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Old September 7, 2016, 05:59   #1
t4nk
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Why does Angband sort inventory?

Start a human warrior. Your inventory looks like this:
a) a Ration of Food
b) a Potion of Berserk Strength
c) a Scroll of Word of Recall
d) a Wooden Torch (5000 turns)

Now, drop the potion. You know what happens; the scroll is quietly moved into slot 'b', and torch into slot 'c':
a) a Ration of Food
b) a Scroll of Word of Recall
c) a Wooden Torch (5000 turns)

But why? What is the purpose of it? As far as I can tell, this is an entirely negative thing, and just promotes the use of such an obscure feature as inscriptions and screws new players (who don't know how to use them). Go observe Dungeon Crawl's players (on online servers), pretty much no one uses inscriptions there, even though Crawl (AFAIK) also supports inscriptions. That's because Dungeon Crawl doesn't shuffle your inventory (you can do it manually, if you want).
Are there some positives that I'm missing? I don't see any.
(note, this is not something that can be changed in the ui, that's a "feature" of the core game, see calc_inventory())
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Old September 7, 2016, 07:05   #2
Ingwe Ingweron
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And why isn't it just as much a pain in the butt if it doesn't sort the inventory?
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Old September 7, 2016, 09:04   #3
t4nk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ingwe Ingweron View Post
And why isn't it just as much a pain in the butt if it doesn't sort the inventory?
Then players could just always type 'maa' to cast magic missile and never think about inscriptions. This is probably not very important for people with 1,053 posts on Angband's forums, but it's important for those who have never played Angband before. Maybe you don't care about them.
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Old September 7, 2016, 09:30   #4
the Invisible Stalker
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Larn (or Ularn) is a good point of comparison because it doesn't sort. When I'm playing Ularn I definitely find that useful at least some of the time, since I just remember where commonly used items are. I do sometimes find myself manually sorting my inventory though by dropping items in the sequence I want them sorted in and then picking them all up again. I don't do that often, but it makes it easier to find less commonly used items if all items of a given type are together in the list.

If I were going to change one thing about Angband's behaviour it would be sorting within objects of a given type. I find that annoying more often than I find it helpful.
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Old September 7, 2016, 11:00   #5
quarague
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I think if you want to have the benefits of no autosort you describe, you have to occasionally sort manually. Say your potions of Cure Light Wounds are on inventory position f. You run out, you back to town and buy new ones, they will not be at position f again. If you have autosort and the items on position a-e stay the same, the new CLW potions will automatically be at position f again.
If you want certain items to always be at the inventory slots without autosort you have to occasionally sort manually. With autosort items people tend to have in inventory permanently will usually stay in the same spot. This is how the autosort item ordering is determined, spell books are always first, so that they tend to stay in place. If you want that items always stay in place you can use inscriptions.
So if you are satisfied with items being usually in the same spot, autosort is very helpful. If you want items always in the same spot you have to sort manually either way.
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Old September 7, 2016, 16:45   #6
t4nk
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Quote:
If you want certain items to always be at the inventory slots without autosort you have to occasionally sort manually.
It's more of a issue of being able to reasonably safely use commands like 'maa' in a fight. With inventory sorting (and destruction) you can't do it, because your spellbook can get destroyed in a fight and then 'maa' will do something you don't expect (like, cast some entirely different spell). So, there is an ostensibly legitimate sequence of commands (press a "cast a spell" button, select a spell book, select a spell in it) that actually is just a noob trap. I think that's a really bad thing.
And manual sorting of inventory has the advantage of being a lot less obscure than inscriptions like '@m1@G1@P1' and what not. Manual sorting doesn't mean you have to sort the whole inventory. Just put some objects that you use often in certain slots, and leave others where they are.
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Old September 7, 2016, 21:55   #7
fph
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Most modern Diablo-like ARPGs have solved this problem with "quick-use slots" that are assigned to a hotkey and that you can fill with spells or objects. They work more or less like inscriptions but they are more user-friendly.
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Old September 7, 2016, 22:37   #8
Pete Mack
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I will also point out that when reviewing inventory, it really helps to have all the scrolls in one place, all the options in another. Same for books and wands/staffs.

Probably inscriptions should feature front and center in the angband help page on how to use commands, not hidden in the weeds. For things like escapes, casting, and healing, inscriptions are critical
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