The other day on rockpapershotgun, Alec Meer posted a rant on why he’s annoyed with inventories in RPGs. He believes that the character’s inventory is really just a loot bag.

Well, yes, that’s pretty much the case, especially in action/RPGs such as Diablo and Titan Quest. They’d hardly be interesting if there were few monster drops and/or treasure chests. One of the main points of games like that is picking up Neat Items.

Also, Diablo, et al., don’t have any sort of weight limit or encumbrance factor. Think how boring the game would become if you had to stop and return to town every minute or so, because you had room but weren’t strong enough to carry all that junk. Even without weight limits, frequent trips “back home” are usually necessary when an area proves rich in “good stuff”.

Alex finds this all very mechanical, and it certainly is. Your inventory is never big enough to hold everything you find. How could it be, when the game throws a lot of items your way? I’m going through this right now, replaying Diablo II.

A larger pack would be slightly helpful, but that would just lengthen the time between return trips by a small margin. Alex suggests having the portals connect directly to merchants, so you can sell your excess baggage quickly and get on with the game.

That’s an idea, but in reality, just as mechanical in its own way as zapping back to town to turn your junk into cash. All such a feature would provide is convenience, though convenience is always welcome.

Is there a solution to this? I don’t think so. Fewer items in action/RPGs would take away alot of the fun. Changing items into gold on the spot has been done already; I recall one of the Elder Scrolls (Morrowind?) had a spell to transmute equipment into cash. It was handy, but one does miss the shopping that goes with the selling.

I think that’s an important point. When inventories turn over with each visit, there’s always a chance of a Neat Item showing up in the store. Isn’t that why we’re selling stuff in the first place, to have cash to buy things? So those return trips may not be so bad after all.

Check out Alex’s post and see what you think.

Annoyed About RPG Inventories on rockpapershotgun