Thursday, May 10, 2012

Love and Hate: Loot

With my shorter time to play game since I started working again, I found out that I loot administration in games is not as fun as it used to be for me. It is not just sorting though a disastrous amount of random things in a bag, it is also the choice of which new piece of gear is the actual upgrade, which crafting materials I need to keep indefinably and how much my carrying space of virtual items is limited.


Inventory Space


Hate:
I'll start off with the one that everyone at some point in an MMO has suffered through: lack of space to carry what is thrown at you. I've read many discussions inside games of people pondering just how important the limitation might or might not be. There is the argument that every virtual space does take a server's space somewhere and that is why it is limited. On the other side, some think it would just kill some of the immersion if you could carry infinite amounts of things. 


Lotro and the meaning of "limited inventory space" hate
Love:
Many games provide inventory space upgrades that actually make you feel comfortable enough to hoard enough trash useful items and still have more space to continue exploring. Also, when I'm in the right mood for it, I actually enjoy sitting and playing "inventory management", a game where I organize what my characters own and carry around.


Trash Items


Hate:
Have you ever wondered why your character would ever stop after a mob kill to pick up "viscous goo"? Or a "sand lump"? I have, but I'm greedy and pick them up anyway, just for the coin. Not to feel too guilty, I generally blame the fact that there's actually NPCs out there that buy this kind of trash, and the world feels better. Maybe they can use them for medicinal purpuses, who knows!


Love:
The money they give, of course. Also in LOTRO, the task system allowed for the trash items to actually have some sort of meaning and reward since they the drops of repeatable quests. But other then the "hidden" functionality of the trash items, I could probably live without them cluttering my bags (so stop looting them!)


Vindictus. Some enemies will only drop certain items if you hit key areas
Drops not Connected to the Mobs Dropping them


Hate:
I recall back when I first started playing Diablo that I killed a bat and it dropped a two handed axe. Back then I also pondered why the town villagers still sold me stuff that would help save the world instead of cutting the prices a bit, but I suppose they just didn't trust I'd survive. The point is that I dislike games where the drops make no sense, and the only explanation is that I still RP a bit in my head when I play games. On that logic of mine, gear drops would have to be the rarest of things, since I don't think one size fits all.


Love:
Random luck makes me happy. It's fun to be killing some nameless mob during a quest and a very rare and powerful weapon drops from it. No matter if it was a wolf that in no way could fit a Two Handed Mace in its stomach, as long as the random happiness effect is bigger then the lack of immersion detail.


Gear Upgrades


Hate:
I am not the best person at playing the "stats" part of a game. I don't like having to think about the math behind my character, and this makes gear upgrades a nightmare when the numbers are too close and I still need to make a decision. When I am not sure? The cuter looking piece stays, the ugly one gets sold. 


Dark Hour, a guild where we mostly didn't have loot drama... unless it was a PRETTY robe :)


I also need to mention that Gear Upgrades can be a huge headache when grouping. Drama about loot is so common that I won't even go long about it. I'll just say that a game where I don't have to work on math and not deal with loot addicted individuals would really fit me.


Love:
I still want to improve my characters and get the best possible gear so that I progress in group content. Still, I've been guilty to have lesser number just to keep a prettier robe.


Crafting


Hate:
The complete mess some games make. Too many items, too much to keep track of, and no dedicated crafting space to just place everything and come back to it to craft. Actually, on most games you have to know exactly what you need to craft something, and then leave it in your bags, and do a lot of traveling to a bank and back to a materials vendor / work bench just to craft some pieces. I am happy Rift did a small fix into this, since I can craft with materials that are actually inside my bank.


Love:
It is another game in itself. I love crafting when I am in the mood for it, which is that same mood for when I actually just want to sit and organize character's inventories. It is complicated to explain why crafting is fun, when in fact it is generally much more work then reward. Kinda like a day job.


And to end...
Even though it is trough my lack of free time makes many of the items pointed out here a bit exagerated, truth is most of these points have been in my head for quite a while. Uppon logging today to all my Lotro characters with LOTS of things on their bags, I gave up and came here for a small rant. 


Please forgive me and share if you have a Love and Hate relationship with Loot too!

2 comments:

  1. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning have a good take on inventory. You have limited space but can buy extra bags and when you pick up crafting mats, they automatically go into a crafting storage that is created when you pick up the first item of that type. It is not part of your regular storage and doesn't take up space. You also get a bank type storage that can be accessed from various locations.

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  2. There's a reason why I called my blog "Inventory Full" hehe.

    Excellent post. I've thought all those things at various times, especially "No matter if it was a wolf that in no way could fit a Two Handed Mace in its stomach, as long as the random happiness effect is bigger then the lack of immersion". Immersion is really important and I get quite annoyed at animals dropping weapons and huge treasure chests popping out of thin air, but if there's something I really want then somehow the lack of realism goes straight out the window.

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