Dwarf Fortress Bug Tracker - Dwarf Fortress
View Issue Details
0001111Dwarf FortressGeologypublic2010-04-13 17:512015-03-23 06:57
Toady One 
0001111: Ore/gem frequency parameters don't work
You can't turn around in a fort these days without running into a vein of native gold or a cluster of gems, and I think I figured out why. The frequency of *everything* in the raws is set to 100, whereas it varied much more in 40d (though I don't have the original 40d raws to compare at the moment, since I used Sean Mirrsen's mineral mod, even before I installed that ores and gems were relatively rare.) I'm thinking platinum being equally as abundant as pyrite as abundant as microcline wasn't likely intentional.

It looked like there were some people unhappy with it on the forums, so it's good to know it's easily fixed.
Gen a world. Embark somewhere. Dig.
dig, geology, mining, ore
related to 0004034resolved Toady One Metal is scarce 
parent of 0001411resolved Toady One Numerical parameter of ENVIRONMENT_SPEC is ignored, too many minerals and gems created 
parent of 0001407resolved Toady One No mineral deposits in ALLUVIAL layers 
related to 0000804resolved Toady One Mineral vein inclusions within large clusters behave incorrectly 
related to 0001429resolved Toady One Native platinum appears within olivine as small clusters instead of veins 
related to 0002984resolved Footkerchief Mass reports of minerals and gems found in cavern 
related to 0000911resolved Footkerchief ENVIRONMENT frequency parameter seems to have no effect (0.31.02) 
Issue History
2010-04-13 17:51InsanityPreludeNew Issue
2010-04-13 17:52InsanityPreludeTag Attached: mining
2010-04-13 17:56InsanityPreludeNote Added: 0003345
2010-04-13 18:38FootkerchiefRelationship addedrelated to 0000804
2010-04-13 20:42InsanityPreludeNote Added: 0003387
2010-04-13 20:43InsanityPreludeTag Attached: geology
2010-04-14 06:31QuietustNote Added: 0003451
2010-04-14 06:43QuietustNote Edited: 0003451bug_revision_view_page.php?bugnote_id=0003451#r1145
2010-04-14 07:54ZegNote Added: 0003458
2010-04-22 00:23FootkerchiefRelationship addedparent of 0001411
2010-04-22 06:10Granite26Note Added: 0004581
2010-04-24 01:13jgoodwinNote Added: 0004857
2010-04-27 17:25DekonNote Added: 0005440
2010-06-09 11:43FootkerchiefRelationship replacedparent of 0000804
2010-06-09 11:44FootkerchiefRelationship addedparent of 0001407
2010-06-09 11:44FootkerchiefRelationship addedparent of 0001429
2010-06-09 11:45FootkerchiefSticky IssueNo => Yes
2010-06-09 13:17the-moonNote Added: 0008002
2010-06-13 17:14Khym ChanurIssue Monitored: Khym Chanur
2010-06-15 10:37ContiIssue Monitored: Conti
2010-06-18 04:40TKTomIssue Monitored: TKTom
2010-06-18 05:43d64Note Added: 0008618
2010-06-18 06:26sirbruceNote Added: 0008619
2010-06-27 23:28hyndisNote Added: 0009199
2010-06-29 19:01slinkNote Added: 0009347
2010-07-08 14:55falloutboy778Issue Monitored: falloutboy778
2010-07-08 15:02falloutboy778Note Added: 0009803
2010-07-08 16:59hyndisNote Added: 0009804
2010-07-08 19:13ChickenLipsNote Added: 0009806
2010-07-08 20:52ChickenLipsNote Edited: 0009806bug_revision_view_page.php?bugnote_id=0009806#r3770
2010-07-09 09:36izumanNote Added: 0009828
2010-07-09 14:47eatatreeNote Added: 0009844
2010-07-09 17:20ChickenLipsNote Added: 0009847
2010-07-09 18:44RogueCommanderIXNote Added: 0009851
2010-07-09 21:15TomiTapioTag Attached: dig
2010-07-09 21:15TomiTapioTag Attached: labors
2010-07-09 21:15TomiTapioTag Attached: ore
2010-07-09 21:15TomiTapioTag Detached: labors
2010-07-13 15:07hyndisNote Added: 0010174
2010-07-13 15:42FootkerchiefCategoryMap Features => Geology
