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Old June 16, 2018, 16:06   #1
fizzix
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Let's get rid of hunger

Since Nick is in the process of slaughtering a whole bunch of sacred cows (and I'm very glad he's doing it) perhaps it's time to ditch the whole hunger mechanic.

Hunger serves no interesting purpose except in ironman games when it eats up an inventory slot. Furthermore because food exists in town, hunger will never be interesting in non-ironman games. It's just a minor annoyance. In other roguelikes hunger clocks are a mechanism to prevent resting, since you rest at the cost of going through hunger.

Even in games which try to make hunger an interesting mechanic (DCSS for example) there are many people who think it's dumb and should be removed. It's hard doing anything compelling like that in Angband.

Are there any good arguments for keeping hunger around?
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Old June 16, 2018, 16:47   #2
Voovus
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I would like to second this.

(Or at least a "no hunger" birth option and see what happens...)
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Old June 16, 2018, 17:01   #3
Sphara
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Playing almost exclusively ironman games, I can pretty confidently say that hunger doesn't play much role there either. You'll need to carry some food on early levels but somewhere around 1500ft, I tend to ditch all comestibles and eat straight from the floor. Only one time I got nearly screwed when I played flavors hidden and ate an un id'd mushroom of purging inside a greater vault.

In DCSS food removal has been an issue for years. There are some game mechanics that are built around food. Mummy not needing food, ghouls getting healed from butchered corpses and high-level spells being hungering. Even with built-in mechanics, it still sucks in DCSS. Angband doesn't need a big overhaul like DCSS would, if food would be removed. Just removal of slow digestion and satisfy hunger scrolls and spell. Would probably keep mushrooms and e)at command still though.
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Old June 16, 2018, 17:10   #4
bunnies
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On a separate note, has anyone ever bought and consumed hard biscuits and flasks of whiskey exlusively on their first trip into the dungeon?
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Old June 16, 2018, 18:28   #5
Derakon
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I'd be fine with at the very least trialling the removal of hunger.
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Old June 16, 2018, 20:28   #6
Thraalbee
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I also play ironman except in competitions and agree hunger is a minor concern even there. But a small change towards easier is still a step in the wrong direction. How about adding drain food to some undeads instead? Like the big J in some variants but much earlier
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Old June 16, 2018, 21:02   #7
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As a bith option, yes, buth otherwise no. And no removing torch/lantern fuel either.
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Old June 16, 2018, 22:40   #8
Gwarl
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hunger makes green glutton ghosts somewhat irritating

that's the best defense I can come up with for it

my variant has a J and hunger-inflicting attacks and the gorged status though so I want to keep hunger for it
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Old June 16, 2018, 23:31   #9
Nick
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My gut feeling (heh) is that it should be kept, but I'm struggling to articulate why. Here are a few of my thoughts:
  • It does sometimes lead to interesting situations - I have occasionally run out of food when I still want to do stuff on a level, and had to forage/quaff healing potions;
  • Ironman should IMHO be really hard compared to non-ironman, and this is a move in the opposite direction;
  • The game should support a variety of experiences, and this is thinning out that variety.
This last one is something I feel strongly about as maintainer. It has always been a feature that the aim of Angband is to kill Morgoth, but that there's more than one way to do that. I want to be broadening the space of possible game trajectories, and I feel that removing mechanics like hunger is narrowing it.
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Old June 17, 2018, 00:49   #10
Whelk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick View Post
The game should support a variety of experiences, and this is thinning out that variety.

This last one is something I feel strongly about as maintainer. It has always been a feature that the aim of Angband is to kill Morgoth, but that there's more than one way to do that. I want to be broadening the space of possible game trajectories, and I feel that removing mechanics like hunger is narrowing it.
I'm not particularly attached to the hunger mechanic, but I appreciate your keeping the above in mind. I've seen games cut all sorts of features and mechanics because they were "annoying" or "not interesting", or to "make the game more efficient", and what ends up being left always seems like a skeletal remnant of what was once a fun and diverse game I loved.

I'm not saying no feature or mechanic should ever be considered for dialing back or even removal, but I'm glad at the general hesitance to toss things on the chopping block.
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