Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Tales of Maj'Eyal

Lino mentioned yesterday that there was a roguelike on sale on Steam for under $5 that had 1306 achievements in it. That seemed like a really, really big number. He did a little digging and I believe it's the game with the most achievements on Steam by around 600 more than the second highest. That's a serious achievement lead! How could I not check it out?

It does cheat a bit by having the same achievement get repeated over and over again for different difficulties. That's pretty standard, actually, but they go above and beyond by having 9 different difficulties floating around. And Lino mentioned that it doesn't give you credit for easier ones which is pretty terrible. I hate feeling obligated to play a game through on easy for any reason if I can beat it on hard.

The game does have some good things going for it. It seems to have a really wide and varying class system a lot like Dungeon of Dredmore had, but it doesn't just throw it all at you at once. Instead you start off with a small number of premade classes and then get quests as you're playing the game to unlock more stuff. So I can now play as a summoner because I did a quest. I did a different quest to unlock poisons so now if I start a rogue he can use poisons.

They also added in a bit of a difficulty twist for a roguelike that I _really_ like. Normally a roguelike has permanent death. I view it as being a pretty fundamental part of the genre but it really ratchets up the learning curve for the game. ToME added in a twist such that you have a limited number of lives and earn more lives as you level up. When you run out of lives you're still permanently dead but this way you get to make some mistakes and immediately learn from them instead of making a mistake and then hoping you get into a similar situation later to see if you actually learned from it or not. And by handing out more lives as you level up they make it so you can't just zerg something down early game and you'll always feel like getting a little further in the game will give you ability to get a little further even if a crazy twist comes your way and blows you up.

I've got 8 achievements down. 1298 more to go! There's no way I'll come close to getting them all but I'm enjoying playing the game so far so it was definitely worth picking up regardless.

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