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IDProjectCategoryView StatusDate SubmittedLast Update
0000803Dwarf FortressDwarf Mode -- Skills and Professionspublic2010-04-08 09:412012-04-14 20:04
Assigned ToToady One 
PlatformOSOS Version
Product Version0.31.01 
Target VersionFixed in Version0.31.11 
Summary0000803: Civilian jobs don't use attributes, so civilians all get weak over time
DescriptionDwarves stay just as strong/tough/etc... no matter how much xp they have. In .40d and earlier versions attributes improved with xp.

If this isn't a bug, it should be. Improving dwarves was part of the fun of the last version, and now that there are a lot more attributes its not like there would be the same problem of a dwarf maxing out relatively quickly.

Furthermore, a dwarf who spends all his time smithing or pumping water or whatever should get stronger, have more endurance, and so forth. While a dwarf who spends his times laying traps should increase things like spatial sense. Now, linking attribute gains to which skills xp was gained in may take more work than a simple bug fix, but even just having random attributes increase with xp gain would be better than the total lack of attribute increasing.
Steps To ReproducePlay for awhile, note attributes from time to time. (I have not used military dwarves yet in the new version, nor health care, but I've used just about all the other skills).
Tagsattributes, skills
Attached Files

- Relationships
related to 0001829resolvedToady One Dwarf skills decrease rapidly without use. 
has duplicate 0002408resolvedLogical2u Screw pump operating gives no attribute stat visible on dwarf description 
related to 0002948new Stone hauling/construction doesn't increase strength 

-  Notes
Footkerchief (manager)
2010-04-08 09:57

This is intentional ( [^]) and the attributes should be going up or down with use, although it may take a while. You can test this by giving dwarves very high MENT_ATT_RATES and PHYS_ATT_RATES ( [^]). If the attributes aren't being used exactly how you think they should, that's a matter for Suggestions ( [^]).
Squirrelloid (reporter)
2010-04-08 10:30
edited on: 2010-04-08 10:34

I've got dwarves who've gone from no xp to legendary in mining and have exactly the same attributes as when they started, at least according to the thoughts and preferences screen. Surely mining has some impact on, i dunno, strength or endurance or spatial sense or *something*. Legendary from nothing is a lot of mining - just how much rock does a dwarf have to carve before he actually sees an attribute improvement?

(Toady's post is as clear as mud - I can't figure out what he thinks is supposed to be happening from that. How is 'use' defined? Is it skill use that is intended? Is it per job completed? And its hard to measure expectation against actual if no clue is provided as to which attributes are linked to which skills - but i've seen absolutely no attribute increases in any fortress at all, despite some 4 years of in-game time across two fortresses).

Footkerchief (manager)
2010-04-08 10:37

I believe attribute use is defined per job (it's too bad that those definitions aren't visible, yeah).

If this is a bug, more information is needed. Try putting some of them on military duty and see if they get att increases from training.
Footkerchief (manager)
2010-04-09 15:13

Any followup? Without concrete information, this goes in the "does not reproduce" bin.
Squirrelloid (reporter)
2010-04-09 16:37
edited on: 2010-04-09 16:41

I have some additional information, having carefully tracked xp for a fort over a year. It is currently the 21st of slate in the second year (almost 14 months total). I received immigrants in early summer (3) and early autumn (7)

Not a single dwarf has had an attribute improve in that time.

11/17 dwarves have had at least one attribute get worse. 4 of the 17 that experienced no change were immigrants in autumn. The single largest loss was a dwarf who suffered a reduction in 5 attributes.

Average change in attributes was -2.43 for the starting 7, -1 for the 3 from early summer immigration, and -0.57 for the 7 from early autumn immigration. (this is measuring attributes effected, not total loss, although all the losses were by only a single step). The average attribute loss _per month present_ for the entire fort was -0.14. That's one attribute decreased by a step every 7 months! *per dwarf*

Attribute losses are fairly well spread. The only physical attributes i've noted no losses in are disease resistance and recuperation. Mental attributes i've seen losses in over half of them, although the ones frequently hit are creativity, willpower, and musicality (at least the last one makes sense, since as best as i can figure there's nothing that would positively impact musicality in the game).

