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Stash: The Unlimited Inventory Mechanic


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This thread is to discuss the inventory mechanics described briefly in update #36:
 

Functionally, we're using Icewind Dale II as our starting point. We've been looking at inventory recently. Tim and I have designed a system that uses three types of gear storage: equipment, top of pack (this name may change!), and stash.Equipment is what your characters are currently using and have ready to use. This includes weapon sets that you can swap between during combat. "Top of pack" is a finite amount of gear that you can access outside of combat for a variety of purposes: replenishing consumables, checking out a shiny new sword you picked up a while back, etc. The top of pack cannot be accessed during combat, but is present as a strategic pool of items that you can access while exploring. The [unlimited] stash is where all of the "other stuff" goes: things you aren't using, items you want to sell, and various doo-dads you'll be looking at later.

When you find gear, you have the option of placing it wherever you'd like as long as there's room for it. You can use it immediately, put it in your top of pack, or just chuck it in the stash. Once an object is in the stash, you can access it at camps, your home, and similar locations. We've created this division of inventory space to add strategy to your gear loadout decisions instead of having a weight limit, while also allowing flexibility for backup equipment. Most importantly, it doesn't prevent you from doing what adventurers love to do most: loot everything they find that isn't bolted down.

 
Equipment and "Top of Pack" resemble the inventory system used in the IE games. The unlimited "stash" however is new. According to Josh Sawyer this unlimited inventory mechanic has been proposed in order to remove the "degenerative action" of "players making five trips in and out of a dungeon after clearing it to haul all of the loot out".

 

I am personally on the fence about this mechanic and agree with the opinion of other fans that this mechanic might be watering down the inventory mechanics by removing the ability to build the inventory of your party/character, e.g. improving your carry weight or inventory size, and removing decision making. As we know, building your character and making (wise) decisions are pivotal elements of an RPG.


There have also already been recommendations on how to improve or build upon this mechanic, e.g. Beasts of Burden. While I like this mechanic, my personal favorite is the system used in Baldur's Gate 2 where you could find/buy "Bags of Holding", gem bags, scroll cases, and other goodies in order to improve your inventory. Aside from stat improvements that increase your carry weight of course.

 

Discuss! :dragon:

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Pillars of Eternity Josh Sawyer's Quest: The Quest for Quests - an isometric fantasy stealth RPG with optional combat and no pesky XP rewards for combat, skill usage or exploration.


