Four months have already passed, and, with the tournament already begun, we’re pleased to announce the next release of Dungeon Crawl: 0.9, Victory Valedictory. As always, there have been a load of changes, but most significant of these is probably the following: we say Auf Wiedersehen to victory dancing.

Gone are the days of pointlessly casting spells at walls, or pounding on a macro to evoke a crystal ball — usually with undesired results. The experience pool has been removed, and it is now not actually possible to “victory dance”. Instead, experience is spent as it is gained. The exact mechanics of this depend on two separate modes: in auto mode, experience is spent on skills recently used, while in manual mode, finer control is available via the skill screen (m).

As a final reminder, the August tournament has already started! You can visit the Tourney Website for more details, but succinctly: you can play with the console version either on CAO or CDO (“Trunk” on CDO, and “0.9″ on CAO, currently). Webtiles does not currently count towards the tournament, as it needs to be updated to run 0.9. This will be done Soon!

So, pull on your crawling shoes (and knee-cap covers), and get ready for a solid two weeks of frantic adventuring!

Eronarn has provided an excellent summary of major changes in 0.9, so here they are!

  • Ashenzari changes. We’ve finally nailed down Ashenzari balance! Most importantly, his passive XP boost has been replaced with a passive skill boost. This boost is based on how bound you are and what types of equipment you have bound – for example, wield a cursed weapon to improve your weapon skills, or wear a cursed ring to improve your magic skills. Other changes are listed in the full changelog.
  • Trog changes. The god of rage is also the god of antimagic, and his weapon gifts will now reflect this more prominently. He’ll also punish his followers for daring to even learn magic skills – and Trog forbid that they attempt to make use of them.
  • Reduce Berserk speed bonus. Previously, being berserk let you take 2x as many actions. That speed boost has been reduced to 1.5x, bringing it in line with the Haste status effect.
  • Implicit butchering. Characters are now assumed to bring a small knife into the dungeon with them. Cursed non-cutting weapons will still prevent them from butchering, but they no longer need to lose an inventory slot or risk throwing their butchery implements.
  • Adjust HP rules. Starting characters are now beefier, getting +3 HP across the board. On the other hand, raising Fighting skill now gives less of a boost to HP.
  • Rename Crusader to Skald. The Crusader starting book was hit hard by recent changes, and their flavor has always been problematic (as they have nothing to do with crusades or religion). Rather than scrap them completely, elliptic took this opportunity to give them a makeover. They are still focused on improving their fighting prowess with magic, but they have a different starting book and skill levels.
  • New spells added. We have our first Hex/Fire spell in Inner Flame, which curses a target to explode upon death. Larger targets may make for better fireworks! Shroud of Golubria, which appears in the Skald and Warper books, provides a barrier that will completely protect against some melee attacks. Any attack has a chance to tear right through the barrier, which will end the spell, but stronger attacks are far more likely to do so.
  • Major modifications to Tornado. The funnel cloud will take some time to spin up to its full size, and it cannot be cast multiple times in a row because of lingering turbulence. However, those caught in its winds will now be flung about wildly.
  • Old spells removed. Teleport Self, Berserker Rage, Resist Poison are no longer player-castable spells.
  • New monsters: The Lair is now home to basilisks, fearsome lizards that petrify with their gaze. They aren’t the only new beast to come out of the stonework, though. Thanks to Wensley, the deeper regions of the Lair may contain catoblepae. They are slow, but you’ll be slower than them soon if you can’t avoid their clouds of petrifying dust!
  • New unique: Ignacio, a powerful Executioner who remembered to bring his axe.
  • Many small balance changes. See the whole changelog for full details!
  • Also of note is the experimental release of a new game mode, Zot Defence. Those of you who played it on CAO/CDO should note that it has received significant changes since its debut; however, it should still be regarded as a work in progress.