Halls of Mist 1.3.2

Yay, Halls of Mist 1.3.2 is here!

I’m now using Mercurial, which makes coding faster and more enjoyable. The source package is actually a zipped Mercurial repository, meaning that it includes a hidden .hg folder. Halls of Mist doesn’t have an online repository yet, but if you want to contribute patches, we can easily work something out.

Derakon, thanks for recommending Mercurial! It’s also perfect for many of my non-coding projects, and there’s a lovely book that makes learning Mercurial a breeze.

I’m too tired at the moment to create a change list that makes sense… A couple of notes will have to do for now. I just want to get this more polished Halls of Mist out, quickly!

Notable changes:

  • Lots of bugfixes. I combed through all reports here on oook, and I think I managed to fix everything (?).
  • Lots of balance problems fixed. Most importantly, Spellswords and Absorb Hit tuned down. Semi-spellcasters have less mana.
  • Mist phantasms start appearing sooner, and they are always awake.
  • All torches have only 2000 turns of fuel, like the basic Wooden Torch. Torches are somewhat lighter.
  • The Circle of Knowledge abilities — Identify Pack and Fully Identify – always work, but you need to spend two identify points to use them. Also, the weak Scroll of Lore is gone, and Scroll of Identify is back. (It is quite expensive, though.)
  • You become acclimatized to the Mist when you spend multiple dungeon levels underground. When you take the stairs down in the dungeons, you receive a randomly chosen skill bonus to Perception, Spell Save or Stealth. You can only get each bonus once — after three down staircases in the dungeons you are have gone “native” and have the full bonuses. If you return to the surface you lose the bonuses. (Basic idea by Derakon.)
  • Berserk Rage now heals 45% of wounds + 15 hits, makes you immune to fear, gives free action and extra blow, and doubles thrown damage. That’s all. (Free Action was Magnate’s idea.) Rage doesn’t gives bonuses to hit anymore; to compensate, Bless and Heroism give bigger bonuses.
  • ‘R’esting now waits for 50 turns or until you are fully healed. Hit the button repeatably if you need to. (Thanks, buzzkill.)
  • All resistance bonuses are capped at 60%. With temporary bonuses they can rise up to 90%. No weird exceptions.
  • The maximum stack size is now 30.

A big thank you to everybody who has provided feedback! Without it, Halls of Mist wouldn’t be half as good a game.

Halls of Mist 1.3.1

The bugfix release 1.3.1 is now available!

Download: 64-bit Linux, OS X, Windows, source.

Changes:

  • A great overhaul for the dungeon generation! I stormed all the places where bugs loved to hide.
  • The player always starts near walls. That’s a more logical place for an up staircase (if you get one), and also a bit safer place to start.
  • All cul-de-sacs now have either stairs or faery portals. Faery portals are a bit more common, but I didn’t change the numbers for staircases. There are still two down staircases and a 30% chance for an up staircase.
  • The two guaranteed down staircases can’t be near each other. This should make escaping tough levels easier.
  • Similarly, faery portals can’t be next to each other.
  • Phantasm clock tightened. “Mist-die” still starts at 1d250, but the game now rolls 1d900 (not 1d1000) every turn when trying to remove one side from the Mist die. You now roll the Mist die *twice*, and if either of the rolls is 1, you get a phantasm. (Thanks buzzkill and Starhawk.)
  • Mana cost of Holy Sigil reduced from 15 to 2. Mana cost of Glyph of Warding reduced from 55 to 5. (Thanks, Scatha.)
  • Bugfix: Scroll of Lore gets properly identified when read. (Thanks, Starhawk.)
  • Show only two (different) messages about torches running low on fuel: at 100 fuel and at 10 fuel. (Thanks, buzzkill.)
  • Summon scrolls and Circles of Summoning now summon real monsters. Returned them to the original monster level. (Thanks, Starhawk and Scatha.)
  • The faeries you get from Fountains of Summon Faeries are real.
  • Wizard mode summon monsters also summons real monsters.
  • Summon scroll are somewhat rarer and come in stacks of 1d2 instead of 1d3.
  • Everybody now leaps instead of hopping. (Thanks, buzzkill.)
  • Resting doesn’t have options “rest for SP” or “rest for both SP and HP” anymore. (Thanks, ekolis.)
  • Hitpoints are now generated non-randomly.
  • +2 bonus hit points to everyone at first level! (In total, everyone gets +5 bonus hit points at first level, compared to Angband.)
  • Mage gets +3 to Perception. He’s pretty good at it.
  • Rings of Mana are much shallower, 32 -> 20.
  • Wand of Magic Missile is slightly more common and slightly more expensive. One less charge on average. Made it positively tricky to use for beginning characters, more difficult than Wand of Slow Monster. Damage increased from 2d6 to 2d10. It’s a treat to characters with a high Magic Device skill.
  • Wand of Stinking Cloud is slightly more difficult to use.
  • Elemental attack wands have a bigger chance of appearing on shallow levels.
  • Wand of Harpoon starts with an extra damage die. (They depend on player level.)
  • Many deep devices are slightly less deep.

