Reduce the real-world time to create new characters
issueid=2766 03-21-2014 12:52 PM
Junior Member
Number of reported issues by Waladil: 7
Reduce the real-world time to create new characters

So I'm trying to get back into ADOM after a long absence, and although I've played other roguelikes in the meantime, I'm still far behind most of the "active" "hardcore" playerbase in terms of skill level.

That means I die.

A lot.

But I'd like to win. In order to improve my probability of winning, it's perfectly rational for me to attempt to get an optimal character start. However, getting an even vaguely optimal start is friggin' time consuming. Which of course makes me a lot more bored and less likely to play the game (which is bad).

First element of an optimal start: Get the star sign I want. There's roughly a 1:12 chance for this. Each time I fail that 1:12 chance, I have to press space f f space r a a a enter Q y space space r. (Number of 'a's varies depending on how many talents the random character gets.) Okay, so we're dealing with a thirteen-keystroke re-roll. And I'll have to reroll about 12 times to get whatever star sign I want at the time. So we're talking appr. 156 keystrokes in order to get my star sign. More because I'll typically get bored with the constant re-rolling and start mashing random keys. And don't even get me STARTED on what happens if I accidentally press 'f' after getting my star sign!

Second element of an optimal start: The question system. Have ADOM open, have guidebook w/ attribute changes open, look at question, ctrl-f for a keyword, make choice purely on attribute changes. Again, it's quite boring but the benefit is way too large to ignore.

Third element of an optimal start: Gear. Most classes this doesn't particularly matter for, but starting a wizard with only an elemental bolt book and a slightly useful utility spell (like 'light') is quite intimidating.

Fourth element of an optimal start: The first kill. I'm probably nowhere near ready for an ultimate ending (yup I'm spoiled by wiki and guidebook), but I'd like to keep the option open... so it's off to bad-town to murder an outlaw (I _think_ they're a good pick for first kill? Potential to do both Filk and Old Barbarian?)

Fifth element of an optimal start: The early nice-guy quests. I'm an incorrigible quester, and I hate the feeling of leaving quests undone. However, the early game throws tons of mutually exclusive quests at us (some of which don't make any sense as to their mutual exclusivity). I have found a way to save the puppy and kill Kranach without being incredibly lucky or a troll, though: After getting the first kill, get both quests and proceed directly to the Puppy Cave. Go straight to the final floor and turn around to return to the surface. Do not rescue the puppy (unless it happens to be in the first room). Leave the puppy cave at level 4 or 5, then chill around the wilderness to kill Kranach. Then return to the puppy cave, clear it from top to dl:5, find the puppy on 6 and park it somewhere safe (probably just up a floor), then finish clearing 6. Return with puppy, everyone's happy! This plan can go wrong IN SO MANY WAYS.



So after all that, a character's now finally out of "the start-game." Still firmly planted in the early game, of course. But you're level 8 or so, got some quests done, got some cash, et cetera. At this point the game opens up and allows the player to actually decide stuff rather than trying to do too much too quickly.

I categorized this into feature, right? Don't worry, here come the actual suggestions for how to alleviate this painful process I described above:

1. Allow players to choose their star sign. As the wiki notes, they are reasonably balanced and there's room for debate as to whether one's "better" than others. Also include a "random" button for people who truly desire to get a random star sign. In addition, put a note in the character log of people who chose random star signs -- for challenges and bragging rights and et cetera that might require random star signs. While I understand that many of the hardcore players might not really care what class they play and will choose race+class based on their star sign, it's much much simpler for newer players to focus heavily on getting through the game with ONE class. And let's be honest with ourselves -- wizards just don't get that much of a benefit from the Sword sign.
1a. As a side aspect of the above, move special birth events (two-headed calf, long lost brother showing up, etc) to a later point in the character creation process -- I'd suggest wherever the player first sees their starting stats. If they're going to startscum, they'll do it based on stats & special birth events.
2. Instead of the question system, give players 5-25 (depending on balance! This is a big range because I'm not sure what the best number for balance would be) stat "moves" to move a point from one stat to another, probably with a max +/- of 5(ish, again mod for balance) to any one stat.
3. If one aboslutely insists on the question system, at least let us see our stats before/during it. There's some fairly important breakpoints to aim for: 10/20/25 PE, 15/20/25 LE, 18 MA. Sure would be annoying to lose out on an entire talent because you took a hit to mana on the very last question figuring that you'd have enough to get the talent.
4. Move Kranach to a fixed location. I've had characters jerk around in the wilderness for almost two months before finding that brasshole. At that point the character is _going_ to shoot right past the 90 day limit and are almost certainly going to die to corruption... because they spent too much time on a level 5 quest. Just give him a friggin' raider camp between Terinyo and bad-town where the player can assault his camp. (Also leave in the random encounter and make the camp-assault more difficult than the random encounter, unless you pass a stealth check and sneak up on the camp. Extra guards and sentries and all that.)
5. Add a "restart this character" option to the death screen. That option would reset the ENTIRE GAME and you start off with the exact same character you started with originally. No items/exp/identification/piety would move over, dungeons rerolled, everything. The only stuff kept is the character creation screens. At least that way if you spent two hours scumming the optimal starting character (right star sign, long lost brother, great question options, and brilliant stat arrangements AND the rare extra talent. Something like that.), then walked into a dungeon and died to headbrick, you wouldn't want to headbrick yourself in RL. (Savegames would need to include a base save, but that's relatively small compared to late-game saves. Shouldn't be a big deal.)

