I tried out ToME 4 a while ago and couldn't stand to play it more than a few minutes at a time. And I tried several times; I just couldn't get into it at all.
I hated the graphical menu nonsense you have to go through before even playing a game (made even worse by the fact that it was all glitched-up, with some of the buttons in the wrong place and blocks of multi-colored pixel noise here and there.) Something about it reminds me of a Massively
, which is not a good thing at all. Also, I just don't like mouse-based interfaces in games; the keyboard will always be better.
I hated the tiles. Which is not surprising, since I've yet to see a set of roguelike tiles that aren't horrible. At least they were big enough that I could usually tell what things were, unlike pretty much every other roguelike tileset I've ever seen.
hated the fact that the default graphical setting was "@ and letters for the monsters, tiles for everything else" and that I needed to fumble around with the options for a while just to get rid of the graphical stuff. This is actually even worse than just having tiles for everything (which is something I never thought I'd see: a roguelike graphical mode worse
than "tiles for everything.")
Even more than I hated that, I hated the fact that it seemed impossible to make it look like anything even vaguely resembling the classic ASCII font. Even when you set it to text-only, it looks more like "someone opened up Word with a huge font and started typing" and nothing like the old ASCII. I like the look of plain old somewhat-blocky ASCII font, especially in roguelikes. Seeing what looks like any old Windows font, with its huge round @ symbols and its variable-width letters and its slanted # symbols that don't even come close to passing as walls, just doesn't work for me. It didn't help that the text came in all different sizes (from "nearly unreadable" in some of the menus to "ludicrously huge" for the @, map features, items, and monsters) rather than the old ASCII-like every-letter-the-same-size thing.
I hated seeing little damage numbers pop up on the player/monsters whenever an attack took place. I was also mildly annoyed by the sound effects, but I think the bouncing numbers were the real problem there. One thing I've always liked about roguelikes is that you can never be sure exactly how much damage you've done until the critter's dead, and the damage is actually described
instead of just put into pure numbers--I like seeing messages like "the greater demon claws you!" and "you slash the poison fungus!" scrolling past at the top of the screen, not just a red "23" that flies over your head for a few seconds. Bouncing damage numbers aren't always bad (they're good in Final Fantasy-type RPGs), but I don't want to see them in a roguelike.
I hated the fact that there were tons of highlights and pop-up windows.
I hated the fact that there were apparently no messages scrolling up at the top of the screen. I don't know if this was something I accidentally turned off somehow or if it's the way things work by default, but I didn't like the fact that I needed
to use the Look command just to figure out what a monster was even after it attacked me or I attacked it. Seeing a little damage number pop up over my head when a brown J gets close just plain sucks compared to seeing "the python bites you!" show up in the black space at the top of the screen.
I hated the fact that, much like the previous problem, walking over an item didn't give me any description of the item. The only way to find out what kind of potion I had just stepped over was to actually pick it up. I miss seeing "a bubbling white potion" pop up as soon as I stepped over said potion.
I hated the fact that it seemed nearly impossible to actually see my stats anywhere on the screen; even though I prefer the way ADoM did it (stats and stuff horizontally at the bottom of the screen) to the way Angband variants do it (vertically on the left side), not having my stats visible at all is just horrible. All that glitchy graphical space and there's not even anything there to cover some of it up? Again, not sure if this was a glitch, some feature I accidentally turned on/off without realizing it, or just the way it's supposed to look... but either way, it's really bad.
But at least I can't say I hate everything
The new skills system, while a little strange due to the unfamiliarity of it all, seems like it might be at least worth looking into. Of course, I'd have to look into it more before deciding whether I actually like it or not, but I like different skill systems in general; I haven't yet run into one that I really hated, and I've played a lot of roguelikes with a lot of different systems for that kind of thing. I think the main thing keeping me from actually looking at the skill menu long enough to figure out whether I like it or not is the "graphical crap and Windowsy fonts" look that all the menus have in TE4.
The changes to stats seem to generally be decent; having the Intelligence equivalent do more than just magic makes a lot of sense, and making Magic be its own stat instead of having it run off of intelligence seems like a good idea too (intelligence = magic only makes sense for the "learns spells by studying books for hours" type of magic anyway.) I guess removing Charisma isn't too bad considering that it wasn't really used for much in previous versions, and is generally considered the "throw-away" stat in most games that even have a Charisma stat to begin with.
The music wasn't bad; some of it was actually kind of nice, despite the weirdness of having music in a PC roguelike. I seem to remember seeing music-related options in TE3 too, though, so this might not be all that new.
Of course, I haven't really messed with T-Engine 4 much (I'd have to re-download it if I wanted to take more of a look at it, since I deleted the whole thing after the first few failed attempts to not hate it), so it's entirely possible that it's not quite as awful as it seemed going by my first impressions of it.
But, from what I've seen, TE4 is not for me.
original post wrote:
Yeah, T-Engine 4 has the high degree of "editable-ness" as well, but... every time I've tried ToME 4, I get this overwhelming urge to delete the entire program and never look at it again. So version 3 it is!
Maybe I should've put the "please don't point me toward TE4" warning in bigger text to begin with.