Halls of Mist 1.3.0

You wouldn’t have expected version 1.3.0 so soon after 1.2.3, would you?

Download: 64-bit Linux, OS X, Windows, source.

Highlights:

  • Mana now works much like in Ironband. You have lots of mana, but it only gets refreshed on new dungeon levels.
  • Summoned creatures are mist-phantasms. They don’t give loot or experience, and they have a 3% chance of dissolving each game turn.
  • If you spend too much time on a dungeon level, mist-phantasms start appearing spontaneously! This is another “clock” that makes you think how you spend your time — don’t rest if you really don’t need to.
  • Simplified proficiencies. The points are now called identify, recover, and escape. Forget everything you know about Lore. Everybody has exactly two identify points. To identify an item, make an Alchemy skill check. In a Circle of Knowledge, you may instead try to Identify Pack or to Fully Identify.
  • There are now more alternative routes to many rooms. Bypassing difficult monsters should be easier than before.
  • Tweaked healing spells and items. A healing effect now always heals a percentage of wounds plus some hit points. (You get full info by inspecting items or by browsing spells.)

For a quick introduction to Halls of Mist, see the Roguebasin page.

Excellent critical feedback inspired me to try to fix the perceived problems. I’d especially like to thank buzzkill who thought playing mages was boring and who doesn’t like resting in general, and Scatha, who found proficiencies too complicated and who also critiqued tree-shaped dungeons levels that didn’t allow you to circumnavigate difficult monsters.

I had to break savefile compatibility. Finish your old characters in version 1.2.3.

The balance might be a bit off after such radical changes. Keep the feedback coming! For example, it’s still possible to make radical changes to the mana system if this one doesn’t seem to work.

 

Full change list:

 

Ironband Mana

  • Mana now works much like in Ironband! You have lots of mana, but it only refreshes when you enter a new dungeon level.
  • If you raise levels mid-dungeon-level, you get mana points with the new levels. If you lose levels, you also lose the mana points that came with them. Mana may go to negative.
  • Mana now depends solely on your class and level, not on your spell stat. Spell stat still affects fail rate and the number of known spells.
  • Modified the spell stat/number of spells table.
  • Added 6 to fail rates of all spells.
  • Experience level reduces failure rate less. (Was 3*, now 2*.)
  • Restore Mana restores 20% of max mana.
  • Ring of Mana and similar items changed. They sometimes let you cast spells for free.
  • Casting Phlogiston does not consume any fuel from the torch. (Because the mana cost matters much more now.)
  • Mage gets +1 to hit die side.

Mist-phantasms

  • All summoned creatures are shaped out of the mist. Mist-critters have a 3% chance of dissolving each turn. They drop no loot and killing them gives no experience. To make them stand out, mist-creatures’ color alternates constantly between different shades of blue and violet.
  • If you spend a long time on a dungeon level, mist-critters start appearing spontaneously! The dungeon uses your own imagination against you… Monster counter starts at 250. Every game turn the counter has a (1d1000 < monster counter) chance of decreasing by one. Every game turn there’s also a 1 in (monster_counter) chance that a new mist-critter appears. You get a message when the counter reaches the bottom. Here’s another clock that should make you think a bit before resting — sometimes you may want to recover hits while travelling. (After one Wooden Torch the counter is usually somewhere around 30. After two torches it might be somewhere around 3. While you are wielding the third torch, the counter probably reaches 1, meaning that a new monster gets generated every turn.)
  • Mist-phantasm breeders spawn new mist-phantasms.
  • Circle of Summoning and all summoning scrolls may summon a bit more out-of-depth monsters. (But they are only mist-creatures.)
  • Weapons of Reality dissolve phantasms with a single hit. (A new flag: KILL_MIST.)
  • Ring of Range replaced with Ring of Wind Control and made deeper (DL 28). Increase powder radius and thrown/archery range by pval. Nearby mist-phantasms have a 30% chance of dissolving each turn.
  • Torch of Truth. Bonus to perception. Nearby phantasms have a 30% chance of dissolving each turn.

