Inventory Management Overview


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Post Monday, 25th May 2015, 14:48

Inventory Management Overview

The context:
Assuming all items can be useful for different situations (if not they shouldn't exist..), I believe it can safely be said that picking up most all item types, especially early on has advantages. There might be a slight drain of food clock (I don't find an issue at all currently) or a slight drain of god piety for the extra turns to pick up more items - but they don't amount to all that much as a penalty. When collecting an assortment of items, at least until mid-game and sometimes even later on, you don't know precisely what you might need later on and what you need also depends on what you find along the way.

Examples:
* You grab ammo early, then you come across a rocking ranged weapon.. you don't have to go all the way back up the dungeon running around with "stash tracker" to pick everything up. Yes, you can use search commands to find things you want, but I would find this to be the most tedious of all forms of "evaluating what you have to work with and compare".
* You grab multiple armour pieces, you're not sure if you're going to need light, medium or heavy armour until you see what spellbooks, weapons or other gear along the way.
* You grab items you mostly know you won't have any use for until much later on or for specific areas of the dungeon.

I think of items in two categories:
1) Combat set
This includes your best weapons, your worn armour with possibly a swap or two, the most critical scrolls such as (blink, teleport, recharging, etc.), potions such as (curing, heal wounds, haste, agility (maybe), might (maybe), berserker rage (maybe), magic (maybe).. etc. For wands, I generally only slot space for heal wounds, disintegration, digging (secondly), haste and maybe invisibility. Wands of fire, cold and lightning come in handy early for hydras or perhaps later on for element specific hell branch bosses. To make a longer story shorter, basically after I "trim" my inventory, I'm usually holding between 28-32 items in inventory. This leaves me about 20ish spaces free to pick up loot.
2) Utility items
Stuff you generally want to hang onto but that does not usually (or nearly as probably) affect your immediate chances of survival. This includes things like potions of cure mutation, mutation, all the excess piles of food (pizza, jerky, fruit, and the lesser of bread or meat rations), remove curse, identify (borderline combat set item), ammo if you think you might want to use it later, staffs if you might want them later, *spell books*... omg, who really wants to figure out what set of spells to memorize by typing in search each individual spell name to see if you have it available one at time..... Armour you want to keep but aren't ready for yet, enchant scrolls you want to save but not use yet, rings, amulets, any artefact which may mix and match better later on, etc. etc. etc. There really is *no* way all this stuff could fit in inventory with your combat set.

The issue:
So, I hate the 52 slot limit, but I understand that it would be too overpowered to have every item you ever found handy to use immediately or with a turn or so to swap to the perfect weapon type+brand per monster (and that's not really what I'd like to do normally anyhow.) On the other hand, I realize how much more effective my games are when I collect a more diverse set of loot and organize it. "The stash", as it would be referred to.... this is the solution. I can choose to not have a stash, and play sub-optimally but for me much of the game is chewing over what I've found and comparing it with my stats, skills, character type, race, and overall development. So, I usually make a stash in lair, then later move it to the hell vestibule. The interface is really clunky though, although you can select all of a certain type of item, you cannot view only a certain type of item on a single tile. So, rather than paging through tons of crap to find/compare what I have available (still better than individual manual searches), I make multiple piles on the ground by general mass pickup/drop type categories.

What bothers me is, I am forced to choose between either what I consider sub-optimal play (I usually go for 15 rune games with all bosses dead) to ignore items and leave them scattered all over the place where I cannot easily see/compare what I have and switch up my gear at strategic points (clearing a different branch for example) OR I've got to make these stashes. The stash also provides clear advantages when conserving scrolls of remove curse, because you can try stuff on in all equipment slots at once and go for removing multiple curses at a time, and in a safer location. I've found it's not generally smart to don heavy armour as-you-go... then a spawn in a still dangerous area catches you with your "pants down".

The problem with making the stashes are:
* If you want to keep your probability of success always high, you're always working with a buffer of about 20 slots of free space to pick up what are a lot more than 20 possible item/types. So you dive into a branch, and then blam.. you're full and you have to return to the stash to "unload". This is a constant break in what I consider the action of diving into a branch. I would much prefer to start a branch and be able to go start to finish without interruptions of "hauling crap back to stash".

* You can only drop all of a certain type (like all potions), but you cannot define without a lot of tedious inscribing to drop all except X,Y and Z (combat set items). So clearing those 20 items out of inventory at the stash becomes mostly a manual one at a time operation. To make matters worse (see above), it also requires moving around to the correct pile. This last issue could be solved fairly easily by adding a filter to the "get" command that screens out all items but of a certain type (not just select options.)

* Moving stashes from lair and also usually vaults to hell vestibule is just annoying. Even if you strip to the bone, if you have a hundred items (or more) you're looking at a few trips back and forth at least. Once stuff is in the hell vestibule, I don't mind the stash anymore because there are so many doors to it, and it's pretty central to all the end-game branches. The other factor which helps by late game is also of course that the number of items which become irrelevant to collect increases as your gear improves.