You may notice that not all of my starting difficulties have matching suggestions. That's because I'm only suggesting the most egregious, painful aspects get modified. Some startscumming is always going to happen in any game with random starting variables, but making it take two hours to get "a reasonably satisfying start" is simply ludicrous. Note that most don't nerf scumming per se -- you can still scum for special birth effects and random stats -- but instead remove the more stupid causes of scumming.

I would rate this to be high priority because -- for me -- it's absolutely game-killing. Every character death I have an internal conflict between my desire to get better at ADOM and my absolute disgust for the massive amount of keywhacking I have to do... to restart.
Issue Details
Issue Number 2766
Issue Type Feature
Project ADOM (Ancient Domains Of Mystery)
Category All
Status Implemented
Priority 4
Suggested Version ADOM 1.2.0 pre 21
Implemented Version ADOM r65 (v2.1.0)
Milestone "Resurrect ADOM" Indiegogo Fulfillment
Votes for this feature 1
Votes against this feature 11
Assigned Users (none)
Tags (none)




03-21-2014 01:12 PM
Ancient Member
On the whole I'm going to have to vote against this suggestion. I think you're inflicting some needless pain on yourself with playstyle - don't do the question system (good heavens, the question system is terrible/time-consuming - don't do it unless absolutely necessary), don't keep the option for an ultra open, don't do Kranach, etc.: enjoy yourself. You should definitely not be able to restart exact same character, either.

I do agree about having the option to pick starsign, though. I always use Sage (on Alucard's server) to pick starsign because I have very definite ideas of what will benefit character most (mostly, Tree starsign) and I refuse to deal with hassle of random starsign/rerolling.

03-21-2014 01:31 PM
Member
As a quick compromise, why not just add a "restart character creation process" option after the starsign is revealed, and after every step thereafter? Everything else should stay as it is, in my opinion. I don't see a point in choosing one's starsign, I play whatever the RNG throws at me, but obviously if one could choose one's sign, I'd go candle every time. I didn't even realise there was a server that lets you do this. Why not just remove the starsigns completely and let everybody be candle/raven? :D

03-21-2014 01:35 PM
Ancient Member
Quote Originally Posted by paivi
As a quick compromise, why not just add a "restart character creation process" option after the starsign is revealed, and after every step thereafter? Everything else should stay as it is, in my opinion. I don't see a point in choosing one's starsign, I play whatever the RNG throws at me, but obviously if one could choose one's sign, I'd go candle every time. I didn't even realise there was a server that lets you do this. Why not just remove the starsigns completely and let everybody be candle/raven? :D
as far as I know, you can now go back for many steps (gender, race, class). I don't think there's much reason to implement it on a wider scale.

I don't know why you'd choose Candle every time - it's like the #3 (general) starsign now. In general, it's good to give people choice and most starsigns do actually have their uses.

