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Never Too Deep: Dwarf Fortress' Massive Update

Every time we post this a dwarf gets his pickaxe.

A massive update for alternate world simulator Dwarf Fortress just landed and, by the Sacred Caverns That Bristle With Features, it’s a big ‘un that has been eleven months in the making. I’ll list more below but for starters, it looks like Adventure mode has been guzzling down its vitamins, with cities now having more variety, tombs to explore, and better traps and abilities. As for Dwarf mode, let’s just say vampiric and lycanthropic infections and leave it at that, shall we? Oh, but there’s so much more. The temptation to begin a new chronicle is strong.

Here we go then. The first four points show an emphasis on the dark side of fantasy.

Protect your community from secret vampire dwarves or hunt them as an adventurer.

Defend your fort during the full moon or risk a werewolf infestion — hunt/be hunted as an adventurer.

Face armies of the dead in dwarf mode or visit their necromancers’ towers and learn their secrets as an adventurer.

Evil regions where the dead and pieces of the dead can come alive, with evil mists and rain.

First of all, these things should be in every game. Racing game, fighting game, space combat simulator, the lot.

Secondly, PIECES OF THE DEAD CAN COME ALIVE! I will end up being killed by an animated giant’s gonad as it trundles across the land and that is the sort of thing that can only happen in Dwarf Fortress. It won’t even be a cutscene or a setpiece, it will just be something that happens after brunch.

Some practical stuff now. I say practical, but tracking every item in a gigantic world isn’t so much practical as an unnerving level of detail. Good.

Dropped items/bodies tracked between plays in the wilderness anywhere in the world

More battlefield information tracked/war dead raisable in world gen.

Various new abilities for creatures.

New site travel map to make navigating towns easier.

And then there’s the additions which show that Adventure mode could well become the RPG I’ve always had inside my head but never had the ability to communicate in full detail, let alone create.

Eating/drinking required in adv mode.

Ingested syndromes are now possible

Ability to make campfire (from ‘g’) and warm items at campfire/fire/magma (from ‘I’) in adv mode.

Traps work in adv mode, once spotted they can be ignored.

Necromancers can write books about various topics (all books are in their towers as it stands).

Did you see the bit where it says “ingested syndromes are now possible”? It really is only a matter of time before every tear that is spilled in the world is tracked, as well as every poo that is unloaded.

There’s more and bug fixes are also listed over here. This just about kills every plan I had for the next week or so, which is ridiculous because it’s not as if I’d reached a stage where I thought, “man, I’ve really seen everything Dwarf Fortress has to offer, time to leave it until there’s a massive update”.

I’m frightened of what this game may become. I think it may be adventure time.

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Adam Smith

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