0.18 Development and Release Plan

This page is for managing short and middle term development planning. Not everything that's on here is going to get into 0.18, or perhaps any release at all. These are just a list of changes that are worth considering for the near future.

See the Future Versions and possibly 0.17 Development and Release Plan for ideas, moving said entries here as necessary.

Development Planning


  • GDR reform — an invisible number. if it's significant, it should be exposed to the player in some way. (“plate armour provides somewhat more protection against melee attacks than a choko”…?) It might be nice to simply associate it directly with AC, or remove it altogether, but there are significant balance considerations involved. I'd like to address this in 0.18, ideally by making it directly associate w/ AC or removing it all together. -Lasty
  • Ranged Combat Reform Part Deux The damage formulas for ranged have been change to make them act like melee. The items below are further proposals to improve ranged combat as a play style. I have every intention of doing this in 0.18. -Lasty
    • Give launchers their own equipment slot. This is, I think, the most important and necessary piece of this reform project, since it means that launchers are no longer competing directly with melee weapons, which allows them to be balanced differently. Having their own slot means removing the Evasion ego, along with most artefact properties, to avoid adding a new “sky weapon” slot.
    • Ammo always mulches. This is necessary to avoid the current balance-through-tedium problem that comes with having to pick up ammo after every ranged battle.
    • Reduce ammo quantity to the point where ranged combat is a “sometimes” option, rather than an all-game primary attack.
    • “Goldify” ammo, which is to say, remove it from the main inventory. This is to avoid the current balance-through-interface-screw issue.
      • if we're going this far, why not just remove ammo entirely?doy 2015-11-26 15:12
      • alternately, firing directly from gold (every shot decreases gold by 1) is a thing that some games use to good effect, and doesn't seem too unreasonable, looking at a few morgue files (maybe scaled down by some constant factor or something depending on how much we want to encourage not relying solely on bows)doy 2015-11-26 17:35
    • Consider condensing launchers down to a smaller set now that they don't compete directly with melee weapons.
    • Consider rebalancing launcher speeds and damages.
    • Consider removing slings, condensing ranged skill down to a single skill, and condensing arrows/bolts into a single “ammo” object.
    • Independent of the other changes, nerf throwing, probably by making its damage more like a weapon skill and less like UC.
    • Independent of the other changes, make skill factor more heavily into poison needles on blowguns.


  • Charms — Redesign Badcharms (stoneskin &c, rmsl &c). Standing 'least bad' option is probably 'mp/time' costs, but that would require redesign of elementalist backgrounds… 'effects removed on armour swap' seems clunky but might be viable for some charms. It's possible haste the spell will be removed, since it's seen as not necessary given the wand and potion, and complicates the move to using aut for score, but this is by no means agreed upon. I would very much like to address this in 0.18 -Lasty
    • (Lasty) reaverb had a suggestion to achieve this reform by taking the following approach, which I endorse:
      • Make all “badcharms” be toggleable to always-on status. The action to deactivate/activate charms should be a slow action (on par with armour-swapping?) to discourage people from treating this as a new swappable slot.
      • Make Charms skill determine how many such Charms you can have active at once.
      • Rename Hexes back to Enchantments, and move all other charms and charm-like effects (e.g. Swiftness, Haste, Spectral Weapon) to that school.
        • what about forms? i'm not convinced that moving all duration-based spells to the same school is going to be reasonable, since exceptions will start looking extra weirddoy 2015-11-26 15:15
      • Charm effectiveness could still be determined by spellpower, and its chance of applying in a given case could be determined by spellcasting success formula.