Sorry, I haven't had enough play time to try military dwarves yet (especially since i seem to have trouble getting a world with any threatening civilizations in it), but this clearly indicates there is something deeply wrong with how attributes are being handled. Attributes should be easier to gain than lose so there's a sense of progress, not a feeling of inevitable descent.

PencilinHand (reporter)
2010-04-15 14:33
edited on: 2010-04-15 14:37

I know that attributes gain from military related XP in adv mode so I don't know what is going on here. Back in 40d the skill gain seemed randomly linked to at least one primary attribute and possibly one or two secondary attributes when we just had the three. There is definitely a fixed relationship in 0.31.xx now,(either shield or armor are always linked to endurance). We need another two or three people to confirm this in fortress mode for non-military skills.

Rafal99 (reporter)
2010-04-15 15:07

I had some military dwarves train Pump Operating, expecting it would improve their strenght and endurance. Some of them got to Legendary, but I don't see any effect on attributes.
However I observed two attribute increases in my Militia Commander who was send to constantly run around the map killing random wolves and grounhogs.
Squirrelloid (reporter)
2010-04-16 23:48
edited on: 2010-04-16 23:50

It would appear only military service actually increases attributes at present...

(I have too many dwarves to sanely track them all, but my military dwarves - who were selected at random by drafting migrants and set to do nothing but train - have significantly better attributes than anyone else).

snow (reporter)
2010-04-20 10:07

On the forums we have several reports of working dwarves going weak and feeble in a few years. Not to mention morbidly obese.

And that also happens to children.

The decrease seems to outweigh the possible increases by a large amount.
smjjames (reporter)
2010-04-20 10:11

Maybe the rusting rate is too high?
PencilinHand (reporter)
2010-04-22 19:49

More likely that non-military skills aren't improving attributes at all vs not increasing them enough to counteract rust. This seems like a pretty major problem for most forts and surely can't be intended.
derigo (reporter)
2010-04-25 21:17

I have about 10 legendary civies in my current fort. They still seem to have their base attributes. All my legendary militia on the other hand, have all 'very good' or better physical attribute. I see no evidence of mental attributes improving in anyone.
Zombie (reporter)
2010-04-28 01:42

I have seen no mental attribute increase and also have seen attribute rot in my soldiers who never want to train. My miners get no stronger. It seems that, somewhere in the code, attribute gain is messed. It might be trying to increase attributes that aren't there anymore? Or possibly just isn't increasing them enough because they may rot back to where they were almost immediately.
Dekon (reporter)
2010-05-02 13:14

Been playing a fort for several years now - close to 20. My original starting dwarves are now near -horrible- in everything. Many are weak, frail, and/or copulant. Their social skills are entirely inept, and they've basically become walking slow, fat, morons.

Stats do -not- go up. At least, not quick enough to deal with dropping, and even a constantly worked dwarf can go from quick and powerful to pathetic and weak in no time.

Military -seems- to help with -some- physical attributes. But that's it. Most jobs result in pretty terrible dwarves.
albatross (reporter)
2010-05-15 07:22

I'm so glad I found this place.

Yeah, attributes don't go up, ever. It doesn't matter what numbers you might put in creature_standard.txt file regarding PHYS_ATT_RATES and MENT_ATT_RATES (or even SKILL_RATES, for that matter). Tried this with multiple values, always regen'd a new world after making the changes in the main folder raws. The speed at which they lose attributes stays the same. Skills rack up as fast or slow as ever, no change there either. Pretty fundamental flaw, IMO.
Sabin Stargem (reporter)
2010-06-09 15:41

In the game, the attributes and skills all decay over time as intended. Unfortunately, there is no way to counter the decay, since most attributes do not get points from relevant tasks. Strength, Endurance, Agility, and Toughness are improved by Mining at least, but Mental attributes are rarely exercised.

One such example is letting the dwarves socially interact with each other. They gain increased skills in socialization, but their mental attributes never increase, even if allowed to do so for an hour of real-time. Memory isn't exercised by Engraving, Book-keeping, or any other action. This is particularly lethal to a dwarf, because their memory will steadily decay into non-existence. As an result, most dwarves begin losing their attributes and eventually become exceedingly weak.