03-21-2014 01:50 PM
Junior Member
I'm definitely inflicting tons of needless pain on myself. That's not really in question here. (Come to think of it, now that I've switched from duelist to wizard I don't even need courage. Could just first-kill a single beggar and be done with that whole thorn.) But then shouldn't any system so easily described by a veteran player as terrible get a good long look? Utilizing the question system provides immediate, noteworthy advantages. I can get a mist elf wizard to have over 30 mana, over 25 learning, and over 20 perception using it. Starting with 5 skills bumps/level, the extra sight radius, and massive magic abilities is great. If I go random then those very important stats are notably lower. ("But Waladil, you'd get more charisma and appearance! Yeah, they're called dump stats for a reason." [I know appearance is becoming less of a dump stat eventually.]) This seems to be similar to the pickpocketing discussion -- do we want to include methods that essentially trade RL time for IG benefit? Since TB has been killing off most scumming methods, looks like the answer's "no" and therefore the question system should be dealt with as well. Hopefully not by simply removing it. Having some agency over a new character is very nice.

And of course, I forgot to clarify that these suggestions are independent of one another -- 2 and 3 are even mutually exclusive -- and should thus be considered independently, although they've got the same goal in mind. I'd consider just getting the star sign thing in a big win and be happy with the outcome.


P.S. The starsign I'm going for most right now is not Candle, not Raven. It's Wand. Although I'm thinking maybe switch to Cup.

03-21-2014 01:55 PM
Ancient Member
All told, I agree with SirTheta here. You are making character creation and the early game way too hard for yourself. I think you are knowledge-rich but experience-poor. You've seen all this stuff in the Guidebook that you think you are "supposed" to be doing, without having enough experience to understand why most of those things aren't worth the effort.

I'll give one piece of advice. If you have never won the game on a normal ending--I'm guessing you've probably never passed the ToEF--then forget everything to do with ultras. It is not on your radar. Kill a rat for your first kill. Kill Khelevaster unless you have wishes to spare. Although it's not an ultra thing technically, kill cats too. Don't worry about endgame stuff when you're having trouble getting to the midgame.

Spending more than a few minutes on character creation is not necessary except maybe for some very specific challenge games. What you do with your character after creation is far more important than how you start.

[edit]And if you're playing mist elf wizards, you're just asking for pain in the early game. Try a dwarf or drakeling. Even a gnome would be better. This is also important: The most important stat for any character is To. All other stats are minor stats.

03-21-2014 02:13 PM
Junior Member
As to the question of my experience -- I've definitely been in the ToEF while reasonably prepared and gotten reasonably deep. I don't recall whether I made it out (be it victoriously or fleeing in terror), but I think, dredging old memories, that I've had two Chaos Orbs at once. I've met the Cat Lord, and slain him (and gained I think it was something ludicrous like six or seven straight levels. /THAT/ was a hilarious moment.) Most of those things were about four years ago and I've got to rebuild my experience (Also I scummed more than I would these days.)

However, none of that is pertinent to the actual suggestions above. Nothing in my actual suggestions mentions first-kill stuff, or me thinking that playing my chosen build is "too hard." While they do add to my frustration, I recognized which aspects are due to my own decisions rather than game design and purposefully DID NOT ask them to be changed. I expect the game to be difficult. I'm okay with that. But a game-being-difficult is different than it-being-difficult-to-play-the-game. So if discussion could revolve solely around the suggestions rather than new player tip-box, that'd be great. <insert Lumbergh pic here>

03-21-2014 02:50 PM
Ancient Member
Quote Originally Posted by Waladil
But then shouldn't any system so easily described by a veteran player as terrible get a good long look? Utilizing the question system provides immediate, noteworthy advantages. I can get a mist elf wizard to have over 30 mana, over 25 learning, and over 20 perception using it. Starting with 5 skills bumps/level, the extra sight radius, and massive magic abilities is great. If I go random then those very important stats are notably lower. ("But Waladil, you'd get more charisma and appearance! Yeah, they're called dump stats for a reason." [I know appearance is becoming less of a dump stat eventually.]) This seems to be similar to the pickpocketing discussion -- do we want to include methods that essentially trade RL time for IG benefit? Since TB has been killing off most scumming methods, looks like the answer's "no" and therefore the question system should be dealt with as well. Hopefully not by simply removing it. Having some agency over a new character is very nice.
The question system is terrible because you have to answer fifty-one (51!) questions. This is great if you're rolling one character, but it's an enormous hassle if you just want to get started and going. In the time I could use the question system, I could already: have gotten/completed healer or druid quest AND hit up HMV. It's not that hard to start a few characters looking for a few key stats to be in place for talent selection, and it's 100x as efficient as the question system. The question system is only especially worth it when running some sort of challenge game (I think gut used it for his speedruns). This isn't really something you can fix - it's a nice roleplay thing, and offers an advantage if you want to go through the process, but you shouldn't want to 99.5% of the time.