Simplified proficiencies

  • Greatly simplified the proficiencies. The points are now called identify, recover and escape.
  • Forget everything you know about Lore. Everybody has exactly two identify points. To identify an item, make an Alchemy skill check. In a Circle of Knowledge, you may instead try to Identify Pack or to Fully Identify. For each object, make an Alchemy skill check.
  • The proficiency Alertness doesn’t exist anymore.
  • Templar loses the fencing and archery proficiencies. He now has fencing always on.
  • Templar has always gained an extra shot at level 25, just like Ranger, but it wasn’t mentioned in the docs. (To tell the truth, I didn’t even remember it. But it’s a good special ability now that Templars don’t have special proficiencies anymore.)
  • Scroll of Lore replaces Scroll of Identify. Gain one identify point.

Tweaked healing spells and items

  • Potion of Healing renamed to Cure Mortal Wounds. Potion of *Healing* renamed to Healing.
  • Cure wounds spells and items altered and probably made stronger (inspired by Squeak, thanks). They used to cure either a percentage of wounds or a minimum amount of hits; now they cure a percentage of wounds *plus* some hit points. Potions and spells of the same name now heal the same amount — potions do cure extra status effects, though. Here’s how much they heal: Cure Light Wounds: 15% of damage + 5 hits. (Spell & Staff.) Cure Serious Wounds: 30% of damage + 10 hits. (Spell & Potion.) Cure Critical Wounds: 45% of damage + 15 hits. (Spell & Potion & Recover proficiency.) Cure Mortal Wounds. 60% of damage + 20 hits. (Spell & Potion.) Healing. 75% of damage + 25 hits. (Spell & Potion.)
  • Made taint worse. Tainted players get only 60% benefit of any healing of hit points. (They used to get about 4/5.) Show the player how many points got drained.

Item tweaks

  • Short Sword damage upgraded to 1d8. Shortspear, Short Sword and Broad Sword are more expensive. Quarterstaff is cheaper.
  • Light branded weapons blind monsters less frequently. Golden Hatchet was still too good after my previous nerf…
  • Wand of Polymorph is much cheaper.
  • Mushrooms of Cure Poison and Cure Disease combined into a Mushroom of Antidote.
  • Added a rare Mushroom of Fortification. Increases all resistances by one. When eaten by a Shaman, it increase all resistances by two.
  • Detection staves are cheaper. (I’ve now halved their price several times… Is this cheap enough?)
  • Rings of Acid, Flames and Ice shallower, but still very deep.
  • Ring of Sustain All shallower, DL 40.
  • Rings of Resist Poison and Resist Disease shallower, DL 26, and slightly more uncommon.
  • Ring of Mighty Throw made shallower (DL 18).
  • Changed the item flag MYSTIC_RANGE to BOW_THROWN_RANGE. It doesn’t affect spell range anymore.
  • Combined ARCHERY and THROW_SKILL flags to MISSILE_SKILL to make room for a new flag. Changed a couple of items because of this.
  • Ego torch fuel reduced to 4000.

Monster tweaks

  • Monster groups are smaller. Reduced GROUP_SIZE_BASE from 9 to 6. GRP_9, GRP_18, GRP_27 changed to GRP_6, GRP_12, GRP_18. (Thanks, Scatha.)
  • Chaos Cocroach’s speed lowered to 115. (Thanks, Scatha.)
  • Elnora now sometimes shoots arrows. (Thanks, ekolis.)
  • Death Sword is dark red, Doom Sword is violet. They lose the ATTR_MIMIC flag to make the new colors really show. (Thanks, Starhawk.)
  • Creeping coins and gems shine suspiciously — every other turn they are pure white. “It looks a bit TOO shiny…” (Thanks, ekolis.)
  • Wormy renamed to Whiskers the Rebel. He’s a wererat. (Thanks, Squeak!)

