Archive for February, 2014:

Downtime: CDO (Website, Bug Tracker, Wiki, Forum)

I’ll be moving everything on CDO to a new server starting this Thursday. Shouldn’t take long, but I can’t take the old IPs with me, so DNS refresh might cause an additional delay of up to 4 days.

During that time CDO will be closed for external connections, which means this website (including the bug tracker, the wiki and the forums) will be unreachable.

Wish me luck and stay tuned :)

Trunk updates, 24 February 2014

Hi crawlers! Here’s what’s new in trunk:

  • New summon spells:
    • Summon Lightning Spire (L4 Summoning/Air), which places a lightning spire up to two squares away from the player; it replaces Summon Scorpions in the book of Callings.
    • Summon Guardian Golem (L4 Summoning/Charms), which creates a golem that protects the player with Injury Bond and occasionally explodes on death; appears in the book of Callings.
    • Summon Forest (L5 Summoning/Translocations), which summons a dryad and temporarily converts terrain near the player to forest; it is in the Book of the Warp.
  • The speed brand now consistently grants 2/3 weapon delay and no damage reduction (previously it was 1/2 delay and 10% damage reduction for melee weapons).
  • Fulminant Prism is now level 4 (was 5); Iskenderun’s Battlesphere is now level 5 (was 4).
  • Formicids are no longer rPois- and have the same HP and XP aptitudes as humans.
  • Grey rats, spiny worms, giant amoebae and deep dwarf berserkers (the monster) are no more.
  • Spellbooks of types you have seen before are automatically identified (like staves).
  • Racial weapons no longer generate.
  • The rod of destruction now fires random bolts instead of having a pre-set spell list.

Enjoy the tweaks, and happy crawling!

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Trunk updates, 17 February 2014

Hi crawlers! Here’s the latest and greatest from trunk:

  • God wrath has been changed to trigger only as experience is gained; it occurs more frequently, but tends to occur only during / after significant battles.
  • Several deities – Okawaru, Trog, Vehumet, Makhleb, Yredelemnul, and Kikubaaqudgha – have had their wrath tinkered with, mainly to scale better with the player’s XL.
  • The shadow mimic behaviour of Dithmenos (formerly Dithmengos) followers has changed – spells aren’t directly mimicked (except for enchantments), instead yielding a shadow shard or shadow bolt depending on the original spell, and damage output from physical attacks has been reworked.
  • All skills usable by divine abilities are available to train immediately on worshipping that god, rather than needing to wait for the abilities to become available. For most gods this is Invocations where applicable; for Nemelex this is Evocations; for Kikubaaqudgha this is Necromancy. TSO followers can also train shields at any time (cf. Divine Shield).
  • New unrand artefacts: the +3,+5 arc blade {discharge, rElec}, a cutlass which causes a static discharge effect on one third of melee attacks; and the +3,+6 demon whip “Spellbinder” {antimagic, MR+}, which inflicts miscast effects on spellcasters related to the spells they can cast.
  • An experimental new Swamp level layout, appearing on 2/7 of all non-ending Swamp levels.
  • Summoned allies will attack enemies without needing to be being prompted to do so.
  • Another redesign of the Vaults:5 layout – the outer ring has returned, and all of the corners of the quadrants are now open to the ring.
  • Item destruction from sticky flame has been reduced.
  • Felids can now use wands.
  • The list of recommended combinations has been revised heavily; as part of the changes, species and background recommendations are now independent of each other – that is, a species may recommend a background where that background does not necessarily recommend that species, and vice-versa.
  • Large rocks are no longer inherently penetrating (this was itself a trunk experiment).
  • Dith’s Shadow Form now causes skill drain on taking damage, and is usable by all races (i.e. undead can use it).
  • Crystal golems have been replaced with crystal guardians – less HP, but the ability to fire a crystal bolt which bounces off of all features and deals either fire or cold damage on a per-bolt basis.
  • Lemures and jellyfish are no more.
  • Many other smaller changes.

Happy crawling!

DCSS Survey Results 2012

After a long time of waiting, finally here they are: the results of last year’s Stonesoup survey. Ideally, this would have been out exactly a year ago. We hope the tables and charts are still of interest to some of you.

Below we give an extremely abridged report. For an in-depth treatment, read the full report (pdf, 37 pages).

There have been 5735 meaningful replies, arriving between 16/02/2012 and 29/12/2012, a period which included the 0.10 and 0.11 releases and tournaments.

The average participant is male (92%), 24 years old, and lives in the USA (46%). He strongly prefers the Tiles version (76%) because he feels that tiles are less confusing and easier to understand than ASCII glyphs. He is playing Crawl offline (72%) and would like to use the online game if it was as same comfortable.

