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Feedback about the new inventory: the "stash" system


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I have abit feedback on the current inventory system.

 

The stash was "invented" to add strategy to character equipment loadout and to allow the player to "loot away" as much as he/she would want:

"We've created this division of inventory space [the stash] 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." http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/63020-project-eternity-update-36-off-to-our-elfhomes-but-first/

 

A few questions arise:

 

1. Why wasn't the old encumbrance system used? It added strategy in the exact same way as the current stash-system - and in even more ways because you had to choose if moneybased loot i.e. trashloot was more important than supplies (such as health potions or scrolls). The old encumbrance system also allowed adventurers to loot a fair amount of items before having to return to sell the loot off. And returning to sell loot off was always a good feeling - a feeling of making some fair coin while getting new quests, interaction with NPCs and/or buy some new equipment.

 

2. After watching several twitch streams for many hours I've noticed that the stash seems problematic for many players (both new and "old"). They don't understand how to use it and instead just walk around with their pockets full of stuff. This again makes the stash-system a bad choice. This happens because it is not intuitive in the sense of how things work in the real world and more importantly lacks "back up" from cRPG conventions - such as the BG/IWD/NWN/D&D/Elder Scrolls encumbrance systems.

 

Those are just my few cents. What do you think about the stash system? Do you think it is better or worse than the encumbrance system? Why? Why not?

Edited by AdaMusic
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Carrying capacity isn't actually strategic because you can just go back and forth ferrying loot out. Unless you also have another system that restricts that such as needing supplies to travel back and forth, or respawns.

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Honestly, I really like it. My biggest problem with it right now is not even the stash, it's just that the placeholder image is all grains, all the time, so I can't tell what items I should look at vs just throw in the stash. The extra click to chuck stuff in stash is a very light payoff for being able to keep adventuring when out, well, adventuring. Knowing I can pick it all up, and then sort through it all when I get home, instead of just standing around in the middle of a dungeon going 'do I need this-wait it weighs a half pound too much' is very refreshing, even if less 'realistic.'

 

I think once everyone is used to the somewhat smaller normal inventory and stash system, most of us will wonder how we ever made do.

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Carrying capacity isn't actually strategic because you can just go back and forth ferrying loot out. Unless you also have another system that restricts that such as needing supplies to travel back and forth, or respawns.

 

But going back and forth ferrying loot sounds like it could be made into an interesting gameplay part. Add dangers on the way back: like random encounters between zones or other interesting features. Also, ferrying loot back and forth doesn't sound so bad. The environments are amazing and I'd love to feel like an adventurer going back to town to sell off my loot when my backpack is filled.

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Honestly, I really like it. My biggest problem with it right now is not even the stash, it's just that the placeholder image is all grains, all the time, so I can't tell what items I should look at vs just throw in the stash. The extra click to chuck stuff in stash is a very light payoff for being able to keep adventuring when out, well, adventuring. Knowing I can pick it all up, and then sort through it all when I get home, instead of just standing around in the middle of a dungeon going 'do I need this-wait it weighs a half pound too much' is very refreshing, even if less 'realistic.'

 

I think once everyone is used to the somewhat smaller normal inventory and stash system, most of us will wonder how we ever made do.

 

Yea but the "grains" thing will be fixed bfore release.

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Carrying capacity isn't actually strategic because you can just go back and forth ferrying loot out. Unless you also have another system that restricts that such as needing supplies to travel back and forth, or respawns.

 

But going back and forth ferrying loot sounds like it could be made into an interesting gameplay part. Add dangers on the way back: like random encounters between zones or other interesting features. Also, ferrying loot back and forth doesn't sound so bad. The environments are amazing and I'd love to feel like an adventurer going back to town to sell off my loot when my backpack is filled.

 

Personally I really dislike having to sort thru every bit of junk lying around to evaluate whether to keep it or not. There's far too much loot in these games to deal with that. Fallout New Vegas was particularly annoying on this front. I prefer either for there to be a lot less loot that's more valuable, or loot as much as you want and sort it out when you get back to town.