The problem even if you don't make a stash:
Your inventory fills up to 52 item types very easily. I recently tested this with a fighter, I set every spellbook, every staff, every item I consider mostly useless to no-pickup.. zero ammo, tossing out all wands but one or two and still, stuff I really wanted to save... nope, didn't fit. So what happens then... you manually try and figure out 2-5 items you can somehow get rid of or clear out, then that space fills up in no time at all. Because of the inventory sifting, manually dropping stuff - happening practically every minute or two, it just winds up annoying me even more than building a stash and dealing with the 20 item buffer and waypoint bounce-bounce every 5-10 minutes instead.

The proposals:
Once again I'd like to reiterate I think having every item you ever find always instantly available is too overpowered. I don't want to change the 52 items (instantly, or depending on type like wearing armour) available. This would also fall into the automatically rejected ideas pile, and I understand why. However, the tedium or forced sub optimal play style and decision making handicap of having a big mess all over the dungeon and the constant break in action to try to make room in inventory if only from auto-explore picking things up needs improvement from the standpoint that it would improve my game experience greatly, hugely.

1) Have two commands, "g" get, picks up an item (as normal) into the limited 52 space inventory as-is, normally. An alternate command "s" (or some key) for a "stash" command transfers the item to a larger bag. The difference would be that to either stash an item into the bag, or to take an item out of it would be that it takes more time to stash or retrieve an item out of the stash bag. This means, the stuff wouldn't be as easily available for critical combat situations. However, you could review all items in your stash bag (by type) to make longer term decisions without the tedium of making piles on the floor and making tons of round trips. I wouldn't change anything at all about leaving stuff on the ground, if it makes sense for someone for any reason, I would just add this new functionality. The super big bonus would be with the "\" command where you define what you want auto-explore to pickup or not, if it could toggle between auto-pickup or auto-stash by item type. Another alternate idea would be to have a new command where you define item types you want to push from your 52 space inventory into your stash bag with a "stash all" type of command. This would allow people to play as-is without a longer time delay stashing as they go with auto-explore, but let them get full.. try to find a nice safe hiding place, then press one button to take a longer period of time where you essentially button-push your inventory to split your "defined utility items" into stash bag (time based on quantity and/or type.)

2) If the above functionality is too good for everyone (being pessimistic about the response), how about a translocation spell which accomplishes roughly the same concept. A "magic chest", which resides in another dimension and you must cast to open the portal, it takes some magic and some time - again, not so easily combat-ready as your 52 space inventory. Let the character be vulnerable in the style of passwall or something while casting it for a minimum amount of time.

3) Abyss, Pandemonium and Zigs - they probably need to interfere with the concept to maintain balance. Just have it not operate in these locations.

Summary:
Some people might love playing a STR only character, holding one weapon and ignoring 80% or more of all items in the game if it doesn't fit into an extremely simple model. Fine, leave them alone, these changes don't have to affect them. For the rest of us who like the more complex dynamics and enjoy tinkering with hybrids and mixing and matching between larger sets of items, please give us a way to accomplish it in a less tedious manner, without removing the strategic aspect of needing to make decisions about what items are, or are not readily available at a moment's notice for use in an instant. I love dungeon crawl and I have a lot of experience playing it, thus why the lengthy and detailed post - because I very much would like to see my own greatest personal issue with the game improved.

If you read all this, I thank you for your time and consideration!

Best Regards,
-Svendre

Edit: I just recalled, there is a similar system in TOME, they call a transmog bag. It doesn't work exactly as my proposal, but it accomplishes roughly the same thing.. you can zoom through the game, then at the end of the branch - you pick out what you actually want to keep all at once and the rest gets discarded. Stuff in the transmog is not useable. Anyways, probably some of you at least have played TOME, it's a nice feature although I don't see that it makes perfect sense in Dungeon Crawl exactly as-is. It's not a bad point of reference for discussion on this subject however. I don't know any TOME players who do not simply love it. My guess is that it is liked from a memory/space conservation point of view as well, server-side.

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Berder

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Post Monday, 25th May 2015, 20:11

Re: Inventory Management Overview

Just want to say, please don't make stashes of multiple piles unless you're going for something purely visually pretty. The game already organizes every item on a tile into groups. There's a group for weapons then armor then food, scrolls, potions, etc. This is much more convenient than having to move to different piles.

I like the idea of a large bag that takes time to access, because it's the same thing as a stash but more convenient. It doesn't make the game easier, if it's disabled in Abyss and Pan.

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Post Monday, 25th May 2015, 20:30

Re: Inventory Management Overview

I'm in favor of a large bag that doesn't take more time to access (because if it takes time to access then you still have to spend real time organizing your inventory and deciding what items stay in the main inventory, which is non-fun). And it should absolutely still be accessible in pan and abyss, otherwise, again, you would have to spend time deciding what goes in the big bag vs the normal inventory.

Yes it would make the game a bit easier but that's hardly a problem. The game is not too easy.