PoE is supposed to be a spiritual successor to Baldur's GateJosh Sawyer doesn't like the Baldur's Gate series (more) - PoE is supposed to reward us for our achievements


~~~~~~~~~~~


"Josh Sawyer created an RPG where always avoiding combat and never picking locks makes you a powerful warrior and a master lockpicker." -Helm, very critcal and super awesome RPG fan


"I like XP for things other than just objectives. When there is no rewards for combat or other activities, I think it lessens the reward for being successful at them." -Feargus Urquhart, OE CEO


"Didn’t like the fact that I don’t get XP for combat [...] the lack of rewards for killing creatures [in PoE] makes me want to avoid combat (the core activity of the game)" -George Ziets, Game Dev.

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I get that the Stash is a fantasy wormhole for on-the-fly loot storage. But the highlighted bit "instead of having a weight limit" concerns me.

 

Does that mean there's no weight limit to just the Stash (which I'm fine with), or no weight limit to everything you've equipped? Because that seems to be a liiiiiittle bit too easy when it comes to strategising gear selection. Yes it was a pain when your character became encumbered sometimes, but removing it is, I think, going too far. Spells and effects that lower strength will not be as powerful if you can no longer be encumbered. Maybe I misread that description, but I think weight limits should still apply to equipped gear at the very least. It's one of the things that separates the archetypal fighter and wizard.

Edited by TRX850

Me? I'm dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly. It's the honest ones you want to watch out for.

 

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Im kind of a player(read thief :)) that loot everything they find that isn't bolted down. And most of the time i hold on useless stuff for ages. Like Sarevoks sword in BG2, hoping something will happen when he unite with it in ToB or 27 different kind of ammunation/potion/scroll that rot in my inventory while im lying to myself before every major battle im going to use them.

But,

IE games had already huge inventories especially if you play with a full party and i dont really have problems about management due to there was always a shop near forvisiting a shop after long adventures.(like duergars in Underdark, a gnome eaten by a remorhaz, some fence in deep sewers) And with some high STR characters you can loot everything and Bags of Holding kind of items are nearly unlimited if visits shops often,  only low stack numbers were problem in IE games for me.

 

Since we can use stash only certain points Im OK with this. Dark Souls recently used this mechanic and it worked like a charm. This is not a huge deal for me as long as our "top of pack" is only a 5-6 slotted inventory.

 

Edit: @TRX850;

Weight limit is something always cheesy in RPGs for me. Im OK for warriors having higher wight allowence but when my 19STR half-orc walks around carriying 4 plate mail,3 studded leather armors or with 16 different weapons in his pocket, it just feels wrong.

Instead of some weight limit there can a system where you can have more equipment slots via armor/belts or some perk/stat while we can choose when level up. Or more weight= more stamina usage for skills/magics so if you invest on active skills mostly you need to travel light.

Edited by cyberarmy

Nothing is true, everything is permited.
 

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Well I'd rather there be less stuff you can loot to begin with, but whatever. This "taking everything not bolted down" just isn't my thing (thinking of TES games here). But still, it will depend a bit on the economy, too. If I have dozens of armor sets in the stash I expect that I can unload them somewhere, too, not having to visit 20 different merchants. Or if I can't they'll just be there until the end of the game I guess, making no difference in my picking them up or not. Then there's also the value of the stuff chained to this. If those armor sets are worth nothing it's again just an annoyance to pick them up and deal with them, but if they're worth a lot you will have "farming" of stuff to sell...

 

The stash idea seems sensible to me. It just needs to be executed well, too.

 

For example it should be hard to place something in the stash by accident and it should be impossible to place quest items or other such things in it (or at least inform the player). It would irk me if I pried a ruby off of a statue and placed it in the stash and then 5 minutes later I'd come across a secret door that requires a ruby to open.

Then again that'd bring some metagame as you'd instantly know if something is quest related or not.

 

We've yet to know if this top-of-pack is per character or for your entire party? I guess it's per character if it acts like the standard inventory

 

The bag of holding would seem redundant in this, but I would like to see some sorting options, like those gem bags and scroll cases provide. Maybe some keychain? One that lists keys you have, where you got them, and when you use them, what they open. Oh, it would be nice if when you came across a locked door you got a popup where you would pick which key to use or if you pic the lock. Ok, getting offtopic...

Edited by Sabotin
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This is a very important topic. Things that I would love to see implemented in PE is:

-Useful stuff, no "vendor trash"

-A Top of the pack that makes encounters challenging and strategic

