Author Topic: Multiplayer online roguelike  (Read 51629 times)

mushroom patch

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Re: Multiplayer online roguelike
« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2013, 03:13:35 AM »
Of course it's a question of whether it's hardcore. How else do you account for the tone of people saying this or that is roguelike for this or that reason? The implication is that something like "permadeath" is a matter of integrity rather than simple convention -- which would be subject to interpretation or renegotiation.

The issue, it seems to me, is that you have a group of people who've set themselves up as the arbiters of what's roguelike and created a standard beyond simple affinity to rogue, larn, moria, hack, etc. That people would confidently assert that a game identical in all respects to nethack, a classical roguelike of undisputed pedigree, except for the existence of an obscure resurrection trick is debatable as a roguelike points up the extreme dogmatism of the supposed definition. That's in line with your appeals to "reality," as you call it.

At the same time, this so-called definition pretends that in spite of rogue, larn, moria, hack, nethack, etc. all being fantasy roleplaying themed, fantasy roleplaying is not, in fact, integral to the genre and is simply incidental to the well known examples. What are the counterexamples that justify this? TrademarkInfringementRL?

What you should be saying is that a roguelike that does not have straightforward permanent death but offers ways around it is nontraditional in that respect. Instead, you assert straight out that it isn't roguelike. It's an absurd notion. It's nothing but chest beating about how hardcore the games you like are. Permanent death is not what distinguished the classic roguelikes from games that came before or after them. It is incidental, a matter of convention, that makes sense in the context of a single character fantasy roleplaying game. Nothing more.

kraflab

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Re: Multiplayer online roguelike
« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2013, 09:47:21 PM »
You're making a lot of strange assumptions here.  I love all genres of games pretty much (maybe not social games :P), so to say that I choose the definition of roguelike based on my personal tastes for how hardcore something is is absurd.  I love turn-based rpgs as well as roguelikes.  I'm guessing most people on here do as well, or at least enjoy some other genres.  It seems to me that you don't really understand what permadeath means to a game if you can think it is in any way cursory or a matter of convention.  Item identification is a convention.  Classes are conventions.  Hit points, magic, equipment are conventions.  All these things are swapped in and out depending on the developer but there is a reason permadeath, by contrast, is so vital to the experience.

I also think most people would say that a game that has a way around permadeath is still a roguelike, so you're again off-base with that.  I.E. in my roguelike there are ways to get extra lives, and in tome4 you can donate to remove permadeath and no one is going to tell you either game isn't a roguelike (except maybe krice ;)).  Jo has made a good point here and there about it being the meta-experience of learning from death that makes a roguelike, not permadeath.  But it turns out I've only seen this done as well with permadeath itself.

I'm just not sure how this classification can cause any harm to you.  I mean what do you care if the fruit you have is an orange or an apple.  It is what it is and it tastes just the same.  But at the same time you shouldn't sell apples at an orange stand, or at least you should make note that you are selling some "orange-like" products.

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Re: Multiplayer online roguelike
« Reply #17 on: April 14, 2013, 09:14:52 PM »
But at the same time you shouldn't sell apples at an orange stand, or at least you should make note that you are selling some "orange-like" products.

This is the way we should be looking at the term "roguelike". Not as some holy ark that includes some things and excludes others, but as more of a "hey, you liked Rogue? Then you'll like these games too!"
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DaBeowulf

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Re: Multiplayer online roguelike
« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2013, 08:51:47 PM »

Darren Grey

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Re: Multiplayer online roguelike
« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2013, 12:34:15 AM »
The issue, it seems to me, is that you have a group of people who've set themselves up as the arbiters of what's roguelike and created a standard beyond simple affinity to rogue, larn, moria, hack, etc.

There are as many definitions as there are roguelike players.  Possibly more, in fact, as our own personal definitions change over time.

And there can be no arbiters.  A word can only bear the meaning it's used for.  I cannot claim "decimate" means to kill every tenth person in a group just because of an old definition - it only means what people understand it to mean.

Ex

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Re: Multiplayer online roguelike
« Reply #20 on: April 26, 2013, 04:09:28 AM »
I can't believe no one has mentioned Mangband, which is probably the first true multiplayer roguelike. And it's a pretty good game too, if you can get past the user interface. Correction, someone did mention Mangband. I need better reading skills.

Anyway, what is and isn't a roguelike has been debated for a long time, and different people come down on different sides of the debate. Back when most roguelikes were traditional roguelikes, I was on the more experimental and lenient side. I used to believe that if it had random levels, it was probably a roguelike. But then roguelikes got huge mainstream attention, and everyone wanted to call everything a roguelike. These days I believe in a strict definition of roguelikes. I feel like so many games that aren't roguelikes at all try to call themselves roguelikes just to cash in on the name, and that defeats the whole purpose of the genre.

