0.29 “Shooting Stars”

We are pleased to announce the release of Dungeon Crawl: Stone Soup 0.29 “Shooting Stars”!

DCSS 0.29 features a sweeping rework of Necromancy, streamlining and upgrading many of its spells, along with similar improvements to the necromantic god Kikubaaqudgha. Ranged weapons have likewise been streamlined and reworked to be more satisfying to use.

For those seeking a special challenge, we’ve also added a new Meteoran species that heals when seeing new terrain and has great skills and attributes. However, Meteorans have to move fast, with only one-tenth the normal time per floor before they suffer heavy draining.

Many backgrounds now start with extra scrolls, potions, or other consumables, allowing more tactical options when faced with a sticky situation. Speaking of sticky situations, characters cast into the Abyss will find that monsters there once again give experience and piety, and an ultra-dangerous ‘deep abyss’ is now accessible…

Many new item types have been added, like scrolls of poison and wands of quicksilver. Some of these ‘alternate’, with only one type of item from a set being generated in any given game. We’ve also added many exciting new unique monsters, from Amaemon the Diabolical Poisoner to the alt-timeline troll Parghit the Mighty.

Launchers, long blades and short blades all now use dexterity instead of strength when calculating damage, allowing new evasive playstyles. Monsters no longer gain and lose ‘random energy’, and can instead launch opportunistic attacks on fleeing players. As always, there are many more changes small and large alike!

Download DCSS 0.29 here or play it online on one of many servers across the world! Packages for Windows and OS X are available now. Linux debs are coming soon. See the full list of changes on the release page here.

The tournament starts on Friday August 26th 8pm UTC and runs through Sunday September 11th 8pm UTC, with all online 0.29 games counting towards your score. See the tournament page for more details, including how to join or setup a clan. Clans membership can be changed until Friday September 2nd 8pm UTC.

Many thanks to all those who have contributed to DCSS over the years. Thanks especially to the DCSS development team, whose contributions made 0.29 possible, and to the admins who run and maintain the official servers. A special thanks to the following community members who contributed to 0.29 and a warm welcome to the first-time contributors, listed in italics. (Let us know if someone is missing, this data is tricky to collect in bulk!)

4Hooves2Appendages, Aliscans, Ernest Antanishin, Spencer Baugh, Elliott Bernstein, David Damerell, DreamDust, dilly, Diego Essaya, Perry Fraser, Goratrix, Implojin, Alex Jurkiewicz,  Nikolai Lavsky, neo-bop, Oleksiy Pavlikovsky, Rytris Petronis, Brian Power, Reono, riverfiend, robertxgray, Rosstin Murphy, ruxi, sdynet, Jeffery Stager, Cebolla Sunbeam

Trunk Updates 14 August 2022 and Tournament Announcement

You hear the tinkle of a tiny bell. The trunk updates and a butterfly come into view!

Hello crawlers! Welcome to the last trunk update of the 0.29 cycle. We’ll be branching off the 0.29 beta branch and rolling it out to the servers soon, in anticipation of an upcoming release and tournament starting Friday, August 26, 2022, at 8:00pm UTC. Watch this space for the tournament website soon!

As we’ve been in feature freeze for part of the time since the last update post there’s not much to report, but here’s the latest on what will round out the version. Expect to see a few more new vaults and tweaks before the beta, and don’t hesitate to report any bugs you’ve noticed. Community contributor nlavsky has continued the stream of bug fixes; riverfiend did a deep dive in god wraths and did a lot of sanity checks, big thanks to them both! Here are the rest of the changes:

  • A new scroll of butterflies summons some insectoid cover, alternating in a set with the scroll of fog
  • Sastrei has been hard at work drawing a slew of new tiles
  • Some spell balance tweaks:
    • Irradiate now applies more contamination
    • Flame wave and sticky flame do more damage
    • Sandblast is more accurate
    • Frozen Ramparts and Ozocubu’s Refrigeration now check AC.
    • Ozocubu’s Refigeration no longer applies -Potion, does more damage, but significantly reduced damage to monsters adjacent to each other (they huddle for warmth, cute!).
  • Arcane Markspersons starting sling is now +1, and they trade the scroll of vulnerability for a scroll of poison.
  • The roll attack of Palentonga is now quieter, and they gain +2 strength.
  • A lot of behind-the-scenes work in key code handling and UI menus has been done by advil; the work has payed dividends in making new menu shortcut features easy to implement, visible in the use an item menu (toggle between wear/takeoff with !). Look forward to more of this in the next version.

Along with these gameplay changes have been a host of bug fixes as we get the next version ready for launch. Get amped for the tournament, and until next time, happy crawling!

The butterfly can only feel hate for you!

Trunk Updates 18 July 2022

The trunk updates twirl on the spot.

Hello crawlers, and welcome to the latest trunk updates! It’s a hot summer here in Gehenna, where the devil’s team is toiling away. Before we dive into the latest diabolical ways to die, mark your calendars. The tentative dates for the 0.29 release tournament are 26 August 2022 to 11 September. Watch this space for more information as the 0.29 development cycle winds down and we ready the new version for release.

We’ve got a big trunk update for you. Since last time we’ve added community contributions from nlavsky, robertxgray, Goratrix, Zhang Joke, Cebolla Sunbeam, chequers, perryprog, amcnicky, nikheizen, Brian Power, Aliscans, David Damerell as well as welcomed first-time contributors 4Hooves2Appendages, catern, Sentei, Reono, ruxi, and Rosstin Murphy. Some of these are bug fixes, grammar tweaks, quotations and dialog, and vaults, the little stuff that all together gives crawl its polish, but there are also some bigger-ticket items in the round up. If you’re interested in helping out with the effort to make crawl, click here for more information!

With that said, let’s dive into what’s been shaking in trunk.

First up, a new monster: the starflower, contributed by Cebolla Sunbeam. A stationary plant/tentacle hybrid monster with harpoon shot, reach 3 distortion melee, reach 2 melee, and an additional distortion melee attack. Meant as a vault-placed monster for abyssal vaults, guarding an exit or a rune or what have you, as a threat that’s dangerous to be close to, but can be neutralized if the harpoon shot can be blocked or avoided somehow.

Sentei adjusted the -Scroll and -Potion mutations. They are now 2-tier mutations in the regular bad mutation pool. The Ru sacrifice corresponds to the 2nd tier. Follwing up on Senti’s work, teleportits and berserkitis are also now two tiers.

nikheizen sent us a design to reflavour and re-mechanic gnoll shamen, turning them into gnoll bouda. They have a new spell set: Weakening Gaze, Hunting Call (like battlecry but gives swiftness instead of might), and heal other. The name bouda is a nod to the bouda of Northeast African folklore: shapeshifters that turn into jackals. They have the power of the Evil Eye which curses others with spectacular misfortune.

Temples are adjusted to place six to twenty-one altars, with a distribution that lightly favors the center of that range. On a one percent chance, a rare temple is selected instead. Rare temples are to Lugonu, Jiyva, or Ignis, or have a particularly extreme number of altars. Designing a Temple map is a great way to start contributing: there’s a particular need for Temples that support 7-8, 11, 17, 19, or 20 altars. Read more about map making for crawl here!

Support for item reskins has been added. Crazy Yiuf’s has his hammers once more. Sigmund and Reapers’ scythes are now reskinned halberds (so you can actually use them if you want, instead of trap items), and all scythes except unrand scythes are removed.

The Bows, Crossbows, and Slings skills are combined into a single Ranged Combat skill. Fustibali are removed. Hunting slings are renamed to slings. Launcher stats and spawn rates and locations are adjusted to give the ranged skill greater strategic depth.

Continuing to build on the item rotation concept, there is a new item: wand of roots, appears in item rotation with iceblast. Roots fires a 3×3 fireball-sized effect which constricts its victims (like BVC), with a duration scaling with wand power.

And a grab bag of slightly smaller changes:

  • a new silent ossuary map
  • Jiyva altars now place 2/3rds of the time at the entrance to Slime
  • Hex miscasts now only slow the player, instead of also cancelling effects
  • Lair now 5 floors
  • Ijyb’s wand power is nerfed.

That’s all for now. Expect the changes to slow down as we arrive into feature freeze in August and get ready for the release. Until next time, happy crawling!

Which is more difficult, to awaken one who sleeps or to awaken one who, awake, dreams that he is awake?

Trunk Updates 19 June 2022

Kikubaaqudgha calls the trunk updates from the earth!

Hello crawlers, and welcome back to Trunk Updates. While I’ve been away in a far corner of Pandemonium, my fellow devils have slacked off and left this space blank! Well, not slacked exactly, because they’ve been hard at work in Tar:7, as the length of this post portends. There have been several big moves, in the direction of item sets, a necromancy overhaul, and a new species, as well as balance adjustments following the opportunity attacks change and of course a wild grab bag of other changes. Before we dive into those, let’s mention community contributions since we last wrote: dilly sent in several new guarded unrand vaults, sdynet tweaked the rings of the Octopus King, and Aliscans, chequers, nlavsky, perryprog, and spicyCebolla each sent in various fixes and adjustments. I know there’s a big backlog of pull requests on the GitHub right now, but with luck we’ll bring in a bunch more new community work in the next month. Until then, let’s look at the rest of the changes!

Item sets

In an effort to increase run-to-run variation, experiment with new interesting item effects, while not increasing item pressure, the new notion of an item set is introduced. Only one type of item from a set can generate normally in a given game (though certain special situations, like rare vaults or shops, or perhaps a forgotten god, might bend this rule). Currently there are two item sets:

  • The hex wand set: alternating between Paralysis and Charming.
  • The bolt wand set: alternating between Acid, and two new wands: Light and quicksilver.
    • wands of light fire a bolt of blinding light, checking AC and EV but no resists. The beam blinds what it hits, and deals  damage identical to an acid wand.
    • wands of quicksilver fires a quicksilver bolt, dispelling the magical effects of targets it hits. Does slightly more damage than acid.

