Archive of ·Play-Testing·

Trunk updates, 22 March 2014

Hi crawlers – here are some more changes as we wind down 0.14 development:

  • MR-granting items now grant fixed increments of magic resistance (see the % screen – there are numbers involved behind the scenes but those exact values aren’t important).
  • Orbs of destruction don’t explode if they collide with another orb of destruction before travelling more than a short distance (so feel free to abuse those high powered decks of destruction).
  • The colours of the species/background menu selector have been changed again.
  • The amount of poisoning dealt by poisonous monster attacks has been adjusted slightly (less for early game enemies, more for late game enemies).
  • Josephine has a new spell set (and rN+++).
  • Formicid self-shafting is no longer noisy.
  • All tiered demon enemies can now open doors.

Look forward to news about the release of 0.14 soon, and happy crawling!

Trunk updates, 16 March 2014

Hi crawlers – here’s another round of last minute tune-ups to 0.14:

  • Formicids can no longer wield giant (spiked) clubs and have slightly adjusted aptitudes.
  • Throwing nets no longer degrade; instead they mulch similar to other projectiles.
  • Fighters start with a potion of might.
  • Swinging a chaos weapon no longer polymorphs or shafts the attacker.
  • The shopping interface has been simplified.
  • Spells can be memorised even at 100% failure rate.
  • Picking up runes in Pandemonium increases the chances of exits being generated.

Here’s to a 0.14 release in the near future – and happy crawling!

Trunk updates, 11 March 2014

Hi crawlers! Here’s what I’m hoping will be the last major round of changes before 0.14 gets prepared for release:

  • All panlords now see invisible.
  • Player merfolk can now be mesmerised by mermaids and sirens.
  • Plain formicids no longer generate as enemies.
  • Formicid venom mages lose Stone Arrow and gain Localized Ignite Poison.
  • Artificers and Wanderers do not start with knowledge of scrolls/potions they don’t actually possess.
  • Chaos champions lose Rearrange the Pieces and gain Random Bolt (per the rod of destruction).
  • Spriggan enemies in general now merely have fast movement speed instead of fast speed in general, more damage and less EV.
  • The movement behaviour of sirens has been adjusted to make them less likely to be completely out of reach of the player.
  • Spriggan air mages have Haste (replacing Shock).
  • Spriggan druids’ Druid’s Call now calls 2-3 creatures out of LOS nearby and does not invisibly might creatures; instead, nearby creatures are healed and frenzied on their death. Stone Arrow also replaces Sunray in their spell set.
  • Shock serpents no longer have a lightning torrent attack.
  • Boggarts are more durable.
  • Rakshasas gain a monster spell “Phantom Mirror”, which summons a clone of a nearby allied monster with half the hit points with a 50% chance of swapping the clone for the original; this replaces their previous self-cloning abilities. Rakshasas can now also cast Iskenderun’s Mystic Blast and will summon two clones of themselves at 50% HP as a one-time effect.
  • Giant orange brains now have Mass Confusion instead of Confuse.
  • The main Dungeon is now 15 levels, and the Depths five; the entrance to Vaults is now on D:13-14.
  • The duration of Sentinel’s Mark has been reduced by 25%.
  • The Enchantress now appears as a normal unique in Depths.

Look forward to more news about the 0.14 release soon, and happy crawling!

Trunk updates, 6 March 2014

Hey crawlers – since a pretty significant number of changes have just landed, here’s an update sooner than usual!

  • The ring of Shadows now has a small umbra in lieu of EV+4 and AC-4.
  • Racial armour has been removed (thus there is no racial equipment left).
  • Nemelex’s deck gifts are now independent of sacrifice type.
  • New summoning spells:
    • Summon Mana Viper (L5 Summoning/Hexes); it appears in the Book of Beasts.
    • Monstrous Menagerie (L6 Summoning), which summons a manticore, some harpies, a lindwurm, or a sphinx (at high spellpower); it appears in the book of Beasts and the book of Summonings (replacing Summon Ugly Thing).
    • Forceful Dismissal (L6 Summoning), which ends all player summons and damages enemies next to them; it appears in the Grand Grimoire.
    • Aura of Abjuration (L6 Summoning), a less powerful but per-turn mass abjuration effect; it replaces Mass Abjuration in the Grand Grimoire.
    • Spellforged Servitor (L7 Conjuration/Summoning), which summons a servitor with a subset of the player’s most destructive conjurations; it replaces Fireball in the book of Wizardry.
    • Dragon’s Call (L9 Summoning), which for its duration of effect summons dragons near targets at the end of LOS (at the full spell cost per summon); replaces Summon Dragon in the Book of the Dragon.
  • Removed spells: Summon Ugly Thing, Demonic Horde, Mass Abjuration, Summon Dragon.
  • Poison damage is now deterministic.
  • Fighters and Gladiators now start with better weapons.

