0.20 Development and Release Plan

This page is for managing short and middle term development planning.
Features on this page are considered major or significant improvements. General bugfixing does not need to go here although major bugs could end up in a “tasks for completion” section once we near a release.
Features are divided into sections based on their stage of completion or planning.
Each feature should have the names of any devs who are actively working on, planning, or responsible for the feature and who realistically think they'll be able to finish it in time for the release date.

See the Future Versions and previous stable release planning pages for ideas, moving entries here as necessary.

General todo

This is a list of tasks that generally need to be completed for any release to happen.

  • Release schedule: Border of spring and summer of 2017?
  • Mantis administration - closing and/or fixing hundreds of old bugs and FRs
  • Remove Lightli - If not in this release, definitely in 0.21


Open-source projects can become somewhat disorganized and kudzu-y. Brannock has some ideas for helping to keep things managed and sensible.

  • We already use ##crawl-dev and the CRD mailing list for developer discussion and brainstorming.
  • The dev wiki skipped one full release (0.19) but can be rescued. The wiki is a good place to keep everyone's personal ideas that they're percolating instead of hidden away in text files that no one else can access.
  • We have several very useful documents (objstat, monster spawn distribution) hosted on Google Docs. I recommend we make a dev group with Google Groups for easier organization and access to these docs, instead of sprinkling them all over the learndb / private access.
  • GitHub, where the main Crawl repository is currently stored, supports wiki and Project functions. We do already have this dev wiki, but keeping things centralized helps focus attention rather than hopping between multiple domains and styles. Could be something to consider, maybe?
  • GitHub also has an issues tracker though I think Mantis is perfectly fine for this.
  • Any other ways to keep in touch better?
  • Open cooperation with the chaosforge wiki (more automated source-scouring script templates, checklist of such updates for each version) could help improve resource centralization…


  • STEAM - We've had discussions in the past about releasing on Steam – I think it's about time that we get Crawl onto Steam, especially with a big milestone like the 20th release. There are multiple other roguelikes on Steam with a successfully-sized playerbase. We'll need to handle licensing issues, Greenlight, and whatever else Steam will require of us. Chequers and Brannock have been interested in pursuing this, but we have several other devs that need(?) to be involved to successfully reach this goal.
    • Steam has announced planned changes to the distribution system, and it seems likely that they'll require a significant financial buy-in to get onto the platform. Given that the game is a) free, b) highly decentralized, and c) doesn't have a primary “owner” or maintainer, I no longer think putting Crawl on Steam is a realistic prospect. There's too many complications, and I don't want to appoint anyone to be permanently responsible for updating and maintaining Crawl on this. (Brannock)

Under Consideration

These features are not yet in trunk but are being actively worked on or considered by one or more devs (but still may not make it into the next release or any release for that matter).


  • Extended revamp - Big targets: Hell, Pan. Slash number of Hell floors, slow down hell effects but strengthen with a custom list; make Pan rune floors spawn consistently through better odds on tracked lord kills, provide special announced nasty demonic floor vaults. Requires decent vault work, stronger layout validators, effects refactoring, monster table updates. Goal is to set the two branches in a roulette to reduce extended's length / redundancies (demonic rune is a big question mark- might need mini-branch to balance it out, might need its own branch.) Full details here. (Brannock, regret-index)
  • Merge Elf and Crypt - the Elven Crypts, four levels deep, potential monster table. Addresses elves-as-casters identity all blending together, necessitated tedious Elf end vault luring, Crypt's lack of incentives in its late position / low loot count. Requires significant vault work, monster table revision, careful balance. Tomb remains in Vaults. Write-up details later. (Brannock, regret-index)
    • If this falls through, other proposals set-up a roulette with Elf and Crypt's positions alone. Location awkwardness and loot-adjustment required of both branches.
    • I really like Elf after all the changes in the previous versions. That's why I'd favour a roulette. But if you really like the merge, more power to you! — dpeg 2017-01-12 16:56
    • After a few months of sleeping-on-it I think it's best to keep the two branches separate and perhaps just to have a roulette for these two. Crypt needs more and better vaults, Elf needs an update to the monster table. Could steal some ideas from the proposed monster table for the merged versions. — Brannock 2017-02-25 17:07
  • Desolation of Salt - Upgrade from portal to branch, roulette with whatever Elf ends up being. More monster designs for the unique constant support-monster dynamic, some cross-usage of monsters in other branches, decent vault work, new layout generators. (PleasingFungus)
    • Also needs cloud generators to be moved from lua to C++, for performance reasons (currently slows the game to a crawl while resting)
  • New portals:
    • the Oubliette, an early-game portal vault that features a powerful temporary ally (dpeg);
    • the Gauntlet, a late-game portal vault that features a hyper-selective slice of enemies from across the game mixed together behind permaglass and one-way / one-time decisions. (regret-index)
  • Better Permanent Passages of Golubria: Make one-way passages distinct from the spell and improve their function in general so that they act like within-level hatches. They should retain knowledge of their destination when taken once so that they can work properly with autoexplore and travel. Will write up more about the issues involved later. (gammafunk)
  • Further trim core game – drop Lair to 4 levels, Lair branches to 3 levels, Depths and Vault to 3-4 levels each. (Lasty)
    • I have significant concerns about this. The XP balance is already becoming tight for many players, and further trimming runs the risk of breaking it and requiring a full rebalance of XP. Fewer levels also mean fewer items for players. It could work if it came alongside a significant increase in fixed vault generation, but I don't think we have enough vaults to pull that off without running into repetition issues. There are other areas that could be addressed before shaving away (further!) at the base game. — Brannock 2017-02-25 17:07


