Posted: March 5
I can't remember when I bought this, but I got the Diggle Nog cheevo for the 2011 Winter Sale event, so that could say something. It took about three years of hiatus and 107 hours to finally kill Dredmor...once
. On Easy (and Permadeath).
Dredmor is a roguelike, and I think it's a pretty good introduction to the genre since I've not really played many of them. You start out by picking from three difficulties, if you want your character to be permanently deleted when he/she dies or not, and if you bought the Realm of the Diggle Gods expansion, if you want to have 10 or 15 floors. From there, you're given a page full of skills and you're to pick seven to make your character build, as opposed to having set classes like Warrior or Battlemage or whatnot--or you can just pick Random and see how that does. And then you're given your choice of cosmetic gender, you name your character, and you're sent on your merry way.
Everything is laid out on a grid and every time you move or attack uses up a turn, where everything else is allowed to move or attack. You can quite literally stand with enemies surrounding you and nothing will happen until you do something. You level up with enough EXP by killing enemies, destroying Dredmor statues, or unlocking doors/chests with lockpicks. When you level up, you recover all HP/MP, and you're given your choice of your seven skills to raise which will influence how your stats increase. Skills work on a linear tree system, but you're allowed to raise your skills in any order, between raising them all up evenly or maxing one as soon as possible. Every skill in every tree does something
, be it simply raising your stats by a set amount or giving you interesting new spells or moves or powers.
Combat is pretty much "hit it until it dies" if you're going melee, but every character can use crossbows provided they have ammo and wands as long as they have charges, no matter what build you went with. Some enemies use long-ranged spells too, so it's a matter of using what you have to counter their threat. Monsters typically don't show up en masse during the game except in Monster Zoos, big rooms where mooks and minibosses pretty much Zerg Rush you. You don't necessarily have
to clear them out, but you get a free item for wiping everything out, and it's a lot of EXP, too. You also get free items for doing sidequests gained by praying at the Inconsequentia statues scattered through the dungeons. They're pretty basic quests--kill this enemy/group, retrieve an item, use this item on a special statue, etc.
I think Dredmor is a pretty fair game in terms of difficulty. If you die, it's almost always your fault. Died to a trap? You carelessly marched forward without enough Trap Sight Radius. Fight an enemy to where the point both of you are near-death and you miss, dying to its attack? You didn't heal yourself, retreat, try to lead it into traps, etc. Of course, this game is randomly-generated so you can quite easily end up with a bad draw on items and stuff, but one draw of roguelikes isn't the game giving you the tools needed to win, but winning with the tools you're given. No one game is unwinnable if you keep your wits about you and don't get complacent.
The expansions...well, expand. RotDG adds monsters, skills, items, five more floors; YHTNTEP adds more monsters, items, skills; CotW adds even more monsters and skills and items, but also adds new floors apart from the main dungeon on top of a customizable safe zone (though the base game has a basic version of this place). There are also quite a few mods on Steam and not on Steam that add more of the above and with things like additional room layouts and so on, but some may require some or all of the expansions, so watch for that.
So yeah, TL;DR I would really recommend this game. If you're new to roguelikes, this is a pretty good place to start. Easy mode is pretty easy, hard is pretty damned hard, but that all depends on how the RNG treats you and how you build your characters. There are a lot of achievements here...though a lot of them require you to die to various critters. But you know what they say: Dying is fun!