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Semi-Official Dwarf Fortress Thread: "Losing Is Fun!"


flaillomanz
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Dwarf Fortress

Quick-start guide ♦ Wiki ♦ Lazy Newb Pack

In this particular thread, we shall converse about the brutal, highly addicting game, Dwarf Fortress. Important links are above. If you're put off by the ASCII, get the Lazy Newb Pack.

Why make a thread about this?

It seems quite a few of our forum-goers indulge in this particular brand of insanity, so naturally we need a good solid thread to discuss our conquests, defeats, and screwups in.

When I'm in a position where I am unable to or unwilling to play KSP (For example, when I've just finished playing 6 hours of KSP and need a short break) I boot up DF and within an hour ☼everything☼ menaces with spikes of "You Are Dead."

What goes on in this thread?

- Questions about the game

- Stories of your adventures

- General banter

As a relatively green player of DF, I will be completely useless to you. Others will be much more useful.

Some advice for new players: You will die. A lot.

For a personal example of how in-depth and brutal this game can be behind it's otherwise confusing ASCII exterior:

A week ago I was building up my 7th fortress. (No prizes for guessing what happened to the other six.) 
I had picked a group made solely up of farmers, with one miner/mason/craftsdwarf to keep trade and expansion possible.
I had settled in a nice area, but within the first few years I received the unsettling news that a large group of [I]fire[/I] bears had shown up on my doorstep.
Yes, fire bears. Apparently they shoot fireballs and like the taste of dwarven blood, and they were making a beeline directly for my fortress.
I ordered everyone inside, but it was too late. I could only watch in horror as the pack's leader, with one immense tackle, [I]literally[/I] punched the skull right out of an unfortunate farmer, slaying him instantly.
And then, the dwarf behind him [B]exploded[/B]. Checking the combat logs, I saw that he had been gibbed by the flying [I]skull[/I] of the first unfortunate dwarf.

It was at that moment that I realized that there was no chance in hell that any of my settlers would survive this.
Except... I had heard [URL="http://www.eldritch.org/erskin/roleplaying/Bronzemurder.pdf"]another tale[/URL] whereby a fortress had been saved by barricading the survivors in a room and waiting for a caravan to come, slaying the beast tormenting them. But alas, it was not meant to be;
I managed to save my miner, but the fool went into a strange mood, demanding all sorts of random objects and a craftshop within a week.
The bears, meanwhile, were comfortably living in my ruined fortress, occasionally sniffing around the hastily-erected wall I had built to keep them from my sole survivor.
Unfortunately, that was also where all the craftshops were.

When a dwarf goes into a "strange mood", they will go insane if their demands aren't met swiftly. My fortress was doomed.

I later sent in a party of heavily armed dwarves to try reclaim the fortress, but they were all slaughtered.

By the way, anyone who has never read it should take a look at the hilarious saga of Boatmurdered. This story also explains a little bit more about Dwarf Fortress in a much better manner than I can.

Let the thread commence!

Edited by flaillomanz
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So, what is dwarf fortress?

All I know is it's very hard :P

I'm not too good an explaining, so here's a quote lifted from a legendary game of Dwarf Fortress (which I'll link to in the OP).

What kind of game is Dwarf fortress?

In a nutshell, Dwarf Fortress is best described as a 2-D base building game in the theme of Dungeon Keeper. The concept is simple, the graphics are simple; but the depth of the game is fairly awesome. (Even more amazing when you realize it is all the product of a single man gaming company.)

The dwarves you "control" are somewhat autonomous. They have likes, dislikes, and needs. While you can assign them specific duties and set basic orders, they have minds of their own and will act according to how they feel. You can give them a job, but that doesn't always mean they'll do it right away. Injuries to all animals and dwarves are tracked, down to internal organs and body parts. Dwarves have moods that are affected by the things around them. They can decide to throw a party for their friends, or they might stress out under strain and suddenly kill each other with little to no warning. Female dwarves occasionally get pregnant and, if they are exposed to trauma (say a goblin siege); they very well might miscarry. Sad thoughts caused by things of that nature can lead dwarves to tantrums or even suicide.

You begin with 7 dwarves and scarce few supplies at the face of a mountain. Your only objective is to survive the elements while building yourself as cool a fortress as you possibly can before you inevitably die. Simple enough, yes?

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So, what is dwarf fortress?

