First of all, thanks to everyone that have signed up for the beta, glad to see that you are interested. The sign up isn't closed yet so if anyone missed the announcement, here is the link.
Now for this weeks topic I think I'll go through the basic needs of any given dwarf in a bit more detail than earlier. Some of these things might have been covered partly in the forums, but some things have changed since then.
In the game of dwarves, you eat or you die. There is no middle ground. Sorry about that, couldn't resist.
What I meant to say was that the food is one of the key challenges the player will encounter while playing. Food is the most crucial need for all dwarves, they will starve unless fed.
So in order to keep you dwarves alive, you need to always keep food in stock and have a steady supply of food coming in. The best and most secure way to gather food, is to find fertile soil and plant crops.
However that is a slow and costly process, you could lighten the load of your farms, by raiding enemy encampments. When you find an event room and have defeated its inhabitants. You are free to take their stuff. Especially early on in a settlement the extra boost of resources could really help.
However the Dwarves won't die instantaneously, when they first grow hungry, they'll only head to a table if they are idling. After some time they'll start ignoring your orders and do whatever they can to get food. And only after that will they actually die of hunger.
Dwarves also need sleep, as long as a dwarf is tired he'll work slower and eventually pass out on the ground. However this is easily taken care of by building beds. Better beds grants more energy to your dwarves and lets them work longer without the need to return and rest.
Energy might not seem a important system compared to food, but left unchecked your the lack of energy in your settlement will slow down you work efficiency witch might be just as deadly as starvation.
Happiness is the measurement of your success a happy settlement will truly prosper. While a unhappy settlement will wither and die.
The settlement gain happiness mainly from two sources;
Buildings: Almost every object you build, have a happiness value that will increase how much happiness you gain. Building cheep objects such as decorations is a good way to increase your happiness quickly
Incidents: Happiness is also affected by things that happens in you settlement. For instance when a dwarf starves to death, all your dwarves get sad. There are both good and bad incidents.
Your dwarves put a strain upon you happiness. The more dwarves you have the higher happiness they demand. So you need to keep building and work on keeping your dwarves happy while playing. The punishment for having a low happiness is quite sever, first your dwarves will stop working and eventually they'll leave you settlement for ever.
So that are the dwarves basic needs, there are still some surprises in left in the systems but it would be hard to explain them without going into the actual math. And with that I leave you for this week and I'll get back to you later, have a good time.