In my experience, if you carefully choose what to drop, you hardly ever really miss having the dropped items. So functionally the current inventory size just forces you to spend annoying time dropping things, without in the end having an important effect on your character's strength.
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Post Monday, 25th May 2015, 20:51

Re: Inventory Management Overview

A slightly simplified mechanic, if you don't mind:
1) any tile can be a 'magic stash' and at the beginning of the game, it is the tile you start from
2) pressing 's' over an item transfers it to the magic stash (takes as much time as picking up the item)
3) you can press a button any time to conjure the magic stash, which takes about 10 turns
4) conjuring the magic stash simply lays all its items at your feet, and makes your tile the new magic stash
5) you can just leave the magic stash wherever you want, since monsters/jellies no longer affect items you've seen

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Sandman25

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Post Monday, 25th May 2015, 21:07

Re: Inventory Management Overview

Pollen_Golem wrote:A slightly simplified mechanic, if you don't mind:
1) any tile can be a 'magic stash' and at the beginning of the game, it is the tile you start from
2) pressing 's' over an item transfers it to the magic stash (takes as much time as picking up the item)
3) you can press a button any time to conjure the magic stash, which takes about 10 turns
4) conjuring the magic stash simply lays all its items at your feet, and makes your tile the new magic stash
5) you can just leave the magic stash wherever you want, since monsters/jellies no longer affect items you've seen

Counterpoint: Pressing 's' transfers the item to the magic stash instantly. Conjuring the magic stash is also instant. Picking up items from the magic stash is instant. Except you can't do that last one without making all item pickup be instant, therefore it has to be a magic bag, not a magic stash.

Why does it have to be instant?

  • Inventory management is an annoying, frequent interruption to the game, and not fun.
  • The most important task of a magic bag would be to virtually eliminate inventory management
  • If it takes time to retrieve items from the magic bag, then optimal play will still be to keep the same things in inventory that are kept now, for fast access.
  • Keeping only those items in inventory would require just as much inventory management as players have to do now. The only difference is they would be putting things into the magic bag instead of dropping them.
  • Therefore, if it takes time to retrieve items from the magic bag, the bag would fail at its most important task: eliminating the necessity of inventory management.
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Post Monday, 25th May 2015, 21:36

Re: Inventory Management Overview

If you make it instant, it becomes barely distinguishable from having infinite inventory space. You might as well argue for that, for clarity's sake.
Berder wrote:optimal play will still be to keep [things in inventory that are needed] for fast access

Well, yeah, the whole point of having limited inventory space is to make you choose stuff carefully, for cases where you need it quickly.

Berder wrote:The most important task of a magic bag would be to virtually eliminate inventory management...
...the bag would fail at its most important task: eliminating the necessity of inventory management.

OP (and myself) want not to get rid of inventory management completely, but just to make stash management easier.
Our proposals simply make an alternative to hauling "slow-access" things from across the dungeon to a neat little pile.

P.S. I'd like to offer a potential amendment:
2, b) pressing 's' in the description screen of an item drops it onto the magic stash tile (takes as much time as dropping it on the floor)

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Post Monday, 25th May 2015, 21:41

Re: Inventory Management Overview

It's probably better to create a new thread if you want to remove item limits. No point in conflating the two issues. From what I gather, the proposal here is less radical, basically aims to reduce tedium rather than mess with the inventory mechanism.

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Post Monday, 25th May 2015, 21:43

Re: Inventory Management Overview

Pollen_Golem wrote:If you make it instant, it becomes barely distinguishable from having infinite inventory space. You might as well argue for that, for clarity's sake.

Yes, it's like an infinite inventory. The only distinction between your main inventory and the magic bag would be that the main inventory can be accessed with a-zA-Z. It's purely about the interface.

OP (and myself) want not to get rid of inventory management completely, but just to make stash management easier.

Stash management is already completely easy and hardly interrupts the game at all. Just drop items wherever you want, then use ctrl-f to find them. It's only tedious if you want to actually build a stash, which is pointless.

bel wrote:It's probably better to create a new thread if you want to remove item limits. No point in conflating the two issues. From what I gather, the proposal here is less radical, basically aims to reduce tedium rather than mess with the inventory mechanism.

OP did not actually specify any amounts of time for transferring items to the magic bag. Having it take zero time is actually entirely consistent with what OP has so far said, and ideal.
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Post Monday, 25th May 2015, 21:51

Re: Inventory Management Overview

Berder wrote:OP did not actually specify any amounts of time for transferring items to the magic bag. Having it take zero time is actually entirely consistent with what OP has so far said, and ideal.

svendre wrote:The difference would be that to either stash an item into the bag, or to take an item out of it would be that it takes more time to stash or retrieve an item out of the stash bag...I don't want to change the 52 items (instantly, or depending on type like wearing armour) available.


OP was very long, don't blame you for missing it :P

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Post Monday, 25th May 2015, 21:52

Re: Inventory Management Overview

Alright. In that case, the idea is pointless as stated since stash management is not a problem whatsoever. Inventory management is the problem, and if the magic bag takes time to take things out of, it does not solve that problem.
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Post Monday, 25th May 2015, 21:59

Re: Inventory Management Overview

My feeling is the same. I don't think stash management is tedious. Just drop whatever, and access it later with ctrl-F. I don't find the reasons listed in OP too convincing. For example stashes and remove curse scrolls are a very strange case: there is plenty of rc in the game, except the very early game, where item limits are not a problem.
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Post Monday, 25th May 2015, 22:04

Re: Inventory Management Overview

OP described some of the benefits and challenges of making a stash:
svendre wrote:Yes, you can use search commands to find things you want, but I would find this to be the most tedious of all forms of "evaluating what you have to work with and compare".

