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v0.31 Talk:How to correctly start fortress mode

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What is this page supposed to be anyway? Is it supposed to be a tutorial on how to start FM easily or is it supposed to be a complete guide to setting up FM?--Gullydwarf 00:20, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

Please sign your talk page contributions! Anyway, check out the 40d page for how this page was formerly interpreted. That said, its one of a few similarly purposed pages, and it may be worth condensing and rethinking their purposes. --Squirrelloid 08:24, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
Ok, i did a quick survey of guides from 40d. First, the 40d equivalent page got thankfully redirected to 40d:How to safely start fortress mode, which is a better title, at least. What follows is a list of starting guide pages from 40d - we should probably condense this number quite a lot in the new version and redirect all the other names to either appropriate guides OR to an indexing page for guides.
List of 40d starting guide pages
Recommend 3 guide pages: Embark Now Guide (as a guide to what happens if you embark without preparing carefully), Quickstart Guide (a relatively safe guide to help someone who's new to the game, with downloadable save), and Starting build design (a theory discussion about the components of a starting build). Recommend these be indexed somewhere, likely a page which discusses the mechanics of creating a new world, new game, etc... (I cannot for the life of me remember what the 40d page was called that did that).
--Squirrelloid 08:32, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
Starting build design now redirects to v0.31:Starting build. Your first fortress redirects to v0.31:Quickstart guide.

You missed a few - I took the liberty of adding them, above. (And wasn't there another - "how to get through the first year"? Something like that???)

You're looking at the sort of global paradigm change that I tackled in the defense guide cluster (and some others, like armor and then weapons). Right now we have years of personal spins and (overly?)specific strategies piled upon good core advice with no sense of where any one article was headed, nor heed for the others. I agree 100%, this needs to be done - but it will take some planning, and then a big, bold move all at once. (I saved my intermediate edits offline, then had all the pages open at the same time and Saved them all at once (and work others' intermediate edits in), to avoid interference half-way through the transition.)

3 articles won't do it - (most of) those pages are each filling a specific and distinct function. The problem is that they're not well defined, and so have overgrown their bounds and are stepping on each others' toes.

I would suggest, working chronologically through the game:

  • 1) "map page" article - on the screen where you select a spot, the maps, how to use. Includes basic considerations for choosing a location, how those impact future gameplay, but no specific/detailed advice on "how to" prepare for those. Everything leading up to pushing the button "embark". This will be a major article by itself, but is all tied together.
  • 2) "embark" article - how to use this sub-menu. How to the P = Points work, how to Save an embark template. Can also put "Play now" at the bottom, because that's a lock (and will link well to the next article...)
  • 3) "Starting Build" - Considerations on skills, items, matching skills w/ personalities/preferences - all that crap - what most of that article is now. Lead with a statement that "This article is for the intermediate player, and assumes you know how to use the embark sub-menu..." Direct newbies to #4-#5. (Somewhere in "starting build" is a statement to the effect that "You need experience to make these decisions, so don't worry too much about it the first time" - "Your first fortress" is where they get that.
  • 3.1) 40d:Starting build design is needed as a clearing house to keep the above "as clean as possible", and avoid personal futzing.
  • 4) "Your first fortress, 2010" - This article started as a global interface manual more than a "how to survive" guide. "Lose" is expected, but not before the player gets enough of a feel for the controls, rhythms and dwarves that they can then make some educated choices on #3 for their next. I read this before my first fortress, and referred to it often as it gave practical, consolidated advice about multi-faceted tasks like "creating military" - which even then was far more than just v, p, A.
  • 4.1) "Quickstart" article w/ downloadable map (partially dug), safe and sane, w/ walkthrough step-by-step guide. All the basics (altho' w/ squads and alerts and burrows, this is MUCH more complex than "the basics" were before!). Again, just a hand-holding walk-through of how the game works, nothing fancier than building a wall and designating some military to train/guard, and the first traders (maybe start in early Summer, just before 1st migrants?!). Have example of safe entrance, levers in place, centralized Dining Hall with nearby farm plots, an irrigation system - examples of "best practices" throughout. "Just enough".
5) "how to get through the first year/how to safely start a fortress" - a no-brainer, low-risk, zero-trickiness (i.e., no personal favorites or fancy tips), nut-and-bolt step-by-step intro strategy guide to avoiding the face-palm newbie versions of LOSE. Make it clear in the Intro that this is all it is. Take them up to the expect Spring migrant flood. Some of this will overlap other "guide" articles, but this is a global overview (and not overly specific nor philosophical, and refers to those.)
5.1) An abbreviated version of this is 40d:What should I build first - same info, far less narrative/considerations. Simple "do X!" rather than "consider X, Y and Z and your playstyle...". (This attempts to avoid the sort of personal perspective, anecdotal observations and narrative that invited all the different "my fortress walkthrough" efforts.) If a player doesn't want to hear your voice, just what you have to say, this is the one they want. But it needs a diff name.

(I'd also rename "important advice" to "tips and tricks" - better feel for my money.)