-Instead of an unlimited stash, I'd like to see a carting/beast of burden/thrall hub system, where you can sink a few flags into the map, and these flags mark the points where you'll have your mobile bigger stash available

*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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Personally, I feel it's a brilliant mechanic. You can still have inventory management in your top-of-the-pack, as things that go into the stash don't come out again until you're back in camp. And it gets rid of the useless, annoying, constant fight over what you bring back and how much you bring back that screws up game balance one way or another.

 

And I don't see how it removes inventory building - your top-of-the-pack can still expand or shrink based on decisions and character development. The stash merely abstracts away the long trek back to camp that some games seem to feel is critical to force the player through.

Edited by Diagoras
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I detest inventory busywork. I do like being required to choose what I'm bringing with me. IMO the proposed system strikes a very nice balance between the two. The biggest weakness is that it's a "magical" mechanic with no in-game explanation, which means it does interfere with suspension of disbelief somewhat.

 

But then again so does an inventory that lets you carry a half-dozen suits of plate mail and then have a feisty melee fight.

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Edit: @TRX850;

Weight limit is something always cheesy in RPGs for me. Im OK for warriors having higher wight allowence but when my 19STR half-orc walks around carriying 4 plate mail,3 studded leather armors or with 16 different weapons in his pocket, it just feels wrong.

Instead of some weight limit there can a system where you can have more equipment slots via armor/belts or some perk/stat while we can choose when level up. Or more weight= more stamina usage for skills/magics so if you invest on active skills mostly you need to travel light.

 

Yes, I'm ok with backpack/inventory loot being part of this new system. What I meant was "equipped" items. Gear that you've placed on your body, i.e. dragged and dropped onto your paper doll. I think spells that reduce strength should still be able to encumber a character if they are "wearing" heavy gear. And indeed, if what you are wearing under normal circumstances is too heavy, then that should encumber a character too.

Edited by TRX850

Me? I'm dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly. It's the honest ones you want to watch out for.

 

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Don't like it.

 

I love the weight/volume mechanics that limits a player.

I WANT the game to force the player to abandon loot. I

want the game to re-educate the player and do away with the "pack-rat bursting into people's home and take everythin that isn't bolted down" behavior/mentality.

 

Anything that you don't take with you is lost when you leave the area. Returning to the dungeon won't help you.

 

Of course, having a camp/house/base where you can deposit things you find interesting or things that might be usefull (and thus freeing inventory space) is a given.

 

I used to decorate my house in Skyrim/Morrowind with weapons and armor and stuff.

Edited by TrashMan

* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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From how it's being described, I'm not a fan of this bizzare system. At all.

 

And this makes me doubly sad:

Functionally, we're using Icewind Dale II as our starting point.

IWD2's inventory system was, for lack of a better word, PERFECT. Best slot-based system I've ever seen. You don't overhaul Perfect, lest you end up breaking it and turning it into something less than perfect.

 

And the so-called "degenerate gameplay" argument is bogus. a 6 person party in IWD2 never, ever, filled up all their inventory slots while they were in the middle of a dungeon. Or at least I never did, and I'm the ultimate hoarder.

 

To Josh and Tim: I love you guys and what you're doing, but my spider sense is telling me that you're letting the "We finally get to make the game we want!" thing go to your heads a little too much. IWD2's inventory system doesn't need your "personal touches". It's perfect already. Focus your creativity on something else in the game, please.

Edited by Stun
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I wonder if there could be rules on what type of loot should go into the Stash, and what type you could place in your backpack, based on size and mass?

 

All armours and large items must go in the Stash, but smaller items like potions / scrolls / gems etc can go in your backpack.  Surely there could be a little realism in this area, if you're going to make such a radical change?

 

Maybe in the items data model, have a boolean flag for "Stash Only". And anything bigger than a backpack is automatically flagged. <-- of course, you'd need somewhere to "unequip" your armour to, so could need tweaking.

Edited by TRX850
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Me? I'm dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly. It's the honest ones you want to watch out for.

 

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This is a very important topic. Things that I would love to see implemented in PE is:

-Useful stuff, no "vendor trash"

-A Top of the pack that makes encounters challenging and strategic