Furthermore, the [SKILL_RATES] tag doesn't fully work. Decay rates can be changed or disabled, but the skill increase rate can't be altered. It seems that it stays to default levels, and changing the number won't have an in-game effect.
ChickenLips (reporter)
2010-06-13 15:01

Oh wow, attributes are supposed to be able to increase, and a longstanding game will see dwarves atrophy into obese, frail idiots? I just started playing DF since .03, and I had no idea. I guess I can add my voice to those itching for it to be fixed.
smjjames (reporter)
2010-06-27 20:48

I agree here, although Toady is on his end-month break.

Could we get this stickied please?
kwieland (reporter)
2010-06-27 21:09

"Maybe the rusting rate is too high?" Let me address this. Vanilla DF .08, I embarked with a dwarf with proficient in farming. It took me five game years to setup farming (no experience increase in farming). After 5 years, the skill was now "skilled". This leads me to believe that the rust is not an issue here.
hyndis (reporter)
2010-06-27 23:24

I'm seeing attributes plummet as well. When a dwarf migrates into the fortress he usually has about half of his attributes above average, and the other half below average, which is average.

After several years of chopping down trees to fuel my furnaces, clearcutting a dense rain forest many times over, the same dwarf now has almost all negative attributes, with usually only one attribute still above average if he's lucky.

Military skills seem to improve attributes, but civilian skills seem to do nothing, and so eventually all attributes waste away to minimum values.

While I imagine it could be possible to set up a custom workshop to train military skills as a gym, or recruit all dwarves into squads to do periodic individual training, both are clunky workarounds. Managing large numbers of dwarves in squads is already a nightmare in logistics, considering that deceased dwarves are not removed from the squad so you have to keep a list of names handy to find out who is who.
Hieronymous Alloy (reporter)
2010-06-30 08:52

I have to agree that this is something I'd like to see stickied.
hyndis (reporter)
2010-06-30 09:02
edited on: 2010-06-30 09:02

After 18 years my original 7 are all shockingly weak, slow, frail, confused, and stupid. :(

They're legendary+5 in at least 4-5 skills each, yet have pretty much the minimum stats possible in every category. At this point I think adjusting the [SPEED:X] for dwarves in the raws might be needed since everyone moves so slowly now that their attributes have all degraded so much.

smjjames (reporter)
2010-06-30 09:23

I guess this is something that is somewhat harder for Toady and ThreeToe to test since they'd have to play a long running fort, so maybe this can be bumped to high priority?

Theres a few threads on the forums that say about how to disable skill rust and or attribute rust, but even then, attributes don't increase.
Footkerchief (manager)
2010-06-30 09:28

so maybe this can be bumped to high priority?

As I've said here numerous times, Toady doesn't use the priority/severity fields. I'll sticky it, though.
smjjames (reporter)
2010-06-30 09:43

#Foot: I know that, but I meant high priority as in this needs to be put at or near the top of the stuff of the list of things he is planning to tackle, or at least high priority as in a gamebreaking issue that needs to be fixed.

Some people may say that the military is a gamebreaking issue, but there are workarounds for that. There aren't any workarounds for this. Sure you might be able to stop the attributes from rusting, but that doesn't fix the underlying issue.
cephalo (reporter)
2010-07-01 09:26

Hauling boulders around the map definately ought to increase physical attributes.

If there are no jobs that increase strength or whatever, we will definately need some kind of civilian excersize program.
tatterdemalian (reporter)
2010-07-03 15:27

This is probably how Toady fixed the "Carp of Death" problem... non-military skills (like swimming) no longer increase attributes when used. Unfortunately, this isn't any better.

Wouldn't it make more sense to have attributes increase based on actions being performed, instead of skills being used? Say, whenever a job is completed, it results in a fractional attribute increase based on what material was used and how well the job ended up being performed. Hauling jobs could increase strength depending on the weight of the stuff hauled, how many steps it was carried, etc. Animals, for their part, generally don't engage in such focused efforts, so while carp might become master swimmers, their attribute increases from just sitting around in the water are minimal, because they weren't performing any particular actions (maybe moving from one square to another could increase their strength and endurance just enough to stay in shape... or maybe even have the animals able to feel when their attributes are starting to atrophy, and start moving around more).
Footkerchief (manager)
2010-07-03 15:37

This is probably how Toady fixed the "Carp of Death" problem... non-military skills (like swimming) no longer increase attributes when used. Unfortunately, this isn't any better.

