Mode Names, generally - plus pick one name for Hard/Roguelike/Classic mode!
issueid=5604 11-04-2017 04:07 PM
Junior Member
Number of reported issues by Kelibath: 15
Mode Names, generally - plus pick one name for Hard/Roguelike/Classic mode!
As requested, an RFE for game mode names.

Currently the main ADOM story is playable in four different modes - listed in-game as Tutorial, Standard mode, Hard (roguelike) mode, and Personalized mode - with achievements only available via the third of those.
To my design sensibilities these terms all feel very disparate and in need of unification under a proper naming schema.
Additionally, "Hard" mode is simultaneously referred to throughout the game and community as "Classic" and "Roguelike" mode, so it'd be good to lock down just one main title and accompanying hotkey there to avoid confusion! After all it's always possible to include further details explaining what a "Roguelike" is, that the mode is based on "Classic ADOM gameplay", or that it enables Achievements, in the description displayed in the textbox on the right when the title is moused over.

I recommend standardising a set of terms that intuitively link to one another in content and intent and that are pleasing when taken together as a group. For example "Normal Mode" suggests the existence of "Hard Mode"; whereas including both "Normal"/"Standard" and "Classic" causes confusion unless there's a non-tutorial, easier mode name listed first to imply a gradual difficulty slope.

Here are some options:

Casual, Normal and Classic
Casual, Standard and Classic
Tutorial, Simplified and Classic..........................(closest match to what the modes at present actually provide)
Simplified, Standard and Roguelike
Tutorial, Standard and Roguelike.......................(closest match to current names)
Easy, Normal and Hard
Tutorial, Normal and Hard

Any of these can also be used with the suffix "Mode" included afterward, with the possible exception of "Tutorial Mode" - it's good idea to include or omit this uniformly, either way, and capitalise it if kept.

I also recommend changing Personalized / Personalized Mode to Custom / Custom Mode to avoid localisation issues.
"Personalized" is a specifically US-English spelling which is thus slightly jarring for UK-English players, moreso when it shows up in big bold letters on the main menu.
It's totally reasonable in a game written in US English with no UK localisation available, but the problem can be easily avoided if desired; most games I know go for "Custom" instead for this reason and so it's also the industry standard.
Issue Details
Issue Number 5604
Issue Type Feature
Project ADOM (Ancient Domains Of Mystery)
Category All
Status In Progress
Priority 4
Suggested Version ADOM 2.3.6
Implemented Version (none)
Milestone (none)
Votes for this feature 0
Votes against this feature 0
Assigned Users (none)
Tags (none)




11-04-2017 04:07 PM
Junior Member
Whether to use "Tutorial" or "Easy" depends mainly on how TB intends new players to experience the game. From his own research so far, players commonly avoid "Easy" modes by default unless the "Normal" mode proves too tough a barrier to entry, whereas many more players try the "Tutorial" of a game before jumping into the main game proper. So it's really a question of whether we want new players to have their hands held and explore harder modes later on, or to introduce them to the trial-and-error main experience first and let them back out and practice more if they can't handle Ancardia's hazards straight away.

11-05-2017 12:25 PM
Ancient Member
Good ideas in there, but how about Tutorial, Casual and Classic? Or Tutorial, Casual and Roguelike?

Tutorial is IMHO the most accurate description of the tutorial mode, and Casual, now that you mentioned it, is an accurate description of what used to be called the easy mode.

11-06-2017 06:24 PM
ixi ixi is offline
Junior Member
It feels really weird with me and my friend I brought to ADOM not that long ago that achievement aren't given in a mode called "standard" and you have to play "hard" to get them. Call it "roguelike". It's something new players have to understand. "Easy" seem to be attempted by my friends in any game only if they're getting challenged on standard difficulty. Since ADOM isn't a kind of "easy to learn, hard to master game" one does really need a tutorial or introduction to learn some basics before he kills himself.
Can't say anything about naming of "standard" mode.

In any case, I support the RFE.

11-06-2017 07:04 PM
Junior Member
This has already been the topic of endless discussion previously (which I myself have participated in somewhat), but new insights are always good to have, I think, especially now that a larger crowd has gotten their hands on the new version.

I agree that Tutorial is the most apt description of the mode in question and should definitely stay that way, as the intention is to actually teach basic game concepts to new players, and that's the label that most reliably invites them in regardless of their appetite for challenge later on.

As for the roguelike mode, I mostly stand by my earlier view that Classic or Roguelike would be best as names. The point of calling it Hard was to indicate progression, but that could also be communicated by calling the middle option Simplified or Casual, and then just calling the third mode, say, Roguelike. That sort of has the ring of "that's the true roguelike experience, so buckle up, it's gonna be rough" anyway, which the current description further enforces.