*spell books*... omg, who really wants to figure out what set of spells to memorize by typing in search each individual spell name to see if you have it available one at time.....

On the other hand, I realize how much more effective my games are when I collect a more diverse set of loot and organize it.

So, rather than paging through tons of crap to find/compare what I have available (still better than individual manual searches), I make multiple piles on the ground by general mass pickup/drop type categories.

I am forced to choose between either what I consider sub-optimal play (I usually go for 15 rune games with all bosses dead) to ignore items and leave them scattered all over the place where I cannot easily see/compare what I have and switch up my gear at strategic points (clearing a different branch for example) OR I've got to make these stashes.

The stash also provides clear advantages when conserving scrolls of remove curse, because you can try stuff on in all equipment slots at once and go for removing multiple curses at a time, and in a safer location.

So you dive into a branch, and then blam.. you're full and you have to return to the stash to "unload".

Moving stashes ... is just annoying. Even if you strip to the bone, if you have a hundred items (or more) you're looking at a few trips back and forth at least.

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Post Monday, 25th May 2015, 22:08

Re: Inventory Management Overview

I would love a command/spell to warp an item back to the nearest dungeon staircase. For Example, get a staff of air on snake2? Item warp it back to the lair entrance. Make it a lvl 1/2 translocation spell. It'll be grand.
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Post Monday, 25th May 2015, 22:25

Re: Inventory Management Overview

svendre wrote:This last issue could be solved fairly easily by adding a filter to the "get" command that screens out all items but of a certain type (not just select options.)

I'm not sure what this means. However, I think it's possible to organize a list of items you're interested while keeping them dispersed throughout the dungeon - a kind of virtual stash. Make a macro that inscribes "mystash" and use it on potentially useful items you don't need yet. Then use ^F "armor", filtering out anything that doesn't have the mystash inscription. Is there a way to do that?

That would be too tedious to use on ammo, so don't inscribe it. If you decide to pick up slings, you could just make a macro "^F bullet a Enter". Macro, g, macro, g, macro, g, until you have all the bullets in the game. That would be greatly inefficient, though. If, say, the only bullets left are on L:1, D:2, and Slime:6, the game will take you first to L:1, then to D:2, then to Slime:6. I've never done anything like this, so maybe Berder can tell us how easy it is.

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Post Tuesday, 26th May 2015, 01:26

Re: Inventory Management Overview

edgefigaro wrote:I would love a command/spell to warp an item back to the nearest dungeon staircase. For Example, get a staff of air on snake2? Item warp it back to the lair entrance. Make it a lvl 1/2 translocation spell. It'll be grand.

I cast *Warp Item* on the *Orb of Zot*.
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Post Tuesday, 26th May 2015, 01:28

Re: Inventory Management Overview

A level 1 tloc spell already works on the Orb of Zot. Both start the orb run.

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Post Tuesday, 26th May 2015, 03:25

Re: Inventory Management Overview

PleasingFungus wrote:
edgefigaro wrote:I would love a command/spell to warp an item back to the nearest dungeon staircase. For Example, get a staff of air on snake2? Item warp it back to the lair entrance. Make it a lvl 1/2 translocation spell. It'll be grand.

I cast *Warp Item* on the *Orb of Zot*.
I mean, this isn't really much better than apporting it...

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Post Tuesday, 26th May 2015, 04:45

Re: Inventory Management Overview

Berder, I feel like you're doing the "perfect is the enemy of the good" sort of derailment that's common on this forum. It's like when someone makes a suggestion that would make the hunger system less annoying and people start arguing about removing hunger instead. Sure, maybe the suggestion here wouldn't affect your particular style, but I don't see why you should argue against a suggestion that would add convenience for the way a lot of people play just because you'd prefer something more extreme.

Anyway, while you may not find the "stash bag' suggestion convenient, but personally, it would be hugely useful for me. My problem with stashes isn't the time spent "managing" them (as others have said, just leave everything where you find it and ctrl+F later), it's the time spent autotraveling to sometimes deep corners of distant branches when I want to actually get something, which is usually interrupted frequently by trivial encounters and sometimes hunger. If I find a nice weapon or armour deep in the depths and want to use any enchant scrolls I have lying around on it, and those enchant scrolls happen to be in Snake 3, Crypts 2, and Lair 7, it's a big pain to go gather them up. Maybe there's a way to avoid this issue that I'm unaware of, but for me it's a big pain and the stash bag idea would solve it.

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Post Tuesday, 26th May 2015, 05:45

Re: Inventory Management Overview

Just had another idea, functionally similar but less dreadful for flavor: instead of a strange, portable bag, have the dungeons littered with one-tile "safekeeping areas", at least as frequently as shops and preferably near branch connections. Dropping an item on the tile makes it available to pick up on any other "safekeeping area". Picking things up from the tile makes them unavailable at all the other "safekeeping areas". (Trivia: in Diablo Hellfire expansion this was a way to transfer items between single-player characters, one item at a time. :roll: It was called a cornerstone of the earth there.)

