We thought we’d take on a slightly lighter (but no less relevant) topic this week: monster packs. Conveniently sized for maximum death, there are a variety of monsters that come in packs. The ones people probably notice the most are ugly things, slime creatures and yaks. These are the most prevalent in the early and middle parts of the game, and, depressingly enough, are also the most boring.

Our current developmental release seeks to relieve some of the monotony with two of these packs: slime creatures and ugly things.

Slime creatures

Slime creatures, a common sight in multiple branches (you might find them camped out in the Swamp, or perhaps huddled in the corner of a room in the Vaults), now combined form larger and larger slime creatures. Two slime creatures combined form a “large slime creature”, three a “very large slime creature”, and so on*. As their size increases, so also do their various statistics: damage is combined, as are hit-points. Thankfully, as these increase, so does the experience granted by them upon death.

So, when do slime creatures merge? If you’re fighting them in a corridor (a common trick for fighting multiple slime creatures in older versions of crawl), you can expect them to merge immediately. If you’re otherwise surrounded, or the closest position is already filled by a slime creature, they’ll merge. Occasionally, if you are positioned diagonally away from a group, they’ll merge.

There are also a few circumstances under which they’ll unmerge: if you leave them to wander around on their own, they’ll eventually become bored and split up. If the closest move to you is an empty space, there’s a chance that they’ll unmerge. In practice, if you’re fighting a merged slime creature and there is an adjacent space that is free, they will likely unmerge.

A few tips: don’t fight them in corridors and try not to fight them once they’ve merged, as they’ll most probably be doing much more damage than multiple single slime creatures would. Thankfully, merged slime creatures are easy to spot: they’re coloured a light green, as opposed to the dark green of the unmerged.

*Exact descriptions are as follows:

Number Description Damage
1 [None] 22
2 large 44
3 very large 66
4 enormous 88
5 titanic 110

Ugly and very ugly things

Another “boring” feature of the Dungeon are packs of ugly things. No longer a boring variety of brown ‘u’ – these now come in a rainbow of colours. Indeed, the colour of each one defines its flavour. Their type of attack is also randomised: some ugly things may bite you, others may headbutt and others still may slap you with tentacles!

Let’s take a quick look at the various colours and the “flavour” associated with them:

Colour Attack flavour
Red Fire
Brown Acid
Green Poison
Cyan Electric
Purple Sickness
White Cold

Very ugly things are similarly coloured, though their colour is visually the lighter version (light red instead of red; yellow instead of brown; etc). Some of their attacks are likewise “upgraded”:

Attack Upgraded attack
Fire Sticky flame
Poison Strong poison
Sickness Rotting

However, their colours aren’t the only thing that makes them interesting – and they are not static! Packs of ugly things work off each other in interesting ways and if you allow several to follow you around, you’ll notice a variety of messages like “The ugly thing basks in the mutagenic glow of its kin!”. One of the most visually unique change is that of an entire band slowly changes colour, until all are the same. It’s like being chased by a rainbow!

Finally, there are a few minor things to note: Ugly things are no longer polymorphable. Instead, trying to do so will cause its colour to change. Also, their corpses are no longer “contaminated” but guaranteed to be “mutagenic”. Be careful with lunch or you might find yourself changing into an ugly thing!

And now, onto the Big List! We’ll start at commit 891a5325e8, where we left off last week:

Bugs fixed

  1. Mara will no longer clone hostile clones of himself.
  2. Some instances of items being visible in deep water or lava for non-merfolk have been fixed; gods will no longer gift items while over deep water or lava, and they will no longer accept sacrifices from items in lava, or under deep water (unless you are a merfolk).
  3. Auto-explore no longer causes the player to travel into deep water while in ice form; this is similar to auto-explore not taking the player over deep water while levitating, and so on.
  4. Bogus “your shield/armour blocks your attack” messages should be gone.
  5. Shop items are no longer examinable via ‘x’ look around and auto-explore.
  6. Fedhas’s Evolution ability no longer continues even if the player cancels, and targets correctly (instead of targeting a previously-targeted monster, it will always target plants).
  7. Potion of Blood acquirement now uses the correct quantity, instead of having it overwritten by another part of the function.
  8. Monsters killed using Cheibriados’s Slouch ability are now attributed to the player.
  9. Tiles: unknown mimics are now displayed properly, while known mimics are now described as such; health bars are no longer displayed for unknown mimics.
  10. Non-adjacent mimics are now safe for resting and travel.
  11. Multiple mimics are no longer grouped together as “piles of gold”.
  12. Unknown mimics are no longer stabbable during auto-explore and auto-pickup.
  13. Missiles are now identified before the first throw, instead of after; this means that monsters will no longer throw a “glowing” missile one turn, and then a “” missile the next turn; the “glowing” status remains until pluses are identified.
  14. Monster’s LOS is now initialised and updated correctly, hopefully resolving issues where giant eyes can paralyse even when they cannot see the player, priests being able to smite the player without line of sight, etc.
  15. Ziggurats now generate properly. An error where an instance of “Shoal” had not been corrected to “Shoals” that prevented the proper generation of a Ziggurat level also created some thirty-eight thousand Ziggurat entry milestones.
  16. Travel issues, slow-down and information leak caused by recent changes to mimics has been resolved.
  17. Feature list glyphs on the X map are now coloured correctly: this means that monsters standing on stairs (in map knowledge) will no longer mark them as grey, and so on.
  18. Melded armour and shields will no longer block attacks.
  19. Permanent bazaars now have a long description that can be viewed using the “xv” combination.
  20. Extraneous periods have been removed from the monster description prompt; monsters exposed via water and clouds are now represented properly.
  21. Amphibious monsters will no longer submerge themselves under the floor.
  22. For players with claws or claw mutations that are wearing gloves, butchery will prefer to swap to a weapon instead of removing the gloves and then wearing them again.
  23. Crashes when attempting to examine Ziggurats on shopping lists should hopefully no longer occur.

