What Is the Best Roguelike?


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Post Thursday, 16th July 2020, 01:29

What Is the Best Roguelike?

This is meant to be subjective. I haven't played much in the way of roguelikes: tons of Crawl, but just a few brief attempts at Nethack and possibly Rogue. So I was wondering, which roguelike(s) would you suggest as best?

There are two categories that are particularly interesting for me. The first category takes everything in account: the crunch, but also ease of use, graphics (if you care for them), and longevity. The second category ignores longevity: imagine that someone just wants to open a roguelike and have a blast, even if the game doesn't offer much content beyond the first month.

Something that you may also take into account is how safe the game is: Duvessa talked about a game that had, uhm, problematic aspects in this regard.
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bel

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Post Thursday, 16th July 2020, 06:16

Re: What Is the Best Roguelike?

Slay the Spire is pretty good.

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Post Thursday, 16th July 2020, 07:37

Re: What Is the Best Roguelike?

Yeah, but it is a roguelite
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Post Thursday, 16th July 2020, 08:56

Re: What Is the Best Roguelike?

I've played a lot of "Fury unleashed" lately, it's out of early access. This one is somewhat dubious, since it slides both lite (normal/ hard) and hard roguelike (incredible/ legendary) elements based on the difficulty you choose. It's also a hybrid between a platform/ run and gun/ RPG in terms of mechanics. Features everything you could want: varied loot, limited backtracking, permadeath (rarely averted by Reaper deals), random level generation, bonus portal levels and more.

Don't know if it can be called "best roguelike", I'm just having a blast playing it :D
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Post Thursday, 16th July 2020, 12:08

Re: What Is the Best Roguelike?

nago wrote:Yeah, but it is a roguelite

Never really understood what "roguelite" means. But even with the so-called "Berlin Interpretation", StS is pretty comfortably a roguelike.

Anyway in response to OP, StS has all the factors you're looking for: excellent gameplay/design, nice artwork, good music. As for longevity, I've wasted several hundred hours of my life on it and still enjoy it a lot. Pretty easy to mod if you're into that sort of thing.

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Post Thursday, 16th July 2020, 12:22

Re: What Is the Best Roguelike?

It depends on what you are looking for. If you want to play in a specific way, StS is quite bad as your game is decided by RNG, you have about zero influence on your game after selecting character unless you are playing at really low difficulty level. I would say DCSS is clearly the best, especially after removal of hunger. I always dreamed of recklessly casting fireballs and iron shots in Lair, and yesterday my dream came true :)
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Post Thursday, 16th July 2020, 13:29

Re: What Is the Best Roguelike?

clearly osu! is the best roguelike

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Post Thursday, 16th July 2020, 16:10

Re: What Is the Best Roguelike?

I dunno about "best", but Jeff Lait's POWDER is short - a "coffee break roguelike", at least until you get better at it - has some unusual features (eg, you worship one god, but all the gods watch you and may act for or against you), and is full of a marvellous dry humour.
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Post Thursday, 16th July 2020, 17:40

Re: What Is the Best Roguelike?

VeryAngryFelid wrote:It depends on what you are looking for. If you want to play in a specific way, StS is quite bad as your game is decided by RNG, you have about zero influence on your game after selecting character unless you are playing at really low difficulty level. I would say DCSS is clearly the best, especially after removal of hunger. I always dreamed of recklessly casting fireballs and iron shots in Lair, and yesterday my dream came true :)

I don't want to get into StS too much, but every roguelike is decided by RNG!

If you mean that it can be hard to get 100% winrate in StS at high ascension level, that's true. But you can still play in a manner so as to increase your chances to win: a 50% winrate is quite different from a 10% winrate.

Btw, even in a completely deterministic game like chess, there's still a lot of "RNG", so to speak. This is because time is limited, so you can only calculate some of the variations. In complicated positions, it might be impossible to calculate any variations in depth, so one often resorts to "intuition". Indeed, in game annotations it is common to find a sentence like "this move offers Black good chances for a draw" (my emphasis).
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Post Thursday, 16th July 2020, 19:25

Re: What Is the Best Roguelike?

