Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Sensuki

Sensuki's Suggestions #014: Non-Terrible Inventory [Mockup]

Recommended Posts

This time I am taking a shot at the Pillars of Eternity Inventory Design.

But first, some history ...

 

Inventory design in this game is hampered by the notion that the party inventory should be of a limited size for "tactical reasons". This is an approach which many other games have used successfully in the past - notably the Diablo series. The player's inventory is limited for this reason, so you can't pick everything up at once and sometimes have to make a decision about what you want in your inventory when out crushing Succubi crying out in sexual pleasure upon death, much to the grievance of Chris Avellone.

 

Pillars of Eternity actually has many types of items and is a game that promotes taking the kitchen sink with you. So why is the party inventory limited to a measly eight slots? 

Is this fun? 

 

 

Pillars of Eternity also features a party stash. Similar-ish to the Diablo series, the Stash is not accessible in the field. In the Diablo series, the Stash is located "in town" and you have to go back to town to access it. Going back to town in Diablo is a great thing that the awful designers of Diablo 3 wished to once take away from us (and luckily they added it back in). Going back to town breaks up the adventuring pace nicely.

 

Baldur's Gate 1 had a really nice adventuring pace. You would normally be able to last in the field over the course of many areas, held up by your Cleric's healing spells, healing potions and the ability to rest (without camping supplies), and the act of going back to town was undertaken when the party inventory was full. This felt like a very natural thing.

 

When the amount of items that you could find in the IE games rose to the ridiculous levels, the Baldur's Gate 2 designers thankfully threw the famous "Bag of Holding" into the mix to give players a large (unlimited with the Tweak Pack) storage space without having to redesign the inventory system of the game - great job. This tradition was also continued in Icewind Dale 2, thankfully.

 

Now for some reason, the sacred act of going back to town has somehow been lost in translation or outlawed by the game designers of today. People are becoming more impatient and rather than enjoying sifting through their inventory while taking a break in adventuring, today's gamer somehow does not find this an immersive action, compared to the gamers of yesteryear and are reminded of the dreadful task of sorting their daily laundry, or their dusty CD Collection which they have not touched since they started downloading mp3s from Kazaa ... oops that's too old school *ahem* downloading V0 Torrents from a Russian Torrent Tracker.

 

So unfortunately we sigh as we move into this new age of inventory that cringes at the notion of per-character inventory over multiple tabs, that cringes at the simulationism of such a design. All party list inventories have become the norm, with very small screen space dedicated to the actual lines in the list.

Ironically Pillars of Eternity DOES have a per-character inventory. This was not going to be the case originally, so if anyone is interested - feel free to search around on Josh Sawyer's posts on this forum for posts about inventory from 2012 or early 2013. Other places that also contained this discussion are Something Awful - albeit an old thread called "OBSIDIAN IS DOING A THING" which requires Archives Access for $9.95 USD, and Josh Sawyer's formspring account which you will find on google.

 

What you may find, on the formspring account is this conversation:

 

proof.jpg

 

This conversation between Infinitron and Josh Sawyer changed the inventory from party inventory to per-character. Another thing that has also changed is that people were (thankfully) unhappy with the notion that slots in the inventory would be tied to an attribute such as "Strength".

What we have now people is this:

 

INV.jpg

 

Why have we regressed from a perfectly good sizable per-character grid inventory that also included a bag of holding to an incredibly small per-character inventory that has a function that doubles as a bag of holding (the stash) that is now only accessible at the Stronghold, Inns, Shops and Camp? Some strange notion that a limited tactical inventory is a fun thing, or something or rather...

 

The question I ask is this - If we can't have the good old style of inventory, why bother beating around the bush and take the next step?

 

Ladies and Gentleman, I present to you:

 

PE_INVENTORY1.jpg

 

Get rid of the per-character inventory. In fact - get rid of the party inventory altogether and just have THE STASH. 

THE STASH - Massive grid inventory that contains everything, accessible everywhere outside of combat. Complete with already incorporated Pillars of Eternity equipment filters, but also including the auto-sort button from Titan Quest (a great step in inventory design) and a Search bar just like in Windows 7 where you can type in a string of text and the inventory will (idealistically) do something like highlight the items if the string matches, and filter the items when you press the enter (or return key on Mac) in the text box - and obviously, using the ... filter would reset the inventory back to normal.

