ADOM always has been known for being one of the few roguelikes with actual focus on a storyline far beyond the “explore a dungeon theme”. Its backdrop has been an external war between the forces of Order and Chaos – with ample opportunities for the player to side with one of those principles… or even ascend to far greater might.
For Ultimate ADOM we decided to push this concept even further: While there is a major storyline in the game to follow, there are many factions at work. Some of them fight for Order, others for Chaos and a few are trying to stay neutral and further their own agenda. Some well-loved figures from ADOM will make a reappearance in Ultimate ADOM (like e.g. Rolf, the last emperor of the dwarves or the Mad Minstrel). And naturally Andor Drakon, ultimate God of Chaos, again is fiddling with Ancardia with his tentacles… err.. . fingers.
For Ultimate ADOM: Caverns of Chaos factions will be used to several effects:
- As he first step of character generation you can choose to join a faction or remain unaligned (for the time being). This strengthens the connection between your character and the storyline of the game.
- Joining a faction comes with benefits and responsibilities: If you e.g. decide to side with Andor Drakon, he will bestow a minor set of blessings (corruptions) on you. At the same time you become hunted by the forces of the Church of the Eternal Sun (another faction, this one new, representing a major force of Order in Ultimate ADOM). Other factions will bestow different blessings and problems (e.g. a set of modifiers to your attributes, special equipment, etc.). In this way you can both customize your character a little and become embroiled in the ongoing meta-plot of the game.
- Additionally faction membership controls your main goal of your game: Being a follower of Andor Drakon entails recovering the part of his essence hidden in the Caverns of Chaos while for the members of the Church of the Eternal Sun the goal is to find said piece of Andor Drakons essence, discover the means to destroy it and effectively do so. Other factions – like Rolf, last emperor of the dwarves, the Mad Minstrel or our new favourite – Gilah Nan’Dramoth, mercenary extraordinaire – have totally different goals which might be completely unrelated to the battle between Order and Chaos thus creating very different game experiences.
- Factions also serve to move the storyline forward even if your player character might try to refrain from becoming embroiled in the war between Order and Chaos. You might notice agents of the various factions roaming through the Caverns of Chaos, trying to advance their own agendas and or stifle those of other factions. At the very least your player character will have to take care not to get caught up in the crossfire between warring groups of faction agents…
- Finally other beings in the game might react to your faction membership by more willingly providing clues to your – or actively hindering your progress. There even are rumors about some items and artifacts being more beneficial (or detrimental) to members of specific factions.
This weeks Visions from Ancardia post introduces Andor Drakon and his followership as a first faction in the game – more to come. Ultimate ADOM will present a total of seven factions plus the option of being unaligned to any of those factions thus allowing you to focus on plain old dungeon-crawling fun!