Gandolfo's blog

Tired of Random BS

So I took a small break because I was having no fun playing with the 1.3 live version. I came back a week later after reinstalling. I figured I'd try something different for me (not Shalore, not Anorithil or Hero/adventurer). Started up a Yeek Mindslayer. I've avoided playing them in the past because my Yeek experiences have been largely negative and rage inducing.

This time I actually did alright, getting through the beginning areas with absolutely no problems. I
Did Trollmire, Scintillating Caves, the Derth Arena, Rhalorin Camp, Kor Pul and Forest. (2 escorts total.) Did the AM quest. I did struggle a little with the corruptor but in the end was victorious without dying. Then I started the Tempest quest.

Had a moment in Derth where 4 elementals managed to converge on my position despite my attempt to get to them one at a time via sneaking around corners and then sneaking back to ambush them. Two turns later I was talking to the Eidolon. I came back and killed the rest and moved on to Nur.

All was fine after that until Nur level 3 (before the fortress). I encountered the dreaded unkillable monster whose name is ultimately forgetable to me (Because it is one of those "arcane" sounding names that has no meaning to me other than someone wanted something arcane sounding.) To kill him one must kill his tentacles as they appear. Usually not much of problem because the tentacles don't usually pose a threat at the levels I typically encounter this abomination. However at level 16 I was not equipped for the task.

I couldn't escape because no pd/tele on AM and no shields other than the largely useless psionic shields (because they don't actually do anything that I can see). I got him to about 25% hp via killing his tentacles and he managed to catch me in a corner with all my heals/regens on cooldowns with 3 tentacles and that was all they wrote. Rinse, repeat because why not?

Needless to say it is just one of many possible threats that can be out of depth (or is it out of depth in Nur where horrors abide for no explicable reason??) And I have dealt successfully with it in the past so I guess I should chalk this one up to a bad build since prior successes were only by characters 7-9 levels higher. But it irks me because it seems random in a bad way.

For example: Door #1 you open it and get eaten by a lion. Door #2 you open it and become fabulously rich & famous. Door #3 you meet the love of your life and all ends well etc, Doors #4-999 see door #1. That kind of random.

I realize this is subjective and not at all based on looking at code and spotting evidence where something is off or some other logical response. And it isn't an accusation of imbalance (I have said it in the past but imbalance is a part of the game.)

It is just a growing frustration and feeling that no matter what happens. no matter how many times I do actually win (because I didn't get the unlucky door open and didn't fumble my way to senseless deaths) I will always lose to crap like this and "what is the fucking point?" if you can pardon that french.

While at times I am fascinated by all the possible outcomes different builds bring I can't help but feel my IQ just doesn't rise to the level of the difficulty of the game even on "Normal".

5 winners and still incapable of playing Thalore

As the title indicates I am faced with extreme frustration because I can't seem to get some of the last unlocks. The only guaranteed way to get sludgenest is to play Thalore. And I can't do it. My Thalore characters just die. Even on normal I can't get a Thalore to survive to 30 without dying. Doesn't seem like it matters what class I chose either.

Wyrmic was especially bad. And by bad I mean a totally disaster. Got one to around 21 or so but it was a terrible build and after dying to an Eternal Bone Giant in Celia's crypt (pre encountering her) after a 400 turn or so battle I decided that character wasn't viable and deleted it. In general, it feels horrible to play Wyrmic because its abilities do not work well together and it really is just unfun. And if you go AM you get really hosed because you have low escape chances (aside from the lightning speed talent which seems mediocre.)

Also tried a few Hero hybrid style characters and a hero (using the adventurer plus addon because straight adventurers are more of a challenge class than a fun class as is) AM and basically got nowhere. I deleted a bunch of nonstarters today.

In sum feeling very frustrated by the imbalances in the game keeping me from experiencing one of the purportedly most enjoyable unlocks (Oozemancer.) Also haven't been able to manage Demonologist but honestly I am not that anxious to bother since my experience with the demon based content has not been fun nor exciting so far.

Steam Review

What I am trying to post on Steam. Not sure why but Steam is being difficult in publishing it so I am preserving it here. This is the first draft so it may be a bit disjointed. I plan to clean it up eventually.