Features changed

  1. Only unidentified items are marked as “was cursed” when reading Remove Curse or casting the spell.
  2. Only 1/3 of plain merfolk are given throwing spears, instead of 2/3.
  3. Merfolk aquamancers will no longer push the player back into hostile terrain: this will prevent them from drowning the player in deep water, or incinerating them in lava.
  4. Armour and dodging training are no longer linked to “heavy” or “light” armour. Please see this commit for more information.
  5. Tiles: the old giant lizard (and current crocodile) tile has been recoloured to better match its current purpose.
  6. Ozocubu’s Armour no longer works with elven heavy armours; light armour is now considered to be evasion penalty of less than two.
  7. Yredelemnul’s gifts now follow down stair cases even if they aren’t adjacent. This means that micromanaging zombies is no longer required in order to let stair-using allies follow.
  8. Tiles: new slime creature tiles (titanic and very large), meaning that there are now tiles for each level of slime creature merge status.
  9. Tiles: a variety of new and adjusted tiles for the Wizard Laboratories, and a variety of changes made to these maps.
  10. Tiles: temporary fix for overridden door tiles causing a segfault when opened.
  11. Vault depths have been updated to reflect the fact that the Lair of the Beasts no longer has ten levels, but eight.
  12. Tiles: new tiles for entrances to Ice Cave, Sewer.
  13. Glyphs in the feature list of the ‘X’ map are now sorted: this means that shaft traps will no longer be included with stairs.
  14. Tiles: demons now have pentagram indicators instead of numerical indicators of tier.
  15. Gates to Pandemonium no longer occur in the Abyss.
  16. Further tweaks to the message window changes: more shortcutting works properly now.
  17. Tiles: new tile for Fedhas’s altar (may change).
  18. The “Control Teleport” spell now reports “CTele” as a status, similar to Invisibility and Confusing Touch.
  19. Tiles: coloured variations now exist for glass, metal walls.
  20. Creatures now submerge differently; trapdoor spiders use the same submerging rules as before, but other monsters will only submerge if there isn’t a nearby attack target; crocodiles and sea snakes now submerge.
  21. The message window leading dashes have been replaced by leading underscores; one type of more prompt (the simplified “+”, for example) will no longer cause another type of more prompt (such as “-more-”).
  22. The Orb of Zot, various runes, and the unused Horn of Geryon are no longer sacrificeable.
  23. Tiles: there’s now a loading screen that indicates that things are actually happening, instead of the splash screen just “locking up” while the game parses maps and databases, etc.
  24. Tiles: new tiles for potions of agility and potions of brilliance.
  25. Wayne is now dwarven, and therefore now has dwarven equipment.
  26. Gaining levels no longer generates a variety of “-more-” prompts via code, but instead via the “force_more_message” option in the main settings file.
  27. Draconians’ scale colour changes are now caught properly by the “force_more_message”s.
  28. For testing purposes, a Jiyva altar is now guaranteed at the Slime entrance.
  29. The help screen (“?”) is now identified in a message when starting the game; this will hopefully make it more accessible.
  30. The “small more” (“+”) is now an option: setting small_more=false will use “-more-” instead. This defaults to true.
  31. Short messages are now optionally joined together to form one long line. This is toggled using the option “msg_condense_short”, which currently defaults to true; joining punctuation is always light grey.
  32. The spell controlled blink is now only slightly louder than uncontrolled blink.
  33. Vaults: new vaults by Minmay (minivaults, temple entrances and actual temple maps).
  34. Targeting now describes monster status, enchantments, and so-on.
  35. Tile: new orb guardian tile, replacing the old jelly baby-esque orb guardian tile.
  36. Experimentally, Jiyva and Ely now use the piety pool instead of directly giving piety to the player for large piety gains. This piety is then handed to the player slowly over a period of time.
  37. Silence has been nerfed: it now has a variable range that decreases with duration.
  38. Monster EXP has been tweaked again to better reflect difficulty.

Other changes

  1. Subvaults now validate with everything else when using the validate Lua prelude.
  2. The Microsoft Visual C++ project has been updated and should function properly for compilation.
  3. Features converted to floor no longer re-use the existing feature override tile as provided by Lua.
  4. New auto-pickup check hook: ch_deny_autopickup, and autopick_exceptions.txt now uses it.
  5. Tiles: tweaks have been made to how the doll files work, new tiles have been added, etc.
  6. New “veto” type for vault features: “veto_fire” prevents fire from melting wax and from setting trees on fire. It also prevents fire from spreading to these cells.
  7. Vaults can mark areas as “no_submerge” using the relevant KPROP. This prevents submerging monsters from submerging in this area.
  8. There is now a hard cap of 200 million turns in the game. This prevents time-wrapping.
  9. The stash tracker no longer uses a separate versioning system to the rest of the game.
  10. New Lua wrapper for monster_info that provides a description; ch_mons_is_safe now passes and receives monster_info objects, instead of actual monsters.
  11. mini.des has been split into three files: mini.des, mini_monsters.des, mini_features.des.
  12. SAFE_EXPLORE is no longer a compile-time option, but the default.
  13. The information for updating the website when making a release is now included in the release documentation file.

And that’s us up-to-date at commit cf82e8e8ec! Tune in next week for more!