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Sensuki's Suggestions #009: Inventory and Item Tooltips


Sensuki

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Going through the 00 Agents, we're up to Peter Smith from Thunderball and Octopussy (009).

 

Here I have made a video about the inventory screen and made some suggestions about some additional stats from items that would be nice to be able to see in the inventory page, made some suggestions on how to properly convey what the speed of a weapon actually means and also given my opinion on the current inventory system as a whole (spoiler: not very good).

 

A comment I made about where to display Weapon Damage in the video, another solution I can think of would be to remove the huge stash/quest item buttons and put them as Text over with the Crafting Button and have the Weapon Damage under the weapon sets.

 

You could also but the 2D icon for the Stash and Quest items on those buttons before the text and add one to the Crafting button, so there's a visual representation of what they do. That may not be the perfect solution though, it's just something that just popped into my head, rather than a careful consideration.

 

Another thing I mention in the video is being able to compare items via tooltips in the inventory, and I did mention a few games that have this feature. One of them is Grim Dawn, a game which I actually have installed. So here is a screenshot from Grim Dawn that describes the type of thing that I mean. Diablo 3 also does this, but I don't have Diablo 3 installed, for reasons you can probably surmise.

 

GD.jpg

 

I have also shared my general opinion on the new Inventory system with a limited inventory and Stash, and after using it, my opinion is - it is bad. I can think of a few edge cases that might make it frustrating to use, but when I actually encounter those in the game, perhaps I'll make a video on them.

 

Anyway, I think that people are just going to metagame around the limited inventory and to me it's not really an interesting mechanic, but that's a topic for another day.

 

You could also have mouseover tooltips for the Defense, DT and Accuracy buttons and give more detailed stats - such as Melee and Ranged Accuracy, DT vs Damage types and all that stuff, another thing to consider.

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Because you mentioned quest items, it took me a while to realize that some items went to the quest items stash when I picked them up. Another thing that I really liked about the grid inventory of the IE games was that I could sort things easily, one guy hoarded all potions another one gems etc. It made everything tidy and clearly arranged.

Edited by Mayama
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The Witcher 1 displayed quest items pretty well in my opinion.

 

witchinvent.jpg

 

IMO woulda been nice to see the Inventory screen in a Kickstarter update and whatnot a while back, and such feedback could have already been collected *shrug* 

Edited by Sensuki
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Another thing I mention in the video is being able to compare items via tooltips in the inventory, and I did mention a few games that have this feature. One of them is Grim Dawn, a game which I actually have installed. So here is a screenshot from Grim Dawn that describes the type of thing that I mean. Diablo 3 also does this, but I don't have Diablo 3 installed, for reasons you can probably surmise.

This is actually one of the first things I personally felt as actually missing from PoE. I'm all for going old-school but please let us compare stats via tooltips.

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There is a road that I must travel
Let it be paved or unseen
May I be hindered by a thousand stones
Still onward I'd crawl down on my knees.

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Another thing I mention in the video is being able to compare items via tooltips in the inventory, and I did mention a few games that have this feature. One of them is Grim Dawn, a game which I actually have installed. So here is a screenshot from Grim Dawn that describes the type of thing that I mean. Diablo 3 also does this, but I don't have Diablo 3 installed, for reasons you can probably surmise.

This is actually one of the first things I personally felt as actually missing from PoE. I'm all for going old-school but please let us compare stats via tooltips.

 

Whippersnappers like you should be happy that they dont have to draw the map themself on checkered paper :p

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Please no tool-tip weapons comparing. It has too much of a MMO vibe.

And I think my brain can handle the stress of memorizing 3 values and comparing them.

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  After my realization that White March has the same XP reward problem, I don't even have the drive to launch game anymore because I hated so much reaching Twin Elms with a level cap in vanilla PoE that I don't wish to relive that experience.

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Personally I am happy with no tooltips as the IE games had no tooltips. I liked the feeling of opening up an item and reading the parchment text with the evocative 2D sketch of the item.

 

However PE already has tooltips and the item description parchments aren't that great so far ... so if the horse is already out the barn door...

Edited by Sensuki
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 ... so if the horse is already out the barn door...

 

... you take the horse by the harness, bring it back, close tightly the barn door and give it pencils to make draw item sketches and bring other horses to brainstorm item description parchments that feel worthy of an infinity engine crpg.

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  After my realization that White March has the same XP reward problem, I don't even have the drive to launch game anymore because I hated so much reaching Twin Elms with a level cap in vanilla PoE that I don't wish to relive that experience.

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Another thing I mention in the video is being able to compare items via tooltips in the inventory, and I did mention a few games that have this feature. One of them is Grim Dawn, a game which I actually have installed. So here is a screenshot from Grim Dawn that describes the type of thing that I mean. Diablo 3 also does this, but I don't have Diablo 3 installed, for reasons you can probably surmise.

This is actually one of the first things I personally felt as actually missing from PoE. I'm all for going old-school but please let us compare stats via tooltips.