DCSS is the best in many ways, but Nethack will always have a special place in my heart (ascended all classes etc.), and I also greatly enjoyed ADoM back in the day.
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Post Thursday, 16th July 2020, 22:08

Re: What Is the Best Roguelike?

I remember reading praise for Slay the Spire in the past as a non frustrating game, it sure is getting a lot of support here on the forum. Does it have special offers sometimes? It also seems to have some neat graphics.

I'm trying out Powder, I like how intuitive the UI is, although it could use something like Crawl's red flash to tell you you're not doing well.
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Post Friday, 17th July 2020, 16:36

Re: What Is the Best Roguelike?

Sorcerous wrote:I've played a lot of "Fury unleashed" lately, it's out of early access. This one is somewhat dubious, since it slides both lite (normal/ hard) and hard roguelike (incredible/ legendary) elements based on the difficulty you choose. It's also a hybrid between a platform/ run and gun/ RPG in terms of mechanics. Features everything you could want: varied loot, limited backtracking, permadeath (rarely averted by Reaper deals), random level generation, bonus portal levels and more.

Don't know if it can be called "best roguelike", I'm just having a blast playing it :D


Damn, I've watched the video on the Steam page and was hit with a big Metal Slug. If the price goes down, I think I'll buy it.

What about Binding of Isaac? Compared to Crawl and Slay the Spire?
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Post Friday, 17th July 2020, 21:02

Re: What Is the Best Roguelike?

bel wrote:I don't want to get into StS too much, but every roguelike is decided by RNG!

If you mean that it can be hard to get 100% winrate in StS at high ascension level, that's true. But you can still play in a manner so as to increase your chances to win: a 50% winrate is quite different from a 10% winrate.

Btw, even in a completely deterministic game like chess, there's still a lot of "RNG", so to speak. This is because time is limited, so you can only calculate some of the variations. In complicated positions, it might be impossible to calculate any variations in depth, so one often resorts to "intuition". Indeed, in game annotations it is common to find a sentence like "this move offers Black good chances for a draw" (my emphasis).


When I want to cast fireball in Lair, I can start as DEFE and choose Vehumet. If I want to play Searing Blow build or Dead Branch/Corruption build, there is no way for me to get it except play many games and hope to finally get it. That's what I meant. I am not that interested in winning (in both StS and DCSS), I just want to play specific builds.
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Post Saturday, 18th July 2020, 08:45

Re: What Is the Best Roguelike?

VeryAngryFelid wrote:When I want to cast fireball in Lair, I can start as DEFE and choose Vehumet. If I want to play Searing Blow build or Dead Branch/Corruption build, there is no way for me to get it except play many games and hope to finally get it. That's what I meant. I am not that interested in winning (in both StS and DCSS), I just want to play specific builds.


Bit of a false equivalence, it's more if you want to apply vulnerability and heal after fights you pick Ironclad. Fireball is a starter kit, not really a build as such.

On-topic: If StS qualifies as a roguelike, then there's also Nowhere Prophet and Invisible Inc., both are a pretty interesting take on the formula. In Nowhere Prophet your cards are also people who can die or influence encounters in the world, in Invisible Inc. you do the whole sneaking around with a team of random agents with random equipment, probably the best stealth game I've ever played. As a bonus, both games have superb visual design.

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Post Saturday, 18th July 2020, 15:51

Re: What Is the Best Roguelike?

bt wrote:Bit of a false equivalence, it's more if you want to apply vulnerability and heal after fights you pick Ironclad. Fireball is a starter kit, not really a build as such.

Fireball can be a build if desired. I am not sure why you think Ironclad is about vulnerability and healing, it is possible to win without both. I play Ironclad to get huge strength, or huge block, or huge amount of cards per turn, or anything else, and it is really random.
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Post Saturday, 18th July 2020, 19:10

Re: What Is the Best Roguelike?

VeryAngryFelid wrote:
bt wrote:Bit of a false equivalence, it's more if you want to apply vulnerability and heal after fights you pick Ironclad. Fireball is a starter kit, not really a build as such.

