Thursday, July 31, 2014

Why do *you* love ADOM?

Yesterday I had an intense design and architecture meeting with Jochen to prepare ourselves for the final push towards Steam (which is the single most important thing we need to do next to hopefully ensure the continued and long-lasting resurrection of ADOM). One of the many topics we addressed in our milestone plan was the question of redesigning (which now has a totally antiquated look and definitely needs to transport a different message).

As I envision to be te future central portal hook to move from their into the Steam shop (with GOG and Desura to follow), to Facebook, Youtube and Twitter it also needs to answer one important question: Why would people newly pointed towards ADOM want to buy and play it. And thus I find it appropriate to ask the most important question of them all to you:

Why do *you* love ADOM?

Answers in the comments are very welcome and if you can, then try to focus on the top three most important aspects for you, straight from your heart.

Thanks for providing your opinions!

P.S.: If we receive awesome quotes we might consider using them for the website. If you don't want that to happen please add a small note. We have not yet finalized the plans for that but we have been talking about it.


  1. *Roleplay:
    The tiny girl and her cute dog, depicted above, are actually one of my favourite quests. There is no real reward for saving the dog, except that you save the life of a cute and innocent being and it makes a little girl happy. It's also a damn hard quest. That's why doing it gives you a real sense of accomplishment.

    There is no fixed order to the quests. The puzzle of which quest to do when is interesting and remains so.

    There are lots of factions, signs of ruined civilizations, etc, raising questions about how things came about in the adom universe. There is a sense of consistency to it as well, giving you the feeling it is a real world and not just some random collection of monsters.

  2. Most of modern games has linear or semi-linear gameplay with a lot of "film-like" cutscenes. So modern game is a single story and nothing more. ADOM has it's own beauty - beauty of freedom. The Player and only The Player controls The Game. And never The game controls The Player.

  3. 1. Crowning - working toward grace
    2. Mining - addictive with monsters around and giants waking up
    3. Character generator - hoping to get 6 talents someday

  4. 1. It makes imagination work =)
    When there are only ASCII characters to represent the world around, imagination just has to work! And I like it =)

    2. LOTS of things to keep an eye on. I mean, character stats, items stats, carry weight, hunger, and so on - it all makes the game feel more real to me. It's easy to imagine (see above) how I myself go through all this (that's what's called "roleplay", as far as I understand)

    3. Big world.
    With all those places generated anew with every new game, gods and their altars, items - it's just endless!

  5. Why do I love ADOM? Well let me tell you a small story..
    I remember my very first character. It was Troll (because I've always loved Trolls in games) Assassin (because why not!) and without any knowledge of the game I ran to the hills and got speared to death by orcs within seconds. However my friend told me not to give up and try to learn the game a bit and play more. That was 14 years ago and since then I've beaten the game multiple times and just yesterday I picked the game up again and started to play. I love everything about it :) I don't even see that yellow o that killed my troll back then as just an symbol anymore. Yellow o is clearly an hill orc!

  6. Adom teaches me in practice how to accept the losses and gifts. That all has its date, all will die, and all will be forgotten. How to be happy and playful in this situation :)

  7. 1.) The flexibility has always been the biggest draw for me. No matter what ends up happening during a playthrough, I always have a multitude of ideas in the back of my head about what could be around the next bend, and how I might build my next character. Whether it's charging ahead with a powerful class and race combination or trying to eke by as a relatively weak farmer or merchant, I'm never at a loss for roleplaying opportunities and new things to discover.

    2.) The scope of the world is fantastic. I have been playing ADOM since before version 9, and I still have never actually made it to the end of the game. I always get sidetracked and bumble my way into far off places, eager to see what's next, without paying heed to my health or food.

    3.) ADOM is the only game I know of that has a Scroll of Cure Blindness and a Potion of Uselessness; The ability to destroy cursed items by facing rust monsters and standing in acid traps; The opportunity to play a cold-blooded creature in temples of fire and ice; A hotkey devoted to cleaning your ears, and another devoted to wiping your face, both of which are useful and at times even necessary to survive; etc.

  8. I love ADOM because it's not just kick-you-in-the-teeth hard. So many roguelikes have come and gone over the years on that facet alone. I love ADOM because the world is as loved by its' creator as its' difficulty. Any idiot can number/monster spam and call it done but TB didn't stop there. He kept going and going... and going still! That's dedication to a love right there.

    It just so happens that he and I love the same kind of game :P

  9. - Because it emphasizes roleplaying and narrative over going for certain "character builds" or optimizing math formulae. The latter is unfortunately common in many roguelikes.

