CBRO upgrade/transition plan

Sad news: CBRO will be retiring. But good news: CBRO will be replaced by CBR2, which will not run out of hard drive space for at least 10 years! Here’s the full plan:

  • CBR2 (cbro.berotato.org) is a completely new server with a much bigger disk and better cpu, administered by ZureaL, advil, and johnstein, hosted by ZureaL, and located in the midwest.
  • We have imported the CBRO login database from CBRO to CBR2, but most other data (including save files) will not be imported, for a fresh start.
  • CBR2 is currently open for test games only, and the server will be reset on 9/25 at 11:59 EDT — games played before then are not on the record. Games played after this reset will appear in CAO scoring and Sequell. (We will do one last pull of the username db around then as well.)
  • After CBR2 goes live on 9/26, CBRO will stop allowing new games to begin. CBRO will remain open for a while to allow finishing off any old games, and will continue hosting its current data until its shutdown (we are estimating final shutdown around 12/1/20). Any games finished until that point will also be on the record. At that point we will most likely archive long-term data away from the CBRO server into cloud storage.

Thanks very much to johnstein for solo-running CBRO for so many years, and to ZureaL for taking the lead in setting up CBR2!

Trunk Updates 21 August 2020

You feel the power of the Orb delaying this trunk update!

Hello crawlers, and welcome to another update from the fires of Geh:7. This stretch has seen a mix of gameplay and infrastructure changes, both with contributions from the community, as well as bug fixes and tweaks from Goratrix, chequers, and Implojin. If you’d like to help out in the effort of developing crawl come by ##crawl-dev or check out our GitHub for how to contribute!

On the gameplay side:

  • Palentonga’s HP aptitude has been increased to +1
  • staves of earth now deal higher damage, but with the shrapnel effect of being affected 3 times by AC.
  • staves of conjuration now deal irresistible damage that checks AC (taking Earth’s old effect).
  • staves of summoning and wizardry are removed.
  • The Controlled Blink spell has blinked right out of the game, and is removed.
  • Blink scrolls no longer cause Contam.
  • The Orb’s translocations interference is reduced: blink scrolls can be used in Zot and on the Orb run, as can Passage of Golubria. However, passages are shorter lived and less accurate under the Orb’s influence.
  • The various plants and fungi of the dungeon are now much weaker, once hit they begin to wither and die in 3-5 turns. The exceptions are bushes and briars, made of stouter stuff.

On the infrastructure side:

  • wjchen sent us a community contribution to improve WebTiles glyphs mode font handling. This introduces two new options for customization, glyph_mode_font and glyph_mode_font_size, for all you WebTiles glyphs players.
  • The window drawing loop has seen some optimizations.
The trunk update blinks out of view!

Trunk Updates 13 August 2020

The trunk update comes into view, it is surrounded by clouds of flame!

Hello crawlers, and welcome to another round of trunk updates from the frigid winter wastes of Falls Creek Coc:7.

This week has seen a fair share of bug fixing, including from community members Goratrix and Naruni. If you’d like to help out in the effort of developing crawl come by ##crawl-dev or check out our GitHub for how to contribute!

Let’s take a look at what else has been woven into the next illusion version:

  • Gauntlet monsters now generate awake
  • A new round of unrand revisions has begun in earnest:
    • Wucad Mu no longer provides evocable channeling. Instead, with a chance depending on evocations, it refunds the MP cost of the spell. There is a chance of confusion or intelligence drain (which scales on spell cost and evocations skill) when a spell is refunded.
    • The cloak of the Thief is changed from +Fog to *Fog, creating fog when the player is hit.
    • The Majin-Bo loses Archmagi, and instead gives a chance for any cast spell to be vampiric, healing the caster for damage done to living creatures.
    • The shield of Resistance is now a +2 kite shield {rF++ rC++ MR++}.
  • Rampaging can now appear as an artefact property on all armour types. Enjoy your rampaging octopodes, courtesy of Implojin!
  • Staves of energy are removed.
  • chequers has finished his project to add cloud rings to Pandemonium lords. There’s now a chance that pan lords will come with a ring of one of the following clouds: flame, ice, thunder, chaos, mutation, draining, acid, or miasma. The chance is much higher for melee pan lords, and the cloud will often flavorfully match the pan lord’s melee brand. Watch out for Faroclos, armed with a chaotic touch and surrounded by clouds of chaos!
  • Not content to let chequers have all the fun, first-time contributor amcnicky sent in some new Pandemonium lord tiles.

There’s much more planned before we arrive at 0.26, so stay tuned for the latest and don’t hesitate to get involved yourself. Until next time, happy crawling!

The trunk update sneers, “Beg for mercy, thou defiled idle-headed gnoll-tail!”

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Trunk Updates 5 August 2020

Clouds of trunk updates condense around you!

Hello crawlers, and welcome to another round of trunk updates, fresh from the Citadel in the Iron City.

The biggest change this week is the introduction of the malevolent chronology of Zot. One of food’s many (badly executed) purposes was a forward progress clock; in the absence of any such clock tedious optimal strategies crept in, of the kind that we on the devteam categorically prefer to prevent (check out the philosophy section of the manual for an elaboration). The Zot clock is a rather loose clock, but should you tarry too long Zot will find you, and rapidly end you. The hope is that this clock is sufficiently loose that only the most egregious behavior gets caught by it. Since this is trunk there will be further tuning.

Read on for the remainder of the tweaks, shifts, and ever seething chaos of trunk

  • Contamination now decays three times faster.
  • Scarves of shadows now only reduce LOS by 1, instead of a multiplicative factor.
  • The rat skin cloak is changed from evocable +Rats to a passive *Rats, summoning rats when the wearer is hit.
  • Ripostes no longer trigger hydra-head chopping, *Rage, or Minotaur headbutts.
  • Phantom Mirrors and Boxes of Beasts now recharge on XP, mirrors have a single charge and boxes have three charges.
  • A new misc evoker condenser vanes replace wands of clouds. Condenser Vanes have 4 charges and create clouds on and around monsters in view, with the clouds scaling in power similar to the old wand of clouds.
  • Wanderers now have a chance to start with any of the XP charged misc evokers.
That’s all for now, but for a preview of what’s in the pipeline: hellmonk has promised us a good look at Demonspawn mutations, chequers continues to add maniacal and twisted powers to the lords of pandemonium, further tweaks and shifts to evocations are under consideration, and another round of unrand tweaks is starting to shape up. As always, if you’ve got some ideas come by ##crawl-dev or check out our GitHub for how to contribute!
The now-empty trunk updates crumble to dust.
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Trunk Updates 29 July 2020

You rampage towards the trunk updates!

Hello crawlers, and welcome to the last trunk updates post of July 2020.

