point is that there's more effort involved in training farmers when they don't even have the level of knowledge (of weather, seasons, etc.) that pretty much all humans take for granted. It doesn't make it impossible, just presents an additional barrier to entry, so to speak. Obviously on a societal level it would just become a sunk cost, but even then, it's much harder for even a society as a whole to learn about things they don't expose themselves to daily, and you still have to explain that stuff to the farmers involved. Point is, underground is just more intuitive to them.

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Eh, maybe their metabolisms (or something else) just don't function quite the same way as those of humans. Also, retaining your body heat doesn't necessarily mean you'll be as good at fighting off things like frostbite.

That's fairly vague.  How could someone's metabolism be "different" in a way that they retain heat well, but are still vulnerable to frostbite?

I didn't mean to imply that; metabolism has little to do with frostbite. My point was that even if your core retains heat well, it doesn't prevent your extremities and skin from becoming frostbitten, at least not to the same extent to which it protects you against hypothermia. I guess being stocky still is an advantage overall in that sense, though (considering what you say about neanderthals).

I mentioned metabolism because the way the body regulates metabolism is very important to thermal homeostasis, and dwarven bodies might differ a little from humans, and might not be able to adapt to the same kinds of changes in environment, or in the same way.

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It takes some serious work at acclimating to surface life for a dwarf, and maybe the dwarf could be seen as a little odd for having done it.

Yep, and in some ways, it needn't be entirely possible, in the sense that you can't make up for every physiological disadvantage. You can't exactly become farther-sighted that much just by trying, or gain greater resistance to all forms of disease (you know, like expecting a cat to build up a human-like Tylenol tolerance), or rewire your brain's sensory systems all that much.

That being said, some acclimation would certainly be possible.

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The starting seven might be "surface acclimated", and capable of eating the strange above-ground food, but migrants might very well not be, and will be unhappy and probably even incapacitatingly sick until they can acclimate their bodies to aboveground food in small but gradually larger doses.

Yeah, I see the founding dwarves as being either foolhardy, or tough-as-nails, or otherwise just willing to brave extremes (by their standards) in order to found a new settlement. Sort of like human expeditions, in that sense. Of course, in the future, we'll probably have more complicated starting scenarios than "seven dwarves on a mission".

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Maybe lumberjacks are the lowest rungs of dwarven society, while legendary microcline mug crafters, weaponsmiths, soldiers, and maybe miners are the highest-praised.

Yeah, there's definitely some room for play there. However, I like to see dwarves as being a little more egalitarian than humans tended to be. Seems to be way things are shaping up anyway, nobles aside.
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== Human Renovation: My Deus Ex mod/fan patch (v1.30, updated 5/31/2012) ==

NW_Kohaku

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Re: Improved Farming, Rebooted: Violate the Earth!
« Reply #196 on: February 15, 2011, 07:55:05 pm »

Please don't answer mith more than 2 screens of text.

I'll try.

OK, going from the top down...

"I want my water exploits to still work" is not really a great reason to stop changes from being made to systems.  Generally, exploits caused by incomplete coding (like the entire "can prop up an entire fortress on a single bar of soap") can be fun, but really, they are going to have to be fixed eventually, and we'll all learn to adapt to the way the game works post-patch.  That's what the exploits are in the first place: adaptations to the way things are now. 

That said, yes, a brook should probably have enough water for a town under generally normal circumstances.  (I.E. not an unusually huge farming operation or no massive "flood the world" action or extreme obsidian farming operations.  Which is to say, abnormally normal for DF.)  Arguments over how much water each water source should provide is something more like arguing over the rate at which skills are learned by dwarves: It's a variable you can tweak fairly easily once the whole thing is implemented in the game.  The variable having a default value that is too high or low is not going to be a terribly big problem, since it generally is so easy to simply change the variable to match the desired levels.

About "nerfing farms"... Nerfing farms isn't what I want to accomplish.  What I want to accomplish is the creation of a much more deep and compelling simulation of the DF ecosystem and how the dwarves interact with the land.  I want to go beyond the simple "needs labor to make food" problem, and create a whole new set of simulated systems within the game. 

In much the same way that remaking the creature raws completely changed the way that animals are treated in game from simply being differentiated by size, I hope to put in a system that makes plants far more complex and diverse and have far more meaningful values to them than merely "can you eat it?"

I'll look into the way that corpses create compost again, then.  I was mostly thinking of making them generally more toxic than regular compost, anyway, and having players use a special kind of decomposer "crop" that is inedible, but just serves as a means of turning really toxic materials like goblin corpses into more "safe" compost.