Watch this space for future exciting item sets!

Corpseless necromancy

As foreshadowed in the last post, hellmonk and PleasingFungus have been hard at work on overhauling Necromancy to not use corpses directly, as well as make Necromancy less awkward to use and give Kikubaaqudagh some bone polish. Their efforts have paid off, and crawl’s Necromantic magic now deals directly in the shadow between life and death, instead of meddling with the long-dead.

  • Kikubaaqudgha is buffed:
    • The pain brand can be applied to ranged weapons.
    • Torment no longer requires a corpse sacrifice.
    • Corpse Delivery is removed and replaced with Unearth Wretches, which summons some paralysed, 1 HP, 0 will monsters that die in a few turns, to use Necromancy spells on.
  • Animate Dead now gives a duration, and for the duration killed monsters with corpses have a power-dependent chance to become zombies. The zombies are permanent as long as the player is on the level, and are destroyed by a subsequent cast of Animate Dead.
  • Simulacrum is now a smite-targeted spell that gives an irresistable status. Monsters that die with this status spawn a power-dependent number of simulacra.
  • Death Channel cannot be re-cast while active.
  • Corpse Rot is now Level 4 Necromancy/Poison/Air. When cast it produces miasma for each corpse-producing monster killed in sight, scaling with power.
  • New Spell: Necrotize (L1 Necromancy). Necrotize deals damage identically to the old Pain spell, but additionally gives the monster a short-lived status that causes it to animate as a skeleton on death (if it has a skeleton). It replaces Animate Skeleton and Pain in all player usable places.
  • The spells Animate Skeleton, Pain, and Excruciating Wounds are removed.

Meteorae

The roiling success of hellmonk’s April fools Mayflytaurs’s mechanic comes back in a modified form. Welcome Meteorae!

Meteorae have an exciting variety of bonuses – great attributes and aptitudes across the board, passive mapping, and exploration healing, regaining HP and MP when viewing new territory. In exchange, they have one big downside: instead of getting 6,000 turns of Zot clock for each floor, they get 600! Meteorae are humanoid beings. (In the night sky, they look like dots because they’re very far up.) Hat tip to Neil Gaiman’s Stardust. They also glow in the dark, with permanent backlit status (not halo!), that they can’t escape by transmuting (Dithmenos can hide them, though!).

Along with their introduction comes a softening of the Zot clock, a slight move away from “instant death”. The Zot clock now applies very heavy draining the first time it trips, and gives the player an additional set of turns. Only at very low max HP will it outright kill the player.

Balance adjustments

The introduction of attacks of opportunity was a significant shift, and there have been several follow up changes to adjust balance while keeping the tighter tactics they introduce.

  • Some early game monsters are nerfed a bit in terms of base damage.
  • Consumable generation is increased.
  • Monsters slower than the player don’t get opportunity attacks.
  • The maximum duration of paralysis a monster can inflict is reduced to 5 turns.
  • Dungeon shafts attempt to send the player to a location outside of LOS of monsters.
  • Using all un-explored stairs and hatches is now fast.

The rest

Of course, this wouldn’t be a trunk updates post without a potpourri of other assorted changes. First of all, advil has done a host of behind the scenes work, improving the shopping menu, the plumbing of various bits of UI and save handling. And of course, Sastreii’s artistic endeavors continue to beautify the dungeon as well as clarify UI elements: you might have noticed the flashy new status icons for various status effects that are applied to monsters. Read on for the rest:

  • Timed hell effects no longer apply on a timer, and instead have a chance to apply on each level entry.
  • Hunter‘s starting dexterity is increased.
  • Positive stat mutations now give +4 to the primary stat and -1 to the other two.
  • Formicids’ base dexterity is increased by 3.
  • Formicids  can now wield giant (spiked) clubs.
  • Demonspawn demonic touch damage is doubled.
  • Uskayaw grants piety for ally damage.
  • Lugonu’s Bend Space is adjusted. It no longer does damage, and makes a better effort to blink monsters away from the destination.
  • Stones always mulch when thrown.
  • Shadow dragon scales AC increased
  • Weapon descriptions now display a “damage rating“, describing the contributions to weapon damage from various sources.
  • New item: scroll of poison. When read the scroll of poison fills every unoccupied space on the screen with poison clouds for 10-20 turns.
  • +MP items remove MP when they are taken off.
  • New unrand: the +8 trishula “Condemnation” {holy, Anguish Fly rN+}. Inflicts 4-8 turns of the Anguish status on targets it hits.
  • New unrand: the +3 mountain boots {rDislodge, rC+}. Prevent the player from being involuntarily moved by physical means (trampling, shafts, tentacles, etc.).
  • The amulet of Vitality now gives two pips each of Regen and RegenMP, and is now evil (Borgnjor is said to have made or used it or been involved in it somehow).
  • Scrolls of holy word are removed
  • Animated Armour now flies.
  • Sandblast no longer uses stones as ammo. Instead it takes twice as long to cast as a normal spell, and has its range increased by one.
  • Airstrike’s bonus from empty space is doubled.
  • Finally, Deep Dwarves are removed.

Wow! It’s been a few months since we last wrote and a lot has happened. Still more is on the horizon, though through the haze what exactly remains as mercurial as a quicksilver elemental. So, until next time, happy crawling!

Whisper “Farewell” when you leave, Dimli…

Trunk updates 6 March 2022

The trunk updates gesture, and weapons take to the air!

Hello crawlers, and welcome to the first trunk update post of the 0.29 development cycle. The dust has settled from the 0.28 tournament, and a bug fix release for 0.28 will appear soon. Meanwhile, trunk development has taken off as various members of the team and the community get to work on new exciting projects. First off we have several new vaults by community contributors DreamDust, and spicyCebolla, as well as tweaks, fixes, and text from Antern, chequers, CipHuk, Elliot Bernstein, Diego Essaya, Implojin, perryprog, and robertxgray. Many thanks to the community contributors that keep crawl alive and healthy! Now let’s turn to the gameplay changes since 0.28.

Launcher ammo is removed

You read that correctly: player launchers now have unlimited ammo. Along with this are changes and tweaks to bring balance in this new, free firing world:

  • ranged weapons have had their stats adjusted downward
  • the Hunter background no longer starts with a short sword and no longer has a throwing option
  • Kobolds now have +3 crossbows aptitude
  • Armour penalties apply to ranged weapon attack delay
  • Launcher damage scales with dex instead of str
  • Spriggans can no longer wield triple crossbows, and fustibali are 2-handed.

Several new Uniques stalk the dungeon

  • Parghit the Mighty. Following the example of Maggie/Margery, Parghit is an “alt-timeline” version of Pargi. Parghit appears in late Depths, Zot, Crypt and Tomb, and sports high-enchantment golden dragon scales (with a 1% chance of wearing the Dragon King) and an astonishing 27 HP regenerated per turn. He’s definitely killable, but best not underestimated.
  • Josephina the Ice-Lich. As one more “alt-timeline” unique, Josephina is an upgraded version of Josephine. She appears in late Vaults, Depths, Crypt, Tomb, and Zot, and borrows Wendigo Seracfall (turning simulacrula into 3d33 bombs) to add to her classic Ghostly Fireball. She comes with a guaranteed randart ring of ice.
  • Amaemon the Diabolical Poisoner. Crawl’s first demonspawn unique, appearing in mid-D, early Lair and Orc:1. Alongside his orange demon companion, Amaemon summons scorpions (the classic returns!) and casts Concentrate Venom, upgrading his allies’ poison into curare. To encourage players to try to kill him, he wields a demon whip of venom, with 1% chance of the unique Snakebite.
  • Lodul the Thundrous. Lodul is an ironbound thunderhulk who’s been sent to patrol outside the Vaults, in late D. He’s got a weaker version of Call Down Lightning and a big band of ogres and two-headed ogres to help him keep distance from the player. Defensively, he looks a lot like Erolcha.
  • Vv the Exile. Vv is a combination of ironbound frosthearts (Creeping Frost) and Salamander Tyrants (Eruption/Pyroclastic Surge), appearing in Depths, Zot, Crypt, and Tomb. She’s themed as a new species, the Stoneborn, sentient earth elementals. She also has strong defenses and both flaming and cold melee.
  • Zenata, Seeker of Sheza. Zenata is another late-game unique (appearing in Depths, Zot &c), borrowing a bit from the Desolation of Salt and putting a twist on it. She’s taken the ragged hierophants’ “Resonance Strike”, which is like airstrike that gets bonus damage from adjacent constructs instead of from open spaces, and uses it in conjuction with a new “Sheza’s Dance” spell, which summons 2-4 dancing weapons. She comes with a high-tier weapon with some plusses already on it.

Monster energy and attacks of opportunity

A major mechanical change has landed in trunk. “Random energy” was introduced long ago in Stone Soup’s history as an attempt at deterring tedious-but-optimal levels of pillar dancing and luring, while permitting shorter trips. It has not been successful in that role, and additionally offered a “get out of jail free-ish” card in many fights against certain monsters. The spirit that motivated it also motivated previous devteam attempts to meet the problem with a better solution, such as the dynamic-monsters experimental during the 0.17 cycle. This time around we’re tinkering with the mechanic again, in the following form:

  • Monster move energy is no longer randomized.
  • Monsters adjacent to the player gain a 1/3 chance to gain a free* attack if the player moves away from them. Wu Jian martial attacks & rampaging give immunity, and monsters that don’t move fast enough to follow you can’t attack. *Terms and conditions apply: the monster must have sufficient energy to be able to move the next turn (monsters slower than the player don’t get this chance on the turn they fall behind), and monsters that attack slowly don’t get a full refund on the energy used for the attack, only the amount of a normal turn.
  • Ogres, 2-headed Ogres, Ogre magi, and Thunderhulks attack more slowly in melee.
  • Early D spawns are nerfed a bit, with top killers less common and Harold moved later.

