A disgruntled user on the official Blizzard forums mentioned how the worst part of Diablo II was the inventory management. Bashiok attempted to put these fears to rest and outlined some of the improvements that have been made in Diablo 3. He also clarified that they are still working on improving inventory management even further.
With the removal of the Nephalem Cube for breaking unwanted items down and the Cauldron of Jordon to sell items due to happen in Patch 10 this will certainly mean visiting town more often than is currently happening in the beta but it won’t be nearly as frequent as it was in D2.
Bashiok followed up with even more detail about concerns on parties behind held up by inventory management.
As far as harming co-op, there’s really no difference now. Before you’d say “WAIT UP” and everyone would have to stop while you examined each item and decided to sell, salvage, or keep it. In the best case scenario everyone would agree to stop and do this at the same time. It’s no different than everyone agreeing to head back to town, and in fact it provides a more prominent, not to mention safe, pause point where everyone can take care of a few quick tasks, and then head back out.
Say your friend’s inventory is full, but yours isn’t, well you both decide to TP and while he’s going through his bag you have time to craft a few things, or alt+tab free of fear to read reddit or something. Whatever. It’s not different to the co-op game because you had to stop before, and the benefits to being in town now are actually pretty substantial.
I am not going to “wait up” for someone.
Then you will die. You’re going to have to stick together to survive, and that’s going to force groups to stop together. It’s a lot better for everyone if that stopping point is in-town, for the aforementioned reason that not everyone takes the same amount of time to complete the same tasks, and there’s more things that can be accomplished in town. Not to mention it’s safer if you need to grab some more Cactus Cooler or take a bio break.
If you played the beta at all, you realize that you struggle with this decision pretty much the entire time you are out in the game world with a party. Every 15 seconds or so there’s a side room, a stray monster drop, a slab/pot/tile/rack/urn/coffin/etc off to the side or down some dead end hallway or stairwell (entire sections or dungeons are already easily recognizable as being dead ends before you even get 5 steps into them), and you have to decide to pursue that interest in the name of picking up an item to salvage/vendor or to stay with the group.
That is absolutely the case, but you’re not thinking about how that dynamic changes when the game is actually difficult. Beyond Normal if you take off to go clear that side room on your own and either you will die, the rest of your group will, or both.
So now Blizzard is intentionally interrupting my experience?
Managing your inventory is and has absolutely always been an integral part of the Diablo experience. Picking up items and deciding which ones to keep, equip, or otherwise is the game. When it comes down to it that is the entire point of the entire game. Killing demons to get item drops, and those item drops being ‘dealt with’ in some way.
You had to stop and manage your inventory before. You have to do the same thing now. The difference is a 2 second cast timer to head back to town and a right click on the Blacksmith. You’re going to be just fine.
It’s true sometimes everyone has things to do in town that take more than a few minutes so you might have time to read websites or craft or make something to eat but it depends how often in one evening’s play you want to do that, as opposed to quickly breaking down/selling items out in the field and then cracking on with the action.
Thanks to Crudesash68 for mailing this in.