I wanted to support the development of more experimental roguelikes during a time when there weren't that many. Now, it's just the opposite situation. Experimental games inaccurately calling themselves "roguelikes" outnumber traditional real roguelikes by at least a 10 to 1 ratio. If you ask me, in this time of a flood of games calling themselves "roguelikes" that have very little to do with the genre, we need to get back to the original core of the genre. We need more traditional, real roguelikes.

Having said that, everyone is free to have their own opinion about it. This is just how I personally feel right now. Also, I'm still opposed to permadeath, but that's the only traditional feature I oppose.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2013, 10:00:41 AM by Elig »

Holsety

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Re: Multiplayer online roguelike
« Reply #21 on: May 08, 2013, 10:38:15 AM »
The essential elements of roguelikes are terminal based play, fantasy role playing, and randomized, algorithmically generated maps, items, monster behavior, etc.

My favorite of the things you listed is the etc.. I agree that etc. is an essential element of the roguelike genre and without it we would be sorely lost.
Terrible witticism aside, if you replace the "etc." with "single-modal combat system" (ie. the game does not do a Pokémon/FinalFantasy/DragonQuest and just DOODELYDOO you into a seperate screen for combat) and replace "fantasy role playing" with "permadeath" I'd be able to agree with your little list of essentials.
The fantasy setting is one of the most used, but that's because it is easy to use (since almost everyone is familiar with it up to a certain point, especially so the target audience) but that doesn't make it essential for the roguelike genre.

Cheeky winks aside, it's good to have clarity. Otherwise, you're reduced to a discussion of how far you can deviate from the idioms of a game implemented in the late 70s by a couple of graduate students in their spare time and still have a product of such moral purity as to be obviously superior to the mass market drivel peddled by Blizzard and the so-called indie sellouts trying to hock their wares on Steam.

How do you know you're more hardcore than people who play games with graphics, particularly if you like to use tiles with your "roguelikes"? You need permadeath and rigid turn-based play, at least. You may have been the only kid on the block who thought the problem with Megaman was that you got more than one life, but at least now with the ascii version available, you have the benefit of knowing in retrospect that you were right.

Between your acerbic words and the thick layer of sarcasm I'm having more than a fair share of trouble finding out what you're trying to say. My favorite part here is the tacit implication that we're not allowed to discriminate BECAUSE the original was made "in the 70s", " by a couple of graduate students" and/or "in their spare time". Cool.

At the same time, this so-called definition pretends that in spite of rogue, larn, moria, hack, nethack, etc. all being fantasy roleplaying themed, fantasy roleplaying is not, in fact, integral to the genre and is simply incidental to the well known examples. What are the counterexamples that justify this? TrademarkInfringementRL?

What you should be saying is that a roguelike that does not have straightforward permanent death but offers ways around it is nontraditional in that respect. Instead, you assert straight out that it isn't roguelike. It's an absurd notion. It's nothing but chest beating about how hardcore the games you like are. Permanent death is not what distinguished the classic roguelikes from games that came before or after them. It is incidental, a matter of convention, that makes sense in the context of a single character fantasy roleplaying game. Nothing more.

Man I can't even TELL if you're trolling anymore.
The Slimy Lichmummy is post-apocalyptic as is Alphaman.  ZAPM is camp sci-fi.
"But ZAPM is identical to Nethack in every way other than calling things by sci-fi names other than by fantasy names!" Well I guess that means that the setting (fantasy/sci-fi/post-apoc/sports) is nothing more than flavor and context and thus completely irrelevant as to what does or does not constitute a roguelike! If you try to argue that ZAPM isn't a roguelike because it's not fantasy flavored I don't think I'll be able to take you seriously ever again.

As for permadeath, NOBODY suggests that a game with "ways around" permadeath is not a roguelike. Nethack had an amulet of life-saving or whatever, so you could argue that "option to bypass death" has been proven by legacy to be part of the genre. However a user option, before starting the game, to turn off permadeath?
It's called Wizard mode. If it's clearly marked as a cheat/explore option that allows players to leisurely explore the game I'd say its fine, since Rogue/Nethack/Angband had it. But if it's a CORE aspect of the game, that is to say, your character never permanently dies, then the game is simply not a roguelike. It's that simple. Permadeath is part of the genre, having an option to turn it off or an ingame method to avoid it once or twice is fine, but if it's permanently off you're playing a different kind of game.
You can call it dogmatism if you want and that's fine. Nothing wrong with having a solid dogma.
But nobody's chestbeating about how hardcore we are for liking roguelikes. This forum isn't that big, these people aren't shitty like that, and this isn't 4chan, reddit or hipstercentral so please don't sling those 3edgy5me accusations around, thank you.