Quote Originally Posted by Waladil
However, none of that is pertinent to the actual suggestions above. Nothing in my actual suggestions mentions first-kill stuff, or me thinking that playing my chosen build is "too hard." While they do add to my frustration, I recognized which aspects are due to my own decisions rather than game design and purposefully DID NOT ask them to be changed. I expect the game to be difficult. I'm okay with that. But a game-being-difficult is different than it-being-difficult-to-play-the-game. So if discussion could revolve solely around the suggestions rather than new player tip-box, that'd be great. <insert Lumbergh pic here>
It is intimately related, though. You have unreasonably high expectations of start-scumming [two hours start-scumming? I'd sooner kill myself, literally! You can finish 20-30% of a run in that time]. You're playing the wrong RC for your experience level [see JS's tips]. You're focused more on the perfect start than actually progressing through the game [you don't need perfect stats to survive the early game]. If you avoid the question system and play a more survivable class, you'll find your experience improve a lot and that you don't really need the above suggestions [except for starsign thing].

03-21-2014 03:35 PM
Ancient Member
It is intimately related, though. You have unreasonably high expectations of start-scumming [two hours start-scumming? I'd sooner kill myself, literally! You can finish 20-30% of a run in that time]. You're playing the wrong RC for your experience level [see JS's tips]. You're focused more on the perfect start than actually progressing through the game [you don't need perfect stats to survive the early game]. If you avoid the question system and play a more survivable class, you'll find your experience improve a lot and that you don't really need the above suggestions [except for starsign thing].
In general I agree with SirTheta - but your runs only take 10 hours to complete? Mine take twice that...

I'd like to be able to pick my starsign (there's lot of star signs I'm ok with for a melee fighter, but I don't want Sword if I'm going to play a wizard), but everything else, well every death can teach you something.

03-21-2014 03:38 PM
Junior Member
Quote Originally Posted by SirTheta
The question system is terrible because you have to answer fifty-one (51!) questions. This is great if you're rolling one character, but it's an enormous hassle if you just want to get started and going. In the time I could use the question system, I could already: have gotten/completed healer or druid quest AND hit up HMV. It's not that hard to start a few characters looking for a few key stats to be in place for talent selection, and it's 100x as efficient as the question system. The question system is only especially worth it when running some sort of challenge game (I think gut used it for his speedruns). This isn't really something you can fix - it's a nice roleplay thing, and offers an advantage if you want to go through the process, but you shouldn't want to 99.5% of the time.

It is intimately related, though. You have unreasonably high expectations of start-scumming [two hours start-scumming? I'd sooner kill myself, literally! You can finish 20-30% of a run in that time]. You're playing the wrong RC for your experience level [see JS's tips]. You're focused more on the perfect start than actually progressing through the game [you don't need perfect stats to survive the early game]. If you avoid the question system and play a more survivable class, you'll find your experience improve a lot and that you don't really need the above suggestions [except for starsign thing].

...Do you actually know how the question system works? You don't answer all 51 questions. You answer like, ten randomly selected questions.

And my two hour estimate is a.) a wild guess not at all backed up by data and b.) including at least a half-dozen legitimate deaths. Not scums. (Which, okay, is another wild guess.) That's to get not only a character, but also get that character past PC + Kranach. And a whole lot of time spent distracted doing not-actually-playing-the-game stuff (wiki, guidebook, reading e-mails, grooving to some sweet beats). Especially with the star sign thing, it's super easy to get distracted and wander to other stuff for an indeterminate time. Like I'm doing right now. <Opens ADOM window> Oh right fresh character, Cup sign.

But continuing to make (essentially) ad hominem attacks (Granted, very very polite, patrician ad hominem attacks) doesn't really bring up good debates against my suggestions.

Choose your own star sign: Most of the people commenting seem to be OK with that.

Move to some sort of point-shifting system: Common in other games, gives early agency to characters without being the silly question system.

Show stats during question system: Allows for more informed decisions (Which is !!always!! a good thing. Players shouldn't have to make blind decisions.)

