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Author Topic: DF Talk: Playstyles and You  (Read 29347 times)

Capntastic

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DF Talk: Playstyles and You
« on: October 08, 2011, 02:16:26 am »

A recurring point of interest I've become increasingly aware of in the past few years is that most every DF player has a particular playstyle they stick to.  Everyone who's familiarized themselves with the game to the point of being knee deep in its guts (either goblin guts or raw files), tends to fall into one of three groups.

Some of you might be familiar with the Bartle Test, and while it's an interesting baseline for getting into the mind of a game's community, it isn't wholly applicable for the DF, I feel.  A lot of DF's planned glory isn't in the game yet, and I know a lot of people are more or less 'in waiting' for certain future features that are somewhere over the horizon.  Also, DF's an odd duck when it comes to being labelled as single-player or multi-player, with the interactions between players both in mod sharing and succession games.  Even moreso, DF's gameplay is broken between adventure and fortress mode, and even those are splintered into subdivisions.   It all boils down to people wanting different things out of the game.

Having been around the community for quite a few years, I consider myself in a viable position to see the borders between the various playstyles, and while not everyone will fall precisely into one of the following groups, I think it's a pretty slick system for, at least, getting a base terminology for discussing these sorts of things.   Here we go:

1:  Gamist:  Gamist players are the people who see DF as a 'game'.   They want Adventure mode to have more straightforward Roguelike mechanics (Nethack, ADOM), and Fort mode to have more straightforward challenges and goals (Real time strategy games) They want to win, they want a challenge, they want the high score and the points.   They want the slick loot and the coherent gameplay mechanics they can manipulate to allow them to crush their enemies.  They want a steadily rising challenge curve.

2:  Simulationist: Simulationist players are the ones who want the game to provide a rich, realistic experience.  To them, Adventure mode (like UnReal World) should be a gritty affair of cause and effect, with cold and hunger taken into account, weapons rusting, sticks breaking underneath their feet.  Fortress mode would eventually have a solid economics and diplomacy system, with ecology and all of that taken into account, like Civilization and Sim Earth, only more inherently violent.

3.  Constructionist:  Make it bigger, and better.  Make a tower with alternating layers of gold and steel, and then show it off to your friends.  Make a working automated irrigation system that uses all sorts of devious tricks and traps to automatically shove any goblins clogging it into a magma chute.  Make a mod that turns DF into Narnia.  Build the game how you like it and then build what you like in it.  To these players, DF is a Lego set, or CAD, or a paintbrush. 

I've left these definitions vague, because every player is gonna bring their own flavor and preference to 'em. 


This thread is for you, the players, to discuss YOUR OWN PREFERRED PLAYSTYLE, and WHICH ONE OF THE ABOVE YOU FEEL FITS YOU BEST.   Also, to discuss WHAT ABOUT THE GAME CURRENTLY APPEALS MOST TO YOU, GIVEN THAT PLAYSTYLE and WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS FOR PEOPLE OF THAT PLAYSTYLE. 


This is an official DF TALK thread so please no off topic or silly derails.   I'd also appreciate it if general cross-talk is kept to a minimum; ideally everyone posting would simply give their opinions or experiences about their playstyle, and keep things very succinct and fact-filled.   This is not only fuel for future DF TALK discussions but also to signify what the playerbase is currently digging about the game.  I have faith that you guys can make this an informative, solid thread that we can use.   Don't let us down.   Make it perfect!

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thvaz

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Re: DF Talk: Playstyles and You
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2011, 04:30:31 am »

I'm a simulationist.

When I play I can see a story developing in the game. I'm the collective conscience of a fortress or a single adventurer. I only build megaconstructions if they fit in that story I'm playing - I never cared to show them to anyone.

What appeal to me are these spontaneous events, like one that I always remenber when we even hadn't 3d layers - a battle on a bridge over the subterranean bridge, when a unarmed dwarf pushed 3 goblins to the death in the river - I have this image of a wounded dwarf holding a goblin obver his head and them throwing it on the river.