I have been looking up permaculture.  It's sort of what I want to implicitly try to guide players towards creating, without having to force their hands on it.  Permaculture systems that allow players to basically set a system into motion, and completely step back and let the dwarves take care of everything on their own without your direct guidance would hopefully be the reward of really getting to know the local ecosystem, and how best to balance your needs with the impact you have on the land around you.
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G-Flex

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Re: Improved Farming, Rebooted: Violate the Earth!
« Reply #197 on: February 15, 2011, 07:57:28 pm »

About "nerfing farms"... Nerfing farms isn't what I want to accomplish.  What I want to accomplish is the creation of a much more deep and compelling simulation of the DF ecosystem and how the dwarves interact with the land.  I want to go beyond the simple "needs labor to make food" problem, and create a whole new set of simulated systems within the game.

I agree. Requiring larger farms (while not a bad thing, in my opinion), for instance, does not make farming more meaningfully difficult, even. It just means you have to have one or two more farmers.
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== Human Renovation: My Deus Ex mod/fan patch (v1.30, updated 5/31/2012) ==

NW_Kohaku

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Re: Improved Farming, Rebooted: Violate the Earth!
« Reply #198 on: February 15, 2011, 09:11:57 pm »

There are risks associated with above-ground and below-ground living, and each race is equipped to handle with one or the other more effectively, and even disregarding that, a race exposing themselves to both sets of risks is unnecessary unless there's damn good reason for doing so (see: the few examples of real-life underground settlements). That's what I was getting at.

Care to share a link to a resource on those, by the way?  I don't know very much about real-life underground settlements, and I'd be interested to learn.

I mentioned metabolism because the way the body regulates metabolism is very important to thermal homeostasis, and dwarven bodies might differ a little from humans, and might not be able to adapt to the same kinds of changes in environment, or in the same way.

So this would be "like a dog, dwarves don't sweat"?

Yep, and in some ways, it needn't be entirely possible, in the sense that you can't make up for every physiological disadvantage. You can't exactly become farther-sighted that much just by trying, or gain greater resistance to all forms of disease (you know, like expecting a cat to build up a human-like Tylenol tolerance), or rewire your brain's sensory systems all that much.

That being said, some acclimation would certainly be possible.

If we start getting into an entirely physiological reason why dwarves can't live aboveground, however, it raises a question of "how do they manage to do it at all"?  They still fight aboveground, at least theoretically.  Elsewise, they couldn't have wars with the elves.  Or at least, they couldn't have any war that wasn't completely defensive and fought literally no further than their doorstep.  (Not that such a thing isn't what we have now, but that's supposed to change soon-ish.)

Some dwarves are supposed to actually live in other cultures.  Does that mean they're "degenerating" into humans?  Or should they just have some in-game penalties for being surface dwellers being added in?

Yeah, I see the founding dwarves as being either foolhardy, or tough-as-nails, or otherwise just willing to brave extremes (by their standards) in order to found a new settlement. Sort of like human expeditions, in that sense. Of course, in the future, we'll probably have more complicated starting scenarios than "seven dwarves on a mission".

*Movie Announcer Voice* "SEVEN DWARVES. WITH ONE DESIRE!"

Ah, sorry...


Yeah, there's definitely some room for play there. However, I like to see dwarves as being a little more egalitarian than humans tended to be. Seems to be way things are shaping up anyway, nobles aside.

Well, it's not hard to be more egalitarian than that...

Of course, talking about social class is more a thing for that other thread of mine

The thing is, what sort of social ramifications would there be to farming aboveground that could be accurately reflected in-game?  Would nobody want to migrate to an above-ground farming fort because that reeks of low class, and as such, only the most desperate refugees would immigrate there?  Would player forts be considered some sort of riff-raff, not worthy of proper trade with the mountainhome until they started living a proper dwarven lifestyle, and become outsiders and outcasts?
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G-Flex

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Re: Improved Farming, Rebooted: Violate the Earth!
« Reply #199 on: February 16, 2011, 06:11:35 am »

There are risks associated with above-ground and below-ground living, and each race is equipped to handle with one or the other more effectively, and even disregarding that, a race exposing themselves to both sets of risks is unnecessary unless there's damn good reason for doing so (see: the few examples of real-life underground settlements). That's what I was getting at.

Care to share a link to a resource on those, by the way?  I don't know very much about real-life underground settlements, and I'd be interested to learn.

There were apparently some built in Turkey, although I don't know if the people there really spent that much time actually living below-ground (it's hard to say, and they certainly weren't self-sufficient!).

The one I was originally thinking of was Derinkuyu Underground City. There are some pretty spacious areas in there.