Fireball can be a build if desired. I am not sure why you think Ironclad is about vulnerability and healing, it is possible to win without both. I play Ironclad to get huge strength, or huge block, or huge amount of cards per turn, or anything else, and it is really random.


Anything can be a build if desired, saying that Fireball is a build in the same way Searing Blow or Corruption/Dead Branch is a build is quite a stretch.

Healing and vulnerability is something Ironclad guaranteed to get from the get go, same as Fireball for FE. So it's a better comparison than Dead Branch/Corruption. Dead Branch/Corruption in StS is more like Spriggan Knife/Invisibility in DCSS, neither combo is guaranteed.

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Post Sunday, 19th July 2020, 09:21

Re: What Is the Best Roguelike?

You can play seeded games if you want a specific relic or card guaranteed.

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Post Monday, 20th July 2020, 09:54

Re: What Is the Best Roguelike?

bt wrote:Anything can be a build if desired, saying that Fireball is a build in the same way Searing Blow or Corruption/Dead Branch is a build is quite a stretch.

Healing and vulnerability is something Ironclad guaranteed to get from the get go, same as Fireball for FE. So it's a better comparison than Dead Branch/Corruption. Dead Branch/Corruption in StS is more like Spriggan Knife/Invisibility in DCSS, neither combo is guaranteed.


You are probably still missing my point so let me give you more examples. If I want to be a stabber, I can play as En/As and then join Sif Muna/Dith or any god with allies. If I want to be a heavy warrior casting Shatter, I can play Gr of Vehumet. If I find a storm bow in Elf, I can easily train Bows during few XLs and become a hybrid. StS does not allow that. If you find Searing Blow on second floor, you ignore it because it is too late. It is extremely hard to change play style late game, you need luck on first floor to get exactly what you want, I had a game ruined by my mistake of picking Dead Branch (probably the strongest artifact in the game) on 3rd floor. As I wrote in my first message, I am not interested in just winning (I have some A20 wins already), I want to play in a specific way and StS does not allow that without known seeds. And playing with seeds to me is like playing in wizmode because I know in advance what will happen.
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Post Monday, 20th July 2020, 15:48

Re: What Is the Best Roguelike?

VeryAngryFelid wrote:You are probably still missing my point so let me give you more examples. If I want to be a stabber, I can play as En/As and then join Sif Muna/Dith or any god with allies. If I want to be a heavy warrior casting Shatter, I can play Gr of Vehumet. If I find a storm bow in Elf, I can easily train Bows during few XLs and become a hybrid. StS does not allow that. If you find Searing Blow on second floor, you ignore it because it is too late. It is extremely hard to change play style late game, you need luck on first floor to get exactly what you want, I had a game ruined by my mistake of picking Dead Branch (probably the strongest artifact in the game) on 3rd floor. As I wrote in my first message, I am not interested in just winning (I have some A20 wins already), I want to play in a specific way and StS does not allow that without known seeds. And playing with seeds to me is like playing in wizmode because I know in advance what will happen.


I got your point, but I disagree about the degrees of freedom you claim DCSS provides. From your examples: picking Vehumet doesn't guarantee you Shatter, finding storm bow in elf is the same as finding tough bandage in act 2 in StS and you can still pivot your build around that. Changing your build late in StS is hard I agree, but the ability to change your build late in DCSS is meaningless, since the game is won already and you just essentially faff around.

Both games ask the player to adapt to what you find along the way, and you absolutely can force builds in both games, if you don't mind losing more often or playing at lower difficulty (with easier species).

There's also the thing where StS builds are much more specific and well defined than the melee/caster/stabber thing DCSS has. So when you compare Searing Blow, which is just one card, to "stabber", which can mean any number of different tools, I think it's a bit unfair. More fair way IMO would be to compare playing Searing Blow to playing with say a Darkness spell.

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Post Monday, 20th July 2020, 18:11

Re: What Is the Best Roguelike?

VAF, your comments are confusing. When you say "3rd floor", do you mean Act 3? Because getting Dead Branch on Floor 3 is insanely good. Similarly, do you mean "Act 2" when you say "second floor"? Because taking Searing Blow on Floor 2 is competely fine.