2010-07-17 08:21G-FlexNote Added: 0010493
2010-07-31 21:16InsanityPreludeNote Added: 0011345
2010-08-01 04:16Flying_LizardNote Added: 0011352
2010-08-01 04:17Flying_LizardIssue Monitored: Flying_Lizard
2010-08-01 04:28Jiri PetruNote Added: 0011353
2010-08-02 09:53E1727Note Added: 0011402
2010-08-02 10:41hyndisNote Added: 0011405
2010-08-02 21:23InsanityPreludeNote Added: 0011425
2010-08-03 07:13Jiri PetruNote Added: 0011438
2010-08-03 09:09xrogaanIssue Monitored: xrogaan
2010-08-09 09:48Jiri PetruNote Edited: 0011438bug_revision_view_page.php?bugnote_id=0011438#r4559
2010-08-10 15:31hyndisNote Added: 0011704
2010-08-10 15:31hyndisNote Edited: 0011704bug_revision_view_page.php?bugnote_id=0011704#r4567
2010-08-18 16:45Logical2uRelationship addedparent of 0002984
2010-08-19 09:40jeiNote Added: 0011922
2010-08-29 07:51FootkerchiefSummaryNear-ridiculous abundance of ore/gems => Near-ridiculous abundance of ore/gems (frequency parameters don't work)
2010-09-07 11:16caldfirNote Added: 0012484
2010-09-07 16:38VercingetorixNote Added: 0012490
2010-09-16 08:36ThrelicusIssue Monitored: Threlicus
2010-09-17 04:35Malibu StaceyNote Added: 0012747
2010-09-27 11:30Malibu StaceyNote Added: 0013025
2010-12-10 13:20FootkerchiefTag Attached: Fixed in 0.31.19?
2010-12-12 17:19MrPersonNote Added: 0014553
2010-12-25 04:21KogutIssue Monitored: Kogut
2011-02-17 04:32Malibu StaceyNote Added: 0015170
2011-02-17 04:36karloss99Note Added: 0015171
2011-02-17 06:33Hieronymous AlloyIssue Monitored: Hieronymous Alloy
2011-02-17 06:47Malibu StaceyNote Added: 0015182
2011-02-17 07:07KogutTag Attached: overfixed in .19
2011-02-17 11:11FootkerchiefTag Detached: overfixed in .19
2011-02-18 00:18SoadreqmNote Added: 0015227
2011-02-18 08:14hyndisNote Added: 0015239
2011-02-20 08:37greycatNote Added: 0015312
2011-02-20 08:41dree12Note Added: 0015313
2011-02-20 08:45KogutNote Added: 0015315
2011-02-20 08:45KogutTag Attached: frequency parameters still don't work -> unfixed in .19
2011-02-28 17:29FootkerchiefSummaryNear-ridiculous abundance of ore/gems (frequency parameters don't work) => Ore/gem frequency parameters don't work
2011-02-28 17:35QuietustNote Added: 0015600
2011-03-04 23:10DoctorZuberNote Added: 0015742
2011-03-04 23:11DoctorZuberNote Edited: 0015742bug_revision_view_page.php?bugnote_id=0015742#r5915
2011-03-05 05:55Granite26Note Added: 0015750
2011-03-05 06:34DwarfuTag Detached: frequency parameters still don't work -> unfixed in .19
2011-03-05 06:37DwarfuNote Added: 0015754
2011-03-05 10:16FootkerchiefRelationship addedrelated to 0004034
2011-04-01 12:19KhiftNote Added: 0016941
2012-02-16 12:05FootkerchiefTag Detached: Fixed in 0.31.19?
2014-01-21 20:12FootkerchiefRelationship replacedrelated to 0002984
2014-01-26 11:22FootkerchiefRelationship addedrelated to 0000911
2014-07-16 12:17cephaloIssue Monitored: cephalo
2014-07-17 07:15cephaloNote Added: 0026743
2014-07-17 07:32FootkerchiefNote Added: 0026746
2014-07-23 11:28cephaloNote Added: 0027335
2014-07-23 13:45cephaloNote Edited: 0027335bug_revision_view_page.php?bugnote_id=0027335#r10265
2015-01-16 11:08ptb_ptbNote Added: 0031962
2015-01-19 16:05lethosorNote Added: 0032005
2015-01-19 16:05lethosorStatusnew => resolved
2015-01-19 16:05lethosorFixed in Version => 0.34.01
2015-01-19 16:05lethosorResolutionopen => fixed
2015-01-19 16:05lethosorAssigned To => Toady One
2015-01-19 16:06lethosorSticky IssueYes => No
2015-01-19 16:09lethosorRelationship replacedrelated to 0000804
2015-01-19 16:09lethosorRelationship replacedrelated to 0001429
2015-03-23 06:57cephaloIssue End Monitor: cephalo

