What happen with inventory management?

So I was playing death stranding sorting my inventory and I thought to myself when was the last game I played where I had to manage my inventory? Turns out it was the resident evil 2 remake, but it got me thinking and inventory management isn't that much of a thing in games these days even though I think more have inventory, but they set up the inventory in such a way that you don't have to manage it. You have a lot of games that give you a ton of space, Games that make the majority of items take up no space, or a newish form where your inventory is sub divided to keep items from having to fight each other for space.

Most games are trying to minimize inventory management and I can only think of a small amount trying to do new things with it. I had forgotten how much I like to manage a inventory.

One of the things that surprised me most about Red Dead Redemption 2 was how little time if any I had to spend managing inventories. Even before I upgraded satchels it was simple to find everything and I never felt bothered about what goes where or is there enough space, other than having to smoke the occasional premium cigarette to make room for more in pursuit of the cards.

Now I'm back to playing some Uncharted 4 on a Crushing run, and am pleased that the series has always been about "what you see is what you get" in terms of gear and weapons.

My facetious and sad answer is that The Best Friends split up before kickstarting Attache Case HD.

The real answer is that more and more, Game Designers are trusting in our ability less. They want to streamline everything to the point where you don't have to think of anything. The Simplification of Game Design is my true answer.

nomotog:
So I was playing death stranding sorting my inventory and I thought to myself when was the last game I played where I had to manage my inventory? Turns out it was the resident evil 2 remake, but it got me thinking and inventory management isn't that much of a thing in games these days even though I think more have inventory, but they set up the inventory in such a way that you don't have to manage it. You have a lot of games that give you a ton of space, Games that make the majority of items take up no space, or a newish form where your inventory is sub divided to keep items from having to fight each other for space.

Most games are trying to minimize inventory management and I can only think of a small amount trying to do new things with it. I had forgotten how much I like to manage a inventory.

Honestly, because inventory management is boring and pointless busy work that just pisses people off. Mass Effect, for example, jettisoning its inventory was a great decision because it was fucking infuriating.

It's alive and well in RPGs and any looting games. The problem is you hardly ever make important decisions with regards to inventory management so all it does is waste your time. Picking what 2 guns to carry in a shooter that only allows 2 guns at a time is more important decision making than inventory management in some super hardcore RPG. Loot systems don't give you any important choices either until endgame basically because until then you have to get rid of weapons (no matter how much the bonuses affect your build) for new weapons so your damage output keeps up with enemy health increases. There's a reason why a mod that allows you to level up your gear in Divinity 2 is one of the most popular mods because it allows you to keep gear with important bonuses (until you actually do find something better) and greatly reduces time wasted in inventory management. Inventory space doesn't even stop you from say selling all the garbage you pick up either because you can just go to a merchant, sell your full inventory, then go back to that same area to continue picking up garbage to sell. So that just does nothing but waste time too vs an actual money check on the player. Even in PnP games like DnD, GMs pretty much never have you manage your inventory because all it does is cause players to do way more unfun stuff than they need; instead of making me buy arrows and keep track of them, just give me a bit less gold then (implying I'm spending that to replenish spent ammo). God forbid being a spell caster and actually have to have all those spell materials on hand.

One of the few times inventory management can actually be important is in games with survival elements and only having so many resources on hand.

ObsidianJones:
The real answer is that more and more, Game Designers are trusting in our ability less. They want to streamline everything to the point where you don't have to think of anything. The Simplification of Game Design is my true answer.

Streamlining is good, not bad; it keeps everything important in the game while reducing busywork. Dumbing down is actually removing important things. As I just posted above, inventory management very rarely affords the player important decision making and is really not much more than unneeded homework.

I understand people's frustration with inventory management, but I still see it as a feature and not a flaw in most games. Determining what items or gear to have or how much open space to venture forth with can be strategic and a part of gameplay, not just busywork. Whether its a huge part of the gameplay, like RE 4 where space is very limited and the decisions are very important. Or its something like Skyrim, where space is far less limited but you occasionally run into problems until you realize you are somehow carrying 11 lbs of butterfly wings. Even when space is hugely unrealistic (like Skyrim) loadout before venturing forth is important. Will I need a dozen potions and several different weapons, or am I going out to stock up and need to travel light? I submit that if someone finds inventory management tedious, busywork, or unneeded... perhaps games with an inventory just aren't something they will enjoy and should just play something they do enjoy.

And yes, newer games do seem to be moving away from more active inventory management. Just look at something like Borderlands 3, much smaller inventory storage system and it becomes the largest complaint amongst players. I get it, but realized quickly all it was really doing is limiting me to carrying or storing things I would use as opposed to just keeping it because it was rare. Suddenly I was jumping into the multiplayer to give away legendary loot I wouldn't ever use (because just selling it seems like a waste) which is helping someone else as opposed to simple hoarding... feels pretty good actually. Now I can't wait until 2nd playthroughs for my characters so I can give away all my normal mode legendaries. Maybe I can time it to give them to folks who are waiting out the epic exclusivity... naa, I'll need the space before then. Maybe there will be an uptick in lower level players during a sale or something.

Although I somehow now have a hankering to start up another character in Skyrim...

Escape From Tarkov certainly has it, to the point where the playerbase has named the constant need to organize, modify and drop objects "Escape From Tetris".

People like it? I wanted to end myself sometimes while playing The Outer Worlds and having to deal with the atrocious inventory management system. I for one am glad for it's death, especially in regards to limits like weight and item limits.

Nothing beats the inventory management from RE4. It's essentially a mini-game unto itself, the kind where you partake if you feel like it and get rewarded for it, or you just ignore it and soldier on.

Diablo inventory management was also kinda fun, before that.

Resident Evil 2 Remake
Dead Space 2
Nier:Automata
Dragon's Crown
Odin's Sphere

Inventory management I neither loved nor hated, but it became a problem with some games.

I can't disagree with people not liking inventory management. Especially with the way some games use it. They just kind of throw it in where there is not much to it. I used death stranding as my example because it really dose a lot with inventory. There is, weight, bulk, balance, rain covers, straps, power skeletons, er cars. It's got a lot of factors to consider, so it's a very meaty mechanic. It made me wish we would see more games lean into the idea rather then minimize it. (Like if your going to use it use it.)

 

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