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I mentioned metabolism because the way the body regulates metabolism is very important to thermal homeostasis, and dwarven bodies might differ a little from humans, and might not be able to adapt to the same kinds of changes in environment, or in the same way.

So this would be "like a dog, dwarves don't sweat"?

Maybe! That's certainly one possibility.

Quote
If we start getting into an entirely physiological reason why dwarves can't live aboveground, however, it raises a question of "how do they manage to do it at all"?  They still fight aboveground, at least theoretically.  Elsewise, they couldn't have wars with the elves.  Or at least, they couldn't have any war that wasn't completely defensive and fought literally no further than their doorstep.  (Not that such a thing isn't what we have now, but that's supposed to change soon-ish.)

I agree, although it's less of a "can't live aboveground" and more "have incentives not to live aboveground". Of the potential inherent reasons I listed, for the most part they don't have to totally forbid above-ground interaction, just make it more difficult.

Personally, I have no problem with dwarves having difficulty fighting the elves on their home turf. Dwarves are underground (and largely mountain-dwelling) creatures, so it makes perfect sense to me that a deep forest would be a somewhat alien environment for them. When necessary, I suppose they could form alliances with, say, humans, and engage in tactics suited to them (like digging tunnels, fighting at night, and otherwise leveraging what strengths they have).

Considering what elves would probably be like, and what dwarves would probably be like, I don't know if I see them fighting each other much at all to begin with. I have no idea what this is like in Threetoe's stories, but I don't really see dwarves and elves stepping on each other's toes all that much (they don't really compete for much), although they probably wouldn't have the friendliest of relationships either.

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Some dwarves are supposed to actually live in other cultures.  Does that mean they're "degenerating" into humans?  Or should they just have some in-game penalties for being surface dwellers being added in?

A dwarf living in a human city would be suboptimal, sure, in that (by human standards) they would have certain handicaps. On the other hand, they would have certain advantages that humans might find valuable. If you're the only dwarf in a town of one hundred, sure, you might be nearsighted and sensitive to sunlight, but your dwarven advantages would be quite useful where you live when they do apply (it's not as if humans don't mine, or never have to work in the dark).

There's value in diversity; even when an individual can't compete with his peers in most areas (or is otherwise largely "disadvantaged"), his having unique skills/traits makes him a boon to the group as a whole, and makes him valuable. This happens even in human evolution. For instance, red-green colorblindness: It certainly isn't a "good" trait, and we certainly wouldn't be better off if everybody were colorblind, but there are actually potential advantages (at least in a primitive group) of having at least one guy in the group who is, because there's value in perceiving things differently, even if that means perceiving them slightly worse overall; you'd notice a few things that other people don't, and the rest of the group more than makes up for the fact that you don't notice some of the things they do (the US Army even did a study showing that colorblind people could spot some camouflage colors better than most).

So yeah, basic point: A dwarf would be disadvantaged living in a human city in a broad sense, but still would probably be valuable or even indispensable for his dwarven traits, which would be rare or unique in the group.

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The thing is, what sort of social ramifications would there be to farming aboveground that could be accurately reflected in-game?  Would nobody want to migrate to an above-ground farming fort because that reeks of low class, and as such, only the most desperate refugees would immigrate there?  Would player forts be considered some sort of riff-raff, not worthy of proper trade with the mountainhome until they started living a proper dwarven lifestyle, and become outsiders and outcasts?

Diplomatic tensions in general could be tense, as well. Right now, all we really have right now in terms of diplomatic relations are sieges (in case you constantly kill off their caravans, or are at war), trade, migration, and things like elven wood diplomacy. Given how development is going right now, I think we'll see slightly more complex diplomacy in the (relatively) near future, but we're also talking about things that are more taboo than wrong, which has more nuanced/subtle effects. Dwarves being less inclined to immigrate could work, and trade could be more difficult, if only in the sense that the trader doesn't care for you as much and might want a bit more profit or be less willing to suit your needs. Any other diplomatic tensions that exist in the future could be heightened as well.
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Silverionmox

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Re: Improved Farming, Rebooted: Violate the Earth!
« Reply #200 on: February 16, 2011, 05:01:50 pm »

I'll look into the way that corpses create compost again, then.  I was mostly thinking of making them generally more toxic than regular compost, anyway, and having players use a special kind of decomposer "crop" that is inedible, but just serves as a means of turning really toxic materials like goblin corpses into more "safe" compost.
Corpses are really concentrated nutrients. Battlefields on cropland were known to boost the yield of the fields several years afterwards. The big danger with corpses is the transmission of diseases and the attraction of pests (and necromancers). It's also necessary to give them time to decompose of course.. Then again, regular (human) manure also needs sufficient time to let the (human) germs die down. So chemical toxicity won't be a problem.
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G-Flex

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Re: Improved Farming, Rebooted: Violate the Earth!
« Reply #201 on: February 16, 2011, 06:06:03 pm »

There's a reason why it takes several years. Human corpses are more putrid than compost is, and it takes a while before it becomes at all sanitary. I'd much rather work with horse manure than rotting human corpses.
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NW_Kohaku

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Re: Improved Farming, Rebooted: Violate the Earth!
« Reply #202 on: February 17, 2011, 10:44:47 am »

I agree with you.