Though, that said, if you see a different vision, something that covers all the bases without (too much) redundancy or loss of information, go with it! --Albedo 20:05, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

Ok, so going through your list of things, it sounds like 1,2, and 4 are not guides per se. I agree, they should exist, they weren't really what I was thinking about when i was being dismayed about the guide proliferation, and they should be strictly kept away from being 'guides' and to being descriptions of options. (By guide i mean suggested course of action rather than explanation of how to do things - otherwise every page on this wiki is a guide).
I really don't see a need for as many guide pages as you have. One quickstart tutorial, one newbie guide to not die (too fast), and one theoretical guide aimed at more advanced players. The Quickstart would cover any need for a narrative guide, imo.
I really don't think we need starting build design. If people want to post the starting builds they personally like, they have User pages to do that with.
--Squirrelloid 14:07, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
Unfortunately, history disagrees with that last - users add their personal "suggestions" to the various articles, like it or not - and some are not bad. "_____ Design" pages have taken up that slack, and there's nothing to lose by having one in this case.
So, if "Guide" = "good/advised practices" vs "how controls work", then yes, that leaves 3 & 5, a Guide on Starting Build and another on "How not to make the predictable newbie mistakes". (The only diff between 5 & 5.1 is style - one is chatty, narrative and thorough, and the other is more direct, without explanation or philosophy. Not every newbie(ish) wants to slog thru the longer version when a checklist will do.)
And many of those are degrees of what you're talking about - the "safe start" guide is a no-brainer, no philosophy, "do it this way and you won't fail" suggestion for the ultra-new, ultra-nervous type. Others who are equally new don't want to be told what to do and handed a package, so jump to one of the "discussion" type, the "here's why" explanations. Still others have their own ideas, and so just want a checklist, something very basic. Each serves a purpose, a different "clientele" if you will.
The problem with axing too many is multi-fold - 1), it risks losing information (in the form of valid advice), which is never desirable; b) it risks bloat, by trying to create too large of an umbrella for a given "area of discussion" (remember, others will add in your footsteps), and iii) it assumes there is only 1 style that is appropriate - we didn't end up with 3+ interpretations of "fortress" guides because the first wasn't complete, we got them because it wasn't the way some users saw it "best" being presented.
That last can be disregarded - you write in your style, everyone else is welcome to do in their's. But the second (compounded by the first) are key - a Guide on "where to embark", another on "what items/skills mix to bring", another on "How not to lose like a n00b", and your "Pro tips" guide - I see those four, at least. But your project, your sweat - if you can shoehorn all the info in, then the worst that will happen is someone else will come along later and split something off into its own article.--Albedo 21:15, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
A thought - since we can use section shortcuts within a page, why not combine the narrative and list style approach on one page. The top section is a list, and each list item hyperlinks down to a more explicit description/narrative that is a subsection of the second section. This fills both needs (someone looking for just a list can just read the top. Someone looking for a narrative can read the entire page, and someone who needs more than a list on just particular parts can be directed to the narrative she wants). --Squirrelloid 08:47, 8 April 2010 (UTC)

If this page is going to become a redirect, then my question is who will ever search for "how to correctly start fortress mode" anyway?
Whatever, I think 1), 2) and 3) are ok, probably a extra page for the usage of the side finder. I don´t think we need a starting build design page. Starting build should exactly cover this with some selected felxible starting builds for different situations (evel biomes etc.). Other starting builds by some users could be linked from there, because everyone has it's own ideas. Keep the page simple.
I don´t think all of 4), 4.1), 5) and 5.1) are needed. The more of these pages exist the less they help. Just one page that helps a new player to start DF for the first time. -- 13:17, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

The name is someone's idea of "appropriate" - meh, I hate it - it assumes/implies there is only one "correct" way, and this is it. However, as a historical document (esp the talk page), it should remain, even if only as a redirect. (Also cuts down on link-fixing labor). See fortress defense.

As for how many "should" exist - as many as editors want. There is no max. Each has a significantly different approach - significant enough. Even as a vanity page, some of the "My Guide" versions have something to add, if only a different voice.--Albedo 04:25, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

I disagree. It's not about having a maximum number but about having a minimum of redudancy. The focus of this wiki should be to provide a consolidated ressource of information for DF players. Of course everyone has different opinions. But there should not be one starting guide per user but one main page: especially for the subject how to start DF.
As I startet DF there where a lot of information about the same subjects and I had many problems to find out what is important and what not. If there are different opinions then let's add them as option whith a reason why to take one or another.
By the way, at the moment I tend to one tutorial page like "learning DF", explaining how important things work, maybe with fun-parts or an fun-ending. And another one like "first fortress" helping the player through the first years, but not more. --Kami 12:20, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

thought -- it might be worth it to have, either as part of the "your first fortress" article or as a fifth category, a basic guide to burrows, military, and defensive planning. Those areas are complicated enough now that a new player is going to need some serious handholding, and I can see a *huge* amount of frustration hitting new players who get through their first year or two just fine, following all the guides, just to get half their fort slain by the first group of goblin ambushers that happens along.Calenth

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