You begin with the following items: a +0 vorpal quarterstaff, a piece from Xom’s chessboard (15/15), a +0 cloak, a +0 leather armour, and a trunk update…

Hello crawlers! We’re getting back to a more regular trunk updates post schedule, but this comes hand in hand with a continued feverish pace of change. Since we last wrote there have been 186 commits to trunk. Unlike last time a much larger fraction of these are fixes, tweaks, and technical behind the scenes work that enable the headliner items.

First, a big congratulations and thank you to longtime community contributor nlavsky and team member advil for initiating and seeing through to completion the implementation of a consumable panel for web tiles, similar to the inventory pane of local tiles. This has been an outstanding feature request for almost a decade, and is the number one reason offline players cite for why they don’t play online. So if you’re a long-time offline player and you don’t mind playing trunk, come check it out; otherwise, we look forward to you trying it during the 0.28 release! In addition to this panel, advil has been doing a lot of work expanding the web tiles mouse support, the second most requested online feature. Try it out!

Since we last wrote, we also had community contributors Aliscans, ArmiesAndCastles, Brian Power, EdDewey, Gopall, Goratrix, Jonathan Klabunde Tomer, Oneirical, Perry Fraser, aMcNicky, mgdelmonte, Zachary Chandler, and sdynet send in various tweaks, fixes, new items, lua api improvements (mgdelmonte is a big driver of these), and other assorted changes. As always, a big thank you to the community for participating in development.

On the gameplay side, the two big headline changes are the Yredelemnul overhaul and a revision of the Wanderer background start. Let’s dive in.

Carry the Black Torch!

Last post I mentioned an experimental overhaul of Yredelemnul looking for playtesting feedback. This overhaul has arrived in trunk, after a set of balance tweaks and bug fixes thanks to your feedback. Here’s what Yredelemnul now offers, instead of permanent ally gifts.

  • At 0* Yredelemnul grants passive reaping of living and demonic creatures, as well as recall, and immunity to umbra and spectral mist clouds. Things with a corpse come up as zombies, things without as spectrals (including those poor souls whose corpse was exploded). These reaped creatures stick around until the player leaves the level.
  • Piety is proportional to the total strength of reaped dead in the player’s LOS.
  • At 2* grants the Dark Bargain active, which trades some zombies/specters for a long-duration undead servant summon. Summon quality scales with piety, and the summon list now covers all (non-harmful) ghoul, skeleton, vampire, and wraith genus monsters (except Vampire magi who belong to Kiku); for console players that’s monsters on glyphs n, z, V, and W.
  • At 4* grants Drain Life. Same as old drain life, but now costs zombies/specters as well as mp.
  • At 5* grants Bind Soul. Same as old enslave soul, but also costs zombies and has been renamed. Bound souls can follow the player between levels, retain the spells and weapons they had when alive, and are tougher than before.

Wandering About

hellmonk took the charge in re-designing the random generation process of the Wanderer background. I won’t bore you with the old creation model, Wanderer players will know that the bad rolls could just be absolutely nonsensically awful. The new generation model picks three skills in an apt-weighted way: a “good” skill and two “decent” skills. Using these choices it hands out starting gear, “good” stuff for the good skill and “decent” stuff for the decent skill. Finally it assigns stats and skill points based on these choices, again in an apt-weighted way. The result is more lopsided and more likely to align with the gifted items, though it is not guaranteed to be that way. Along with a change to the random model, the possible items have been expanded, with some carried over from the old model. To entice you to check it out, here’s the possible list:

  • “good fighting” selects a weapon and gives the good weapon instead. “decent fighting” gives an extra plus to a weapon if one was already given, or a decent potion or scroll otherwise.
  • “good weapon” gives a +2 weapon, an upgraded base type or a vorpal branded starting weapon (hunting slings with sling bullets are now possible). “decent weapon” just gives a plain weapon.
  • “good unarmed” gives two random good potions or scrolls. “decent unarmed” gives a single decent potion or scroll.
  • “good armour” gives either +2 scale, chain, or acid scales to weirdly shaped wanderers. “decent armour” gives either plain scale or ring mail, or aux armour to weirdly shaped wanderers.
  • “good shield” can give either a +2 buckler or a +0 buckler of protection (upgraded to a kite shield for species that can’t use a buckler). “decent shield” gives a +0 buckler.
  • “good magic school” gives a 3-spell randbook (capped at level 4) from that school. “decent magic school” gives a 2 spell book totaling 4 levels from that school.
  • “good spellcasting” gives a 4-spell randbook (capped at level 3), picking spells from any school. “decent spellcasting” gives a 2 spell book totaling 4 levels from any school.
  • “good stealth” gives either a +2 dagger and a good consumable or a +0 dagger and atropa and datura darts. “decent stealth” gives a piece of aux armour.
  • “good throwing” gives a +2 dagger and curare darts. “decent throwing” gives either boomerangs or poison darts.
  • “good dodging” gives either a +2 leather armour or a +0 leather armour and some nets (oddly shaped wanderers get an aux armour instead of leather). “decent dodging” gives a piece of aux armour.
  • “good evocations” gives either a wand (weighted towards the stronger wands) with a good number charges or an XP evoker other than the chess piece. “decent evocations” gives a handful of flame or polymorph charges or a piece from Xom’s chessboard.
  • The possible range of starting consumables is expanded.
  • If starting with the sandblast spell, a wanderer also receives stones.

Trunk Updates

Of course, with 184 commits, even with all of the User Interface work there are plenty of other gameplay changes around. Read on for the mix

  • New Unrand: the dreamshard necklace. Concept and initial implementation by community contributor aMcNicky, the dreamshard necklace is an amulet an amulet of nothing that for the most part does nothing. However, on a lethal or near-leathal blow the necklace shatters, absorbing the blow and releasing protective dreams of healing (a big heal, between half and full HP), friendship (shadow creatures), and clouds (fog).
  • The ring of the Mage loses Will++ and Int+3 and trades them for Archmagi. Multiple sources of Archmagi now stack, so have fun blasting!
  • The autumn katana loses Clarity and trades it for a chance to cast Manifold Assault on hit, slicing through space because it is too sharp. This unrand refresh by community contributor sdynet.
  • The monster mix in Dis and Cocytus is adjusted to bring them closer in line with Gehenna and Tartarus threat levels.
  • Okawaru’s Duel ability is more expensive, and the post-duel grace period shorter.
  • Quazlal abilities have had their costs balanced: Upheaval is cheaper in MP and Piety, Elemental Force cheaper in MP, and Disaster Area more expensive in MP.
  • Chain Lightning damage now falls off more quickly with range.
  • Yara’s Violent Unravelling can now unravel summons in addition to enchantments. When targeting a summon it causes the summon to explode, killing it instantly. Additionally, it is now smite targeted.
  • The briar patch monster now blocks all non-aligned beams, shielding its allies from all hostile fire, while allowing allied beams to fire through them. Bushes allow all beams to pass through, regardless of alignment.
  • The infusion ego is buffed, now costing only one MP per hit.

There’s still a lot more brewing on the horizon this trunk season, with a Spider refresh and a lot of new and updated vaults on the way. So until next time, happy crawling!

You go downstairs. The trunk update is left behind to rot!