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Announcements => Other Announcements => Topic started by: jim on April 25, 2011, 08:37:40 PM

Title: Chasing the Dragon
Post by: jim on April 25, 2011, 08:37:40 PM
There was a point about 10 years ago where I did almost nothing except work my computer job, smoke weed, drink vodka and coke (why did I think that tasted good?), and play ADOM.

Something about it was just plain entrancing. There were so many things to keep track of. Even getting a fighter the healing skill was a multitasking adventure with real choices and consequences, to say nothing of all the randomly generated difficulties encountered along the way. And after my first few wins, when I started making serious attempts at the ultra ending, playing ADOM took up about as much of my attention as did living my waking life.

Maybe it's because roguelike players have active minds - I dunno. But I feel like there was a special reason why I dedicated so much of my time to that game. I mean, I had a console and a decent gaming PC, but ADOM was where my I found myself fixated.

Reading what I've written so far, my story seems to echo all those sad sack "I lost my life to WoW" stories. Weird, since roguelikes are just about the opposite of WoW. Where WoW is static, roguelikes are dynamic. Roguelikes are solitary, and WoW provides the illusory sense of community. Roguelikes are so visually minimalistic, next to nonexistent, like a thought experiment inside someone else's logical framework. Plus, good roguelikes are characterized by constant decision-making on the part of the player, where WoW has more or less put the lid on any kind of "self-styled" form of play or character building. Lastly, a roguelike ends.

I guess I want to say that, while the escapism was the same, the sensation of escape was probably different from what I imagine WoW to be. Sure, it was an obsession, but it was an obsession with purpose. I wanted to get the best ending on the hardest roguelike.

So, long story short, I never got the ultra ending. I had a troll barbarian who was pretty damn close, but I realized late-game that there was no legit way I'd get to the level needed to get the assassin prince's quest.

I realized this after the end of a weeklong vacation from work. I had told myself I'd go camping, possibly trek down the grand canyon. Instead, I played ADOM from the time I woke to the time I slept.

And I didn't get the ultra ending.

Then I gave my computer away, quit my job, and didn't touch a computer outside of school for about 4 years...

Anyone else chase the dragon like that? And, more importantly, did you ever catch the dragon? :)

Tell me a story.
Title: Re: Chasing the Dragon
Post by: Ari Rahikkala on April 26, 2011, 12:34:17 PM
The first version of DCSS I played was 0.4, so I guess I must have been introduced to the game in 2008? I think the most successful one of my vampire necromancers saw the entrance of the Vaults. Still, I don't get into roguelikes if I don't expect to eventually be able to beat them, so after a couple of years break I started playing again a couple of months ago. First 0.7, then trunk, going from playing mostly DDNe to mostly SETr. It's remarkable how consistent crawl's depth can be to learn; there were times when each successive character would get a few levels farther than the last one, occasionally dying to some new threat I didn't know how to deal with yet, but more often lasting longer because I was managing my resources better throughout the game.

I got my three-runer a couple of weeks ago, a literal tank (well, statue) of a Chei-worshipping sludge elf who found Zot:5 to be populated by a most curious menagerie of quickly moving but fragile creatures with a variety of interesting attacks, all of them ineffectual. I know I will eventually go back for the climb to fifteen runes, and I know it will take hours and hours and hours of my time. I even have the character build that I intend to do it with in mind. I have felt no immediate Crawl cravings so far. But I know the dragon is there, biding its time... eventually I'll heed the call.

As for ADOM... it's been years since my first ultra ending, but I can still remember a few details. Pretty sure it was an UNE with a drakish mindcrafter (perhaps the best combination of interesting, meaty powers and actual survivability in the game). I was so very disappointed to find out that Andy is immune to telekinetic blasts (though it's not like I'd have had any mana for them anyway after like three turns of his mana draining), and that he had a very annoying tendency to teleport all over the place when confused. Guy still went down to the Trident though. I wish I could make this a story about chasing and reaching the goal as well, but there really wasn't more to it than being incredibly spoiled and knowing how to abuse the hell out of the game - not even doing scummy things like stoma precrowns or gremlin bombs, just knowing precisely where to find every secret and how to approach each situation in the safest way.
Title: Re: Chasing the Dragon
Post by: Vanguard on April 27, 2011, 07:41:39 AM
Rogue. (http://roguetemple.com/forums/index.php?topic=30.0)

A better personal example for me would be from developing games rather than playing them, but I don't know if that counts here.
Title: Re: Chasing the Dragon
Post by: jim on April 27, 2011, 04:52:12 PM
Yeah man, totally counts. Regale us with your dream-turned-nightmare.