* “limit break” piety and empty slot conduct god details forthcoming -Lasty

  • The design isn't finalized, but I think that there is interesting design space around two things: a piety meter that fills quickly during fights and drains quickly otherwise, and rewarding voluntarily leaving slots empty. The two ideas need not be on the same god.
  • Quick piety:
    • This god would gain piety quickly when dealing damage, and lose piety quickly (1 piety/10 AUT) during time when you are not dealing damage; piety would fill up during fights, allowing for increasingly cool powers each of which drain a fair amount of piety.
    • Potential themes: courage, competition, passion, water
    • This god's powers should generally be strong combat effects, ideally relatively unique effects, and should ramp up in power sharply as you pass each piety threshold to reward more dangerous play. Powers should offer not just damage, but also positioning or other effects that are useful in managing crowds. The ability costs should generally be only time and piety. A few poorly-considered brainstorm ideas for possible powers:
      • AOE damage + stun w/ noise (stolen from archaeo's proposal for a similar god)
      • AOE damage + adds cleaving and reaching statuses.
      • Use Blend In targeter (path through any number of sequential monsters) and deal damage and/or AOE and/or statuses to everything hit.
      • One-on-one fight: irresistably blink close a target monster and attempt to paralyse everything else in LOS. The paralysis automatically ends if 10 AUT pass w/o an enemy inside LOS taking damage or you move in any way, or that monster dies.
      • Jump attack or something similar.
      • Throw - pick an adjacent monster and direction (ala semi-controlled blink) and toss the monster there, dealing heavy damage to it and maybe things nearby.
      • Deal 50% current HP damage to a monster and spawn 5 drowned-soul-type guided missile creatures, each of which picks a random target and does 1/5th of the initial damage dealt on impact – probably need to force the guided missiles to pick different targets.
      • AOE or full-LOS enslave
      • Give a monster a status that causes damage dealt to it to be dealt to all other monsters in LOS, then damage it.
  • Missing equipment slots
    • This god would reward the player for voluntarily leaving non-weapon equipment slots open. Involuntary slot restriction (felid) doesn't count. Jewelry slots and off-hand count, to add more choices.
    • Some proposals have been offered that scale strategic benefits with equipment slots (e.g. piety gain), but all of these cause weird behaviors like taking off rings for last-hitting or for exploring or etc. Instead, this god should offer tactical benefits that scale. My preferred option is to have this god give +15% damage received by monsters from all sources for each slot you voluntarily leave empty. If this bonus is too much, it could be lowered, or alternately the base all-slots-filled damage could be lowered – e.g. default 80% normal damage, +15% normal damage per slot left empty.
    • Other god powers: TBD.
    • Other god themes: TBD.

* Getting rid of 'p'rayer:

  • Ashenzari can use an 'a'bility.
  • Altars could use '<' or '>'
  • wheals: Planning to replace Beogh corpse sacrifice with a 6* (but not capstone, being usable multiple times) and high piety cost ability to resurrect a named orc.
  • Fedhas: Still not certain what the replacement would be. An 'a'bility seems unergonomic; one suggestion (implemented in branch fedhas_decay) has been that Fedhas appreciate natural corpse decay, so you'd only need to press p (or the ability) if you need toadstools now.


* Amulet Reform (Lasty) - The idea here is to overhaul the amulets so that 1) most of them have some effect in most situations, 2) none of them just turn off a class of danger (e.g. Clarity vs. Confusion), and, with some dissent, 3) make amulets generally hard to tactically swap, e.g. guardian spirit and faith. Done.

  • dpeg suggested that removing an amulet could destroy it as another way to reduce swapping and make choices harder.
  • Old Amulets
    • Amulets of Guardian Spirit and Faith are fine as-is.
    • Amulet of regeneration is a fine effect, but is currently best to swap in while resting. Let's make it deal damage (resistance-ignoring torment and/or hp rot?) when unequipped to make this an unappealing option. Done.
    • Amulet of resist mutation should be removed, since most of the time it does nothing, and when it does something it's to avoid a class of danger more or less entirely. Done.
    • Amulets of clarity and stasis should probably be removed for the same reason, though there might be reasons to keep some aspects of their effects on a redesigned amulet. Done.
    • Amulet of resist corrosion is scaled like ring resistances, and should be moved to a ring. Ring of invisibility is a lot like the amulet of rage, and should either be moved to an amulet or removed entirely.
    • Amulet of rage might be fine as-is, or maybe should be removed in favor of leaving Trog as the only repeatable source of berserk rage.
    • Amulet of warding should be redesigned or removed. See below for a suggestion. Done.
    • Amulet of gourmand should be removed.
  • Suggested New Amulets
    • Amulet of Nothing: doesn't spawn, but can be used as a base type for unique amulets. Done.
    • Amulet of Golubria: each time a monster deals damage to you, there's an x% (5? 10?) chance that it will immediately be teleported randomly. This would make a good replacement for warding, in that it would effectively kill most summons while also being useful for some characters when not fighting summoners. Possible unequip effects: draining, contam, summoning hostiles, mark, noise. Done.
    • Amulet of Disenchantment: the wearer cannot be given any dispellable status effect by self or others; whenever the wearer would receive one they instead receive contam (or take damage?). Penalty for removal: Contam. Declined to implement.
    • Amulet of Reflection: Reflection and +4 SH. Penalty for removal: -EV temporary mutation. Done.
    • Amulet of Pain: all damage against all targets is increased by 25%. Penalty for removal: irresistable torment. Done.