The past month saw some giant changes to crawl; in the past week things have slowed down a little bit, and some of the devteam’s focus has shifted to interface and polish while the dust settles. For our visually impaired players, this means some new accessibility improvements:

  • The Ctrl-x view description command now works from any targeting prompt. When used while targeting it lists only valid targets in range.
  • A new option: travel_one_unsafe_move. Set this option to true to allow auto-travel to take one step towards its goal before performing the usual safety checks. With this option, you can use auto travel to quickly navigate to stairs or a waypoint even when in danger!
  • A new option: monster_item_view_features. This is a regex list option, any feature that matches a pattern in the list will be included in the Ctrl-x view description.
We’ve also been busy merging contributions from community members:
  • A new boot ego: rampaging comes to us from Implojin. Boots of rampaging cause the wearer to take an extra step whenever they move in the direction of a foe (whether they want to or not!).
  • Thanks to rjcrjcKobolds now have the Nightstalker 3 mutation from the start, while Demonspawn no longer have the Nightstalker facet as an available mutation.
And of course, a scattering of other tweaks, shifts, and adjustments:
  • Artificers no longer start with a spectral club; farewell to the brief experiment.
  • Item stacks are now fully visible from anywhere in LOS, and no longer require visiting.
  • The Cloud Mage has learned to fly.
  • Beastly Appendage now merges only helmets and boots, not the full set of aux armour.
  • Formicids can no longer use Wu Jian martial moves while digging (sorry twelwe).
You squash the trunk updates like the proverbial ant!!!!!
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Trunk Updates 20 July 2020

You start singing a song of trunk updates…

Hello Crawlers, and welcome to a charming round of trunk updates fresh from the ever churning chaos of the changelog abyss!

The big news this update is that the long awaited Charms overhaul has arrived. For many years the devteam has tossed around different ideas for what to do with charms, and the school had become quite thin and unfocussed because of a fundamental tension: pure buff spells don’t fit well with crawl’s MP and tactical systems. Some forks experimented with various “permabuff” systems that reserved max-MP, but to us these felt more like items. The result of all this is that the Charms school and skill are no more. The remaining spells in the school have either moved to other schools of magic or to item effects. Without any charms to cast, Skalds have sung their last and are removed. Here are the spell changes:

  • Ozocubu’s Armour is now Ice only.
  • Swiftness is now Air only.
  • Death’s Door is now Necromancy only and Level 9.
  • Excruciating Wounds is now Necromancy only, prevents unwielding your weapon for the duration, and applies a Wizardry penalty as well as noise.
  • Battlesphere is now Conjurations only and its targeting has been adjusted to work with all Conjurations school spells other than Servitor.
  • Song of Slaying is now Transmutations and renamed Wereblood; the noise is reduced somewhat.
  • Infusion, Shroud of Golubria, Spectral Weapon, Darkness, and Ring of Flames are removed.

Then there are the new or revised items that take up some of the old charm effects:

  • A new scarf of shadows that reduces LOS and acts as a spell power de-enhancer, stacking with nightstalker and the robe of night, replacing Darkness.
  • A new spectral weapon ego appearing on clubs, giant (spiked) clubs, staves, and two-handed randarts that on hit summons a spectral weapon to fight along side the wielder. The strength of the spectral weapon scales with evocations.
  • The salamander hide armour loses +Rage and gains a fire spell enhancer, ring of flame clouds, and rC– picking up Ring of Flames’ old effect.

These changes of course led to background tweaks, other than the removal of Skalds:

  • Artificers now start with better defensive skills, no weapon skill, and a spectral club in place of the short sword.
  • Transmuters no longer start with arrows, and Wereblood replaces Sticks to Snakes in the starting book.

It wouldn’t be trunk without a host of other changes, so let’s take a look:

  • Gozag no longer offers flight potions in petition and occasionally offers lignification.
  • Viewing a monster with xv now shows to-hit chance with your current weapon.
  • The “view stack/pickup key” ; can be pressed twice to force autopickup even in unsafe situations.
  • Beastly Appendage now melds auxilliary armour slots, weapons, and shields, and gives two levels of both Horns and Talons (octopodes keep their tentacle spike) instead of randomly choosing.
  • Alistair’s Intoxication prompts when nothing in view can be affected, always applies Vertigo when successful, and has a higher power cap.
  • Sticks to Snakes is removed.
  • Palentonga charge now provides a to-hit bonus as well as the damage bonus.

That’s all for now. Still on the horizon is a look at Kobolds; for a preview look out for the kobold-nightstalker experimental on CPO and possibly coming soon to CKO. Beyond that who knows what might emerge from the seething chaos! Until next time, happy crawling!

As the wereblood boils in your veins your song becomes a howl!!! 

0.25.1 bugfix release

We have just uploaded the 0.25.1 bugfix release, available on the download page. Thanks to all the many contributors who helped with this release, including patches and bug reports!

Highlights (Full commit list via github):

  • Artefacts from acquirement now leave a note in morgues.
  • Scarf of harm is fixed.
  • Foxfire will no longer attack out of LoS.
  • Stacking from empty Nemelex decks is no longer possible.
  • Wizlab entry now generates a milestone / note again.
  • Fix a bug where cloud generators triggered on load when no time had passed, leading to a different cloud arrangement from saving + reloading.
  • Seeded play fixes for seed instability in a few cases, as well as crashes related to seed stability and pregeneration code.
  • Several speedups for dungeon rendering, especially in zigs.
  • Sprint 3 cloud generators have been retuned.
  • Improvements to the behavior of restart_after_save (on by default since 0.25.0).
  • Using [] in map view from stairs to view other levels now correctly finds the matching stairs.
  • Crashes to do with annotation, off-level map view, and custom flashes have been fixed.
  • It is no longer possible for a bug to cause the player to drown or fall into lava, emergency flight will be activated instead.

Updating is recommended for all players. Happy crawling, and report more bugs here!

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Trunk Updates 13 July 2020

The trunk updates roll forward with a clatter of scales!

Hello crawlers, and welcome to the first trunk update of the 0.26 cycle. There’s been a flurry of activity in trunk since the end of the tournament, and I’m excited to bring you the latest from Geh:7. Before diving into the details, I want to highlight two major changes that arrived just as this post was going to press, as well as something that’s unfolded over the past week.

The first is a new species: Palentonga. Palentongas are a two-armed, four-legged, scaled mammal species the size of a horse. Their special power is the ability to curl into a ball and launch a rolling charge at enemies, dealing extra damage proportionate to the distance traveled. Palentongas have flat melee apts, slightly weak spell apts and fairly weak ranged apts. They have +3 base AC and extra HP, along with an aux attack – an upgraded tail slap. They wear bardings (which have been merged into a single item type, shared with nagas). Stats skew towards strength and away from dex, to give the ‘large race’ feeling. Palentonga have deformed body and bad armour/dodging apts. In the Lore, Palentonga are an up-and-coming power, displacing the orcs, trolls, and ogres of the eastern wastes. Their generals ride elephants into battle, goading them forward with spiked ankuses.

The second is a new background: Delver. Shaft traps are fun. What if you had a background that started shafted all the way to D:5, and needed to find their way back up to survive? To make it fair, you start with a nice set of consumables: a wand of digging, scrolls of mapping, fear, and fog, and a potion of haste.