Other changes

  • Dungeon generation now builds additional tunnels after all the rooms have been connected. This should give you more alternative routes around tough monsters. To make the resulting dungeon a bit tidier, reduced the required room_distance a bit when connecting rooms with tunnels. Also, tunnels automatically terminate when they hit other tunnels. (Thanks, Scatha and others.)
  • Rooms are a tiny bit larger vertically on average. (More walls for the extra tunnels to pierce through tidily.)
  • The game tries not to use any one room style too often. For example, if you have had a couple of levels with lots of wilderness, the next level will probably not have any.
  • Kyrrus have only 115% exp penalty, reduced from 120%.
  • Lizardmen can be priests.
  • Cleanse Taint gives bless for a little while if it cured taint. This protects from being tainted again on the following turn. (Thanks, Squeak.)
  • Chant spell costs one mana less. Duration lengthened by about 60%. (Thanks, Squeak.)
  • Batman flavour to attack messages when hallucinating!
  • Give a message when you can’t search a bookshelf, a rack, a closet, an interesting vegetation, or a fountain because you are confused. (Thanks, buzzkill.)
  • You can now check what you have learned about the deities’ blessings from the knowledge menu. No need to keep notes anymore.

Bugfixes

  • Unidentified rods didn’t show (charging). (Thanks, ekolis.)
  • Circle of Permanence didn’t make temporary resistances permanent. (Thanks, Squeak.)
  • Weapons of Reality has some weird prerequirements of the weapon’s material.
  • The monster “race” Lycanthrope wasn’t implemented properly in all places, like in the monster recall.
  • Powder Vial of Darkness always completed a Circle of Summoning. Now getting a Circle of Nexus is possible too. Sorry!
  • Class help still referred to Intelligence, not Memory. (Thanks, ekolis.)

Halls of Mist 1.2.3

I’m pleased to announce yet another polishing & bugfixing version 1.2.3. This time we also have a cool new feature: charge attacks with large weapons!

This release came earlier than I anticipated because some work-related commitments got canceled. Have a nice weekend in the Halls of Mist!

Download: 64-bit Linux, OS X, Windows, source.

Most important changes

  • Large weapons (at least 17 lbs) may be used for charge attacks. After you move, if there is a monster right in front of you, you get to swing at it once. You can’t charge at previously unseen monsters. You also can’t charge at scared monsters because they are doing their best to keep away from you. If you hit and succeed in a Jumping skill check, the assault deals double damage! You’re asked to confirm charging at a sleeping or calmed monster. Large weapons should now be genuinely competitive, and they also feel very different in play. It fits that Warriors are the best class at Jumping (at high level).
  • Characters of non-faery races gain Escapes points at levels 15 and 35 as long as they as they are blessed by at least one goddess. This is how the goddesses protect their favorites. “A benevolent spirit carries you away.” Note that you lose this power, like any other benefits gained from blessings, while tainted. (Inspired by Arjen’s notes that Escapes is needed for surviving.)
  • Alertness doesn’t give bonus to AC anymore. It now gives +15 to Saving Throw and +30 to noticing traps, runes, and nearby invisible creatures.
  • Resting doesn’t recover HP and mana at double speed anymore. You may want to rest while moving to conserve your torch. (Thanks, buzzkill.)
  • Reroll the stats if MEM is the spell stat and it got lower dice rolls than WIS, or vice versa. You can’t roll a mage that has higher WIS than MEM anymore.
  • Melee weapons are 14% more common. (Thanks Shinedog, Hallucinationmushroom, and others.)
  • Monsters have more drops. 30% chance becomes 35%, 70% chance becomes 80%. Monsters that always have drops sometimes get an extra drop. Chance is 1d20 <= sure item drops.