 

I have ridden the inventory of the horrible buttons below the weapon sets and included the absolutely fantastic Witcher 1 Quest Item system, a set of never ending scrollable horizontal slots that stores all of your quest items for you, visible in the inventory screen - another great step in inventory design.

 

Another suggestion which I have not included is to include a separate tab on the inventory for Crafting Ingredients, another thing which The Witcher did well, although unfortunately they limited the available slots for Crafting ingredients - which modders modded out straight away.

 

Let's face it. The first mod someone will make for the game will be "Access Stash Anywhere", and anyone who even thinks about using mods for the game is going to use it, so why even bother with this limited per-character inventory we have at the moment? It just seems pointless to me.

 

Oh yeah one other thing I thought I'd demonstrate. I've talked about this in previous videos, but some extra inventory tooltips are needed - here is one of them:

 

Untitled.jpg

 

Some closing points:

 

  • If you can craft an item or enchant an item any time outside of combat, you should be able to access the stash anywhere outside of combat
  • The inventory and ALL of the UIs should scale to higher resolutions. The lucky bastards using a laptop with a 13" screen get a full screen inventory at 720p, why can't we have the same? (I'm going to cry when I buy the 27" 1440p screen I plan to get in a few months).
  • The UI screens should have a uniform look and uniform navigation set, preferably in the style of Windows - OK, Apply, Close for options menus and a big DONE button at the bottom for everything else in the style of the IE (can leave the cross at the top though I guess).
  • Weapon Damage for Weapon sets should also be displayed in the inventory, preferably next to the weapon. Currently there's not enough space, but anyway.

Cheers everyone for the ongoing support, I hope you like my inventory design and there will be many more suggestions to come in the future unless overtly opposed.

  • Like 29

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like I said before, if we are going to have an infinite stash anyway we may as well just make the stash the inventory, eliminate individual item inventories, and anything not equipped as a quick item can not be used in actual combat.  There is already a very solid amount of item sorting etc from the main inventory so nothing even needs to change there.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

So unfortunately we sigh as we move into this new age of inventory that cringes at the notion of per-character inventory over multiple tabs, that cringes at the simulationism of such a design. 

 

So, it turns out you agree with that?...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I mostly agree with this though I do not like unlimited inventory space through the stash or any other means.  It should be bigger though, perhaps 20 items per character.

 

I also wonder how characters leaving the party will be affected. If a character has a ring of awesomeness equipped and leaves the party do you lose the item? Does it go to the stash?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also wonder how characters leaving the party will be affected. If a character has a ring of awesomeness equipped and leaves the party do you lose the item? Does it go to the stash?

A simple solution: equipped items are gone but items in the shared inventory stay (with the possible exception of unique character-bound items, e.g. Minsc won't leave without Boo ;).

Edited by prodigydancer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This seems like a case of throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Here's what needs to be done first:

 

1) Improve the presentation of the Stash. Integrate it with the main window instead of making it a tiny pathetic separate window thingie like the Bags of Holding in NWN.

 

2) Make the per-character inventories larger if necessary. Or at least redesign them so that they're not obviously smaller than what was originally intended, which makes people feel like they're being ripped off.

 

Then, after you've tried that, decide if any further streamlining is necessary.

Edited by Infinitron
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

So unfortunately we sigh as we move into this new age of inventory that cringes at the notion of per-character inventory over multiple tabs, that cringes at the simulationism of such a design. 

 

So, it turns out you agree with that?...

 

 

Absolutely not.

 

There's no way we're getting an improved IE inventory, only a worse one.

 

Much like the Main UI, my absolute preference is out of bounds.

 

I mostly agree with this though I do not like unlimited inventory space through the stash or any other means.  It should be bigger though, perhaps 20 items per character.

 

I also wonder how characters leaving the party will be affected. If a character has a ring of awesomeness equipped and leaves the party do you lose the item? Does it go to the stash?

Just as in the IE games, if a character is *wearing* an item, they will still be wearing that item when you boot them out.

Edited by Sensuki
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Items should be bigger. They use the same 40x40 icon size of the IE games, but at the time we had 640x480 resolutions... 800x600 at most. Resolutions has more than doubled since, a 40x40 icon is minuscule at 1920x1080.

20/20 vision people should check their privilege.

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I mostly agree with this though I do not like unlimited inventory space through the stash or any other means.  It should be bigger though, perhaps 20 items per character.

Or 24. like in IWD2 (3 rows of 8.)

 

That's my main gripe. 8 slots per character does not feel "tactical" so much as 'tacked on', as if they felt that they had to throw us a bone so we wouldn't complain too much about how deliberately different it feels from the IE games.

 

But 8 slots per character is functionless. It simply doesn't add any tactical layer to the gameplay whatsoever.

Edited by Stun
  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Items should be bigger. They use the same 40x40 icon size of the IE games, but at the time we had 640x480 resolutions... 800x600 at most. Resolutions has more than doubled since, a 40x40 icon is minuscule at 1920x1080.

 

20/20 vision people should check their privilege.

They would be if the inventory scaled with resolution. At 1280x720 the icons are big enough, but at any higher resolutions they are tiny.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a good idea. 

I did NOT enjoy dragging stuff to the shared stash that had to be opened explicitly. It should be a simple drag & drop. 

Way too much time is spent managing inventory in these types of games.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Infinitron must pay for this retardedness. As penance, he must do a review, and a Lets Play of Lichdom: Battlemage! :p

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When the amount of items that you could find in the IE games rose to the ridiculous levels, the Baldur's Gate 2 designers thankfully threw the famous "Bag of Holding" into the mix to give players a large (unlimited with the Tweak Pack) storage space without having to redesign the inventory system of the game - great job. This tradition was also continued in Icewind Dale 2, thankfully.

 

Now for some reason, the sacred act of going back to town has somehow been lost in translation or outlawed by the game designers of today. People are becoming more impatient and rather than enjoying sifting through their inventory while taking a break in adventuring, today's gamer somehow does not find this an immersive action, compared to the gamers of yesteryear and are reminded of the dreadful task of sorting their daily laundry, or their dusty CD Collection which they have not touched since they started downloading mp3s from Kazaa ... oops that's too old school *ahem* downloading V0 Torrents from a Russian Torrent Tracker.

 

So unfortunately we sigh as we move into this new age of inventory that cringes at the notion of per-character inventory over multiple tabs, that cringes at the simulationism of such a design. All party list inventories have become the norm, with very small screen space dedicated to the actual lines in the list.

 

This whole "new gamers are impatient and lazy" argument is getting old, especially if people here constantly refer to baldurs gate as "old school" and a big part of this community started playing rpgs with titles like ultima, eye of beholder or wizardry. Using a specific group of people that can be easily used as a scapegoat for a trend that is unpopular by your target audience is nothing more than hollow populism. You could have, you know just said "I personaly prefer this".

Edited by Mayama
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The first RPGs I played were Ultima Underworld, Might and Magic IV: World of Xeen and Dark Sun: Shattered Lands, which I think is fitting for my age.

 

You also can't expect to come to a sub-forum for an Infinity Engine style game and not encounter reverence for the Infinity Engine games.

Edited by Sensuki
  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I prefer a grid or encumbrance based system as it just seems more natural to me. On the other hand, with Camping Supplies going for 300 each, Im going to need as much cash as possible. :lol:

  • Like 2

image,Gfted1,black,red.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I prefer a grid or encumbrance based system as it just seems more natural to me.

Many of us do :(

 

I loved the IE inventories.

 

It's one of the areas that didn't even need a change, although not everyone agrees with that.

Edited by Sensuki
  • Like 12

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also love the IE inventory system, and I don't understand why the hell it needed changing, like so many other things.

  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the downsides of having an ambitious lead designer I guess. Call me a grognard!

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I prefer a grid or encumbrance based system as it just seems more natural to me.

Many of us do :(

 

I loved the IE inventories.

 

It's one of the areas that didn't even need a change, although not everyone agrees with that.

 

The most important thing and I guess nobody disagrees on that is that the stash window is way to small, its endless so give us something like 20x30 slots per page. The first page of the stash is full after 15 min into the beta, multiply it with 10+hours of gaming and you have a inventory nightmare.

Edited by Mayama
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Makes total sense.

 

The ridiculously small per character inventory serves no purpose whatsoever nor represents anything RP wise (since items don't have neither size nor weight) and the stash concept is completely bonkers: You can put items in anytime but you can't get them out of it? What kind of mind can produce something this silly?

 

Sensuki, you missed a crucial aspect however I think and this applies to weapon sets.

 

In IE games, monsters very rarely had specific resistances to weapon types such as slashing, crush or pierce. The weapon sets was slightly annoying when that happened, but overall not an issue.

In PoE, from what I've seen in most detailed videos, specific DT resistances depending on what type of damage is used and is a crucial aspect of the game and will most likely become a "do or die" factor if you play on the higher difficulty settings. And yet, here's what you seem to have so far:

  • You cannot change weapons from the Stash/Inventory to wielded during combat which means if you have a crush weapon set and a slash weapon set and yet suddenly face a mob with insane DT against both of these, you CANNOT change weapons. Also from what I've seen, you cannot run away to end combat. If you engage or get engaged, you'll stay locked in combat mode (again, stupid concept) forever unless you kill the mobs involved (who most likely will either chase you anyway, or get stuck via pathfinding somewhere). Heck, I think you cannot even "zone out" from what I've seen in a stream, not sure.
  • Each set is both right and left hand combined! This is nonsense for such system since that means if you're wielding your best magic sword and shield, and suddenly face something very resistance to slash/pierce, switching to your hammer set means you cannot use your magic shield (since it's locked in your 1st set). Again, who designs this stuff? How can you make an entire combat system based around a concept and yet go the complete opposite for your UI implementation?

Solution?

  1. Get rid of "Combat Mode" and allow full access to the inventory at any time BUT make it use a specific animation that takes time if in combat. Doing so will add tactical aspects (crap, I need that guy to pull out the hammer but he risks getting interrupted, so I'll need someone to cover him, etc) and remove immersion breakers such as combat mode, combat only spells, cannot loot in combat, cannot zone in combat and all that nonsense.
  2. Allow for 2 1hd weapon, 1 2hd, 1 ranged and 1 shield slots on the paperdoll and then use a right hand/left hand tagging system so that the player can dynamically assign each slot to a hand as he wishes, switching taking some time if in combat, but much less than getting something from inventory. This allows for freeform 1hd, 2hd, 1hd shield, dual wield set up very easily (just assign hands to slots) AND will allow, finally, people to wield their frikkin shields in the right hand if they want their PCs to be LEFT HANDED (a minority that's been severely ignored and even repressed for a long time!)
Edited by mutonizer
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • You cannot change weapons from the Stash/Inventory to wielded during combat which means if you have a crush weapon set and a slash weapon set and yet suddenly face a mob with insane DT against both of these, you CANNOT change weapons. Also from what I've seen, you cannot run away to end combat. If you engage or get engaged, you'll stay locked in combat mode (again, stupid concept) forever unless you kill the mobs involved (who most likely will either chase you anyway, or get stuck via pathfinding somewhere)
  • Each set is both right and left hand combined! This is nonsense for such system since that means if you're wielding your best magic sword and shield, and suddenly face something very resistance to slash/pierce, switching to your hammer set means you cannot use your magic shield (since it's locked in your 1st set). Again, who designs this stuff? How can you make an entire combat system based around a concept and yet go the complete opposite for your UI implementation?

Both good points. The first is, I believe by design as that was part of the "tactical inventory" thing that the lead designer was talking about. I don't care too much for it either, but I'm not hugely upset about it, as you can metagame around it if you have to (save and reload).

 

The second I would say is just that the inventory is unfinished. The lead designer has talked about shields carrying across into the second weapon sets but I just don't think they've found a way to implement that yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And I'll need new eyes if I get a 27". :(

 

 


Some closing points:

 

  • The inventory and ALL of the UIs should scale to higher resolutions. The lucky bastards using a laptop with a 13" screen get a full screen inventory at 720p, why can't we have the same? (I'm going to cry when I buy the 27" 1440p screen I plan to get in a few months).

 

 

Edited by InsaneCommander

sign.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

And I'll need new eyes if I get a 27". :(

 

 

Some closing points:

 

  • The inventory and ALL of the UIs should scale to higher resolutions. The lucky bastards using a laptop with a 13" screen get a full screen inventory at 720p, why can't we have the same? (I'm going to cry when I buy the 27" 1440p screen I plan to get in a few months).

 

 

 

Make it a option I feel comfortable with the icon size, must be a side effect of playing planescape torment again on a 1080p monitor some weeks ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...