Stash for Cash… Diablo 3’s Storage Crisis

Pretty much everyone who plays Diablo 3 has been asking for more storage space since about June 2012, and the lack of stash space has only become more acute in recent months, with many more useful legendary and set items added to the game. Fans request more stash space in every conversation with the devs, and we always get refused with fairly weak arguments. Here’s what Josh Mosqueira said about it from a Q&A panel at Blizzcon 2014:

Q: This could be a controversial question. One problem people have in Diablo is character and stash space. Can we buy more inventory space or character space in Diablo 3?
Answer: Will we have a store to sell more stash space? Everyone wants that. Not specifically the store aspect, but we’re always discussing the issue of more space. And if we give you more you want more, and more and more and eventually all the internet is your items. We think about it and we want to address it, but nothing to say now.

D3 China: Buy extra stash tabs for Platinum.

D3 China: Buy extra stash tabs for Platinum.

That reply wasn’t exactly satisfying at the time, and it’s much less so now that Diablo 3 has launched in China, and there’s actual stash for cash in the game. It’s not just a metaphor; you can actually spend platinum (bought for money or found via playing) to add more storage space. No one cares about p2w. We wants s4c! And yet the devs refuse to sell it to us. Shut up and take our money.

The dreadful lack of storage space in RoS is only hammered home when you take a wider look. Quotes from the devs during the making of D3 don’t help. Here’s Jay Wilson in 2011, reminding us once again that things really do change during development:

The stash starts off small, but grows “ridiculously huge” over the course of the game, when gold is spent to enlarge it.

A comparison to competing ARPGs adds further pain. From a forum thread asking about the maximum number of stash pages in Path of Exile, in which the game’s lead developer provides the 16 bit answer:

So How many Stash tabs can we have?
I was wondering a this time I have ten of them, all looking to be fulled when the game is released ( I’m a hoarder). I have 70 GGGold remaining and I’m not likely to want another character slot at this time ( and I’ll get more points when I see something I want from the store). But the question what is the maximum number of tabs we can have?
I think the limit might be 65536. It can be increased though. –Chris

Stash of Exile

Stash of Exile

It’s almost like Grinding Gear Games is making an APRG in a competitive marketplace and feel it’s wise to offer players features that they want to purchase. What a bizarre concept! Diablo 3’s lack of storage space seems even weirder when you compare to the infinite space happily offered in PoE, or how adding additional storage space, for free, is a huge selling point for virtually every online application.

Except for Diablo 3.

What do you guys think is going to happen? It hardly seems possible that Reaper of Souls can continue to limit us to just 5 tabs of stash space shared between all the characters on your account, when each patch adds dozens more interesting/useful legendary items, plus whole new item sets, more legendary gems, so many new rings/amulets, etc. The devs have talked about making some unified system for LGems, which would help, but only slightly.

Furthermore, why do you think the devs have been so reluctant to give (or even sell) fans what most of us so desperately want and need? I’d like to think it’s just a technical issue; that the server database would slow down with more and more items stored for each account, but that seems silly. This is 2015, not 1994. How do I computer? Is it part of that Diablo 3 “we know best how you should be playing the game” attitude that’s banned UI Mods and refused to upgrade the interface to make the hotkeys fully mappable or even let us see all active buffs? Is there a huge inventory revision coming in the second expansion and they’re saving it for a surprise? It seems quite the mystery, to me. Why are they choosing to die on this hill, when fixing the problem seems like it would be so simple and even profitable?


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  1. I’m really baffled by their attitude toward this.

    This game is a hoarder’s dream for christ sake. There’s no trading. You have no idea what build you’ll ever be able to play because there’s so little control over what items you may see. I am p638 and just unlocked my transmog for BK Solumn Vow yesterday, for crying out loud.

    Holy crap, Blizzard, I had like 15 accounts on d2, spreadsheets, legal pads, all devoted to my absurd hoard. Don’t tell me you can’t devote some code and a few hundred terabytes of precious disk space to allowing us a huge, PoE esque hoard-management system.

    I’d pay 20 dollars or more for lots of tabs. I absolutely could have 20 or 30 (not full, just organized) and be happy.