I think the Simulationist playstyle is the intend style of the game as seeing by Toady , so I'm happy with the direction the game is going.
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Jimlad11

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Re: DF Talk: Playstyles and You
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2011, 04:57:28 am »

Ditto with being a Simulationist.

While I still enjoy elements from the other two styles, I enjoy role-playing and setting myself goals. Also, I can't wait until I can hunt for food and build a shelter in adventure mode. I want Dwarf Fortress to be a engrossing experience, and it is already well on its way to achieving this goal. Seeing things like Warfare, Politics, Law and Religion all simulated would blow my mind. And the chance to shape the world and influence these different areas?

Too tantalizing for words.     
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Sappho

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Re: DF Talk: Playstyles and You
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2011, 05:33:56 am »

I think I'm a combination of Simulationist and Constructionist. When the mood takes me (ha!), I build crazy things to share with my friends. But sometimes I just want to play through a fortress and see what stories happen along the way. Telling stories is one of my favorite things to do with the game.

Also, I agree with Jimlad about wanting to be able to carve out a dwelling and hunt for food in adventure mode. For me adventure mode doesn't have much to offer until I'm able to build something for myself, which I suppose puts me more in the category of constructionist than simulationist.

Rafal99

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Re: DF Talk: Playstyles and You
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2011, 06:00:56 am »

I am a mix of Constructionist and Simulationist too. I usually build a large fortress of complex and elaborate design. But the whole fun in it is that what I build will "live". Various events will happen inside. Everything - the fortress, its inhabitants, and the environment will iteract in complex ways, fueling my imagination. Because of that I feel like I am building something real, which makes the whole thing more challenging and ultimately fun.
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Psieye

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Re: DF Talk: Playstyles and You
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2011, 06:33:36 am »

Hybrid Simulationist/Constructionist, but with an extra catch to the latter: I'm not interested in building big, grand works of architecture. Instead, those creative urges go into the craft items and their decorations.

Ideally in the far future I want to have some legendary artisans produce (possibly with an individually unique signature style each one get famous for) some items which will have impact on the outside world. That could be through spreading across the global markets of the world, or it could be because my pillaging armies all wear some trademark equipment. In the latter case, I'd consider it a success if say, an entire civilisation regarded "sun underneath a mountain" to be a taboo symbol because that is the mark decorated on all my soldiers' equipment.

I'm also looking forward to faction politics (nobles, guilds, religions, etc) and more detailed psychology. It would provide an excellent background for the sorts of big projects I describe above - that the artisan who made such a big impact on the world had a friend who always tried to distract him with the latest fad and the mayor was trying to meddle with his work much to his annoyance.
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peskyninja

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Re: DF Talk: Playstyles and You
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2011, 06:55:16 am »

I'm a simulationist, waiting the army ark, so we can seeread and imagine a bloody battle with thousands of soldiers the archers raising hell upon their enemies from the walls, the ladders, siege towers and the magma cannons fighting against a enemy with seemingly limitless numbers that destroy everything in their path but you stand in the middle of this fierce infinite war, just because you're a dwarf and you want socks and plump helmets.
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612DwarfAvenue

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Re: DF Talk: Playstyles and You
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2011, 07:07:34 am »

Combo of Simulationist and Constructionist. Put quite simply, i want to build a gigantic damn tower, and i want the game world to react realistically to it, especially when hordes of kittens and Elven babies start getting thrown off it.
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blue sam3

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Re: DF Talk: Playstyles and You
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2011, 07:22:29 am »

Somewhere between simulationist and constructionist.
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Waparius

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Re: DF Talk: Playstyles and You
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2011, 07:51:21 am »

Wow. Am I the only one who mixes Gamism in there?

I mean, sure, the simulation-factor's pretty important. I'm not in Dwarf Fortress for the points/cat-tallow soap bars, but a lot of my fun comes out of having my fort there for a semi-sensible purpose, whether that's to build a giant army under what is ostensibly a village of human peasants or just the old standard "dig deeper, and more greedily." But then again, more simulationist stuff tends to let out more gamist stuff anyway - the planned increase in farming difficulty, for instance, means at some point forts will have to worry a lot more about sieges, and have more of an excuse to colonise the caverns, which is only a good thing.

