Old Nate's Basement of Curiosity might be temporarily closed for renovation, but life and death never stop in Dwarf Fortress. The eternal architects of halfling misery have decided that, despite the rampant bloodbaths, disease, revolt and starvation, there simply weren't enough shady dealings going on down the mines. It's crime time, baby - "villainous networks and investigations" are heading to the eternally obtuse management sim
What's life without a little walk on the wild side, eh? Dwarf Fortress might already not be the safest place to relocate to, but there are no plans to make it any more secure. The latest planned update for the never-ending dwarven-management sim involves criminal networks and ne'er-do-well nobles, as creator Tarn Adams recently explained.
The plan is to let crooks in high places, plainly concealed as your local priest or noble, gain access to networks of informants and intermediaries. Should they desire another Dwarf be... removed, they'll seek out these middle-managers and contract out all manner of dark dealings. Assassinations, kidnappings, sabotage, or good old fashioned burglary. It's all on the table.
This also means that, in a best-case scenario, there'll be a trail of breadcrumbs and hearsay leading from the scene of the crime for inquisitive eyes to follow. These illicit networks work both ways, too. Criminal masterminds may eventually blackmail public figures who haven't paid their dues. Gangs and syndicates will compete and absorb each other, and can now extend their sphere of influence into other cities.
Right now, the developers are aiming to get gangs working in history generation and the single character / party-based adventure mode, before letting it loose in the sandbox Fortress mode. There is currently no planned release date, but once villains and investigations is complete, publishers Kitfox will begin the work of bringing a neat new Dwarf Fortress package to Steam.