dorchadas: (Teh sex)
Spelunky is one of those games like Minecraft that first came to public light while I was living in Japan and spent almost all of my video game time playing World of Warcraft. Unlike Minecraft, where I played the in-browser alpha and didn't understand what was so great about it, I didn't even hear of Spelunky until years later, after I quit WoW and so had more free time. The original version of Spelunky is still free online and available here, but I played the HD version.

When I first bought it, I was absolutely awful at it, mostly because this was before I had bought a controller and so I was trying to play with the keyboard and did...okay. It wasn't until I tried playing it with a controls scheme better suited to platforming that I actually managed to get anywhere, though. And then I played, and played. There were weeks where I'd play a game of Spelunky every single day. Just load it up, play until I died, and then try to get through as far as I could, which usually wasn't very far. And then the next day I'd play it again, and over time I got farther and farther down into the caves until, at last, I won.


I wonder how much I'm paying those porters...

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dorchadas: (Awake in the Night)
I've been playing roguelikes for years, ever since I found a copy of Moria on one of those old DOS shareware CDs that went around in the mid-90s, but I've never been very successful at them. I played Angband for years and I don't think I ever got past the tenth level of the dungeon legitimately, my Ancient Domains of Mystery games went much the same--it's only in the last year that I've managed to get to the pyramid and the dwarf village quests consistently--and even though I somehow figured out how to hexedit my Rogue save to max all my stats, I still never won. The only roguelike I've ever won until now was DoomRL, which is an amazing game but doesn't quite have the depth that the previously-mentioned roguelikes do. But today, I won Tales of Maj'Eyal.

I first encountered ToME back when it was called Tales of Middle Earth, and the main thing I remember is that it had almost nothing to do with Middle Earth. Playable ents? Eagles of Manwë flying through dungeon corridors killing orcs? Noldor oozemancers? Starting in the halls of Mandos as a shade and having to fight your way out? I'm not a Tolkien purist, but it seemed about as Middle-Earthy as Angband was, so I shelved it and didn't think about it for years. Later I heard the whole game got a new engine and a new setting, and when it came out on Steam I bought it. And 72 hours, one expansion, and one heartbreakingly close run where the final bosses killed me, I finally won.



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dorchadas: (Drop Bear)
Finally, after sixty hours, I did it:



I'm not calling this a review (though I did tag it as such) because all I really want to talk about is the actual fight with Lord Dredmor and how boring it was.

In those sixty hours, I've gotten to Lord Dredmor twice. The first time, he brutally murdered me with that lightning spell before I even really knew what was happening, and I think that was in 2012 before all the expansions had come out. This time, I got lucky and in a couple hundred turns of fighting he only cast that lightning spell once.

Yes, a couple hundred turns, and that's the huge problem--fighting Lord Dredmor isn't hard, it was just tedious. It was a lot of "cycle cooldowns, scarf down an Inky Hoglantern so I can move away from Lord Dredmor even though he'd follow me a lot of the time, stop scarfing Inky Hoglanterns when cooldowns were back, repeat" while running up and down the dungeons and slowly whittling away at his health.

One of the problems is that a lot of my skills didn't work. From looking online, Lord Dredmor has incredibly high resistances to a bunch of magic, so using Sandstorm from Egyptian Magic and filling the whole room with screaming winds that, like the flora of Australia, is both poisonous and on fire, does nothing. Occasionally the fire did a bit of damage, but mostly I had to use Pyrokinesis from Psionics to damage his 2100 health ~40 at a cast.

It's not like I just picked a bad build and shoudl have gone melee or something. Lord Dredmor has really high block and evade stats and then on top of that, only 16% of hits that get through that actually hit because as Skyrim taught us, ineffectually flailing at each other makes for exciting combat. All over, the advice I found for melee characters was "don't melee, throw things at him." Or some build involving dual-wielding magic shields to increase magic reflect over 100%.

The whole fight, I was reminded of the aphorism about something being hard vs. something being challenging. An old man in a dungeon in front of a door who says he'll unlock it if you guess a number between one and a million isn't challenging, since it's entirely based on luck, but it's certainly hard. Dungeons of Dredmor is much more on the latter end than the former, and now that I've beaten it once and know how the fight goes I'm much less interested in trying again.

Maybe ToME, ADOM, or Unreal World (drink!) next. I haven't beaten either of the first two, and I haven't survived a winter in Unreal World yet. I could probably play just roguelikes for the rest of my life, honestly.

Edit: Duh. Spelunky! That's the roguelike I need to beat next!

DDD.......@......DDD

2010-Oct-13, Wednesday 02:28
dorchadas: (Jealous)
I've been playing a lot of Roguelikes lately. DoomRL has been taking most of my time, probably because it's so easy to play. There aren't really that many complicated commands to remember, it's mostly just Tab to run, R to reload and F to shoot. It does a good job of remaining simple while allowing some complexity for those who look for it. Stuff like build order (it has a talent system--faster shooting, faster running, extra HP, etc., when you level), weapon choice from the various uniques and rares (including things like the Trigun, the gun from Equilibrium, the nuclear plasma rifle, the BFG 10 thousand, etc.), unlocking the secret kill-John-Carmack ending, and so on. I've beaten it once, on I'm Too Young To Die, legit, then scummed back to an early point and got the secret ending. I currently get owned on any difficulty higher than that, but I'm working on it. A typical game takes maybe 10 minutes before demons are feasting on your entrails, so it's nice when you have a bit of downtime.

I've also been playing Diablo and Diablo II again lately, maybe to prepare for Diablo III coming out. Diablo I've found a still-updated mod by some Russian guy called The Hell that's primarily designed to make the game harder, but also tweaks spells, items, uniques, quests, bosses and everything else. In Diablo II, I've been playing with [profile] schoolpsycherd. It's more fun than LotRO, I think, when it's just the two of us.

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