Doxxing, Dwarf Fortress, and Defense via Towers

What broke this little girl so badly that she felt that the best thing she could do to help feminism was to send highly specific and threatening messages to some man on the internet she’d never met?

At least this story has a happy ending and maybe she learned something.

Also, Joss Whedon thinks you’re a Klansman.

Joss whedon

In  non GG news, I reinstalled Dwarf Fortress to mess around with for the first time in three or four years. The main thing I noticed was that it felt even more unplayable than before. Now, when I used to play it with a bit more regularity, while I was never able to do the weird crazy stuff I’ve seen where people make awesome traps and dwarf-robotics to protect the fort, I was always at least able to make a functional fortress where dwarves went about their lives and works for a few years until finally more goblins showed up than I could handle.

The Mirror of Keys, however, did not fare near as well as any of my older forts. For whatever reason, i could not grow enough food (apparently wild vegetables and fruit aren’t food, either?), and no matter what I toggled, my dwarves would just let things lay where they died on the floor of the fort. Animals from cats to large hoofstock would meander aimlessly and hungry until they died from starvation. No dwarf would touch a carcass to butcher it. Even animals flagged for slaughter merely wandered until they died, lost in the mines, because none of my dwarves felt like occupying the butcher shop for half a minute to actually chop anything up.

Starving animals turned to rotting carcasses turned to piles of bone, all going unmoved, untouched.

Most Dwarf Fortresses only get to experience one death. Because the game crashed, Mirror of Keys got to experience two.

First off, I got a warning message telling me to hide because the dead walked. Only two years into my fort’s history, a giant horde of undead (upwards of 50!) came flooding across the land lead by a dwarven necromancer. It did not take long for them to stream down my entry-hall, overrun the garrison squad, and slaughter my dwarves to a man. I was down to one last dwarf-child hiding in the crypts when the game froze up and crashed, taking me back to my previous save state.

The second death of Mirror of Keys was far more ignominious. The fort had tremendous wealth of gold and could theoretically buy its way to food security. When elves showed up, I brought up a bunch of gold and bought ever unit of foodstuff that the elves had with them. Somehow it was no use. Though they had the crops, they would not plant them. Though they had the food, they would not cook it. The fortress sunk, a mere 2 months after buying TONS of foodstuff from the elves, the Dwarves took to eating vermin and each other. Those who tried cannibalism were killed. Those who did not starved in short order.

I just don’t understand how, despite my previous semi-successes, I just could NOT keep my fortress fed nor could I get the dwarves to clean up after themselves.

Even though i love dwarf fortress in concept, it’s not something I can just keep coming back to.

Meantime, I’ve been playing Kingdom Rush, which has been feeding my occassional deep-seated need to play some medieval-themed Tower Defense.

I love the infantry concept, something that you don’t really see in a lot of tower defense games, which adds a bit of RTS strategy to it. Infantry do damage to the enemies they engage with, but, more importantly, they also slow them down to give the shooting towers more time to shoot at them. This makes the reinforcements tactic a very interesting part of the game. Once every 10 seconds, you can drop a pair of conscripts anywhere along the path. Usually (unless you’ve taken a lot of upgrades), they get taken out pretty fast, but they can make all the difference against a particuarly fast-moving mob, buying just enough time for a tower to take them out. Additionally, I like how you can change the deployment location of your troops within a certain radius of your baracks. Things not going well on one end of the road? Move your rally point to the other end of the path. The mob has to move past more of your shooting towers only to be met again by a squadron of your troops.

Anyway, I’m about half-way through and been digging the hell out of it.

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14 responses to “Doxxing, Dwarf Fortress, and Defense via Towers

  1. Complexity versus Depth is one of those game design things, where the former often results in the other.

    Where Complexity is Bad and Depth is as Good, “Elegant” design is therefore getting the most Depth for the least Complexity.

    Many games have a low Depth despite high Complexity, and Dwarf Fortress is amazingly one of those games with an almost 1:1 ratio.

    Dwarf Fortress has fantastic Depth. But that’s because its Complexity is OVER NINE THOUSAND. 😉

    –Dither

    • Dwarf Fortress’s depth actually frightens me sometimes when I read about the various artifacts dwarves make and their descriptions. I just KNOW I was doing something wrong, but I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what. I might try again this weekend and see if my yaks don’t starve to death in the dwarven rec room.

      I’m also reminded of my main complaint against minecraft. Even though it’s a lot of fun, I just wish that there was a little bit more going on with the world. It would be nice if procedurally generated caverns, mines and dungeons had procedurally generated histories to go with them, even if they were relatively simple ones.