Finally, several aspects of the game have been touched with the long-hungered for removal of food and hunger mechanics. That’s right, no more eating, no more butchering, no more spell or ability hunger, and no more rations.

What happened to Ghouls with the removal of chunks? Well, read on gentle crawler, read on…

  • Crimson Imps no longer spawn in D, and Shadow Imps less often (not at all after D:10); in their place White Imps and Ufetubi chase adventurers.
  • Shadows and Wights no longer spawn in Crypt; replaced with flying skulls, necromancers, and wraiths.
  • Spider is now ambiently quiet, apart from the unsettling clatter of chitin.
  • Evocations skill no longer grants max MP.
  • Banishment (from Lugonu or distortion) grants full XP.
  • Wizards have been renamed Hedge Wizards; they now start with a dagger and 2/6/4 stat modifiers.
  • Conjurers start with -1/10/3 stat modifiers that Wizards used to have.
  • Assassins have been renamed Brigands.
  • Ghouls, no longer able to eat chunks, now heal when they kill the living.
  • Centaurs have galloped out of the game and are removed.
  • Deep Elves‘ bow aptitude is increased to +3 for all you longbow enthusiasts.
  • Nemelex has removed the shaft card from their decks, and the self-banishment chance from the exile card.
  • Amulets are now slow to equip; guardian spirit, acrobat, and reflection no longer need to attune to the wearer.
  • Pikel’s minions are now lemures, demons that depart this plane if you free them from Pikel.
  • Spiny Frogs have been renamed Cane Toads for the authentic Australian experience™.
  • Pandemonium lords’ spells and melee flavours have been adjusted; melee focused lords have now learned a few position-altering spells so watch out!
  • Hungry ghosts hunger no more, because they’re removed.
  • Conjure Ball Lightning now summons a fixed number of balls, with damage scaling with spellpower.
  • Necromancy ally spells have been adjusted:
    • Animate Skeleton and Animate Dead animated remains have a reduced duration. The durability of skeletons and zombies produced by these spells scales with spellpower. Animate Skeleton now animates the nearest skeleton, without requiring the caster to stand on it.
    • Death Channel spectral things have a reduced duration, and all spectral things vanish when Death Channel expires.
    • Infestation scarabs have a reduced duration.
  • Aura of Abjuration, Recall, and Summon Butterflies are removed.
Looking forward, on the horizon is a Charms overhaul, a look at Kobolds, and much much more, so stay tuned.
Until next time, Happy Crawling!
Your dreadful hunger subsides.

0.25 Tournament Results

The 0.25 tournament is over. On behalf of the Dev Team, many thanks to all the server admins, outside contributors, bug reporters, and to the many DCSS players who made the 0.25 release and tournament possible! For 16 days, players could compete for tournament points and banners by playing 0.25 games on the public servers. This was the first tournament held with a major revision of the tournament rules, and there will be discussion threads on the tavern and dcss subreddit to collect feedback on the tournament rules.

This post is going to focus on the results. First, a few highlights from the player and clan results. For comprehensive results with first through fifth place winners in all categories, please see the tournament overview page.

The winning player was Yermak with 5,819 points. Over the course of the tournament, Yermak won 44 games, including a streak of 17 games and a low-turncount world record of 8,783 turns (Sapher, the previous record holder has reclaimed the throne with a post tournament 8,331 turn win). In second place was shummie with 4,235 points and 20 wins, including the lowest XL win with an XL 15 SpEn and a 52 Ziggurat mega-zigging character. Rounding out the top 3 was Flugkiller with 3,513 points and 14 wins, including the first win of the tournament 35 minutes and 32 seconds after the tournament started with a duration of 35 minutes and 12 seconds.

The new tournament format divided scoring in to several categories, and our top three took several of the top spots in these categories. They weren’t the only players at the top of the leaderboard. Yermak maxed out the Piety category, championing and winning every god over the tournament. The Unique Harvesting category included player ghosts, and by diving Ziggurats for player ghosts ehdcjf2142 won the category with 1,332 points. Long time crawl dev elliptic topped the tournament Win Rate category, with an impressive 90.91% adjusted win-rate, winning all 10 games played over the tournament. Yermak had the longest streak, and tied for second place were GordonOverkill and MrMan with 13 game streaks each. Acrobat was the master of Nemelex’ Choice, winning 25 choice combos over the tournament. Yermak also took the Combo High Scores category with 62 points (21 combo high scores, 20 of which were won, 4 species high scores and 3 background high scores), followed by aperiodic with 34 points (17 combo high scores, 6 of which were won, and the Spriggan and Ice Elementalist high scores). It should be no surprise that Yermak continues to top category leaderboards, with the highest score of the tournament (56,717,235 points); followed by Flugkiller (51,589,384 points) and aperiodic (45,485,504 points). I already mentioned Yermak’s turn-count world record; EnegeticOcto came in second place for best turn-count win, completing a game in 10,320 turns itself one of the lowest turn-count runs of all time. p0werm0de topped the fastest real-time win category with an impressive 24:20 win. Our top players were also at the top of the Low XL-win leaderboard; shummie at XL 15, Yermak at XL 16, followed by EnegeticOcto and sentinel who both posted XL 17 wins. Flugkiller heralded the start of the tournament with his first win; the first all-rune win came from p0werm0de a mere 40 minutes after that. shummie and Flugkiller topped the Ziggurat Dive leaderboard, followed by ehdcjf2142′s 26 consecutive Ziggurat dive for 3rd place. Finally, Ge0ff and shummie were the only two players to complete all tier 3 banners both finishing the tournament with a perfect Banner Score.

The clan competition was won by TeamSplat (captained by mandevil) with 7,007 points who topped the Piety, Harvesting, Combo High score, and Banner Score categories, as well as had several top players (including shummie). They were followed by FSTVLKers (captained by EnegeticOcto) with 6,563 points and Stick to Your Gods (Yermak’s one-player-clan). Overall 142 clans scored points in the tournament (compared to 143 in the 0.24 tournament).

Several of the clan categories simply gave the clan credit for their best player’s performance in a category, so I won’t recap those. The Piety, Unique Harvesting, Combo High Score, Nemelex’ Choice, and Banner Score categories were scored as a collective effort among clan members. In the Piety category, FSTVLKersMake_Beogh_Great_AgainStick to Your Gods, and TeamSplat all championed and won every god over the tournament. TeamSplat topped the Unique Harvesting category, followed by FSTVLKers and Gozags Lazy Faire fiscal policy. TeamSplat also finished first in Combo High Scores, followed by Stick to Your Gods and BLACK LIVES MATTER. FSTVLKers took the trophy for Nemelex’ Choice winning 31 Nemelex’ Choice combos between them, followed by Make_Beogh_Great_Again with 27 combos. Finally three clans completed (as a clan effort) all tier 3 banners to tie for first in Banner Score: TeamSplat, FSTVLKers, and Gozags Lazy Faire fiscal policy.