I'm afraid your comments about "builds" and "playstyles" don't make a lot of sense to me. Getting an early Searing Blow (and a favourable Act 1 with lots of campfires to upgrade) is a very narrow outcome; similarly Dead Branch/Corruption is a very rare combination (Dead Branch is a rare relic, and Corruption is a rare card). You're calling a very narrow outcome a "build", and complaining that the game doesn't often offer you that choice.

A "playstyle", to me, is not a specific card or a specific relic; rather it describes how one deals with enemies. You can, for example, overwhelm the enemies with frontloaded damage; alternatively, you can scale up your damage over a number of turns.

In this sense, it is perfectly viable to switch "playstyles" at A20, turning your deck from being good at one thing to being good at another. In fact, because enemies in StS often present challenges across different dimensions (In Act 3, Reptomancer cares about frontloaded AoE damage, while Giant Head cares about scaling single-target damage), you need your deck to be flexible.

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Post Tuesday, 21st July 2020, 05:06

Re: What Is the Best Roguelike?

bt wrote:I got your point, but I disagree about the degrees of freedom you claim DCSS provides. From your examples: picking Vehumet doesn't guarantee you Shatter, finding storm bow in elf is the same as finding tough bandage in act 2 in StS and you can still pivot your build around that. Changing your build late in StS is hard I agree, but the ability to change your build late in DCSS is meaningless, since the game is won already and you just essentially faff around.

Both games ask the player to adapt to what you find along the way, and you absolutely can force builds in both games, if you don't mind losing more often or playing at lower difficulty (with easier species).

There's also the thing where StS builds are much more specific and well defined than the melee/caster/stabber thing DCSS has. So when you compare Searing Blow, which is just one card, to "stabber", which can mean any number of different tools, I think it's a bit unfair. More fair way IMO would be to compare playing Searing Blow to playing with say a Darkness spell.


You see, I don't care if the game is already won or not, if I just want to use a particular spell like Darkness I can switch to using Darkness easily. I remember a game where my MuEn switched from being a stabber in Dungeon to CPA in Depths and then back to being a stabber for Zot. StS does not allow switching as easily, it is determined by act 1.
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Post Tuesday, 21st July 2020, 05:11

Re: What Is the Best Roguelike?

bel wrote:VAF, your comments are confusing. When you say "3rd floor", do you mean Act 3? Because getting Dead Branch on Floor 3 is insanely good. Similarly, do you mean "Act 2" when you say "second floor"? Because taking Searing Blow on Floor 2 is competely fine.

I'm afraid your comments about "builds" and "playstyles" don't make a lot of sense to me. Getting an early Searing Blow (and a favourable Act 1 with lots of campfires to upgrade) is a very narrow outcome; similarly Dead Branch/Corruption is a very rare combination (Dead Branch is a rare relic, and Corruption is a rare card). You're calling a very narrow outcome a "build", and complaining that the game doesn't often offer you that choice.

A "playstyle", to me, is not a specific card or a specific relic; rather it describes how one deals with enemies. You can, for example, overwhelm the enemies with frontloaded damage; alternatively, you can scale up your damage over a number of turns.

In this sense, it is perfectly viable to switch "playstyles" at A20, turning your deck from being good at one thing to being good at another. In fact, because enemies in StS often present challenges across different dimensions (In Act 3, Reptomancer cares about frontloaded AoE damage, while Giant Head cares about scaling single-target damage), you need your deck to be flexible.


Sorry, I meant act indeed. Yes, StS does not give you much freedom. You need high frontloaded damage for Act 1 elites, high AoE for act 2 normal fights (or you can die to birds easily) and a good defence-offense ratio for act 3 normal fights (or you will die to the monster which has intangible every second turn). If you lack some of those things, you still can win sometimes, but it requires luck (luck allows to avoid meeting those)
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Post Tuesday, 21st July 2020, 05:42

Re: What Is the Best Roguelike?

I'm afraid you're taking too narrow a view of what decks do in StS. Your statement about birds is not correct. For instance, caltrops (or thorns potion, or bronze scales) can take care of birds very easily, even though it's not "AoE damage". From a defensive standpoint, self forming clay is also really good.