Portal vaults


Early game portal vault, where opposition is too strong for the character, but she gets an ally when entering. Working version in branch oubliette. To do:

  • more layouts (with bigger maps, the current one is very small)
  • more SUBVAULT alternative maps
  • more ally/enemy definitions
  • sanity checking and testing in actual games of allies and enemies (I can do all of the above, but this one not too much dpeg)
  • some allies are uniques — we need to remove already generated uniques from the ally list
  • if the player attacks one friendly creature, all allied creatures in the portal vault should become hostile
  • tiles
  • milestone for acquiring the ally?

This could go into 0.18 if I get some help. I don't really know when is a good time to ask for playtesting on our experimental server. — dpeg 2016-01-06 17:47

Undone Plans From 0.17


  • Orc reform — (PleasingFungus) Make orc a more interesting branch post-lair by turning the mobs of completely trivial orcs into perhaps smaller mobs of less trivial orcs.No word that PleasingFungus is still working on this, so not going in 0.17 (,sadly). Remains a viable idea for 0.18, but probably incompatible with Grunt's orcs_and_elves work.
  • Elf Reform — (gammafunk) Rework elf monsters so that there's not such uniformity of “squish spellcasters”, but rather more of a range of resistances/defenses. Try to keep the magical theme, and avoid the reformed version feeling like “3 extra branches of vaults/depths”. I still want to do this, but definitely won't get to in 0.17.


  • Attributes — Possibilities include halving their absolute values to make them more meaningful (cf. IRC discussions). Partial implementation: https://github.com/crawl/crawl/pull/159 can be reviewed once 0.18 development starts. Not being address in 0.17. .
  • Food — food generation (both permafood and chunks) was changed significantly in the past year or two and may need tuning or rebalancing. For example, should non-magic-using non-spriggan characters be able to survive a full game on permafood alone? On chunks alone? Fortunately we have been measuring eaten food in action count dumps, so there is data to analyse. There's been discussion about having crawl use hunger only as a progress clock and removing hunger costs, or alternatively lowering chunk and/or permafood availability. A major food change isn't likely for 0.17, at this point, but is a good item for 0.18.
  • Eating — A (very speculative) larger reform would be trying to split the meaningful ability food costs (spell hunger, berserk, sif channel, other relevant god abilities) into some kind of separate cost based possibly on monster kills/corpses, and use permafood only for the turn clock. See entry above.


  • Shield skill requirements — I think I'd like to see these become stepdowned or something of the sort, rather than hard breakpoints on the penalties, the way armour strength requirements were changed. –wheals — seconded -PF No specific proposal as of yet, so not likely for 0.17. Good candidate for 0.18.
  • Banishment — should take severity/power of the banishment source into account: early banishment (distortion weapon on D:4) should send characters to Abyss:1, Elf:3 banishment to Abyss:3. Can either use absdepth of the banishment source, or player XL, or banisher HD, or perhaps another scale. [Rationale: Abyss:1 is an interesting challenge for early game, but falls flat later on; the Abyss levels work well to distinguish between escape and rune hunt; the only missing piece is sending different characters to different levels). ebering put a patch on Mantis implementing this. Unlikely for 0.17, as there hasn't been further discussion of this. It is simple enough to implement once a formula for the target abyss depth is final, if we can all agree that it's a good idea.


  • Strategic consumables — move these out of the inventory? (ID game issues?) Still a desire to do this, but it's unlikely for 0.17.
  • Spellbooks — make these tactically relevant in some way (a reason to carry books around), or turn them into strategic items (per above)? There's not broad agreement that spellbooks are a problem or a specific proposal at this point. They would possibly be moved to strategic inventory, if that's implemented.
  • Ground item interactions — let players universally interact with (wield, read, quaff, etc) items on the ground? (remove annoyances from full inventories. (MarvinPA): ground item interaction/menus similar to angband. Still a desire to do this, but it's unlikely for 0.17.
  • ?EW — The removal of enchant weapon scroll failure was definitely a boost for player sanity, but has also resulted in significant weapon enchantment inflation - most players now seem to have +9 weapons before they enter the Depths. Reducing generation even further is one option, but I'd rather experiment with making higher enchantment levels cost more scrolls in a deterministic fashion. There's not broad agreement that ?EW are problematic. No specific plans to implement something like this right now.