In both the individual and clan categories competition was fierce. Flugkiller came out to an early lead with his first-win points, and throughout most of the tournament held close to Yermak from 2nd place, until being edged out by shummie in the final days of the event. The Clan category followed similarly, with a fierce battle between Flugkiller’ FSTVLKers and mandevil’s TeamSplat (which had shummie as a member).

Thank you to everyone for playing, for your patience with the delayed start, and for your bug finding in the new tournament pages. I hope you enjoyed the new format, and look forward to reading your commentary in the discussion threads on the tavern and reddit.

To close out, here are some overall tournament statistics (with the 0.24 numbers in brackets for comparison). 2,947 players started a game and earned a point in some category; of those 2,772 completed a game in a non-boring way. This definition of “player” (players who completed a non-boring game) is used for subsequent calculations and was used for the 0.24 statistics.

  • Players: 2,772 (0.24: 2,880)
  • Total player time: 34,433 hrs (0.24: 35,422 hrs)
  • Avg player time: 12.4 hrs (0.24: 12.3 hrs)
  • Games played: 62,125 (0.24: 63,048)
  • Players who got a rune: 1010 (0.24: 1046)
  • 548 winners and 1871 wins (0.24: 540 winners and 1930 wins)
  • Win rate: 3.01% (0.24: 3.06%)
  • Proportion of players using WebTiles: 95.9% (0.24: 95.5%)
The 0.26 season is off to a rapid start with retired dev PleasingFungus sending in some neat ideas and several projects that were started just before the tournament receiving attention. Watch this space for further developments as the trunk update posts from the 0.26 cycle begin to flow.
Until next time, happy crawling!
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0.25 “Magic Surges Out from Thin Air”

We are pleased to announce the release of Dungeon Crawl: Stone Soup 0.25 “Magic Surges Out from Thin Air”!

DCSS 0.25 features an overhaul of many spells to make spell schools more distinct and positioning more relevant for spell users, a simplification of the miscast system for when those new spells go wrong, a new style of acquirement scroll, and numerous user interface improvements including new options designed to make crawl more accessible for visually impaired crawlers. For a full list of significant changes, please see the changelog for the 0.25 branch.

Download DCSS 0.25 here (updating momentarily) or here, or play it online on one of many servers across the world! Packages for Windows, OS X, and Linux are all available now. (Debs coming very soon.)

The tournament starts today, 20:00 UTC Friday 12 June with all online 0.25 games counting towards your score. See the tournament page for more details, including how to join or set-up a clan. Clan membership changes remain open until 20:00 UTC Friday 17 June.

Many thanks to all those who have contributed to DCSS over the years. A special thanks to the following community members who contributed to DCSS 0.25 and a warm welcome to the first-time contributors, listed in italics. (Let us know if someone is missing, this data is tricky to collect in bulk!)

aaronegolden, AdamPG, Alex Jurkiewicz, Andrew York, Benoit Giannangeli, Byrel Mitchell, Clare Boothby, David Damerell, Emily, Gabriel Marks, Goratrix, hellmonk, Implojin, István Markó, James Buck, kitchen-ace, klorpaNathan Mills, mwvdev, Nikolai Lavsky, nirrattnerPeter Gerlagh, Psymania, Quipyowert2, riverfiendRojjaCebolla, sdynet, Skrybe, shummie, theJollySin, Umer Shaikh, zuurr

0.25 Tournament Delayed But Tournament Page Now Available

Hello crawlers. The ongoing protests in the United States and elsewhere have greatly limited the availability of some community members, including those working on the new tournament project, to do DCSS things. Although we’ve basically completed the tournament script changes and could run the tournament on time, it wouldn’t be fair to those people participating in protests or those just trying to deal with this difficult situation. To that end, we are delaying the start of the 0.25 tournament for one week until June 12th, 8pm UTC, and it will run for 16 days until June 28th, 8pm UTC. We’re sorry for the abrupt change of start date, but sometimes there are more important concerns.

That said, we do have a new tournament page populated with test data from online 0.25 games that you can take a look at now:

https://crawl.develz.org/tournament/0.25/

This will give you a chance to become better acquainted with the new rule set, but just as importantly you can help us find bugs and give suggestions for improvements! If you’re a UX expert with experience in the relevant technologies, check out the new-scoring branch in our repository of the tournament source code and consider making a pull request. Everyone can feel free to leave constructive feedback for the tournament pages in comments on this post or in your favorite venue for crawl discussion where you see devs lurking! We’ll continue finishing up the scripts and fixing bugs over the next week. Note that any games you see listed on the page above are just test data, and the database will be reset before start of tournament.

The 0.25 release will be made available for download at some point before June 12, and we’ll make an announcement when that happens. Thanks again for your understanding, and we hope you all are staying safe. Hopefully, in a week’s time, we’ll be ready to begin our quest to obtain a fabled artefact, the Orb of Zot!

Last 0.25 Updates and Release/Tournament Date

The 0.25 Updates mumble some strange words. The 0.25 Updates miscasts Dragon Form. The 0.25 Updates are flooded with distortional energies!

Greetings fellow crawlers, it’s time for a quick 0.25 update with the last changes that snuck in before the 0.25 feature freeze. All changes since May 22 have been balance changes and fixes to existing content rather than the addition of significant new features. But before we get to those changes, let’s talk about the release and tournament dates.

The 0.25 release will be Friday, June 5th, with the 0.25 tournament starting at 8pm UTC that same day. We don’t don’t yet have a rules page installed on this server, seeing as how ebering, chequers, advil, and (eventually, I promise!) myself are at work on the new scoring scripts. Until then, check out the writeup ebering made that describes the new rules in detail. We’ll be sure to make a follow-up post once that page is available.

Now for those last 0.25 updates. Please note that these are only the changes since that last Trunk Update. Please see the changelog for the full set of 0.25 changes:

  • Transmutations miscasts have been reworked to remove the bad form polymorphs, given the player more contamination instead. Given how often I see you all quaffing lignification before death, I’m surprised more of you didn’t enjoy becoming a tree!
  • Allies no longer stay out of the player’s line of fire. The ranged AI was updated previously to have monsters give ranged allies a clear path to hit their foes, but having them do this for the player’s line of fire proved annoying for the most common scenarios. This functionality might return in some way in the future, if we can work out a good method and UI.
  • Xom is now stimulated when you worship from a faded altar. Just a little gift to the people crazy enough to use those contraptions. Xom, of course, thinks you’re all hilarious.
  • Trove fees have been adjusted to not ask for potions of stabbing and to add possible fees for scrolls of fear and fog.
  • Formicids can no longer cast the Swiftness spell. Look, we don’t want you crawling away that easily. Try a shaft instead!
  • Paralysis, sleep, and confusion status icons are now shown for allies.
  • Many new random artefact description words have been added. Nouns, verbs, adjectives, you name it!
  • Tiles have finally been added for Cigotuvi’s Embrace, Hood of the Assassin, and Tins of Tremorstones. What, you didn’t like those fancy TO/DO icons?