    • I played with a guy doing some lock down CC thing with a Monk over the weekend and thought it looked fun. And when I considered trying it… I honestly couldn’t see how to get started with my stash nearly full already, knowing I’d need to store up a bunch of extra Monk items, gear for switching between zdps support and solo play style, etc. And Monk wouldn’t be that bad since my main is DH, so I’ve got all the dex gear and jewelry already!

      For that reason I can’t even contemplate starting a Wiz or WD this season, knowing I’d need all the gear and spares, and I don’t have any INT stuff now.

      It’s even worse in HC, since you need to store spare kits of what your main char is using, since at some point you’ll lose what you’re wearing. And in HC you don’t dare store too much stuff in your inv, especially if you’re pushing higher GRs or something risky.

  2. The only reason I’m not playing a witch doctor or wizard at the moment is stash space.

    I have 2 character slots left but i want to use those for… you know, characters. And I’m below level 600 paragon in total so you can are i don’t play very much

  3. It is very bizarre. But, then again, not all that more bizarre than a lot of other decisions they’ve had. And I just don’t know anymore.

    I think the most likely answer, and perhaps the most generous (maybe?), is the one you mention about them saving it for the expansion. I personally reckon they’ve been wanting to save a lot of the previously released QoL improvements till the expansion, to try to resuscitate this game. But they see the rate at which the game is haemorrhaging players and they realise they have to keep releasing, bit-by-bit, something to try and stem the flow (e.g. bloodshard cap (jesus how long did that take them?), trials, etc).

    I think they’re just holding out for as long as they can with the stash space issue, hoping they can leave it as a surprise for the expansion. The only problem is that they’re gambling on not having lost too many players by that point.

    • “The only problem is that they’re gambling on not having lost too many players by that point.”

      At this point, assuming they announce the next expansion at Gamescon, the calculus is in their favour. Current players don’t pay them any money. Any they lose between now and the launch of the expansion are highly likely to buy the expansion anyway (since they’re still playing now). So the more content they save up for the expansion now, the better.

  4. Yeah this matter has puzzled me pretty much since the start and at this point it’s one of the big factors why I don’t even want to play the game because I feel like playing the game is kind of like playing your stash screen instead of you know, slaying monsters. Reminds me of the whole “playing the AH” situation in a way.

    The game has enough stash space for maybe 1 character and even if you played only 1 char, you should still have the option to expand your stash infinitely just because the game is all about items after all. Considering the randomness of it all you shouldn’t be forced into throwing potential items away if you don’t want to. Also considering people are ready to pay for more space, you can’t really pull off the server/hardware cost card.

    While we’re at it, can someone explain to me why they don’t just make the stackable items stack to numbers as high as six numbers (999999) since that’s about the max amount of characters that fit in that one row above the item icon. It’s like they are deliberately doing these small incremental updates to them every few patches so they can win over some favor and check a few boxes like they are updating and “listening to feedback”.

  5. I tend to agree that Blizz is trying to save something for the (assumed) next expansion. The more I think about it, the more I think that the platinum system (in the Chinese version) will be added into the game, probably with the expansion. Blizz is probably just using the Chinese market as a test for the system – not just for technical bugs, but also for how much platinum gets purchased vs. drops, what features are players spending platinum on, etc.

    The current stash situation is laughably ridiculous, and seasons make it even worse. Imagine if legendary crafting materials were still required (if crafting was still important)…and the need to hold onto white items on top of that! I’m sure the devs know we need more space (at least I hope that they know), but it takes them forever to implement solutions to known problems (trials, I’m looking at you!). It took about 2.5 years to simplify the gem–combining process into a one click process, so a quick fix to the stash problem (or anything in the game) is definitely not going to happen. It’s certainly possible that adding the “stash for cash” UI into the system is more challenging that it might appear, but I tend to think that Blizz is being very deliberate with this issue and want to solve it rather than put a band aid on it (as the 4th and 5th tabs were). “The perfect is the enemy of the good” seems rather appropriate here.

  6. Spending real money for more stash space is pay to win, greedy, and wrong. I agree with Blizzard: they should fix the inherent problem instead of just selling us more space. A good solution is to give every character their own unique tab specific to them, for the specific purpose of storing set pieces/any items specifically to that character. That way every character you make gives you one additional tab without cluttering up things for other characters.