    - Because its maximalistic design (huge inventory, huge item and spell variety, etc.) means that there is no "right" way to play, there are many different solutions to situations depending on playstyle, and you can adapt your actions to the personality of the character that you roleplay. (don't get me wrong, I also love minimalistic-design roguelikes such as Brogue, but it's a totally different experience - more strategic and chess-like but less creative, because often you are looking for a single valid solution to a problem).

    - Because of the rich and open world, including wilderness map, differently-themed dungeons, biomes, etc. rather than a single dungeon.

    - Because the ChAoS mechanic is unique, and very interesting both from the narrative/setting and from the gameplay point of view.

  10. Attention to detail.
    It is almost infinitely interesting to discover new and new elements of the game world and plot. Even spoilers which usually ruin the fun, are only interesting to explore and try out. Multiple endings, lots of secrets tobdiscover and even legends about the game add to that.

    Strategic diversity.
    It is enjoyable to try out different race/class combinations. Almost any combination leads to a different strategies in fighting, survival and character development (which alone is also a large part of the fun).

    Unique replayability.
    It's not just "random level generation" which is featured in other roguelikes. It's the difference in how the game treats my char each time I play it. I forge my own special legend each time I play, which is something not featured in every game.

    1. ++

      The above three reasons are why I love talking about ADoM with my friends who play. The game generates so many cool stories.

  11. I discovered Adom years ago shortly after discovering the Roguelike genre. What set Adom apart for me, was it's immersive world. Most roguelikes seemed to throw in every generic monster from DnD to Tolkien with no regards to the world they existed in. On top of that, the systems of the game were much more interesting than others. DV/PV instead of just AC makes good sense. The long list of skills makes Adom feel more like a Pen and Paper session than a computer game. Setting Tactics gives the player more fine grained control over combat.

  12. Why do I love ADOM? Well, there are four main points which I think outline my passion for it well. I know you only wanted three, but these are four clearly distinct elements which make up the cornerstones of the game and what keeps bringing me back. =P

    Replayability - The game has seemingly an endless supply of randomised elements. From slightly differing locations of dungeon entrances, to a wide range of possible item drops that come with unknown descriptions, enchantments and blessed/cursed status.
    You can also roll up entirely random characters, with a massive list of possible race/class combinations, in addition to different birth conditions, random histories, and starting talents and skills. All of this keeps you thinking and planning your next move carefully, as no two situations will ever be exactly the same.

    Replayability - The game offers a huge array of options on how to progress towards a "win" state. From saving puppies, exploring infinite dungeons, attempting to assault the main caverns straight away or to rush through dangerous small caves to reach hidden villages.
    You can steal from shops, join thieves guilds, help sheriffs and save healers. There is no "right" way to play, different characters will benefit from things in different ways, and you can pick whatever options you like. The game also has so many possible "win" conditions that you can also *end* the game however you like, biting off as much or as little as you think you can chew.

    Replayability - On top of the many ways to start the game, end the game, and where to go and what order to do things in the middle. The game offers so many unique and unforeseeable elements which open up entirely new options the next time around. It has no constraints on *how* to play it successfully. You can choose unorthodox routes for your characters, like focusing on swordplay rather than magic when playing a caster, effectively creating brand new classes and strategies.
    The shear number of potential interactions that can take place between the character and their environment allows you to continuously invent new solutions to problems. Meaning you might discover a new trick, location or reward by accident that entirely changes the way you think about and play the game in future.

    Replayability - Of cause, with all of these many options, the main thing to always remember is that *everything* is a gamble. Every option you make comes at the cost of not doing something else, and ever choice carries the risk of failure.
    You can die to traps, get trapped in a corridor whilst fleeing from a monster, open a door to a vault of monsters, have a dungeon level overrun by jellies or worms, or simply starve to death even after stuffing your face with herbs and potions in the vain attempt to prolong the inevitable. The game is brutal at times, but each life is a lesson and each new life comes with the opportunity to try things differently the next time, with all of the knowledge you acquired from the last life.


    1. {the continuation..}

      I have finished the game many times (in a few different ways), lost many characters I dearly loved, sought the bottom of the infinite dungeon (discovering levels I never even thought could exist), I've saved (and lost) so many puppies, and equipped myself entirely in artifacts. I've become puddles of ChAoS, eaten Quickling royalty, lured great karmic wyrms (repeatedly) over traps just to kill them, and suddenly found areas of the map that I'd previously never even known about even after years of play.

      I've done all of this and I know for a fact that I still have yet to experience everything the game has to offer. I've told stories about the game as rich and engaging as any RPG I've played over a table with friends. I've competed with family members over high scores, played challenges to see who can get the furthest without eating corpses or wearing armour. I've so many treasured memories from the game that so few other games have even come close to capturing once.

      So why do I love the game? Well that's easy, because it feels like a real and *breathing* world with endless possibilities - and I get the be an Adventurer in it. Every time I come back to the game it offers something new, a brand new adventure, a brand new secret. What more can you want from a game?