      • I’m bothered by DF’s insistence of giving you ALL the data. I don’t care for all the data, I’m here to play a game. I might give DF all of my love and affection but then I’m going to go play The Sims or Skyrim.

        And that means DF has failed as a game.

        –Dither

        P.S. Oh, I check in every couple years to see what DF’s up to, and there’s this little exuberance. But DF’s still up to its old tricks (minutiae) and I find myself slipping away again to play something else…

      • It was a lot more fun when I played it 5 years ago. That’s what happens when something is in perpetual alpha and the development’s goal is to push additional features rather than focus on polishing existing functionality.

        Honestly, Dungeon Keep scratches the Dwarf Fortress itch better than Dwarf Fortress.

      • It does! It even scratches that itch I get when I want to play a really buggy and repetitive RTS! Okay, that was mean…

        It’s just that I was starting to get kind of bored about halfway through the campaign because of the saminess and then DIFFICULTY SPIKE. After aborting one mission half a dozen or so times, I had to check a wiki to determine what I was doing wrong.

        Those dumb Transfer Creature power-ups were really important and I should have started using them earlier. I did eventually get around the problem, only to be blindsided by a room full of uber baddies in a later mission. I just threw my hands up at that point.

        –Dither

      • Well, like any RTS single player game, the first half is just teaching you how to play.

        Also, sometimes it is actually worthwhile to do the FPS thing, because you can use some strategies that your AI won’t.

      • But FPS controls are so broken… T_T

        I realize I’m just whining at this point. All of my whining aside, I really did enjoy Dungeon Keeper and would recommend the game to anyone with the patience for it. ‘Cause you know, patience threshold.

        –Dither

      • I don’t find myself using them often, no. But it IS nice to see the 3d rendering of your dungeon. The thing is, any time a game pushes radical new territory in a genre-redefining way, there are going to be some clunky elements. It’s actually impressive that it turned out as well as it did.

        I don’t remember how the 2nd game stacked up against the 1st other than that I couldn’t beat the last mission of DK 2.

        I tend to have a high patience to reward threshold for games, probably because of my background as a wargammer. Honestly, Dwarf Fortress is one of the few games I can’t muster the patience to get to where I can have a really rewarding experience with it.

      • Meanwhile, Kingdom Rush is nearing the threshold of “flash-game I’m actually considering paying to unlock premium content and additional levels” for….

      • I tend to have a pretty high patience-to-reward threshold because, well… Final Fantasy. *sigh* That was also the series that taught me to cut my losses when the payoff was never going to be worth it. xD

        I’d almost call myself a “Recovering JRPGamer” the same way people refer to themselves as “recovering alcoholics.” You can never be better, but you can certainly stop from getting any worse.

        –Dither

      • I don’t think I could’ve ever gotten into FF if I hadn’t played them emulated. 8 & 16 bit FF games are all 2 to 3 times better when the framerate is 2 to 3 times higher.

        The only RPGs I started but never finished were Xenosaga, when I died losing about 3 game hours and 2 FMV hours and after concluding that the virtual CCG was better than the game itself, and Magna Carta & FF12 which my girlfriend threw away because she disapproved of the cover art.

      • Also, replaying Xenogear, I’m thinking “Huh… This isn’t actually an RPG so much as it is an experiment with implementing a visual novel with an RPG engine.”

      • “Huh… This isn’t actually an RPG so much as it is an experiment with implementing a visual novel with an RPG engine.”

        You just described every entry in the Final Fantasy series.

        With the exception of FF: Tactics and the other games which weren’t originally FF games, but had the name tacked on to improve sales.

        –Dither

      • Most of my experience with FF is from the first 6, but those still felt more RGP-ish than Xenogears. Though they had a few cutscenes, the overwhelming majority of the games revolved around dungeon crawls. Xenogears, more than just about any other JRPG I’ve played, is more a collection of cutscenes followed by opportunities to explore a space and talk with background characters, followed by either a short segment of RPG style battles interspersed between cutscenes or, on occasion, an actual dungeon.

        But then again, that could just be the difference between the 16 bit and 32 bit era of rpg gaming.

        6 was the first FF I played that went for a more cinematic feel, of course limited by the sytem. But even 9 and 12 (the only 3d FFs I’ve played) still felt more like highly cinematic RPGs than visual novels. Over 20 hours in with Xenogears, it still feels like how most JRPGs feel in the first hour or two; no solidly established party, lots of cutscenes, limited access to/from hubs, etc. etc. I hadn’t really played enough JRPGs the first time I’d played it to spot the difference, but coming at it again now, I’m seeing that it’s a totally different experience that it’s trying to create.

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