ADOM II 0.2.3 is just a stop between two places on a very long road. I got sidetracked so often that I decided to release 0.2.3 now instead of trying to finish some still unpolished features (e.g. the King of the Orcs story arc is not yet working, armies can't be seen, etc.). Nonetheless so much time had passed since the last release that I now had to deliver the new version. There's an awesome amount of new features in the game and I expect a few bugs, so it's time to test!
Thanks to the wonderful support from the community we had a very arduous test weekend - but finally I will be able to sleep for more than four hours in a row after many days of intense last minute testing :-)
Thanks to Emil Atras, Andrew Christensen, Nicholi Croghan, Robert Estep, Eric Fedrowisch, Brandon MacClanahan, Frieder Mielke, Carlos Gómez Rodríguez, Ben Sayer and Randall Wolgast for spending a long saturday evening (and night - at least according to German time) with me during the ADOM II 0.2.3 prerelease test and being very helpful in making sure that the release provided not too many nasty surprises. Special thanks to Carlos for helping me in discovering two particularly nasty keyboard listener bugs. Thanks to Ben Sayers for finding one of the most ugly regression bugs that continued to haunt ADOM II. Thanks to the others for finding various other annoying and showstopping bugs which then could be fixed quickly due to their insights and support! Additional thanks to Robert Estep, Rafael Grycner and Iivari Lauri for helping out when I decided to completely rewrite the item identification system minutes before the planned release.
Any bugs left in the game are solely my fault - and particularly big problems surely result from my last minute changes. Without the help of the folks mentioned above the release would have been quite different.
So now for the good stuff: The following list provides an overview about the multitude of new features:
* Started rebranding 'JADE' to 'ADOM II: Legends of Ancardia'.
The UI has not yet been changed much but most names and messages have been altered.
* Lots of performance tuning. JADE once more is _really_ fast (issue 397 among others).
* Added an immersive full screen mode (press "Alt Enter" to (de)activate it).
* Added a 'l'ook command. The mode allows to page through monsters and "interesting" things
to learn more about the points of interest. Mouse support also has been added by explaining
things over which the mouse hovers.
* Added 'Ctrl-s' command to display the highscore during the game.
* Added a 'T'actics command to change the tactical combat settings. Added tactics. The tactics skill now also
influences game play.
* 'x' no longer displays the required experience points, only 'Alt-x' now does that (one binding seemed to be enough).
Instead 'x' no activates extra-ordinary abilities (e.g. profession specific abilities or abilities provided by special
items or circumstances).
* Added the barbarian profession.
* Added double left-clicking on known map tiles in order to move the PC to the position in question.
* Added color-coded messages.
* Added monster memories.
* Added scrolls.
* Added 45 new items.
* Added 25 new monsters.
* Added 2 new diseases.
* Added the 'r'ead command.
* Added item type filtering to the item list displays (RFE 590).
* Added armies to the world map.
* Added crafts to the world map.
* Added five types of ships.
* Added five new construction plans (for the five new types of ships).
* Construction plans now display in detail why they work out or what is missing.
* Executing a plan with variable yield positions now only offers the possible directions
to choose from.
* Added the ability of seaworthiness.
* Added the sailing skill.
* Added familiars.
* Added aging.
* Added true berserkering.
* Added booze effects and drunkness.
* Added an infrastructure for priority based decision making for monsters in order to allow much more flexible actions.
* Added dozens of wilderness encounters.
* Added the version history for JADE 0.2.2.
* The encounter levels for large beings have been increases slightly causing them to appear slightly later.
* Average encounter levels have been decreased slightly.
* The burden level of a being now influences hunger effects.
* It's now possible to exchange positions with other beings.
* Experience gains now are displayed on the message area.
* Added wasteland as a new terrain type.
* Added colored underlinings to represent the relationship of a monster towards the PC
(nothing = enemy, green = friend, light gray = neutral).
* Added professional abilities to each profession.
* Fine tuned the legibility of the inventory screen (does anyone notice or care?).
* You now get more hungry in dungeons.
* High level weapon skills now need more marks.
* Increased the deadliness of attribute deterioration.
* Undead now are destroyed and not killed.
* Added another visual indication for near death status by coloring the map background in
more and more red.
* Treasures now come in different sizes (RFE 616).
* Redesigned the death screen.
* Actually activated being lucky, very lucky, cursed and doomed.
* Implemented a sliding luck scale. Added more situations in which luck is important.
* Enhanced the speed with which one recovers from being starved when eating
* Items now can be seriously damaged.
* Settlements no longer include random locked or trapped doors in buildings.
* Features (like forges, altars, etc.) on the map now abort the various walk modes.
Some features (like trees) are marked as boring and do not abort walk mode.
* Saved games now contain information about the last time when the game was played. Restoring
a game will show that information.
* Updated the copyright notices.
* Refined the skill cost calculation so that very high level skills get gradually more and more
costly, independent of the character level.
* Added mouse wheel support for scrolling through texts.
* Activated text anti-aliassing hopefully thus improving the display quality on various systems.
* The visible area on the display now is highlighted without needing to do special configurations
via the 'View' menu.
* Revised the highscore display.
* Shopkeepers now also handle more complex unpaid item usages than just eating or drinking.
* Shopkeepers now also at high levels remain more dangerous.
* Swamps now are even more dangerous.
* Cloaks now auto-identify.
* Removed the following command bindings in order to both simplify the UI and
the immersive UI mode:
\Aa About JADE... (now only available via menu)
* Refactored the internal package structure for all ASCII UI components for more clarity.
