RPG Inventories: A Closer Look

PC Gamer has an interesting discussion on arguably the most exciting or frustrating aspect of RPGs, inventory management. Diablo II's hallowed inventory system is heavily mentioned in the article, and contrasted against other games, although I anticipate gamers will have a lot of disagreement about the pros and cons of different RPGs' interfaces. An excerpt:

Perhaps the best inventory system I came across in my formative years, though, was the one found in Diablo 2. This was where my perceived obsession really kicked in as I had autonomy, not to mention responsibility, over each placement —more so than anything Chris Redfield and/or Jill Valentine had fumbled with before. Diablo 2's Tetris-like inventory screen was in essence a puzzle game in itself, and I lost hours to coordinating my best-suited depository alone, never mind roaming the hellish depths of Sanctuary. If I struggled to draw an item quickly in battle, I'd be straight back to the drawing board and wouldn't brave combat again until I'd set the perfect ensemble.

It is interesting to ponder how our personal habits influence how we manage the hoarded trinkets of our beleaguered digital avatars, within the limits of the interface provided to us. When I think of my experiences with inventory systems, what comes to mind most readily is being a packrat in Neverwinter Nights 2, and managing valuable inventory spots in Baldur's Gate.