The stone_soup-0.25 branch is available in the repository, but hasn’t been installed on servers yet. This will change in coming days, and at that point you can help us test the 0.25 beta. Until then, please report any bugs you notice in trunk (now 0.26 alpha!) on github or mantis. As always, and until next time, happy crawling!

Trunk Updates 15 May 2020 and tentative 0.25 release tournament info

The trunk updates explode into fragments!

Hello crawlers and welcome to the last featureful trunk update of the 0.25 cycle. We’re entering into feature freeze today, the remaining time before the 0.25 Release and Tournament will be devoted to bug fixes, balance tweaks, and polish—as well as implementing a new tournament scoring system. You can give your feedback on the proposed new system on the tavern. Tentatively the 0.25 Tournament will start on either May 29 or June 5, depending on the implementation of the new scoring system.

So as you oil up those tab keys and clean your monitors, lets look at the very latest round of changes you’ll face in the upcoming release (stay tuned for the full 0.25 changelog! edit: since this post is getting shared and continues to be confusing to people reading it out of context; this list is not a 0.25 changelog, but rather a trunk update covering just the last few weeks or so):

  • Abyss exits that spawn from earning xp can spawn after the initial spawn, instead of every subsequent spawn being a downstair.
  • A few Nemelex cards have changed:
    • The Pain card no longer summons flayed ghosts, instead it torments monsters at high power (not the card user, though)
    • The cloud card now places vision obscuring black smoke instead of damaging clouds
  • Tins of Tremorstones are now an XP charged evocable with 3 charges that scales with evocations and automatically targets the center of all visible monsters. Wands of Scattershot have been removed.
  • Several amulet, scarf, and cloak egos have been shuffled or adjusted:
    • Gourmand, Harm, and Rage amulets are no more.
    • Amulets of reflection now attune at full HP and give +5 SH. Additionally, piety is now properly given for reflected missiles, banishment, and poison damage.
    • Scarves of cloud immunity and spirit shield are removed; new scarf egos harm and invisibility are added.
    • Invisibility cloaks are no more (you need a scarf for that now!); cloaks can now grant stealth or preservation (corrosion resistance).
  • Jewelry with plusses now get constant plus values: strength, intelligence, and dexterity rings give either +6 or -4; protection, evasion, and slaying rings give either +4 or -4.
  • Summon Lightning Spire now places the spire on a random square.
  • Malign Gateway tentacles can no longer attack out of LOS and appear sooner after casting.
  • Scrolls of acquirement are now cancelable, allowing you to fully inspect your character, stash, etc. before making a decision. When you reread the scroll, you’ll get the same choices until you make a final selection.
  • Leech is now a (cosmetic) sloppy eater: large hits will sometimes turn monsters into large blood explosions!
  • Sceptre of Torment can now be used with spectral weapon. You’d just better be undead unless you want your spectral weapon to torment you!
  • An ASCII screenshots section has been added to morgues, and a screenshot is made there every time you take a note with the : key.
  • Target acquisition for the Foxfire and Conjure Ball Lightning spells has been improved so they only acquire targets within player LOS.
  • Formicids can no longer cast the spell Swiftness.
  • The option auto_butcher defaults to true and the option auto_butcher_max_chunks now defaults to 10.
  • The option explore_auto_rest now defaults to true.
  • Several usability improvements for visually impaired players have been implemented.
That wraps it up for this set of trunk updates. Stay tuned for more tournament details and until next time, happy crawling!
The burst of trunk updates engulfs you!! Ouch! That really hurt…

Trunk Updates 1 May 2020

You miscast the trunk update. You are blasted with magical energy!!!!!!!

Hello crawlers. The 0.25 development cycle continues apace. Expect an announcement about a forthcoming release and tournament within the month.

This round of updates comes with an overhaul of the spell miscast system, to couple with the magic overhaul of this version. Miscasts have been thoroughly simplified, to the point that the effect of miscasting a spell can be included in its description! Read on for details and the scoop on the latest from the Iron City.

  • Zot traps have had their effect flowchart replaced with an effect table with a more focused list of awful terrible things to do to the player.
  • The Wu Jian Council met in executive session and tweaked some of their martial arts. Wall jumps move only to the ‘a’bility menu, movement triggering is no more. Whirlwind attacks no longer pin. Heavenly Storm has had its slaying mechanics simplified.
  • With miscasts simplified Xom now finds them boring and has turned their attention to summoning more demons on low level players.
  • As a prelude to the miscast changes several gods no longer use miscasts in their retribution. The new wraths are:
    • Trog replaces fire miscasts with pure fireballs in her fiery rage.
    • Lugonu exchanges translocations miscasts with a chance to banish, summon Abyssal things, or teleport the penitent to nearby monsters.
    • Cheibriados replaces miscasts with a chime on their clock before putting the player to sleep at high tension, and stat damage at low tension.
    • Fedhas’ elemental damage is now more focused: a corrosive bolt, a primal wave, or a thorn volley await those who would trample the flowers.
    • Yredelemnul prefers the simplicity of a bolt of draining to necromancy miscasts.
    • Kikubaaqudgha will still impose necromancy miscasts on those who attempt to use necromancy while under penance; for outright retribution they now apply the same ancient and terrible death curses used by mummies.
  • The scythe of Curses also replaces necromancy miscasts with death curses.
  • The distortion brand no longer teleports on hit; unwielding a distortion weapon has a chance to teleport the unwieldier to nearby monsters, contaminate, or banish.
  • Regeneration items (troll armour, artifacts) must attune to a player before granting their effect. No more carrying TLA to swap while resting!
  • Mummies have consulted the book of death and determined that necromancy miscasts no longer suit their vengeful needs. Death curses are now their own effect table, separate from miscasts. Kikubaaqudgha was involved as well, and still protects loyal followers from curses.
  • New monster: nameless horror. Nameless horrors are brought into the world by summoning miscasts, have an antimagic attack and abjure other summons as a natural ability.
  • Absolute Zero has been reduced to a fixed range of 5 (up to 6 with Vehumet), the noise now scales with power down to 0 at maximum power.
  • Leda’s Liquefaction regains its slow movement penalty, but the caster remains immune to its effects on melee combat.
  • Deflect Missiles has been removed. The tedious-but-optimal armour-wizardy-int dance has danced its last!
  • Lesser Beckoning and Teleport Other now turn allies hostile.
  • Tukima’s Dance cannot be used by Ru followers who have sacrificed Love.
  • Two new Gauntlet maps are live: one presents a sequence of arenas, after each you can chose to press your luck or turn and face the minotaur. The other has a choke point in the sequence: there is only one middle arena in the three-arena-sequence to the minotaur.
  • Miscast effects have been simplified. When miscasting a spell, the player receives magical contamination, and if the miscast is bad enough an additional effect that scales with the spell’s current failure chance. These effects vary by school as follows (compare to the old miscast effects, which could you even correctly lists all of them without a source dive?). For damaging effects the damage message is punctuated like other damage messages.
    • Charms and Hexes: debuff and slow
    • Summoning: durably summon a nameless horror
    • Translocation: dimension anchor
    • Transmutation: polymorph
    • Conjuration: irresistible AC-ignoring damage
    • Elemental schools: school flavored damage (Earth magic does fragmentation damage like Lee’s Rapid Destruction).
  • Monsters on D:1 are now back asleep, after briefly getting into the coffee.
That’s all for now, so until next time happy crawling!
Desperate hands claw out at the trunk update. A nameless horror comes into view. The trunk update vanishes in a puff of smoke!