  13. Have been playing for 20 years... this game is deeper, wider, harder, more dynamic and better than any game I've ever played. Will never, ever tire of it, would play all day (and have).

  14. ADOM is simply the most epic, rewarding, and challenging game I have ever played. It is more akin to reading Tolkien than playing any other game. For years it has provided exploration and depth and for years it will continue to do so. It is a obvious labor of love, and I thank you Tom and all the others who have helped for make what I think is the best game ever made.

  15. I love the way that each character starts out vulnerable, but I know that with a bit of luck and skill each could eventually save the world.

    I love even more that most of them don't, that my highscore table is filled with untimely deaths that may look trivial, but for each one I remember the combination of events that led to their demise.

    I love that each death teaches me a bit more about the game, and alters the way I approach situations in the future.

  16. The best of ADOM is the combination of epicness and imagination. The ASCII simplicity combined with the difficulty of the game triggers vivid images of an ancient fantasy world, a medieval struggle for survival, an endless fight against powerful forces. I truly believe it's the best game of his genre, and I keep returning to it each few years, very far from finishing it. I may never do, but who cares? Maybe I'm just not ready for that kind of danger.

  17. I love ADOM since it creates stories. Silly deaths just a few levels deep into a simple early dungeon. Sad deaths by the fang of an alienated pet. Heroic breakthroughs — and forgivable deaths while learning the new ropes.

    And all this time, while I can never go too far, there is the lure of grander events happening, more adventures waiting, new threats to joyfully kill yet another of my characters.

  18. 1. The Death - ridiculous, funny, random, heroic. they are different
    2. Pools
    3. Wishes. Gods and altars
    Seriously speaking , ADOM is a great opportunity choice and replayability

  19. I love it for the sense of wonder, mystery, and unknown around each corner, same as the best books have and no games really have anymore. It connects me back to my teen years when all games and the whole world had that sense; now I'm older most things have lost their shine and wonder, and I love the few things that still have them.

    I also love the stable non-random world that random dungeons and levels are set in - it's a nice balance of the know and unknown, and it means it doesn't feel meaningless the way a fully random game like Rogue feels. I step from a world I "know" into a cave or dungeon and don't know what I'll find, very much like the real world. I love that.

  20. I didnt read comments above(at least not before posting this message) so i hope the reasons will be as subjective as possible:

    1. Content - The enormous ammount of items, monsters, dungeons. It just wants you to grind, explore, improve and discover ( even after dedicating real-time months/years to this game you'll still find something you didnt knew/done/find before).
    2. Monster descriptions - the whole atmosphere of these are incredible. Just what i like: dark and very detailed.
    3. Sentiment to the game - no matter how my life will go , ADOM will always have place in my heart. I grow up on THIS and fabular games.

  21. ADOM is the only game I have ever played that I didn't get tired of. I remember finding the game in college in 1997 and playing each new release to see what had changed. Even when there wasn't active development, I still went to the webpage once a week, just in case Thomas had suddenly found time to return.

    Things I love:
    - Detailed creatures, items and world
    - A good mix of randomly generated content with set content
    - Massive character creation options
    - Back in the day it fit on one 3.5" disk so I could carry it around with me.
    - So many ways to die!
    - So many things to discover!
    - Every time I play I feel like I learn just a little more that will help me to do better the next time.

    I only have three legitimate wins to my name (2 Gray elven archer and a Troll Wizard) but they mean more to me than any other game wins.

  22. I love ADOM because it is a true challenge. I love ADOM because it is randomly generated without feeling cheap. The way the elements interact is unique and deep, always creating a new challenge. You need to reach the altar to bless the water to bless the booze to charge the wand to reach the ring to pass the Guardian, but ROOM OF REVENANTS so bless the weapon to fight the undead to get more water (sweet!) and a corpse but eating the corpse makes you chaotic and now you have to convert the altar to bless the water.

  23. I love the way the game rewards persistence and inventive tactics. A beginner learns something from every death, and as your knowledge of the game increases, you'll start to do better with each playthrough. A huge variety of races and classes ensures that the learning experience never really fades. Once you've mastered one class, another offers an entirely new challenge.

    Another thing I like is the fact that while random things and bad luck can easily kill a new character off, once you hit a certain level (for me it's about level 18-20) most deaths are due to my own stupidity or oversight. After clearing the ToEF, Adom doesn't have much to do with luck and everything to do with clear thinking, player skill and strategy.

  24. 1. Loot, Weapons and other equipment mainly. It's always fun to find that better weapon or a really good armor or rare artifact. I just wish there were more shops to explore.