Put Kranach in a camp: Killing Kranach and rescuing (or trying to rescue) the lost puppy are like... THE noobie quests. You start a game, walk into a town, oh hey the Sheriff's got a bounty and some little girl needs help? I've only seen this in a million other games, let's do this. Therefore, those two quests should be straightforward. Guth'Alak's and Rynt's quests are (and should be) a bit more complicated, approached with more thought. New players aren't going to automatically know that hunting Kranach has a poor ROI because of long-term background corruption. As I already mentioned, attempting a 5th level quest shouldn't be the cause of death for a level 40 character, succumbing to massive background corruption because he/she wasted 50 days hunting Kranach. The puppy quest is more nuanced by its time limit, the presence of a vault on the final level, and the puppy's own suicidal tendencies, but there's no way that trying to rescue that pup will kill you thirty-plus levels later.

Allow character restarts: I acknowledge that this would be controversial and akin to condoned savescumming (in fact it could be achieved by saving as soon as you start a new character and scumming off of that after death), but I don't see the harm as long as it's a COMPLETE WORLD REWRITE. Or how about this: Assuming that the star sign suggestion gets added in, make an option to "Restart with a character with the same star sign, gender, race, and class." So stats are re-rolled, new talents are selected, it just saves some keystrokes. Absolutely no harm there (if star sign selection is added, of course).

03-21-2014 03:45 PM
Ancient Member
Waladil - perhaps the problem is that you're defining "starting a character" as a whole bunch of things. Your current RFE reads (to me) like "I would like to start-scum so I can start with exactly the stats I want". Since I never use the question system and just take the random rolls, using the question system feels like doing a bunch of auto-rerolling.

That said - while I don't use the question system, I might tend to agree that *if* you're going to use it, it should indicate which stats it raises/lowers - but that sounds like a different RFE.

I always ignore the Kranach quest - it's not worth the time. And your argument about it not being worth the time and increasing background corruption later is potentially a good one - maybe worth it's own RFE.
But I don't consider it part of "starting the character".

03-21-2014 03:52 PM
Junior Member
Voting against. There would go too much randomness in character creation, which requires you to adjust your strategy and tactics with that character.

When you get a good character finally, why not make a backup of it before the first turn and reanimate it after you die? Yes, it's technically savescumming, but in my opinion not effectively, since the only thing you bypass there is the creation.

03-21-2014 03:55 PM
Ancient Member
Quote Originally Posted by Harkila
Voting against. There would go too much randomness in character creation, which requires you to adjust your strategy and tactics with that character.

When you get a good character finally, why not make a backup of it before the first turn and reanimate it after you die? Yes, it's technically savescumming, but in my opinion not effectively, since the only thing you bypass there is the creation.
FYI - Some things are determined at character creation time that you won't encounter until much later(Crowning gift, perhaps?). It probably won't make much difference if you stop reloading the character once he's made it to say, Dwarftown, but it isn't quite the same as recreating an identical character.

03-21-2014 03:58 PM
Ancient Member
Quote Originally Posted by Waladil
Move to some sort of point-shifting system: Common in other games, gives early agency to characters without being the silly question system.
I'm uncomfortable with this suggestion mostly because the stats in ADOM are so wildly imbalanced in terms of usefulness. In practice, this suggestion amounts to giving every character +5 (or whatever the cap is) Toughness, with some extra points left over for the remaining stats. If you were to replace the question system with something like this that accurately reflected the possible increases in the questions, it would only go to show how useless the questions are--that, maybe, maybe you can get +2 in a stat you want (except Le, which is the only stat you can boost appreciably through the questions). I'd rather just eliminate the questions entirely, or, at least, turn them off by default and roleplayers can add them back in.

Quote Originally Posted by Waladil
Put Kranach in a camp: Killing Kranach and rescuing (or trying to rescue) the lost puppy are like... THE noobie quests. You start a game, walk into a town, oh hey the Sheriff's got a bounty and some little girl needs help? I've only seen this in a million other games, let's do this.
Both of these quests are tricky, challenging quests. It's possible that TB did this intentionally to subvert the very tropes that you're describing. These aren't the newbie quests (carpenter quest is probably the most newbie quest, as it happens). Completing both quests simultaneously is something that is tricky for experienced players unless they're playing a pretty favourable race/class. It should become abundantly clear after the first couple deaths that the Puppy Cave in particular is not somewhere you want to be messing around in with a level 1 character.