In addition to the direct tuning changes above, backgrounds have their starting kits improved a bit with extra consumables, to increase tactical options in the very early game. See the next section.

Expanded starting kits

Many backgrounds get improved starting kits with a new consumable or two to help with the very earliest moments of the game when tactical options are limited.

  • All ‘mages’ (‘pure casters’) start with a potion of magic.
  • Gladiators get a throwing weapon (one); a javelin, large rock, or boomerang.
  • Monks get a potion of ambrosia.
  • Hunters get a scroll of immolation.
  • Brigands get an additional poisoned & curare dart.
  • Artificers trade their chesspiece for nine charges of iceblast.
  • Wanderers get an additional random potion or scroll.
  • Abyssal Knights start at 60 piety (just over 2*) instead of 38 (just over 1*). This should allow them to use Bend Space if needed.
  • Chaos Knights get Artificer’s xom chesspiece.
  • Transmuters get a potion of lignification.
  • Warpers get more boomerangs of dispersal.
  • Arkane Markspersons get a scroll of vulnerability.
  • Enchanters get another potion of invisibility.

Everything else

Along with big-ticket changes there’s the usual froth and fizz of trunk development, with little tweaks and small features all over.

  • Unrand tweaks:
    • the Glaive of the Guard is reduced to +5
    • the arbalest “Dammnation” is reduced to firing 2d14 explosions
    • Gyre & Gimble are now +12
    • the Woodcutter’s axe is now a battleaxe
  • Long and short blade damage scales with Dexterity instead of Strength.
  • Merfolk’s polearms aptitude is reduced to +3, with long blades increased to +2
  • Mummy necromancy enhancers now appear at XL 3 and 13
  • Most zombies and skeletons are removed from Dungeon generation.

That’s all for now! The team is still getting organized around 0.29 priorities, so through the haze of Gehenna it’s hard to make out what’s coming. One big project is an overhaul of Necromancy, particularly the corpse exploitation spells; it’s still in the early phases so keep an eye out to see what sort of dark abomination comes out of the work. Until next time, happy crawling!

The trunk updates hit you as you move away! Ouch! That really hurt!!! You die…

 

 

0.28 Tournament Results

The 0.28 tournament is over. On behalf of the Dev Team, many thanks to all the server admins, outside contributors, bug reporters, and to the many DCSS players who made the 0.28 release and tournament possible!

For 16 days, players could compete for tournament points and banners by playing 0.28 games on the public servers. This was the fourth tournament held after the major revision of the tournament rules done for 0.25. There were changes based on previous input, and once again we’ve collected the feedback posted on tavern and reddit.

Congratulations to Yermak, perennial champion, for once again taking first place in the individual competition, with a spectacular 111,412 points! Over the course of the tournament, Yermak won 43 games, including a streak of 13 games (second-best in tournament), an 76M high score run (first in tournament), 30 Nemelex’ Choice combos, 4 species high scores, 3 background high scores, and 19 tier 3 banners.

Other big winners:

  • Acrobat2: 2nd place overall (101,150 points, 34 wins), longest streak (18 games), 4 species high scores & 1 background high score, tied for lowest XL win at 16, all level 3 banners completed.
  • Fagentul: 3rd place overall (89,909 points, 21 wins), 5 species and background high scores, tied for lowest XL win at 16, 16 level 3 banners completed, 8-win streak.
  • p0werm0de: Fastest realtime win (an auspicious 27 minutes 44 seconds), 2nd place low turncount, 8th place overall.
  • Caminho: Lowest turncount win in a scanty 8,492 turns.
  • sweetandcool: A third tie for lowest XL win at XL 16; 14th place overall.
  • Lici The Crawler (alias Borgnjor’s Vile Crotch): First win of the tournament.
  • Ge0ff, RubberyChicken and NoScrollMutBadDesign all tied for most ziggurats completed at 27 apiece.

The clan competition was won by Gozig or Gozag (captained by Ge0ff) with 105,656 points, sealing their victory by winning 40 Nemelex Choice combos to second place’s 30. In a close 2nd place was That felt unstrangely rewarding (captained by acrobat2) with 98,434 points, and first place in the Clan Combo Highscores and Streak Length leaderboards. 3rd place was held by Team Splat (captained by shummie) with 85,513, following up on last year’s 2nd place ranking by maxing out the Clan Low Turncount Win leaderboard.

Thank you to everyone for playing! I hope you all had fun.

To close out, here are some overall tournament statistics (with the 0.27 numbers in brackets for comparison). 2,559 players started a game at some point during the tournament; of those 2,504 completed a game without quitting or leaving the dungeon sadly orbless. This definition of “player” (players who completed a non-boring game) is used for subsequent calculations and was used for the 0.27 statistics.

  • Players: 2,504 (0.27: 2,474)
  • Total player time: 28,008 hrs (0.27: 27,502 hrs)
  • Average player time: 11.2 hrs (0.27: 11.2 hrs)
  • Games played: 69,201 (0.27: 67,203)
  • Players who got a rune: 742 (0.27: 734)
  • 357 winners and 1160 wins (0.27: 404 winners and 1571 wins)
  • Win rate: 1.68% (0.27: 2.34%)
  • Proportion of players using WebTiles: 96.6% (0.27: 94.4%)

The 0.29 season has begun, and changes are already in motion. Watch this space for further information as the 0.29 trunk update posts begin to flow. Until next time, happy crawling!

0.28 “The Rise and Fall of Ignis Zotdust and the Spiders from Hell”

We are pleased to announce the release of Dungeon Crawl: Stone Soup 0.28 “The Rise and Fall of Ignis Zotdust and the Spiders from Hell”!

DCSS 0.28 features a new Cinder Acolyte zealot background that begins the game worshiping a new god, Ignis, the Dying Flame. Cinder Acolytes start with the new Scorch spell, a -1 flaming branded weapon of choice, and five stars of piety. Ignis worshipers cannot gain piety, losing it only when using Ignis’ abilities. The abilities are Fiery Armour, which grants AC and retaliation flame damage, Foxfire Swarm, which summons many foxfires, and Rising Flame, a one-time ability sends the player one level above. Once all piety is spent, players will typically abandon for another god, and Ignis dies forever when wrath is over.

The Hell branches have been revised to offer substantially more challenge. Each branch features a distinct and persistent negative effects that applies while in the branch along with timed effects common to all Hells. The branches all have revised monster set with many new monsters and smaller layouts for the first six levels, each of which has only one downward staircase. The Spider branch has likewise been retooled with a roster of new creepy-crawlies, new and revised end maps, and updates to the existing layouts and vaults.

A new magical orb item type exists for the shield slot. Each orb type grants an ego with a powerful passive effect, such as a 3-radius halo or a reduction of monster willpower at the expense of your own. The god Yredelemnul has been completely redesigned, granting passive reaping and accepting the reaped zombies as payment for its dark abilities. Okawaru and Jiyva have also seen significant, though not quite as sweeping, changes.

A batch of new spells have been added, As always, there are dozens of new deadly vaults, and many more changes small and large alike!

Download DCSS 0.28 here or play it online on one of many servers across the world! Packages for Windows and OS X are available now. Linux debs are coming soon. See the full list of changes on the release page here.

The tournament starts on Friday February 4th 8pm UTC and runs through Sunday February 20th 8pm UTC, with all online 0.28 games counting towards your score. See the tournament page for more details, including how to join or setup a clan. Clans membership can be changed until Friday February 11th 8pm UTC.

Many thanks to all those who have contributed to DCSS over the years. Thanks especially to the DCSS development team, whose contributions made 0.28 possible, and to the admins who run and maintain the official servers. A special thanks to the following community members who contributed to 0.28 and a warm welcome to the first-time contributors, listed in italics. (Let us know if someone is missing, this data is tricky to collect in bulk!)

AdamPG, Alex Jurkiewicz, Aliscans, ArmiesAndCastles, Brian Power, Chris Landry, Justin Clark Ong, David Damerell, DreamDust, Ed Dewey, Elliott Bernstein, Gopall, Goratrix, Implojin, Jonathan Klabunde Tomer, Kiëd Llaentenn, MainiacJoe, Hurricos, Matthew Daley, Monkooky, Nikolai Lavsky, Oneirical, Perry Fraser, RojjaCebolla, Santiago Acosta, Zachary Chandler, Zhang Kai, amcnicky, dilly, floraline, John Stahara, Beargit, mgdelmonte, Nikolai Lavsky, Robert Gray, Paul Pollack, sdynet

0.28 Tournament Page and Schedule

Hello crawlers! We’ve finalized the schedule for the 0.28 tournament, which will run from Friday February 4th, 8pm UTC to Sunday February 20th, 8pm UTC. Please bookmark the official 0.28 tournament page and use this page to track your progress throughout the tournament. We’ll continue to update this page with any rules changes. In coming days you may see summaries of test data in the “Overview” page taken from recent 0.28 beta games. Don’t worry, we’ll reset everything before the tournament starts.

We’re in the process of finalizing the 0.28 release which will appear in the next couple of days, and 0.28 is being rolled out to our online servers.

Trunk Updates 17 January 2022 and Tournament Announcement

The trunk updates are haunted by guilt!

Hello crawlers, and welcome to the first trunk update of the new year! As hinted in the previous update, the 0.28 development cycle is nearing a close, and with that we are pleased to announce a tentative tournament start date of Friday, February 4, 2022, at 20:00 UTC for the sixteen day 0.28 Release tournament. We are chilling trunk into a feature freeze and will be focusing on bug fixes and balance in the coming three weeks, and plan to release 0.28 before the start of the tournament. More details about the tournament, including a tournament website and rules changes, will be available here soon!