AoE damage often just means that I do single-target damage on this monster, then single target damage on another monster. In fact, most "AoE" fights often care more about defeating one enemy quickly and then focusing on the remaining enemies. The three slavers fight is a very good example (you want to kill the third slaver first, usually, because he has the most dangerous debuffs).

The only fight in Act 2 which cares about AoE damage specifically is the Gremlin leader elite fight.

Generally, it is true that you want your deck to be flexible. To take your analogy with stabbers in DCSS, you might have a "playstyle" of "hex things then stab them". But you want some method to deal with high MR monsters. In DCSS the answer is often god abilities or consumables. In StS, you often rely on relics or potions in the same way.

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Post Tuesday, 21st July 2020, 09:14

Re: What Is the Best Roguelike?

bel wrote:I'm afraid you're taking too narrow a view of what decks do in StS. Your statement about birds is not correct. For instance, caltrops (or thorns potion, or bronze scales) can take care of birds very easily, even though it's not "AoE damage". From a defensive standpoint, self forming clay is also really good.

AoE damage often just means that I do single-target damage on this monster, then single target damage on another monster. In fact, most "AoE" fights often care more about defeating one enemy quickly and then focusing on the remaining enemies. The three slavers fight is a very good example (you want to kill the third slaver first, usually, because he has the most dangerous debuffs).

The only fight in Act 2 which cares about AoE damage specifically is the Gremlin leader elite fight.

Generally, it is true that you want your deck to be flexible. To take your analogy with stabbers in DCSS, you might have a "playstyle" of "hex things then stab them". But you want some method to deal with high MR monsters. In DCSS the answer is often god abilities or consumables. In StS, you often rely on relics or potions in the same way.


Sorry, you said nothing new to me and you still seem to be missing my point. I am saying that StS is more luck-based than DCSS. You need luck to find thorns potion, it is very far from guaranteed. That's like Nikola in DCSS has 100% mesmerization and potion of resistance is extremely rare, your game would depend on either rElec item dropped or not.

Edit. Wait, why are we even arguing about it? Streak world record in StS is 10 games, case closed.
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Post Tuesday, 21st July 2020, 09:21

Re: What Is the Best Roguelike?

Ok, enough offtopic.

I find it interesting that you use the same phrase "you're missing my point" about two completely different people. Consider the possibility that the problem lies elsewhere: namely in how you think about certain things.

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Post Tuesday, 21st July 2020, 10:27

Re: What Is the Best Roguelike?

bel wrote:Ok, enough offtopic.

I find it interesting that you use the same phrase "you're missing my point" about two completely different people. Consider the possibility that the problem lies elsewhere: namely in how you think about certain things.


Or maybe both of you are still missing my point. I said that StS is not for those people who have a specific plan in mind (unlike DCSS) and you are telling me that there are RNG-dependent ways to solve any problems and that DCSS has some RNG too.
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Post Tuesday, 21st July 2020, 13:06

Re: What Is the Best Roguelike?

Since this is CYC, I don't mind being offtopic a little bit more.

The problem is that you're using arguments inconsistently, so it's impossible to understand what your point is. For example, you say that you don't care about winrate, but then you try to compare StS and DCSS winstreaks. You say that "luck allows you to avoid enemies", but then you say that "luck means finding the correct item". You say that birds fight requires AoE damage; when I show that it doesn't actually require AoE damage, you don't acknowledge my point, or the fact that you said it, but move on to something else.

You are correct in the sense of: you need luck to find a very particular combination of items, which you call a "build". But you put together a toolkit to solve a problem, and there are mutiple toolkits to deal with any problem. Getting any particular combination obviously involves luck. But you can usually find some way -- this doesn't involve luck (mostly).

If you want to deal with birds, it's good to have AoE damage like Immolate or Whirlwind. But that's just a specific way to solve the problem. Here is an incomplete list of ways to fight birds (I have used all of them in my runs). I add some notes where appropriate:

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Frontloaded AoE:
* Cards: Immolate, Whirlwind, Die Die Die, Dagger Spray.
* Relics: Mercury Hourglass, Charon's Ashes, Letter Opener.
* Consumables: Explosive pot.

