Dear adventurers of the World of Twelve, I'm writing today to tell you about the next update coming soon to Retro: 1.39, "Tragic Circus". The whole team has been working hard to bring you this end-of-year update, which – as you will find out by reading on – is a big one!
Sit down, grab a rather large cup of tea or coffee, adjust your glasses, and let's get started!

"Tragic Circus in Summary"

As we told you in the last KrosmoNote, this update is themed around the Trool Fair: We developed two new activities that had never been seen in Retro! The first one is a big nod to those who've been here since the game first appeared, and the second one opens the doors to a certain arena that has been in the works for a long time…

BUT before telling you about that, I'd like to digress slightly by mentioning that we have fundamentally overhauled several technical aspects of the game server. We won't go into details (we really don't want to make you doze off), but I'm talking about how inventories are loaded and saved, their format in the database, how this information is formatted, and other stuff. Am I losing you? Just bear in mind that this kind of development, which is often invisible to players, is essential to solidify the game's technical base and implement certain changes that were impossible up until now. Some of the have resulted in features you will discover in this devblog.

Retro's gameplay should be old school, but we must remain modern when it comes to server operation. Now that's out the way, let's get to the new features, because there's a lot to talk about.

Public Opening of the Gladiatrool!

Let's start the festivities with an all-new game mode: the famous Gladiatrool!

After weeks, months, or should I say… years of getting his attraction ready, Notend Less is finally ready for its grand opening! Before talking about it, you're probably asking yourself, "Why did it take so long?" (What? Nobody's asking that…?)

It's simple: Our dear Notend Less needed all that time to capture thousands of specimens of all species to fill his arena. Couldn't find the monster you were looking for in the wild? That would be why.

What Is the Gladiatrool?

It is a marathon of 10 rooms with increasing, like a roguelite. Each room has a group of monsters generated randomly by the rules set by Notend Less. The idea is that each course is different from the last one, combing monsters that would never meet outside this context. Sometimes comical, sometimes unfair, sometimes weird situations will arise… What will you find? Only Notend Less knows…

The activity can be played solo or in pairs, but the difficulty doesn't change with the size of the group. It costs one token to take part; tokens are dropped as loot by any creature in the game.

Each room you complete will teleport you and your companion to the next room. Important: Rooms are chosen randomly at the end of the fight, so stay together if you want to land in the same room!

With that in mind, go meet Notend Less, who will ask you to choose a weapon from the 12 available. When you stand on one of the slabs in the room, you will metamorphose into the class the weapon represents. This means you can vary your gameplay style as you like: Your spells will be immediately set to level 6, and you will start with basic characteristics.

It also means your character and their inventory have no influence: Every adventurer from level 50 onward can take part on an equal footing. Obviously, this is all just temporary, and you'll regain your original character when you leave the Gladiatrool (don't go dreaming now…).

So how do you evolve, you ask? Well, it's easy! Just apply some lotion.

Don't go! Come back!

Actually, we're introducing a new type of item: Tonics. These Tonics will give you smooth skin, but most of all, power that would make strawberry jellies go red.

At the end of a fight, a loot box will trigger and randomly select three Tonics, with each slot representing a different type:

  • Minor Tonics → powerful bonuses
  • Major Tonics → very powerful bonuses but with consequences
  • Class Tonics → bonuses and modifiers for your class spells

And a secret category… if you're lucky.

The vast majority of Tonics will improve all your main characteristics, but the choices you make will let you specialize in one or more different elements and gameplay styles.

Let's take the Ignis Magnus Tonic, which is a major Tonic. It gives you:

  • 200 Vitality
  • 300 Intelligence
  • 50 Strength, Agility, and Wisdom
  • -150 Chance
  • etc.

It's up to you to build your character with what the roulette wheel gives you. Will you become the next hero of the arena or Boowolf meat? Only you (and luck) will decide.

That's Cool, but What Do You Win?

First, since the gameplay is brand new and will give you thrills you simply won't find elsewhere, we wanted to develop the mode's arcade and fun aspect. Obviously, you won't earn kamas, resources, or experience points in the Gladiatrool, because given the possible monster combinations, this mode would have too great an impact on the game.