It has nothing to do with carp. Carp were never able to gain increased attributes, because they lacked CAN_LEARN. They were nerfed by giving them a much weaker bite.

Wouldn't it make more sense to have attributes increase based on actions being performed, instead of skills being used?

That's already how it works. Attributes increase when they get used. However, Toady didn't attach any attribute usage to civilian jobs.
snow (reporter)
2010-07-07 07:55
edited on: 2010-07-07 10:06

I'm not sure if my update on this is needed, as it is, sort of, part of the wiki already:
(related article: [^] )

Mining at least is correctly linked to strength and agility.
With various changes made, i've had succesful increases of both at PHYS_ATT_RATES:5 and -500, but none at the 500 that are listed as default in the wiki.
Low leads to pretty fast increases, -500 to pretty much insta-full and 500 didn't do anything before the miner became legendary, at which point i cancelled the test.

Other changes:


I'll run more mining tests in short order, varying the ATT_CAP settings (or deactivating/defaulting them first, for a start). Please tell me if mining is supposed to affect any Mental attributes, so i know if i should be looking at those too.

If these tests go well, i think we can fix this by raws until desirable values are found/agreed on by players and/or Toady gets around to adding it to the official release RAWs (or to alter the default values that appear to be hidden in the code)

(test environment: random generated world, embark, stripmine, watch attributes)

Edit: Removed Caps, this tag appears to be working as intended limiting the maximum increase on the base value.
With everything on -50 rates, i can now confirm Endurance for mining, too.
Stone Detailing, Masonry and Woodcutting didn't increase any stats for me.

Pump Operating is the next best thing to try, i guess.

Pump Operating increases Endurance.

No increase of physical stats:
stone detailing
furnace ops
plant gathering.

These either have no skill gains at all, or weirdly slow ones so even at lightspeed rates they dont make a difference in short terms (about 10 skill uses)

hyndis (reporter)
2010-07-07 08:22

Interesting. I've tried tinkering with the rates and attributes, but haven't had much luck.

Is there any way to at least turn off the decay? That would at least hold dwarves at average, rather than eventually putting all of their attributes to minimum values.
Footkerchief (manager)
2010-07-07 08:29

Is there any way to at least turn off the decay? That would at least hold dwarves at average, rather than eventually putting all of their attributes to minimum values.

It should be possible to deactivate rust via MENT_ATT_RATES and PHYS_ATT_RATES ( [^]). I haven't tried it myself, though.

Here are a couple threads on the topic: [^] [^]
snow (reporter)
2010-07-07 08:40
edited on: 2010-07-07 08:41

This should turn off decay:


to creature_standard, under dwarf, before the next creature starts.
Each Attribute needs its own line, best make a seperate text file to copy from, editing creature_standard can be hard work.
First number is some sort of indicator of how much work is needed for an increase, other three are supposedly related to rusting.

hyndis (reporter)
2010-07-07 09:33

Nice! Thanks. I'll give that a try. :D

Assuming this will need a regen, or at least new dwarves. If they're already shockingly frail, weak, clumsy, and forgetful its already too late for that particular dwarf. At least the next generation of dwarves will be stronger than their parents.
ChickenLips (reporter)
2010-07-11 02:33

Not necessarily -- could you just bump 'em back up remedially using Runesmith?
TomiTapio (reporter)
2010-07-12 07:03
edited on: 2010-07-12 07:03

See Toady's post, [^]

"[SKILL_RATES:<% of improvement points you get>:<unused counter rate>:<rust counter rate>:<demotion counter rate>]. Default is [SKILL_RATES:100:8:8:16]. [SLOW_LEARNER] changes the 100 to a 50. You can't apply it to individual skills right now. Lower numbers in the last three slots make those processes happen faster, so [SKILL_RATES:100:1:1:1] would make a creature lose skills quickly. You can feed NONE in the last three if you want.

[PHYS_ATT_RATES:<att token>:<cost to improve>:<unused counter rate>:<rust counter rate>:<demotion counter rate>]. Defaults for are 500:2:3:2, except for RECUPERATION and DISEASE_RESISTANCE that don't have change rates.