Most of these changes are now live on the servers, so happy crawling!

Trunk updates, 3 March 2014

Hi crawlers! Here are the latest things to look forward to in your next trunk game:

  • Djinn have poofed.
  • Agate snails, giant centipedes, ancient bears, and rotting devils have been removed
  • The timeout of conjured ball lightnings has been reduced considerably.
  • Clouds once again can be cast to hit squares out of the player’s LOS; instead, player-created clouds now timeout considerably faster when out of LOS.
  • Glaciate, a level 9 Conjuration/Ice spell replacing Ice Storm which blasts targets in a cone-shaped area of effect for large damage, creates freezing clouds, encases targets in ice (slowing them for three turns), and occasionally freezes targets killed by it into a block of ice.
  • New unrands:
    • The +7,+7 lajatang of Order {silver, rMut}.
    • The +7,+7 great mace “Firestarter” {flame, rF++}; it fills its victims with an inner flame.
  • Autosacrifice now works with Fedhas.
  • Sparkling and blood fountains can no longer be quaffed from.
  • Eyeballs cannot use their abilities through translucent walls.
  • Substantial edits to wizard labs.
  • Substantial revisions to rods:
    • The rod of frigid destruction has been transformed into the rod of clouds – evokable to produce a cone of clouds in front of the player, with duration and type varying with evocation power.
    • The rod of demonology has been transformed into the rod of shadows – evoke to get shadow creatures, the toughness of whom depends on our evocation power.
    • Rods of venom are no more.
  • The arena_delay option, which controls animation speed of some effects (and the speed of action in arena itself), is now available outside of arena as view_delay.
  • A substantial overhaul of item values (courtesy of minmay).
  • Wand shops have been merged into gadget shops, which now also sell rods.
  • Potions of blood and curse scrolls no longer randomly generate.
  • Enchant weapon scrolls now ask for a target (like brand weapon).
  • The Horn of Geryon now summons 1-4 hell beasts (hostility dependent on evocations skill), and recharges with experience as with the elemental evokers.
  • Formicids no longer have innate rPois-, and now gain levels more slowly but gain more HP and MP per level.
  • The monster lists for the Dungeon, Vaults, and Depths have been adjusted.
  • All scrolls now identify immediately on reading them.
  • Curse scrolls now always prompt for a target (as the player is unlikely to see them outside worshipping Ashenzari).
  • Zin warns the player of shapeshifters.
  • Monster (molten) gargoyles now generate with mace-type weapons and can cast conjurations.

Have fun with these, and happy crawling!

Trunk updates, 24 February 2014

Hi crawlers! Here’s what’s new in trunk:

  • New summon spells:
    • Summon Lightning Spire (L4 Summoning/Air), which places a lightning spire up to two squares away from the player; it replaces Summon Scorpions in the book of Callings.
    • Summon Guardian Golem (L4 Summoning/Charms), which creates a golem that protects the player with Injury Bond and occasionally explodes on death; appears in the book of Callings.
    • Summon Forest (L5 Summoning/Translocations), which summons a dryad and temporarily converts terrain near the player to forest; it is in the Book of the Warp.
  • The speed brand now consistently grants 2/3 weapon delay and no damage reduction (previously it was 1/2 delay and 10% damage reduction for melee weapons).
  • Fulminant Prism is now level 4 (was 5); Iskenderun’s Battlesphere is now level 5 (was 4).
  • Formicids are no longer rPois- and have the same HP and XP aptitudes as humans.
  • Grey rats, spiny worms, giant amoebae and deep dwarf berserkers (the monster) are no more.
  • Spellbooks of types you have seen before are automatically identified (like staves).
  • Racial weapons no longer generate.
  • The rod of destruction now fires random bolts instead of having a pre-set spell list.