Heh, I guess I'll assume that's to do with the entire thread, and not just the last post?

Thanks for the support, although if you have any sort of comments you want to make about things you would like to see or concerns, don't be shy about them.

There's a reason why it takes several years. Human corpses are more putrid than compost is, and it takes a while before it becomes at all sanitary. I'd much rather work with horse manure than rotting human corpses.

I already made them less "nutritious" than trees and include more "biological toxins" values added onto the soil, although I guess I can ramp that one up a little more. 

Dwarves would potentially have access to more/better fungal crops that could potentially be useful toxin-reducers in the soil, though. 

Right now, I'm actually idling on my "Pollutants" section, but I'm talking about pH, salinity, biological toxicity, and heavy metal toxicity as the pollutant factors.  Biological toxicity in the soil would probably be relatively easy to take care of, requiring some simple mushroom crop that may be inedible or useless otherwise, but which can drop biological toxicity.  Other methods would be certain pests like worms. 

With companion planting, you could grow some of those mushrooms in the same farm plot as a regular crop, just taking up some of your available growing space, and drop toxicity at the same time as you add in other fertilizers and grow a major staple crop.

Companion planting would become the "advanced mode" of farming, since it's much more complex to grow multiple plants with different requirements in the same plot at the same time, and manage the ratios of planting, but it would allow farms to be much more efficient, as they could juggle multiple soil factors in varying degrees at a time, allowing for the sort of "Permaculture", or even "Forest Gardens", which I would see as kind of getting closer to what elves do.

Making advanced permacultures like Forest Gardens the elven way of farming seems like a pretty exciting, fitting, and unique way to give elves some sort of competitive edge.

There were apparently some built in Turkey, although I don't know if the people there really spent that much time actually living below-ground (it's hard to say, and they certainly weren't self-sufficient!).

The one I was originally thinking of was Derinkuyu Underground City. There are some pretty spacious areas in there.

Yes, but they don't really grow fungus farms down there, so it's not of particularly great help.  I was more thinking of something along the lines of an actual mushroom-farming cave.  I know there are some in modern times, but I don't know of any ancient ones.

Diplomatic tensions in general could be tense, as well. Right now, all we really have right now in terms of diplomatic relations are sieges (in case you constantly kill off their caravans, or are at war), trade, migration, and things like elven wood diplomacy. Given how development is going right now, I think we'll see slightly more complex diplomacy in the (relatively) near future, but we're also talking about things that are more taboo than wrong, which has more nuanced/subtle effects. Dwarves being less inclined to immigrate could work, and trade could be more difficult, if only in the sense that the trader doesn't care for you as much and might want a bit more profit or be less willing to suit your needs. Any other diplomatic tensions that exist in the future could be heightened as well.

This one could be pretty fun.  I'd have to talk about it in the class warfare thread, instead, however, since that's more of a cultural issue.  Not that I don't want to talk about it, but that I want to finish this thread before I really go and get myself distracted.

Sorry for not responding earlier, but I didn't see anything that particularly sparked more conversation.
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G-Flex

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Re: Improved Farming, Rebooted: Violate the Earth!
« Reply #203 on: February 17, 2011, 11:06:27 am »

The thing about growing cave mushrooms is that, in the real world, mushrooms are a really, really, really bad crop and don't provide a hell of a lot of energy. Obviously, we aren't talking about real-world mushrooms, though, so that matters a bit less.
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== Human Renovation: My Deus Ex mod/fan patch (v1.30, updated 5/31/2012) ==

NW_Kohaku

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Re: Improved Farming, Rebooted: Violate the Earth!
« Reply #204 on: February 19, 2011, 05:45:26 pm »

All right, Pollutants is up.

