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Old July 16, 2013, 06:40   #1
stabwound
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Variant with diverse character combos and great item system?

The thing I liked a lot about my former-favorite roguelike, Crawl, is that many of the character combos play very differently than the others. Some have unique characteristics not found on others, leading to a different play style and experience.

Contrast that to Nethack or Angband, where the races generally just have different strengths and weaknesses but generally play the same.

I'm looking for a variant that is fun (duh), has character combos that are varied in playstyles, etc, and something with a great item system and balance.

My 3rd party info told me that PosChengband kind of fits this description, but the loot drops are a bit wonky and level design not always the best compared to a game like Tome 2. Is that accurate?
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Old July 16, 2013, 09:09   #2
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I'd say that the only variant that comes close to your specs is Poscheng. Angband is designed so that there are a couple classes, and those do play differently, but races are flavour and mostly important before statgain, when the racial bonuses even out. A game with six classes is easier to balance.
EDIT: I'd also like to mention that while I don't play Poscheng myself, it is a good variant, very well balanced considering the thousands of race/class combos.
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Old July 17, 2013, 09:04   #3
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Crawl's appeal to me was (1) the "lean and mean" feel and (2) the combinatorics of character building. PosChengband doesn't really feel lean and mean, but it does max out on character combinatorics. There's lots of depth within the race and class choices. I tend to play random characters and just see what interactions emerge, while more successful players (such as the maintainer, Chris) have been known to lay out the whole gameplan from the beginning and figure out what endgame equipment and abilities will be optimal for a specific build.

I enjoy Vanilla Town mode because for me the scope of the default game is actually too broad, what with all the quests and dungeons. I'm not sure whether that makes the game more or less like Crawl, since Crawl at least has dungeon branches.

Anyway, it's a big, zany, sprawling game. Despite going against certain of my sensibilities (for example there's a low signal-to-noise ratio with items and you have to squelch very aggressively to get through the endgame), it's the roguelike that's kept me hooked longer than any other. I'm very happy in Vanilla Town PosCheng, have been for a long time (well sure it used to be Heng, Entro, or what have you), and don't really see that changing. I'd recommend giving it a go.
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Old July 17, 2013, 14:58   #4
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I suspect the leanest-and-meanest Angband variant is Sil, and it's not exactly an Angband variant any more. Angband's initial premise was "Moria II: Now With More Stuff", after all. You'd have to do a lot of paring down to get an Angband variant that felt lean.
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Old July 17, 2013, 18:44   #5
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You could try Steamband for a completely different take. It's fairly out of date, but it's good for a real change. And the different character classes are different
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Old July 17, 2013, 20:05   #6
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Now that I think of it, it sounds like IronBand might be worth a try for the OP.

Steam and Sil were also good recommendations.
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Old July 17, 2013, 22:44   #7
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Old July 17, 2013, 23:04   #8
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Old July 18, 2013, 01:53   #9
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Thanks for the suggestions. PosChengband and FAandband look the most appealing to me personally, even though the Tolkien setting is starting to wear pretty thin. Steam looks neat, but the fact that it hasn't been updated in a long time puts me off.

ToME2 was my favorite variant for a while, but it becomes apparently that many of the character combos just aren't viable at all, contrasted to a game like Crawl where even the worst combination is possible to win given enough player skill and some luck. It's too bad that it's been long-abandoned in favor of ToME4, which isn't at all like it.
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Old July 18, 2013, 04:41   #10
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Thanks for the suggestions. PosChengband and FAandband look the most appealing to me personally, even though the Tolkien setting is starting to wear pretty thin. Steam looks neat, but the fact that it hasn't been updated in a long time puts me off.
I suspect Steam hasn't been updated because it is in pretty good shape - I wouldn't write it off because of lack of updates.
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