v0.31 Talk:How to correctly start fortress mode

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Revision as of 14:07, 7 April 2010 by Squirrelloid (talk | contribs)
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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 DF2010:Starting build. Your first fortress redirects to DF2010: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)