-Instead of an unlimited stash, I'd like to see a carting/beast of burden/thrall hub system, where you can sink a few flags into the map, and these flags mark the points where you'll have your mobile bigger stash available

In "vendor trash" would you include gems and non magic jewellry? While in general, I agree with the principle of getting rid of peoples collections of harpy toenails or whatever which merchants for some reason find highly desirable, getting rid of gems would be a shame as they are a fun bit of classic adventuring fodder.

 

On that note, what I would like to see is actually have a couple of divisions for specific kinds of inventory that overly clutter the thing otherwise.  Specifically, I'd like a "keyring" rather than each individual key you pick up taking up one whole inventory slot, there isn't really any need to have each one take up a slot.  Stick them automatically to the keyring and then you don't have to worry about them.

 

Similarly with my gems/non magic jewellry, have a gem bag as a default part of your inventory which all non magical gems/jewellry etc go to automatically, with a "sell all" button at the bottom when trading.  I think at least one of the Dragon Age games did that, but to combine it with specifically jewels etc slightly kills two birds with one stone - keeps the fun/archetypal fantasy thing of getting gems while also eliminating the hassle of selling them all individually.  Besides, you can easily image the average adventurer just going up to a merchant, emptying his sack out on the table and going "how much?" rather than individually going "how about this one? and this one? and this one?...."

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Alexjh: No gems I really like!  :) They are light, obviously precious and covetable. And special bags for gems and a key ring sounds great too.

Vendor trash to me is to much of standard weapons and armour, no need for these. Let's just say that most such items are broken or got top be after combat or something. Thew few you do find could be normal ones and on rare occasions something more interesting. Vendor trash is really anything that are small nidbits of 1-5 gp kind of stuff, or as in Skyrim, all everyday stuff and home decoration stuff dropped into the maps with Bethesda's physics simulator. Such thins should be bolted clutter: eye candy. Also, vendor trash would be if consumables are too common: So no thanks to gazillions of potions and ammo (Perhaps arrows, bolts and bullets should be linked to the weapon itself with just some counter. No need to take up invo space with those.

*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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To note what specific gameplay problem this solves:

 

If you expect players to steal everything that isn't bolted down and sell it, then players that don't do that will be penalized by being underpowered for encounters they face. On the other hand, if you don't expect players to do that, players that do will be overpowered for encounters they face. Stash is an attempt to abstract away the particular mechanic (acting like you've been hired by every dungeon's creditor to liquidate their assets) so that they know how to design encounters that PCs will face in the future by knowing at roughly what level of capability they're likely to be at.

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We should also ask ourselves: What would we do in real life?

 

If someone gave us the task of searching a house for a hidden item, we'd be extremely thorough, leaving no object untouched. We'd be like CSI P:E, checking and double-checking everything for clues.

 

So it's not that much of a step to assume an adventuring party would be thorough and grab everything.

Edited by TRX850
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Me? I'm dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly. It's the honest ones you want to watch out for.

 

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We should also ask ourselves: What would we do in real life?

 

If someone gave us the task of searching a house for a hidden item, we'd be extremely thorough, leaving no object untouched. We'd be like CSI P:E, checking and double-checking everything for clues.

 

So it's not that much of a step to assume an adventuring party would be thorough and grab everything.

Especially if there is a thieving basterd (me :)) in party. I'd even take furniture if i can :)

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Nothing is true, everything is permited.
 

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I like it, hopefully there'll be a one button way to convert the stash into money from any shop in the game. For me adventuring is about exploring, fighting enemies and negotiating with adversaries. Worrying whether it's worth taking out the studded leather and picking up a short sword and a hammer to sell later is a chore I'd be happy to see abstracted away entirely.

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I don’t see this change as substantial or decisive, but the lack of realism is bothersome. You can’t say it is a cart or a courier, because then why is it tied to resting? What does this stash mean in the game? A dimension door which could be opened while sleeping, perhaps in your dreams? I cannot even think out anything realistic. Also cheap drops, like armor are a must to have even if you do not pick them. This adds a lot to realism, credibility and immersion. I don’t even know, do the developers want to make a realistic game, or there is a trend to sacrifice game mechanics for realism. Hope the former is the case.