Berder wrote: The only distinction ... would be that the main inventory can be accessed with a-zA-Z. It's purely about the interface.

In the infinite inventory system, potions and scrolls would be excluded from the a-zA-Z since they'd have their own menus through q and r. Just saying.
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Post Tuesday, 26th May 2015, 09:52

Re: Inventory Management Overview

Quazifuji wrote:Berder, I feel like you're doing the "perfect is the enemy of the good" sort of derailment that's common on this forum. It's like when someone makes a suggestion that would make the hunger system less annoying and people start arguing about removing hunger instead.

We should remove hunger!

But seriously, I think Berder has a point, miraculously enough. Crawl already has a virtually painless stash system, and with the recent removal of jellies eating items, every item you've seen will stay exactly where you found it for the entirety of your game. Most of the solutions here don't really do anything to improve meaningfully upon that, they're either just a) functionally removing inventory limits, which I have no real opinion on, or b) adding complicated mechanics like "safekeeping areas" which just add a bunch of code to the game only to shift some of the time spent around.

Honestly, and you can feel free to hate me for this, but seriously the only thing wrong with the current stash system is what you just pointed out: you get interrupted by hunger or by spawning monsters. If you remove those things (lol), you'd get rid of a huge portion of the time wasted when you're grabbing things around the dungeon. I'm really sorry if this is "perfect is the enemy of the good" derailing, but it does seem like the root cause of the problem here, to me.

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Post Tuesday, 26th May 2015, 10:24

Re: Inventory Management Overview

I think it'd be best if items disappear when left on the ground for a while (artefacts exempted, of course).

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Post Tuesday, 26th May 2015, 10:29

Re: Inventory Management Overview

What if they disappeared after your left the level? Immediately would probably be the "cleanest" solution, but I feel like giving it a 10-100 turns timer would be better for immersion. You can also spawn a bunch of jellies for that purpose (Jiyva would still be distinct by spawning jellies on the level you haven't left yet)! Wait, no, bad idea, travel interrupts. Also entering a timed portal (or any portal) probably shouldn't trigger that.

The more I am thinking of this idea the more I'm liking it.

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Post Tuesday, 26th May 2015, 12:53

Re: Inventory Management Overview

More options for teleporting items is the best idea ITT. A spell that can teleport items to waypoints would be pretty sweet, for example. Just give it some minimum range so it doesn't conflict with the function of apportation. Place obvious restrictions for the orb of zot etc.
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Post Tuesday, 26th May 2015, 13:58

Re: Inventory Management Overview

dpeg wrote:I think it'd be best if items disappear when left on the ground for a while (artefacts exempted, of course).


I think it should be combined with decreasing inventory limit. Currently all characters have almost identical inventory, for example everyone has fan, phial, lamp, might etc. Of course it means strategical items like enchant armour/weapon should not take inventory slot, there is no any decision involved in having them in inventory.

PS. This post does not contain sarcasm.

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Post Tuesday, 26th May 2015, 14:09

Re: Inventory Management Overview

dpeg wrote:I think it'd be best if items disappear when left on the ground for a while (artefacts exempted, of course).


Wouldn't this encourage players to pick up all strategic items, drop them, then pick them up again before the disappearance clock ran out? In that case, management becomes a lot worse.

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Post Tuesday, 26th May 2015, 14:15

Re: Inventory Management Overview

dpeg wrote:I think it'd be best if items disappear when left on the ground for a while (artefacts exempted, of course).

Are you serious? I'm not sure if you're serious or not. I don't think it's a good idea.

This would only exacerbate the inventory management problem since you'd be forced to carry around enchant weapon, enchant armour, books, cure mutation, dragon hides you plan to use later, silver ammo that you don't need until zot, etc. It would be like reducing everybody's inventory size by 10. It would force everyone to spend far more time agonizing over what to drop - even worse since what they drop is gone forever.

I usually walk around with 1-3 slots open, or sometimes none, and don't like the frequent interruptions when I can't pick up an item and have to page through my inventory to decide on what to drop. 52 slots is not enough and you're proposing effectively reducing that even further in a way that harms mages disproportionately. Not solving any problems.
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Post Tuesday, 26th May 2015, 14:23

Re: Inventory Management Overview

I am not sure about dpeg being serious either but it solves main problem IMHO: when you reach slot limit, you disable autopickup for less important items and never change it unless you got a free slot. It would also speed up game.
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Post Tuesday, 26th May 2015, 14:36

Re: Inventory Management Overview

dpeg wrote:I think it'd be best if items disappear when left on the ground for a while (artefacts exempted, of course).

Having spellbooks in particular vanish after being discovered would make me pretty sad in a lot of games. "Oh look, it's the Book of Clouds on L:1! Yeah, I'd like to learn Tornado someday maybe..."

