Playable Experimentals: Steel Elves (dual wielding!) Beogh+Yred rework (Now with Mountain Dwarves!)

Originally I made 2 posts but decided it made more sense to merge them all (or have 4 seperate posts for each major god/species) rather than have 3 major features in 1 post and 1 in another.

From #dcss on the roguelikes discord:

A major overhaul of Yredelemnul and Beogh is available for playtesting.

Yred’s piety system has been changed - zombies no longer determine piety or are consumed for abilities. Instead, you are given piety for each floor based on how much on it you can kill without leaving it - and Yred will give you powerful allies and charges of umbral torchlight once each floor to help you get your tide of death started. At 5* you can also unleash a powerful ‘anti-sanctuary’, mocking the Good gods by binding your foes in place and draining their life.

(See Revamp Yredelemnul · crawl/crawl@56395f1 · GitHub for more details)

Beogh’s flavor has gotten a significant revamp. Beogh now accepts worship from all player species. You no longer gain regular orcs as allies, but will be regularly challenged by ‘apostles’ - randomized unique orcs with varied random spellsets and gear. If the player can manage to survive, they can recruit them as permanent allies (up to 3 apostles at once). Apostles do not die permanently, but will revive as the player gains piety and avenges their deaths. At high piety, you can even call in the full might of a vengeful orcish army.

(See Comprehensively overhaul Beogh · crawl/crawl@b688b28 · GitHub for more details)

Let us know how fun you feel the new versions of these gods are to play, whether you encounter any issues with using them, and how well you feel each part of their new kit works on its own or as a whole. @DracoOmega is the author of the branch. You can give feedback to her, @regret-⸸nde※, heresiarch, and other crawl devs in the channel. Thanks!

To play, register and log in at WebTiles - Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup and click Yred/Beogh Rework under experimentals. You can also play on console via SSH on port 22 with user crawl and using the CAO key. The RC file used is that of your trunk RC, so use the trunk edit rc link to change your settings. All games played on CDI are not scored on CAO or Sequell.

The Mountain Dwarves are newer than the quoted post so I’ll summarize them quickly: Now that Beogh turns all species into Orcs, a new species will replace Hill Orc. Mountain Dwarf has a lot of similarities to to Hill Orc but notably they have reduced Encumbrance Rating for the purposes of casting spells! They can also use enchant scrolls on randarts.

A new Steel Elf species is available for playtesting on CDI.

Wielding weapons in each hand, steel elves commune with the spirits
of oak and steel to guide their strikes. They take extra time to attune
to their weapons, meaning it takes as long for them to wield weapons as it does for them to wear armour, and the animal magnetism granted to them by the spirits often attracts newly seen enemies to them.

Slice and dice, or wield a staff in each hand. Go wild!

Does the new species feel fun? Does it feel distinct from other species? Is the UI intuitive and functional? Please pass your constructive feedback to any devs you see lurking in this channel - PleasingFungus, gammafunk, hellmonk, Implojin, etc.

(See New species: steel elves · crawl/crawl@eab5a10 · GitHub for more details.)

To play, register and log in at WebTiles - Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup and click Steel Elves under experimentals. You can also play on console via SSH on port 22 with user crawl and using the CAO key. The RC file used is that of your trunk RC, so use the trunk edit rc link to change your settings. All games played on CDI are not scored on CAO or Sequell.

Have fun! :slightly_smiling_face:

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Comments from D:1 Steel Elves:

Ranged weapons are awkward. I found a triple crossbow on D:1 so I tried to switch, but it took me a while to figure out how everything is supposed to work.
If you wield a sling with a sword, things do not go well.

Honestly it might be better to just specify “Can wield a second melee weapon in your off-hand”, but even then you need to ensure the melee weapon attacks if a ranged attack is made and the target is in range. Except that would lead to bad gameplay when you desire to fire at a specific tile, through a monster standing right in front of you.
Thematically wielding 2 slings is ridiculous, but wielding 2 magic hand cannons would be really awesome.

Speaking of theme, I don’t really get the theme.
The aptitudes push towards axes and long blades. Why not spears? Why axes?
It’s implied the elves are metalic, why don’t they have some innate AC? And/or a bonus when wearing metalic armour?
Why are the generally bad at magic?

Looking at the aptitudes I also feel like they’re quite limited in the play styles they invite me to try out. (I’m not very good, but I do win sometimes.) Mostly it invites me to dual wield swords or axes, and be a bit of a melee glass cannon. Maybe become an earth mage and dual wield earth staves to case a powerful Shatter, but gargoyles can probably do that better.

I think there’s a missed opportunity there to make them decent stabbers. You could lean into the ‘rogue’, and create another playstyle that doesn’t exist yet. Sword+dagger dual wielding is a classic for a reason. But then I think they need better short blade, throwing, evo, hexes and/or alchemy aptitudes. To get decent stabs with a +0 stealth aptitude (I understand it’s not supposed to be a stealthy species) you probably need to train short-blades significantly beyond min-delay, which requires a high aptitude.