    Or, they could just figure out why we’re hoarding so much stuff and design the game in such a way where we don’t need to. Either way, absolutely no to cash for stash space (or EXP./gold/blood shard buffs/jewelry gifts/instant ancients/ect.). The ONLY thing that should EVER be in a cash shop should be COSMETICS ONLY. Absolutely NO gameplay relevant items or services should be in.

    • I’d like more stash space per char, but the question then is always what to do with it in HC. Maybe if the dead char’s tab turned into email items, like when a season ends and you’d be able to put them into your main stash?

      But that said, what’s the point? Why would anyone want +1 stash tab for each char instead of just adding that tab to the main stash? You’d wind up using new chars as mules for the stash tab, have to do the musical characters thing logging onto one just to get gear, etc. Avoiding that sort of muling inconvenience was the whole reason D3 went to a shared stash, after D2’s system.

      • The point is that (in SC) you’re never going to want to transfer a lot of your sets/weapons between any other character since you just need 1 character per class. You’re never going to want to move your Akkhan set or Roland set pieces to your Barbarian or Wizard, or your Handbows or Bows with your Witch Doctor or Monk. These special tabs eliminate that problem, so for HC just let it be the mail thing or let that tab die with the character for interesting gameplay?

        • Well sure, it’s better than nothing, but I don’t see any way it’s superior to just adding additional stash tab that all chars can access. Maybe you don’t want to save just Barb stuff on your Barb. Or you’ve got 2 or 3 of the same char and want the space for general storage, or gems, etc.

          Point is there’s no benefit to dividing up your stash space so some of it is only accessible by a single char. That defeats the whole purpose of a shared stash. Unless someone can think of some reason Bliz would give us individual char stash tabs, but won’t give us more for the whole account?

    • Mithron – I disagree entirely. More storage is not a strategy for winning … and if you love the game and want to keep playing you have to be honest with yourself and realize that Bliz will need income.

      You can’t be SO cheap that you wont agree to pay for some storage. Seriously? Whenever i see people complain about paying for storage space I just imagine the worlds cheapest human being. For real. It’s hard to imagine that any one person can be so pathetically cheap. But, I’m afraid, it doesn’t have to be imagined because here he his. The worlds cheapest man speaking on behalf of the World’s Cheapest Man’s Club.

      Everybody needs to sober up, if they want to play this game for another 3 years. The storage space situation is pathetic; gear tetris is a waste of time and shouldn’t have to be a part of the game. Nobody enjoys it outside of the 5 cheapest men in the worlds smallest club.

      I’m thinking that Mithron and the people who agree with him need to all be in the same clan. So, that when we’re playing diablo, after they wake up and start selling stash space, that group of players can play with each other. This way, we wont have to be waiting for them to figure out which items to pick up as they are too cheap to buy more storage space and still don’t’ have the room to pick up items; everybody else is kill monsters and they’re falling behind the party. with 2 little squares left in the inventory.

      This is ridiculous … there is NO other solution besides tons more space. And if blizzard can’t afford to give us tons for the price of a one time sale, then we need to give them more money. That’s it.

  7. first of all , pardon my terrible English , i hope everyone can understand !!!

    Ok , first i think its a insult saying everyone would want 1000 page of stash , then the whole internet would become the stash space, hey we aint that dumb, we all know that you dont need to stash echoing fury….or all the bad stuff…But take lacuni prowler for example….Those thing rolled terrible!When you get a good pair, belived me hold on to them !!! Now play multiple class, plus all the element (unless they roll cirt chance you have to keep multiple pair…. its a pain)

    Ok so you dont want to add stash space because then the whole internet will fail …….. (add lot more … )Can you at least fix what we have… (now its the tricky part i hope i can explain right with that bad English of mine !)