Enjoy the tweaks, and happy crawling!

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Trunk updates, 17 February 2014

Hi crawlers! Here’s the latest and greatest from trunk:

  • God wrath has been changed to trigger only as experience is gained; it occurs more frequently, but tends to occur only during / after significant battles.
  • Several deities – Okawaru, Trog, Vehumet, Makhleb, Yredelemnul, and Kikubaaqudgha – have had their wrath tinkered with, mainly to scale better with the player’s XL.
  • The shadow mimic behaviour of Dithmenos (formerly Dithmengos) followers has changed – spells aren’t directly mimicked (except for enchantments), instead yielding a shadow shard or shadow bolt depending on the original spell, and damage output from physical attacks has been reworked.
  • All skills usable by divine abilities are available to train immediately on worshipping that god, rather than needing to wait for the abilities to become available. For most gods this is Invocations where applicable; for Nemelex this is Evocations; for Kikubaaqudgha this is Necromancy. TSO followers can also train shields at any time (cf. Divine Shield).
  • New unrand artefacts: the +3,+5 arc blade {discharge, rElec}, a cutlass which causes a static discharge effect on one third of melee attacks; and the +3,+6 demon whip “Spellbinder” {antimagic, MR+}, which inflicts miscast effects on spellcasters related to the spells they can cast.
  • An experimental new Swamp level layout, appearing on 2/7 of all non-ending Swamp levels.
  • Summoned allies will attack enemies without needing to be being prompted to do so.
  • Another redesign of the Vaults:5 layout – the outer ring has returned, and all of the corners of the quadrants are now open to the ring.
  • Item destruction from sticky flame has been reduced.
  • Felids can now use wands.
  • The list of recommended combinations has been revised heavily; as part of the changes, species and background recommendations are now independent of each other – that is, a species may recommend a background where that background does not necessarily recommend that species, and vice-versa.
  • Large rocks are no longer inherently penetrating (this was itself a trunk experiment).
  • Dith’s Shadow Form now causes skill drain on taking damage, and is usable by all races (i.e. undead can use it).
  • Crystal golems have been replaced with crystal guardians – less HP, but the ability to fire a crystal bolt which bounces off of all features and deals either fire or cold damage on a per-bolt basis.
  • Lemures and jellyfish are no more.
  • Many other smaller changes.

Happy crawling!

Trunk updates, 9 February 2014

Hi crawlers! Here’s some of the latest interesting changes to trunk:

  • Repel Missiles and Deflect Missiles now time out on a per-deflection basis, rather than being a duration.
  • Portal Projectile is now a duration instead of a one-shot effect; for the duration it portals projectiles for 1 MP per projectile.
  • The outer ring on the final level of Vaults is no more.

Not all of these changes are available online / in the current builds yet, but within a day or so they will be there.

Although it’s not in trunk (yet), I’ll take a moment to point out that crawl.s-z.org has a new experimental branch for the purpose of testing several implementations of the spell Glaciate, a proposed replacement for Ice Storm. Read the discussion here.

Happy crawling!

Trunk updates, 3 February 2014

Hello, Crawlers! This is meant to be the first of many posts updating you on recent changes to trunk, much as has been done with the blog in the past.

Without further ado, here are some things you may not have seen yet, relative to the last time an update was posted here (which was a while ago, so some things here may not exactly be news):

  • The lower half of the Dungeon from D:16 onwards is a new dungeon branch, the Depths – six levels long and containing the entrance to the Realm of Zot.
  • The Depths (and D:15-) do not require a rune to enter; instead, Vaults requires a rune to enter.
  • Two new races to play with: Formicids, an ant-like people with innate stasis and the ability to dig through walls and shafts in the floor, and Vine Stalkers, a plant-like parasite on a humanoid host who regenerates quickly, cannot heal through wands or potions, and possess an innate spirit shield effect and an anti-magic bite.
  • A new deity: Dithmengos the Shadowed, granting a number of shadow-themed abilities.
  • Ziggurats no longer charge gold for entry, but require three runes to enter.
  • New uniques: Asterion, a minotaur of Makhleb; Natasha, the ex-familiar of a powerful wizard with some magic of her own; and Vashnia, the leader of an elite squad of naga sharpshooters.
  • Many, many new regular enemies, especially in the Lair branches and Pandemonium.