With that announced, let’s dive into the 215 commits that have arrived in trunk since the start of the year (more or less). These commits included community contributions from Aliscans, DreamDust, Zhang Kai, perryprog, nlavsky, Goratrix, and a new rare Temple layout featuring Ignis by pdpol. In total, in these commits were 72 bug fixes spread among GitHub issues, Mantis issues, reports directly to the devteam, and community contributions to fix a bug the fixer noticed. Along side the polish and gameplay balance, UI improvements are always something we’re happy to include, and team member advil has done extensive work to make arrow keys and menu help more consistently available across the UI.

The last “big ticket” block of changes to land was to the Abyss, let’s open with that suite of changes:

  • Random items no longer generate in the abyss.
  • Kills in the abyss grant no reward (experience and piety), though Uskayaw still rewards damage and Yred still grants zombies.
  • Exploring no longer grants piety in the abyss.
  • The chance of plunging deeper into the abyss on teleport is increased.
  • Wretched stars only apply a single temporary mutation per use of corrupting pulse, and use it less often.
  • The abyssal rune, staircases, and exits are more common.
  • On collecting the abyssal rune, the player gains two potions of experience worth of experience.

With two-hundred commits there’s still a lot of churn, and although at this stage we’re much more focused on balance, there’s also a new goody or two. Let’s dive in!

  • New spell: Anguish (L4 Hex/Necromancy). Gives monsters in sight that fail a Will check the anguished status. Whenever an anguished monster deals damage it also takes the same amount of damage.
  • Shield penalties now work more like armour skill; the penalty scales down as skill is increased from 0 up to 27, based on a shield encumbrance rating and species factor. Skill 27 is required to completely remove the penalty, regardless of size.
  • Spider is no longer quiet, and completely open level layouts are much rarer
  • Ghost moths toned down in melee
  • orbs of mayhem are now disliekd by Cheibriados, and energy disliked by Trog
  • the robe of Misfortune loses its unequip penalties
  • Ashenzari’s skill boost is turned down
  • Wendigo’s seracfall damage is reduced
  • To-hit penalties from armour and shields are removed
  • Aux attack chance and damage is now based on XL instead of attribute for all aux attacks.
  • Offhand punch chance now starts at 5% chance and scales with unarmed combat skill to 50% at max skill.
  • Dragon form gets 2 extra levels of fangs.
  • The UI for interacting with frenzied monsters is greatly improved.
  • The player gets XP for kills by and of frenzied monsters.
  • Jiyva no longer grants piety for exploring the slime pits
  • The poison dart generation rate is dropped
  • Assorted tweaks to Spider monster band mixes and sizes

Well, that’s all for now! If you’re interested in helping in the release effort, drop us a line in #crawl-dev on libera.chat, check out the open issues on GitHub, or just keep playing and discussing trunk as the balance and tuning come in.

On the horizon, well, I opened with it. There’s the 0.28 Release and Tournament! The team is going to be focusing on getting release-ready in the next 3 weeks. Until next time, happy crawling!

The trunk update hits you! The trunk update is wracked by anguish!!! The trunk update dies!

Trunk Updates 28 December 2021

The broodmother hits you!!! A trunk update bursts forth from the wound!

A ho ho ho from Santaeus here in the icy expanse of Cocytus the North Pole! Welcome to the last trunk update of 2021. The frenzied pace of trunk development continues, with 150 commits since we last wrote. One big chunk of commits was some behind the scenes web tiles modernization, with some help from CKO admin and community contributor floraline. There are three big headliner sets of changes: a new set of Spider monsters, a variety of new early-game appearing unrands, and a new type of item to carry in your offhand instead of a shield. Before we get to those three change sets, let’s check out the rest of the trunk changes:

  • The glaive of Prune now turns you into a prune when paralysed, petrified, or put to sleep, causing you to take half damage until the effect ends.
  • If Jiyva dies Dissolution‘s summon eyeballs is replaced with a cantrip.
  • Sewer maps have been updated and re-vamped, plus two new sewer maps.
  • Bailey maps have been updated and re-vamped, plus three new baileys.
  • New Spell: Enfeeble (L7 Hexes). Enfeeble irresistibly applies weakness and antimagic to a single foe. Additionally the target is also dazed and blinded if they fail a willpower check.
  • Formicids now dig at normal movement speed, and each cell dug causes draining.
  • Centaur warriors replace centaurs in Shoals.

New and updated Spider monsters

  • Pharaoh ants are an undead spider that drains and when killed binds the souls of all nearby monsters.
  • Steelbarb worms are fast, regenerative, fire-resistant worms that apply barbs in melee.
  • Jorogumo are tough ensnaring monsters with bolt of draining and hornet poison melee.
  • Broodmothers summon spiders and bite to summon spiders.
  • Culicivora are healing spiders, with heal other and a vampiric bite, appearing in spider packs.
  • Sun moths are holy moths with a single tile halo, sticky flame, and energy bolt.
  • Radroaches are armoured roaches that cast irradiate, which contaminates the player a lot (not a direct malmutation).
  • Demonic crawlers gain warning cry.
  • Emperor scorpions are less tough but faster.
  • Ghost moths no longer poison but their stat draining is much more intense.

Early Game Artefacts

Artefacts can now generate on D:2-3. Additionally, several new unrandarts specifically designed to be interesting early and then fall off are added:

  • Delatra’s gloves heal the wearer for drinking unknown potions and restore MP for reading unknown scrolls.
  • The woodcutter’s axe is a vorpal +8 war axe that always swings at 10 aut, regardless of skill, shield penalty, slow or haste, etc.
  • The staff of the Meek is a +7 quarterstaff of protection with an extra protective bonus AC when below 55 HP.
  • Throatcutter is a +7 long sword of draining with a 1/3 chance to instantly kill foes that are below 21 HP.
Along with the new early-game unrandarts, several existing unrandarts have been given “early-game” status and weighted to be very likely early and unlikely later: Morg, Devastator, the Ratskin Cloak, Kryia’s mail coat, the trident of the Octopus King, the robe of Augmentation, and Lear’s Hauberk (reduced to +18).

Orbs to ponder

This round of updates brings a new item type: orbs. A shield-slot analog of scarves that give no SH and no penalty. Several new armour egos are added that appear only on orbs:

  • light: a radius 3 halo.
  • wrath: gives *Rage (20% berserk chance).
  • mayhem: when the wearer kills something, it has a chance to send a monster that saw the kill into a frenzy.
  • guile: reduces the will of the wearer’s target by 3 pips, while reducing the wearer’s will by 2 pips.
  • energy: gives a source of passive channeling: a chance to power a spell instead of using the wearer’s MP, with a chance to backfire and drain int or cause confusion. The success chance goes up with each source of passive channeling, and the backfire effect triggers if each source backfires. The staff of Wucad Mu now counts as two sources of channeling (so it stacks with an orb of energy in addition to being buffed!).

That’s all for now. This development cycle is coming to a downslope, most of the big ideas for 0.28 have reached trunk, but of course there are always surprises in Santaeus’ sleigh. So I don’t have horizon prognostication for you about what might appear next beyond the polish, balance tweaks, and bug fixing that make up the later end of the release cycle. Until next time, happy crawling!

The energy of discovery flows out of the trunk update and into your fingertips!

Trunk Updates 18 December 2021

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!

Trunk Updates 6 December 2021

The blog shudders from the hit and a flood of trunk updates pours out!

Hello crawlers! Sorry for not writing, there was a leak in the lava system down here in Gehenna and it was all hands on deck for the Devil’s team to get it contained. Despite the chaos, since the last trunk update there have been a whopping 480 commits to trunk. So buckle up for a meaty post. Before we dive into the details, some headlining information.

First, a warm welcome to Sastreii, who has joined the dev team as a tiles artist and has been prolific in refreshing old tiles and filling in art for the new content that’s arrived in this cycle.

Next, on the horizon in this version are a refresh of the Spider branch and an overhaul of Yredelemnul. Both are currently playable on the experimental crawl.dcss.io development server (not tracked in scoring or Sequell). Playtesting feedback is welcome and wanted on these branches, drop us a line on GitHub, reddit, the tavern, or #crawl-dev on libera.chat if you have substantive feedback based on playing experience. Both sets of changes should arrive in trunk very soon, but they aren’t quite there yet.

Also on the immediate horizon: a combined effort by community contributor nlavsky and team member advil will soon deliver a consumables panel for web tiles. This has been a desired feature for a long time, so hats off to both of them for the effort!

A big thanks to community contributors ManiacJoe and DreamDust for new vaults, as well as to AdamPG, Aliscans, ArmiesAndCastles, Brian Power, David Damerell, Gopall, Implojin, Martin Kennedy, nlavsky, perryprog, Santiago Acosta, dilly, mgdelmonte, paul, and robertxgray for patches with tweaks, bug fixes, balance adjustments, lua improvements, and more since we last wrote.

With all that said, lets dive into the trunk changes!

Branches & Environment

  • Exploration-based shaft traps are now limited to one shaft per branch per game.
  • Portal vault portal mimics have cackled and vanished for the last time, and are removed.

Character

  • Two new Demonspawn mutations:
    • The weakening stinger mutation gives a tail aux attack. At level 3 it blocks the cloak slot and the aux attack applies the weak status.
    • The demonic touch mutation adds irresistible damage to the off-hand attack. At level 3 it blocks the gloves slot and applies the vulnerable status.
  • Player-chosen attribute increases now happen every 6 XLs, starting at XL 3, and increase a stat by 2. Demigods are unchanged.
  • Black Draconian Breath no longer includes shock.
  • Clarity from any source again blocks *Rage.