    1-A complete sets of gear takes 11 x double row(11 X 2 = 22 squares )… Stash right now give you 7 x double row (7 X 2 = 14 sqaures)

    This give a stash thats a complete mess….not even funny…Dont had stash space…just expand it so i could be more organized…

    2-for someone who plays only one class…no problem… it gets ulgy when you mix multiple class! even worst if you mix seasons or non season!At the very least, whitout crashing the WWW and maybe the universe…. 1 tab per class, and 1 tan for mats. OR put mats like in a menu like shards…Oh can someone explain me how i could be exploiting the game by having 1 stack of 1000 trial key (soon to be dead) or 1000 normal rift key…(yes i have that many)

    3-Now im crashing the nasa but maybe just maybe add a build saver…that would free some mule…but im just crazy , the internet couldnt handle that

    and finally 4….. I am sick and tired of hearing stash space for expansion. This isnt a expansion feature, its a problem (for some people not everone i agree) now. Adding stash space is not making you WOW aswome what a neat feature, cant wait to play the expansion. Srry it isnt , Charm , diablo clone , that would be neat…

  8. One very important reason I played Diablo 2 non stop for a good 8 years was that the game felt like a giant tinkerer’s workshop. You had all these ridiculous ideas – Could I make a Bear Druid… who can shoot fireballs?! No, damn. Maybe a Necro that feels like Arnold in Eraser? Oh, snap, all-out Bone Spear build!

    Then you would go to your array of parts – do I have that one helm, but with this stat? Hell yes I still do!

    D3, and why this current 2.1+ iteration has seen me get into other games instead of playing much, has removed both appealing parts to this. I want to try an all-out Frenzy Barb. Hell yes. But I can’t be bothered to save that silly belt, I already have 10 level 70s working on 15 other builds. And I’ve never even seen a decent version of the Bastion’s Revered!

    Since I can’t trade, at least give me the ability to save one copy of every legendary with something unique about it. And don’t stop there, let me have the option of having a whole damn third of a tab just for my extra Unity rings, just in case I need a +Life Regen build someday.

    This would make me play probably twice as much as I do now.

  9. Blizzard actually seems to be moving AWAY from bags / stash space in their games in favor of an utterly different concept altogether.

    In World of Warcraft, they keep implementing what they call “tabs”. For example, there are items called heirlooms that your low level alts can wear which are often best in slot (or close to it) and they scale with level. These things take up bag space. So they did away with heirlooms as items completely! Instead, your account has what is called an “heirloom tab”. Every heirloom in the game is listed. Those you have never acquired aren’t greyed out. Once you acquire an heirloom, that heirloom is lit in your tab and can be equipped by clicking on the icon.

    This saves Blizzard from memory issues. They just have to set a bit that you have a certain heirloom.

    I would NOT be surprised to see this system migrate to Diablo 3 at some point. They are increasingly adding it to everything in WoW. Of course it means no more item Tetris, but it would solve a lot of other issues.

  10. Set items and uniques should be craftable once found. Then I wouldn’t have to save crap versions of items just because they have an ability that makes my build work. This should free up a ton of stash space.

    • That’s a cool idea, but people would still save when they got a perfect roll, or one that was ideal for some other build. I’ve got a bunch of Reaper’s Wraps in my stash with different damage types, and sure I could craft them again, but if it takes 60 or 80 rolls to get an ancient with the right element and mainstat and crit…

  11. A point I rarely see made is that stash space was effectively reduced when the ah was closed. You didn’t need to hold on to one of everything in case it becomes useful in future, you could sell what you didn’t need now and buy it back if you needed it later on. 4 stash tabs were fine in that context.

    But that context is no longer relevant. ROS increased stash space by 25% but increased space required by substantially more.

    • And on top of that, AH window allowed to look into your inventory – shared stash and character espace – without having to switch chars…

  12. I’m, like, 75% done with this game. Lack of stash space is one of the reasons.

    GGG is a company with what? Ten people? And they can deal with the idea of 65k tabs by microtransactions. On a F2P game.

    I don’t know, but having 1-2 tabs for the “gen-pop” of items and 1 for each class fells like a no-brainer to me.

    When asked about their near-terrible itemization, they came with PR answers like: “You didn’t find something that work, but you might end up finding something “”””””””special”””””””” you want to try”. I answer in my head – “And where I’m going to put that, Sherlock? Or should I delete all my chars that aren’t DH/Barbs/zDPS?” Spending half hour muling stuff around to discover that an item that looks garbage can be worse than you imagined is frustrating. There is this thing called internet. When I want to discover things, I google for them or look for a subreddit… But in theory, they consider that bunch of garbage “fun and exciting”. Would make sense having space to store those things, right?