    2. Crowning. I like the system. Finding right alignment altar on monster populated level near food sources is always fun. And hoping to get a good gift. Also I love to forget that prayer could have saved me from that pointless death... but we all know piety level is more important than life, right?

    3. Mysteries. I hope there will be more secrets and random stuff while development still goes further. I like finding new things and venturing deeper. Never finished the game yet, so there's still new stuff for me. Some more early game options might be fun too. Since we play that early game so often.

  25. Here's something I've posted elsewhere in the past:

    -ADOM is unique among roguelikes in that it has more of an RPG bent (it features an extensive skill system, for instance). While dungeon levels are (for the most part) completely random, a lot of emphasis is placed on the plot, which is by far the biggest draw of the game. The plot is immersive, intelligent and interesting. You enter the Drakalor Chain with the goal of stopping the spread of Chaos, completing quests as you see fit and generally fighting for glory. To aid the plot, there are many locations in the overworld and elsewhere that are constant. Thus, depending on the decisions you make, the same NPCs reappear and the same quests are available in most games (almost no quests are required to complete the game, but they are all interesting and worthwhile!).

    -ADOM has a lot of depth and complexity, and offers the best replay value of any game I've ever played. By my count, I've spent months playing it, have won 20 times with 14 different classes and 8 different races and am far from bored or done with it! From 2002-2012, there were no new releases, but a vibrant community still played the game incessantly during that time; that's replay value.

    -ADOM is all about flexibility and control of your character. Not only are there five different possible endings, but your trip to the end can take many different forms. You can kill all your enemies with thrown shields. You can true berserk everything to death. You can dual-wield daggers or go unarmed for the entire game. You can have a pet cave bear kill all your enemies. Want to sling gems? toss hats? kick or spit everything to death? It can all be arranged. While each class has its own specialties, the options are truly endless and offer you basically complete freedom.

    -ADOM is challenging. ADOM is no walk in the park; it is quite difficult even for a roguelike. Learning the ins and outs of the game takes a bit of time, but it's a very rewarding experience. Once you get the hang of it, you'll find that there are almost no situations that can't be overcome by taking the time to think and evaluate your options.

  26. I might be alone in this, TB, but why do *I* love ADOM?

    I love ADOM because you've created a perfect or near-perfect mathematical construction. When I play, I switch off tile sets and animations and play only ASCII characters. I play extremely quickly. My brain interacts with ADOM the way it does with my other favourite games, Pac-Man, Galaga and Tetris-- it processes information and responds accordingly. That you've been able to make a game that is always different and yet always the same is why I love it. I am not interested in tile sets, animations or soundtracks, as nice as they are. My mind is far more inspired by a red D than a drawing of a dragon. If I want pretty pictures, I will play Skyrim. When I've introduced this game to people, they enjoy it far more when I turn the bells and whistles off and make it as data-oriented as possible. What is great about this game is the programming, the plotting, the algorithms, the way that every surprise is predictable, and yet still surprising, the balance and the endless replayability, and the speed at which one can play. I've spent more time playing ADOM than any other game and even now, at p49 or whatever we're at, I feel the game, in ASCII mode, is unbeatable.

    The only thing I would add to the ASCII mode is an illumination to the PC's radius of sight, as Brogue has.

    1. Check the 'H' command (inelegant as it is).

  27. ADOM is the only roguelike that has held my interest for more than 30 years.

    I love ADOM because the story includes choices that strongy affect the game, character, and story. The healer quest is the most visible of these, and I hope that Thomas adds more quests like this to the mid and late game. Choices like this build each PC's unique story and draw me into playing.

    I love ADOM because it doesn't force me to play dungeons in any particular order. I can go anywhere and do anything, right away, and if the going gets tough I can run away and try a different dungeon. And sometimes the game throws obstacles at you that you can't overcome, and you HAVE to try a different dungeon before you're ready. The rivers are great for this--they can force you to veer off your preferred path.

    I love ADOM because it can still kick my ass. Even when I have a strong character going, a lapse of attention or greed can kill the PC, often in amusing ways.

  28. I first discovered ADOM in 1998 or 1999, having never played a Roguelike before. I fell in love right away, and in the ensuing 14-15 years, I have never fallen out of love with the game. Without ADOM, I never would have discovered any of the Roguelikes that came before or have come since. When playing a new Roguelike, I judge it against the love I have for ADOM.

    I've played maybe thousands of hours of the game; I've played every race and every class countless times; I've walked through the town of Terinyo more times than I can possibly count. Despite all of that, however, the best testament to ADOM's replayability, enjoyability, and complexity is that I have never once even come close to beating the game, and yet I still come back and enjoy every character I play.

    I want to thank you, Thomas, for the love you've poured into this game these decades.

  29. Simply put, ADOM is the game I would take to a deserted island if I had to choose only one game to play for the rest of my life. There's no question about it.