The relatively infrequently-updated changelog contains more details on many of these, and can always be found by way of Gitorious at http://gitorious.org/crawl/crawl/blobs/master/crawl-ref/docs/changelog.txt.

Not everything that’s tested in trunk will end up in a stable release, so be sure to enjoy things while they last! You can play trunk online, or download a local build of trunk from here.

Happy Crawling!

Experimental rule change: the rune lock

Yesterday, a slightly controversial commit got pushed:

    Commit: #f2529f3

    Rune lock.

    You need a rune to go to D:15. Downstairs of D:14 could be recoloured
    or replaced by a portal (maybe more consistent with D:27 zot portal).

This is a mandatory Vow of Courage I banner. The idea is quite old and was pushed after the 0.13 tournament so as to have as much time for testing as possible. You can read discussions about it on a old dev wiki page, or in several forum threads: here (locked), here (locked), here and here.

If the rune lock is considered to be good enough to stay for the next release, there will definitely be follow-up changes, cosmetic ones (locked staircase appearance, dungeon appearance before and after the lock) and balancing ones (unique generation springs to mind).

Playtesting: Combat code refactoring

A significant refactoring of combat code, by Cryp71c, has recently been merged into master. This is a call for testing and bug-hunting, in preparation for .10 release. The changes are live in development builds and on the servers (the testing versions).

List of significant changes for the Unified Combat Control branch:

  1. Capitalization of words is performed automatic (done by Kilobyte, altered by SamB)
    • Instead of passing an explicit capitalization (NOCAP or CAP) to the mprf system, mprf determines automatically whether capitalization is necessary.
  2. Fight rewrite
    • Restructuring of combat into phases
      • Attempted
        • Hit
          • Damaged
            • Defender Killed
        • Dodged
        • Blocked
      • End
  3. Merging of player / monster codepaths
    • This comprises the bulk of the rewrite and will be subject for continued (numerous) changes in the future. Some codepaths are not entirely unified because doing so would require symmetry between players and monsters in regards to how a particular effect is handled (weapon brands, spells, etc. etc.)

List of things for players to be aware or mindful of for bug-reporting purposes

  1. Out-of-order combat messages (especially as they relate to weapon brands)
  2. Combat messages which leak otherwise unknown information
  3. Unusual sanctuary behavior
  4. Unusual messages or behavior on the last turn of combat (when the monster is killed)
  5. Brands, spell effects, or mutations which consistently do not result in a noticeable effect
  6. Weapon effects or behavior which do not appropriately result in god-affects
    • Examples include using speed weapons with Chei, attacking dishonorably while worshiping TSO
  7. Capitalization errors in combat text
  8. Missing combat effects (from uniques or from specific player-races)
    • Examples include vampire-specific effects for players, or Maurice’s “thieving” attacks

Report bugs here! Thank you in advance!

Oops! Untimely death of many souls (CDO)..

We had a slight misunderstanding, which unfortunately lead to deletion of many of your online characters from the Trunk/Unstable version on CDO.

We are very sorry and will add a security check to the scripts – promised!

Whisper ‘Farewell’ when you leave, Gimli

Very recently, something happened in the Crawl world. All the mountain dwarves are gone. Part of the player base revolted, so here are some words to explain the inexplicable.

For quite a while it was realised that MD, HO and Mi are too close to each other than is good for well-differentiated variety. In other words, developers agreed that cutting a species of the three would be an improvement. This was not urgent; that’s why it isn’t announced on the 0.10 development plan or anywhere else. However, it is also not a big change, so when we got the details ready in a session or two, we commenced with the wipeout.

First, theme. Hill Orcs are sacrosanct by Beogh’s protection. Even if you don’t like the orc god, there is no way we would get rid of HO as a player species. Choosing between MD and Mi, the lot hit the former. The reasons are less forcing than with HO, but are reasons nonetheless: Mi has a monster equivalent whereas MD has not (the monster dwarves are deep dwarves, akin to deep elves being the monster elves). Mi has an ancient mythos behind it (Minos, Crete, the labyrinth) as well as a portal vault in the game. MD on the other hand is the archetypical Tolkien-style dwarf, which in my book is a severe demerit.