Or how about this: Assuming that the star sign suggestion gets added in, make an option to "Restart with a character with the same star sign, gender, race, and class." So stats are re-rolled, new talents are selected, it just saves some keystrokes. Absolutely no harm there (if star sign selection is added, of course).
I'd have no problem with this. You can already more or less do this by specifying your preferred R/C/name in the config if you like playing the same kinds of characters.

FYI - Some things are determined at character creation time that you won't encounter until much later(Crowning gift, perhaps?). It probably won't make much difference if you stop reloading the character once he's made it to say, Dwarftown, but it isn't quite the same as recreating an identical character.
This is correct. Your initial corruption tree, crowning gift, vault locations (though not monsters) and probably a handful of other things are set at creation.

03-21-2014 04:01 PM
Junior Member
Quote Originally Posted by Harwin
FYI - Some things are determined at character creation time that you won't encounter until much later(Crowning gift, perhaps?). It probably won't make much difference if you stop reloading the character once he's made it to say, Dwarftown, but it isn't quite the same as recreating an identical character.
Crowning gift and location of (at least greater) vaults spring to mind. The vault layouts and monster types vary, though. Of course it's a tradeoff - but quite a minor one. We're talking about a first-win seeker here anyway, so I'd say that tradeoff isn't even extremely relevant.

03-21-2014 04:02 PM
Ancient Member
Quote Originally Posted by Waladil
...Do you actually know how the question system works? You don't answer all 51 questions. You answer like, ten randomly selected questions.
My last use of the question system was approx. four years ago, so all I remember is it taking forever and being very tedious. 10 is a lot better than 51, but it does mean there is little room to make it better.

Quote Originally Posted by Waladil
Move to some sort of point-shifting system: Common in other games, gives early agency to characters without being the silly question system.
We have a point shifting system for classes: your race. It gives you a lot of agency and can improve your survival greatly [random example: mist elf thief is incredibly hard, gnome thief is only medium difficulty]. A gnome wizard is as good as any elf wizard and will make the early game a piece of cake. And JS is right - I would dump those points into toughness like every time because it is THE stat.

Quote Originally Posted by Waladil
Show stats during question system: Allows for more informed decisions (Which is !!always!! a good thing. Players shouldn't have to make blind decisions.)
I disagree with this because it means you get to see your stats before talent selection screen. It would make it easier/optimal to scum for the extra /7 talent.

Quote Originally Posted by Waladil
Put Kranach in a camp: Killing Kranach and rescuing (or trying to rescue) the lost puppy are like... THE noobie quests. [lots of text]
The Kranach quest is not nearly that hard. You are probably not traveling exclusively on the plains tiles. He can be found inside 20 days pretty consistently by doing just plains tiles. Road is technically even better. Going past 90 day limit has never been anywhere close to a death sentence or even something to worry about at all - this is an area where your lack of experience is leading you to worry about things you shouldn't be worrying about. Rynt's quest is probably the simplest of all of these really...no worries about food, no worries about a time limit, etc.

Quote Originally Posted by Waladil
Or how about this: Assuming that the star sign suggestion gets added in, make an option to "Restart with a character with the same star sign, gender, race, and class." So stats are re-rolled, new talents are selected, it just saves some keystrokes. Absolutely no harm there (if star sign selection is added, of course).
You can already restart with same gender/race/class using the masks in adom.cfg, if I'm not misremembering [I only use gender mask]. Making it available outside of adom.cfg is a fine idea.

03-21-2014 04:13 PM
Ancient Member
Rerolling that much is what keeps you from progressing further into the game. This is especially true for the star sign.

Also, I suggest skipping the question system, it sometimes is unreliable and builds up your frustration.

The only thing I want is an option to reroll the same race/class/gender (your idea #5). It was requested previously but currently results in the after-death menu with options (I actually don't really like it).

03-21-2014 04:15 PM
Junior Member
Okay, THANK you guys for discussing the suggestions rather than my experience. Now that some new things have been brought to light, I can understand where you're coming from. For example, I did not know that stuff like greater vaults were generated on chargen; I'd assumed they were generated on-demand and no sooner. So consider that particular idea amended to "Restart w/ same SS/G/R/C."

