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Subject: VGG QOTD Mar 23: The inventory dilemma – how much space do you require? rss

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Caroline Berg
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Do you like having the infamous inter-dimensional backpack that can hold millions upon millions of items?

Or do you prefer to have a limited amount and play inventory tetris?

I actually prefer to be limited. It provides a pleasant challenge to figure out what I need, or what I can carry.

I personally like how The Legend of Kyrandia, Book Two: The Hand of Fate implements the inventory. There is a set of rotating shelves that can hold at max sixteen items (which was an improvement from the first game where you could only hold eight items!)

So I guess I'm firmly in the camp of some space (twelve or sixteen is ideal) but not having access to an inter-dimensional backpack. Though the Zork games do make fun of that backpack...
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I am a hoarder in video games, so I like a back pack that can hold everything. However, I do appreciate games that force you to make tough decisions by limiting inventory space.
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I hate making decisions.

I want it all with me always. And bugger off limiting me to 99 of an item. I want to carry it ALL.

But what is paramount is that you let me organize the items.

I don't like older games where each person in my party has their own inventory, but it isn't easy to transfer items, and I really hate when I can't move items around within one persons inventory to put more often used items at the top.
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I need a lot of space. One of the reasons why I really like Titan Quest, especially with the expansion, is how much backpack room you get. Add to that a shared stash and you've got a game in which I'm *almost* satisfied with the amount of space. Almost.

In my opinion Shared Stashes in Hack&Slash games (the ones you can use with all of your characters) should generally be only usable by your *other* characters, but bottomless. This would be a nightmare to control though, so I doubt anyone ever does that.

The stashes in Torchlight II are about the right size, given that all items only take one spot in that game, but I still find that I have to exchange low-level magical items for higher level ones when I want to save something for other characters.

One stash that was NEVER big enough and even after it was made bigger it was still unreasonably small was that in Diablo II: Lord of Destruction. To create a sensible solution to this problem, I'd always have a Level 1 character who's only job was to keep items for other characters stashed. This worked provided that someone other than me hosted the game and I could switch characters and pass the items through a friend.

Inventory tetris has its unique enjoyable flavour - when you hear "I can't carry anymore." you're always like "Oh, can't you? Let me show you a trick."... but since I'm getting more and more lazy, I'd rather see MORE room - especially in games where you can exchange items between characters.
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David Winn
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Unless it is a game where inventory management should be an issue, like a survival-horror game, I prefer the main inventory to be limitless. Because, be honest, in most RPGs you quickly become powerful enough to warrant a battalion of henchmen to carry anything you want, or a large enough keep to horde more than most dragons. Instead, you get a mythic level bag of holding.
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I'm definitely a hoarder. I probably prefer not to have an unlimited inventory though (it helps me keep myself partially under controlled) but those back packs that only hold 15 items (and don't let you stack similar ones) drive me mad!

God bless,
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I always have to few space, I could use tons more.
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adularia25 wrote:
Do you like having the infamous inter-dimensional backpack that can hold millions upon millions of items?
Quoting myself from Re: VGG QOTD Mar 1: What item from a video game would you most like to have in real life?:
ThomasAH wrote:
A blessed bag of holding from NetHack would be great
It is the same in games.
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Marius Roth
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Required space = number of owned games + 1
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Luke Stirling
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I think the answer lies somewhere in the middle for me. Inventory limitations can be infuriating when poorly implemented, but can add a great deal of texture to a game if done right. When you can run around carrying every item in the universe, then a sword ceases to become a sword, but rather an equippable buff against enemy type X. Whereas if you have some limitations, then you start thinking more in terms of objects rather than just pure buffs, i.e. "Gee, this warhammer is great, but it weighs twice as much as my sword, and I'd have less loot carrying capacity. What to do?"
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Benj Davis
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I'm a terrible hoarder, but I enjoy the puzzle challenge of arranging inventories. I've recently been having some fun with Dead State: The Zombie Survival RPG's demo, although the interface for trading stuff between characters is just bad.
I think both grid and weight would be my preference, but I can't think of any games that do that.
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paralipsis wrote:
I think the answer lies somewhere in the middle for me. Inventory limitations can be infuriating when poorly implemented, but can add a great deal of texture to a game if done right. When you can run around carrying every item in the universe, then a sword ceases to become a sword, but rather an equippable buff against enemy type X. Whereas if you have some limitations, then you start thinking more in terms of objects rather than just pure buffs, i.e. "Gee, this warhammer is great, but it weighs twice as much as my sword, and I'd have less loot carrying capacity. What to do?"

Yeah, that's kind of how I feel.

If the limitations are well-thought out, that can add a layer to the game. If they're not, it's just an annoyance. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is really bad about this. The inventory limit is generous, but not quite generous enough to save all the unique gear in your stash, and not quite generous enough to let you make fewer trips back to town to sell off all the loot you've picked up. So you can almost collect things, but not quite, and you can almost raid dungeons without worrying about running out of space, but not quite. Dumb.
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Huh. I've never played a game where I had a grid I would fill with items. I'm guessing that is a PC game thing.

All my items have been stored in a list. Or I would have a small number of equipment slots I could use at a time.
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JohnRayJr wrote:
paralipsis wrote:
I think the answer lies somewhere in the middle for me. Inventory limitations can be infuriating when poorly implemented, but can add a great deal of texture to a game if done right. When you can run around carrying every item in the universe, then a sword ceases to become a sword, but rather an equippable buff against enemy type X. Whereas if you have some limitations, then you start thinking more in terms of objects rather than just pure buffs, i.e. "Gee, this warhammer is great, but it weighs twice as much as my sword, and I'd have less loot carrying capacity. What to do?"