I'm seeing that you love to pack your arguments with heated half-truths, which could fool people into thinking you're right at first glance. Again I can't make up my mind whether to call you a great troll or a misguided fool

Experimental games inaccurately calling themselves "roguelikes" outnumber traditional real roguelikes by at least a 10 to 1 ratio. If you ask me, in this time of a flood of games calling themselves "roguelikes" that have very little to do with the genre, we need to get back to the original core of the genre. We need more traditional, real roguelikes.

This is a very nice piece of post. It's not so much that "we" want to exclude games from our super secret roguelike club because they're not hardcore enough. Or that our raging e-penis will shrivel up if someone on this planet HAS FUN playing something that's not a roguelike and then falsely proceeds to claim he beat a roguelike. We're not saddled down with that kind of inferiority complex (At least I hope most of us aren't? ;)).
It's really about drawing a fucking line. I typed out an entire paragraph filled with some shitty analogy about how I'd be very angry if someone gave me a roguelike that didn't have permadeath or turn-basedness because he'd have given me NOT A ROGUELIKE. And then I wouldn't have the option to complain because games like Borderlands and Diablo would have been commonly accepted as roguelikes. Instead have this, much more succint and excellent explanation:
But at the same time you shouldn't sell apples at an orange stand, or at least you should make note that you are selling some "orange-like" products.

Now to finish by adressing the drivel I read that prompted me to write this abomination:
In reality, most modern roguelikes have already abandoned true turn-based combat, even the angband line.
No, they really haven't. At all.

It's no longer you get a turn then the monster gets a turn (or you get a turn and the monster gets two if it's faster than you). It's more like for every eight of your turns the monster gets 5 spaced in a certain way among your 8. This is not turn based in any reasonable sense.
Would I be breaking any rules if I flat out told him to eat shit?
That is still turn-based. Do you operate a different definition of turn-based from the rest of the world?
If you're going to try and be cheeky by claiming that turn-based is defined by the player and the opponent taking actions in sequence, please don't. Or do and admit you're a troll while you're at it.
Turn-based quite simply means that the entirety of the gameworld is arrested untill the person whose turn it is has input his action. I, for one, don't give a FUCK whether that entity gets to take 128 turns back-to-back, it's still turn-based as long as all other possible actions are PAUSED untill that entity inputs and executes its chosen action. THAT is what turn-based is about.

Even the single player aspect is more a byproduct of the technology available in the late 70s than anything else.
You just pointlessly and casually insulted singleplayer gaming for no discernable reason with an argument too ridiculous to merit an actual rebuttal.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2013, 10:46:41 AM by Holsety »
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Re: Multiplayer online roguelike
« Reply #22 on: May 10, 2013, 04:57:20 AM »
"Man I can't even TELL if you're trolling anymore."

+1.

I like a good discussion but wall of text plus all vitriol is such a chore.

@Darren - Dude I have a very good definition of what Roguelike is. I've played so many for so long I officially declare myself the oracle of 'but is it a roguelike.' No need to know what that definition is, one need only come to me with alms and ask for my wisdom. I'll give you an thumbs up or thumbs down. There may be no rhyme or reason to my answer, but that's just how it goes with oracles.  :P

Kyzrati

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Re: Multiplayer online roguelike
« Reply #23 on: May 17, 2013, 01:34:06 PM »
So... I started reading this thread with the expectation of following an interesting discussion on what everyone thought about a multiplayer online roguelike, absolutely loved the TomeNet rant, then it all pretty much went awry from there and OMGWTF are you kidding me you guys are arguing about what a roguelike is again?!

It's on blogs, it's on PA, it's in every other freaking post on Reddit, and it's consumed more than half of this tangentially related thread. Damn ;)

Is there any other genre out there that's quite this undefinable? ::continues to completely derail thread::

jim

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Re: Multiplayer online roguelike
« Reply #24 on: May 17, 2013, 01:54:21 PM »
My personal feelings about the issue aside, the biggest cause of the discussion itself is probably the player base. Roguelikes attract controlling, meticulous personalities. You might as well ask a room full of advanced OCD folks to jointly determine the optimum pepperoni layout on a pizza.

