As always, you can click on images to view larger versions.
The biggest recent roguelike news (technically roguelike-like news) is that The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, a remake/expansion of The Binding of Isaac, has been released. But I haven’t played it yet. I haven’t even bought it yet. That is how behind I am. What I have played, however, is the latest version of Brogue (v.1.7.4), which adds many things, including whips.
Whips and flails are the two new classes of weapons, and in keeping with the other weapon types, they have unique attack patterns. Flails will automatically attack an enemy when the player moves from one space adjacent to said enemy to another space adjacent to said enemy, effectively creating attacks of opportunity, and letting the player jockey for position while still fighting. Whips have lower damage than most other weapons, but can hit enemies up to five spaces away, provided it’s in a straight line (i.e. along one of the eight movement directions).
This makes whips intriguing weapons for stealth attacks, especially after the stealth system was revamped in the last update. Stealth is now based on distance to enemies, and stealthier characters can get closer to enemies before enemies will start to spot them. Being able to attack from a distance is therefore very useful. But the low damage output of whips make this tactic less effective than it might be otherwise. But, as low-damage weapons, whips have a greater chance to have a runic enchantment, which can make them really useful.
There are a bunch of other tweaks and changes in the update, too. The new rings of reaping will recharge staffs and charms based on melee damage dealt, making fighters who rely on charms for support more viable. Weapons have been rebalanced, there are new vaults to find, allies have been tweaked, and more. Given the long delay between updates, it’s worth taking another look at Brogue if you haven’t played it in a while (or, indeed, at all!).
Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup has also updated, currently at version 0.15.2. I have played the new version a bit, but not much. The biggest change is the new god, Qazlal Stormbringer, who grants followers powers of elemental destruction. There are also numerous gameplay changes, including the removal of item weight restrictions, changes to item corrosion (it’s now more severe but not permanent), and the removal of item destruction by fire and cold. Also, ranged combat has been revamped to make it work more similarly to melee combat. Personally, I think these changes clean up some of the more nit-picky aspects of the game without removing any of the challenge, so I’m happy with them. Although I haven’t given Qazlal Stormbringer a try yet, I approve of new gods generally, as they really change how one plays the game and are one of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup’s best features.
I used to end these posts with a quick round up of other roguelikes that have updated, but honestly I haven’t had time to keep track. I do know that Tales of Maj’Eyal has continued to update steadily, and seems to be gaining an ever-growing army of fans. I also know that Caves of Qud still hasn’t updated, which makes me sad, but I will wait patiently for it regardless. How about you? Got any personal favorite roguelikes that have gotten even better recently?