[PHYS_ATT_CAP_PERC:<att token>:<cap %>]. Default is 200. This means you can increase your attribute to 200% of its starting value (or the average value + your starting value if that is higher)."

kwieland (reporter)
2010-07-12 07:46

Sorry, I don't follow if this is a change with .10 or just an explanation of tokens.

Is this issue fixed, then? I agree with Squirrelloid above, this is a show stopper for me.
novaalpha (reporter)
2010-07-13 07:59

This is single most game breaking issue for me at this time. I could live without military and I could live without working hospitals and without pretty much every other fix that we see these days. But how to survive and develop under conditions of constant decay that can not be helped?

In my opinion this is very serrious and should be fixed ASAP.
Toady One (administrator)
2010-07-14 07:01

The situation here should be significantly improved for 0.31.11.

- Issue History
Date Modified Username Field Change
2010-04-08 09:41 Squirrelloid New Issue
2010-04-08 09:57 Footkerchief Note Added: 0002062
2010-04-08 09:57 Footkerchief Issue Monitored: Footkerchief
2010-04-08 10:30 Squirrelloid Note Added: 0002084
2010-04-08 10:34 Squirrelloid Note Edited: 0002084 View Revisions
2010-04-08 10:37 Footkerchief Note Added: 0002087
2010-04-09 15:13 Footkerchief Note Added: 0002437
2010-04-09 16:37 Squirrelloid Note Added: 0002456
2010-04-09 16:40 Squirrelloid Note Edited: 0002456 View Revisions
2010-04-09 16:41 Squirrelloid Note Edited: 0002456 View Revisions
2010-04-09 17:13 Felblood Issue Monitored: Felblood
2010-04-15 14:33 PencilinHand Note Added: 0003752
2010-04-15 14:37 PencilinHand Note Edited: 0003752 View Revisions
2010-04-15 15:07 Rafal99 Note Added: 0003760
2010-04-16 23:48 Squirrelloid Note Added: 0003952
2010-04-16 23:50 Squirrelloid Note Edited: 0003952 View Revisions
2010-04-20 10:07 snow Note Added: 0004346
2010-04-20 10:11 smjjames Note Added: 0004347
2010-04-22 19:39 Magish Issue Monitored: Magish
2010-04-22 19:49 PencilinHand Note Added: 0004664
2010-04-25 19:04 clamity Issue Monitored: clamity
2010-04-25 21:17 derigo Note Added: 0005075
2010-04-28 01:42 Zombie Note Added: 0005491
2010-04-30 22:55 BurnedToast Issue Monitored: BurnedToast
2010-05-02 13:14 Dekon Note Added: 0005943
2010-05-02 13:29 Dekon Issue Monitored: Dekon
2010-05-07 05:20 Skandraken Issue Monitored: Skandraken
2010-05-07 07:31 RusAnon Issue Monitored: RusAnon
2010-05-10 18:07 Footkerchief Relationship added related to 0001829
2010-05-15 07:22 albatross Note Added: 0006715
2010-06-04 16:50 Nabeshin Issue Monitored: Nabeshin
2010-06-08 16:16 Hieronymous Alloy Issue Monitored: Hieronymous Alloy
2010-06-09 15:41 Sabin Stargem Note Added: 0008011
2010-06-10 06:40 Kyle_Solo Issue Monitored: Kyle_Solo
2010-06-13 13:40 Raeior Issue Monitored: Raeior
2010-06-13 13:44 smjjames Issue Monitored: smjjames
2010-06-13 15:01 ChickenLips Note Added: 0008328
2010-06-13 15:28 Footkerchief Issue End Monitor: Footkerchief
2010-06-21 04:28 Logical2u Relationship added has duplicate 0002408
2010-06-27 20:48 smjjames Note Added: 0009190
2010-06-27 21:01 kwieland Issue Monitored: kwieland
2010-06-27 21:09 kwieland Note Added: 0009191
2010-06-27 22:10 Footkerchief Summary Dwarves don't gain improved attributes with XP => Civilian jobs don't use attributes, so civilians all get weak over time
