2.7.4 was the first reasonably stable version of Ben Harrison's reign (though it was still described a couple of times as a "stable beta"), and was released on 28th March 1995. It was already a massively different game than the last stable release, 2.6.1, though for all the visible changes there had been even greater ones hidden from view in the code.
Of course, it was never /just/ going to be bugfixes in one of Ben's releases, so there was also the massive change of removing the auxiliary weapon slot and replacing it with a dedicated bow slot. In order to try and head off the inevitable controversy that resulted, the inventory was increased by a slot so that people who didn't want to use a bow wouldn't lose out. This didn't really work, as arguments still ensued over the relative realism of each approach, and which gave the better gameplay effects.
In addition, keymaps were introduced which allowed an abstraction of keypresses from the commands they activate, and the fractional speed system introduced in the previous release was used to give monsters a chance of being slightly faster or slower than normal.
Added monster flow AI option Allowed the macro-ization of normal keys Rearranged the player equipment Replaced "aux slot" with "bow slot" Rewrote some code to use the new "bow slot" Enchant weapon will enchant the bow sometimes Removed the now meaningless "x"/"X" command Extended the player pack to allow 23 items Added "pack overflow" at 24 items, added warnings Removed "stealth boost" from Feanor Worked on the throw code to allow better "breakage" Changed allocation of speed bonuses on rings/boots Changed cost of boots/rings of speed to reflect new bonuses Added new "pre-computed view" option. Gave monsters the possibility of slight speed adjustments from their racial template (slightly faster and slower than normal kobolds, say). Wrote a "keymap" function to allow "command redefinition" Used this function to "merge" orginal/roguelike keysets Allowed access to this function via the "!" command
Wrote a new "main-x11.c" (Recall/Choice windows) Did a little work on the borg Removed some obsolete functions More renaming and rearranging Eliminated old types ("int16u", etc), replaced with u16b, etc. Optimized processmonsters() and updateview() Macro-ized floor_grid() and friends Verified correct use of floor_grid() and friends Reduced use of "random()" to speed up the code Rewrote "monster reproduction" algorithm Reordered the savefile options (especially option set 3) Fixed a few visual glitches with "get_item()" calls Changed "tval" of certain objects to optimize "floor_grid()" Made some of the error messages more verbose Removed some use of floating point maths
Fixed a bug in "repeated commands" Fixed "takeoff" in roguelike mode Fixed some bugs in the parsing of macros Fixed a bug in Cubragol's activation Fixed two artifact's activation (Dethanc and Firestar?) Wrote a hack to allow proper Windows savefile names
[*1]: The changelist has been pieced together from newsgroup postings around the time of release - it is unlikely to be complete and may not be accurate.