Trunk Updates – 31 March 2020

You mumbles some strange words. You chill the trunk update to absolute zero! The trunk update is frozen into a solid block of ice!

Greetings fellow crawlers, it’s time for another Trunk Update. The 0.25 development cycle is slowly winding to a close, but we have some changes for you to try out, with more to come! Expect a release and tournament in the next month or two, barring any unforeseen delays. As always, we’ll make an announcement once we have a date in mind. This update features a couple larger changes we’ll give some extra detail about, along with some smaller updates described further below.

First up is the new L9 Ice spell Absolute Zero, which replaces the L9 Ice/Conj Glaciate spell. Level 9 spells are tricky to get right since they cost so much XP, yet we want to give players a reason to learn them. We also want these spells to be both distinct from the other L9 spells and relevant to their school; the latter is especially a focus with our spell changes this version. Glaciate fits reasonably into the Ice theme we’ve established, being a “diffuse” AOE spell, but it has too many similarities with Fire Storm yet functions like a worse version of that spell! Where Fire Storm is one of the best ways to kill monsters safely, Glaciate requires close proximity to be effective, and is far less good at blocking monster movement and line-of-fire.

Instead of reworking Glaciate and likely ending up with something similar to Fire Storm, so we went for more distinctiveness with Absolute Zero. This spell kills the closest target, leaving behind an ice block. It chooses randomly among the closest monsters if there’s a tie by distance. This kill is unconditional, so it works on everything from orbs of fire to Cerebov! The positional aspect comes getting the right monsters close enough when multiple monsters are involved, which is usually the case for dangerous fights late in the game. Absolute Zero might feel too cheesy at its max range, which scales with spellpower up to 7. We may reduce the range to a fixed lower value of, say, 5, and have noise scale down with spellpower instead. The latter aspect was in fact part of hellmonk’s original implementation of this spell. Thanks to him for that patch as well as other Discord regulars for discussing the idea.

Next we have a round of item removals; that’s right, the dreaded r-word! On the chopping block are: lamp of fire, sack of spiders, fan of gales, crystal ball of energy, and staff of power. See the links for kate’s brief description of why each item was removed. The crystal ball and staff of power removals won’t surprise many long time crawl players. The former is notoriously useless in most situations and the latter is an annoying swap with an effect duplicated by other equipment. As an aside, we’d like all magical staves to have a good melee effect; see below regarding staves of poison and Olgreb, and look out for similar changes (or removals!) in the future.

Regarding the other removed items, we want the set of evocables be relevant reasonably often, as distinct as possible, and not too numerous. The fan of gales was an escape item you’d use very infrequently, and this game already provides so many escape consumables, spells, abilities, and god powers. The lamp was a strong item, yet its design was underwhelming, as kate says. Its notorious targeter was awful to use in open spaces, and while it was very good in corridors, we already have an evocable that makes clouds and which is good in both open and closed areas. The sack was a very strong item, like all summoning consumables, but the summons it created aren’t memorable, at least not until getting ghost moths at high evocations. We have a bunch of other consumable items that create interesting summons and that everyone has to carry around as things are. The sack’s net effect might show up on some future item or ability, but not attached to summons.

These removals make the remaining evocables feel more distinct, free up a lot of item slots, and reduce the cognitive load in a game with such a large number of items. Speaking of loadstones, if you’ve been using the new tin of tremorstones and found it underwhelming, have no fear. We’ll be taking a look at these and seeing how they can be improved before release. Now, for the rest of the changes:

  • Phial of floods now applies a silencing “waterlogged” debuff to all monsters in the flooded area and no longer summons water elementals. So you can still get those cool silencing debuff on monsters, just without so much accompanying summoning cheese.
  • D:1 level spawns can no longer generate within LOS distance of the player’s starting position. A surprising nerf to tiny arrival vaults, to be sure, but a welcome one.
  • Potions of Brilliance now only provide a stronger universal spell enhancer and remove spell hunger. They no longer provide an Int bonus nor wizardry.
  • Staves of poison now do resistable poison damage on hit like other staves instead of just having a chance to poison.
  • The Staff of Olgreb now has a chance to deal poison-arrow flavored damage on hit, based on evocations skill. It no longer has an additional chance to cast Venom Bolt on top of casting OTR when evoked. Once again, I await kills from the Gauntlet minotaur wielding this.
  • Potions of Might no longer provide a bonus to strength. Don’t worry, the 1d10 bonus damage remains, and that’s the really good part.
  • The Dragonskin Cloak now provides rCorr instead of sticky flame resistance. Waiting for the complaints to roll in from the die-hard rSticky fans.
  • The -Tele property no longer appears on artefact weapons and jewellery. Sorry, no more cheesing those Zot traps with your -Tele stick!
  • Ziggurats now have a level set featuring many player ghosts. Zig ghosts are back! Accompanying them are a variety of undead assistants. This set replaces the “draining” monster set, since that idea is well covered by this new set and the existing ones.
  • Frozen Ramparts has its radius of effect reduced to 2 and its damage was slightly reduced. Even with the removal of the monster slow movement debuff, I found this spell to be too strong, doing lots of damage over huge areas in many situations. With these nerfs, Ramparts feels like it has damage more appropriate to a level 3 spell.
  • Many arrival vaults have been reworked to allow better player tactics. After all, tactics are important, or so the wiki guides say.
  • All Evocable items can no longer be used by the player while confused. Target fuzzing, be gone!
  • Trog now hates use of all magical staves and pain weapons. On the upside, Troglodytes won’t get offered these by scrolls of acquirement!
  • Nemelex abilities can no longer be used while silenced. This was a loophole from when decks used to be items. Remember those long gone days?
  • Call Imp no longer bases the type of imp summoned on spellpower. Don’t worry, this spell is still really good, crimson imps included!
  • The WebTiles server has seen a major overhaul and now supports python 3 as well as Tornado 5+. Thanks to advil, aidanh, and chequers for all their work on this development and testing. More WebTiles updates will be rolled out after testing, with work to come from aidanh on making it easier for us to upgrade server chroots. That way we can have a modern development toolchain on every server.

Play-testing trunk is always appreciated, especially as the release gets closer. Please report any bugs you find on mantis or on the github issues page. I myself had great fun ascending a merfolk ice elementalist to experience all the changes to ice magic; looking forward to trying a fire elementalist or venom mage next. Look out for more trunk changes and likely another Trunk Updates before next release. So until next time, Happy Crawling!