  • Nemelex
    • Deck usage It's been suggested to move card usage to the ability menu to avoid deck management, probably removing decks so that cards are for Nemelex worshipers only. Unlikely for 0.17. Possible for 0.18+, but needs a specific proposal.
  • Beogh – Reconsider early & late-game balance. (Probably should be made stronger in one of them - currently neither fish nor fowl.).
    dpeg: A Beogh interface toggle that llows to switch between four modes for orc company: 0 (none), 3, 12, all. Regardless of option, hostile orcs keep converting. (Perhaps 3 should take best fighter, best wizard, best priest.) If an orc dies, implicit call for replacement to keep the number up. No systematic Beogh balance changes are likely for 0.17 at this point, but this is a good item for 0.18+.
  • Lugonu
    • Altar desectration Consider adding altar desecration piety (now that wraths are more gradual). Start small, i.e. low wrath and small piety gain. Unlikely for 0.17, proposal would need more thinking about how to make it both fun and reasonable, but good item for 0.18+.


  • Uniques — more xp for many of them, higher incentive to kill by better loot. For numbers and more ideas see https://crawl.develz.org/tavern/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=11276. (Partially implemented as of f578f52 and preceding commits). No systematic changes are likely for 0.17. This unique xp/reward reforms needs a concrete proposal before it can go further.
  • Acid — There's room for slightly more acid in Vaults and Depths, and significantly more in Extended. Entropy weavers apply heavy corrosion and can be found in Spider, Vaults, and Depths. There's the Moon Troll and brown uglies/very uglies in Lehudib's wizlab for acid attacks. No specific plans for extended monsters with acid as of yet, certainly possible for 0.18+.


  • Gell's Gravitas — This spell is struggling to find a use at present. Grunt has flatten Gell's power curve and allowed Gell's to target empty space.
  • Transmutations — revamp? New forms, effects (using permanent resources to power spells?); revamp/remove sticks to snakes, ignite poison, &c. Blade hands has been described as too strong, but there is no agreement nor any specific proposal for changing this spell. Not going in 0.17. There haven't been any specific proposals for changing blade hands or other spells in the book of changes. Remains an item for 0.18+
  • Spellpower — spellpower should matter much more for many spells. One candidate for this is Shadow Creatures, which could reroll if the selected monster has hd too high for the given spell power. Other spells like blink and the animated remains spells are trickier. Increasing duration based on spell power is possible, but would be tricky to balance with the duration caps we want on the animated creatures. It's hard to imagine how Blink could meaningfully depend on spell power. No plan to change this in 0.17, good topic to revisit in 0.18.


  • Deep Elf monster tiles — Most elf casters are not differentiated by anything but color, and their colors are not consistent with other monster sets (green priests, purple wizards, and so on). There are visual motifs for classed monsters now, like a circular aura on the ground; applying these motifs and refining them will be an ongoing process. Note: there are tentative plans to rework elf, which might change/remove some deep elf monsters.
  • Adding ancient tiles for player doll cosmetics — There are a lot of tiles on Mantis (for example https://crawl.develz.org/mantis/view.php?id=3936) that look good and deserve to be in the game, even if they don't have a specific purpose. We can also consider adding these to the rotation for tiles that appear for worn equipment, but I consider that a separate issue.
  • Replacing tiles made by non-tile-devs — As much as I love the current Anubis guard tile, it and its brethren (Bennu, Ushabti) could use improvement. Please add any other tile requests here.


  • webtiles-changes — Branch that moves the client to react/jsx, adds player titles and a server score page, along with moving configuration to a toml file and many other WebTiles server changes. Not happening in 0.17. Reworking the client js (possibly using angular.js instead of react/jsx) and improving the game js are both things we want but this will take time unless we get some new JS developers on the project.


  • Domain — Are we planning to change the official home page's location? chequers and |amethyst both have appropriate domains.
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dcss/planning/0.18_plan.txt · Last modified: 2016-01-06 17:53 by dpeg
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