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So I finally get around to trying to play this one, having played the old "Tales of Middle Earth" many times. First I am accosted about registering a new account to take advantage of a series of features. The problem though is that the game does not allow me to copy/paste the required serial key from Gog and this number is like 85 digits long.

Sorry but I have better things to do than to alt-tab out, memorize 3 or 4 digits, restore game, type those digits, repeat ad nauseum.

So I then decide I will just try to play the game sans registering an account. Now I am absolutely NOT a graphics guy at all. I did 2D top down icons for several independent old school CRPGs (like Tom Proudfoot's 'Pirates of the Western Sea' and Towers of Darkness (his own roguelike), Helherron, Runesword etc.) but I was under the impression from the screenshots and system requirements that this game would feature better graphics than I did.

Not so. The graphics are somehow worse than shit I did back in 2002.

And the difficulty seems a bit absurd. I admit I was never a master of roguelikes. I never beat Nethack or any version of Angband or Crawl but at least with all of those other RLs I played it was fairly easy to get started while I learned the intricacies of the game. ToME plopped me into some sort of Hell-ish place full of demons who plowed at me until I died before walking 7 tiles.

This is probably one of those instances where the game makes more sense after you learn all the nuts and bolts but right now it just seems like a crappy RL.
I'm by no means a skilled roguelike player, but I've found TOME one of the easiest to get the hang of.

Your starting area is dictated by your race and class. If you started in a hell-ish place, it sounds like your character was a Doombringer? Their starting area is pretty tough in my experience and I get the impression that they're an advanced class. I'd try some of the other classes like the Bulwark. It's very durable and simple to play, so it's a good way to learn how TOME works.

TOME has a few features that make it easier than some other roguelikes. If you weren't already aware of them, they may make things a bit easier for you:

* There is no hunger or map timer. You can take as long as you need to explore areas and kill everything. But like any roguelike, avoid fights you can't win.
* Abilities in TOME have a cooldown, similar to MMORPGs and MOBAs. After you use an ability, you will have to wait a certain number of turns before it's available again. Managing your cooldowns effectively is important for success.
* Very few items in TOME are consumable, so item management isn't as big of a deal. Instead of consumable potions, TOME has infusions and runes. Once they are inscribed on your character, they become abilities that you can use to heal, teleport, or shield yourself. Like other abilities, using them just places them on cooldown. Each character can only have so many inscriptions "equipped" at a time, so you have the choice of which ones suit your character best.

There are plenty of guides online that go into more detail, including on the official wiki and [url=]bpat's user page[/url]. However, be aware that they may contain varying degrees of spoilers.

Hope that helps.
Post edited December 28, 2016 by Auguste