Yeah, that's kind of how I feel.

If the limitations are well-thought out, that can add a layer to the game. If they're not, it's just an annoyance. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is really bad about this. The inventory limit is generous, but not quite generous enough to save all the unique gear in your stash, and not quite generous enough to let you make fewer trips back to town to sell off all the loot you've picked up. So you can almost collect things, but not quite, and you can almost raid dungeons without worrying about running out of space, but not quite. Dumb.

So would you rather it were more generous (allowing you to collect things and get all the loot from a dungeon in one go) or less (demanding hard decisions often)?
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frumpish wrote:
Huh. I've never played a game where I had a grid I would fill with items. I'm guessing that is a PC game thing...

Pandora's Tower has it. It was cute but didn't really affect gameplay.

Xenoblade Chronicles had huge amounts of items. In the second half of the game it was a pain to thin them out regularly, potentially discarding crucial items. Should have been infinite space.
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frumpish wrote:
Huh. I've never played a game where I had a grid I would fill with items. I'm guessing that is a PC game thing.

All my items have been stored in a list. Or I would have a small number of equipment slots I could use at a time.

It shows up in a number of places. Off the top of my head, I can think of Deus Ex, Diablo and the first two Fallout games.
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Jlerpy wrote:
frumpish wrote:
Huh. I've never played a game where I had a grid I would fill with items. I'm guessing that is a PC game thing.

All my items have been stored in a list. Or I would have a small number of equipment slots I could use at a time.

It shows up in a number of places. Off the top of my head, I can think of Deus Ex, Diablo and the first two Fallout games.
I think the granddaddy of this type of inventory management is the Resident Evil (Core Series) series, starting in 1996. So it's definitely not a PC game specific thing.
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I want a backpack that holds other backpacks so I can stuff things into backpacks within backpacks and never run out of organized, functional space.

Or, as Seth said, MORE!
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This answers a slightly different question, but I strongly dislike having many items to track in a game. Things like Terraria and Minecraft, where there are hundreds of esoteric items, or loot-based games like Diablo or Borderlands; I prefer that every item in the game has a place. I don't like sitting around in games comparing stats of one item to another item, or shuffling things around from one space to another space. I want to get back into the action!
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A subquestion: how do you feel about earned abilities that expand your carrying capacity? Plenty of weight-based inventory management schemes index your capacity from your Strength, but I can only think of some that scale grid space. System Shock 2 doesn't use weight, but your inventory grid grows with your Strength.

Something I've never seen, but think would be interesting, is a skill system that fiddles with the inventory structure. For instance, the ability to stack more identical items into a space (10 scrolls instead of 5, for example), or being able to rotate items (so a 4x1 thing can become a 1x4 thing).
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Jythier wrote:
I want a backpack that holds other backpacks so I can stuff things into backpacks within backpacks and never run out of organized, functional space.

Or, as Seth said, MORE!

Is that a drive for organisation, or a drive for capacity? Do you just want to be able to arrange things exactly as you want, or do you just want to be able to carry everything that's not nailed down?
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Jlerpy wrote:
A subquestion: how do you feel about earned abilities that expand your carrying capacity? Plenty of weight-based inventory management schemes index your capacity from your Strength, but I can only think of some that scale grid space. System Shock 2 doesn't use weight, but your inventory grid grows with your Strength.

Something I've never seen, but think would be interesting, is a skill system that fiddles with the inventory structure. For instance, the ability to stack more identical items into a space (10 scrolls instead of 5, for example), or being able to rotate items (so a 4x1 thing can become a 1x4 thing).

I like inventory space being one of the things you can increase. That way it's a choice in advancement, and if there's one thing I love in my video games it's choices in advancement. Then I can decide whether my shiny eridium should go for more backpack space (yes) or more bullets (meh). And put points in STR/STA/CON to increase carrying capacity, etc.
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Jlerpy wrote:
Jythier wrote:
I want a backpack that holds other backpacks so I can stuff things into backpacks within backpacks and never run out of organized, functional space.

Or, as Seth said, MORE!

Is that a drive for organisation, or a drive for capacity? Do you just want to be able to arrange things exactly as you want, or do you just want to be able to carry everything that's not nailed down?

Carry everything, but what's the use if I can't find it when I need it?
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Jlerpy wrote:
JohnRayJr wrote:
paralipsis wrote:
I think the answer lies somewhere in the middle for me. Inventory limitations can be infuriating when poorly implemented, but can add a great deal of texture to a game if done right. When you can run around carrying every item in the universe, then a sword ceases to become a sword, but rather an equippable buff against enemy type X. Whereas if you have some limitations, then you start thinking more in terms of objects rather than just pure buffs, i.e. "Gee, this warhammer is great, but it weighs twice as much as my sword, and I'd have less loot carrying capacity. What to do?"

Yeah, that's kind of how I feel.

If the limitations are well-thought out, that can add a layer to the game. If they're not, it's just an annoyance. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is really bad about this. The inventory limit is generous, but not quite generous enough to save all the unique gear in your stash, and not quite generous enough to let you make fewer trips back to town to sell off all the loot you've picked up. So you can almost collect things, but not quite, and you can almost raid dungeons without worrying about running out of space, but not quite. Dumb.

So would you rather it were more generous (allowing you to collect things and get all the loot from a dungeon in one go) or less (demanding hard decisions often)?

For that game? More generous.
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