Dwarf Fortress’s Adventure mode getting tutorials and more direction in the sandbox


Adventure mode was one of my favourite things about Dwarf Fortress, mainly because it made the infamously complex management game more approachable by letting you play it like a more traditional roguelike. I’m excited, therefore, that Adventure mode is coming soon to the Steam version of the game, and excited even more so that it’s aiming to make it even more accessible.

A new update on development which outlines exactly how the new premium version of Adventure mode differs from the original, including its plan for tutorials to guide new players.

Commendably, the post from lead developers Tarn and Zach beginns by setting out the problems of Adventure mode:

  • You won’t always get the reactivity you expect to your accomplishments and from your actions.
  • Characters can have a cookie-cutter feeling to them.
  • It can be hard to find the information you need to pursue a goal you’ve chosen.
  • Battle is merciless and it isn’t simple to heal.
  • Some aspects of towns are thrown together and shops aren’t satisfying.

Some of these issues are easier to address than others, the post says, but the premium version is looking to amend how shops handle items, improve the “city side of the experience”, as well as the now-expected switch to mouse-driven menus.

The most exciting change is that Adventure mode’s three difficulty modes – Peasant, Hero and Demigod, of which the latter is the easiest – are being updated so that Demigod is a full “tutorial mode” designed for new players.

“Demigod characters will receive instruction and ongoing help from their patron/parent. All difficulty levels will benefit from changes to deities, but sandbox characters will have to find their own ways to interact with them, at their own risk,” says the post.

They also plan on expanding dungeons and relic hunting to provide more direction for Demigod characters, as well as providing more healing options. “Peasant” mode will remain the old purely sandbox experience, while “Hero” will aim to strike a balance between the two.

This is Dwarf Fortress, of course, so among these updates are changes designed merely to lay the foundation for more ambitious features to come. Changes to gods and deities, for example, are a precursor to “proceduralizing the entire setup” of gods and how magic works in Dwarf Fortress. Siege improvements, investigations of villains, and “the ability to lead criminal networks” will also be added further down the line.

Once the Adventure mode update is out, however, Tarn and Zach will turn their attention back to updates to Fortress mode, “while Adventure Mode and Legends Mode continue to evolve in parallel.”





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