 

Whippersnappers like you should be happy that they dont have to draw the map themself on checkered paper :p

 

Sure, and next thing we know the game is asking us to roll a d100 for attack and enter the result in the textbox below. :p

There is a road that I must travel
Let it be paved or unseen
May I be hindered by a thousand stones
Still onward I'd crawl down on my knees.

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... you take the horse by the harness, bring it back, close tightly the barn door and give it pencils to make draw item sketches and bring other horses to brainstorm item description parchments that feel worthy of an infinity engine crpg.

 

If only ^^

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Yeah, don't really want a comparison or anything. But what I'm pondering is, does the inventory slots and such seem a bit small to anyone else, or is it just me? It's mostly just a "feely" thing but items in other RPGs and such feel like they have more weight to them with slightly larger icons. I guess it is also a result of a lot of missing artwork too, but still.

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Yeah, don't really want a comparison or anything. But what I'm pondering is, does the inventory slots and such seem a bit small to anyone else, or is it just me?

I find them too small as well. The UI is made for 1280x720, which I think is why.

 

edit: Yep. Fullscreen UI at 720p *rolleyes* THIS IS WHAT IT SHOULD LOOK LIKE ON ALL RESOLUTIONS FFFFFFFFFFFF

 

fu.jpg

Edited by Sensuki
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Yeah, don't really want a comparison or anything. But what I'm pondering is, does the inventory slots and such seem a bit small to anyone else, or is it just me?

I find them too small as well. The UI is made for 1280x720, which I think is why.

 

edit: Yep. Fullscreen UI at 720p *rolleyes* THIS IS WHAT IT SHOULD LOOK LIKE ON ALL RESOLUTIONS FFFFFFFFFFFF

 

fu.jpg

 

Yeah, just a change to make it easier to make out what was going on and expanded like in that window would be good enough for me, really.  Well, possibly a SLIGHT enlargening of the item slots, still.

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Yeah, don't really want a comparison or anything. But what I'm pondering is, does the inventory slots and such seem a bit small to anyone else, or is it just me?

I find them too small as well. The UI is made for 1280x720, which I think is why.

 

edit: Yep. Fullscreen UI at 720p *rolleyes* THIS IS WHAT IT SHOULD LOOK LIKE ON ALL RESOLUTIONS FFFFFFFFFFFF

 

This is hopefully just for the beta, and they'll properly scale it in the full version (not to mention they're still very much working on the UI so it might be completely changed by the time the proper release comes).
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Well the problem is the art is a 2D asset. You can't scale a 2D asset, it would have to be re-done.

 

Unless they have much higher res source versions.

Eeesh, yeah, that'd be a real problem. I mean, still hope they can adjust them a tad all the same.

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As Stun said IWD2 already perfected the inventory system, I really have no idea why they are trying to reinvent the wheel here. But w/e, this is something that I can personally live with, even if I don't like it.

It seems like they went to great lengths to accomplish 2 things with this inventory system at the cost of everything else, including aesthetics, intuitiveness and functionality (the 3 things that *should* be focused on instead when designing an inventory system)

 

1) They wanted to make item swapping/comparing between party members be a simple 1 screen process - I applaud them for the idea, as it sounds so good in theory, but here we see the end result and its.... not as good as it sounded. In order to actually display a full party's inventory on one screen they had to: a) shrink everything down including the # of inventory slots per character. (<ugh> only 8 slots per character? REALLY?) and b) create a bunch of separate screens anyway. The end result is that we're back to needing to click on multiple screens to see everything. (character inventory, deep stash, crafting ingredients, quest items)

 

2)They wanted to remove the problem that often occurred in the earlier IE games where you ran out of inventory space while you were adventuring and had to run back to town to sell off the vender trash you collected. - again, a great idea on paper as inventory management was a serious pain in the ass in BG1 and IWD1. But now that I see it (and use it) in practice, I don't like it. And I don't understand why the deep stash isn't accessible except at camps and inns. If they were trying to create a 'tactical' element then why didn't they just impose weight or space limits and tie them to attributes or skills?

 

 

I like *meaningful* complexity in my RPGs, Obsidian. Not Pointless complexity.

Edited by Stun
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2)They wanted to remove the problem that often occurred in the earlier IE games where you....ran out of inventory space while you were adventuring and had to run back to town to sell off the vender trash you collected. - again, a great idea on paper. But now that I see it (and use it) in practice, I don't like it. And I don't understand why the deep stash isn't accessible except at camps and inns. If they were trying to create a 'tactical' element then why didn't they just impose weight or space limits?

 

Though I never did that, I always dropped the less valuable loot for that of more value. There was never a case where I needed to drop something that was over 5000 gold(high tier item), because there was no space. This is of course for a party of 6.

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I think the problem is Josh's idea that the inventory needs to be restricted from the player. Okay fair enough, lock the inventory from being used in combat, that makes sense - but to only allow a few item slots and not be able to get any items from the stash BUT be able to craft or enchant an item on the spot is just LUDICROUS IMO.