Gods

  • Ashenzari’s passive trap avoidance and item identification are moved 1*. No more freebies without a curse!
  • Cheibriados’ passive poison slowing is moved to 0* and bend time moved to 1*.
  • Elyvilon’s abilities are streamlined to be less redundant with one another and with Zin’s sanctuary:
    • Pacification grants full XP, and can be used on intelligent plants.
    • Lifesaving is completely passive, and is a bonus chance on top of the usual good god chance that becomes guaranteed at 5*, but with a piety-gated timeout.
    • Lesser Healing is removed, with Greater Healing renamed to Heal Self and moved to 3*.
    • Purification is moved to 1* and is cheaper.
  • Gozag’s gold distraction chance is capped.
  • Ignis’ abilities are shifted based on playtesting experience:
    • Rising Flame is now a one-time use ability, but costs no piety.
    • The cost of the other two active abilities is increased to compensate.
    • The Sea of Flames ability is removed and replaced with Fiery Armour, a long lasting duration that gives +7AC and causes melee attackers to suffer fire damage.
  • Jiyva gurgles merrily and shifts into a new form:
    • Stat shuffling, healing and piety from item eating, and cure mutation, are all removed.
    • Piety is now exploration based and grows very quickly.
    • Jelly healing is replaced with passive HP and MP regeneration.
    • Mutation gifts arrive in bursts that attempt to remove a mutation (more likely a bad one) and then max out a good one.
    • rCorr is now granted at 2*, and jelly-on-hit at 5*.
    • New active ability Oozemancy granted at 3*. Somewhat expensive in piety it temporarily turns walls in radius 4 into slime walls.
  • The chance of Ru retaliation is reduced.
  • The Shining One abilities arrive earlier, with Divine Shield at 1* and Cleansing Flame at 3*.

Items

  • The spawn rate of wands is reduced.
  • The electrocution brand now triggers on fewer attacks.
  • Regen is reduced to 0.8 HP / turn per pip.
  • MPRegen is increased to 0.4 MP / turn.
  • The brand weapon chances have been tweaked, and are now described in the scroll’s description.
  • The spawn rates of scrolls and potions are adjusted slightly and now described in in-game descriptions.
  • New glove ego: infusion. Gloves of infusion add damage per hit in exchange for 2 MP per hit.
  • New unrandart: the +3 Mad Mage’s Maulers {Infuse+∞ RegenMP Int-3}. These exchange all of the wearer’s current MP in exchange for bonus damage proportional to the amount of MP used.
  • The hat of the Bear Spirit now grants extra bonus HP while berserk (for a total of +100% HP) and reduces the post-berserk slow duration, though it loses rN+.
  • Unrandarts that produce allies no longer do so when worshipping Okawaru.

Monsters

  • Demonic and Holy monsters are now susceptible to fear, intoxication, and mushroom spores, and are able to go berserk.
  • Monsters now have a chance to break a door permanently when opening it to get to the player. This chance is higher if berserk.
  • Classed draconians now come in a fixed colour based on their job.
  • Plain demonspawn are removed. Each class of classed demonspawn has one mix of demonspawn attributes.
  • When Dowan dies, Duvessa goes berserk permanently; when roles are reversed Dowan gains haste permanently.
  • Merfolk impalers and javlineers are nerfed slightly.
  • Walking Tomes have a summon cap on their living spells.
  • Shard shrikes now engage in batty wandering after casting icicle once, as they were meant to.
  • On death, Eleionoma and Fenstrider Witches drop a wand if they drop a corpse (similar to a dragon’s hide).

Spells

Within the spell changes, a big chunk of them involve making existing spells scale with power and making sure the power caps for low level spells aren’t too high. Here’s that set first:

  • Corpse Rot scales with power, placing more miasma clouds per corpse and placing clouds at radius 2 if all the radius 1 space is already filled.
  • Passage of Golubria now has a range that scales with power.
  • Blink has a cool down that scales (downwardly) with power.
  • Teleport Other, Sublimation of Blood, Spider Form, Inner Flame, Gell’s Gravitas, and Vampiric Draining all have their power caps reduced.

And the rest of the spell changes:

  • Eringya’s Noxious Bog now places a bog under the caster, as well as on cells with only one adjacent wall; the caster is now immune to their own bog.
  • Inner Flame is now smite targeted.
  • Slow is now level 1 with a lower power cap.
  • When Metabolic Englaciation successfully slows a monster it does so for a minimum duration.
  • Death Channel now works on demonic and holy monsters, as well as corpseless living monsters.
  • Flame Wave does less damage per wave.
  • Player hexes other than Ensorcelled hibernation now set allies to attack the hex target.
  • Dragon Form’s breath weapon is buffed in power for non-draconians (to the power level of draconians).

Wow. That was quite a lot, with lots of big projects on the horizon as well. So stay tuned! Remember to check out the experimental branches and give feedback. As always, if you are interested in contributing to the community effort head on over to our GitHub. Until next time, happy crawling!

Residual magic twists the trunk update into a wand of ending (1).

Trunk Updates 23 September 2021

You feel a terrible foreboding… the trunk updates come into view!

Hello crawlers! It has been a busy month since we last wrote, with lots and lots of new stuff landing in trunk.

First of all, you’ve probably noticed a lot of fresh new looks for monsters and terrain. A big thanks to community contributor Sastreii for the stream of awesome tiles.

The long promised Hell overhaul has arrived in trunk, with a complete refresh of each of the sub-branches and tons of new monsters. nicolae is hard at work on new Hell vaults as well, so watch out! Speaking of vaults, hellmonk has brewed up six new WizLabs for you to loot, or perhaps to die in.

Fighter and Fire Elementalist have both been adjusted – the latter has two new spells, and there are a few other new spells as well. The behavior of random rage from all sources has had a variety of tweaks, and there’s the usual grab bag of other tweaks, changes, and adjustments.

Hell Overhaul:

For a long time, players have let us know that hells are too long (28 floors!) but too easy – a “victory parade”. To fix that, we’ve taken what was fun and challenging about the hells and distilled away the rest. The result is much more lethal, shorter, and a rip-roaring good time all the way through. Changes include:

  • Hell effects are divided into timed effects and branch wide persistent effects.
  • The timed effects are the same for all hells, and consist of temporary mutation, stat drain, hp drain, and noise.
  • The branch-wide persistent effects are:
    • In Dis, players have 8 Corrosion (-8 AC and Slaying).
    • In Cocytus, potions are frozen solid cannot be used.
    • In Gehenna, scrolls are obscured by hellish smoke and cannot be used.
    • In Tartarus, Willpower is halved by the sheer horror of the environs.
  • In each hell sub-branch, floors 1-6 are shrunk to 1/4 of their original area. (The final floor of each branch, floor 7, is unchanged.)
  • Each level only generates a single downstair, with no randomly placed shafts and a limited number of escape hatches.
  • Hell subbranches have their monster lists refreshed with a variety of new enemies, replacing things like weak derived undead and so-called “trash mobs”.
    • Each subbranch has hellions, tormentors, dread liches, and ancient liches.
    • In addition to the cross-hell population, there are revised monster sets in each subbranch.
    • Gehenna is now populated by brimstone fiends, hellephants, hell hogs, fire giants, salamander tyrants, balrugs, and three new monsters:
      • The creeping inferno stalks the player like a lurking horror, and when it explodes it goes off in a fire storm.
      • Searing wretches are ghoul-like monsters that strip fire resistance with their melee attacks.
      • Stokers tend the fires of Gehenna, summoning creeping infernos and setting off wind blasts.
    • Dis is now populated by hell sentinels, iron giants, caustic shrikes, iron dragons, war gargoyles, buffed iron golems, and two new monsters:
      • Quicksilver elementals have quicksilver bolt and antimagic attacks, as well as batty movement.
      • Crystal echidnas throw barbs and fire crystal bolts. They’re made of green crystal and are appropriately vulnerable to LRD.
    • Cocytus is now populated by ice fiends, shard shrikes, azure jellies, titans, frost giants, freezing wraiths, simulacra, and two new monsters:
      • Wendigos have stunning blast, paralyzing victims for 1 turn on hit. They can also turn nearby simulacra into very powerful iceblasts, destroying the simulacrae in the process.
      • Narguns hit hard, have a vulnerability melee, and cast petrify. (Watch out – since potions are frozen solid in Cocytus, you can’t quaff cancellation to stop the petrification!).
    • Tartarus is now populated by tzitzimimeh, silent spectres, doom hounds, bone dragons, profane servitors, eidola, shadow wraiths, spectral things, and two new monsters:
      • Tainted leviathans are undead giants which mesmerise, throw large rocks, and are ringed by miasma clouds
      • Putrid mouths are screaming ghosts with miasma breath, strong poison and stat draining melee.

Six New Wizard’s Laboratories:

Hellmonk, with an assist from PleasingFungus and art from Sastreii has brought a whole assortment of new WizLabs for you, including restoring two that were cut in 0.17.

  • Eringya’s Formal Garden (previously removed in 0.17) returns with a modified layout, nastier archers, and the addition of some of the swamp monsters that have been added between then and now.
  • Tukima’s Studio (also removed in 0.17) returns with a modified layout and several brand-new monster types to complement the dancing weapons: walking tomes, which summon living spells that cast themselves at the player. Walking Tomes also now appear as high-tier enemies in Depths.
  • Yara’s Duelist Academy features mana vipers, lots of warrior-mages wielding antimagic weapons, and a fearsome semi-unique Head Instructor who likes to dual-wield triple swords.
  • Borgnjor’s Mausoleum features both corporeal and incorporeal undead. Lost souls occasionally appear when monsters are killed, making big fights scarier. A cult of halazid warlocks serve as the final encounter.
  • Maxwell’s Workshop features an array of golems and big, meaty workers who wield big, meaty maces. You’ll find some of Maxwell’s cast-off equipment here, perhaps including the legendary artifacts themselves.
  • Alistair’s Party Mansion features an array of wizards and their bizarre guests. There’s some good consumables to be had if you don’t mind crashing the party of the century… and wading through statrotting clouds of degeneration.

