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Why are there so many roguelikes these days?

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Old enough to know better
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Sounds to me like part of the thrill in roguelikes is similar to that of high stakes gambling. When you win, you win big, and (in theory) it's all the sweeter because everything was demonstrably on the line.
If we're talking games like Rogue, Moria, Angband, that is part of it. You generally have enough information (if you survive early levels) to gauge your risk in various situations but to progress you need take risks.

Of course opening a door and being breathed on by an ancient green dragon can ruin your day, but whose fault is it you didn't Detect Monsters first?
 

darkgloomie

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If we're talking games like Rogue, Moria, Angband, that is part of it. You generally have enough information (if you survive early levels) to gauge your risk in various situations but to progress you need take risks.

Of course opening a door and being breathed on by an ancient green dragon can ruin your day, but whose fault is it you didn't Detect Monsters first?
It's not like you can always avoid death, though. Except by extreme paranoia, and even that won't likely save you from the Gnome with a Wand of Death.
 

Ferrus Animus

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I'm not sure I follow. Traditionally, in roguelikes you die, you lose everything, unlike Diablo and (almost all but the earliest) MMOs where you just wake up in town with a small penalty...
You don't lose everything though.
You keep your memory and knowledge. You learn what certain things do, how monster behave, how puzzles are solved, what works with what and so on.
Many of the modern roguelites put a mechanical meta-progression into the game to add an extra layer and make it more obvious.
Also they very often align to Rogue Legacy which IMO had a big impact in showing how the formula can be changed.
 

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It's not like you can always avoid death, though. Except by extreme paranoia, and even that won't likely save you from the Gnome with a Wand of Death.
Appropriate detection strategy (which all classes can get in most roguelikes via equipment if not class ability) generally means you get a choice of what to engage and what to flee from (by leaving the level if need be).
 

LordofArcana

Registered User
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Appropriate detection strategy (which all classes can get in most roguelikes via equipment if not class ability) generally means you get a choice of what to engage and what to flee from (by leaving the level if need be).
Though a lot of game design has moved away from the player being able to control the dungeon in favor of having a list of encounters to overcome. If I flee from encounters in FTL, for instance, I'm pretty much guaranteed to fail my run.
 

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Old enough to know better
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Though a lot of game design has moved away from the player being able to control the dungeon in favor of having a list of encounters to overcome. If I flee from encounters in FTL, for instance, I'm pretty much guaranteed to fail my run.
Yeah, that is another change/difference. Roguelikes have a single victory target and everything else is avoidable (though you may really want to kill certain things). Linear, required encounters aren't their thing.
 

Metaphysician

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I think the appeal of modern rogue-likes is less the gambling thrill of "all in", like traditional iron man modes. Its that they've figured out how to properly curate and guide players towards a different form of system mastery than your usual game. Most games lean towards the micro-scale in system mastery, as you learn how to do X action better. Rogue-likes lean towards macro-scale system mastery, where you are learning the shape of the overall game, and how to play against that larger system.
 

Vigorous Ape

Kung-fu Master
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If the basic gameplay is good enough then they have almost infinite replayablity.

For example Gunvolt Burst on the Switch is a platformer with a lot of DLC characters, but you run through the exact same levels every time, this doesn't make me want to get those characters. If they had procedural levels then it would not get boring as fast as it does.

Item world grinding in Disgaea games is pretty addicting and similar to rogue-like dungeons and progression, so that kind of iterative game-play is obviously attractive to a certain set of players.
 

darkgloomie

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Appropriate detection strategy (which all classes can get in most roguelikes via equipment if not class ability) generally means you get a choice of what to engage and what to flee from (by leaving the level if need be).
My point was that sometimes luck is just against you. In nethack, gnomes aren't particularly threatening.

But they're intelligent humanoid, so they can spawn with magic items at random. A tiny percentage of which are magic wands. And they will use the wands on you as soon as you enter their line of sight.

An early level of nethack is the mines, which contain huge numbers of dwarves and gnomes.
 
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