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Carrying capacity isn't actually strategic because you can just go back and forth ferrying loot out. Unless you also have another system that restricts that such as needing supplies to travel back and forth, or respawns.

 

But going back and forth ferrying loot sounds like it could be made into an interesting gameplay part. Add dangers on the way back: like random encounters between zones or other interesting features. Also, ferrying loot back and forth doesn't sound so bad. The environments are amazing and I'd love to feel like an adventurer going back to town to sell off my loot when my backpack is filled.

 

Personally I really dislike having to sort thru every bit of junk lying around to evaluate whether to keep it or not. There's far too much loot in these games to deal with that. Fallout New Vegas was particularly annoying on this front. I prefer either for there to be a lot less loot that's more valuable, or loot as much as you want and sort it out when you get back to town.

 

 

Why do you feel like you have to look through all loot? I feel like that is a leftover from bad game design. Sounds more like a job to me than a game.

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Carrying capacity isn't actually strategic because you can just go back and forth ferrying loot out. Unless you also have another system that restricts that such as needing supplies to travel back and forth, or respawns.

 

But going back and forth ferrying loot sounds like it could be made into an interesting gameplay part. Add dangers on the way back: like random encounters between zones or other interesting features. Also, ferrying loot back and forth doesn't sound so bad. The environments are amazing and I'd love to feel like an adventurer going back to town to sell off my loot when my backpack is filled.

 

Personally I really dislike having to sort thru every bit of junk lying around to evaluate whether to keep it or not. There's far too much loot in these games to deal with that. Fallout New Vegas was particularly annoying on this front. I prefer either for there to be a lot less loot that's more valuable, or loot as much as you want and sort it out when you get back to town.

 

 

Why do you feel like you have to look through all loot? I feel like that is a leftover from bad game design. Sounds more like a job to me than a game.

 

Because it's there.

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There's far too much loot in these games to deal with that. Fallout New Vegas was particularly annoying on this front.

I'm so happy to hear there's somebody else who found this to be a problem in F:NV. Although I suspect you still didn't mind it quite as much as I did, since it was one of the (numerous) factors in my deeming the game unplayably frustrating within a couple of hours and uninstalling it.

 

(Seriously, that game was mechanically so awful that I can't understand how so many people were willing to suffer through it long enough to get to the 'good content' that I'm told exists somewhere. I feel sorry for anyone contractually obligated to attempt to develop an enjoyable game in such an unspeakably bad engine.)

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There's far too much loot in these games to deal with that. Fallout New Vegas was particularly annoying on this front.

I'm so happy to hear there's somebody else who found this to be a problem in F:NV. Although I suspect you still didn't mind it quite as much as I did, since it was one of the (numerous) factors in my deeming the game unplayably frustrating within a couple of hours and uninstalling it.

 

(Seriously, that game was mechanically so awful that I can't understand how so many people were willing to suffer through it long enough to get to the 'good content' that I'm told exists somewhere. I feel sorry for anyone contractually obligated to attempt to develop an enjoyable game in such an unspeakably bad engine.)

 

Well, it was that and the awfulness of Old World Blues that killed it for me. I'm fairly happy with this games looting & inventory system, although it really needs highlights for everything you can interact with, like loot dropped from corpses.

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A bit more feedback on the stash - in order to be usable as a long-term storage space it needs some organisation. An example:

 

post-43557-0-38010300-1408482533_thumb.png

 

Like this the items can be organised as one sees fit. I'd go for something like

 

Far left - loot to sell.

Middle left - consumables (potions, etc.)

Middle right - magic items worth keeping to swap out and use

Far right - quest items / parts of items to forge (Caspenar item bits, etc.)

 

The game could either sort things automatically in pre-set groups (like in the inventory) or it can all be done manually. I'd rather go for manually because this way I could group things the way I want.

 

Please forgive my Paint skills.

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What they've essentially done here is:

 

Made the per-character inventory that the IE games had way smaller.

 

The stash acts as the "Bag of Holding", except you can't access it anywhere, only at certain locations (I think).

 

I don't think that's better than the old IE inventory. A single inventory with different tabs for different characters would be better IMO, along with equipment category filters and a text search, YMMV.