I'll start this by telling you that I've been playing TOME since it was Tales of Middle Earth. That's right, originally it was based on Tolkien's work and was an offshoot of a long lineage of games directly related to Rogue, via Moria and then Angband. There was a middle variant in there at some point called Pernband.

Some back story:
At some point DarkGod (the main dev) decided to rewrite the client because the old angband client was full of spaghetti code and it became untenable. So came t-engine. Tome was then written as a module of T-engine (all made by DarkGod for no $$ I might add.)

In Tome 3 there were Jedi!!! and other fun ideas but it was chaotic. Tome 3 was a mess, (Tome 4 was much cleaner.) But it was still pretty opaque as Roguelikes go. I would tinker with it, have fun with lost souls etc and then get bored. So I went the way of many players got involved in other games only came back periodically when I got a yen for playing with Lightsabers again. At some point, I noticed Tome 4 was progressing and downloaded and everything was different.

Gone were most of the touches of the Angband and Tolkien worlds. You can still see a few here and there but TOME had become Tales Of Maj Eyal with an original story and a total reworking of the graphics and mechanics. On and off Ive done some beta testing (though my forums account from then was deleted more than once so I guess being inactive on the forums is a good way to get culled.)

At some point I managed a couple of end games. I won once and once I sacrificed my guy (I still don't know why that doesn't count as a win...)

Every time I came back more and more stuff was added and then I saw that they had finally made the leap to Steam. I wanted to buy it immediately because I believe in the game and the devs and why not support them? But I was reticent with all the other games I have and also had to wait for money to pay for it anyway.

I probably should not have waited but I did and when I did finally get the steam version I was not disappointed with either the basic game or the DLC (which I had no previous knowledge of.)

Divergent note that tangentially relates to this review:
Bob Dylan has said on songwriting that if you can't change a song, if you can't mess with the words or change the arrangements it is dead and you should bury it. That is a paraphrase because I don't have the exact quote on hand. But this is how I feel about games. TOME is a living game, always changing.

Many pay to play games are not. They merely make some stuff they took out initially available for DLCs when the wells run dry. TOME is not like those games. TOME is developed by a caring group of dedicated players and programmers who are making an epic play experience.

Yes epic. You have a ton of races and classes which unlock as you play. Sometimes the unlock is just something you were going to do anyway but sometimes in true RPG fashion you have to investigate and figure out some puzzle or quest to get the unlock you want. And you can unlock them in something like 9 different modes. The game offers 50 levels of experience in whatever build combo you choose. As you learn more about classes and races you find yourself getting deeper into the decision making process and you realize you have many more choices than you will quickly be able to play with. This could take a long time. As is without any further changes. And the game changes from game to game so you may not always get an event or area you thought you might. And different play styles create vastly different approaches and in-game storylines.

There was a lot of discussion when Maj'Eyal became the world of the game about how terribly difficult the game was (is) so now there are multiple modes for discovering the game. The most rewarding depends on your personality and proclivities as a gamer. You can play with Easy and Exploration and virtually never risk death, or you can unlock, insanity and madness modes and play only in true Roguelike fashion (1 life, though there are items you can find to hedge that bet.) Or you could play as I do on Normal with Adventurous. To each player their own. This is an innovation I wish more devs would think about. Multiple play modes for multiple types of players means more fun for everyone.

The game has a few pit falls. It is deep so it is not hard to get into trouble if you are tired, hungry or bored. Don't do that. Play when you are fresh and excited and keep it that way. You won't complete it in a day. (The main quest line takes a minimum of 10 hours I think if you skip everything else and I highly recomend you don't do that.)

You may also find that the game lore is hard to penetrate. This is partially due to writing style and partially because who wants to read so much of it? Yes you should read the lore the first time you encounter it at the very least. You may or may not glean valuable clues from it but if you need to you can go back to it later. Once you have unlocked certain features you will be able to access ALL of the lore you've ever seen as a player.

You may notice that I am not giving a lot of specifics here because part of the fun of this game is playing it unspoiled. You can of course look stuff up or ask for spoilers if you aren't into all that.

