Since the start of the ADOM crowd funding campaign I've heard the "ADOM's not really a modern roguelike game" quite a few times, but in many cases that was about the detail of the remark. So please help me out: What "modern" features is ADOM really missing?
I can think of the following:
- A tutorial? This won't change in the foreseeable future but I believe that there are so many great Youtube videos out there created by fans from the community that there isn't really a need for a tutorial. Just watch some videos. ADOM II BTW will get a tutorial now that I have tried the tutorial in DCSS ;-)
- An enhanced UI? I can understand that, too. Although you will have to note that some features would be obvious enhancements (e.g. being able to search more efficiently for locations, item stacks, etc.) while others are not possible due to inherent design decisions: One example that got quoted was that other rogue likes keep the letters used to refer to items constant. This is okay in a world with a highly limited inventory (cutting the amount of items allowed at 52 as that's the number of letters you can use easily). The design decision for ADOM always was to limit the number of items in the PC inventory only by weight... so that you can have hundreds of items if you are very strong (and don't get illogical situations where your inventory is full just because you have collected 52 different small and light items). So which UI features would be the most "modern"?
- Better ASCII images? I now have tried both Brogue and DCSS and I must say that - while I really like the way Brogue looks - I'm not 100% convinced. Both games annoy me (personal opinion here!) with the amount of colors and the constant color shifting. I'm also not too hot on the many other characters being used in the game - for me this is the same problem as with icons in software: Once there are too many abstractions they slow me down instead of speeding me up. At least my mind is fighting the far too many symbols. Combined with the far too many shifting colors it just doesn't work for me. Am I the only person feeling like that?
- Tile support? ADOM can get this if the crowd funding campaign goes through (announcement hopefully following tonight) but it's very hard to do a pretty tile set. And most roguelikes out there - sorry to say that - don't have pretty tile sets. Sorry for saying that but I find most of them "bearable" at best. I understand that a new generation of gamers is more graphically minded and that's why - after having found a way to integrate NotEye - I'm now all in favor of an optional tile set but I fail to see it as a true modernization...
- More balanced game play? Well, most rogue likes seem to fail in that category, ADOM included. Many require tons of spoilers, some like DCSS are unbalanced despite all their attempts (dozens of people agreed that they hated being slaughtered by too fast monsters on the early levels), I can't comment on Brogue which appears to be more balanced as there is less need for scumming. But is it just a question of adding more ways to circumvent or disallow scumming or something else? The things you'd feel you need to scum for in ADOM should be "repairable" if that's the right word. But is that the issue?
- The level design? Here I still see ADOM as one of the best games just by the fact that ADOM has a surface world with many dungeons instead of just one. And ADOM II is extending that concept (although it still has way to go... but hey, we are 0.2.8 ;-) ).