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Review RPG Codex Review: ADOM

Discussion in 'RPG Codex News & Content Comments' started by Crooked Bee, Feb 18, 2015.

  1. Crooked Bee wide-wandering bee Patron

    Crooked Bee
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    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Tags: Ancient Domains of Mystery

    Rare are the times that the Codex's front page braves the dark and fearsome world of roguelikes. Being predominantly a traditional RPG, not roguelike-focused website, permadeath scares us - all of us except the courageous Deuce Traveler, who in this review ventures headlong into ADOM from the perspective not of a roguelike expert, but a fellow veteran RPG player. One of us, then! Let's hear what he has to say.

    So, would I recommend Ancient Domains of Mystery?

    Well, I highly recommend that every Codexer play the game once, but I don't recommend that you attempt to actually beat it. I know that seems like a contradiction, but while ADOM is a treat for those who enjoy RPG design, it loses its charm as a game and begins to feel like work after your 20th or so character death. I suggest playing the game for a few hours without backing up save states or looking at the ADOM wiki. Then, when you begin to feel frustrated with the experience, go ahead and look at the wiki for dungeon locations and to get a general idea of where you should explore next. If you still find yourself feeling frustrated after that, leave the game and go find something else to play that is more enjoyable. But if you feel driven to beat the game and are still enjoying yourself, then you'll be able to spend the next few months or even years defeating it. Good luck, and don't get eaten by a grue.​

    For the details leading up to this conclusion, be sure to read the full review.
     
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  2. Jack Dandy Arcane

    Jack Dandy
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    Uh, neat! Why just now, though?
     
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  3. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
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    Level-scaling jackals ruined this game for me. I get that part of rogue-likes is the metagaming aspect, but there's a difference between learning the hidden rules and learning that the hidden rules are broken and then playing the game in a counter-intuitive fashion. Perhaps that has been fixed in the new version with the addition of fancy graphics.
     
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  4. Clockwork Knight Arcane

    Clockwork Knight
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    I never got a to a high level (or even half that) but I agreed with most of the review. Except for the ending where it's described as a "treat of CRPG design", after several paragraphs pointing out the inanities. I know it wasn't the author's intention but it feels a bit like "IGN: Meh, It's okay = 9/10".

    (and maybe I'm just lame but my 20th death arrived very quickly)

    Graphical version was released recently, good time as any.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2015
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  5. Awor Szurkrarz Arcane In My Safe Space

    Awor Szurkrarz
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    I was trying to beat it for several years. Finally beat it in 2004 with a Gray Elf Priestess. Somehow my interest in the game has dropped drastically after beating it :( .
     
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  6. Licaon_Kter Augur

    Licaon_Kter
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    Although the tiles look ok I can not get into them. Plain ASCII for me thanks. But then again, I found ADOM on a network drive in my high-school during programming class somewhere between 0.9.9 Gamma 12 and 13, and that's 15 years ago ( http://www.adom.de/adom/history.php3 )...
    BTW, my PC at the time could not run Diablo so that might of been a reason for why I stick with it, actually if I wanted a mp3 to run in the background I had to lower its playback quality to 22kHz or so. Fun. Times.

    Regarding deaths, I had some 'till I got the hang of things, but I played a lot with one PC, although I used saves so I'm not proper hardcore, right? After I got the mechanics in my mind I was off with my Orc Necromancer, well until s/he got corrupted way to the other side, apparently I did not get all the features right, I was enjoying my corruption benefits without accounting for the consequences, and that was a high level PC. So I started again, with a gray-elf necro that faired better, I can't remember if I finished with him, but he kinda did everything
    Show Spoiler
    ToEF, unicorns, cats, bridges, casinos, cemeteries, arenas, stuff.
    Also I did not have an internet connection yet so no wikis for me and although I got some faq/walkthough on a diskette I did not like the feeling that I might cheat so I never looked at them.

    Got sidetracked into grafix-whoring games after that, but I got some others infected with ADOM too, either doing iron-man or plain time-sharing on my computer.
     
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  7. TigerKnee Prophet

    TigerKnee
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    In 2015, I appreciate ADOM for its scope, and the setting is kind of cool with the equivalent of having some rather cool setpieces in ASCII but the actual game design is rather spotty (anything related to the Cat Lord is like Grade SSS Autist level of suck) and this two words are going to trigger people: "Poorly balanced"

    Also everyone should play the JP Roguelike Elona. It's inspired by this game with a lot of the same mechanics, but it's 1000000000 times better because you can get a loli as a pet.
     
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  8. Bratislav Arcane

    Bratislav
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    Elona is also objectively much better game.
    It is a unfinished masterpiece. Both in scope and in essence. Elona plus i would suggest to avoid since it makes the game much easier in my opinion.
     
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  9. dukeofwhales Arbiter

    dukeofwhales
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    Woah, ADOM has sprites.
     
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  10. Ellef Deplorable

    Ellef
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    I've onl
    Is Elona dependent at all on metagame knowledge? The one thing I hate about some roguelikes is the reliance of Wiki, and DCSS has it perfect here.
     
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  11. Bratislav Arcane

    Bratislav
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    no i played it completly blind and had no problem. The game is hard but very fair. And there are numerous ways you can make a good character.
    There are also a lot of side things like, crafting, cooking, trading, alchemy, playing piano etc.
    Other then that there is arena,guilds,homeownership, taxes,adventure rank, main quest, random quests...
     