Each room you complete will increase your token pot: As the difficulty increases, so do the winnings per room. If you make it to the end of the 10th room, you'll have reached the maximum number of tokens, and you'll be rewarded with a medal!

But be careful, because if you are defeated, it's final, and you'll go back to the entrance with zero winnings. If you think the group you're up against is too strong, you can go see Notend Less to cash in your current winnings and quit your course.

You can buy various trinkets with these tokens:

  • Special packs from a game we'll talk about below…
  • Packs of Trool Fair Tokens
  • Potions to teleport to the Trool Fair faster

Medals will testify to the most persevering, those blessed by Ecaflip, and sharp strategists. They let you buy greater stock:

  • A shield that grants you a title
  • A cape that grants you a title
  • Headgear that grants you a title
  • A new and exclusive mount

Complete Overhaul of Shortcuts and Addition of the Custom Sets Feature

Often asked for, but never granted… until now! These two improvements have long been suggested by the community.

Shortcut Bar

First of all, let's talk about the changes to the shortcut system, which is the bar of items next to the medallion. Until now, this was a separate inventory: An item placed here disappeared from the backpack, and any new quantities of the same item were not reflected in the bar. The way it was designed back then also made it impossible to insert items other than consumables, greatly limiting the player's choice. As we often say around here, it was right for its time!

Now, the way the bar works is changing to act as a shortcut to an item. Let's say I place 50 units of whole bread in a slot on the shortcut bar: They will no longer disappear from my inventory, and healing myself will consume that stock directly. If I start buying or crafting some, the quantity will automatically update.

Using this system, you can assign any type of item to a shortcut: empty soul stones, capes, pets, quest items, resources (as part of a drop session, for example), and many other things.

To put it simply, just think that each item will work the same as if you had used it in your inventory.

That's cool enough in itself, so now let's talk about custom sets!

Custom Sets

The interface can be accessed using a dedicated button in your inventory's filters. Once you've opened it, it will replace the grid to reveal three buttons, ten slots, and your current characteristics.

You can then choose a slot and save (or overwrite the existing ensemble) the equipment you are currently wearing in it. You can equip the saved ensemble at any time using the dedicated button. Double-clicking acts as a shortcut to equip it. The third button lets you customize the name and define the icon that best represents your ensemble; you can of course use the same icon for all your ensembles if you like (though it would be weird…).

There's not much more to explain, as we've made using it as simple as possible. Give it a whirl!

Tragic The Gardening – A Die-Card Game!

Aaah… That brings back memories! For the uninitiated, Tragic The Gardening (TTG) refers to a trading card game that is still mentioned in some NPCs' dialogue even now.

I'm talking about a time that anyone under twenty years old cannot know: The vague plans we found on the topic (we even found an interview with ToT where he talks about it!) are from 2004, no less. So we designed the system from the ground up.

Right, That's Enough Dwelling on the Past! What's New?

We are developing the original idea, which was collecting cards and storing them in a binder. Each monster (and a few prominent people from Amakna) has a card with its image. They are categorized by family and rated using a rarity index from 1 star for the most common to 4 for the rarest.

How Do You Get a Card?

You get them individually in a pack of cards. Each monster family has its own pack that may be dropped at the end of a fight: The rarer the monster represented by the card, the easier it is to get a pack from it, but it also becomes harder to get it when opening a pack.

Once you've got the card, you can trade it, recycle it, improve it, or stick it in your binder permanently.


This system will be presented and explained by Ennu Prof, an atypical NPC based at the Trool Fair. He will give you a storage binder and an account quest* that will be necessary to get packs. He will also show you how to use the two new specially built workshops to improve or recycle your cards.

The most daring adventurers will be rewarded for their efforts: A new mount, a special aura, titles, and a cosmetic set await you.

An account quest will have progress shared by all characters on the same account, but the rewards (items, experience points, kamas, etc.) can only be obtained once, by the character who completes the stage. The card collection is shared by all characters on the same account.