Other changes

  • Randomly generated up stairs are slightly rarer. The chance was 1/3, now 3/10.
  • XP-bar is bigger, equal to the monster-HP bar. (Thanks, ekolis.)
  • Renamed command: Tunnel a rubble/Topple a tree. Updated help on tunneling.
  • The game now picks a large weapon as a starting weapon over other weapons with equal damage/turn.
  • Disease rate slowed somewhat, from 1000 to 1500, thanks to Starhawk. It wasn’t slowed by more than that thanks to buzzkill . Beware, disease will still ruin your stats unless you are prepared!
  • Elves cannot be priests or shamans. Their WIS is just so bad compared to MEM. I want the random choices for class and race to produce competitive characters.
  • Made starting weapons more interesting for people with average or somewhat above average STR. Awl-Pike weighs 15 lbs and deals 3d4 damage, up from 12 lbs and 3d3, it’s a good weapon for warriors with 13 STR. Mace weighs 13 lbs and deals 3d3 damage, up from 10 lbs and 2d4, good for starting characters with 12 STR. Club gets new stats, it’s now identical to the old Mace. Bullwhip is available to everybody at character creation, upgraded damage to 1d5 from 1d4. Upgraded Hatchet damage from 3d1 to 1d6, +1 lb to weight. Upgraded Shortspear damage from 2d2 to 2d3, +1 lb to weight.
  • Player melee attacks that blind — like the notorious light brand — have a lower chance of success. The check was 1d100 > monster level, now it’s 1d50 > monster level. Blinding also lasts for a shorter time. It’s still very powerful against lower level opponents. (Thanks, Satyr.)
  • Golden weapons weigh more.
  • Lowered other special status chances for melee attacks, too, but not as much. Confusion 1d60 > monster level. Cut, Poison, Stun 1d70 > monster level. Many of these are possible results for critical hits.
  • Any Y/n confirmations now default to yes when you just press enter.
  • Removed all permanent walls from lesser vaults in vault.txt. They might hinder the tunnel generation.
  • The !* inscription doesn’t block two “harmless” commands, ‘I’nspect and ‘b’rowse. (Thanks, ekolis.)
  • Running stops near interesting terrain. (Thanks, ekolis.)
  • Search nearby squares every time the monster_swap function moves the player, not just when you walk. Now searching functions automatically even after Phase Door.
  • Removed the search command and the searching mode.
  • The Rapiers ‘Careth Asdriag’ and ‘Forasgil’ are somewhat rarer. People were finding Careth Asdriag all too often.
  • Earthquake now creates rubble, not stone walls. It’s now centered somewhere close to the player, not exactly at the player. The player can now actually get damaged by the earthquake.
  • You can’t find items under rubble anymore.
  • Squelch Junk is no longer the default. Many items that cost 0 GP have some value in Halls of Mist: Shamans like bad mushrooms, everybody may use bad potions for mixing.
  • No more birth options! I want to design a single game, and not to worry about many different game rules.
  • Character dump only shows Cheat options. I don’t think other options are interesting enough for dumps.
  • Modified scoring a bit. Score is now equal to your experience points. The winner’s score multiplier for shallow Min Depth now applies to experience points. You may easily rise to level 50 after killing The Duke, if you completed the mission quickly.
  • Winners can’t gain any more experience. They can regain lost experience, though.
  • Also, I had forgotten to modify winner’s score multiplier from low Min Depth when I changed The Duke’s level from 50 to 48.
  • Gaining experience levels is slower at first but faster at high levels. The table starts with a 1.3 multiplier and ends at 0.85. (Version 1.2.2 had a 1.1 multiplier all around.)
  • Some name changes for devices: Wand of Soothing, Wand of Stunning, Wand of Transference, Staff of Detect Aura. (Thanks for the new names, buzzkill!)
  • Rewritten the help file section on Winning the Game. (Thanks, buzzkill.)
  • You may find the statue of the first winner, Arjen’s Flashback the Elf Templar, in the dungeon.

Bugfixes

  • Detect_doors had weird bahavior with secret doors in special walls.
  • Detect_traps didn’t detect inactive runes in walls.
  • No message if an unseen monster gets blasted by a Rune of Change.
  • Mushrooms of Cure Light Wounds were made of wrong material. (Thanks, buzzkill.)
  • Staff of Eden was made of wrong material.
  • Double blessings never ran out. (Thanks, Satyr and Arjen.)
  • Templars could use Alertness. (I lost notes on who reported this, sorry.)
  • Pressing ‘n’ in response to the to buying dialog resulted in a sale. Now using the standard y/n check. (Thanks, buzzkill.)
  • Runes were revealed when unseen monsters got blasted by them.
  • Entering many vaults was impossible. Two separate bugs: vault.txt didn’t have doors, I added them. And my dungeon generation changed doors into walls. That’s important in different context; I changed the rules so that doors can’t get removed inside vaults. (Thanks, Arjen.)
  • After killing the Duke the game could still end with Duke’s world domination when Min Depth rose above 48. (Thanks, Arjen.)

Halls of Mist 1.2.2b

Quote:
Originally Posted by Obsilium View Post
There appears to be a bug when you agree to attack a sleeping monster in the newest version. I get the repeated message You hit the foo followed by more and then the game stops working.