Background changes:

In 0.27, we removed some Level 5 spells from book starts. This was to push them toward being like other backgrounds: a starting kit, not something that lasts you through most of the game. Fire Elementalists are now being changed in the same way: they get two new low-level spells, Scorch and Flame Wave (described below), replacing Sticky Flame and Fireball in the starting book.

Changes to shield delays made kite shields a worse starting item. Accordingly, most Fighters now start with bucklers, which require less skill. (Ogres and Trolls, which cannot use bucklers, are unchanged.)

Spell changes:

  • New spell: Scorch (L2 Fire). Hits a random enemy within 3 tiles, dealing fire damage. If damage is dealt, applyies short term rF- to the foe. Cinder Acolytes start with Scorch instead of Foxfire.
  • New spell: Flame Wave (L4 Fire/Conj). Flame Wave is a channeled spell (like Searing Ray) that hits all surrounding tiles in ever-wider waves of flame. The initial cast costs 4 MP, and each turn of channeling costs 1 MP. The noise starts a bit louder than a shout, and gets up to fireball level by the last wave.
  • New spell: Summon Cactus Giant (L6 Summoning). Summons a jolly green giant, which impales attacking enemies on its giant spines. Appears in the Book of the Wilderness and the Book of Scorching
  • Searing Ray‘s power scaling is decreased.
  • Storm Form’s power scaling is decreased, but blinkbolt is now always LOS range.
  • Bolt of Magma and Corona are now monster only.

Random rage:

  • Random rage bypasses Ashenzari clarity
  • *Rage now causes berserk on 20% of hits per item (the exact chance is displayed in the % screen and item description).
  • The evokable berserk artefact property is removed.
  • Unrand changes:
    • The necklace of bloodlust keeps *Rage but with 50% berserk chance.
    • The Zealot’s sword retains *Rage with the standard 20% berserk chance.
    • Leech trades *Rage for Harm and Drain on unequip.
    • The hat of the bear spirit gains *Rage instead of +Rage (for now).
  • Berserkitis’ chance to berserk on melee hit stacks with *Rage linearly, and the cumulative chance is displayed in the % screen.
  • Cheibriados permits berserk, and just suppresses the extra speed.

The rest of the changes:

  • All derived undead keep their reach, constriction, and trample effects.
  • New entry vaults, ruin sub vaults, and maps for Desolation
  • Red Devils no longer kite, and instead their melee attack inflicts the barbs status if damage is done.
  • The Ranger Card now summons rangers from these three types: centaur warrior, naga sharpshooter, deep elf master archer. (thanks sdynet!).
  • Ironbound Beastmasters are removed.
  • Depths is now 4 floors.
  • The experience cost of high-level skills is reduced (approximately equivalent to a +1 increase in aptitude at skill level 23).
  • To compensate, late game XP is reduced.
  • The top-end two handers have slightly lowered skill requirements for mindelay. Executioner’s axes and bardiches now reach mindelay at skill 24, and triple swords at skill 22.
  • Throwing ammunition is reduced.
  • Abyssal Knights background stat contribution is changed to 5/2/5 Str/Int/Dex, from 4/4/4.

On the horizon:

That rounds out the changes for this update. Looking to the future is always fraught, but amid the miasmatic haze of Tartarus there are some outlines of a spider overhaul, adjustments to the wanderer start, more efforts to compactify mid-to-lategame, and a host of community and dev-team designed new vaults. Further afield there are rumors of new Bailies, overhauls of Yredelemnul and Jiyva, and perhaps even something about ranged combat. Stay tuned! And until next time, happy crawling!

The trunk update rustles loudly! The trunk update casts itself at you!!!!!!! You die…

Trunk Updates 29 August 2021

The trunk updates begin to smolder around you…

Hello crawlers, and welcome to the first trunk update of the 0.28 cycle. Coming fresh out of the gate are a new god Ignis and accompanying zealot background Cinder Acolyte, plus a big new feature for Okawaru and freedom from the summon XP penalty. On top of all that, a new unique Mlioglotl stalks the dungeon. Mlioglotl unique horror with the power to corrupt the level, changing terrain and summoning other abyssal horrors, as well as cause fear. He places in the S-branches and rarely in the Abyssal lair end. Thanks to community contributor amcnicky for the nightmares. Watch out!

Ignis, the Dying Flame

Ignis is a new god who does not appear in the temple. Indeed, altars to Ignis do not place in the regular dungeon at all! Ignis worship can only begin at character creation or from a faded altar. Ignis is dying, and as their last worshipper you are given all remaining power right from the get go.

  • Ignis worshippers start at 5* piety (6* if a monk joining from a faded altar).
  • Ignis has no piety gain and no piety decay.
  • Once abandoned and mollified, Ignis dies and can never be worshipped again.
  • Ignis grants the following abilities:
    • 0*: Passive rF+
    • 1*: Active ‘Sea of Flames’ ability. Creates smoldering embers (like Conjure Flame) on every empty square in LOS. They ignite after the next player turn unless snuffed out by something occupying the cell.
    • 1*: Active ‘Foxfire Swarm’ ability. Conjures Foxfire on every open square in radus 2 around the player.
    • 2*: Active ‘Rising Flame’ ability. Gives the player the “Rise” status, after 2-4 turns the player rockets through the ceiling and up one floor.

The main way to worship Ignis is by starting as a Cinder Acolyte. Cinder Acolytes are a new background and start worshipping Ignis, along with: a 7/5/0 stat split, a robe, a -1 flame branded weapon of their choice, and the spell foxfire memorized.

Okawaru, god of (single) Combat

In the 0.27 cycle Okawaru gave up on their old honorable ally conduct. That was the beginning of a shift in their point of view on allies, and the god of combat now wants to see you prove yourself a worthy hero alone!

  • Okawaru now forbids all allies, as if you had sacrificed love under Ru.
  • And gains a new 5* ability Duel. The Duel ability smite-targets a single non-summoned enemy in LOS (which must be threat level “tough” or higher), and transports them and the player to an Arena portal vault. Winning the duel opens a gate to return from the portal vault, and the player will be forcibly teleported back after a short duration.
  • Finesse is moved to 4*.

Summoning Changes

For a long time summons have applied an XP penalty, stealing up to half of the XP reward from each kill. This was used as a balance tool, because allies in crawl are very powerful. However, over the past many versions a lot of the sources of ally power (summons attacking out of LOS, sources of permanent, very long lived, or cheap and powerful allies) have been removed. Summoning spells were still extremely powerful, owing to the large number of creatures that could be brought to bear on a problem. In trunk summons and allies are changed in the following way, to enable removing the XP penalty.

  • Summon caps are reduced:
    • Summon Small Mammal, Summon Hydra, and Monstrous Menagerie are capped at 2.
    • Haunt is capped at 8.
    • Summon Horrible Things and Dragon’s Call keep their old summon caps.
    • All other summon spells are capped at 1.
  • Summon-capped summons all time out uniformly and disappear after 10 auts.
  • Shadow Creatures is made a monster only spell.
  • The XP penalty is removed from all temporary allies.
  • Permanent allies from Beogh and Yredelemnul currently retain the XP penalty, with a hope to change their design in the future in a way that allows us to fully remove the XP penalty.

And all the rest

Of course, in addition to big projects there are myriad tweaks, adjustments, and smaller features in trunk. Here’s the latest

  •  Ziggurats no longer require a rune of zot to enter.
  • The Enchanter background no longer starts with the Corona spell, and instead starts with a potion of invisibility.
  • The evolution mutation is revised. Once per XL’s worth of experience it activates, providing a good mutation. Every two activations it reduces its level by one.
  • New bad mutation: devolution. Mechanically similar to evolution but dispenses bad mutations and activates once every 1/4th of an XL.
  • Strength 0‘s regeneration reduction is replaced with -Regen in monster LOS.
  • Intelligence 0‘s 4/5 chance to fail scroll reading is replaced with -Scroll.
  • The staff of Battle now triggers the battlesphere on melee hit (in addition to the usual spell trigger).
  • All shields now only use Dex for stat scaling.
  • The robe of Clouds‘ thunder cloud ability is now passive, placing storm clouds on enemies within range 2 each turn.
  • Riposte is removed from long blades and base damage is increased.
  • Demonspawn warmongers’ Sap Magic effect now causes a short term -Cast after casting a spell.
  • Lesser Beckoning’s power cap is reduced to 100 and range reduced to 5.

What’s on the horizon

That’s all for now, crawlers, but there’s a lot cooking down here in Dis:7. There is a major refresh of the hells underway, discuss play testing feedback on reddit or the tavern! Hellmonk has some hellish new wizlabs nearing completion. PleasingFungus has been at work in his own wizard laboratory and has two new spell designs that might make it to trunk soon. Beyond that, who can say what malicious whims will flit through the devteam’s head. So until next time, happy crawling!

With a burst of heat and light, the trunk updates rocket away!

0.27.1 Bugfix Release

We’ve uploaded the 0.27.1 bugfix release. Packages for Windows, MacOs, and Linux are all available on the download page. Thanks to all the many contributors who helped with this release, including patches and bug reports!

Highlights (full commit list via github):

  • The frequency of D:1 jackals is reduced.
  • Sigmund and Robin are nerfed gently.
  • Maxwell’s Capacitative Coupling now has LOS range.
  • 80 other fixes, tweaks, copy-edits, and interface improvements.

Updating is recommended for all players. Happy crawling, and report more bugs here!

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0.27 Tournament Results

The 0.27 tournament is over. On behalf of the Dev Team, many thanks to all the server admins, outside contributors, bug reporters, and to the many DCSS players who made the 0.27 release and tournament possible! For 16 days, players could compete for tournament points and banners by playing 0.27 games on the public servers. This was the third tournament held after the major revision of the tournament rules done for 0.25. There were changes based on previous input, and once again we’ve collected the feedback posted on tavern and reddit.