Overhaul of the Soul Stone Marketplace

We know this interface frustrates many people… and rightly so, because it wasn't designed for this item category. It works the same way as a standard marketplace. On top of its poor usability, we are required to limit the number of items so the Flash player won't decide to die. It was clear that it was time to modernize it.

After we discussed it among ourselves, two key areas needed improving:

  • How soul stones are displayed and listed
  • The maximum number of offers the marketplace could hold

For the first point, we now look at the problem the other way around: It is no longer the stone that returns a list of offers, but the act of choosing a monster that will list all the stones that contain it. For example, when you click on "Royal Gobball", the system will only return offers containing this monster as a minimum.

To make it even clearer, we further divide monsters into three categories by whether it is a common monster, a dungeon keeper, or an archmonster. Finally, searching behaves the same way as other marketplaces, except that it will display monsters instead of items.

Here's some good news for your purse: This system is fully managed by the server, and monsters are automatically listed as soon as a stone is put up for sale. That's right! That means it's retroactive for all stones already put up for sale before the update, so there's no need to be taxed again. There's clearly no stopping progress in Retro…

This feature significantly reduces the number of offers per monster, which improves to the second point. The limitation on the total number of stones in the marketplace has been removed because we can now display the first 1,000 prices for a given monster instead of displaying all the stones in the marketplace.

Here are two screenshots that should summarize what we want to achieve with this change:

Ever-Popular Minor Changes

They're stimulating for us, and they make you happy – they're the additions we pull out of our magic hat:

A Slimmed-Down Version of the End-of-Fight Screen

Here's a change that will make those happy who are accustomed to invading the big cities' arenas and putting down roots there (yes, we see you in the back with your Enutrof army). Sometimes you want to go fast, play it solo, or just don't want information that's of no interest to you; in these situations, the mini version of the end-of-fight interface may well be useful! It sticks to the essential by containing only your character's information. It's a worthwhile performance gain when you're playing with several windows. The icing on the cake is that it lets you move around the map without having to close it first – it disappears automatically when you enter a fight.

You can see how long the fight lasted and the number of turns by hovering over "Fight Result"; to see your experience breakdown, hover over the experience points.
And on top of all that, if your Living Chest collects kamas or loot, this will be added to your character's kamas and loot to show you your total combined winnings.

Whether you decide to stick with the normal interface or the compact version, this state is saved in the account cache – just like your keyboard shortcuts – so you won't have to change it for every fight.


Go On, Get Out of Here!

Gone are the days when players and monsters took up too much space… Now, an entity that dies in a fight will be removed from the fighters' timeline instead of being grayed out. This frees up its slot and all the space it took up until now; given the price per square inch of a screen, we won't waste it! Here's a GIF of how it looks in the game:

(Author's note: The Eni is really annoyed in this fight.)

All These Filters Make Great Coffee

With the arrival of TTG cards and its large number of items, we were starting to lose our bearings in our inventory – with the "Miscellaneous" category being a big catch-all for all things consumable – so we had to find a solution…

You'll agree it can quickly be hard to find your way around when you collect soul stones, Smithmagic runes, and whatever else… Well, no problemo! We've added three more filters to the inventory and all trade windows:

  • Soul Stone → includes all empty and full stones and spiritual gems
  • Smithmagic Rune → includes all runes
  • Cards → includes all packs of cards and TTG cards

This change will help you be more accurate when trading, storing things in the bank, and everything else… But that's not all! We've also created new merchant mode bags: If a particular player only sells this item category, it will be indicated by a corresponding bag.

Copy Out 10 Lines by Tomorrow!

The best is for last, of course: We're adding two more effect lines when previewing an item in the Smithmagic interface, bringing the maximum to 10.

In Closing

These additions will be joined by the usual bug fixes, especially for craft workshops and the Ecaflip Roulette spell. All changes will be listed in the changelog to be posted on the day the beta server opens and when the update is released.

It was a big one for the whole team – we laughed, we cried, and we had heavy losses in terms of coffee beans. But if we're sure of one thing, it's that we didn't shy away from any challenge – every problem had a solution, and I wholeheartedly salute our collective determination to achieve this result. We can't wait for you to see it all for yourselves!

The DOFUS Retro Team

Category: Developpement