Thanks for reporting this so quickly!

Changes:

  • Fixed a new bug with second-attacking sleeping or calmed monsters.
  • Bugfix: Statue bonus and the Ritual of Fortification did not increase caps for temporary resists.
  • Statue now gets +25 to resistance caps, too.

Download: 64-bit Linux, OS X, Windows, source.

Halls of Mist 1.2.2

Halls of Mist 1.2.2 bugfix release is now available!

Download: 64-bit Linux, OS X, Windows, source.

Changes:

  • Rooms with a non-central “forest” have their monster chance increased from 57% to 60%. I’m trying to make creatures from Thornwild about as common as creatures from Skultgard.
  • Starting mon_gen upped from 8 to 9. This makes monsters from Aether and Chaos more common, and levels with many empty rooms more dangerous. This should not affect levels with interesting terrain features, they already had lots of monsters.
  • Player needs 10% more experience points for each experience level. (Mostly based on my and Scatha’s experiences with warriors. The early game was slightly boring for them, even if you dived all the time. Perhaps some other classes need help — not sure.)
  • Updated help files: added “avoid the effects of some traps” to the list of Jumping skill checks. (Most importantly Jumping helps dodge the dart traps that reduce stats.)
  • Round up the gold that Templar gets to keep.
  • You can no longer second-attack unseen monsters or monsters in the wall. (Thanks Scatha and Starhawk.)
  • Ask confirmation to second-attack calmed or sleeping monsters; if not, move on to the next non-calmed or non-sleeping monster if there is one in melee range. This makes especially Calm Monster much more useful.
  • Moved XP bar to the opposite corner and made it always 8 characters wide. That means it’s visible even on 80 character wide displays, like the curses display I use on Linux. It replaces the old food status display that is not needed anymore. Changed the character from * to + to make the bar different from the monster health bar. (Thanks Starhawk and others.)
  • Bugfix: coin-flip powders always completed the second circle. (Thanks Satyr.)
  • Bugfix: Burning Hands/Claws of Winter now properly ends after one use even when the player is fast.
  • Bugfix: You no longer get messages about monsters hopping on table etc. if you can’t see them. (Thanks buzzkill.)
  • Bugfix: No more messages about monsters getting blasted by runes if you can’t see them.
  • Bugfix: Option for the starting kit is no longer visible. (Thanks jujuben.)
  • Bugfix: Options to show room descriptions or a subwindow for them are no longer visible. (Thanks buzzkill.)
  • Bugfix: Statue didn’t get the +25 bonus to all resistances. (Thanks Satyr!)

Halls of Mist 1.2.1

Halls of Mist 1.2.1 is now available!

Download: 64-bit Linux, OS X, Windows, source.

Changes:

  • Executable named to mist in Makefile.std and Makefile.cyg.
  • If you take the stairs down when you are in the dungeon or if you just started the game, you may (p)lunge three levels.
  • Fixed a bug: (T)unneling command did not work.
  • The shape Ghoul renamed to Icky Thing.
  • Bugfix: you couldn’t play a shaman if your race was specialized in frost magic.
  • Changed version number to 1.2.1.
  • Updated the internal help files.
  • Unfortunately the use_old_target bug proved too problematic to fix for the moment. I had changed the targeting interface a lot, and the option doesn’t seem to be compatible with my changes. I’m removing the option from 1.2.1 but I hope to bring it back later.

Thanks to HugoTheGreat2011, ekolis, fizzix, Darin, Nick, pav, Narvius, Timo Pietilä, getter77, Michael Drinen, Scatha, Half and jujuben for your help and valuable suggestions! Thanks to you, Halls is Mist is now in a much better shape for ARRP 2012.

Halls of Mist 1.2

Halls of Mist was first released on oook on September 13.

Download: 64-bit Linux, OS X, Windows, source.

Halls of Mist is a successor to my earlier roguelike FayAngband, which was based on Eytan Zweig’s EyAngband.
I’m not even trying to make a changes list. It’s easier to just treat this a new game. The game is set in a brand new world, and has had a complete gameplay overhaul.What hasn’t changed from FayAngband are my design goals:

  • Halls of Mist should not reward slow playing. Instead, it should reward good tactics, and taking calculated risks.
  • Make the gameplay faster. Remove unnecessary tedium.
  • Characters should be different from each other. All character classes should have their distinct personality, and all stats should be important for all classes.

