The inventory management game

When popping my head back into Everquest 2 this last week I was reminded just how generous (or excessive) the amount of inventory and bank space a given character can have. I can sometimes find a kind of calm in sorting bags, swapping crafting materials between alts or selling unwanted items on the broker. Other times though I just want to get on with quests and ignore the piles of random stuff that quickly accumulate.

EQ2_000561

Everquest 2 does rather take it to an extreme though: very generous bags sizes, a bank and house vault per character and that’s not counting guild storage. Compared to most MMOs, especially free to play MMOs that monetize the pain of limited bag space (e.g. Allods), EQ2 is the game where a lack of inventory management can get so out of hand. LOTRO, by contrast, was always pretty stingy with bag space. Inventory space was static for years after launch before finally adding a sixth bag and the option to increase the total inventory size somewhat.

Sixth bag and expanded first bag

Sixth bag and expanded first bag in LOTRO

In any game I generally limit inventory busy-work to using alts to store materials aligned to their profession (ore for smiths, gems for a jeweller etc) or class-specific items like armour or weapons. In LOTRO, more than other MMO, I’ve managed to be pretty systematic about this for crafting materials, legendary items and class gear. My highest level SWTOR alts all have very messy banks by contrast, I’ve just not found the motivation to do much about it – though the lack of shared bank space doesn’t help matters. I’ve said it several times before on this blog but having a simple system for transferring items between characters is such a boon in a game – a shared bank is much more conveninent than having to mail items back and forth.

Urgh...

Urgh…

Is inventory management a headache or a welcome aspect to your MMORPG gaming?

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7 Responses to The inventory management game

  1. benez256 says:

    I absolutely LOVE the detailed inventories like this one…

  2. Shintar says:

    SWTOR has had a shared bank between characters for nearly two years! It’s called the legacy cargo hold and you get the first tab for free with your first stronghold…

    • Telwyn says:

      Sadly that shows how little I’ve engaged with the Stronghold system, I have one stronghold on one character so haven’t used the system at all. Something to sort when I next get to play!

  3. tyrannodorkus says:

    I try to come up with a system that works with the game. Mostly I designate bags for certain items, like for quest stuff, personal trophy’s, etc.
    Other games, I might designate areas of bags, if space is limited.
    As for managing them, I usually sort them every thirty minutes or so after collecting stuff so I don’t have to use hours later 🙂

  4. Chestnut says:

    For me it really depends which game. In WildStar, I just kind of throw things where they land, since I don’t have enough bag space available anyway. But in WoW, I’m very meticulous on what goes in which bag, and make sure I assign bags to help with the management. Regardless, I hate inventory management in general, lol.

  5. bhagpuss says:

    There’s a very good reason I called my blog Inventory Full…

    I would always rather add more storage than throw anything away and both EQ and EQ2 are incredibly generous in this respect. It can get overwhelming but on balance I prefer to have the “so much storage I can’t find anything” problem to the “so little storage I can’t do anything” one.

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