Scaling Aoe:
* Cards: Noxious fumes, Thousand cuts, Combust, Crippling Cloud
* Relics: Funnel, Stone Calendar

Single target:
* Cards: Attack cards like Skewer and Fiend Fire can knock down birds. So can stuff which hits multiple times like Glass Knife and Twin Strike. Zero-cost attacks like Anger and Shivs are good. Also, you can deal non-attack damage (which is not halved on flying enemies), like poison or using Juggernaut.
* Relics: Tingsha can deal non-attack damage. The Boot is also good because it increases the attack damage. Ninja scroll.
* Consumables: Fire pot can kill birds because it's non-attack damage and birds have low HP. Cunning potion gives you Shivs+ which can knock down birds.

Passive attacks:
* Many relics. Some cards like Caltrops, Flame barrier. Potions like thorns.

Damage Mitigation:
* Cards: Crippling Cloud, Intimidate, Piercing wail, Malaise, Disarm, Block cards, Wraith form.
* Relics: Self forming clay, Tungsten rod, Torii, Lizard Tail.
* Consumables: Block potion, Intangible potion, Regen potion, Blood potion, Fairy in a bottle.

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Post Tuesday, 21st July 2020, 15:01

Re: What Is the Best Roguelike?

VeryAngryFelid wrote:You see, I don't care if the game is already won or not, if I just want to use a particular spell like Darkness I can switch to using Darkness easily. I remember a game where my MuEn switched from being a stabber in Dungeon to CPA in Depths and then back to being a stabber for Zot. StS does not allow switching as easily, it is determined by act 1.


You can switch easily only if you have found Darkness in your game, so it's still up to chance.

Edit. Wait, why are we even arguing about it? Streak world record in StS is 10 games, case closed.


In StS on A0 you can have close to a 100% winrate fairly easily, on A20 the best players get to about 30-40%. So StS is less RNG dependent on lower difficulties and more RNG dependent on higher difficulties. Considering the longest crawl streaks almost always include a fair amount of easy combos it's hard to compare the two by relying on winrate.

I would say that DCSS is more volatile in each separate engagement, but more lenient in how you approach them, and StS is more reliable in each engagement, but is more strict about the way you approach them. I don't think that makes StS more RNG dependent than DCSS.
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Post Wednesday, 22nd July 2020, 05:52

Re: What Is the Best Roguelike?

Anybody that enjoys Slay The Spire should also take a look at Griftlands. Same idea, but with more story and character to the characters. It looks promising!

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Post Wednesday, 22nd July 2020, 09:31

Re: What Is the Best Roguelike?

bel wrote:Since this is CYC, I don't mind being offtopic a little bit more.

The problem is that you're using arguments inconsistently, so it's impossible to understand what your point is. For example, you say that you don't care about winrate, but then you try to compare StS and DCSS winstreaks. You say that "luck allows you to avoid enemies", but then you say that "luck means finding the correct item". You say that birds fight requires AoE damage; when I show that it doesn't actually require AoE damage, you don't acknowledge my point, or the fact that you said it, but move on to something else.

You are correct in the sense of: you need luck to find a very particular combination of items, which you call a "build". But you put together a toolkit to solve a problem, and there are mutiple toolkits to deal with any problem. Getting any particular combination obviously involves luck. But you can usually find some way -- this doesn't involve luck (mostly).

If you want to deal with birds, it's good to have AoE damage like Immolate or Whirlwind. But that's just a specific way to solve the problem. Here is an incomplete list of ways to fight birds (I have used all of them in my runs). I add some notes where appropriate:


