Dear people who read my posts, nice to see you all again.

This is a post about balance and difficulty in game mechanics, but I do also have some Mist Elf stuff at the end.

I've yet again cleared Ultimate ADOM (although I think there's content I'm missing, I don't think I've ever actually found the Hand of Doom... ah well. Game registers my attempts as a 'win'.) and am pleasantly surprised with the balance overhaul. There's less skill points now which makes the game far less trivial to complete, and it took me several dead chaos knights, necromancers and wizards to win this time.

Why Chaos Knights, Necromancers and Wizards? Because either I am playing very badly, or the game is extremely hard to complete with martial classes or by maining martial. Of course I understand the need to pick up at least some magic skill (the 'any' points are there for a reason! grab some lightning resist! grab some poison resist! If you've played Path of Exile you know how important resistance building is.) but the amount I invest in magic even on a 'melee' run feels strange.

Even as Chaos Knight (which is I admit a more magical class than fighter ofc) I find myself casting Fireball and Poison Thorn (holy shit, Poison Thorn is so broken. Not a complaint. I love it) more than I swing my sword around. The melee mastery skills seem like a nice, niche thing to have in some situations, while magic spells carry you through the entire game.

Sadly, I can't think of an easy solution for this. Magic has been nerfed by the lower amount of skill points, but so has melee. Tremendously. Maybe give Melee Classes some extra skill points (and not in the 'any' class or the old problems of ending up a master plant mage + pyromancer + necromancer as a *knight* are back).

The melee powers probably also feel lackluster. The disarm chances and sunder stuff gets good after investing a lot (A LOT) of points in them but there's less points now, so I wonder if the solution lies in that direction.

All in all I'm extremely happy with the state of the game, it's rapidly (way faster than I expected it to be) grown into a mainstay in my library along with ToME, Qud and Dredmor. Most work breaks I find myself going 'ah well, can't hurt to try and advance the cause of ChAoS some more' these days.

I also ran into some issues with different races. I know ADOM has never been balanced and doesn't really try to be (It's not a competitive game and having fun is way more important + this way you can make the game more 'difficult' on purpose) but some of the races seem a bit weird right now. I have not gotten past floor 6 as a Mist Elf, and wonder if I'm doing something wrong. Several level ups I've noticed *not* getting *any* hit points which I wonder is a bug or just RNG dependant. Even stacking magic resist and staying out of range of things as a wizard it only takes one lucky hit for an enemy to destroy you if you have 12 hp at level 5.

Trolls seem 'absolutely at all times strictly better than orcs' which I guess is basically a 'difficulty slider', but feels a bit excessive. Not a lot of thoughts on that beyond that, because everything works well and playing a troll was lots of fun if not a bit too easy for my taste (it might suit yours just fine!)

These are my Ultimate ADOM thoughts for tonight. I find myself thinking about the game a lot, and I saw Steam has barely any guides so I might write some of those. I still have no idea if anyone even reads these posts, so if you do and you'd like some steam guides please let me know.

With kind regards,

Renko <3