I'm not saying that items intended for deferred usage are good design, but Crawl has a lot of them. Berder has a lot of good examples. I think items fall into three classes:

* Stuff I can use now (!HW, !Might, some weapons, some armour, most wands, some books, food)
* Stuff I know I will never use (most weapons, most armour, some books)
* Stuff I may use later depending on what happens in the dungeon (maybe ?enchant, ?branding, some weapons, hides, most books)

Anyhow, if this change were to go in, I don't think artefacts should be excepted anyhow. They fall into those three categories in the same proportions as everything else.
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Post Tuesday, 26th May 2015, 14:40

Re: Inventory Management Overview

By the way "destroy everything on floor after leaving current level" would be a nice nerf of stair dancing. Maybe too cruel though so it can be destroy 33% items after first exit with monsters in LoS, 50% of remaining items after second exit with monsters in LoS, 100% items after third exit with monsters in LoS, Entering deeper level (or returning to previous level for fourth time) destroys 100% items no matter if there are monsters in LoS . So you can still explore unvisited upstairs without any penalty.
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Post Tuesday, 26th May 2015, 14:51

Re: Inventory Management Overview

Berder wrote:This would only exacerbate the inventory management problem since you'd be forced to carry around enchant weapon, enchant armour, books, cure mutation, dragon hides you plan to use later, silver ammo that you don't need until zot, etc. It would be like reducing everybody's inventory size by 10. It would force everyone to spend far more time agonizing over what to drop - even worse since what they drop is gone forever.

Well, clearly if the devs instituted a change like this, you could also pretty easily tweak what kinds of items exist in the first place. I remember at one point, dpeg and others occasionally brought up the reformation of strategic consumables, replacing scrolls of enchant foo and recharging, etc., with, say, shrines or altars or magic fountains. It's definitely the sort of big paradigm shift that would merit a complete rethinking of crawl's item management system, unless it was just intended as a straight nerf, which really doesn't seem like something anybody really wants to do (unless I'm completely misunderstanding the proposal).

But that said, if items went away after you left a level, it would chip away at the reasons we have persistent levels in the first place, and while I bet crate would cheer anything that moved toward eliminating crawl's stair problems, it seems like a slippery slope toward a big architectural change. I wouldn't personally be in favor, but if the devs decided to go that way, I'd be really interested to see how it developed.
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Post Tuesday, 26th May 2015, 15:16

Re: Inventory Management Overview

Sandman25 wrote:PS. This post does not contain sarcasm.

Just put that in you signature. ;)
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Post Tuesday, 26th May 2015, 17:11

Re: Inventory Management Overview

svendre wrote:Examples:
* You grab ammo early, then you come across a rocking ranged weapon.. you don't have to go all the way back up the dungeon running around with "stash tracker" to pick everything up.


Since autoexplore now automatically picks up anything stackable you carry, obtaining leftover stackable ammo is much easier.
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Post Tuesday, 26th May 2015, 17:26

Re: Inventory Management Overview

I think 'items left behind vanish' be a really interesting idea for a variant (Crawl [Angel Of] Light [Travel]?), but I think it probably strays too far from what Crawl is, as archaeo said. (As with many things, the main problem boils down to 'crawl is too long for the idea to make sense' - that's something that would make more sense to change in a forked Crawl.)
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Post Tuesday, 26th May 2015, 17:32

Re: Inventory Management Overview

@XuaXua: Even if autoexplore did not automatically pick up anything stackable you carry, it's easy enough to press \( on turn 1. Problem is that you need up to about 15 inventory spaces to carry all the arrows/bolts/bullets the game can generate (though of course you'd drop off the rarer ammos at a stash)

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Post Tuesday, 26th May 2015, 20:49

Re: Inventory Management Overview

PleasingFungus: Yeah, you are absolutely correct on that one. It's an idea that'll work pretty well in some games, but it's definitely not worth it to wrap Crawl around it. Just thought I'd throw it out to show people what radical thinking can lead to.

Sometimes I wonder why those lazy devs shrink the game so half-assedly! There are even orange types who said that further Lair branch cuts may not be necessary!!

:)

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Post Tuesday, 26th May 2015, 20:53

Re: Inventory Management Overview

dpeg wrote:Just thought I'd throw it out to show people what radical thinking can lead to.


If you wanted to scare us, it didn't work, at least for me. I am disappointed we will continue having almost identical inventory items for characters. It is boring to use the same items with all characters :(

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Post Tuesday, 26th May 2015, 21:11

Re: Inventory Management Overview

Sandman25 wrote:I am disappointed we will continue having almost identical inventory items for characters. It is boring to use the same items with all characters :(

Wouldn't we still use the same items with all characters, just less of them?

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Post Tuesday, 26th May 2015, 21:48

Re: Inventory Management Overview

Wahaha wrote:
Sandman25 wrote:I am disappointed we will continue having almost identical inventory items for characters. It is boring to use the same items with all characters :(

Wouldn't we still use the same items with all characters, just less of them?


You mean every character would use scroll of blinking, right? I noticed that I don't bother with rods/wands/evocables with my hunters because I need those item slots for ammo, I would like to have such situations happen more often.