2010-06-27 23:24 hyndis Note Added: 0009197
2010-06-30 08:52 Hieronymous Alloy Note Added: 0009370
2010-06-30 09:01 Conti Issue Monitored: Conti
2010-06-30 09:02 hyndis Note Added: 0009371
2010-06-30 09:02 hyndis Note Edited: 0009371 View Revisions
2010-06-30 09:16 Threlicus Issue Monitored: Threlicus
2010-06-30 09:23 smjjames Note Added: 0009374
2010-06-30 09:28 Footkerchief Note Added: 0009375
2010-06-30 09:28 Footkerchief Sticky Issue No => Yes
2010-06-30 09:43 smjjames Note Added: 0009379
2010-06-30 12:09 EverardXavier Issue Monitored: EverardXavier
2010-07-01 09:26 cephalo Note Added: 0009461
2010-07-03 15:27 tatterdemalian Note Added: 0009593
2010-07-03 15:37 Footkerchief Note Added: 0009594
2010-07-04 10:53 moosecow Issue Monitored: moosecow
2010-07-07 02:09 alexleon Issue Monitored: alexleon
2010-07-07 07:55 snow Note Added: 0009721
2010-07-07 07:57 snow Note Edited: 0009721 View Revisions
2010-07-07 07:59 snow Note Edited: 0009721 View Revisions
2010-07-07 08:22 hyndis Note Added: 0009724
2010-07-07 08:29 Footkerchief Note Added: 0009725
2010-07-07 08:40 snow Note Added: 0009726
2010-07-07 08:41 snow Note Edited: 0009726 View Revisions
2010-07-07 09:16 snow Note Edited: 0009721 View Revisions
2010-07-07 09:33 hyndis Note Added: 0009731
2010-07-07 10:05 snow Note Edited: 0009721 View Revisions
2010-07-07 10:06 snow Note Edited: 0009721 View Revisions
2010-07-11 00:40 ArnNovelus Issue Monitored: ArnNovelus
2010-07-11 02:33 ChickenLips Note Added: 0009925
2010-07-11 03:16 Kurik Issue Monitored: Kurik
2010-07-11 09:55 Profligate Issue Monitored: Profligate
2010-07-12 03:47 RossM Issue Monitored: RossM
2010-07-12 06:46 TomiTapio Tag Attached: skills
2010-07-12 06:46 TomiTapio Tag Attached: attributes
2010-07-12 07:03 TomiTapio Note Added: 0010024
2010-07-12 07:03 TomiTapio Note Edited: 0010024 View Revisions
2010-07-12 07:46 kwieland Note Added: 0010027
2010-07-13 07:59 novaalpha Note Added: 0010135
2010-07-13 18:37 novaalpha Issue Monitored: novaalpha
2010-07-14 07:01 Toady One Note Added: 0010231
2010-07-14 07:01 Toady One Status new => resolved
2010-07-14 07:01 Toady One Fixed in Version => 0.31.11
2010-07-14 07:01 Toady One Resolution open => fixed
2010-07-14 07:01 Toady One Assigned To => Toady One
2010-07-14 07:33 smjjames Issue End Monitor: smjjames
2010-07-14 10:18 Conti Issue End Monitor: Conti
2010-07-15 07:08 novaalpha Issue End Monitor: novaalpha
2010-07-17 12:18 EverardXavier Issue End Monitor: EverardXavier
2010-07-18 03:56 XCompWiz Issue Monitored: XCompWiz
2010-07-19 12:49 Kobura Issue Monitored: Kobura
2010-07-19 13:45 Footkerchief Sticky Issue Yes => No
2010-07-20 12:58 Hieronymous Alloy Issue End Monitor: Hieronymous Alloy
2010-07-20 14:30 kwieland Issue End Monitor: kwieland
2010-07-21 09:05 Profligate Issue End Monitor: Profligate
2010-07-25 05:05 alexleon Issue End Monitor: alexleon
2010-07-26 05:38 Threlicus Issue End Monitor: Threlicus
2010-08-04 07:10 Footkerchief Relationship added related to 0002948
2010-08-26 10:30 Kurik Issue End Monitor: Kurik
2010-09-15 14:54 Nabeshin Issue End Monitor: Nabeshin
2011-02-22 03:38 RossM Issue End Monitor: RossM
2012-04-14 20:04 Felblood Issue End Monitor: Felblood
2014-08-04 14:25 Footkerchief Relationship added related to 0007839
2014-08-04 14:26 Footkerchief Relationship deleted related to 0007839

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