Second, aptitudes. Removing a species does not happen in empty space. It might have impact on nearby species, and it certainly did so here. A table of the old and new aptitudes for Mi, HO and old MD is at the end of this text. The summary is this: new Minotaurs approached MD in certain areas (e.g. Armour is 2, also Stabbing, Traps & Doors, Evocations). Hill Orcs got additional magical competence.

Third, to dispel a myth. We didn’t use winning rates, or number of games played in order to make a decision.

Fourth, history. Over the course of DCSS, the following species had to resign: HD, GE, El, Gn, OM (Hill Dwarf, Grey Elf, Elf, Gnome, Ogre Mage). Of these, OM merged with Og into a more interesting species; the others left for the same reason MD goes now: lack of differentiation. On the other hand, some species were added over the years: Vp, DD, Fe (Vampire, Deep Dwarf, Felid). 0.10 will probably feature Octopodes. None of these are defined by aptitudes alone (but note that new Ogre is an exception!), which makes for additional complexity but also diversity. Note that species tweaking goes beyond adding and removing: Draconians and Demonspawns were changed (and will probably see further changes), and with some luck and effort, 0.10 will see more interesting Demigods.

An empty entry means no change from the old version of the species.

        Arm Ddg Sth Stb Shd T&D   Inv Evo        HP  MP   Exp
--------------------------------------------------------------
Mi old   +1  +1  -2   0  +1  -1    -1  -3        +1  -2   140
Mi new   +2          -1  +2   0        -1                 130
MD       +3  -1  -3  -2  +2  +1     0  +1        +1  -1   130
HO old   +1  -2  -2  +2  +1   0     0   0        +1  -1   100
HO new                             +2                 0      

        Fgt SBl LBl M&F Axs Pla Stv  UC   Thr Slg Bws Crb
----------------------------------------------------------
Mi old   +2  +2  +2  +2  +2  +2  +2  +1    +1  +1  +1  +1
Mi new       +1                             0
MD       +2  +1   0  +2  +2  -1  -1   0    -1  -1  -2  +1
HO old   +2   0  +1  +1  +2  +1  -1  +1     0  -1  -1  -1
HO new                                                   

        Spc Coj Hex Cha Sum Nec Trl Trm   Fir Ice Air Ear Poi
--------------------------------------------------------------
Mi old   -3  -3  -3  -3  -3  -3  -3  -3    -3  -3  -3  -3  -3
Mi new           -4  -4              -2                -2
HO old   -3   0   0  -1   0   0  -2  -3     0   0  -2   0  -1
HO new   -2                                +1  -1                  +3 Int, -1 Str
MD       -3  -1  -2  -2  -2  -3  -2  -1    +2  -2  -2  +2  -2

Skill Training

There is a new change to the skill training in trunk. You don’t have to practise skills to learn them anymore, you can select them starting right at level 0. On the other hand, you need to have some means of training a skill to be able to select it.

To train a weapon skill, you need to carry a weapon of the appropriate type, but you don’t have to wield it. For ranged weapons, carrying a launcher is enough, no need to have missiles.
For armour, you need to wear any armour with an evasion penalty (at least leather). For shields you need to be wearing one. If you can cast condensation shield or have the divine shield ability, that works too.
Spell schools can be trained as soon as you have a spell of the school memorised (whatever the success chance). You can train evocations if you carry any evocable item (no need to wear jewellery or wield rods). For Invocations you can train it if you have a divine ability that uses it.
Fighting, UC, throwing, dodging, stealth, stabbing, T&D and spellcasting can always be trained, there’s no restrictions on them.

Another recent change was made regarding skill levels. You now gain benefit from partial skill levels. This is why it is now displayed with a decimal in the skill screen. For example, casting a dual school spell with both skills at 2.5 is the same as having one skill at 2.0 and the other at 3.0, while it used to be the same as having both at 2.0. You gain a spell slot when spellcasting reaches 2.5, and another when it reaches 3.0.

For those not familiar with the 0.9 skill system, let me recap the changes that were made. XP pool has been removed. When you gain XP, it is immediately spread across the activated skills. The amount of XP attributed to each skill depends on the training percentage. In manual mode, your actions are ignored and XP is spread evenly across all activated skills. In automatic mode, the training percentages depend on which skills you have used recently.
You can also set a skill to focus (marked with *). Doing so will train the skill twice as fast (relative to others of course). In auto mode, if the skill has a very low training percentage, setting it to focus will raise it to around 20% instead of doubling.

