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Old March 23, 2009, 01:56   #1
Join Date: Dec 2007
Age: 42
Posts: 37
Orillian is on a distinguished road
Why is inventory management gospel??

This started out as a response to the "merging mage and priest books" thread and got a little carried away so I decided to post it out into it's own thread. :P

I actually find it unfortunate that so many of the people playing Angband lately are so hung up on the fact that "it's all about inventory management".

When in my experience inventory management is only a small factor in the game play. The ONLY time inventory management has ever been an issue for me is if I scum (I was under the impression that scumming is not the preferred practice by most.), I always go with the best items I find, and hope for good drops or the odd good item from the stores, but I play the game using the items I have, THAT'S what makes it fun, I NEVER scum for stat gains, I never scum for items and I go back to town only if I'm starting to get hungry or am almost dead. I will stay at a particular range of lvl's till I'm sure I can navigate the next range of lvl's but I do not expressly look for stat gain or artifacts, resistances or x hits..That stuff takes away from what makes Angband the adventure it's supposed to be. The game should not be about getting 6 hits, or getting an 18/100 in all your relevant stats, it should not be about hanging onto 100 of the best artifact items. The game should be about the adventure, about using what you have to get to the final confrontation. It would even be nice if you could have a bit of fun while doing that.

While I understand the changes I proposed regarding opening up the inventory may be hard to implement and thus would be a low priority when it comes to actual coding, they would reduce the need for player scumming and might actually get new players to the bottom of the dungeon without the need for it. Granted you will always have those people that HAVE to be the biggest and best they can before they get to the bottom of the dungeon but that does not change even with the current game design. I'm not saying my opening up of the inventory idea is the best option, but it illustrates why I think those types of change are relevant.

Now to make a small 360 regarding the above inventory idea. Since the latest 3.1.x releases I've also been finding my character inventories have generally been a lot lighter. I've had a lot of extra space lately, I'm guessing it has something to do with the drop rate changes. Now my best character has maxed at lvl 32, a dwarf priest, but even at his lvl I found his inventory on the lite side. Thus for me the above inventory changes "I" originally proposed loose some of their need.

If the adage for the game has changed to..

1. Dive
2. Find shit
3. Kill Morgoth

...maybe a serious look should be taken on ways to bring it back to the funner side. A lot of flavor has been taken out of the game lately and even more flavor is being placed on the chopping block, why? Are we trying to make this game the most un-fun dungeon crawl? Maybe amongst all the other changes, some serious though should be taken to find ways to make the game more fun, add some flavor, add some gracefulness back into the game to balance out whats been removed. Reduction in useless items has been a big thing lately.

In a game like angband you need useless items (or items that can't be used by the player) to clutter the floors of the dungeons. Of all the games that I play, due to the type of interface that angband has it is the least exciting game to look at, the dungeons are VERY sparse, due to the size of the overall dungeon + the rarity of clutter, and the general lack of creature populations per lvl. in the game, the dungeons are bare. Items that most people can leave on the ground are nice for flavor, bone piles, skeletons, broken jars, broken armor etc... unfortunately too many people are unhappy that they have to look at that stuff to see what it is. This I don't understand. In a game that had a true graphical interface this stuff would in most cases be drawn into the backgrounds to add detail and flavor, Angband can't do that.

Streamlining the game should be done in the interface, addition of graphical elements or more intuitive and more visible menus, less hiding of options and settings, make those things more transparent. We want new people to become interested in the core angband game, not turn it into a game only the diehards play. Options in the gameplay make the game replayable and exciting, things to look at make the game interesting and exciting, ease of use is paramount as well.


Any class with magic abilities automatically starts the game with an empty spellbook, one slot removed. Maybe make spellbooks found in the dungeon and even the beginning books become spell pages, if an "@" succeeds in reading the spell it gets transferred into their spellbook. if they fail they have to wait till the next time they find a genocide spell page and try again. you could even keep spellbooks, but have them contain a random selection of spells based on the level. read each spell and every one that succeeds goes into the mages spell book. The chance of success could be based still on the character lvl, thus some spells would need to be kept till you are high enough lvl to actually read them. In that manner your still managing inventory (for the diehards) and a mage class would have to decide which spell books/pages he wants to hang onto. As for other classes they could leave them on the floor of the dungeon.

Ok I'm done. enjoy!

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