DF2014:Maximizing value

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This article is about the current version of DF.

Value is important for trade with caravans, ensuring your dwarves happiness, attracting migrants, and luring in visitors. One reliable way to increase value is creating items. Not all items are equal, or even close to equal, in value, however. The tables below are ordered by value, to help you select optimum furniture and trade goods to maximize your fortress's value.

It is also vital to consider the material, which acts as a multiplier to the base values listed here; see the table on Item value for details.

Metal[edit]

Weapon-grade metals[edit]

Item Value Bars Value/Bar Notes
Spiked Ball 126 1 126 (weapon trap)
Large Serrated Disc 126 1 126 (weapon trap)
Menacing Spike 66 1 66 (weapon trap)
Giant Axe Blade 66 1 66 (weapon trap)
Enormous Corkscrew 66 1 66 (weapon trap)
Battle axe 34 1 34 (weapon trap)
Mechanisms 30 1 30 (lever, trap)
Shield 27 1 27
Ammo (stack of 25) 25 1 25
High boot (2) 24 1 24
Leggings 23 1 23
Pick 22 1 22 (weapon trap)
Gauntlet (2) 22 1 22
Spear 18 1 18 (weapon trap)
Low boot (2) 18 1 18
Mace 17 1 17 (weapon trap)
Short sword 14 1 14 (weapon trap)
Buckler 14 1 14
Helm 12 1 12
Greaves 23 2 11.5
Crossbow 10 1 10 (weapon trap)
Mail shirt 20 2 10
War hammer 9 1 9 (weapon trap)
Breastplate 15 3 5
Cap 5 1 5
Anvil 10 3 3.3 (forge)

For weapon-grade metals, spiked balls and serrated discs are much more valuable than any other products. They can be traded to caravans or installed in weapon traps to give passing dwarves happy thoughts, while lower-quality products can be melted without loss of material.

All metals[edit]

Item Value Bars Value/Bar Notes
Flask, Goblet (3) 30 1 30 trade goods
Minecart 50 2 25
Wheelbarrow 50 2 25
Trade Goods (1-3) ~20 1 ~20 variable
Chain 10 1 10 (restraint)
Nest box 10 1 10
Hive 10 1 10
Bucket 10 1 10 (well)
Jug 10 1 10
Pot 10 1 10
Animal trap 10 1 10
Statue 25 3 8.3
Traction bench 20 3 6.7
Armor stand 10 3 3.3
Barrel 10 3 3.3 (dyer's shop)
Bin 10 3 3.3
Cabinet 10 3 3.3
Cage 10 3 3.3
Chair 10 3 3.3
Chest 10 3 3.3
Coffin 10 3 3.3
Crutch 10 3 3.3
Door 10 3 3.3
Floodgate 10 3 3.3
Grate 10 3 3.3
Hatch cover 10 3 3.3
Pipe section 10 3 3.3
Splint 10 3 3.3
Table 10 3 3.3
Weapon rack 10 3 3.3
Blocks 5 1 5 no quality

For all non-weapon-grade metals, flasks and goblets are the optimum trade goods. The best choice for furniture is probably a chain--they can be decorated as "finished goods" and installed in restraints and wells, both of which can be admired by passing dwarves. Lower-quality chains can be melted without loss of material.

Stone[edit]

Item Value Notes
Mechanisms 30 (lever, trap)
Mug (3) 30 trade goods
Statue 25
Trade Goods (1-3) ~20 variable
Traction bench 20
Short sword 14 (weapon trap)
Armor stand 10
Cabinet 10
Throne 10
Coffer 10
Coffin 10
Door 10
Floodgate 10
Grate 10
Hatch cover 10
Table 10
Weapon rack 10
Quern/Millstone 10 (quern/mill)
Nest box 10
Hive 10
Jug 10
Pot 10
Blocks (4) 20 no quality

For stone, mugs are the optimum trade goods. The best choice for furniture is mechanisms, followed closely by statues. Both can be decorated and, when built, admired by passing dwarves. Thanks to the 4x bar multiplier, metal ores are always more valuable when smelted to bars than when worked as stone (assuming equivalent quality).

The base value of common stone is quite low (a mere 1), but most fortresses end up with such vast amounts of it that consuming it to produce value or trade goods is seen as an upside. Flux stone has a slightly higher value of 2, but you may want to use it for steel production instead. Obsidian has the highest value of all non-ore stones and can be mass-produced, making it ideal if you want to produce large amounts of value over the long term.