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  12. Damned Registrations Prestigious Gentleman Furry Weeaboo Nazi Nihilist

    Damned Registrations
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    The Elona Wiki isn't even sufficient. The game is basically unwinnable even with spoilers, it's a total clusterfuck. I like to play around in it like a sandbox but it's not really a game to beat in my mind.
     
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  13. Bratislav Arcane

    Bratislav
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    The game is unfinished, there is a main quest and dungeon, it is just not the end.
     
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  14. Deuce Traveler Prestigious Gentleman 2012 Newfag Patron

    Deuce Traveler
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Divinity: Original Sin Torment: Tides of Numenera Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    There are definitely better roguelikes, but you do have to admire the scope of things a character can do in this game, from playing slots to freezing water in order to cross it, and smiting enemies on altars. It's amazing this game was all done by one guy.
     
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  15. Lady Error Arcane Literally Hitler

    Lady Error
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    If permadeath really scared us, Neoscavenger would not have ranked that high in the GOTY poll. But yeah, I don't like it (permadeath).
     
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  16. Blaine Cis-Het Oppressor Patron

    Blaine
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy
    Roguelikes—wherein you slip your cock into ninety-nine gloryholes concealing tigers, until finally figuring out which one conceals the lady.

    I enjoy roguelikes from time to time. The problem is that I have to play each one long enough to discover whether it's hard but fair, or just flat-out bullshit and broken as Hell. Before a certain point in the learning curve, all I really know is that I suck and die a lot.

    The perfect roguelike for me would be one in which every single playthrough is theoretically winnable by a master of the game who knows all its ins and outs. I hate roguelikes in which you must overly rely on luck. That's why I discarded FTL (which is merely a roguelike-like) very early on, despite all the buzz surrounding it when it released a few years back.
     
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  17. Ellef Deplorable

    Ellef
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    Have you played DCSS? I've tried plenty of roguelikes but the ones which try for quests and crafting and all that secondary stuff I quickly get bored with. This strips everything down to simple dungeon floors, the best players get very high win rates with any random combinations and they've gradually removed anything metagamey in patches, much to the chagrin of some. Wikis are worse than useless, and classes are basically starting equipment sets, you have to adapt to what you find which is always different. They absolutely strip away anything unnecessary to the core mechanics, and embody the easy to learn, hard as fuck to master philosophy.

    In fact I'm going to play it now, because I've never won it because I always do something stupid and die.
     
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  18. lurker3000 Arcane

    lurker3000
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    This right here is the bane of my RL existence. I get to the mid-levels of these and I start thinking I'm a god or something. Then I have to crawl my way back just to do the same stupid shit again.
     
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  19. Gozma Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Gozma
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    ADOM was the last of the "three roguelike era" games (Nethack, Angband, ADOM) I came upon and I decided to play it without spoilers, so I ended up playing a game like once every couple months (well, a game that I didn't lose in the first couple of hours) and it took me years to finally get a win. I'm pretty damn sure I'll never have that kind of experience with a game again.

    ADOM/Nethack/Angband all have ways that you could pretty easily 100% win them with any start and any character. Nethack especially is pretty "easy" in that way. Crawl can kill you in the first couple of levels if you have a bad character because it's a much more focused game, but once it opens up any death is ultimately your fault. FTL... I think with the best couple ships you could win 90%+ (on hard), bad ships can easily lose no matter what you do because it's such a constrained game. It's still fun to go down trying tho, at least until you have worn the game down to a nub like I did.
     
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  20. Sordid MCA/Prosper Hybryd Arcane Patron

    Sordid MCA/Prosper Hybryd
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    Good review. BTW what's Codex Consensus on Omega? CRPG Addict kinda liked it. Is it worth playing?
     
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  21. Jarakka Learned

    Jarakka
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    I think ADOM is the sort of roguelike for people who don't tend to like roguelikes. It's very easy to get into, hard to beat, but is fun to play and talk to people about.

    And most of all if you actually manage to beat it, it's actually something of an accomplishment. Every time I hear someone say "I finished ADOM" instead of going "Oh, I see, how did you like it?" I notice myself saying "Woah. How did you do it?"

    Agreed with this review, it's a good game. Recommended, especially if you've never played roguelikes before.
     
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  22. Borelli Arcane

    Borelli
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    One of the classic roguelikes but ADOM is too much hack n slash where you kill 50 goblins in a single room who drop generic randomized loot, this is not a bad thing (ADOM combat like most roguelikes is very fast) but roguelikes are better designed when you have a small <20 lvl dungeon with unique enemies than 50 lvl main dungeon with many more side ones because when you die you need to repeat less of the game (and you will die a lot in ADOM).
     
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  23. Humanophage Arcane

    Humanophage
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    I rather enjoy the idea of creating a ton of characters most of whom die early on. It really undermines the annoying feeling of being the chosen one that you get in other games. Each character feels like a short depressing story, where everything was going just fine until something outrageously ridiculous happened. The aim is not to win, but to achieve a fun result, like in Paradox strategies. Unlike most other roguelikes, ADOM is actually atmospheric; it is easy to imagine what is going on, and you don't have to do much beside fighting.

    One huge advantage of ADOM over many games is that it is very elastic when it comes to your attention. You can concentrate and make some clever finely tuned character, or you can make a fighter and just run about whacking things. It's quite good for when you want to listen to a somewhat boring podcast or lecture, and you need to occupy your hands with something not to get distracted. Since the game is turn-based, it never demands constant attention and action, so you can make some notes if you feel like it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2015
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  24. Higher Game Arcane

    Higher Game
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    This is pure gold truth, sig worthy. [​IMG]
     
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