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Gamasutra - How Rogue Ended Up On The Sofa

by Dhruin, 2011-04-06 22:39:45

Gamasutra has a piece that discusses the evolution and gameplay of Roguelikes:

Where's the dungeon-crawler in the modern era?

Blizzard's Diablo series is the most obvious heir to the Roguelike. (By which I mean: the solo, third-person, dungeon crawler, distinct from the first-person, party-based crawlers like the Dungeon Master, Eye of the Beholder, and Bard's Tale franchises.)

Diablo retains Rogue's casual framework: the simple move-to-move, move-to-attack UI is now moved onto the mouse (click-to-move, click-to-attack). There's now artwork that goes beyond "replacing ASCII characters with tiles". We still have the random dungeons underneath an overworld.

Diablo has always been surprisingly casual: a nice, lightweight, mouse-driven game, playable in bursts (and playable with friends: it was the game that launched Battle.net)

But something feels... different. Not quite right.

It's the grind. Diablo throws foes at you, and expects you to be able to defeat them all with relative ease. It showers you in rewards - gold and loot - for the slaughter.

And really, as John Harris points out in his first of series of entries from a Roguelike encylopedia, Rogue was never about grind. Your true enemy wasn't a Kestrel, or a Centaur, or a Dragon.

It was the dungeon itself.

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