* Added a simpler starter dungeon (issue 695).
* The shield DV no longer is applied if the being wielding the shield is paralyzed, blind or sleeping.
* Added profession based experience penalties for multi-classing several professions (some like monks
are not very well suited for multi-classing).
* 'a' now only shows the actually usable skills (RFE 653).
* Invisible beings now get attacked.
* Improved the legibility of the weapon skill display.
* Removed the log4j dependency to reduce the download size for the game even more.
* Fixed the problem of monsters only becoming hostile once hit (they now are more likely to be hostile
right away; issues 181, 342, 399).
* Swimming now works (issue 229).
* Fixed the unaging ability so that to now works correctly.
* Changed the experience screen (\Ax) to now use ASCII mode (issue 298).
* Fixed food scarcity (issue 531).
* Fixed excessive whitespace in item descriptions (issue 579).
* Fixed a NPE when shopkeepers are moved to the wilderness (issue 580).
* Fixed all problems with rotting food (issue 589).
* Fixed several bugs related to shopkeepers guarding or leaving shops as well as with customers
entering or exiting (issue 594).
* Fixed problems with reselling stacks of unpaid items (issues 598, 673).
* Fixed the problem of walk search not aborting when something is found (issue 599).
* Fixed a missing text (issue 600).
* Fixed the slow speed of shopkeepers (issue 603).
* Fixed the regression with concurrent modifications (issue 605) once more.
* Fixed the problem of being presented with the option to kick at empty spaces (issue 608).
* Fixed a problem with more prompts interrupting the drop process (issue 611).
* Fixed a problem with dungeons being generated on otherwise boring locations (issue 617).
* Fixed the problem of athletics based stat increases not displaying immediately (issue 619).
* Fixed a problem with dropping stacks in shops (issue 620).
* Fixed the lack of drowning when waiting in water (issue 622).
* Fixed duplicate "of" suffixes (issue 623).
* Corpses now are only generated in dungeon shops and evil settlement shops (issue 624).
* Starvation now picks up a lot of speed when you are "almost starved" (issue 627).
* Fixed a gauntlet typo (issue 630).
* Inhabitants of a settlement now are much more likely to help each other and react to attacks (issue 631).
* Fixed some problems with the dungeon selection for the chaos gate destruction quest (issue 632).
* Fixed a crash when changing levels (issue 635).
* Fixed a problem with paralysis not wearing off correctly (issue 638).
* Fixed a problem with weapon hit modifiers being applied to kick attacks (issue 642).
* Fixed one more place which might generate corpse with null status (issue 643).
* Fixed a problem with some item types when dropping them on an altar (issue 645).
* Fixed a chat typo (issue 656).
* Fixed various typos (issues 654, 667).
* Fixed various problems with not being able to remove items from internal lists (issues 607, 613, 668).
* Fixed problems when equipping items (issues 651, 673).
* Fixed an issue with arrival messages (issues 674, 675).
* Fixed a problem when shattering statues with kicks (issue 676).
* Fixed problems with dropping items (issue 682).
* Fixed some typos during character creation (issue 686).
* Fixed duplicate requirement listings in construction plans (issue 687).
* Fine tuned effects of negative social stats (issue 693).
* Fixed yet another problem with monsters being generated with attribute values of less than 1
(and thus dying instantly, issue 694).
* Fixed a problem with armor appearing for sale in food stores (issue 696).
* Fixed a problem with paying for eaten food in shops (issue 764).
* Fixed some texts in the wizened old man quest (issue 780).
* Fixed the known status of bags of the tinkers (issue 781).
* Fixed the problem of "high level" races for "low level undead" (issue 783).
* Fixed the missing equipment for dark elven commoners (issue 785).
* Fixed the problem of unidentified starting equipment (issue 788).
* Fixed a problem with excessive damage caused by large (and larger) weapons (issue 789).
The modifiers got applied twice instead of just once.
* Fixed a crash for some construction plans (issue 792).
* Fixed yet another way of items not showing up when trying to drop them (issue 793).
* Fixed an ambiguity with potions of water (issue 798).
* Fixed a typo in scrolls of balance (issue 803).
* Fixed the "but found nothing" message when "walk searching".
* Fixed a problem with location events occurring before it was checked whether entering
the location works at all.
* Fixed a typo in the credits.
* Fixed a problem with centering the map after window size alterations.
* Fixed a potential endless loop problem in map based awareness checks.
* Fixed a rumor typo.
* Fixed problems with being asleep or confused.
* Fixed a display update problem after executing a construction plan successfully.
* Fixed a problem with erratic walk mode aborts.
* Fixed a problem with base skill costs (they were based on the score and not the skill
level which lead to being penalized for high attribute bonusses).
* Fixed a perception problem with sound and speech.
* Fixed yet another reason where %m was not expanded to the material of an item.
* Fixed several bugs related to cloaks of the wanderer.
Some things nonetheless still need work: The special abilities of tinkers are still completely broken, the king of the orcs story arc needs to be finished, the results from the ADOM II design competition need to be integrated into the game, etc. But nonetheless you should find version 0.2.3 of ADOM II: Legends of Ancardia a much more enjoyable game than previous releases.
Additionally I am now going to implement new release cycles: Finally I will start to live "release early, release often" - whenever a handful of interesting new features have been added, a new release will happen. Depending on my time schedule you can expect new releases every one to four weeks if everything works out as planned. This should be much better for feedback, stability and innovation and hopefully will give me more time to sleep peacefully ;-)
Now enjoy the new release and let me know what you think... in the comments to this blog, in the forums and in the bug and issue tracker.