That's because I have many arguments and we are discussing several things simultanouesly. When I am saying "luck", I don't mean "luck" as "luck allows you to avoid enemies" or "luck means finding the correct item" or even "luck allows to avoid dying if you are lucky with intentions in StS or damage dice roll in DCSS". I mean all of it. Similarly for AoE, you need either a card or a relic or luck with avoiding the fight or luck with monster intentions or whatever else. Similarly for winrate, at one point I said that if player wants a specific gameplay and not just winning, then they maybe don't care about win rate. But when we are trying to compare luck in both games, win rate at highest difficulty can be useful indeed. I am looking at the problem from different angles and many arguments come into my mind, sorry about that :)
Again, I have 90+% win rate at A0, but I almost stopped playing StS because it is no longer fun for me. I win a game and then realize that it was very similar to one of previous games because I ran into the same cards and didn't use anything new, I can't even force myself into reaching A20 as Wanderer because the character is too easy and all games are the same. A game where I found Searing Blow on 2nd or 3rd floor was much more fun despite I haven't won it (it was at A20 and I died in Act 3). I used similar approach in DCSS playing games with conducts like "spear only and no spells", "no kills except by spells", "no kills except by allies", "training 1 skill until 27" etc. StS does not give this freedom, you cannot play the way you want.
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Post Wednesday, 22nd July 2020, 09:43

Re: What Is the Best Roguelike?

bt wrote:You can switch easily only if you have found Darkness in your game, so it's still up to chance.

In StS you need double luck: to find specific cards/relics and to find them early.
When I wanted Darkness spell in DCSS I played Ds :) And yes, I agree, it would be better for me personally if you could see all future Ds mutations right after starting the game.

In StS on A0 you can have close to a 100% winrate fairly easily, on A20 the best players get to about 30-40%. So StS is less RNG dependent on lower difficulties and more RNG dependent on higher difficulties. Considering the longest crawl streaks almost always include a fair amount of easy combos it's hard to compare the two by relying on winrate.

Don't forget I am talking about specific playstyles also. When player wins MiBe or DECj or DDNe, I am pretty sure which play style was used. When player wins Ironclad, nobody knows how it happened and if player was lucky to meet their expectations. One of the most frequent complaint on StS forums is inability to force specific builds, I am not alone here. And then the StS winrate is still lower despite player is forced by RNG to pick specific cards/relics/paths when playing optimally.

I would say that DCSS is more volatile in each separate engagement, but more lenient in how you approach them, and StS is more reliable in each engagement, but is more strict about the way you approach them. I don't think that makes StS more RNG dependent than DCSS.

I am saying DCSS is quite reliable in providing tools to play the game with specific play style player had in mind when starting the game. If the play style is too weak to kill the monster, player escapes, often without even spending consumable, and returns later. StS kills the player when player tries to play with specific way ignoring RNG which StS throws at them.
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Post Wednesday, 22nd July 2020, 12:42

Re: What Is the Best Roguelike?

I'm afraid your comment about "every game seems the same to me because I take the same cards" sounds so weird to me that I wonder if we're playing the same game. There are 75 cards in your pool and more than a 100 relics.

I'm pretty sure I can win A0 Ironclad/Silent with whatever "build" I want. (maybe not 100% winrate, but 30-50% is probably doable, which is fine because you say you don't care about winrate).

Of course, the definition of "build" cannot be something really narrow like "Win with Searing Blow +10" or get "Corruption and Dead Branch" -- I may not get Searing Blow that early, just as you are not guaranteed to get Shatter if you play a GrEE of Vehumet. It has to be something comparable to DCSS "builds", like maybe "this character makes huge block and then plays a Body Slam", or "this character wins by playing a ton of Shivs then playing Finisher".

In fact, I did something like this when I tried for "achievements" in StS, like "Minimalist" (win with a 5 card or smaller deck), or "You are Nothing" (kill a boss on turn 1). I had already reached A20, so I knew how the game worked. It took me at most 3 or 4 tries on A0 to get every achievement.

I'm willing to actually try the experiment I suggest above. You list 5 "builds", and we can decide whether each of those "builds" make sense. And I will play an A0 Ironclad/Silent game going for that build. It probably won't take me more than 2 or 3 tries to win every "build".

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Post Wednesday, 22nd July 2020, 16:01

Re: What Is the Best Roguelike?

bel wrote:I'm afraid your comment about "every game seems the same to me because I take the same cards" sounds so weird to me that I wonder if we're playing the same game. There are 75 cards in your pool and more than a 100 relics.

I'm pretty sure I can win A0 Ironclad/Silent with whatever "build" I want. (maybe not 100% winrate, but 30-50% is probably doable, which is fine because you say you don't care about winrate).