Edited by Sensuki
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What they've essentially done here is:

 

Made the per-character inventory that the IE games had way smaller.

 

The stash acts as the "Bag of Holding", except you can't access it anywhere, only at certain locations (I think).

 

I don't think that's better than the old IE inventory. A single inventory with different tabs for different characters would be better IMO, along with equipment category filters and a text search, YMMV.

 

I concur. I have a huge need to sort my items just the way i like it. I'm all for inventory management. Also the search function would be cool.

photo-43672.jpg?_r=1349795749
"Which is more the fool: the fool, or the fool who follows him?"

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If I understand how the stash works correctly, there's one thing that seems very strange about it to me: The fact that you can somehow put things in it at any time, but you for some reason then can't take it out until you get to a certain place. That just doesn't make sense to me.

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Again, just reading this thread is showing how confusing the new system is. Why "casualize" something when it just makes things more complicated?

 

What they've essentially done here is:

Made the per-character inventory that the IE games had way smaller.

The stash acts as the "Bag of Holding", except you can't access it anywhere, only at certain locations (I think).

I don't think that's better than the old IE inventory. A single inventory with different tabs for different characters would be better IMO, along with equipment category filters and a text search, YMMV.

 

I agree. The old IE inventory with search and sort functions would've been brilliant.

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Again, just reading this thread is showing how confusing the new system is. Why "casualize" something when it just makes things more complicated?

 

What they've essentially done here is:

 

Made the per-character inventory that the IE games had way smaller.

 

The stash acts as the "Bag of Holding", except you can't access it anywhere, only at certain locations (I think).

 

I don't think that's better than the old IE inventory. A single inventory with different tabs for different characters would be better IMO, along with equipment category filters and a text search, YMMV.

 

I agree. The old IE inventory with search and sort functions would've been brilliant.

 

Agree. The inventory stash system is very poor and simple.

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I agree. Just bring back old IE inventory system.

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No to experimentation!

No to fixing that is not broken!

No to changes for the sake of change!

Do not forget basis of Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale and Planescape Torment. Just put all your effort to story, fine-tuning and quality control.

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While sorting functionality would be wonderful, I think the stash adds to the ability to manage long term inventory way better. A lot more room overall, and you don't have to worry about carrying around things you wont be using right away. There looks to be a ton of crafting and enchanting materials, and it all has to go somewhere.

 

What the stash removes is just the ability to sit down and sort your inventory in the middle of a dungeon with a two ton tarantula creeping up on your party.

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I don't feel the drag'n drop ritual fascinating or worthy of spending time.  I thought, at least, crafting items were sorted under a separate window.  If there is no tactical importance in the limited inventory, I'd rather like to have an infinite one since, at the current state, its main function appears to be just wasting time.  If the game cannot give meaningful choices (such as selecting equipment) to the stash and the individual inventory system, making an unlimited inventory would be nice.  Don't misunderstand me.  I'm not against resource management in general-the limited rest supply system, for example, but I find the current inventory system is more of wasting time than offering interesting choices.  One thing I could say for the individual inventories is that they remind me what items I wanted to let each character use when I put them in his/her individual inventory.

 

As a side note, a loot all button would be nice.

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It's a good system and people will get used to it. The backer beta might not give it the introduction it requires, because it assumes that the backers are familiar with the updates where its functionality is described.

But it's really easy. You have an unlimited inventory that you can access in safe places like towns (and possibly campfires). But you can't access it while adventuring, which means that you can't be prepared for all possible situations. This is what makes this inventory strategic. You have three free slots - do you fill them with traps, with potions or with a mix of both?

 

Encumbrance adds nothing to this system. It's less tactical because it (unrealistically) allows you to be prepared for many situations, since the inventory is bigger. At some point it makes you micro-manage your inventory which absolutely isn't fun. All that an encumbrance system has going for it is nostalgia.

 

I agree that subcategories would be good for when you access the stash.

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It's a good system and people will get used to it. The backer beta might not give it the introduction it requires, because it assumes that the backers are familiar with the updates where its functionality is described.

