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IDProjectCategoryView StatusDate SubmittedLast Update
0004590Dwarf FortressCombat -- Generalpublic2011-04-28 20:552014-12-27 19:31
Assigned ToToady One 
PlatformPCOSWindows VistaOS VersionService Pack 2
Product Version0.31.25 
Target VersionFixed in Version0.40.01 
Summary0004590: Elephant killed by three hoary marmots - Issue with pain
DescriptionCombat is fairly unbalanced in the current version, due to the way that unarmored targets take damage. I can semi-reliably get three hoary marmots (or any similarly tiny creature that is just barely large enough to have teeth that can pierce the skin) kill an elephant.

The size difference means the hoary marmots always hit, and will break the skin, while the elephant has a relatively very small chance of hitting the target. In six turns, the hoary marmots have bitten the elephant 18 times, which is enough to cause the elephant to faint from pain.

The elephant will subsequently never wake up because the hoary marmots will keep biting the elephant, keeping it in a coma.

It takes a LONG time to actually kill the elephant. The marmots can't even cause the slightest bit of bleeding most of the time, unless they get a lucky hit on the tail or maybe the trunk. The elephant only very slowly bleeds to death. It takes hours of the game running at 100 FPS for the elephant to slowly bleed out.

The problem seems to stem from the fact that ANY sort of tear in the skin inflicts the same number of "pain points", regardless of the actual size of the laceration - a pinprick is the same as flaying off all the skin on someone's body in a single stroke.
Steps To ReproduceSimply set up a battle in the arena with a lone elephant on one team and marmots on the other.

This also works with creatures that are supposed to be very fierce predators, like giant tigers.

3 marmots-on-1 elephant has a slight chance of going the elephant's way if it gets lucky in the first round or two and manages to actually hit something before it faints, but 4-to-1 almost always results in an elephant's defeat.
Additional InformationRemoving pain from the elephant makes it capable of winning battles against many more creatures. Simply removing pain receptors from the skin makes it more capable of winning battles. NO_PAIN elephants can win against about 10 marmots, but will eventually faint from exhaustion unless you play the elephant yourself, because it charges itself into exhaustion.

Deon specifically modded many creatures to have many fewer pain recepters because of this flaw, because it means that almost ANY set of 18 attacks will knock even huge creatures unconscious, and generally makes unarmored combat a matter of pure attrition.
Tagsanimals, creature, faint, pain, PAIN_RECEPTORS, size, unconscious, wound, wounds
Attached Files

- Relationships
related to 0002115resolvedToady One Broken bones cause too much pain regardless of size 

-  Notes
Barnox (reporter)
2011-04-29 05:59
edited on: 2011-04-29 05:59

I believe the issue is related, but I've a dog in Dwarf Fortress mode who has killed about 4 Rhinoceros by pain, taking no damage itself, then mercilessly biting and shaking the head until it bleeds out.
This is a Stray, unassigned and without any training.

I've no save, and the dog is long dead after taking a horn to the head.

Logical2u (manager)
2011-04-29 07:34

I added this as a parent of 0002115, which lists the number of pain receptors as a factor in broken limbs being overly dangerous.
Kijiro (reporter)
2012-03-23 13:36

This is amazing. I'm going to test this myself with some Cavies.
NW_Kohaku (reporter)
2012-03-23 16:36

I think cavies might be too small to even pierce the skin with a bite. (At least, for an elephant, a smaller creature might have its skin pierced.) Cavies are 800 size instead of a marmot's 10,000 size.

Keep in mind Elephants have 5,000,000 size, so this is still a creature of 0.2% your mass killing you. This is still roughly equivalent to a human being killed by three large worms.
JayJayForce (reporter)
2014-12-27 11:14

I don't think this still happens, at least not in the way this bug report describes it.

3v1 of a lone elephant against hoary marmots/beakdogs/dogs results in an elephant victory.

8v1 elephant against hoary marmots has similar results as described in the original post, but it is due to the elephant passing out from exhaustion, not pain.

I can get similar results with tigers. They win or loose due to exhaustion, not pain. Higher enemy count is more likely to result in a tiger death.
Footkerchief (manager)
2014-12-27 19:31

Thanks for testing! That seems a lot more reasonable. I'll chalk this up to 0.40.01.

- Issue History
Date Modified Username Field Change
2011-04-28 20:55 NW_Kohaku New Issue
2011-04-28 20:57 NW_Kohaku Tag Attached: animals
2011-04-28 20:57 NW_Kohaku Tag Attached: creature
2011-04-28 20:57 NW_Kohaku Tag Attached: faint
2011-04-28 20:57 NW_Kohaku Tag Attached: pain
2011-04-28 20:57 NW_Kohaku Tag Attached: PAIN_RECEPTORS
2011-04-28 20:57 NW_Kohaku Tag Attached: size
2011-04-28 20:57 NW_Kohaku Tag Attached: unconscious
2011-04-28 20:57 NW_Kohaku Tag Attached: wound
2011-04-28 20:57 NW_Kohaku Tag Attached: wounds
2011-04-29 05:59 Barnox Note Added: 0017566
2011-04-29 05:59 Barnox Note Edited: 0017566 View Revisions
2011-04-29 07:33 Logical2u Relationship added parent of 0002115
2011-04-29 07:34 Logical2u Note Added: 0017570
2012-03-23 05:01 Buglist Issue Monitored: Buglist
2012-03-23 13:36 Kijiro Note Added: 0021681
2012-03-23 14:12 Footkerchief Relationship added related to 0002114
2012-03-23 14:12 Footkerchief Relationship replaced related to 0002115
2012-03-23 14:12 Footkerchief Relationship deleted related to 0002114
2012-03-23 16:36 NW_Kohaku Note Added: 0021682
2014-12-27 11:14 JayJayForce Note Added: 0031514
2014-12-27 19:31 Footkerchief Note Added: 0031527
2014-12-27 19:31 Footkerchief Status new => resolved
2014-12-27 19:31 Footkerchief Fixed in Version => 0.40.01
2014-12-27 19:31 Footkerchief Resolution open => fixed
2014-12-27 19:31 Footkerchief Assigned To => Toady One

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