Hey, there's a topic on Roguelikes here!
I'm a big fan of the genre.... I play alot of these.... but I honestly cant stand the "big four", aka, Hack, Crawl, Angband, and whatever the 4th is, and their many, MANY variations.
Because of the EVERY DAMN ITEM IS A MYSTERY bit. Easily one of the stupidest gameplay ideas I've ever seen, and unfortunately it sort of infects half of what is one of my favorite genres. I'm sorry, but it's a bloody stupid mechanic. There are about a million SENSIBLE ways that these games can create incredible levels of difficulty and challenge; THIS though, is what TVTropes calles "fake difficulty". I know that the purists disagree, but..... heck with them. I have decided otherwise, and I am correct because I say so!
Not to mention.... if I'm playing, say, a wizard in one of those, shouldnt a wizard, well..... you know, actually KNOW some stuff about magic scrolls and potions? I can understand if my wizard looks at a sword, and basically thinks "Yep, that's a sword allright" and cant identify it's specific properties..... but no, apparantly my wizard is BEYOND STUPID and cant even identify items that any wizard with half a braincell should be knowledgeable about. This kind of thing is NEVER thought about properly when developing any roguelike that plays anything like those 4.
And finally..... I just get tired of so many games copying those. I prefer that developers come up with their OWN ideas. I like games like Dredmor, DoomRL, creative and interesting games like those that are NOT just direct clones of others. I picked up one called "Epilogue" recently, which I'm enjoying (and mostly just dying alot in) that has some very interesting mechanics pertaining to combat and items.... it's a good example of one of these done right.
....there, I said what I had to say on this topic, hah.