Glass[edit]

Item Value Notes
Spiked Ball 126 (weapon trap)
Large Serrated Disc 126 (weapon trap)
Menacing Spike 66 (weapon trap)
Giant Axe Blade 66 (weapon trap)
Enormous Corkscrew 66 (weapon trap)
Goblet/Vial (3) 30 trade goods
Statue 25
Window 25
Trade Goods (1-3) ~20 variable
Traction bench 20
Armor stand 10
Cabinet 10
Throne 10
Box 10
Coffin 10
Portal 10
Floodgate 10
Grate 10
Hatch cover 10
Table 10
Terrarium 10
Weapon rack 10
Tube 10 (screw pump)
Nest box 10
Hive 10
Jug 10
Pot 10
Blocks 5 no quality

For glass, trap components top the list again. They're so valuable they make reasonable trade goods, even though goblets and vials are much lighter. The best non-trap-component furniture is probably a statue, since it seems to be admired more often than a window.

Glass has the added advantage that (provided you have a Magma glass furnace) green glass can be easily and cheaply produced in massive quantities without consuming any meaningful resources. Clear glass can as well, but it consumes wood, which may be available in more limited supply and needed for other things; additionally, due to the required wood, it cannot be sold to elves. Crystal glass is more valuable still, but available in finite supply.

Wood[edit]

Item Value Notes
Spiked Ball 126 (weapon trap)
Menacing Spike 66 (weapon trap)
Enormous Corkscrew 66 (weapon trap)
Minecart 50
Wheelbarrow 50
Shield 27
Ammo (stack of 25) 25
Crafts (1-3) ~20 variable
Traction bench 20
Training axe 17 (weapon trap)
Buckler 14
Armor stand 10
Bed 10
Cabinet 10
Chair 10
Chest 10
Casket 10
Door 10
Floodgate 10
Grate 10
Hatch cover 10
Table 10
Cage 10
Weapon rack 10
Pipe section 10 (screw pump)
Nest box 10
Hive 10
Crossbow 10 (weapon trap)
Bucket 10 (well)
Barrel 10 (dyer's shop)
Jug 10
Pot 10
Training spear 9 (weapon trap)
Training sword 7 (weapon trap)
Blocks 5 no quality

For wood, trap components top the list yet again. They're also the best trade goods, even though crafts are much lighter. All of the non-trap-component furniture has similar value (except traction benches, but they require additional material).

Wood is available in unlimited supply, but the rate at which you can produce it is often limited; given its many other uses, many players avoid using it for trading. Another drawback is that as a material, all wood has the same low base value of 1.

Pottery[edit]

Item Value Notes
Statue 25
Crafts (1-3) ~20 variable
Hive 10
Jug 10
Pot 10
Bricks 5 no quality

For pottery, the options are quite limited. Statues are the most valuable furniture, though a set of three crafts can be more valuable overall.

Cloth[edit]

The value of cloth items is complicated. For most purposes, the dye, cloth and thread components add a constant amount to the value of cloth products, but goods that are produced in pairs get this value added to each item, making them worthwhile when using high-quality dyed cloth.

Item Value Notes
Robe 33
Dress 31
Cloak 26
Trousers 23
Shoe (2) 16
Mitten (2) 14
Glove (2) 12
Sock (2) 12
Bag 10
Rope 10 (restraint)
Hood 8
Vest 8
Cap 5

Food[edit]

The value of a well-prepared meal made from the proper ingredients is so high that some players consider trading them to be an exploit. One advantage to relying on them to trade or amass value is that you don't have to split your production between feeding your dwarves and producing trade goods; another advantage is that the workflow that leads to a cooked meal can accept materials from a wide variety of sources indiscriminately, including crops, meats, fishes, random gathered plants, and even many liquids (provided the meal has at least one solid base.) On the other hand, food rots when left outside of a food stockpile, which can make it tricky to manage, and higher-value ingredients (such as flour) generally require long production chains to turn them into food.

The final value of a meal is complicated and depends primarily on the number of ingredients, which acts as a multiplier to the final total after summing up the value of each individual ingredient; therefore, the low value of each individual Crop is misleading (although some, like flour, are already fairly high.) See Cook for details and the material multipliers on item value to get a sense of the relative value of plants and meats.