  • Remove mottled draconians - Concurrent with removing monster mottled dracos and dragons. Yellow draconians get their splashing behavior and short range on acid breath. (Brannock) Done.
  • Autotraining rework - Would be nice if it was based solely on the player's current equipment/spells/stats, rather using old victory dancing logic. I have a secret WIP, but there's still a lot of work to do… (PF)


  • Remove mottled draconians - Mottled draconians are probably the most boring of draconian packs, draconian packs have too many varieties for their own good, and fire already has multiple representations. (Brannock) Done.
  • Turn mottled dragons into acid dragons - Midgame-ish source of acid damage (aside from oklobs). Armour grants rCorr instead of rNapalm. (Brannock) Done.
  • Remove draconian callers and zealots - Indistinct and bloated. See above about draconian packs. (Brannock) Done.
  • New monster: draconian stormcaller - Smiting, summon drakes, Qazlal's upheaval. Rare: summon dragon. (Brannock.) Done.
  • Bone dragon breath - “Expel bone shards” that barbed-spikes the player. (Brannock)
    • No longer sure if this is a good idea, though I do want to give bone dragons _something_ (breath-wise) so they aren't just a ball of stats. Anyone have thoughts? -Brannock
  • Remove hill giants / buff two-headed ogres - Also give hill giant spawn numbers to 2HO. Makes ogre packs somewhat scarier, and further distinguishes giants. (Brannock) Done.
  • Swamp worms - at minimum, fix the thing where they randomly de-submerge while out of sight. possibly should replace their gimmick entirely, e.g. with reverse-trample (pull you backward along with them), or remove them; 'ambush predator' doesn't work very well on such a relatively weak enemy (for Swamp).


  • Charms reform - People aren't happy with Charms due to percieved time / tedium costs in putting buffs up before fights, passive buff status veto'd. No satisfactory conclusions yet beyond Haste's 0.18 removal.
  • Electric damage - make it consistently ignore half AC, rather than sometimes half (shock, lbolt) and sometimes all (static discharge, chain lighting). buff damage slightly for affected spells.
  • Apportation - if we keep it (and it is fun!), consider scaling it more strongly on spellpower: e.g. moving items 1 square for ever 5 spellpower (cap 35), or every 7 power (cap 49). (Right now spellpower does approximately nothing.)


  • Hepliaqlana - Keep an eye on balance; consider moving antimagic brand from hexer to knight to keep the latter more relevant later on.
  • Pakellas - Try out some of the ideas that were suggested for bringing it back? (e.g. remove mp cost from quick charge, remove the potion of magic accum, remove evo scaling from quick charge)
  • Yredremnul - Possibly implement http://pastie.org/pastes/9129434, so that truly fiddly ally management is limited to Beogh (and arguably Fedhas?)
  • Wu Jian the Council God - by SteelNeuron. Should be tested in trunk. — dpeg 2017-01-12 16:56 Merged!


  • New item type: Scarf - 0 AC, cannot be enchanted, always comes with an ego. Uses the cloak slot. Scarf, muffler, bandanna, babushka. (Brannock) All done!
  • Ziggurat figurines - Give them fancy animated tiles / console glyphs / descriptions to also serve as a trophy for clearing Ziggurats, and mark how many were cleared on it (regret-index)
  • Rods - should probably be usable from inventory (and maybe nerfed somehow?) - loss of interaction with cursed/distort/vamp/etc weapons is sad, but using them right now is pretty annoying
  • Potion of Mutability - Merge !curemut, !mut, and !benemut all into one item. Removes 2-6 mutations, adds 0-3 mutations, gives 1 good mutation. Intended to help encourage players to play the mutation roulette, and to help dampen the effect of getting a cripplingly bad malmutation (since this new potion is much more available than !curemut was) without letting them opt out of the mutation game entirely. There's always Zin for that. (Brannock, Lasty) Done.


  • Have a look at the %-screen (dpeg)
    • It should contain a line for regeneration rate (with pluses, like MR and Stealth).
    • The column for amulet properties (Gourmand, Faith, Spirit, Harm, Reflect) is not really necessary: it is rare to have several of those properties, and it might better to only print such an entry when the effect is present? E.g. if you happen to have mutation resistance, then the %-screen should show: rMut +, but otherwise there needn't be a rMut line.
    • Less awkward information about spell slots. Currently, it says: Spells: 12 memorised, 1 level left. Better would be: Free spell levels: 1/42
  • Get rid of chopping: killing a monster should produce a corpse and/or chunk(s). We may want exclusive-or here, for interface purposes (no annoying item piles in console). (dpeg)
  • Status list: There is functionality for ?/T by PleasingFungus; this allows to enter a status effect (such as Contam) and it displays the description. Ideally, and the original intention, is that ?/T gives a list of all currently present status effects. (dpeg)
    • How should the UI for this work? Can't say 'just hit enter', since that's how you exit the ?/ menus. Better to instead make the % list of status effects somehow interactive? (And/or the @ list?) (PF)
    • I was thinking of this: ?/T queries as now, and shows: Press . to list your current status effects. (dpeg)
  • Options menu - It'd be very good to have at least some rcfile options be toggleable in-game, automatically making corresponding edits to the rcfile.

Crazy Hypotheticals

  • Ranged reform (in progress Lasty)
  • Luring reform

Undone Plans From 0.18 and 0.19

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dcss/planning/0.20_plan.txt · Last modified: 2017-04-17 20:33 by Brannock
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