Friday, October 01, 2010

No one even considered making the journey to such a cursed death-trap this season

Inspired by the new Minecraft uploader, I re-downloaded Dwarf Fortress to have a look at building a new fort for it. Since it's been a while, I had also missed some neat changes that makes the game more like, well, a game.

- Major work done on the map design and history. Now cities are connected with roads and villiages with fields are commonplace. Makes the place feel more alive and had me generating a couple of maps just to check out how well it was doing. Unfortunately adventurer mode still seems underdone, and once you start a fortress the outside world seems a distant memory. Recently I've been keeping the map of the world open as a backdrop to the game.

- There seems to be no lava tubes anymore (or very rarely) and there's no method for searching for them on the expedition setup screen. I found out later that every map has lava if you dig deep enough. Great! at least it's now opened up way more sites to build.

- There's most likely to be underground caverns too. Big, 5-10 level caves with seperate rooms, columns, pools, and nasties. In my first real excursion down I bumped into one and had a fun time looking around the cave system, but some crocs and trolls quickly destroyed my bearded populace.

- The caves offer muddy ground, a new prerequisite for underground farming. I'd built out my typical subsurface farm system, but no planting choices had appeared. Thinking it was just a glitch, I ignored it and finally set up a farm on the surface as the new maps had done. Once I'd broken into a cave, I'd seen the muddy floor and twigged on the change. Natural cave farming was ultimatly my downfall as I really wanted to keep the cave open. Should have sealed it off until I had my military ready to go.

- The new fighting and reporting system toook a little bit to get used to as there were no main messages as to how things were going. The reports are way better once I found them, but I stil haven't found a way to have the reports open as the fight is going on. Seems to be an unpause / pause / read reports type of staccato battle.

I embarked again into a new world with an aquifer layer instead of a running stream (usually a mandatory requirement for fishing and early channeling) and set about designating the new fort. Our random expidition name turned out to be "The Balded Machine", a name I can do something with later on. I missed the fort name though, so "Fortresssearched" it is. I'm hoping it's a practical joke on Dwarves with lisps.

Season 1 passed and we'd set up most of the critical areas for the first 7 adventurers, but no migrants or caravans were a little worrying. We pressed on and, apart from a little food crisis, built out the fort though season 2 with no real concerns. As far as fort progress, I feel we're way further ahead than previous attempts, and have even begun strip mining some seams for more lucrative rocks.

Then I got the message. "No one even considered making the journey to such a cursed death-trap this season". Another missed migration? Usually dwarves are clamboring to get inside my undefended,ill-provisioned,infested hovel. Why don't they like this place? It's ROKKIN! My suspicions turned to the caravans. No caravnas means no exports or new (meaty) provisions. I've checked the depot access an it seems to be fine, but no civilisations appearing on the civ list might indicate that there's no-one around. The island is quite small, so I'd be surprised if no-one knows where we are. I'm sure there were some farming areas on the same startup screen as out place. Hmm, might need to read up a bit on migration. There may be some serious changesthat have jeopardized our expedition.

It might just be and unlucky season too. The changes to buildings means I've gotten crossbows and bolts relatively easily, so I might stick it out a couple more years and work on upping my trapper into a fighting machine. Once he's there I can go digging for any caverns. Dogs are breeding well too, so our army is going to be mainly 4 legged.