Author Topic: Searching for a specific kind of roguelike  (Read 5427 times)

Skaramuche

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Searching for a specific kind of roguelike
« on: February 23, 2011, 04:50:42 AM »
Hey--I'm a reasonably experienced roguelike player, but a very casual one.  I started playing nethack years ago and i've since moved on to dcss, doomrl, and incursion.  (i only ever play once in a while, so I've never actually gotten any good at them.  I just mess around in the first ten floors or so until i die.)  But while I was looking at doomrl's extensive medal and stat-tracking screens I had a thought: those screens really reminded me of the Barracks from Modern Warfare.  So I had a wonderful idea, and immediately wanted to know if it existed: roguelikes and multiplayer shooters actually have some strong similarities; playing both involves iteration, covering the same territory over and over again while slightly altering your equipment and strategy, starting out weak and growing stronger until the game ends and your score and progress reset.  MW revolutionized its entire genre by marrying that very roguelike-esque start-everything-over with a deep, crunchy long-term persistent system of unlocks and powerups that carry over from round to round.  Having the same kind of idea applied to a roguelike would be fantastic.

I searched up this forum because it seems like the place to ask: does such a game exist?  A roguelike where, like every roguelike, you start the game with little equipment and a couple of abilities, and try to find items and level up as you go down the dungeon--but in this one, the more you play, and the more specific goals you achieve, the stronger your character can be next time?  Kill 100 enemies in one life with an axe, and your fighter can start with a +1 axe next time.  Play a Wizard to at least dlvl10 three times and unlock a Sorcerer with different abilities.  Stuff like that.  The only roguelike-type game I can think of with that kind of content is Desktop Dungeons, which is huge fun, but hardly a proper roguelike.  Is Crawl of Duty out there somewhere?  Because I want to play it.

Darren Grey

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Re: Searching for a specific kind of roguelike
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2011, 01:22:13 PM »
The only roguelike I know of with unlocks is ToME4.  Do 1 million cold damage over several games and you'll unlock Cryomancers, kill a certain boss and you'll unlock undead races, and so on.  It doesn't have any element of making starting characters better though - it just opens up new starting options.

What you suggested might work if done well, but ultimately may suffer from decreasing challenge over time if you can keep improving starting characters.  CoD works because it's multiplayer and it has a large enough playerbase to have more than enough people to fight at different levels of play.

Z

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Re: Searching for a specific kind of roguelike
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2011, 11:26:11 PM »
I think that unlocking new options is a good idea, but decreasing the challenge by increasing power of subsequent character is not, unless the game is centered at it. I have once read an idea about a roguelike where you actually play a family of adventurers: you went on a dungeon adventure, and if successful, you could marry a nice girl and continue your quest with a descendant. And descendants would be more and more powerful due to accumulated wealth, training, and gene pool. Could be interesting...

getter77

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Re: Searching for a specific kind of roguelike
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2011, 01:34:51 AM »
Sounds a bit like the Legacy of a Wizard series there Z, though only just a bit.   Nifty in that the first game in the series was almost a Roguelike IIRC, though I don't think it made it stateside on any available machine.

Otherwise, the Shiren the Wanderer, Izuna, and other entrants to the Fushigi Dungeon series might also fit the bill as storage things can be done, levels gained, companions acquired, and so forth as the game progresses.
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Legend

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Re: Searching for a specific kind of roguelike
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2011, 02:17:29 AM »
I like how desktop dungeons lets you unlock new races and classes. I also really like how it unlocks new items that may be spawned on the level and monsters too.

I like how Doomrl lets you unlock new play modes. But I feel that most of them are a bit too hard to unlock since in order to unlock them, you have o earn certain badges. Most of the badges are rather difficult to achieve for the average player I think. At least for someone like me who only has a little time here and there to enjoy the games. And constantly trying to achieve the same badge over and over again like beating a specific level on a specific difficulty can get frustrating and annoying just so I can try to unlock a new play mode by reaching the next rank. 

Ari Rahikkala

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Re: Searching for a specific kind of roguelike
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2011, 11:20:17 AM »
One reason why roguelike developers mightn't be very eager to do this sort of thing is that they benefit from their games being tiny and enormously portable: Players can just pick the game up whenever, play it on their netbook or their parents' Pentium 3, forget where their installation is and just redownload the game, forget the whole game even exists for a couple of years and just come back to it one day (since roguelikes are timeless). It's a very different thing from Call of Duty which you play daily-ish or weekly-ish, on your powerful desktop only, for a couple of years. I know I've deleted or left behind several ADOM installations with Bug Temple access already (there's a special level in the game that you can only enter if your high score file has enough characters recorded in it), and not having access to some of the equipment in there is a bit annoying.

I think what you really want to be looking for is simple sheer tactical depth. Try playing DCSS with an eye for really getting inside the game (play the same character combination for a while, have ##crawl or just Henzell's learndb open, and pay attention) - you might be surprised by how each character seems to just live for a little while longer than the previous ones, to have a little bit of an easier time with challenges that brought earlier characters close to death, to have just the right trick for a situation that previous ones couldn't deal with. It doesn't even feel like learning, it feels like your characters are just that much more powerful.