Inventorying inventory systems

Yeah, I think JE went a little too far with inventory simplification. It’s so streamlined I think of it more as an action-adventure than a “true” action-RPG. It’s got about as much character customization as, say, Devil May Cry.

I like finding spiffy new weapons n armorn shit. I like the sense of my characters growing more powerful as they acquire +5 Longswords of Legendary Awesomeness. I just dislike playing Ye Olde Medievale Janitore, who has to clear out every barrel and chest and loot every corpse to scrounge up every rusty dagger and stray copper coin - playing Inventory Tetris every step of the way - so I can haul it all to Ye Olde Pawne Shoppe. My solution would be: don’t get rid of loot, just drastically reduce the amount of it. Eliminate the trash; save the Good Stuff for quest rewards or boss fights; the rest of the time, just give players cold hard cash for smacking monsters open like gold-filled pinatas.

I don’t particularly like inventory, and would not miss its absence. I can’t think of too many games where rustling through my bag o’stuff looking for that specific magical piece of lint that I’ll be needing, or the rubber chicken with the pulley in the middle, or the sniper rifle with the super scope and armor-piercing bullets is located.

I like that Halo limits you to two weapons. I liked the recent Bard’s Tale, where you knew that the new weapon you came across was either better than what you were carrying (in which case you kept it, and ditched the old one) or worse than (in which case it was instantly converted to cash).

I don’t like Diablo’s/Titan Quest’s method of making your backpack a puzzle. And I absolutely hated Ultima 7’s bags, in fact I stopped playing mainly because of that. Well, that, and I got tired of hearing how hungry everyone was every ten minutes.

To me, there are three types of trash:

  1. Simulationist stuff that doesn’t hurt the game. Ultima 7 and Oblivion are the best examples of this. People have plates and forks sitting on their tables, and candles on their nightstands. You can steal it if you want to, but a) it’ll upset people, b) it’s wrong, and c) there’s no reason to, because it’s basically worthless.

  2. Simulationist stuff that does hurt the game. Fallout 3 is the worst example of this. Yes, all those rusty tin cans look atmospheric, but since I’m so damn resource poor all the time, I have to collect them like a fucking hobo. The combination of abundant nearly-worthless simulationist trash and resource scarcity is deadly.

  3. Non-simulationist stuff that hurts the game. Neverwinter Nights was a prime example of this – glad to see you’re keeping poison and +2 crossbow bolts in your drawer, random farmer dude who doesn’t even own a crossbow – but Oblivion’s dungeons were much the same, full of random level-determined pawngoods.

Actually, I have to hand it to Fallout 3 here – you could build that cannon that shot those useless trinkets you’ve been collecting back at your enemies, which always cracked me up. ‘Eat bent tin can, fleshy-headed mutant!’

“I’ll soon be plump!”

Man no love for old school U7 here in this thread! I loved every aspect of that game, including the inventory system. I don’t get why so many people take issue with inventories. That is a part of RPGs and Action games that I just love. That includes Diablo and TQ. I also like the systems that only use one slot per item regardless of size, but it doesn’t bother me 1 bit when it’s ‘tetris style’.

Don’t worry Spect, another Ultima 7 fan here. Go bags, go food system!

Mmmm Spect. And Ultima.
… Warren Spector, is that you???

I also kinda like most games which have inventory tetris, but not so much because of the actual rearranging but because the items have usually distinctive cool looking pictures for everything.
Just having a line with a tiny icon next to it is very unpersonal in comparison.
I loved Diablo’s icons.

I also kinds liked U7s inventory, because the bookkeeper in me rearranged everything into it’s own little bags and thingies.
And I remember when playing with the cheats enabled I’d run around with bags and boxes full of tapestrys, kitchen tables, fireplaces, moongates, cannons, portcullis, bridges, cavern walls, spiderwebs, living monsters, … you get the point, I guess. ;)


Like what? Forget companion control, forget the car, forget everything else - the single most useful change in Fallout 2 was making the inventory LIFO. Which it should have been the first time around.

One of the things that really drove me nuts about the Fallout 1 & 2 inventory system was the way it handled ammunition, where each individual firearm tracked its current ammo load separately. The “solution” was to manually load or unload each weapon, which was just tedious.

On the subject of inventory Tetris, there was that amusing retro demake S.T.A.C.K.E.R. which had some clever ideas about having the puzzle pieces affect the gameplay, some by having them remain on the board (e.g. equipment) and others when they were cleared (e.g. consumables).

  • Alan

The genius of U7 was that inventory organization was yours to do as you saw fit. IIRC you could dye the bags different colors to help out with that, no?

A died steaming pile of shit is still a steaming pile of shit.

There is no genius in the U7 inventory system. It was an exercise in pixel manipulation that was much worse than the bad inventory tetris games like Diablo 2 (or M&M 6). Keeping it clutter free was a tedious endeavor. Dealing with it for simple actions was a hassle (even if you off-loaded most of that work into periodic “and now I’m roleplaying someone with severe OCD!” time, something most people probably didn’t do because it was a huge hassle to do).

Can a steaming pile of shit die, if it’s never truly lived?

Not quite.

I thought the Ultima 7 inventory system was fantastic for UO. It added a lot during large scale pvp battles. I liked the fact that you could protect your gear via a puzzle of layering.

Ah yes, the old “booby-trapped boxes in the backpack” routine, with one “real” box leading to the next defensive inventory layer… I have a friend who used to impersonate NPCs (drab clothes, stilted movement) in order to sneak up on unsuspecting players and rifle through their packs.

  • Alan

I buried my regs and recall rune with about 50 death robes. I mostly used trapped pouches to break through paralyze once that was buffed. It’s been a long time since I have played. My UO guild quit when the private beta for Everquest started.

However my point is, that the inventory system allowed for this type of activity/customization.

There should be a literal inventory Tetris.

After fighting mini-bosses, the screen will light up with tetris blocks. You now have a timed game of tetris. Doing well will unlock higher tiers for the potential loot roll.

I prefer the loot you see dropping being the actual loot you receive. As you last longer / stack more things, you get better loot falling.

So…kinda like Puzzle Quest, then?

Bacteria, Zylon. Bacteria.