But it's really easy. You have an unlimited inventory that you can access in safe places like towns (and possibly campfires). But you can't access it while adventuring, which means that you can't be prepared for all possible situations. This is what makes this inventory strategic. You have three free slots - do you fill them with traps, with potions or with a mix of both?

 

Encumbrance adds nothing to this system. It's less tactical because it (unrealistically) allows you to be prepared for many situations, since the inventory is bigger. At some point it makes you micro-manage your inventory which absolutely isn't fun. All that an encumbrance system has going for it is nostalgia.

 

I agree that subcategories would be good for when you access the stash.

 

You basically ignore the arguments for the encumbrance based inventory system given in this thread. I'd love to see you actually meet the arguments and in that way convince us/yourself/the developers/someone why the stash system is in fact better.

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No, I did not ignore your points. I answered them by giving my reasons for why the stash system is better. And also, other people already countered them. But anyway:

 

You say the encumbrance inventory is strategic, well I disagree because you can prepare for many different situations with it, while you have to choose which items to keep in your active inventory with the stash system.

You say that the strategic part comes from deciding which items to take with you, the valuable ones or the useful ones - as has been said before by others, almost nobody does that. Most people take the useful stuff, then come back when every enemy is dead and loot all the valuable stuff. People are greedy like that.

You say returning to sell loot was a good feeling - yes, but this feeling is still there. It's not a point for one or the other system.

You say it's fun going back and forth to sell all the loot there is. Sorry but no, nobody thinks that is fun. Sometimes you have to accept that you're in the minority, and this kind of gameplay is a huge problem for most players, it's not popular and one of the main reasons the new system was put into action.

 

Summary for encumbrance inventory:

- Less strategic

- More annoying micro-managing

- Going back and forth to sell all the loot

+ Nostalgia

Edited by Fearabbit
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No, I did not ignore your points. I answered them by giving my reasons for why the stash system is better. And also, other people already countered them. But anyway:

 

You say the encumbrance inventory is strategic, well I disagree because you can prepare for many different situations with it, while you have to choose which items to keep in your active inventory with the stash system.

You say that the strategic part comes from deciding which items to take with you, the valuable ones or the useful ones - as has been said before by others, almost nobody does that. Most people take the useful stuff, then come back when every enemy is dead and loot all the valuable stuff. People are greedy like that.

You say returning to sell loot was a good feeling - yes, but this feeling is still there. It's not a point for one or the other system.

You say it's fun going back and forth to sell all the loot there is. Sorry but no, nobody thinks that is fun. Sometimes you have to accept that you're in the minority, and this kind of gameplay is a huge problem for most players, it's not popular and one of the main reasons the new system was put into action.

 

Summary for encumbrance inventory:

- Less strategic

- More annoying micro-managing

- Going back and forth to sell all the loot

+ Nostalgia

 

Well by looking at this thread I don't seem to be in a minority. 

 

On your points:

1. Why is it less strategic to be able to prepare for many situations? It is more complex than the RPS situation given by the stash inventory. To me it is like you're saying chess is less strategic than rock paper scissors because chess is more complex.

 

2. I feel like the current stash system has more annoying micro-managing. Instead of having 1 inventory per character we now have 1 inventory per character + a stash "bag". The stash bag in itself is unintiutive making the micro-management make less sense to the player. It's not a point for one or the other system. If it is, then the IE encumbrance system has less micro-management because of less amount of bags/chests/stashes/inventories.

 

3. I feel like you only express how you or a very small minority does this. I don't think the majority walks back and forth to a dungeon just so that he or she can grab exactly every possible trash loot and optimize how much money they get from a RPG run.

 

4. Nostalgia, yes, but more important convention. There is a reason why games, movies, etc, etc ... uses conventions to simplify things without losing complexity. The encumbrance inventory system is a brilliant example of a convention that has been used in multiple games with success. The biggest pro is that even if you're new to the game you'll probably understand the concept. 

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Well by looking at this thread I don't seem to be in a minority. 

 

On your points:

1. Why is it less strategic to be able to prepare for many situations? It is more complex than the RPS situation given by the stash inventory. To me it is like you're saying chess is less strategic than rock paper scissors because chess is more complex.