All I know is it's very hard :P

Dwarf Fortress was best described as a Dwarf simulator. You tell a bunch of guys what to do for their benefit, because they would much rather be drinking and having parties at the local statue garden than doing anything productive.

The game itself is remarkably complex; it contains realistic water pressure, parabolic arcs for projectiles and bodies, and allows you to do pretty much anything you can imagine, so long as you provide for the welfare of the dwarves (this in itself has been expanded by clever players to include some truly diabolical things). Dwarves will also sulk and work slower if they are not drunk.

Dwarves have feelings, and will become upset if their pets or friends are killed in battle, or by local wildlife. Sometimes this results in Fun; a case of highly contagious mad called a tantrum spiral that often leaves about 10 survivors to pick up the pieces.

The game logs events, and this is usually where the best of everything comes from, like the guy that had a minotaur slaughter his fortress with a mitten.

if you can get over the initial effort to learn how to do things, it's highly, HIGHLY rewarding, and about as addictive. the difficulty usually comes from the sheer amount of weird things that can go wrong that you didn't even consider possible, but a seasoned player can usually perfect a fortress (though some often abandon one because they discovered a feature they improved on and wanted to incorporate in a fresh fortress).

P.S. that's just fortress mode, adventure mode is just as crazy

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Yeah, DF is one of the games in my current "do not burn out on any one game" rotation. My biggest issue with it is that just when it's getting interesting, it slows down to the point that I give up in frustration.

I might play it when they update the graphics.

Have you checked the graphics packs? It's still not 3d or anything, but looks a lot better than a default install. I can honestly say that I don't think better graphics would improve the game that much for me.

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When I'm in a position where I am unable to or unwilling to play KSP (For example, when I've just finished playing 6 hours of KSP and need a short break) I boot up DF and within an hour ☼everything☼ menaces with spikes of "You Are Dead."

I find myself bouncing back and forth between DF and KSP a lot too. I'm never going to get any work done again, ever

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I'm currently performing an experiment; how long can my dorfs hold out with no sustainable food or drink? I started it after vultures killed half my fortress, and I sort of gave up on it.

I have everyone set to smooth and engrave the constantly-growing maze of rooms being mined out, although I'm down to one pick after the last cave-in.

Death count: 8, and I somehow got a boatload of immigrants to help the insanity. To boost things along, I've placed the corpse dump near the stairwell.

So I have 33 dorfs variously engraving, smoothing, and shelling out rock crafts in an attempt to attract sieges. They've fought off vultures, thieves, a jaguar, strangely aggressive lungfish, and are being haunted by the ghosts of the dead.

There's no drink, not much food, and they're all pooping out babies.

I'm gonna try provoking as many races as I can. Maybe that'll kill them off, at least once they get past the 50 war-dogs breeding madly around the entrance to the fortress.

UPDATE: Food just ran out. They now subsist solely on vermin. This bodes well. Still no sign of a siege, though.

Another 30 immigrants. Crap.

The dwarven caravan arrived, so I decided to grab some extra crossbows and quivers. I want blood.

For now, I have to go to sleep, so they've survived an entire real-time day of torment.

I'll continue tomorrow. And when they are all dead, I'll upload the region so anyone who wants to can see the godawful mess I made, either as a reclaiming party or in adventure mode.

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I enjoyed Dwarf Fortress but I can never get very into it because it just seems to me that doing stuff is very complicated and not very easily accessible. Ex. I played the demo of Towns, and while the game is too simple and easy, the interface is hands-over-fist better than DF. If DF had half the interface that that game has, I would be playing it right now instead of typing this post :P

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Yeah, the interface can be a bit of a steep hill to climb, but i guarantee no other game will be as rewarding as this one for your effort. As for the graphics, you either work with the original ASCII and use your imagination (the game is pretty good at catering to this) or take the other way out and use a tileset, which makes things no easier to understand than ASCII, but the tiles are more familiar in form, making it marginally easier to tell what things are.

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I play DF so much. Pretty much every fortress I make lasts up until the FPS death range, and then I quit. The only problem I have with the game is that my dorfs always craft legendary <insert random, useless item here>.

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I recently started playing DF again, and I've named some migrants after people in #KSPOfficial.

In other news, a speardwarf shook a kobold around by the head until it died, and a barn owl vomited. Stay classy, Dwarf Fortress.

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