 

It seems like they went to great lengths to accomplish 2 things with this inventory system at the cost of everything else, including aesthetics, intuitiveness and functionality (the 3 things that *should* be focused on instead when designing an inventory system)

 

1) They wanted to make item swapping/comparing between party members be a simple 1 click process - I applaud them for the idea, as it sounds so good in theory, but here we see the end result and its.... not as good as it sounded. In order to actually display a full party's inventory they had to a) shrink everything down including the # of inventory slots per character. <ugh> and b) they still had to create a bunch of screens. The end result is that we're back to needing to click on multiple screens to see everything. (character inventory, deep stash, crafting ingredients, quest items)

Number of slots per character was only included because Infinitron trolled Josh Sawyer on formspring and said something like "I want my Wizard to carry the scrolls", which Josh actually quoted in a video and stated that as the reason why they made a per-character inventory.

 

proof.jpg

 

Lulz.

 

Regarding that formspring comment I think his perception there is a bit off. You usually hit slot limits because you were using the same character to pick stuff up off the ground.

 

2)They wanted to remove the problem that often occurred in the earlier IE games where you....ran out of inventory space while you were adventuring and had to run back to town to sell off the vender trash you collected. - again, a great idea on paper. But now that I see it (and use it) in practice, I don't like it. And I don't understand why the deep stash isn't accessible except at camps and inns. If they were trying to create a 'tactical' element then why didn't they just impose weight or space limits?

You didn't run out of space in BG2 because you had the Bag of Holding, and Item Containers. I don't think you got those items in Icewind Dale 1 & 2 though, and Obsidian seems to be drawing many design decisions based on player's feedback from playing the Icewind Dale games.

Edited by Sensuki
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You didn't run out of space in BG2 because you had the Bag of Holding, and Item Containers. I don't think you got those items in Icewind Dale 1 & 2 though, and Obsidian seems to be drawing many design decisions based on player's feedback from playing the Icewind Dale games.

 

You had 2 bags of holding, scroll cases, potion cases, and gem bags in IWD2.

Edited by Sarex
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Pro pro!

Really good thoughts and insightful Sensuki. Some thoughts below:

Where is the stash and how to access it?
One idea about the Stash (around 4:00) I got from your presentation is to remove the stash icon from the Inventory screen entirely and put the Crafting button there instead and then display the damage where the crafting button is (that's a really good suggestion).

What happens with the Stash then? The simplest solution is to spawn some sort of "Chest" at every Stash location (Typical of aRPGs). So there could be a Stash inside the Inn, or in the middle of the Dyrford Village. Note: This isn't the most thematic of solutions, it's more or less a copy+paste from games like Diablo 3 handling "Stash".

The real underlying solution is to have it aesthetically thematic (<- that word, yep, I learned it the other day and Pillars of Eternity needs, imo, 200% authentic thematic*), the Unlimited Stash could be a "void" or a "portal" (an object that is a chest but looks like something else) that opens up when the Player gets close to it they can access it, open it etc.

The could also be a Pack Mule in every town you go to. The Chest doesn't have to be a "Chest" model~ a pocket plane of some sort is the easiest solution, as it's difficult for a Player character to interract with (A player might want to try and kick the Mule's arse just for fun, a pocket plane is just a void of energy~).

A Terranigma solution would be badass as well (Terranigma is a SNES game, and when you access the inventory, the main character jumps into a tiny chest).

Looting
When looting, the Chest icon could be a "void" or "portal" icon, and when you put things there it goes to the Stash, just like it does now.

Resting

When resting, and picking the chest icon, you could open a "portal" or a "void". Doesn't have to be advanced, your character can wave their hands a bit (Obs already have spell casting animations and VFX so just re-use that with a new color). An already existing spell can be used to visualize the "portal" being opened as well.

 

-----------

How does this change how the Stash functions today?
1- Accessing Stash from Inventory no more, have to Access Stash at "Stash Location" or during "Rest".
2- Loot into Stash does not change mechanically or visually (with the exception of an icon or two).
3- Rest to Access Stash does not change mechanically, but visually (opening pocket plane portal or equivalent presentation). 

In essence: The only addition here is "Stash Location" and possible, simple, "VFX".

* Roleplaying, Authenticity to the world, Narrative, Immersion, all of these things become "Kawai!" with thematic consistency.

Edited by Osvir
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You didn't run out of space in BG2 because you had the Bag of Holding, and Item Containers. I don't think you got those items in Icewind Dale 1 & 2 though, and Obsidian seems to be drawing many design decisions based on player's feedback from playing the Icewind Dale games.

 

You had 2 bags of holding, scroll cases, potion cases, and gem bags in IWD2.

 

Must have just been BG1 and IWD1 then.

 

Inventory size was not a problem in BG2, I've never finished Icewind Dale 2 though. I got stuck in the Fell Woods on my first play through back in 2002 and on consecutive attempts I've always had trouble getting it to run properly on my PC without graphical glitches. On my current PC, the mouse cursor flickers which is really off putting.

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