Two options have been added:
default_manual_training: if you like to play in manual mode, set this to true and the skill training mode will default to manual instead of auto.
skill_focus: if you don’t want to set skills to focus, set this option to false. This will revert the behaviour to the simple disable/enable toggle, instead of the 3 states disable/enable/focus. If you want to change it in-game, set this option to toggle and you’ll be able to change it from within the skill screen.

As usual, please report any bug you run into on mantis. If you want to comment on the change, there’s a thread at the tavern.
Happy crawling!

Galehar

Vote your favourite implementable

There is a new thread in the Tavern, dealing with Implementables. It’s a good place to indicate what features you’d like to see – of the list of current Implementables on Mantis, but you can also lobby for other features beyond that.

Implementable voting

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OSX Builds back on Track!

I’m happy to announce that OSX builds of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup are available again!

The Downloads page lists 0.9 builds of the Console and Tiles version now, and also we will be able to provide more regularly updated builds of the current Development Builds.

Thank you very much to GreatZebu, who volunteered to provide OSX builds for the foreseeable future!

WebTiles got a Map!

Edlothiol has been working on adding new features to WebTiles:

  • Mini-Map is in!
  • Permanent login via cookies!
  • Browser sizes no longer matter!
  • Browser versions don’t matter either anymore!
  • Sprint and Tutorial available now, too!

The Mini-Map is shown and working now, alas it cannot be used yet to initiate a travel. During login you have the choice to stay logged in via cookies. Also, spectators no longer need to resize their browser when watching someone. The game always adjusts to the browser size of the player and spectator independently. Additionally, the websocket protocol was updated to support Firefox 4, 5 and 6.

And last but not least, the game-mode Sprint and the Tutorial are now playable via WebTiles, too!

I was told there are more features in the making – so stay tuned! Also, webtiles code has been merged into the official master branch.

Head over to its website and give it a try!

WebTiles and Online Player Status

I’m happy to announce that we can now offer an online version of “Tiles”!

We call it WebTiles for now and it serves version 0.8 of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup. Right in time for the unofficial tournament!

Edlothiol announced his great idea with working code on the mailing-list a few weeks back, and even though it’s still beta-quality in the aspects of features (mini-map missing, inventory-tab, etc), it’s fully playable and there have even been the first 4 wins by players testing it!

There is a slight draw-back: It needs a fairly modern browser which supports a technology called WebSockets:

More: Read the rest of this entry…

Packages for Debian-based OSes

Thanks to Kilobyte, we are now also offering packages for Debian-based operating systems (Debian, Ubuntu, Mint, etc). For now there are three architectures supported: i386, amd64 and armel.

Add one of the lines from below to your /etc/apt/sources.list:

Stable release:        deb http://crawl.develz.org/debian crawl 0.8
Development version:   deb http://crawl.develz.org/debian crawl trunk

Additionally you should download and install our signing key to prevent warnings and to verify the packages:

wget http://crawl.develz.org/debian/pubkey -O - | apt-key add -

The available packages to apt-get are named: crawl, crawl-tiles

We’re working on getting the packages of the development version updated as regularly as the Windows binaries that we’ve been offering for a while already.

A Glimpse Into the Future: the 0.8 pre-release

If you’ve been following the Stonesoup development, you might have noticed the recent shift of activity from longterm development to shortterm bugfixing, as well as a switch of trunk to version 0.9; the reason being the release of 0.8 that is currently slated for April 24.

The recent changes include the incorporation of the unicode branch, which fixes a number of issues with non-ASCII path names etc., bringing Ashenzari up to speed, and the aforementioned gazillions of bug fixes. In a concerted effort of several developers, we’ve managed to close 100+ bug reports on our bug tracker over the last couple of weeks, which is quite a feat, let me tell you. Of course, we wouldn’t have been able to do that if they hadn’t been reported in the first place. So, here’s a large thank you to our diligent reporters! :)

What follows is the list of changes in the 0.8 pre-release branch currently available on CDO (a206725), meaning they’ll be included in the stable release.

More: Read the rest of this entry…