It’s been two months since Diablo IV came out and players are airing their frustrations with the game, particularly now that season one is underway. One of the most contentious aspects of the loot-hunting action-RPG right now is inventory management, which has become a hot topic in the community.
Diablo IV, like previous entries in Blizzard’s storied franchise, features a massive amount of loot; expect a constant deluge of gear drops from bosses and chests and dungeons as you travel the world of Sanctuary. With a total of 110 inventory slots, your bag will inevitably run out of space. And that’s fine, until you need to make room for that awesome armor or weapon you just snatched. There are some options for clearing your inventory, but the process is so cumbersome and tedious that players are feeling burnt out from over-micromanaging their wares, a feeling I’ve experienced during my own playtime.
The problem with managing Diablo IV gear
The Diablo IV subreddit is inundated with folks decrying inventory management. With post titles like “Comparing items and clearing inventory is overwhelming” and “Inventory management is burning me out from this game,” it’s clear folks have grown weary of frequently rummaging through the in-game bag. Part of the problem is you can’t dismantle or salvage items anywhere in the world. Maybe it’s to make the game feel more lifelike, but to break gear down into other resources, you must travel to a blacksmith at any of Sanctuary’s many towns. This not only interrupts the loot-kill-loot loop by forcing you back to a borough to tend to equipment, it also wastes time as you head back to a town by either backtracking on foot/horseback or sitting through a long loading screen when teleporting. Either way, with a full inventory, looting becomes impossible until you clear more space in your inventory.
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Aside from salvaging, you could drop useless things to make space for better loot. However, while doing so is easy with a few button presses, it’s ultimately a self-defeating endeavor as every piece of gear can be sold or broken down, which is far better for your longer-term bottom line. Maybe you can’t use that level 75 dagger with your Sorcerer, but the iron or cash you can turn it into are necessary and vital for character growth, particularly for upgrading your current equipment. And this process of inspecting every item to determine whether to break it down, drop, or sell has been at the forefront of players’ minds.
Diablo IV players are tired of rummaging their bags
In a popular August 8 Reddit post, user FullStackNoCode joked that fiddling with inventory in Diablo IV is “like having to pee every five minutes.” They went on to explain that they’re “tired of running to town” just to manage the bag, saying a solution could be to allow players to sell or scrap items immediately.
“That’s all just busywork anyway, and highly annoying,” FullStackNoCode wrote. “Then, our bag space could be reserved for things that we want to be looking at/thinking about.”
Another popular post from July 21, a day after Diablo IV’s Season of the Malignant started, saw user jlarue2010 say this new content update should be called “season of inventory management.” This is in reference to malignant hearts, season-exclusive items offering statistical buffs for your characters such as strength or defense that also happen to take up inventory space.
“Seasonal items need seasonal stash tabs IMHO,” Green_Cloud replied.
Players are also bumping up against the limits of their item stash, a separate area which lets you easily transfer items between your characters. A popular July 26 post from user Protocide559 explained how they won’t start a second character due to their stash already feeling tight just from saving gear for their current Druid. Diablo IV’s seasons require you to start new characters to participate, but because of the limited storage space, Protocide559 said they’re sticking with their pre-Season One Druid and refusing to play multiple characters like they did in previous Diablos.
“[Blizzard will give you a chance to buy more storage space. Don’t worry,” user vague_diss joked in reply.
Diablo IV’s inventory will get better, just at a later time
For its part, Blizzard has addressed some parts of bag management. Gems, items that can be slapped onto gear to provide buffs such as health on kill or additional gold collecting, will take up less inventory space in a future update. The company also said storage upgrades are coming, but again, at a later time. It’s great that inventory management will become less frustrating as time goes on, particularly considering how tedious it was in previous Diablo games. In the first Diablo, for example, your inventory was divided into a grid. A gem would take up one slot while an axe might take up three, thus filling up quicker. The series has moved beyond grid-based inventories, but Diablo IV’s inventory limitations are still finding ways to annoy players and interrupt game flow.
This happens to my partner and I all the time. We’ll grind dungeons for minutes on end, only to stop right in the middle of it to scour our inventories to make space for the new thing that just dropped because we ran out of space. We do this for what feels like every 10 or so minutes as our bags fill up nonstop, repeating the process of inspecting and culling. It becomes draining after a while, especially when Diablo IV can’t stop spilling loot all over the place.