Trunk Updates – 21 February 2020

You quaff a potion. It was a potion of stabbing. You feel ready to backstab. You open the trunk update like a pillowcase!

Greetings fellow crawlers. The 0.25 development cycle has proved to be a busy one, so we’re back with another Trunk Update. Many of us usual suspects have been hard at work bringing you some new toys to play with. I’m also happy to note that PleasingFungus has recently returned to drop some new crawl creations of his own. How he managed to escape from the dreaded Tower of Lemuel, we’ll never know!

Now, on with the update:

  • Frozen Ramparts, a new L3 Ice spell that makes all walls within radius 3 become covered in icicles that release when a monster walks nearby. The icicles do light damage that checks AC but is only partly resistable. Affected monsters additionally receive a “frozen” debuff that slows their movement by 4 aut for a few turns. Available now for any Ice Elementalist in their starting book!
  • Tin of Tremorstones, a new multi-use evocable. When used, it creates two radius 2 explosions at range 3 that are triple-affected by AC (like LRD), but the explosions are randomly skewed and may hit the user. Most useful for players with good armour. It has a 33% chance to fall apart with each use. It’s a tin of angry earth elementals waiting to explode!
  • New Potion of Stabbing that gives a 50% chance to upgrade weak stabs (e.g.distracted monsters) to strong ones (e.g. sleeping monsters). I wonder what this potion would taste like?
  • New unrand: Cigotuvi’s Embrace, a +4 leather armour with rN+, rRot and *Drain that automatically gathers corpses to increase AC. The AC decays slowly over time but decays more quickly as more corpses are added. That’s right, the former Cigotuvi’s Embrace spell has returned, but as an unrand!
  • Ledas’ Liquefaction gets a boost: the player is now immune to the effects of liquefied ground made by casting it. With this spell, we can all pretend to be a centaur.
  • Scrolls of Magic Mapping now reveal any floor traps on the level. Now you can feel the pain of finding of a double-zot-trapped Hall of Zot:5 right after you enter the level!
  • The vorpal weapon ego no longer has distinct adjectives for each weapon class. Now all such weapons are described as ‘vorpal’. Vorpality is the new reality.
  • Shields have gotten a reskin. Ordinary shields are renamed to kite shields and large shields have been renamed to tower shields. Sword-and-tower sounds cooler than sword-and-board, in my humble opinion.
  • Confusing Touch is now level 3 and checks MR instead of monster HD. Additionally, the Confuse spell has been removed. Now there’s exactly one “confuse exactly one thing” spell and it’s not so overpowered.
  • Boots of the Assassin are now called the hood of the Assassin and use the headgear slot. Imagine wearing this while quaffing a potion of stabbing and standing next to a distracted Rupert. Nothing personnel, kid.
  • The demon blade Leech gains *Rage/+Rage and loses its AC-3 and EV-3 properties. Bloodbane has been removed, having been merged into Leech.
  • Warlock’s Mirror can now reflect piercing ranged weapons. Is there anything this little gadget can’t do?!
  • God conducts for harming allies now apply to spells and items that place harmful clouds. But don’t worry, demonspawn, your ignite blood mutation won’t anger Oka.
  • The Staff of Olgreb now grants poison immunity to monsters wielding it. The gauntlet minotaur can’t wait to try this out when he next finds Olgreb in his loot pile.
  • Potions of Agility have been removed. Among the less interesting of the many buff potions that fill our inventories, agility potions have been replaced with the more specialized potions of stabbing.
  • Monsters such as spiders can no longer cling. Rest in peace, a myriad of clinging code bugs.

Some of the above items will continue to receive balance adjustments and tweaks over coming weeks. And we’re not done adding new stuff for 0.25, so stay tuned. Until next time, Happy Crawling!

Community Competitions

Hello crawlers!

We occasionally get asked about opportunities for competitive crawling outside of the official release tournaments. Several community members have organized a variety of competitions, and this post aims to point them out.

The Tavern Dart Board

The Dart Board on our official forums is a clearinghouse for community organized competitions as well as discussion of all things competitive crawl. It’s a good first place to go when looking for ongoing competitions and challenges.

The Crawl Cosplay Challenge

Run by kitchen_ace, these challenges give character conducts inspired by crawls many uniques. From the CCC website, “The goal is not to emulate the unique’s behaviour exactly, but to get a good starting point on playing games with interesting requirements. Challenges [...] are suitable for players of all skill levels — the Challenge is about personal achievement rather than competition.” Check them out! The current set (Set 10) is ending, but a new one will begin soon.

Crawl Sudden Death Challenges

Organized in an officially unofficial way by me, based on the popular series originally organized by WalkerBoh, he idea is for players to compete by trying to do as well as possible in a game of Crawl with one attempt only; if you die, that challenge is over. More information and sign-ups can be found on the CSDC website.

DCSS Secret Santa Tournament

Organized by CPO admin chequers (who also offers a weekly challenge seeded run on CPO), this festive adventure comes once a year. Keep an eye out next year when the temperatures start to rise and summer gets into full swing.

Trunk Updates 6 January 2020

Hello crawlers, and welcome to the first batch of trunk updates of 2020. The teams’ celebrations raised quite a bit of Pandemonium, but in the fray several trunk changes appeared. Here’s the latest!

  • A new swamp worm tunnel vault offering a transporter puzzle for your death enjoyment
  • A new Fedhas vs Yredelemnul themed swamp rune vault with a cameo by an undead Lernean Hydra
  • On the back-end we’ve added catch2 testing to the build process
  • Foxfire no longer damage the player when swapping, just dissipate
  • A new abyss-escape themed ghost vault
  • Regeneration has regenerated for the last time, and is removed. Agony replaces it in the book of Necromancy, and Ozocubu’s Armour in the Book of Battle
  • A new unique Maggie enters the dungeon. Maggie is a younger version of Margery, and is a test of reaverb’s new multiple-unique-encounter storytelling approach. Maggie knows Bolt of Fire and Mesmerise, and comes equipped with a light dragon skin and a good weapon. Margery’s dragon armour is upgraded. Both Maggie and Margery have a chance of carrying Wyrmbane, which comes already slightly leveled up!
  • dtsund can send us an “I told you so!”. Scrolls of acquirement now offer a choice of 4-5 items: food (if you eat), gold, and three random choices from the old acquirement categories. These items are fully identified, and you can inspect them before making your choice.
  • However, the miscellaneous category of acquirement has been removed, so you won’t be seeing evocables on the list ever again!

That’s all for now! On the horizon, there are rumors of an upcoming crawl sudden death challenges “soon”, more magic changes, and who knows what manner of twisted sinister changes from the mind of Xom. Happy crawling!

Trunk Updates 10 December 2019 Part II: Magic Changes

Hello crawlers. This is Part II of the trunk updates, you can read Part I here. This post will start with a quick summary of the changes to magic that have landed in trunk, followed by a bit of a discussion of the process that led to them.

