Dwarf Fortress, the Dwarven catastrophe simulator, has received its first update in well over a year. This one is all about artefacts. Coveting artefacts, stealing artefacts, displaying artefacts to make all your friends jealous -- it’s all very exciting if you’ve ever wanted to split your time between burglary and being a museum curator.
Here’s how the new system works: bringing up the map of the world now allows you to interact with it by making general raids against neighbouring civilisations, or by sending out squads of Dwarfs to steal artefacts and rescue prisoners. Hunting for artefacts can take months, however, as the squad investigates different sites. They can also be captured while on these raids. When they return, you’ll get a report that tells the story of their adventures (or misadventures), and you might end up with a fancy artefact, to boot. The developer has been working on these legendary items since last year as part of a plan to introduce creation myths to each randomly-generated world.
Adventure mode has been tweaked, too. This mode lets you create a solo adventurer in one of your worlds, and from there Dwarf Fortress becomes an open-world RPG, as the Dwarf goes on quests to fix whatever problems the world’s denizens are facing. You’ll be able to steal artefacts here, too, but the most interesting addition is the cover identity feature. If you’re accosted by Goblin guards, for instance, they’ll demand your identity instead of attacking on sight. These identities are linked to the different civilisations of the world you’ve generated. Essentially you’re a secret agent Dwarf.
Other changes have been made under the hood, in preparation for the long-awaited magic update, making sure that it will be able to incorporate all kinds of artefacts without any problems.
Take a gander at the patch notes here.