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Old February 10, 2009, 03:00   #1
Orillian
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Proposed inventory changes! Comments please!

I propose opening up the inventory slots, and allowing inventory to be governed solely by weight. Maybe back in the day a smaller inventory let things run faster, or some such, but it really does not help flavor wise when you can have a bunch of one item <stacks>, but not hold an extra sword due to your backpack being full.

I'm not 100% sure what the max potion stack is as I don't believe I've ever had so many of one potion that I've been told I couldn't stack them anymore, but it does strike me as odd, that the game mechanic over the years has changed to allow rod stacking etc, but still limits our inventory to a set number of slots. The newer shop inventory interface does allow a person to select an inventory item by scrolling the screen, I propose using that same mechanic with the personal inventory as well.

Now I understand some people might complain about this due to the fact that part of the FUN of Angband is trying to get the right kit, and crying about having to drop or sell some heavenly Artifact weapon, but overall I don't think this will change the game play all that much.

The Warrior class would get a bit of an inventory boost this way, but other classes like the mage will be a lot less capable of using this due to the greatly reduced strength.

Doing this could also give someone the chance or opportunity to go through the item weights and adjust some of the more ridiculous ones around as well. Stuff like rings weighing 0.2lbs, you know how BIG that thing would have to be .2 of a pound. WoW, talk about BLING!

Anyways, I'm interested to hear what others think of this, and why you would, or would not like this type of change.

O.
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Old February 10, 2009, 03:22   #2
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Sounds interesting, but it would have to be better, and not just different. The inventory system would have to make more sense than the current V system does. Just because you are strong enough to carry 99 different potions doesn't mean that it could realistically be done (without tossing them all into a "large sack"). I'd have to play it to give a solid opinion, but think such a radical change in winning strategy would probably warrant it's own variant.
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Old February 10, 2009, 04:01   #3
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I think it would be better, the current system adds a fair amount of frustration to the game, and while not completely removing that frustration I think it would reduce it, especially during the early game. it would also help divers, as it would allow a player to dive deeper without needing to return to the surface. At the end of the day...lower monster drop rates as well as the reduction in gold drops at higher levels this seems like a good time to start reworking the player inventory.

I'm not saying loose the backpack analogy, Just saying make it a tad stretchier when it comes to different items, stacks are getting better treatment.

As for the change being to MUCH for vanilla, I'm not so sure about that, I think Vanilla needs changes in certain areas to get rid of some of the tried and true. Frankly it's no greater a change then say adjusting the shop inventories or changing the Dlvl's for traps, each of those allow us to change our overall strategies, based on what we expect to find in the shop or when we expect to find a particularly nasty trap. Thus changing how we play the game.

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Old February 10, 2009, 04:02   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orillian View Post
I propose opening up the inventory slots, and allowing inventory to be governed solely by weight. Maybe back in the day a smaller inventory let things run faster, or some such, but it really does not help flavor wise when you can have a bunch of one item <stacks>, but not hold an extra sword due to your backpack being full.
Already considered this for Zaiband. (It's not outright rejected, but it is low priority as it requires a pervasive reorganization of the source code in exchange for the pleasure of dying from greedily loading up to -6. The pack has to come *after* the equipped items for this to work.)

The current default is about right through STR 18/30 or so.
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Old February 10, 2009, 09:11   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orillian View Post
As for the change being to MUCH for vanilla, I'm not so sure about that, I think Vanilla needs changes in certain areas to get rid of some of the tried and true. Frankly it's no greater a change then say adjusting the shop inventories or changing the Dlvl's for traps, each of those allow us to change our overall strategies, based on what we expect to find in the shop or when we expect to find a particularly nasty trap. Thus changing how we play the game.
I'd say it was a far greater change than pretty much anything I've done so far.
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Old February 10, 2009, 09:21   #6
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Originally Posted by takkaria View Post
I'd say it was a far greater change than pretty much anything I've done so far.
Agreed. It's a massive change both to code and gameplay. You'd need a compelling reason to do it.
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Old February 10, 2009, 09:58   #7
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I agree that the work needed to change the inventory system could be rather substantial, but I don't think it would affect "gameplay" as much as you might think.

If the items are properly balanced weight wise, you still won't see a fighter running around with a couple complete sets of gear. He might have an extra couple rods or a few more potions and maybe that extra weapon, but overall it won't be as big a factor. And if the current Strength vs total carry weight shows as being to much, the carry weight could simply be reduced.

Ya, I know not necessarily compelling in the sense of.. "this game is broken, in it's current form", but all in all I figure a change like this would help,

a) Improve the survivability of the early game, and if properly capped would not drastically affect the end game.

b) This would be a positive mechanic to improve the playability for new players. This is in fact my main reason for bringing this up. The one major complaint I get from friends I introduce to Angband, is the limited inventory. Many do not like the restrictions it puts on them, and they become frustrated with it.

Just out of curiosity: with Stat gains in the current versions do class and race have any affect on the max stats a player can get? I've not made it down to stat gain lvl's in 3.1.x yet, so I have not had a chance to see.

Thanks for the comments. I really was not looking at this change based on the code impact, and that is a valid aspect indeed. I'll have to go browse the source, when I have some spare time, to see how entrenched the current inventory system actually is.

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Old February 10, 2009, 14:06   #8
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Something else to keep in mind is that the most powerful magic items weigh almost nothing. Carrying a wide variety of very powerful rods, rings, and scrolls could make a player nearly invincible against any particular monster. Sure he may only be able to carry one extra set of armour, but cloud easily carry 50 different rings/wands/scrolls.
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Old February 10, 2009, 19:19   #9
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I'd like to see a variant with unlimited inv slots (albeit not enough to write it myself), but until such a variant is written and tested I am confident that this idea won't make it into V.
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Old February 10, 2009, 19:52   #10
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Maybe a comparison with NetHack would be useful:

Once you find a container in NetHack, such as a bag, your only inventory limitation is weight, and the traditional reason behind this is that persistent dungeons arrange things such that there are only a finite number of objects available to the player (there are ways around this, but it's beside the point).

In Angband you have the opposite situation: potentially infinite generation of objects, and so a greater drive to limit the player's options as to what may be carried.

As a result, with Nethack you can have many more object types at any one time, but with Angband you are faced with an environment of "plenty". In Nethack you adapt yourself to a variety of situations with a variety of gear (ascension kits notwithstanding), in Angband you face all situations with a "best case scenario" gear.

In short, limiting inventories by weight rather than slots would afford the player opportunities to make more creative tactical decisions because he would have a greater palette of gear at his fingertips. But in a game of plenty you run the risk of turning the game into an exercise of accumulation rather than tactics - Nethack is our best model of how to make accumulation both interesting and difficult, and that's not what we want for Angband.

Or can we call Angband a good model of a game of accumulation? I need to think on it more.
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