Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Dwarf Fortress Update Released

Normally an update for a game isn't anything worth noting, but it's been about eleven months since the last update for the beloved Dwarf Fortress and now comes a substantial update. The one man show that develops Dwarf Fortress doesn't answer to anyone, so don't expect anything exciting like improved UI or updated controls, but there are still exciting things in this update. If you don't know anything of Dwarf Fortress and want to hear about it, skip this paragraph entirely and head to the next. If you've played Dwarf Fortress in the last couple of years you would know about the adventure mode that looks to create an open world rpg that revolves around one character exploring it, instead of the typical fortress mode that has you controlling large numbers of Dwarves in an effort to build the best and most efficient home possible. One of the first new things for adventure mode is the inclusion of vampires and werewolves, which can now be hunted and can hunt you. Both of which are also part of fortress mode and can infest your forces. The second thing to note with relevance to the undead is the new armies of dead that can assault your fortress. You can also find undead tombs in adventurer mode, which contain secrets, or you may run into evil regions that contain many undead and evil mists/rain. To make adventure mode friendlier there is now a site travel map that promises to make navigating towns not so tricky. You can also run into historical figures that may be leading an army of bandits, historical figures will also immigrant more commonly to your fort in fortress mode. There is quite a bit more than this in the new update, which you may check out here, but it looks to be enough to satiate the wants of those who haven't played in a while like myself.

I strongly recommend a tileset like this

Unfortunately I will not make another pass into the world of Dwarf Fortress until there is some kind of option for improved UI and controls. Every time I play Dwarf Fortress again I have to spend a week learning before I can derive any enjoyment from the game and I'm just not willing to do that every single time I pick up the game again. Dwarf Fortress is of course free and it does use the ASCII tileset with the base download, but if you do intend to play it I strongly recommend one of the many other tilesets out there, like Ironhand's Graphic Set (seen above) or one of the other's that litter the Dwarf Fortress modding forums. If you've never played Dwarf Fortress you absolutely should use a more colorful tileset, that is unless you are familiar and loving with the harsh ASCII tileset that uses crude symbols to display everything.

Dwarf Fortress is one of the best games out there, it always has been, especially for anyone who enjoys randomly generated open worlds. These open worlds are truly massive, unlike anything you have ever seen before, and damn near anything can happen. Stories of Dwarf Fortress have populated the web throughout the games existence and they display why this game is fantastic. If you can get past the harsh learning curve, extremely dated controls/UI and very confusing graphics then you can find so much to enjoy about Dwarf Fortress. There are few other games that can create a story like this one that I saw on Reddit too. Anything can truly happen, whether it's mining too deep and awakening ancient evils, getting invaded by goblin armies, accidently flooding your fortress, watching your Dwarves go crazy and kill each other, having vampires infest your populace or wandering out in the world as a lone adventurer, Dwarf Fortress has so much to offer. If you have the time and the imagination this game can provide the rest.
Main Website: http://www.bay12games.com/dwarves/index.html

*If you do start playing Dwarf Fortress then this Wiki is your best friend.

-Written by Sean Cargle


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