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Post Tuesday, 26th May 2015, 22:18

Re: Inventory Management Overview

Sandman25 wrote:
dpeg wrote:Just thought I'd throw it out to show people what radical thinking can lead to.

If you wanted to scare us, it didn't work, at least for me. I am disappointed we will continue having almost identical inventory items for characters. It is boring to use the same items with all characters :(
No, not about scaring. I do think it's a decent idea, just not to slap on a big game like Crawl.

Limited inventories are a potential source of decisions. That's currently not very well developed, but you can see traces in portal vaults or the Abyss. (Portalvaulting the game would be another approach, by the way.)

I don't think that being able to carry and use everything and always is a good idea, ever. The interface pain from looking at really long lists of items would hurt more than whatever trouble you have right now fetching the EA scrolls from all over the dungeon. In other words, I am convinced that unlimited inventories are the most lazy solution and would always oppose it. When push comes to shove, I'd rather advise that dropping items destroys them.

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Post Tuesday, 26th May 2015, 22:51

Re: Inventory Management Overview

dpeg wrote:I don't think that being able to carry and use everything and always is a good idea, ever.
I'm pretty sure the whole point of the "large bag" idea is that this is already effectively the case in Crawl.

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Post Tuesday, 26th May 2015, 23:21

Re: Inventory Management Overview

dpeg wrote:unlimited inventories are the most lazy solution and I would always oppose it

What would you say about the other solutions that only make it easier to keep a single stash?

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Post Tuesday, 26th May 2015, 23:54

Re: Inventory Management Overview

dpeg wrote:I don't think that being able to carry and use everything and always is a good idea, ever. The interface pain from looking at really long lists of items would hurt more than whatever trouble you have right now fetching the EA scrolls from all over the dungeon.

You're comparing the wrong thing. You should compare the interface pain from looking at long lists of items to the interface pain of having to stop multiple times per level to decide what you're going to drop since your too-small inventory is full.
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Post Wednesday, 27th May 2015, 06:11

Re: Inventory Management Overview

Berder wrote:having to stop multiple times per level to decide what you're going to drop since your too-small inventory is full.

But Berder, why would you keep stopping? You can just drop anything you're not going to use in the next fight. Surely you don't need 52 items to win a skirmish, so just drop everything else. You can return to whatever you need at any time, because
Berder wrote:Stash management is already completely easy and hardly interrupts the game at all.

:?

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Post Wednesday, 27th May 2015, 06:47

Re: Inventory Management Overview

Pollen_Golem, the next "skirmish" might be a far more dangerous fight than you counted on, and you can't predict what you'll need for it. You may not have a chance to retreat to your stash. Anybody who is not keeping their inventory nearly packed is ignoring many potentially useful items, and is not playing as well as they could.
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Post Wednesday, 27th May 2015, 09:24

Re: Inventory Management Overview

archaeo wrote:Well, clearly if the devs instituted a change like this, you could also pretty easily tweak what kinds of items exist in the first place. I remember at one point, dpeg and others occasionally brought up the reformation of strategic consumables, replacing scrolls of enchant foo and recharging, etc., with, say, shrines or altars or magic fountains. It's definitely the sort of big paradigm shift that would merit a complete rethinking of crawl's item management system, unless it was just intended as a straight nerf, which really doesn't seem like something anybody really wants to do (unless I'm completely misunderstanding the proposal).


The more I think about it, the more I think strategic item reform is the real solution here. I feel like about 75% of the time I have to go hunting all over the dungeon with ctrl+f I'm looking for either enchant scrolls, cure mutation potions, or spellbooks. If none of those took up inventory space, that would hugely reduce the amount of backtracking for items involved in any given game. And a good portion of the remaining 25% is hunting down shops for items I couldn't afford earlier, which is a case that obviously won't be solved by any inventory reform and arguably isn't a problem in the first place. There are some remaining cases (hunting down specialized gear I overlooked before doing a branch with specific requirements, seeing if I have a good shield somewhere after finding an amazing 1-hander, etc), but they're rare enough to not be an issue.

Basically, a huge portion of my stashing woes (not all inventory management, but at least backtracking) would be solved if books and strategic consumables no longer took up inventory space. I see two ways to implement this:

1. Strategic items occupy a separate, infinite inventory and don't count towards your 52 item slots. To make things less confusing, it would probably be best to turn all strategic scrolls and potions into some new category of item (say "glyphs" or something), so all potions and scrolls could remain as regular inventory items while the new strategic type would go in its own special bag. Books would also go there.

Downside: Confusing for new players to have two different inventories, and books are technically a tactical item for Trog worshipers.

2. Strategic items are consumed immediately upon pickup/use (or are replaced with shrines so it's not confusing to have an item that isn't obtained when picked up), and essentially grant a stored version of their effect. So picking up/using an enchant weapon scroll gives you a charge of enchant weapon, and you can use that charge (maybe from the a menu?) to add a bonus to a weapon. Books could simply disappear and have their contents permanently added to your M menu.

Downside: Arguably clunkier than option 1 while giving the same effect (but means there's only 1 inventory). Books could no longer be destroyed to forget spells (and if books are consumed on pickup instead of use, could no longer be burned by Trog worshipers). M menu could get cluttered with spells you don't care about.