Of course, the definition of "build" cannot be something really narrow like "Win with Searing Blow +10" or get "Corruption and Dead Branch" -- I may not get Searing Blow that early, just as you are not guaranteed to get Shatter if you play a GrEE of Vehumet. It has to be something comparable to DCSS "builds", like maybe "this character makes huge block and then plays a Body Slam", or "this character wins by playing a ton of Shivs then playing Finisher".

In fact, I did something like this when I tried for "achievements" in StS, like "Minimalist" (win with a 5 card or smaller deck), or "You are Nothing" (kill a boss on turn 1). I had already reached A20, so I knew how the game worked. It took me at most 3 or 4 tries on A0 to get every achievement.

I'm willing to actually try the experiment I suggest above. You list 5 "builds", and we can decide whether each of those "builds" make sense. And I will play an A0 Ironclad/Silent game going for that build. It probably won't take me more than 2 or 3 tries to win every "build".


Thank you for the offer, but no, I am not interested in build-scumming, I hate wasting time.
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Post Wednesday, 22nd July 2020, 16:35

Re: What Is the Best Roguelike?

Not sure what "build-scumming" means.

I conducted the experiment anyway. I pre-decided that I would make a "make huge block and play Body Slam" deck.

I got it on my first try (killed Donu/Deca by making 500 block in one turn and playing 2 Body Slams).

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Post Wednesday, 22nd July 2020, 17:26

Re: What Is the Best Roguelike?

Btw, about this whole idea of "builds", I would suggest watching this video by Jorbs, one of the top StS players in the world -- "The problem with archetypes". (I suggest 1.25x or 1.5x speed.)

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Post Wednesday, 22nd July 2020, 17:31

Re: What Is the Best Roguelike?

Sorry for interrupting, but isn't Slay the Spire a deckbuilding cardgame? Why would you call it a roguelike at all?

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Post Wednesday, 22nd July 2020, 17:52

Re: What Is the Best Roguelike?

I'm not sure how much you're familiar with how StS works, so this is just a general comment.

There's no agreed-upon definition of "Roguelike". But if you look at the so-called "Berlin interpretation", you'll see that StS satisfies most of the conditions comfortably.

The factors I like the most (coming from a Nethack/DCSS background) are permadeath, turn based combat (one of the reasons I'm not a big fan of FTL), randomly generated maps, hack and slash, resource management, tactical challenges, complexity.

Ultimately, "roguelike" just means: if you like this game (like Rogue, or DCSS), you might like that game too, for similar reasons. This certainly holds in my case for StS. I got to know about it through an unrelated thread here on Tavern, and it has resulted in a ton of wasted time :P

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Post Wednesday, 22nd July 2020, 18:54

Re: What Is the Best Roguelike?

Satisfies most of the conditions comfortably, but most of the time I have a "wait a minute" feeling about it. Technically true, but feels wrong.

On a similar note, I just realized that chess is also a roguelike!
Random environment generation - if you play the variant chess960 (or Fischer-random) then yes!
Permadeath - yes
Turn-based - yes
Grid-based - yes
Non-modal (various actions take place in the same mode) - I guess...
Complexity - And then some!
Resource management - Yep.
Hack'n'slash - Oh yeah
Exploration and discovery - Darn. No. However, I hope 7-1 is good enough.

Sorry for the offtopic.

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Post Monday, 27th July 2020, 23:52

Re: What Is the Best Roguelike?

I like Sil personally. I don't think it has the replayability of a roguelike with more Content, but you have a lot of different combat abilities that make melee pretty fun and it's not too dependent on RNG - you don't need to adapt to the dungeon that much, which I don't always like in other roguelikes where certain items are not very fun to use. Winning an Edain is a fun challenge.
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Post Tuesday, 28th July 2020, 02:21

Re: What Is the Best Roguelike?

I tried Sil but found the ability trees (if that's what they're called) off-putting; I had the sense there was (at least for any given kindred) a unique optimal selection, which any competent player would know (but I didn't).
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Post Thursday, 30th July 2020, 16:50

Re: What Is the Best Roguelike?

Turn based its DCSS hands down
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