Vanguard

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Re: Multiplayer online roguelike
« Reply #25 on: May 17, 2013, 04:33:16 PM »
I don't think roguelikes and multiplayer go together very well anyway.  There are too many mechanics that only make sense in a single player context.  Some interesting multiplayer games could be made by picking and choosing a few roguelike aspects a la Spelunky, but then people would argue on the internet about whether they're real roguelikes so it might not be worth it.

Kyzrati

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Re: Multiplayer online roguelike
« Reply #26 on: May 18, 2013, 01:24:45 AM »
My personal feelings about the issue aside, the biggest cause of the discussion itself is probably the player base. Roguelikes attract controlling, meticulous personalities. You might as well ask a room full of advanced OCD folks to jointly determine the optimum pepperoni layout on a pizza.
I like this explanation--makes a lot of sense. For the most part it's members of the core player base doing the arguing anyway. The general gaming public is like "dude, what's a roguelike?" (And that triggers the arguments ;) j/k, seems that most are started by describing some game as a roguelike.)

Holsety

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Re: Multiplayer online roguelike
« Reply #27 on: May 21, 2013, 03:15:52 PM »
My personal feelings about the issue aside, the biggest cause of the discussion itself is probably the player base. Roguelikes attract controlling, meticulous personalities. You might as well ask a room full of advanced OCD folks to jointly determine the optimum pepperoni layout on a pizza.

Plebeian fool. You dare waste our time with such trivial problems? Clearly the optimal pepperoni layout can be achieved thusly:
-grind the pepperoni into a fine paste
-smear the paste evenly over the surface of your pizza pie

I don't think roguelikes and multiplayer go together very well anyway.  There are too many mechanics that only make sense in a single player context.  Some interesting multiplayer games could be made by picking and choosing a few roguelike aspects a la Spelunky, but then people would argue on the internet about whether they're real roguelikes so it might not be worth it.

Making a game is always worth it, unless your exact purpose is to have it be a roguelike. But I doubt you'd only be "picking and choosing a few roguelike aspects" if that was the case.

Fwiw (and I'm not going to drone on about WHAT IS ROGUELIKE, since even I like to be on-topic at times), I think the main reason REAL roguelikes and multiplayer don't mesh is that you can't feasibly have a turn-based game be massively multiplayer. That would require you to either;
-pause the game for everyone except the active player, and then cycle active players. Game speed; zetta slow.
-pause the game untill everyone has input his turn, then resolve all simultaneously. Game speed; zetta slow.
PWMangband, Tomenet etc. BASICALLY follow latter, but they auto-resolve every X seconds. And since that would require players to slap their direction key into the enemy every X seconds lest they do NOTHING it was decided to have melee be an automatic affair. Of course the problem with this was that the player feels as if he has no control over what the fuck is going on, and deaths come across as incredible unfair. The result of combat is, after all, completely out of your hands.

There might be merit in picking and choosing aspects. Best would be if people gave up on demanding their game be called a roguelike and just took the most fun/useful aspects and made a game that WORKS instead of something that shoots itself in the foot just because it wants to be a roguelike. (Like PWMangband and all the current MMORLs)

Features that are appropriate for taking:
-procedural generation for dungeons and monster spawns
-permadeath
-focus on intelligent gameplay, resource management and/or metaknowledge aiding survival

Features best left by the wayside:
-turn based & tile based (since these two are joined at the hip. I can't think of a way to seperate them, anyway.)

Whether it's Ascii or not, the theme, the inspiration for the races/classes and so on are really up to the designer and not integral to being a roguelike-inspired MMO. Would I like a realtime, actionbased, (massively) multiplayer version of Dungeon Crawl/Brogue/Nethack/IVAN? Hell yes! Once you let go of the notion that you need to shoehorn the turn-based aspect into the game you can do whatever you want.
Intelligent gameplay will be what sets the game apart from garbage like Realm of the Mad God though. If there's no higher decision making involved than "run and shoot/whack" VS "run harder" all you really have is a shitty multiplayer action rpg.
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Vanguard

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Re: Multiplayer online roguelike
« Reply #28 on: May 21, 2013, 05:56:36 PM »
An MMO roguelike wouldn't be a good idea under any circumstances.  MMOs are terrible.  Even the game concepts that do work as MMOs usually work way better with smaller, semi-fixed player counts.  Maybe you could make existing MMOs better by including a few roguelike elements?  But all that means is you've produced more palatable trash than your peers.

Multiplayer pseudoroguelike action games have a lot of potential though.  I'd like to see more people go for that instead of making Angband into an MMO with no thought given to how that could actually work.

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Re: Multiplayer online roguelike
« Reply #29 on: May 22, 2013, 01:41:23 AM »
I guess the result from this thread is that Realm of the Mad God is the epitome of Multiplayer roguelikes?