Personally, I think option 1 would be a lovely improvement to the game.

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Post Wednesday, 27th May 2015, 15:27

Re: Inventory Management Overview

The way I see it there are three possible objections to an infinite inventory, two of which dpeg has mentioned.
  • Infinite inventory would change the game balance too much
  • Infinite inventory would result in awkwardly large inventory sizes
  • Infinite inventory would result in problems referring to items, since not all items can be given a letter a-zA-Z.
And there is one really good reason to do an infinite inventory:
  • size-52 or smaller inventory results in a packed inventory with good play, which means you have to page through your inventory multiple times per level to choose what to drop, which is annoying

I think the objections to an infinite inventory are either meritless or can be solved, and do not outweigh the advantage.

Would infinite inventory change game balance too much? Now that there's no benefit to hauling around many elemental evocables, I think game balance would not change too much. Players are currently able to carry around nearly all the nice things they need, so adding an infinite inventory would not change that very much. Instead what it would do is allow players to carry around some more items of marginal usefulness, such as all the attack wands and ammo types, that would rarely get used and would therefore not impact game balance too much.

Would infinite inventory result in an awkwardly large inventory size? I have several points in response to this.
  • In practice, infinite inventory means you'd go from inventory size 52 to maybe size 70. I don't think I'd carry more than approx 70 items, if my inventory was infinite. So it's not that much of a change - in the area of 35% larger inventory, 35% more items to page through.
  • 35% larger inventory would be a net hassle reduction and result in less paging through inventory in total, because of not having to keep dropping things.
  • This is something that would have to be tested to see how large the inventory really would get.
  • If the tests show that inventory sizes do become too large in practice, the game could have an "inventory chokepoint" at certain places in the game where the tests show inventory size first becomes a problem, such as the vaults entrance (maybe other branch entrances too). To pass this chokepoint you have to reduce your inventory size to a reasonable size such as 70. This could be explained as the vaults entrance being very narrow and twisty so the cart of items you're hauling around can't fit through it fully loaded. It would just mean you drop all the books, wands of flame, scrolls of enchant armour, etc that are almost useless to carry.
    • The advantage of an inventory chokepoint over the current system of simply limiting inventory, is that the item dropping happens only once in a long time, instead of multiple times per level.
    • Would players have an incentive to ferry items through the inventory chokepoint anyway? That would be perfectly possible, but I don't think players would do it, because: if the chokepoint is at 70 items then the stuff over that is stuff that's just about useless to carry (wands of flame, scrolls of enchant armour, etc). The chokepoint is really just a friendly reminder to drop your junk, not something that actually weakens your character.

What about referring to items now that you can't refer to them by a-zA-Z? This is solvable in at least two ways, each with their own merits.
  • One solution: have the excess inventory be in a cart, which has to be transferred to the main inventory to use. This transfer doesn't take any game time, so that there's no tactical difference between main inventory and the cart, which is important. If the transfer took time, then optimal play would be to spend just as much time as is spent now, fiddling with the inventory to pack the best items into the main 52-limit inventory, defeating the point.
  • Second solution: give potions, scrolls, jewelry, etc. their own namespaces that can each be a-zA-Z. When looking at the whole inventory, letters are not permanently assigned, so it's like the memorize spell screen when you have more than 52 spells available. This works.
  • One advantage of the cart solution over the separate-namespace solution is that the main inventory ends up with the 52 most-used items. This means that you won't usually need to page through more items than you do now.
  • A second advantage of the cart solution is that it would likely be simpler to implement, since it wouldn't change the current ways to refer to items at all.
  • The advantage of the separate-namespace solution over the cart solution is that it requires the player to manage it less.
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Post Wednesday, 27th May 2015, 16:06

Re: Inventory Management Overview

I think the large, slow-to-access bag is better than what we have now. If strategic consumables/books become non-items, I genuinely like dpeg's thought experiment and would choose it over either the bag or the status quo.
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Post Wednesday, 27th May 2015, 17:47

Re: Inventory Management Overview

svendre wrote:A "magic chest", which resides in another dimension and you must cast to open the portal

By the way, this and similar proposals are no stranger than the weird, magic ways that staircases work.

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Post Wednesday, 27th May 2015, 17:53

Re: Inventory Management Overview

Berder wrote:I think the objections to an infinite inventory are either meritless or can be solved, and do not outweigh the advantage.

I disagree with every single point you made here. I encounter limitations on what I can carry vs what I want to carry in every single game I play, I am forced to make some kind of sacrifice.

Increasing my inventory limit in any fashion decisively and significantly increases my available power level for every fight after the point I would be full.

Any infinite inventory system is plagued with interface nightmares, decreasing my enjoyment of the game (even if the solution has no tactical impact) I don't want to spend tons of real life time moving things to and from a cart. (Have you ever played nethack? After a point you spend tons of time just moving things in and out of your bag of holding, it is awful)
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Post Wednesday, 27th May 2015, 18:10

Re: Inventory Management Overview

who actually played oblivion, skyrim, fallout etc. and was like "fuck yeah inventory management!!!"

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