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Old January 26, 2017, 23:09   #1
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Food consumption vs magic

One of the fondest memories I have in Angband, was back in the 90s, when a friend and I discovered that you could alter the game by editing some text files.

We made the most powerful weapon with all resists and bonuses we could find or think of, and got ready to conquer the dungeon!

Unfortunately, back then (dont remember the version), metabolism was increased the more resist etc. you had. This was back where you could die from eating too much. Still, even if we bought all the food that was available in the shop, ate until gorged, stopped every turn to eat more, we wouldnt even make it to the dungeon before running out of food and die from hunger.

Now, food doesnt really matter in the game. I feel that after a short while, I have plenty of scrolls of Satisfy Hunger, and Im full always anyway, since there is often something that provides slow digestion. Maybe it could be an idea to make stuff more challenging to require more food the more powerful you get? For some reason I like my @ to eat and enjoy himself.
Just a thought.
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Old January 26, 2017, 23:33   #2
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Note that such a feature would have to be balanced so Ironman wins are still viable, as in Ironman mode you can't keep going back to the store to buy 99 food rations.
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Old January 26, 2017, 23:40   #3
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I definitely remember back in the frog-knows version, using the debug/wizard commands to grand my character a huge innate speed bonus. Back then speed went in +1 increments, so +1 was Fast, +2 was Very Fast, etc. and I think around +5 you hit "Lightspeed" and they stopped giving new textual descriptions. I don't know how fast I got -- I held the key down for awhile, that's all -- but I remember taking one step, fainting from lack of food, and dying of starvation. I don't remember metabolism being impacted by resists, but honestly my memories of the old days are pretty hazy now.

Food is honestly kind of vestigial in Angband nowadays (much as it is in most roguelikes). The ability to cast food creation spells and to buy food in the store make it more or less impossible to make food a meaningful source of tension except for new players and very rare situations.

One roguelike I've been playing lately and enjoying is Transcendence; there your "character" is a spaceship, and you consume fuel scaled based on the power demands of your equipment (which are shields, guns, engines, etc.). Better gear sucks down more power, which means you need more fuel. Fuel gets consumed automatically from what you've stocked your reactor with, and you can periodically feed more fuel into the reactor either from fuel stocked in your hold (which takes up space in your inventory), or by buying fuel from friendly stations (which costs money). I wouldn't say that the "fuel clock" in Transcendence has a huge impact on gameplay, in that even a modestly skilled player should be able to stay on top of their fuel requirements easily unless they foolishly sell all their spare fuel and spend all their money in order to buy a hungry new piece of equipment. But UI-wise it's at least pretty straightforward; you pay an inventory "tax" in stored fuel, depending on how much of a safety margin you want, and otherwise top off your reactor every time you dock.

EDIT: one thing that bears pointing out about this system is that you need to upgrade your reactor periodically to increase the maximum amount of power you can generate (and thus the total quality of gear you can run). Larger reactors have a larger fuel capacity to go with, so the rate at which you "get hungry" really depends on the percentage of your reactor's max capacity that you're using. A high-level character would need a lot of fuel, but wouldn't need to constantly be shoveling that fuel into the reactor. This is a big contrast to most roguelikes where the character's stomach size doesn't change, so if your metabolism increases you must perforce eat more frequently.

Transcendence also has varying qualities of fuel, and high-level reactors require higher levels of fuel, which are also more energy-dense, so as a rule you'll dedicate a roughly constant amount of inventory space to fuel over the course of the game. This is important as your inventory space is fixed; otherwise in the late game you'd need to fill your hold completely with fuel rods just to have the same safety margin (in terms of minutes of gameplay) as you would have at the beginning of the game.

Last edited by Derakon; January 27, 2017 at 00:11.
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Old January 27, 2017, 00:25   #4
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