 

2. I feel like the current stash system has more annoying micro-managing. Instead of having 1 inventory per character we now have 1 inventory per character + a stash "bag". The stash bag in itself is unintiutive making the micro-management make less sense to the player. It's not a point for one or the other system. If it is, then the IE encumbrance system has less micro-management because of less amount of bags/chests/stashes/inventories.

 

3. I feel like you only express how you or a very small minority does this. I don't think the majority walks back and forth to a dungeon just so that he or she can grab exactly every possible trash loot and optimize how much money they get from a RPG run.

 

4. Nostalgia, yes, but more important convention. There is a reason why games, movies, etc, etc ... uses conventions to simplify things without losing complexity. The encumbrance inventory system is a brilliant example of a convention that has been used in multiple games with success. The biggest pro is that even if you're new to the game you'll probably understand the concept. 

 

 

This thread has like 5 people who agree with you, I think. I'm talking about the thousands of backers and, later, buyers of this game. It's hard to tell what the majority likes, but it's a very bad idea to extrapolate from the desires of the hardcore nostalgia crowd.

I'm using this term a lot so let me just say that I don't think it's bad - nostalgia's great. But sometimes it can stand in the way of innovation. I remember that when Oblivion was announced, people (including me) were upset that it did away with the hit-or-miss combat system of Morrowind. In the end, it was a good decision that the majority of players approved of. I still tried to mod it back in, but for the majority of players not having it was the better solution.

 

Now to your counter-arguments.

 

1) That's like saying that a class that encompasses all other classes is the most strategic one because it can do everything. I mean yeah, if you have to decide whether to play a rogue ability or a mage ability that certainly is some strategy going on, but we can agree that it's bad gameplay design right? Limiting players in their options is a fundamental part of pushing them to their personal limit. Having to make do with what's available is what makes encounters intense and requires actual tactical decisions. And this is so obvious that I'm really beginning to think you're just arguing for the sake of it.

(The chess comparison doesn't work at all by the way. What I'm saying is that winning chess is a lot harder and requires more thought and tactical prowess if you only play with 5 chess pieces instead of 16, and that choosing which 5 pieces to take is a more tactical decision than simply playing with all of them.)

 

2) Except that you know exactly where all the junk is, and managing it is as easy as opening the stash. In BG, you had to distribute the items on six different inventories and had to remember where they are or go through them all, which was super annoying. Also your point about less inventories only makes sense if they were kept separate, but since they are displayed at the same time this argument just doesn't work. You effectively have one inventory and one bag of holding. It's way less micro-management, sorry. And this is possible exactly because the individual inventories are smaller.

 

3) Oh come on, "every possible trash loot"? Don't turn this into that kind of discussion where everything is taken to the extreme. No, people won't care about every freaking possible trash loot, but they'll care enough to walk back and forth a couple of times, and this is what people do in these games, and they don't like it. This is what Obsidian repeatedly heard as criticism and it's called degenerative gameplay and Josh Sawyer talks about that all the time. Yes, some people don't care about it. You apparently don't. It's a big enough issue for Obsidian to care about it, though. There's really no point in arguing about this. The majority of people have a problem with degenerative gameplay. And Obsidian deserves high praise for finding a solution that gets rid of that without dumbing down the game. They could have said "screw tactics, lets give them an unlimited inventory". They didn't do that.

 

4) I have no sympathy for RPG veterans who refuse to learn about new systems, sorry. And like I said before, this one is not as complicated as you make it out to be. You've watched a couple of Twitch streams where people played the game blindly for the first time without knowing getting an introduction to the different mechanics. Of course they were confused. Watch them play the game for the second time and I bet they suddenly use the stash inventory with ease.

Also no. Managing six inventories that are so big you need to show them seperately is not intuitive for newbies. You don't remember it now, but when you first played the IE games you had some trouble with that as well. I know I did when I came back to them a couple of months ago. Managing one encumbrance inventory is intuitive, but it's still annoying enough that I don't like the system in games like Skyrim or Fallout 3.

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