The magic changes were aimed at three goals: better differentiate among the magic schools, increase positional considerations in using spells (better differentiation from ranged attacks), and better UI. The changes are in trunk now but will continue to evolve over the 0.25 development cycle as more play testing feedback comes in.

So without further ado, here are the changes (and the spell schools themes).

  • Fire spells are centered around semi-controlled explosions and setting things on fire.
    • A new spell Foxfire (L1 Conjurations/Fire) conjures two foxfire projectiles that home in on the nearest target and burn them. Foxfire replaces Flame Tongue, which is removed.
    • Conjure Flame now creates a cloud of embers at the caster’s position. They ignite into flame if, after the player’s next action, nothing is in the embers cell; or if the player casts the spell a second time.
    • Inner Flame creates a flame cloud under the affected monster whenever they take damage in addition to the explosion on death.
    • A new spell Starburst (L6 Conjurations/Fire) fires a range 5 bolt of fire in each of the principal directions. Starburst replaces Bolt of Fire, which is removed.
    • Throw Flame is removed.
    • Firestorm, Ignition, and Starburst now burn trees, and all squares of a Fireball burn trees as well.
  • Air is bouncy, pointy, and often hard to direct.
    • Airstrike damage now scales with the number of unoccupied cells adjacent to the target.
  • Earth is directed and single target.
    • Borgnjor’s Vile Clutch is now a range 6 beam of hands, instead of a smite-targeted 3×3 explosion.
  • Ice is diffuse and subtle.
    • A new spell Hailstorm (L4 Conjurations/Ice) creates a ring of damaging hail at distance 2 and 3 from the caster. This damage is partly physical but icy monsters are immune. Hailstorm replaces Throw Icicle which is removed.
    • Ozocubu’s Refrigeration is buffed to do more damage and not damage the caster.
    • Throw Frost and Bolt of Cold are removed.
    • Ice Elementalists no longer start with conjurations skill, the extra skill being put into Ice Magic instead.
  • Conjurations are pure magic which have good accuracy in some way.
    • Iskenderun’s Mystic Blast is now Conjurations/Translocations and makes a range 2 explosion around the caster that damages and pushes back monsters, potentially causing damaging collisions.
    • Dazzling Flash (L3 Conjurations/Hexes) replaces Dazzling Spray. The flash is a range 2-3 silent explosion with a chance of blinding monsters (it does no damage).
    • Searing Ray now follows the chosen target; the rays all penetrate, are fired to full range, and have the same damage and to-hit.
    • Spellforged Servitor only receives one player spell, the highest level servitor-compatible spell the player has. The spell description indicates which spell the servitor will cast.
    • Force Lance is removed.
  • Poison is an alchemical discipline, focused on poison and other alchemy.
    • Sting is now a range 3 Poison/Transmutations spell that is only partially resistible.
    • New spell Eringya’s Noxious Bog (L6 Poison/Transmutations) grants the caster a temporary “Bog” status, which causes them to transform terrain behind them into toxic bog. Toxic bogs impose the penalties of shallow water and do partially resistible poison damage of the same flavor as sting to monsters and players in them.
    • Venom Bolt and Poison Arrow are removed.
    • Ignite Poison is added to The Young Poisoner’s Handbook
    • Venom Mages now start with Transmutations skill instead of Conjurations.
  • Necromancy has begun transitioning into more of a melee-support school (either the caster’s or their undead minion’s melee).
    • Agony and Dispel Undead are now range 1.
    • Bolt of Draining is removed.
    • Corpse Rot creates miasma in a ring around the player (using one corpse in LOS per cloud).

A bit about the development of these changes 

Just reading the change summaries blog might not give a clear impression of where and how crawl changes come about. For the curious, here’s the story behind these magic changes.

The desire to differentiate crawl magic schools from one another and from ranged has been around for a very long time. About a year ago, based on some player conversations, I started a brainstorm thread on Tavern with the goal of generating some specific ideas for approaching these goals. After some time letting the results of the brainstorm simmer over the summer, in late September I wrote an initial design doc (which has since been revised and now isn’t exactly up to date with the final implementation) and shared it with the same Tavern thread as well as the devteam for initial feedback and shaping. After iterating on the raw design implementation started in October, continuing through mid-November. Early during the implementation phase several more dedicated players compiled early drafts and gave initial feedback, as well as the usual input from the rest of the devteam.

By mid-November the branch was mostly stable in its initial implementation, and I moved into the next phase. chequers (CPO admin) and floraline (CKO admin) were kind enough to set up online versions of the experimental build; sdynet (community contributor) distributed a playable executable in the Korean rogue likes community and translated feedback. I also created play testing posts on Tavern and the DCSS subreddit. Over the next three weeks the changes were tweaked, adjusted, and occasionally significantly changed as a result of this testing, shaping them up to the version that arrived in trunk on December 1st. As long time players are well aware, arriving in trunk is not the same as “finished for all time”, so these new and revised spells will continue to evolve.

With this brief history written, I want to extend my thanks to the members of the community who gave input and helped out. Making large changes to crawl is a tricky business and a team effort always comes out better. I am of course grateful to my fellow devteam members for their input (especially advil, gammafunk, ontoclasm, and CanOfWorms who made part of the changes). I also want to thank:

  • sdynet for collecting and translating feedback from the Korean community
  • chequers and floraline for hosting experimental branches
  • hellmonk, tealizard, Doesnt, EN0N, Bacchus, minmay, kitchen_ace, and members of the Korean community (sdynet did not include usernames in their summary) for specific ideas to improve the branch.

Trunk Updates 10 December 2019 Part I

Hello crawlers. It’s been a busy week in Dis:7 with many demons hard at work studying the ancient runes and bringing forth new crawl changes. Before we get to the changes, CPO admin chequers is on a mission from Santaeus to bring you some crawl Christmas cheer, hosting the second annual crawl Secret Santa tournament. A big portion of the changes are a new take on attack magic, which will be described in its own post. As for the rest of what’s been happening, read on!

  • Chaos branded weapons now can cause might or agility effects, no longer cause spell miscast effects, and the clone effect now creates either hostile, friendly, or neutral clones.
  • The Elemental staff is now a spell enhancer for all elemental schools. It counts for each elemental school separately, so spells that use more than one element get doubly enhanced by it.
  • Elyvilon’s Divine Protection from death becomes guaranteed at ***** piety, instead of the previous unrevealed piety value between ***** and ****** piety.
  • Trog no longer gifts ammo or launchers, and (aside from unrandart gifts) only gifts melee weapons either with no brand and a higher enchant or one of these three brands: vorpal, flaming, or antimagic.
  • Crawl Lua gains the ability to interface with the targeter system; for you advanced Lua scripters.
  • Renouncing your religion can now be done while silenced
  • Monster wands and quivers are displayed in ^x and xv, and there are better warnings for quivers, wands, and dangerous brands held by dual-wielding monsters when multiple monsters come in to view.
  • Poison level indicators have been added to tiles, and corresponding descriptions to console.

To read about magic changes, click through to the next post. Until next time, happy crawling!

 

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