Overall I don't think the current names are bad in any way. The true roguelike mode having a double descriptor is a very minor issue, and the only other one brought up is that the players may be somewhat surprised by the fact that the "standard" mode is not really the standard in that it doesn't award achievements for example. That is a one-time surprise, after which they just accept it as is (the game does tell them what these modes entail), so not a pressing issue either, I think. As I noted, if there is anything I would change most it's the name "standard" to "casual" or "simplified" (and then possibly remove the extra "hard" indicator from beside the word Roguelike, as Simplified and Casual both would themselves imply the existence of a harder mode -- the description can and does draw attention to it being fairly difficult anyway).

11-13-2017 06:08 PM
Junior Member
Quote Originally Posted by Al-Khwarizmi
Good ideas in there, but how about Tutorial, Casual and Classic? Or Tutorial, Casual and Roguelike?
Tutorial is IMHO the most accurate description of the tutorial mode, and Casual, now that you mentioned it, is an accurate description of what used to be called the easy mode.
I personally think "Casual" is more fitting a description for the Tutorial mode than the simplified-but-still-very-difficult mode currently called "Standard" as it implies pick-up-play games without much challenge to them. And the middle mode is hard indeed-!
But Casual and Classic work very well together generally, IMHO. It does at least help explain why people don't gain achievements for the mid-difficulty mode.


Quote Originally Posted by ixi
It feels really weird with me and my friend I brought to ADOM not that long ago that achievement aren't given in a mode called "standard" and you have to play "hard" to get them. Call it "roguelike". It's something new players have to understand. "Easy" seem to be attempted by my friends in any game only if they're getting challenged on standard difficulty. Since ADOM isn't a kind of "easy to learn, hard to master game" one does really need a tutorial or introduction to learn some basics before he kills himself.
Agreed. I think Roguelike makes more sense than Hard, and Classic makes sense to me as well because the mode is both the original intent and build for ADOM. Either way I expect that people will more likely gravitate toward playing the original-difficulty mode if it's named 'Classic', as they'll assume it's the intended gameplay experience.. which it is! Or at least be intrigued if it's named 'Roguelike'; the term is coming back into vogue.


Quote Originally Posted by Taederias
This has already been the topic of endless discussion previously (which I myself have participated in somewhat), but new insights are always good to have, I think, especially now that a larger crowd has gotten their hands on the new version.
I agree that Tutorial is the most apt description of the mode in question and should definitely stay that way, as the intention is to actually teach basic game concepts to new players, and that's the label that most reliably invites them in regardless of their appetite for challenge later on.
As for the roguelike mode, I mostly stand by my earlier view that Classic or Roguelike would be best as names. The point of calling it Hard was to indicate progression, but that could also be communicated by calling the middle option Simplified or Casual, and then just calling the third mode, say, Roguelike. That sort of has the ring of "that's the true roguelike experience, so buckle up, it's gonna be rough" anyway, which the current description further enforces.
Overall I don't think the current names are bad in any way. The true roguelike mode having a double descriptor is a very minor issue, and the only other one brought up is that the players may be somewhat surprised by the fact that the "standard" mode is not really the standard in that it doesn't award achievements for example. That is a one-time surprise, after which they just accept it as is (the game does tell them what these modes entail), so not a pressing issue either, I think. As I noted, if there is anything I would change most it's the name "standard" to "casual" or "simplified" (and then possibly remove the extra "hard" indicator from beside the word Roguelike, as Simplified and Casual both would themselves imply the existence of a harder mode -- the description can and does draw attention to it being fairly difficult anyway).
I'm actually an older player myself, but missed the original discourse - although it was brought to my attention before I posted this RFE. I'm not trying to open a closed can of worms here - just suggesting that terms are chosen and solidified per mode, and chosen as uniformly as possible, compared with how the names stand presently; all in order to add polish and avoid the potential impression of an unfinished game without proper English localisation. The reason I believe the current terms need that polish is that they just don't work intuitively taken as-is in this way, and that they aren't unified in terms of their display names or in one case font size. Better to change the name than have one of the buttons look strange and awkward - that's why the dual descriptor is off-putting. The font has to be smaller to wrap properly, which seems like a fix for an issue that could easily be avoided. It's also still confusing for the player IMHO.

I agree, I don't think Roguelike / Classic as names actively require the "Hardmode" descriptor to be present on the button if it can be present in the mouseover text. That's where my comments on unity of format come from.
I have to say I agree with you regarding your Tutorial name points. It's just a little strange for a tutorial, in general, to still encompass the main plot and length of a game is all! Casual reflects the level of focus and difficulty needed too, IMHO.
I also agree that changing Standard to Simplified/Casual would work alongside the harder mode being named simply Roguelike/Classic. As to which version to choose, any combination of those four terms could honestly work.

