Monday, 9 February 2015

ADOM - Ancient Domains of Mystery

Today we are trying out ADOM - Ancient Domains of Mystery, one of the older roguelikes that is making its way over to steam with a fresh coat of paint.

My friends and I spent a surprisingly large number of hours playing this in high school, both at home and on the school computers. I don't actually remember any of us finishing it though. I know I got close through rampant save scumming and other forms of cheating and I remember one of my friends getting a character up to the level cap at 50 but even the basic ending eluded us.

It was kind of frustrating to learn that there are a number of advanced endings that require a fair amount of foreknowledge, ensuring that you get the right items before key points. Trying to avoid killing cats, marking down the first thing you ever killed so you know how far through the infinite dungeon you have to go.

This game has a surprisingly detailed control scheme that allows for some interesting interactions, but it does lead to some rather strange and comical results.

For example if you are sufficiently tough, you can abuse a low alchemy skill, for some reason incompetent alchemists can make any two liquids explode. It is an amazing supernatural ability, I distinctly remember mixing orange juice and water to take out a shopkeeper. In the video my character starves to death over the course of a couple of days despite having several meals during that period. I guess it is important to remember that detailed mechanics does not mean realistic simulation in any sense.

I really like the new tiles and the ability to use the mouse driven interface, it just seems kind of counter-intuitive that a game that wears inaccessibility on its sleeve should get this kind of a UI uplift, it'll help new players, but I am not sure how much.

I should mention I recorded this just before I headed off to Australia. The times I have tried to play it since I found out that bizarrely, on the steam version you have to be online to launch the game. It kind of put a damper on my desire to play more of it again, I suspect that it is simply an oversight on the creator's part, but I wasn't really in a position to ask him at the time.

No comments:

Post a Comment