For me it's the little things. I love both games but i find myself pulling my hair out when i play dwarf fortress and it is not because of the interface. The interface in DF can be learned and you can use the mouse for precision digging and fortress design, dwarf therapist also gives you more power than the employment interface in Gnomoria.
The things that actually infuriate me about DF are the endless stream of bugs and the sheer difficulty avoiding them. Some of these DF bugs have been around for over 4 years(ALMOST HALF A DECADE) and instead of Toady working to fix them he has seemingly abandoned support for fortress mode over a really bland and boring adventure mode.
DF fraustrates. You can fish and do so to get shells which are critical for moody dwarfs but http://18.104.22.168/dwarves/mantisbt/view.php?id=2780
Hey DF has beekeeping - you can make mead! Well not really: http://22.214.171.124/dwarves/mantisbt/view.php?id=3981
Well DF you can capture live organisms and sell them in trade depots ! Uhh no you can't http://threepanelsoul.com/2008/05/12/on-trade-goods/
Wow i just cut some large gems, now why can't i sort them and move them from this stockpile they are accumulating in: http://126.96.36.199/dwarves/mantisbt/view.php?id=4430
Cool i just found the endgame metal adamantine. Oh my hospital has ordered all my vital metal's processed into suture thread. http://www.bay12games.com/dwarves/mantisbt/view.php?id=1346
And the most infuriating bug of all, the burrows bug :http://www.bay12games.com/dwarves/mantisbt/view.php?id=600
You are promised a powerful tool for automating dwarf activities and when you use it it doesn't just not work it actually cripples your fort as jobs are continually taken outside of burrows that should be ignored. These jobs can never be completed but are continually taken causing your fortress to freeze in all job duties. Another worthless feature. When i did get it to work it was amazing as i set up a intricate assembly line for gems but then the cancellation spam filled the bottom of my windows and my fort slowed to a crawl. No more gems would be delivered from the depths and even the butcher stopped carving up corpses. Best workaround? ignore burrows and carve out a interior for a stockpile the size of the Staples Center to work with gems.... You don't need to do that in Gnomoria. While stockpiles are not as powerful in Gnormoria they don't fight against you and behave in odd ways that are difficult or impossible to predict unless you learn a lexicon of endless bugs.
The list goes on and on. The real problem with Dwarf Fortress is that the developer has largely abandoned development of the dwarf mode game and if anybody disagrees just look at the age of some of these bugs. Many go back to 2010. Perhaps i'm alone here but there is nothing more frustrating than being promised some aspect of gameplay and then realizing that that gameplay isn't present or that it's catastrophically broken. DF isn't just fighting against the interface, the interface can easily be beaten, bugs cannot be beaten they always win and destroy your experience - it's death by a thousand cuts with DF.
Bugs in Gnomoria? Aside from periodic crashes the only bug i have experienced are 1: gnome deconstructing gearbox over water while standing inside a scaffolding tile will be pushed into the water and drown after deconstruction and 2 if you have too much dirt, or presumably anything outside of a stockpile the stockpile collection acts funny. The first bug is easy to fix, just deconstruct or block scaffolding and for 2, all i did was accelerate my prospecting industry with 3 prospecting workshops. These bugs can be worked around, In order to work around beekeeping you must only have one beekeeper, which basically means you can only have a small mead industry. In order to work around the burrows bug you must elect never to use burrows, in order to work around the fishing bug you must edit the raws. Basically bugs in gnormoria, of which there are only a few i have detected, require workarounds that don't remove content from the game. Bugs in DF are self-detonating with respect to content, the content that is bugged requires a workaround that demands that you just not use the feature.
I have played both games and have loyalty to neither. It is Gnomoria that actually drove me to overcome the interface in DF because i started playing Gnomoria long ago at it's release when it was feature depleted. One realization that i couldn't have ranged soldiers and i asked myself why am i playing this when i could be playing DF and have access to more diverse military roles. I abandoned Gnormoria and went to DF. I worked through the frustration of the interface and was enjoying myself until i realized a new set of challenges that could never be overcome and did not enhance the gameplay but destroyed it , bugs.
A lot of people call Gnomoria a copy or a clone and i have to say "so what?". It's about time that those that are frustrated with DF have some alternative be it the interface is to hard or in my case Gnormoria has a more FOCUSED
design philosophy that doesn't render its' task of bug resolution an impossibility because it isn't trying to create 2 different games at once as well as a world generator. In many ways Gnormoria is picking up what was abandoned and left for dead yet the main and only reason i would ever play DF, if i want Skyrim i will play Skyrim rather than a 2d version of it with a procedural world. There are tons of procedural explorers out there but there are few games like Fortress mode and i think many here want that experience, and experience that is clearly not being supported anymore over at Bay12.
Speaking of procedural generation the whole procedural monster thing is taken way to far in DF. I can only see so many Magpiemen or StarlingMen or MosquitoMen who were bitten by a werezebra and now become wereZebraMosquitoMen on those lunar cycles before I have to role my eyes. Procedural generation is good for somethings like terrain or legends or names but when did fantasy become the realm of a David Cronenberg fever dream where you have endless _insert organism here_ - men, it is simply reaching absurd proportions.