I want more out of the late-stage game so that I have more interesting things to do. Expanding bureaucracy, hill-dwarves, better trade (and more options! I want to be able to hire out my militia as guards, build a lavish above-ground embassy for the human nations and send caravans from my fort!) are all simulationist things, but I want them for gamist reasons, if that makes sense.
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Lexx

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Re: DF Talk: Playstyles and You
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2011, 10:19:58 am »

Simulationist first. Constructionist second. I play like many others for a story to tell itself and to shape my fort. Usually with some grand design intended for the forts structure. And with the new content coming I see many more potential stories, tales of adversity and tragedies to end up befalling my forts in future.
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Aerval

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Re: DF Talk: Playstyles and You
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2011, 10:23:02 am »

I'm general simulationist with one big point of a gamist: I don't like the micromanagment that much (I mean, why should one person be forced to control 100 persons in any single action) and therefor stopped some games that ended in a big heap of it.
Still big constructions are nice part of the game for me since they allow in some parts to simulate some things in the game, the original game rules do not allow.
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Neonivek

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Re: DF Talk: Playstyles and You
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2011, 10:51:12 am »

Goodness Captain, Leading the answers much? :P

Quote
Am I the only one who mixes Gamism in there?

It is mostly due to the implications AND Captain's description of it (For example: Highscore) being undesirable by the average DF player.

Heck I want the game to make huge sweeping balance and gameplay changes... Yet even I question if I fall under Captain's Gamist definition.

Anyhow I guess I'll list all three

-Gamist: I want the game to be balanced, I want a clear early game for non-demigods. I recognise that this isn't a balanced world and I have no problem with that... but when the game itself is against you, or when you can chose not to be challenged, something is wrong. I really could go on.
-Constructionist: I want my constructions to be recognised and significant.
-Simulationist: I want the world to feel alive, for motivations to guilde the land, for the world to shift and shrink and grow.

To me... Simulation is the point of Dwarf Fortress and the Gameplay and your ability to alter the world itself are ways to enjoy and interact with it.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2011, 10:56:47 am by Neonivek »
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Cyx

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Re: DF Talk: Playstyles and You
« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2011, 07:27:16 pm »

I like to watch the stories unfold, and to see how my actions change the world, this makes me a simulationist. Particularly, I love starting out in a dangerous environment and slowly carving out a safe place. Toady said Minecraft was DF dumbed down and I guess it's true, but I hope that DF will one day be able to create that same awesome feeling of being safe from danger. To be perfect for me, it would have to generate a living world that I could watch from this haven ; carving out nice rooms and breeding fat chickens and making my dwarves happy has no value to me unless I know exactly how bad people have it outside. A great moment for me will be when my dwarves hear news of the war between two civilizations and see some of the effects like armies wandering by, without suffering any of the consequences because they live in autarky deep under the earth. My dwarves will talk about it over a beer while I figure out how to get that guy who likes crocodiles a pet crocodile, and I'll be happy.
Again it's not the only way I enjoy playing DF, I love other simulationist stuff too, but I've never played it as a gamist or as a constructionist.
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DS

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Re: DF Talk: Playstyles and You
« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2011, 07:34:46 pm »

When I first started playing, I was a Gamist. I was focused on overcoming the difficult and numerous challenges that the game presented, and my forts were often sprawling monstrosities, ineffective and inelegant, when they managed to last at all.

Once I mastered those challenges, I became a Simulationist. I grew fascinated with the inner workings of dwarven society, and how it related to the rest of the world around it. However, these eventually became relatively predictable - although occasionally I am still surprised by how something will work out.

Now, however, I am a solid Constructionist. I played with LEGOs as a kid, and honestly, I use DF in just about the same way. I'm not a fan of Minecraft, however, because once the construction is complete, I still want the dwarves to be able to inhabit it, or interact with it in some way. So, I suppose I'm not completely into the construction aspect - there will always be a bit of simulationism and gamism in the way I play the game, especially as new features are added.
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