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Steel elves right now have pretty flat aptitudes outside of shields so should be able to do almost anything. Though, I think their ability to have two weapons certainly pushes them in a direction! Don’t let a -1 apt stop you from casting spells (or, certainly, wielding two 1 handed weapons to deal big damage with low investment!).

I don’t see the glass canon angle. They can do big damage and they have normal HP and full aux slots. The only thing they are “missing” is shield, so they should be able to pump out more damage than 2h somewhat-tanky characters with less weapons investment, no?

I haven’t tried it but you can wield two ranged weapons at once or two melee weapons, right?

I have to disagree - I think two slings does sound cool! I think it might be a bit awkward starting out with 2 slings and not finding rare hand canons for along time though. Just theory-crafting here but I would expect you’d be tempted to switch away from double sling into longbow/arbalest for a while and then go back to two handed if you happened to find 2 hand canons.

Steel Elves (SE)
The Steel Elves consider weakness a moral failing. Their pact with
spirits of metal and wood grants them the resilience that other elves
lack, by letting them strengthen their slender frames with charm-wrought
steel. They also commune with their weapons’ spirits - a slow process,
but one which allows them to wield one weapon in each hand, letting the
spirits guide their strikes.

The spirits offer one further gift. Steel Elves from the wide-open lands
outside the Dungeon find creatures within attracted to them, magically
pulled close by a powerful animal magnetism. Sadly, this does nothing to
improve the dispositions of the Dungeon’s relentlessly hostile

I suppose lore-wise they might be strengthened relative to other elves? They do 25% more hp than their deep elf cousins! I don’t wasn’t around during the crawl era of lots of elves so I don’t know what hp looked like for other elf species. They certainly aren’t especially squishy!

I’m not sure what keeps them from stabbing?

To me it seems they can train hexes or get god support and they could wield 2 shortblades or just 1 dagger and a bigger damage weapon for stabs? Either way, they have something other stabbers don’t: more damage for things that aren’t stabbable and the occasional opportunities that the attraction gives you. Edit: it looks like they randomly hit with a weapon first so you couldn’t mix dagger+non-shortblade if you wanted to maximize stab damage. I was wrong on that point whoops.

I know you can still use magic with lowish aptitudes. I favour demonspawn and naga. But demonspawn and naga both get a lot more compensation than steel elves do. Demonspawn get very powerful mutations. Naga get +20% hp, SInv, rPois, extra AC from their scales, spit poison, extra MR, and an excellent stealth aptitude too. Steel elves get being able to wield two enhancer staves.

I mean they’re glass cannons compared with minotaurs, melee merfolk, melee gargoyles etc. Magic focussed characters are always a bit more fragile. They’ve got better dps than a Minotaur with a 2-handed weapon, but 10% less hp, 3 less armour aptitude, 2 less dodging aptitude.

Yes, I’m pretty sure two ranged weapons or two melee weapons works fine. Though if one of the melee weapons is a polearm that might cause problems, I’d have to check.
[Just checked, and if you wield the polearm in the main slot tabbing attacks when enemies are 2 tiles away, when the polearm is in the off-hand slot tabbing walks towards enemies when they are 2 tiles away. Fairly intuitive that. But reaching attacks don’t work well. With the spear on the off-hand, I can’t use reaching attacks at all. With the spear in the main slot, if you reach over someone to attack, the spear may hit the target that’s adjacent, but the sword will never attack. Which feels rather awkward.]

If you think 2 slings is cool I won’t argue with you. You’re the developer of this species (?).

A stray thought related to hand cannons: you might need to special case requirement to ensure steel elves can acquire hand cannons, and not always get 2-handed crossbows. Maybe you’ve done so already.

All good stabbing species have some ridiculously good aptitudes, because without that you just need too much xp. Naga’s have +5 stealth. Vampires have +5 stealth and +4 hexes, kobolds have +4 stealth +2 evo +1 throwing +3 short blades, octopodes have +4 stealth, formicids have +3 stealth +2 hexes.

Steel elves do have things going for them. Confusing touch with 2 weapons could be very good, and using a short blade + long blade would be more convenient and fun than using shield + short blade + swapping to long blade when needed. But without a few better aptitudes I don’t think I could lean into it without dying. And there’s no good reasons for them to have bad Evo or throwing aptitudes that I can see. One could discuss about hexes, charms, alchemy and short blades too.

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Nah, just following it like you are. PleasingFungus is the developer that develops steel elves. I am not a developer at all :stuck_out_tongue:

Steel Elves were rethemed Coglins, mech-piloting goblins. Beogh, Yred, and Mountain Dwarf were merged into trunk a week ago and Coglins were merged into trunk today. All playable on your normal online servers assuming they have updated!

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