2010-04-13 17:56   
Correction: colored diamonds, star rubies, and star sapphires have a frequency of 1 each.
2010-04-13 20:42   
I'm told this is related to background mechanics, not frequency in the raws. Something's up, anyway.
2010-04-14 06:31   
(edited on: 2010-04-14 06:43)
In a few test embarks, I've observed that (nearly) every cluster of rubies contains a star ruby, every cluster of sapphires contains a star sapphire, and every cluster of faint yellow diamonds contains a colored diamond (and they always contain the SAME color of diamond within a particular number of Z-levels).

I'm guessing the changes to mineral placement has resulted in the frequency values being entirely ignored. It's nice that those gems are actually *possible* to find now, but it seems like they're a bit too common now...

2010-04-14 07:54   
Yeah, minerals do seem excessively common.

And what with the possiblity of 160 or more underground levels, its kinda a shame that you can find everything you need in the first 5. The only reason to dig deeper at the moment is just for the challenge. I know that even if the mineral veins were as scarce as 40d, it still wouldn't be really 'required' to dig nearly that deep, but still.
2010-04-22 06:10   
I'm more worried about poor dwarves at this point. It's impossible to build shack housing of any size without running into a platinum or silver vein.

Sure it's a three square unfinished room, but I can't afford silver walls on my hauler's salary!
2010-04-24 01:13   
I vote for no fix: more ore is more fun.
2010-04-27 17:25   
Yeah.. I thought this was sort of one of the points of the new version - to have more stuff.

And there still is more reason to 'dig deeper' Hidden way down. Special metal :p
2010-06-09 13:17   
The Abundance of Ore is for testing purposes. We are testers.

If you have to search all around the world for gems and such, when you can have most on the same map. Its much easier to test the game and game functions :)
2010-06-18 05:43   
This is getting to not-a-bug territory but I do not think that testing is a good reason to have as much materials as there are now. Minerals weren't exactly scarce in 40d. Also now with the new underground locating rare stuff is much easier, as breaching a cave effectively reveals a huge amount of bedrock.

Especially this affects the gem business as at this point, if your map layers allow the rare gems in the first place, it's almost given that you find them immediately in the caves. Nothing special about finding star rubies now.
2010-06-18 06:26   
As a first time player, I think the number of ore veins is great for variety, but their are quite long. Gem clusters are certainly about twice as abundant as they should be; my fortress was immediately self-sufficent on gem-encrusted rock mugs alone.
2010-06-27 23:28   
I'm not sure this should be classified as a bug. You're digging deep into the ground, and dwarves are supposed to be masters of the forge. In all lore dwarves and forging things out of metal go hand in hand. Large amounts of metal means that your forges will continue to burn hot.

Add in what the caravans bring and of course the annual goblinite shipments, and your forge will be the center of your fortress, which seems perfectly fine to me.
2010-06-29 19:01   
Given that my fortresses can become immediately self-sufficient on prepared meals, starting with those made just from meat and fish carried on embark, I don't feel that the mineral abundance is a big issue. :D
2010-07-08 15:02   
This is one of the last issues that bug me in the new version. I would very much prefer rare minerals/ore, at least to the point that you have to dig a lot to find majority of them. At the moment im having trouble building mundane structures like fort walls, etc. etc. because ordinary stone is relatively hard to come by.
2010-07-08 16:59   
After digging out a large fortress, and I don't follow ore veins at all, I have both a very large amount of ore as well as regular stone. And microcline. Rooms go where they go.

I'd say I have around 20,000 stone all together. Of that 20,000, around 2,000 is ore of one sort of another.

That means that just digging randomly around 10% of the stone will be ore. The other 90% you can use for making rock blocks, tables, or doors. Seems about right.

Its of course much higher than in real life, but they're dwarves. They need metal and gems to work with. In real life ore is very rare and hard to find which is why mines are so valuable.

Main limitation is fuel. 2,000 ore means I need 4,000 fuel to use it all up. 2,000 fuel to make the ore into bars, 2,000 fuel to make the bars into other items. Keeps my furnaces, smelters, and forges busy indefinitely, which is nice. Its how it should be in a proper dwarven fortress.
2010-07-08 19:13   
(edited on: 2010-07-08 20:52)
Hmm... I see the opposing point, but I have to agree that the overabundance of ore removes a little of the enjoyment for me, since there's really no issue of scarcity, except with specific specialized cluster ores like bismuthinite and native aluminum (which is fine). But, yeah, dig deeper has no relevance to ore, since by the time I've got a mature fortress going I've got 1,500 magnetite sitting around, several hundred gold, and so on.

And *that* after turning all cluster and vein frequencies that were 100 down to 20.

2010-07-09 09:36   
I think it should be fixed. There is just too much ore and gems.
2010-07-09 14:47   
Making metal scarce makes forging and smithing harder, which makes it harder to be properly Dwarfy. If anything, reduce the abundance of gold and silver -- when I can construct entire rooms out of solid gold, it's probably a little too plentiful. Gems seem quite common, yes, but the vast majority are ornamental or semi-precious stones of little value; truly valuable gems are appropriately rare.
2010-07-09 17:20   
Don't forget goblinite, though. Goblinite seems to nearly obviate the need for iron and copper ores, which are in some ways the most important for practical usage. It's a very serious source of those metals (and a much more minor source of silver), and seems like it could easily offset a much more modest amount of iron ore available.

Of course, this is verging on balancing discussion, but I only bring it up insofar as it cumulatively amounts to a game-limping overabundance.
2010-07-09 18:44   
I guess my opinion is that it's nice to have that in some places, but like if you embark on a desert or mountain maybe you should get more than if you embark on a forest. Not going based on geology, just on what seems fair (harder embark spots rewarding players with more stuff)
2010-07-13 15:07   
How would the game know if you should get extra gems or not?

DF is not about being fair. The game is not balanced so that you get extra gems if you embark on a terrifying tundra.

If you embark on a very hostile region you're just playing it in a hostile region.

The wealth of the rock should remain constant (more or less, different types of rock have different metals in them but it should all average out in the end).
2010-07-17 08:21   
Honestly, I always thought that the overabundance was either a temporary test feature, or just a feature gone way overboard accidentally.

Quite frankly, there's hardly even any regular layer stone left, and the second I dig into a hillside I'm bombarded with precious metals and coal and stuff.
2010-07-31 21:16   
It seems to have been toned down a little since the early versions, or is that just me? Still loads of ore/gems, still loads and *loads* of "You have struck (derpite)!" when you hit the caverns, but it's not practically every other square anymore.
2010-08-01 04:16   
I don't like there being so much easy acquirable stuff in the ground. Sure, it allows one to run a "true" Dwarf Fortress, with lots of Smelters and Forges and stuff, but isn't it also part of being a REAL dwarf, to turn the whole mountain into a swiss cheese in order to find precious metals?
Ok, maybe it shouldn't be THAT bad, but i think it would generally be more fun to have to do some searching (or having some luck)

Right now you can't really have those great moments of "Hey look! I got lucky and found massive ammounts of gold! Let's build something realy nifty!" Since there is NOTHING lucky about it.
Jiri Petru   
2010-08-01 04:28   
Two things:

- The huge caverns make finding metals very easy. Even if they were made more rare, finding them wouldn't be much of a problem.

- So even if your fortress doesn't have enough of metals (=bazillions) to keep the forges going indefinitely, don't forget you can order metals from caravans. At least caravans would get some meaning.

- And then there's goblinite, yes.

Wait. That was three things. Anyway, unless the abundance of metals is toned down, the game will stay horribly broken. There's no point in trade now, and with metals so abundant there can be no caravan arc.
2010-08-02 09:53   
I disagree completely with the above couple posts. The abundance of metals is fine, and allows one to make all sorts of fun mega-projects should one so choose. If you're having a problem with affordable housing, it just takes a little imagination - build 3x5 cells, instead of 1x3, then build constructed walls out of crapenite, and channel and rebuild the floors.

Maybe this should be controllable in an init setting, but please don't revert back to the sheer tedium of 40d.
2010-08-02 10:41   
DF is all about having options to do anything you want rather than being confined into playing the game only in a certain way.

There is a guy on the forums who made a tower out of gold, copper, and steel some 30Z levels high. The abundance of ore allowed him to do that.

If you are unhappy with the amount of mineral wealth in the ground you can always edit the raws. I just don't see the need to impose a certain type of gameplay on everyone rather than allow more variety.
2010-08-02 21:23   
It's actually pretty nice now that I'm used to it.
Jiri Petru   
2010-08-03 07:13   
(edited on: 2010-08-09 09:48)
Hyndis: The problem is you CAN'T actually edit the raws to tone the abundance down. The games places minerals everywhere no matter what you do. The rarity tag doesn't actually affect rarity - it affects the probability that this metal will be chosen for a spawned vein, but doesn't affect the frequency of veins. Or something like that

People have been trying to come up with workarounds like adding dozens of duplicate rocks that could get chosen above minerals, but it's still unsatisfying.

Init options could be fine, but there are none at this time. Also, I feel like the "rare minerals" setup should be the default one, and the "abundant minerals" setup should require editing. But that's just my two meaningless cents.

2010-08-10 15:31   
If you don't like there being so much ore or gems you could always just not use the ore/gems, or feed them into atom smashers. You could even turn the ore into valuable rock blocks. Native gold blocks used for construction would use up a great deal of ore while also being highly valuable.

2010-08-19 09:40   
In my case, I have a fortress that seems to have almost no gems at all.
2010-09-07 11:16   
While its nice to have smelters running full-steam for years, I would prefer the abundances of 40d. It was a LOT more exciting to find ore and gems back then. Exploratory mining is completely gone (unless you count the single shaft necessary to hit cavern), which is a shame because it was one of the most fun parts of the game.

Is there any official word from Toady as to this being intended or not though? Are we sure this is a bug and not a balance issue?
2010-09-07 16:38   
I'd like to see a balance, myself; 40d was too much work for too little benefit while 2010 is almost too much. In fact, I'd say we need significantly more gems and less ore based on how the two are currently consumed. Without a really good trade system it makes it pretty much pointless to have that much material because all that's left after you've donated away to the caravan is cranking out metal junk to use in the fortress.

When running DF prospector on my current map, I have more ores on my map than most types of non-economic stone except granite and slade.
Malibu Stacey   
2010-09-17 04:35   
40D would've been fine with some sort of "prospecting" skill for miners where you could designate rock walls to be investigated & they'd reveal some tiles into the wall depending on their skill level. That'd make exploratory mining a lot more useful.

Using reveal on a 6*6 embark in 40D usually showed an abundance of ore & gems, you just had to go looking for it which isn't easy (or fun) with the current game mechanics.

In 31.x you get so many more Z-levels down now than the average 40D embark that if the frequency of ores was restored to exactly as the 40D system, you'd still have about 3-5 times more ores on your embark anyway. You'd just need to dig deeper for it as Dwarves should be expected to want to do!
Malibu Stacey   
2010-09-27 11:30   
Still getting a ridiculously abundant amount of ore in 31.14.
2010-12-12 17:19   
Perhaps maybe we can come to a good compromise? At the very least, ores should become more abundant and valuable the deeper down you go. Right below the surface one should probably mostly find stone. People who want to build a fortress without lots of ore and gem walls are happy, people who want the tons of ores and gems are happy, and everybody's tricked into digging deeper than they really should.

Abundance of wealth seems like it'd make the entire Caravan Arc useless, especially if everybody else is finding resources as fast as the player is.
Malibu Stacey   
2011-02-17 04:32   
The release notes for 0.31.19 seem to indicate this is no longer the case. I haven't tried it out myself as I'm waiting for the graphics packs to get updated so I could be wrong.
2011-02-17 04:36   
Well ores ARE a lot rarer in 31.19...

So rare your near euphoria when you find limonite or the likes...
Not to even talk about rarer ores...
Malibu Stacey   
2011-02-17 06:47   
Sounds like it's back to 40d distribution. However seeing as the average embark has about 4 or 5 times more Z levels than 40d there should be more ore to be found, you just have to look for it now.
2011-02-18 00:18   
Gemstones still seem very abundant. Ore is less common. The site I embarked had several visible ore veins on the surface, but the first cavern I discovered had none.
2011-02-18 08:14   
One thing to keep in mind about ore is that the default worldgen time is 1050 years. This means that all of those other sites need to make the ore last 1050 years.

Your fortress, on the other hand, gets to burn through 1050 years worth of metal and gems in only a few years. That is why it seems extremely plentiful. Run your fortress for a few hundred years and you're going to be struggling to keep any metal industry running at all.
2011-02-20 08:37   
Default world gen time is only 1050 years in the Advanced option. If you use the default option, it's 250. Or maybe 200, I forget which....
2011-02-20 08:41   
This resulting distribution is fine until off-site mines. I vote to mark as fixed.
2011-02-20 08:45   
Main part of bug "frequency parameters don't work" is still unfixed.
2011-02-28 17:35   
It's possible that the frequency parameters are being treated entirely as relative values - if a particular environment only contains a single mineral with a probability of "3", it may be treating it as "3/3" or "100% chance of appearing".
2011-03-04 23:10   
(edited on: 2011-03-04 23:11)
0.31.19 mineral distribution is different, but it is by no means fixed. At first glance I was excited, although a bit leery of this new and uninformative shallow metal deep metal thing.

After playing it a bit, and later studying it in reveal, I am really disappointed. Mineral distribution is even more bland than it was in 40d.

Even if you have both shallow and deep metals there is a good chance that you only have a single type of metal (I have only copper). The various colored stones that used to add variety are almost completely absent now. Oddly whatever metal you do get, will be plentiful, but more than likely, you won't have iron, you'll have some other metal, like copper, or gold, or silver, and be stuck with trading/killing/melting to acquire any other materials. I guess I'll revert back to 0.31.18 until this changes.

2011-03-05 05:55   
Does changing the frequency work now, or not?
2011-03-05 06:37   
For the new system, see 0004034.
2011-04-01 12:19   
Granite26: In my experience from messing with it extensively in .31.19 it did not function. The minerals I tested were equally common at frequencies of 5, 50, 100, 300 and 600.
2014-07-17 07:15   
This is no longer an issue, and should be closed.
2014-07-17 07:32   
Can you elaborate?
2014-07-23 11:28   
(edited on: 2014-07-23 13:45)
This was an old bug that used to happen before the MINERAL_SCARCITY tag came into existence. For a while, every map had every kind of metal, mineral and gem, but that isn't the case anymore.

In regards to whether the frequency tags work, I think there are misunderstandings in the older comments as to how they are supposed to work.

I was going to do a bit more testing once DFHack reveal scripts are ready, but in any case I think this bug report is outdated. There are some issues with ore generation, for example, I don't think it's possible to find colored diamonds with the default raws, (that is fixable by adjusting them.) but the issue that is described in the summary has been fixed.

EDIT: Also, with the possible exception of 1429, all of the children of this issue are also outdated.

2015-01-16 11:08   
I think Cephalo is right on this.
2015-01-19 16:05   
If I'm understanding this report correctly, it's saying that minerals are always equally distributed, which I'm sure wasn't the case in 0.34. Thanks, Cephalo! If anyone can reproduce this in 0.40.xx, please reopen this report or PM me/another manager on the forums.