May 04 in Blog tagged by WesPaugh

Update 2.8 went live late, late Monday night, and tucked into its folds were two brand new, never-before announced game modes: Combo and Endless. We’d like to elaborate on what these modes are, how they were dreamed up, and where they are going.

Endless Mode has been one of our longest-planned features. It’s typical of a roguelike to offer infinite replayability, usually thanks to a wealth of obscure mechanics and randomized traps and items. The ideology behind 100 Rogues’ design has, and continues to be, that difficulty should come from strategic choices with nearly deterministic outcomes. It made sense, then, to make a mode which could increasingly test these skills without bound.

Like 100 Rogues’ core game, Endless Mode will be benefitting from ongoing refinements and enhancements. Some of these enhancements will carry over from new additions to the core game (e.g. new player classes or teleport tiles), but also, Endless Mode will be receiving new art for monsters and their spawning behaviours and the endless mode map tiles, as well, to further customize the mode’s difficulty and identity.

Combo Mode is a more recent brainstorm. After receiving feedback that the core game still provides an unforgivingly inaccessible degree of difficulty to some, we began to look at other games that have had similar goals. Angry Birds was, unsurprisingly, one of the first games we came across to patch in a feature to circumvent the game’s difficulty. Their Golden Eagle made for a good example of how to do it right, allowing players to play more of the game without supplanting the need for skill with the original ruleset. With this in mind, we set to make Challenge Mode a simple game to complete, start-to-finish, but a difficult one to truly claim mastery with.

The most impactful means of accomplishing this was to remove hunger from the mode and to change health regeneration to be most effective when not in combat. The strongest players will therefore be able to keep themselves in battle longer (and, in doing so, earn more points, of course!).

The very strong starting stats, lack of a hunger time limit, and fast health regeneration make it very easy to survive through Combo Mode, but the measure of success is much more than simple scoring! Instead of experience points, your score in combo mode can be used to purchase skill points, higher stats, and useful items that will help you on your way.

As an extra reward, we’ve made unlockable items available to the top-scoring Combo Mode players. By being frugal with your spending of Combo Points, you can save up to unlock three Scrolls for permanent use in the main game.

We sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed reading about 100 Rogues’ two newest modes. Please feel free to give us feedback on what you have enjoyed, what could be improved, or what you might like to see in the future with new 100 Rogues game modes. And don’t forget to post your best strategies in our forums to help the 100 Rogues community members!