Harwin -- you're right that I define starting a character in a strange way. To me it's not just the actual chargen but the very early game as well. In most games I would not do that, but ADOM has these weird cases of high-pressure early game quests and far-reaching early decisions. Those rather extend the envelope of how I see starting the game. Perhaps my overall definition could best be refined to "The early choices which modify conditions under which the rest of the game will be played." Most games don't slap you in the face with major early decisions, but ADOM does, for better or for worse.

03-21-2014 06:53 PM
Ancient Member
I definitely agree that star signs should be selectable.
As for everything else - not so much.
For example, I rarely ever do the Kranach quest. Mainly because the payoff is so meager.
I will do it if I find some amazing item in the black market (like a spear of devastation) that could immensely help with the early game, but that almost does not happen.
Also, I don't do the puppy quest at all. The most useful thing about it is that you get a cave which has cavernous levels with high monster spawning rate and can occasionally have an altar. All this simplifies precrowns.
There are no benefits of saving the cute dog except a lawful alignment boost, which, at this stage of the game, may not even be desirable as low level characters can easily change their alignment to suit specific needs (like dwarven mystic rewards or blink dogs).
It's much more useful later when you have a spare wish to use on getting a live puppy and to push your char from L to L+ to get crowned.

Regarding starting attributes - there's a stat roll system on Alucard's server (for pre18 not 20) which rolls hundreds of characters in a few seconds to give you one that is closest to what you want.
I had elven wizards with 25+ Le and Ma but discovered that it doesn't matter that much in the early game. Anything above 20 is very good.
I don't ever use the question system.

As for playing the same char from scratch, I don't think there's a problem here at all. When you finally have the right setup, just copy the save file and restore it.
It's savescumming but essentially it doesn't differ from your suggestion.
Considering that you don't usually reach the endgame, I don't think it would be considered cheating. The only things that are set upon char generation are, like someone mentioned, greater vaults and crowning gift.
Greater vaults are late game features. If you got this far, that character will probably not die before closing the game, thus no spoilers if you decide to start over with the same char.
Crowning is usually also mid-late game event (at least in my case) since at that stage you can reasonably direct that RNG to give you a desirable immunity rather than something useless.
Corruption tree may also be set then but after removing 1k corruption points via scroll or potion, the order of corruptions changes randomly.

03-21-2014 10:55 PM
Ancient Member
I also used to try and roll "perfect" PCs and have "perfect" playthroughs because I had to have the best start possible. I spent loads of time building a great character that could reasonably steamroll over everything from the beginning before he even existed, finish all the initial quests, pump stats as much as possible (kept the Guidebook open in my browser and searched every question too; later on the effects of almost all answers were already memorized) and other things, and that made the game very frustrating because super-duper PCs can die just like any other in the early game - and probably do so more often than expected, because of overconfidence, or simply all the tension not to get them killed that you place upon yourself.

Nowadays I only care about the starsign (I use jaakkos' selector program for that) and having stats that are just good enough. I think you'll waste less time and find the game more fun if you do this too, Waladil.

The only point I agree with is no. 1 and I've created an RFE to make that functionality built-in a couple years ago, but it was rejected because that's meant for ADOM Deluxe.

Quote Originally Posted by _Ln_
the after-death menu with options (I actually don't really like it).
Having a setting to use the 1.1.1-style "Do you want to ..." prompts when you die would be good.

03-22-2014 10:34 AM
Ancient Member
Seriously, and I hope this doesn't sound offensive, but the problem is not in ADOM, it's in the way you have chosen to play the game. Any roguelike has random elements to give the game some "salt" and make each game feel different. If you get obsessed with getting the best outcome out of the random elements, you will spend a lot of time scumming, but that's hardly the game's fault.

Being a good player is not about rigging the stats in your favor so that you get a head start, it's about knowing how to work with scarce resources and make do with what you get. I'm sure if you were just sticking to the starsigns and stats you get from the first roll, you would be playing much better now because you would have learned a lot more.

I don't use the optional question system much anymore because it becomes old with time, but when I started playing I saw it as a great feature that boosted immersion, and it's great for roleplayers. I wouldn't like to see it replaced by a soulless point-assignment system.

The starsign selection is going to come with ADOM Deluxe, although I'd rather it wasn't implemented - it's not like it's something you choose in real life.

+ Reply