I will say the sound effects while fairly professional are not my cup of tea. I am not really a game sounds kind of player though. I typically turn sound off in games I play and I only checked them out in TOME out of curiousity. You might find them entertaining. Apparently, also there is music. Something I didn't check out. (I am an older guy with a very staid taste in music. If it isn't Classic Rock. Folk, Blues or Soul from the 60s-70s then it probably isn't on my mp3 player. Though I do enjoy more varied styles, when I am gaming that's mainly what I listen to.)

I write all this mainly to enthuse about how much I am enjoying playing TOME again and want you to know it is worth every penny to buy it on steam. The community addons alone make the game extremely customizable.

Gandolfo in game chat, Winter Wolf on Steam.

Login Broken again

Apparently I am unable to login to my profile via t-engine either via steam or the 1.3 beta. though I was in the middle of chatting with an admin.


Its been so long since I got to the Far East with a character that I am stuck without a clue. Did the spider lair quest after dying once in the gorbat pride. then decided to go back to the vor armory in the hopes of taking out the drakes but the overpowered unique (that's what he is called) just wrecked me thoroughly. I don't see anyway to survive with my current character and get anything done. Chat is useless as people just ignore what they don't care about or understand and I haven't been able to find a reliable source of help online.

Frustrated. I don't remember the Far East being so hard before. But it has been a few years since I managed to get over there and a lot of other games between play time. I feel like there is no hope or point to continuing.

Some particular problems. My shields (I have Barrier maxed and the Artifact shield Rune, plus a normal 210 shield rune.) Don't last more than a turn. I get silenced from off screen which means I don't know when/where to use my circle of whatever its called to avoid that. Thankfully the primal infusion takes it out but then I die anyway to off screen attacks.

I managed to blink a way several times when this happened but eventually I died when I didnt blink far enough. And now all the hard work done to kill this @$#^%~!! unique is undone. I don't know that there is any point in continuing.

Missing Hot key icons.

I was in the beginning forest for Sun Elves (vs the Naga) and suddenly my hot key icons disappeared after I was attacked. I did freak out after trying every possible key combination and having no luck getting them back. The icon bar is there but the key icons are gone.

I checked another character and their icons were fine so it is save specific. I have no idea what is going on and it really drove me crazy (My gf left the apartment after I started raging...) After several game restarts, computer reboots and general mishaps with my machine and no luck getting them back I am about to give up.

Also of annoyance is the fact that my Tome forums login seems to have been deleted.

screen shot:


Not seeing my most current (version 25-26) characters on here. Not sure why. Do I have to finish with them before they update?

No Unlocks? - v25

Logged in but no unlocks appear from previous versions. Is this a new "feature"?

Jeweler Quest fail *spoilers*

The most irritating thing about this is after the Elf dies the counter still continues. It makes you wait until the very end before updating the journal. The 2nd most irritating thing about this quest are the darkness inducing Demons. I used track to subvert the purpose of them but it still annoyed the crap out of me.

The 3rd most annoying thing was knowing that from the start it was a futile attempt. There is no way for a fighter without massive room clearing spells or attacks to deal with the horde that comes through those gates enough so that the jeweler lives through it.

I managed it (barely) with my Archmage by making sure that I blasted everything in sight. Even so the purple and pink Us almost put an end to him. In terms of difficulty for melee types I would rate this about 10 points higher on a scale of 1 to 20 than the Crypt where the Crypt is at 19. I assume the berserker ability to swing around is probably equally ineffective because some of these demons have 2kish hp and most have over 400hp.

All in all a very upsetting side quest. The reward is certainly worth it but that makes it even more tantalizing and painful in the end since it is something that I just can't get. Even have the double diamond/pearl combo ready.

Unkillable Clone

Some how I didn't expect to be unable to kill or be killed by myself. But here I am standing in a small arena with no exit. It's master already lies crumpled at my feet and his body decays even as I write this. My clone remains however and he is unassailable while offering no serious threat. I can't leave while he is alive apparently and I can't finish this gods-forsaken quest either. Well to be fair it might be because we are undead already but you can sure bet I have come close to being destroyed several times before this. The conundrum continues and so I write out of boredom and frustration...

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