Sorry for the delay, I was distracted by the shiney of multiple other threads and the new version.  I need to get the rest of this thread pounded out before I go play with other things, I know, I know.  I'll try to get another section out the output door by the end of tonight, barring some other major debate I get sucked into.
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The Phoenixian

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Re: Improved Farming, Rebooted: Violate the Earth!
« Reply #205 on: February 19, 2011, 06:16:18 pm »

A thought on pollutants: I agree that surface farming should match real life. Underground plants in the deep caves however would grow in places with much more natural metal concentrations, (what with veins and clusters of ore often running though the caves) perhaps they would be more able to tolerate heavy metals?

On the flip side, underground crops might be more susceptible to diseases and biological toxicity from outside the caves. One would expect that their ecosystems are somewhat more closed and that might make them less able to adapt to such things. (Note that I really have no more than guesses about these kind of things though.)
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NW_Kohaku

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Re: Improved Farming, Rebooted: Violate the Earth!
« Reply #206 on: February 19, 2011, 06:53:36 pm »

Underground plant heavy metal resistance can make some sense, but keep in mind that even if a plant is capable of surviving growing in a radioactive uranium-dusted soil (or cessium or polonium or cadmium or whatever), then that doesn't mean that the people who eat that plant's fruit are going to be able to tolerate the radioactive uranium quite as well.

The Bikini Atoll, and the native peoples who still cannot eat any of the plants that grow on their home islands, even though some plantlife has returned, can attest to that.
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Personally, I like [DF] because after climbing the damned learning cliff, I'm too elitist to consider not liking it.
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sockless

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Re: Improved Farming, Rebooted: Violate the Earth!
« Reply #207 on: February 19, 2011, 08:18:37 pm »

Polonium is very very bad when ingested, to all life forms. The alpha and beta radiation tears up your insides very fast, think Russian ex-spy.

Anyway, dwarves would probably be better adapted to underground life in several ways. To start with, they would get sunburn a lot easier than humans get it, since they live underground and don't have much melanin in their skin. Secondly, they would probably have very good vision in the dark, probably similar to a cats; somehow with detriment their light vision, maybe most dwarves are short sighted (myopic) since they don't have to have very good far sight. They would probably be stronger than humans too, but with less cardio fitness, since they'd do less running, but a lot more lifting of heavy objects.

This isn't to say that all dwarves would be like that, since you'd get long sighted dwarves and weak dwarves as well.

Thinking of implementation of all this, a start has sort of been made already, since cows now need grass to graze on.

First, farming should be a more full time job, requiring weeding and potentially watering (if it wouldn't suffer the same bug as making plaster casts). Plants should also require at least 1 or 2 seasons to grow and the above ground plants should have their growing seasons fixed. It should also require more land. At this point, the muddied ground thing could be fixed too, so that underground layers don't require mud if they are soil. Maybe it could be linked to light/dark as well, instead of subterranean/above ground.

Secondly, a start should be made on fertiliser. This should start with just a single value, nutrients. This would go down over time, depending on the soil type, so basically a basic CEC-D implementation. Maybe water would be linked to the CEC-D value too.

Next, pH could be added in. Pests could be added in as well.

After these basics have been done, they could be refined to the final product.
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NW_Kohaku

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Re: Improved Farming, Rebooted: Violate the Earth!
« Reply #208 on: February 20, 2011, 12:54:58 am »

    OK, I've finally gone and done it.  I ran out of character limit on the five "proposal" sections, and will now just need to drop links from the start of the thread to each successive post I make on a new section.

Alternate Crops and Living Resources
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« Last Edit: March 01, 2011, 02:14:29 pm by NW_Kohaku »
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Re: Improved Farming, Rebooted: Violate the Earth!
« Reply #209 on: February 20, 2011, 05:09:29 am »

Add to all this the vast differences between plants when they can alter around a dozen individual soil variables, and have demands of those soil variables to differentiate one another, and the simple act of picking which plant to plant in your soil can become a truly meaningful choice for the player.

The plan of "vast differences" coupled with the plan for "around a dozen individual soil variables" is not functional. It will produce a scenario where almost all soil states don't grow anything at all. In order to produce a choice of crop, hundreds of plant types would need to exist, which is far too much labor and won't be any fun to pick through. This is the top end of complexity, where more becomes a meaningless bore. I don't want to try to shuffle through a list of hundreds of plant types in order to plant something, and nobody is going to create that many anyway.

The result will be that as the number of individual soil variables goes up, the "vast differences" will have to go down, until all plants have a very similar wide spectrum of values over which they can grow. This will make it possible to actually choose between two or more crops that can grow in particular conditions. Which makes the "dozen individual soil variables" essentialy redundant.

Realistically the number of plant types will be measured in dozens, not hundreds or thousands. The player is going to choose between those dozens, and the complexity of the decision space should match that choice.

« Last Edit: February 20, 2011, 10:44:22 am by AngleWyrm »
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