    If a smaller company like GGG can offer stash space, Activision/Blizzard can’t? (Granted, they need to take down all their games once a week to fix the servers powered with a water whell/animal traction, so everything is possible…) Did they covered the entire west coast with no-one-plays-CoD-anymore, so they are struggling for some AT&T space?

    Judging by the premium price everything costs on Blizzard, I don’t see a logical reason for not even selling stash space, to feed the apparently starving mouths of ATVI children…

    / endrant

  13. I think there’s one addition that basically solves the storage issue.

    There should be two chests. The original chest unchanged.

    There should be a second chest for the class you are playing.

    So if I play a monk then i have access to my shared stash and my monk stash.

    Idea being class specific items go in class specific chests(or just mule for main)

    Being tied to class and not character means if you die in Hardcore you don’t loose the items from your class chest.

    • Good idea, although 2 niggles:
      1. If it’s a physically separate chest, having to run between them to transfer items or look for items is kinda annoying. Could just make it more tabs on the existing stash (but still class-specific – although see #2 below).

      2. For characters that share stats, eg DH and Monk, it’s quite possible to have several items that would work on any character. If you want to play your Monk, but your amulet is in your DH class-stash, then you have to log in with the DH and then transfer it to the main stash, and then log-in with the Monk. Bit cumbersome.

      • Good points. If chest were close then you could have them both open at once. Like having your inventory open at the same time as chest. Items could be dragged between. Your second point is only a mild annoyance and could be overcome by placing multi purpose items in the shared stash.

  14. There isn’t a “reason” for not increasing stash space that I can work out. There’s a valid point around the question “Do you need six backup pieces of a set?” but if you play HC there’s an equally valid answer of “Yes!” There’s not really a technical reason for not allowing players additional stash space – Chinese Diablo 3 means we know there is existing server side technology to allow more tabs. The F2P model also shows that this isn’t something that needs any developer time because it’s already been completed.

    I agree with some of the posts that, for other Blizzard games, the trend is towards simpler UIs for things like Heirloom items in WoW (and we’ve been given the wardrobe so that thinking obviously carries over to Diablo, at least in part). I’m not sure it works that well in Diablo though – in WoW every item is the same, no matter who finds it or when they find it. A “Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker” is the same if you’re a priest, a warrior or a warlock. The stats, damage and level requirement will never change. That means it’s easy to just stick all of the items into a flat database and then just add a flag which says you have access to the item (or not) and then put a nice GUI on top of it so you can snap it into place when you want to use it.

    It’s a terrible idea when it comes to Diablo though – every single Thunderfury is different, the stats are all different, the level requirements will vary, sockets, gems (which ones, what level, what this does to the item), the +% damage will vary on the legendary property… Rather than having a database which includes this one item you end up with a database just for that one item! And that’s before people start messing around with re-rolling stats with the Mystic.

    If Blizzard are worried about the amount of RAM having more stash tabs would use then they definately couldn’t have a “Heirloom” based system – the database(s) would be larger because they would have to hold every variant of every item you “could” have (even if they only loaded what you did have it would have to be held in full somewhere) and it would introduce really unpredictable spikes on RAM when large numbers of people started to dig through their collections at the same time. I’m not saying Blizzard would provide capacity for every possible player looking simultaneously (Error 37 anyone?) but the margin of spare resources would have to be higher than it is now by a fair bit.

    It also fails miserably as a design decision if you add in crafting – every time you craft it has to call the database, remove an item, add the materials / remove the material, add an item, log the exact stats of the item and show you everything in one window so you can see it all… it’s basically the same system we’ve got now but with a load of extra windows which is defeating the point quite a bit.

    So yeah, just give us the space. You’ve shown there is a door by giving it to China, just get on with it.

  15. F2P has to spend real money to get the extra space. I spent real money buying Diablo 3 and the expansion Reaper of Souls. They need to patch extra space asap for those that made the +$100 purchase. Problem solved.

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