The average Crawler has started playing Crawl within the last three years (74%), and hasn’t won the game (76%) or even found a rune yet (66%), but has made it as deep as the Orcish Mines and Lair. He doesn’t use spoilers or only in moderation to read up on the most deadly of enemies. He’s quite likely to have played Diablo for a while (57%) and may also have tried NetHack (63%) or Dwarf Fortress’ adventure mode (51%) at some point, but otherwise has little experience with roguelikes or comparable games. The survey was his first interaction with the devteam in any shape or form (85%).

Among the 1224 participants who did snatch a win, some have achieved additional feats of even greater difficulty: 430 won allruners, 375 have won more than five games, 197 have completed Ziggurats and 72 obtained streaks of at least three wins in succession.

About 15% of all participants consider themselves thoroughly spoiled by the time they won their first character whereas 36% consider themselves completely or mostly unspoiled, at least when it comes to monster properties. This has actually informed on-going Crawl development, as 0.13 will disclose monster spells to players, something that was regarded as the most pertinent spoily monster information.

New USA webtiles/ssh server:

As some of you may have already heard, a new public server is available: (or CBRO).

I actually didn’t plan on creating an official server; I just wanted to start learning some crawl dev with a few friends and needed a webtiles server.  In the past when I messed around with this stuff, I simply used the webserver setup that comes with the source.  This time however, I found some documentation on the dev wiki and decided to go all-out.

It took a while, but with help from a bunch of folks in ##crawl-dev (primarily |amethyst/neil (CSZO) and TZer0 (CLAN)), CBRO finally went online.

Oh, and people keep asking, “What’s a Rotato?”.   It comes from the (smallish) gaming community, MeFightClub. I learned about Crawl from there and we’ve had about 30 players the past two tournaments, so it’s been a fairly big influence on my crawl experience so far.

Being Rotato can be summed up in the following quote:

“Be Excellent to each other. If you can’t be excellent, Be Civil. If you can’t be civil, Be Offline”


  • Also known as CBRO.
  • Located in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
  • It will serve the latest stable released version of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.
  • It also serves the latest development version and updates daily around ~ 0800 GMT.
  • Additionally Dungeon SprintZot Defense and the Tutorial.
  • Access via SSH (port 22): username “crawler” – SSH-keys (PuTTY key Unix key) (no password access).
  • Access via WebSocket: WebTiles (port 8080)
  • Accounts and save files for SSH & WebSocket are shared.
  • Morgues, rc files, and so on are available online.
  • Games & milestones are recorded by Sequell and reported in ##crawl on freenode by the bot Rotatell.
  • Scoring pages are also updated (though there may be a short lag before the games are logged).
  • johnstein can be reached in IRC via ‘!tell johntein’ in ##crawl, or email:

Trunk updates, 9 February 2014

Hi crawlers! Here’s some of the latest interesting changes to trunk:

  • Repel Missiles and Deflect Missiles now time out on a per-deflection basis, rather than being a duration.
  • Portal Projectile is now a duration instead of a one-shot effect; for the duration it portals projectiles for 1 MP per projectile.
  • The outer ring on the final level of Vaults is no more.

Not all of these changes are available online / in the current builds yet, but within a day or so they will be there.

Although it’s not in trunk (yet), I’ll take a moment to point out that has a new experimental branch for the purpose of testing several implementations of the spell Glaciate, a proposed replacement for Ice Storm. Read the discussion here.

Happy crawling!

Trunk updates, 3 February 2014

Hello, Crawlers! This is meant to be the first of many posts updating you on recent changes to trunk, much as has been done with the blog in the past.

Without further ado, here are some things you may not have seen yet, relative to the last time an update was posted here (which was a while ago, so some things here may not exactly be news):

  • The lower half of the Dungeon from D:16 onwards is a new dungeon branch, the Depths – six levels long and containing the entrance to the Realm of Zot.
  • The Depths (and D:15-) do not require a rune to enter; instead, Vaults requires a rune to enter.
  • Two new races to play with: Formicids, an ant-like people with innate stasis and the ability to dig through walls and shafts in the floor, and Vine Stalkers, a plant-like parasite on a humanoid host who regenerates quickly, cannot heal through wands or potions, and possess an innate spirit shield effect and an anti-magic bite.
  • A new deity: Dithmengos the Shadowed, granting a number of shadow-themed abilities.
  • Ziggurats no longer charge gold for entry, but require three runes to enter.
  • New uniques: Asterion, a minotaur of Makhleb; Natasha, the ex-familiar of a powerful wizard with some magic of her own; and Vashnia, the leader of an elite squad of naga sharpshooters.
  • Many, many new regular enemies, especially in the Lair branches and Pandemonium.

The relatively infrequently-updated changelog contains more details on many of these, and can always be found by way of Gitorious at

Not everything that’s tested in trunk will end up in a stable release, so be sure to enjoy things while they last! You can play trunk online, or download a local build of trunk from here.

Happy Crawling!