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While I agree with many of the inventory clutter-clearing being suggested here, I have to say that I'm a little concerned about having absolutely no stash limit.  Like cyberarmy, I will take everything I can pick up if it nets me a gold piece, and maybe even if it doesn't.  Then going through that massive list when selling (for me) will turn into a massive chore of sifting through junk to ensure that I don't accidentally sell something useful.  I know this is a problem of self control more than anything else, but I'd still prefer some hard limit to my stash, even if it is to be ginormous.

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I liked the inventory system of The Witcher:

 

- You could wear only one armor, and a couple of weapons (two swords on the back, a spare sword on the hip, two daggers on the thigh)

- There were two separate space-limited inventories for alchemy ingredients and misc items

- Inns served as a wormhole storage - what you stored in one in you could retrieve in another inn.

 

Loot that wasn't looted usually vanished as soon as you left the area or even just entered a building, and the mechanic worked well, as loot wasn't your main source of income.

 

IMO the always available unlimited space approach is the worst solution to the loot-trips problem. Selling all those torn armors and rusty swords usually breaks the game's economy: the game depicts a certain sum to be a fortune for a simple peddler and you earn it within a few hours with a couple of trips to the sewers, selling your loot to those peddlers.

Edited by JOG
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"You are going to have to learn to think before you act, but never to regret your decisions, right or wrong. Otherwise, you will slowly begin to not make decisions at all."

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I actually believe that infinite storage will remove a psychological barrier us packrats have had with selling stuff. I think it will end up with me carrying less, rather than more.

And I consider this to be a good thing.

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I sure hope stuff stacks. I would much rather look at: Longsword x 15 than 15 individual longsword icons. The cool part of all this is I will be able to afford the best merchant stuff in no time. With no restictions Im going to become the opposite of JFSOCC above. Im going to pick up every rock, stick and bauble until Im ridiculously wealthy. Maybe Ill name my toon "Hoover". :lol:

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This is a very important topic. Things that I would love to see implemented in PE is:

-Useful stuff, no "vendor trash"

-A Top of the pack that makes encounters challenging and strategic

-Instead of an unlimited stash, I'd like to see a carting/beast of burden/thrall hub system, where you can sink a few flags into the map, and these flags mark the points where you'll have your mobile bigger stash available

In "vendor trash" would you include gems and non magic jewellry? While in general, I agree with the principle of getting rid of peoples collections of harpy toenails or whatever which merchants for some reason find highly desirable, getting rid of gems would be a shame as they are a fun bit of classic adventuring fodder.

 

On that note, what I would like to see is actually have a couple of divisions for specific kinds of inventory that overly clutter the thing otherwise.  Specifically, I'd like a "keyring" rather than each individual key you pick up taking up one whole inventory slot, there isn't really any need to have each one take up a slot.  Stick them automatically to the keyring and then you don't have to worry about them.

 

Similarly with my gems/non magic jewellry, have a gem bag as a default part of your inventory which all non magical gems/jewellry etc go to automatically, with a "sell all" button at the bottom when trading.  I think at least one of the Dragon Age games did that, but to combine it with specifically jewels etc slightly kills two birds with one stone - keeps the fun/archetypal fantasy thing of getting gems while also eliminating the hassle of selling them all individually.  Besides, you can easily image the average adventurer just going up to a merchant, emptying his sack out on the table and going "how much?" rather than individually going "how about this one? and this one? and this one?...."

I agree with you on everything except for the gem bag. I want to find/buy a gem bag and improve my inventory with it. I just really, really love to build my character. :)

Pillars of Eternity Josh Sawyer's Quest: The Quest for Quests - an isometric fantasy stealth RPG with optional combat and no pesky XP rewards for combat, skill usage or exploration.


PoE is supposed to be a spiritual successor to Baldur's GateJosh Sawyer doesn't like the Baldur's Gate series (more) - PoE is supposed to reward us for our achievements


~~~~~~~~~~~


"Josh Sawyer created an RPG where always avoiding combat and never picking locks makes you a powerful warrior and a master lockpicker." -Helm, very critcal and super awesome RPG fan


"I like XP for things other than just objectives. When there is no rewards for combat or other activities, I think it lessens the reward for being successful at them." -Feargus Urquhart, OE CEO


"Didn’t like the fact that I don’t get XP for combat [...] the lack of rewards for killing creatures [in PoE] makes me want to avoid combat (the core activity of the game)" -George Ziets, Game Dev.

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