In any case the reason I listed so many ideas was to help cover dev team and player preference so I don't necessarily mind what ends up being interesting to everyone so long as they're solid by final build.

11-14-2017 12:01 PM
The Creator
I'm not convinced by the arguments. The most palatable alternative from the ones above for me might be Tutorial, Standard, Roguelike.

I still dislike this special idea because it fails to convey a progression. And I dislike the idea because new players stumbling upon ADOM might now even now what roguelike alone means - so that's bad, too.

Easy, casual or simple instead of "Tutorial" definitely is not going to happen as it simply muddles the intention of the mode and confuses people. No advantage here.

Casual for standard mode is out because I by now agree that casual gaming is definitely something very different than from what ADOM serves you.

Easy instead of standard is out because people won't start it. We have tested that. As it would be stupid to prevent new people from a more fun mode (to most new people) this is not going to happen.

Normal versus standard... well... right now I have no opinion, but for one: 's'tandard allows us to use the letter 's' while 'n'ormal would collide with 'n'etwork as long as we have that. So it's probably going to stay for now - at the very least until we decide to rename network mode (which I don't really see happening as it's nicely descriptive).

In summary I tend towards closing this bug as "Rejected" but will wait for another week or so to see if any more arguments change my opinion.

What I did is change the few erroneous later references in the game from "classic" to "hard (roguelike)".

11-14-2017 12:31 PM
Ancient Member
OK, I admit "casual" is maybe too mild for the middle mode. It's not hardcore, but not really casual either.

But to me, the problem with "standard" is that I think no new players will give the roguelike mode a try. If I finish a game in the "standard" mode, I consider it "done". I finished the standard game, so that's done, right? Maybe I will try the special high difficulty mode if I really liked the game *a lot*... often not even in that case because I have little time and there are many games.

In your UI/UX tests you probably didn't keep users long enough to actually play many games, or finish the game and see what they do next, but I think very few of them would play the roguelike mode.

11-14-2017 02:54 PM
The Creator
Quote Originally Posted by Al-Khwarizmi
OK, I admit "casual" is maybe too mild for the middle mode. It's not hardcore, but not really casual either.

But to me, the problem with "standard" is that I think no new players will give the roguelike mode a try. If I finish a game in the "standard" mode, I consider it "done". I finished the standard game, so that's done, right? Maybe I will try the special high difficulty mode if I really liked the game *a lot*... often not even in that case because I have little time and there are many games.

In your UI/UX tests you probably didn't keep users long enough to actually play many games, or finish the game and see what they do next, but I think very few of them would play the roguelike mode.
To be honest I don't see that as much of a problem. Especially considering the fact that finishing in standard mode also can take years ;-) If you play for that long you will have encountered the roguelike community and maybe become interested in advancing ;-)

11-15-2017 02:27 AM
Senior Member
I'm inclined to agree with the creator here, if you spend all that time playing to beat the standard mode you will probably be interested in beating the roguelike mode. And hopefully those who aren't as interested still get some hours of enjoyment out of the standard mode.

11-15-2017 10:54 AM
Junior Member
Quote Originally Posted by adom-admin
...In summary I tend towards closing this bug as "Rejected" but will wait for another week or so to see if any more arguments change my opinion.
What I did is change the few erroneous later references in the game from "classic" to "hard (roguelike)".
Fair enough with everything else, I didn't actually know that Network mode was a thing. But I highly recommend choosing only the one name for the roguelike mode. I disagree that people playing for the first time would be confused by the term "roguelike". As said before it's come back into vogue significantly in the last few years with plenty of indie games using the term; moreover, the ADOM Steam Store page features it repeatedly, so nobody is going to be buying this game without at least a vague idea that it's meant to be a "roguelike". It's one of ADOM's major selling points and identifiers. But whichever name goes in the descriptive text and whichever one stays on the button it's definitely a good idea to just choose one between Roguelike and Hard (or Advanced, or Classic, etc). It fixes name confusion, text size, button design, and makes the hotkey more intuitive, so IMHO it's worth making that choice.

I've actually just realised there's a second issue involved here - reloading an old game, I was asked if I wanted to reload an "Exploration Mode" save. So the load dialogue has a third set of naming schema..!
Will re-test this now and then post a new bug if necessary.

11-15-2017 11:04 AM
Junior Member
Yep, the Challenge and Exploration game tags still remain behind on previous savegames from before the latest updates. It may not be a major issue going forward since the new saves are named appropriately.

11-17-2017 02:39 PM
Ancient Member
What about "Beginner" for Standard mode? I think it's descriptive and hopefully doesn't discourage beginners from choosing it.

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