Congratulations to Yermak, perennial champion, for once again taking first place in the individual competition, with 105,402 points! Over the course of the tournament, Yermak won 48 games, including a streak of 24 games (best in tournament), an 86M high score run (also best in tournament), an XL 14 win (also tied for best in tournament!), 27 Nemelex’ Choice combos, 5 species high scores, 3 background high scores, and 19 tier 3 banners. In 2nd place was Sergey with 91,825 points and 34 wins, including a streak of 21 games, 3rd lowest turncount win, 2nd 15 win of the tournament, 4 species high scores, 3 background high scores, and 14 tier 3 banners. Rounding out the top 3 was dilly with 84,283 points points and 38 wins, including a streak of 7 wins, 28 Nemelex Choice wins (tied for most in tournament), and 18 tier 3 banners.

Our top three took several of the top spots in the individual category rankings, but they weren’t the only players on the leaderboard. Acrobat set the top standard in Win Rate once again, winning 37 out of 43 games over the tournament for an adjusted win rate of 84%. Third place finisher dilly tied with Prakerore in the Nemelex’ Choice competition, both winning 28 Nemelex combos for points over the course of the tournament. Yermak and Sergey took the number one and number two spots in the quest for Combo High Scores, with CryingNoob rounding out the top 3. The lowest turncount was 9,903 turns, shared in a tie by Caminho and DrMan. Seasoned speed runner p0werm0de took the fastest real-time win with a 22:37 victory. Spriggan Enchanter was the power-combo of the Low XL win category, with Acrobat, Yermak, and Prakerore in a three way tie at XL14. The tournament start was heralded by p0werm0de who posted the first win after 33 minutes, and dilly brought home the first 15 rune win in an hour and 20 minutes. The Ziggurat Dive was more restrained than the 0.26 tournaments’ 100 ziggurat fiesta, with Ge0ff clearing 60 Ziggurats. Finally, both poncheis and booing earned every banner, the only two players to complete this feat.

The clan competition was won by Gozag or Stay Home (captained by Ge0ff) with 105,343 points. In 2nd place was Team Splat (captained by shummie) with 78,267 points. Following close on their heels in 3rd place were ABCDEF (captained by fbynet) with 76,046.

Most of the clan categories take the best score of the member, so I won’t recap those. The Nemelex’ Choice competition was a collective effort, and and just as in 0.26 it was quite high scoring. Gozag or Stay Home came out on top, with a total of 49 clan nemelex points; closely following were ABCDEF with 47. The Combo High Scores competition was blown away by Gozag or Stay Home with 917 points in the category, a result of having both Yermak and Sergey on the team. This tournament only two clans collectively earned every banner: ABCDEF thanks to the ‘B’, booing; and chatdotcrawlBR, which had poncheis as a member.

Thank you to everyone for playing.

To close out, here are some overall tournament statistics (with the 0.26 numbers in brackets for comparison). 2,527 players started a game at some point during the tournament; of those 2,474 completed a game in a non-boring way. This definition of “player” (players who completed a non-boring game) is used for subsequent calculations and was used for the 0.27 statistics.

  • Players: 2,474 (0.26: 2,333)
  • Total player time: 27,502 hrs (0.26: 29,392 hrs)
  • Average player time: 11.2 hrs (0.26: 12.6 hrs)
  • Games played: 67,203 (0.26: 54,701)
  • Players who got a rune: 734 (0.26: 886)
  • 404 winners and 1571 wins (0.26: 476 winners and 1767 wins)
  • Win rate: 2.34% (0.26: 3.23%)
  • Proportion of players using WebTiles: 94.4% (0.25: 96.7%)

The 0.28 season has begun, and it again looks to be a very active trunk season. Watch this space for further information as the 0.28 trunk update posts begin to flow. Until next time, happy crawling!

0.27 “The Cursed Flame”

We are pleased to announce the release of Dungeon Crawl: Stone Soup 0.27 “The Cursed Flame”!

DCSS 0.27 features a new Djinni species that cast spells using HP, can only learn new spells at random as they level up, and only use the spellcasting skill to train magic. We’ve redesigned Ashenzari, who now offers curses for your gear to gain piety and skill levels, at the cost of destroying the item when the curse is removed.

A batch of new spells have been added, including Manifold Assault, which attacks multiple foes at once with your melee, Storm Form, which transforms you into a tempest with electrified, cleaving melee and the ability to hurl yourself as lightning at foes, and Animate Armour, which draws out the spirit of your armor to fight by your side. Polar Vortex is a more damaging, ice-themed replacement for Tornado. Maxwell’s Capacitive Coupling is a level 8 air-themed replacement for Absolute Zero that vaporizes a nearby monster after a delay. Chain Lightning has been reworked into a more powerful level 9 spell.

Spell books have many new types and generate more often, but contain fewer spells. We’ve re-balanced branch monster sets and end maps, as well as made new end maps for Lair, Shoals, and Snake. As always, there are dozens of new deadly vaults, and many more changes small and large alike!

Download DCSS 0.27 here or play it online on one of many servers across the world! Packages for Windows and OS X are available now. Linux debs are coming soon. See the full list of changes on the release page here.

The tournament starts on Friday July 30th 8pm UTC and runs through Sunday August 15th 8pm UTC, with all online 0.27 games counting towards your score. See the tournament page for more details, including how to join or setup a clan. Clans membership can be changed until Friday August 6th 8pm UTC.

Many thanks to all those who have contributed to DCSS over the years. Thanks especially to the DCSS development team, whose contributions made 0.27 possible, and to the admins who run and maintain the official servers. A special thanks to the following community members who contributed to 0.27 and a warm welcome to the first-time contributors, listed in italics. (Let us know if someone is missing, this data is tricky to collect in bulk!)

4Hooves2Appendages, AdamPG, Aliscans, Alexei Barnes, Beargit, Elliott Bernstein, dicedlemming, dilly, DreamDust, Goratrix, hyperactiveChipmunk, Implojin, Alex Jurkiewicz,  Zhang Kai,  l33t-d00d, Nikolai Lavsky, Christopher Landry, MainiacJoe, mgdelmonte, Mintice, Andrew O’Neill, Alexander PoschrobertxgraySastreii, sdynet, WhiteShark, Shummie, Skrybe, Jeffery Stager, Cebolla Sunbeam, Wensley, Mara Williamson

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July 24 Trunk Update Post and 0.27 Tournament Page

A +6 arbalest “Damnation” {damnation} comes into view. The +6 arbalest “Damnation” {damnation} shoots a damnation bolt at the trunk update.

Hello crawlers and welcome to the last trunk update of the 0.27 cycle. We’ve been under feature freeze since last Friday, so the remaining time before the 0.27 Release and Tournament will be devoted to bug fixes, balance tweaks, and polish. If you’ve been holding out and playing 0.26 due to concerns about stability, know that all major features are fixed in trunk, and only reasonable balance changes and bug fixes will be a thing from here until release. We’ve made the 0.27 beta branch, so servers will begin installing 0.27 soon. So please play-test trunk or the 0.27 branch when that’s available on your favorite server to help us find bugs! The 0.27 release will be either Thursday, July 29th, or Friday, July 30th, depending on timing. Look out for an official release post with download links to come.

The 0.27 tournament will run from Friday July 30th, 8pm UTC to Sunday August 15th, 8pm UTC. Please bookmark the official 0.27 tournament page and use this page to track your progress throughout the tournament. We’ll continue to update this page with any rules changes. In coming days you may see summaries of test data in the “Overview” page taken from recent 0.27 beta games. Don’t worry, we’ll reset everything before the tournament starts.

Now, onto the Trunk Update! Note that this is not the full set of 0.27 changes, just the ones since our last trunk update. For the full and official set of 0.27 changes, check out the changelog. Here are the changes since last time:

  • The starting spell sets of some Mage and Warrior-Mage backgrounds are reduced by one spell. This together with the increase in book drops will give these classes more variety in how they proceed through middle portions of the game. We didn’t get to adjusting all classes this version, since for some, any spell removal would leave the class in a difficult spot. Further changes, including potentially new spells, will happen during 0.28 development, so stay tuned! The changes for 0.27:
    • Air elementalists no longer start with Lightning Bolt.
    • Arcane Marksmen no longer start with Leda’s Liquefaction.
    • Earth Elementalists no longer start with Lee’s Rapid Deconstruction.
    • Summoners and Ice Elementalists no longer start with Summon Ice beast.
    • Venom Mages no longer start with Ignite Poison.
  • New branch end maps and adjustments:
    • New “Abyssal Woods” Lair ending featuring demonic trees and abyss-themed monsters. Beware the thrashing horrors!
    • New “Lost City” Shoals ending featuring a ruined temple theme with minotaurs and sphinxes. Beware the satyrs too!
    • New “Storm Temple” Shoals ending featuring electricity-themed monsters and many possible layouts. Beware the storm dragon! Or the titan!
    • The “Ancient Temple”,  “Frog Pond”, and “Undead Jungle Book” Lair endings have been adjusted to lower monster counts significantly. And they say we never give players anything…
    • Most Snake end maps have their monster counts significantly reduced. It’s tough work slogging through all those nagas, we know.
  • All Ice Cave maps have been rebalanced to have more varied layouts, monsters, and loot. Gone are mysterious dead reapers! The changes are substantial, as detailed in this commit. You should find the cloud generator placement less arbitrary and less frequent, more possible shortcuts in many maps, and more varied monster sets at both easy and hard difficulty ice caves. Stay frosty, friends!
  • The Robe of Folly is redesigned. It now gives you a permanent brilliance effect (spell enhancer and half spell MP costs), but sets your Will to 0. Additionally it grants +8 Int (from +4) and +4 enchant (from +3). It’d be folly indeed to not wear this robe while entering one of my lich-filled vaults!
  • Dancing ranged weapons are now a thing that can kill you. Yes, of course they have infinite ammo, I’m glad you asked! But don’t worry because…
  • Tukima’s Dance now works on monsters wielding ranged weapons! It can make charmed dancing ranged weapons to fight by your side.
  • The Elemental Staff is featured in one new and one reworked vault. Both vaults also feature a greatly improved master elementalist monster that always wields the staff, appearing when these vaults place in Elf or Depths. Watch out, it knows Ozo’s Refridge, Crystal Spear, Chain Lightning, and Firestorm!
    • The new vault is the official “guarded unrand” vault, by first-time contributor dilly. Placing in Dungeon, Elf, and Depths, it features an elemental mage elf boss (for Dungeon) or the master elementalist (for Elf and Depths) and various elemental baddies.
    • Mu’s “elemental laboratory” vault, the one that initially introduced the master elementalist, has been given a complete overhaul. It has more challenging and interesting elemental monster sets and features much more interesting terrain.
  • Monster breath timeouts now reduce after their turn. So if you see that a monster is “catching its breath”, you know it won’t use a breath attack before your next turn unless it gets a double turn. That’s really nice!
  • Many new vaults for Elf, including entries, decorative vaults, monster vaults with weird things like defective dancing weapons and cool things like double deep elf blademasters with double double swords, and new main vaults and entries for the Elf:2 Hall of Blades! Also new are a batch of ecumenical altar vaults. New even though the altars inside are very old.
  • Eleionomae no longer land on and destroy trees when they travel next to you, instead picking a safe and comfy spot next to a tree. No more tree digging!
  • Ossuaries no longer have spear and dart traps. The days of step-and-rest-then-repeat for clearing some areas of ossuaries are over! Don’t worry, alarm traps and net traps still make an appearance. And there’s talk of introducing some new types of traps or trap-like monsters in 0.28…
  • The macro menu is greatly improved, with hotkeys Ctrl-D for an improved menu and Ctrl-E for a quick-add menu.
  • We have a bona-fide game menu available from the F1 key. It’s almost like we’re a modern game! For now you can use it to access save, quit, macro, and help functions, but we’ll probably expand it in the future.
  • The allow_extended_colors console option is now on by default. For console nerds only! We previously didn’t enable it because some major system terminals didn’t support more than 8 standard colors by default, but that’s no longer the case.
  • Hints mode has been updated and corrected. But it still recommends Vehumet over Sif Muna! Wrong!
  • The Desolation entrance is no longer ruined.

That wraps it up for this set of trunk updates. Until next time, happy crawling!

The damnation bolt hits the trunk update!!! The damnation bolt explodes! The damnation engulfs the trunk update! The trunk update dies…

Trunk Updates 1 July 2021 and Tournament Date Set

You open the Incunabulum of Trunk Updates and begin reading…

Hello crawlers! Coming hot on the heels of our previous trunk update we’re back with more of the latest. Before we dive into changes, some exciting scheduling matters:

The 0.27 tournament is tentatively scheduled for July 30th-Aug 15th

As usual, watch this space for links to the tournament webpage, more information about scoring, etc.

While it has only been a week since our last little chat, almost 100 commits have landed in trunk. One significant area of change is to spellbooks, feedback on the feel of this change is most welcome and we look forward to reading your remarks on various crawl forums. With that said, on to the changes!

  • Thanks to community contributor Aliscans, wizmode monster creation now has in-game help, for all your monster experimentation needs.
  • Archmagi can now appear on randart robes.
  • Several unrands have been adjusted:
    • Damnation only consumes bolts and explodes on hit.
    • the staff of Wucad-Mu has been buffed, refunding MP more often and including the refund even when it backfires.
    • the Wrath of Trog is angrier: it now extends your berserk duration on kill (sometimes) and grants Rampage. Raarhrhrhghghghghgh!
  • The post-berserk penalty no longer includes paralysis.
  • Using Trog’s Berserk now has a piety-adjusted chance to fail.
  • Salamander Tyrants, Rockslimes, and Quicksilver oozes have been added to Ziggurat monster sets.
  • Several further enhancements to the quiver:
    • Potions and scrolls can now be quivered for use.
    • Autofight correctly supports “waiting spells” like searing ray.
    • New options are available to customize the quiver order
  • A new spell: Maxwell’s Capacitive Coupling (Level 8 Air). When cast, the player begins charging up. If the player waits (with ‘.’) and is not moved then after a bit of time (random and depending on spell power) the accumulated charge is discharged, vaporizing the nearest foe (nearest at the end of the spell, not when it is cast!). This might seem familiar, but I’ve got absolutely zero idea where you might have seen the mechanics before.
  • Wereblood now only grants its healing for kills of adjacent monsters.
  • Felids no longer get a stealth penalty from Blade Hands.
  • Everyone else can improve their stealth with a new good mutation that dampens sounds.
  • Spell book changes:
    • Spellbooks are always identified
    • Randart spellbooks have fewer spells
    • Fixed spellbooks are split into smaller books of 2-4 spells each, and 30 new books are added to pick up the contents.
    • Spellbooks generate more than twice as often to keep the number of spells generated about the same. Book rarity is now more closely tied to the spell level.
    • Book pricing in shops is reworked
    • Backgrounds that previously started with a spell book are unchanged, their starting spells are added directly to the spell library at game start.

That’s all for now. In the run up to the release and tournament, “feature freeze” is scheduled roughly around July 16 or 23. Before then expect to see many more exciting new vaults reach trunk, both from our new devteam members and from several community contributors; along with balance tweaks, bug fixes, and user interface improvements (including, hopefully, an item panel in the WebTiles UI). Until next time, happy crawling!

Weird images run through your mind. The Trunk Updates vapourize in an electric haze!

Trunk Updates 25 June 2021

Welcome to Tudoco Ucre’s Tempting Trunk Update!

Hello crawlers, it has been a while since a post has appeared in this space. While your author has been inactive the rest of the team and the community have been working away in the depths of Gehenna to sift the most lethal ideas from the hellish magma.

First of all, a warm welcome to the two newest players for the Devil’s team: hellmonk–a long time community contributor, fork developer, and notorious memelord. nicolae–another long time community vaultsmith, with a special talent for shop vaults, whimsey, and good quotations. We’re happy to have both of them aboard the team.

Speaking of community contributors, since I last wrote from among the 285 commits to trunk we’ve seen

  • A new splash screen by ArbitUHHH
  • New tiles from Sastreii, including for demonic trees which inspired a new dungeon feature
  • Tweaks and fixes from Goratrix, dilly, nlavsky, and DreamDust
  • Specific mechanical input from engine and pubby
On to the changes!

New and Improved Vaults and Environment

  • Everyone’s favorite lair ending, the Jungle Book, has been overhauled to no longer be a Lua-trigger spoiler. There are still plenty of appearing monsters, brought back from the dead by necromancers that now appear.
  • hellmonk has been on fire, adding three new Volcanoes: a smoke and steam themed map, a tribute to the Zot hot tub (beware the orb of fire), and an elven volcano full of pryromancers.
  • To cool off, he then added a slime themed new Ice Cave.
  • Both hellmonk and nicolae have been at work improving Snake vaults; the first with a new rune vault, and the second with a wide variety of thematic vaults.
  • Many old guarded unrand vaults have been tweaked and adjusted, as well as a slew of new ones.
  • While not exactly a vault: demonic trees now appear in the Abyss, Pan, and themed vaults. They can be awakened like normal trees but when burned produce a cloud of chaos instead of a forest fire.
  • Early out of depth monsters have a shallower maximum depth.

Gods

  • Hepliaklqana waits until you have shown enough devotion to earn 1* of piety to bring your ancestor out of the mists of memory (and kindly also waits to impose the HP penalty).
  • Sacrifice Experience costs more XP now: the experience cost of skills is calculated with your old XL value, which will have a much longer effect. The sacrifice can now be repeated up to three times.
  • Sacrifice words and sacrifice drink grant bonus piety when both are taken (Mummies get the bonus just for sacrificing words.)
  • Other sacrifice piety values have been tweaked and rebalanced in various directions.
  • Okawaru no longer cares if you slaughter your allies.
  • Kikubaaqudgha now gifts spells directly into your library; the capstone grants all of the spells of the Necronomicon and also Haunt once more.

Character

  • Djinni aptitudes are adjusted (XP is increased from 0 to +1 and spellcasting reduced from -2 to -3).
  • Unbreathing is no longer a mechanic distinct from rPois or holiness type (this applies also to monsters).
  • Palentonga can now silence their rolls.
  • Wisp form no longer has blinkitis.
  • The guaranteed damage reduction mechanic is changed. Instead of being a secret percentage associated with particular armour items, it is an internal calculation derived from AC from any source. For the curious you can read the details, but to quote the LearnDB “If you’re making equipment decisions based on this, please reconsider.”

Spells

  • The amulet of the Air loses EV+5 and becomes an Air magic enhancer.
  • Monster Bind Souls now always creates a simulacrum when the targeted monster dies.
  • Air Elementals lose their twisters, and gain Stunning Burst which inflicts 1 turn of paralysis and is resistible with rElec, stasis, or by dodging the attack (but not Will).
  • Ice form‘s AC scaling with power is buffed.
  • New spell: Storm Form Level 7 Air/Transmutations. Transforms the caster into a storm, melding all non-jewellery, and granting power-scaling electric cleaving melee, power-scaling defenses, and an activated blinkbolt ability.
  • Wereblood grants a small amount of healing on each kill.
  • Blade Hands is again level 5.
  • Freezing Cloud is now level 5.
  • Tornado is re-named and re-flavoured to Polar Vortex Level 9 Ice; the damage flavour is changed to icicle damage and increased.
  • Chain Lightning is increased to Level 9 Conjurations/Air, and has its mechanics simplified to be easier to reason about (but still a bit more complicated than a bullet point).
  • Poisonous Vapours no longer creates a cloud as part of its mechanical function.
  • Absolute Zero and Hydra Form are removed.
The trunk updates go straight to hell!