Well, maybe with Halls of Mist I have added a fourth design goal to the list:

  • The dungeon should feel like a real, mythical place in a fantasy world. Every dungeon level should feel unique and bring different challenges and opportunities to the player.

My biggest influences when developing Halls of Mist were David Bowie’s persona The Thin White Duke, Andrew Doull’s UnAngband, the forgotten classic Kamband, and listening to the Roguelike Radio. (Thanks to the RR I don’t have to spend years playing all the great roguelike games myself! Stealing good ideas has never been this easy.) I’ve stolen some code and ideas from Angband, Sangband, and NPPAngband. My own code is pretty ugly since I’ve learned everything I know about C by reading Angband’s source code.

Here’s a collection of documentation posts to get you started. Most of the info here is also available in the internal help system. But if you want to find out what’s new in Halls of Mist compared to my older variant FayAngband, these links may give you a better picture. The documentation is my Achilles’ heel at the moment — I have plans for a pretty pdf manual written from scratch.

Flavour
The flavour behind the stairs mechanic. “It takes a week to travel between dungeon levels?”

Attributes and skills
The stats are the heart of the game. They can be divided into physical stats and mental stats.

Skills are divided into primary and specialist skills. Skill checks are mostly unmodified percentage rolls, like all skill checks for Alchemy, Jumping, Navigation, Saving Throw, and Perception. (Some extra information on Perception, secret doors and warding runes.)

Proficiencies are special abilities derived from your MEM+WIS, race, and level. (Here’s some design philosophy behind mechanics that use MEM+WIS.) If you’re still scratching your head, read Lore for Dummies.

Weird magicks!
Alchemical Circles: a riddle, an explanation, and a complete list of all seven circles. Ritual Magic uses circles, too (some more info).

You may sacrifice ego items or artifacts on altars to gain temporary or permanent blessings. (In the future, ego items will become “rare” items.) And here’s the design philosophy behind the deity system.

Strategy
Up-to-date combat rules.

Even the town is now dangerous. You get wounded below 0 HP.

Torches are now interesting.

Read the tiny strategy guides if you want to triumph in Halls of Mist.

Watch out for summoners! (The mechanic will change to this in future versions.)

Where did the setting come from?

The new theme actually came quite late in the development process.

The development of Fay 1.2 had centered on adding new terrain features (like wilderness and magical circles) and hacking the Angband level generation. I had also created five goddesses with flavourful names and game mechanics. Slowly, my dungeons had gained their own, mysterious feel. I wanted to know what this place was!

The setting of Ey/Fay had been really confused — on purpose, I guess. Basically the dungeon of Angband had been lifted from Middle Earth to a magical land with faeries and furry people.

My first step in world building was replacing Morgoth with a new boss monster. I wrote this in the Angband forums on October 27, 2011:

The big bad will be an ancient entity known only as the Thin White Duke. Originally a human occultist and aristocrat of the Old Empire, turned into a powerful demon lord by the means of some unspeakable rituals. He hates the racial diversity of this new era and wants to rid the world of the half-faery and animalistic scum. Pure humans should rule again.

He’s basically a Nazi satanist — a suitable antagonist. I got the idea from Eytan’s flavour text that humans are the oldest race in the world of EyAngband.

I’m stealing the name and parts of the personality from a fictional character but I don’t think David Bowie will sue me. :)

I also had a name for my dungeons at this point, Halls of Mist, but I didn’t know anything else about the place.

I had inherited a rich set of monsters from EyAngband, which Fay is based on. The next step in developing my setting was answering the question: What the hell are all these different types of monsters doing in the dungeon?

I tried to divide the monsters in various categories or origins, and the current one made most sense. I noticed that I could build a whole fantasy world with these categories. The Realms of Thornwild, Skultgard, Aether, and Chaos were born.

Different realms worked so well that I decided to drop my older idea about the Duke originating from a human-dominated Old Empire. Skultgard was this empire! To make the conflict work best, the player had to be from Thornwild.

I’m happy that I had designed my goddesses before I had the realms. I like it that Halls of Mist has some elements that have nothing to do with the four realms. My megadungeon has it’s own, mysterious identity.

A brand new world!

Welcome to the Halls of Mist development blog!

In its previous versions my Angband variant was known as FayAngband. I’ve decided to change the name because the next version will be set in a brand new world with nothing Tolkienian in it.

Here’s an introduction screen that explains what the game is about: