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JamesProctor

MMO Inventory Discussion

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I am working on Items and Inventory for my HeroEngine powered MMO Prototype and was wondering what you guys thought about Quest Items... Do you guys think they should take up space in your main inventory or should they have their own Inventory that is seperate from the Player's Main inventory?

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Depends on the challenge (will you need space for other items, like healing and anti-toxins (poison, the bane of RPGers). Also, are you able to move quest items out of your inventory and stash them someplace when you don't need them right at the moment?

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consider this:

can players drop quest items (which will make coding quests a lot harder or buggy, in some cases.)

if quest items are dropable, they can go into regular inventory, if not, they shouldn't take up players space..

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From what i've seen MMOs do from mid-90s to now, alot start out with quest items as actual items, then at some point in their future, they add them as tokens or some other non-inventory item. With that in mind as experience, i would -highly- suggest, not making them inventory items. If its a click-able item, make some sort of hotbar-able reference, but don't place it in regular inventory.

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Why wouldn't quest items go in the player's inventory?...

If you have to get 10 rat meat, you should put the rat meat in the player's inventory is they loot the corpse.
If you're talking about items that are only attained through a quest, then it should STILL go into a player's inventory. Why would there be a whole 'nother inventory just for quest items? Seems like a bunch of wasted time developing and coding it. Lmao. I mean, if your player's are bitching about having a couple quest items in their inventory... Then they need to grow some balls a little.

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Star Wars: The Old Republic has a seperate tab for quest items, many of which are usuable, both from the inventory and and toolbars. It's also HeroEngine based.

Is there like a free or cheap version of HE or something?

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The newest fashion trend is to market the game as FREE (best with 3 exclamation marks) and sell inventory slots to players. Then fill a considerable amount of them with
a) useless items that don't do anything (which the player can drop)
b) quest items that the player cannot drop, usually 3-4 per quest
c) quest items that the player cannot drop and which do nothing

The "useless item" noise will hide the fact that you're stealing something the customer paid money for from most people. To the few who inquire, explain that these non-droppable no-use items are for "some future quests". One recently awarded browser game hosted on Facebook does just that, successfully.

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Either make them real items or leave them at all. There's really no good point to keep 'quest' items in a separate inventory, at best without any negative attributes like weight, because it is the same as updating the state of your quest.

When making them real items, you should consider, that item management is a mini-resource-management game. That is, some people have fun in managing their inventory and are willing to invest time and money to increase available space(i.e. buy new bags, grind for them). On the other hand, taking certain kind of quests will work like a disadvantage, it decreases the available number of slots. In this situation the important difference is, that the player never have a choice to use up one or more slots for something valueable (i.e. some treasure), he is forced to use up a slot to complete a quest.

So, in my opinion, taking away choices from players is always a bad idea. This lead to quest items, which on the other hand could be spared. Therefore I would get rid of quest items at all and integrate them into the quest state.

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Removing quest items (or somehow separating them from the rest of a player's inventory) seems to me like one of those "no brainer" questions. The simple reason is that people just see it as a quality of life issue.

Personally I think there is more to it than that. Most importantly the removal of quest items damages the players sense of "immersion" and is generally a point of confusion, "how come I have to micro manage the rest of my inventory but not the quest items, aren't they the same thing?" is the kind of question most new players would ask, especially those without past MMORPG experience. Another point is that design choices like this, although fine on their own, tend to move the game towards being designed for the convenience of the player, which is not always best for their overall gaming experience.

The problem of quest items cluttering up a players inventory isn't a certain one. Proper design of the questing experience as well as the ability to remove said items (maybe by dropping the quest they are involved with) would all but remove any real issues a player could have with it.

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I would like to add a caveat to my previous statement. If you do allow quest items in a normal players inventory, ensure that the players inventory is expandable (i.e., buy larger bags, add more slots, etc.). In the end it gets down to what is the spirit of your game and is Inventory Management considered fun in that context. Personnally, i place inventory management in the un-fun category, but thats me, but its also a part of the larger risk-reward context of games. Do I toss item X hoping for a better item or whatever further down the line. Whatever makes sense in your games context, do that.

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