Massively Overthinking: What do you hoard in MMORPGs?

    
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Last week, online gamers made headlines for hoarding toilet paper. No, not in real life – in Fallout 76. Way to embrace the apocalypse, guys.

I’ve had hoarding on the brain for other reasons lately, too. In my own SWG crafting video last week, I teased myself for hoarding fruit. Nobody needs 8 million SWG fruit. It’ll take lifetimes to use it all, even at the rate I pump out video game food. But I have it anyway. And it’s a digital comfort. I’ve got that fruit problem taken care of!

So for this week’s Massively Overthinking, I’ve asked our staffers what it is they hoard in MMORPGs. Is it cosmetics? Buff trinkets? Quests? Decor? Are you the weirdo buying all my scrimpi every week? Tell us!

Andrew Ross (@dengarsw): I generally hoard things that I think might have a use for later, especially if it’s something that can be traded to friends so they can easily be closer in power to my character. Things that grant experience, annoying items to complete high-yield quests, junk quest rewards from tedious quests that maaaybe will get improved one day… yeah, I’m that guy. It pays off too, and people notice it in positive ways, so it’s a hard habit to break.

I’ll also hold onto items with sentimental value. My Asheron’s Call 1 avatar “died” with my favorite quest sword, not because it was good but because I literally spent a year working on it and organizing a cross-monarchy (“guild”) effort for the last step. I literally once drove to a Starbucks to rescue my Darkfall 1 raft when my house had a power out with my laptop, and I still had that raft when the servers went dark. And don’t even get me started on my Pokemon collection.

I’ve mentioned this before, but in most games with a cash shop, I tend to buy more space as one of my very first purchases… and I tend to max it out. And yet, I still feel like I’m good at trashing stuff when I see MJ’s bags, haha.

Andy McAdams: I hoard crafting items without clear purpose and market-salable items. I have crafting crap out the wazoo just in case I need it some day to craft something super valuable (which has happened exactly 0 times in all the years I’ve been gaming). I also convince myself that maybe I can sell that crafting ingredient on the market for monies! Which I then horde… and ultimately don’t spend that either. I think it’s a side effect of growing up on the lower end of middle-class is that I make lots of money in games, and then refuse to spend it on anything just in case something really cool that I want comes along. Which it does, and then I convince myself “what if something else really cool comes along?!” Repeat ad nauseam.

I’ve gotten better over the years as the inventory management mini-game in MMOs is hell. Unless you are playing FFXIV and then inventory management is like the 13th circle of hell, if you are covered in paper cuts and dipped in a boiling vat of jalapeño juice while being forced to listen a laugh track of an audience filled with Fran Dreschers and Gilbert Godfreys on repeat.

Horribly implemented inventory systems have done more than anything else to curb my hoarding tendencies.

Brianna Royce (@nbrianna, blog): For me, it’s always, always been resources, way back to Ultima Online. I always wanted to stockpile more reagents and logs and cloth and ore than immediately necessary because it was so easy to run out as a dedicated crafter, even with a huge stack, which could set me back days if I didn’t stay on top of it. So my fruit thing should be no surprise. I just really like the security and freedom of knowing I could snap my fingers and make anything I wanted, without that gnawing feeling that I was running out. It wasn’t so much that I wanted to have the resources but that I wanted that feeling to go away.

I’ve gotten a little better at it the last few years, or at least I was before the pandemic, sigh. Multiple sunsets of favorite games helped. I remind myself how many trillions of player-collected resources went down with the original SWG ship. I ask myself why didn’t I use mine, or sell them, or give them away while it still mattered? What a waste – you really can’t take it with you, and as long as you’re alive – and playing – you can always get more. So I try to learn from that lesson and move more stuff along to the market and newbies now when I know it’s excessive. The 8M fruit notwithstanding.

That said, what I do keep? Organized to the hilt. In real life and online. I freak out at even digital messes.

Carlo Lacsina (@UltraMudkipEX): The short answer is yes, especially food items. I don’t care if I’m fighting the latest raid boss; I have only 200 of these best-in-slot steaks, and these things are expensive. If I have to consume one of my literal 700 max potions in FFXIV, I die a little inside. IT’S NOT WORTH THE TRADE-OFF.

I hoard like a madman in Black Desert Online. The nature of the game’s enchant system has me hoarding black stones, cron stones, memory fragments, and anything that has to do with enchanting.

In other games, I hoard items that give out free cash shop items. I don’t want to waste the opportunity on an outfit or dye I hate, you know!

Chris Neal (@wolfyseyes, blog): I am nowhere near a packrat or hoarder in MMOs. At least, not on purpose. There are some items in my retainer inventory that I’m keeping just in case there is some reason at some point that will see me use them, but by and large I vendor trash unwanted things. If anything, I hoard empty inventory slots; having an organized, junk-free backpack is something I tend to obsess over.

Justin Olivetti (@Sypster, blog): Money. I hoard money. My general thinking is that in most MMOs, I don’t need to be buying anything on a regular basis, so it’s always better to save up for that one huge purchase down the road that might otherwise be unavailable or help circumvent a lot of additional work to obtain. I also keep potions and buffs by the bucketful, but isn’t that pretty much everyone?

Mia DeSanzo (@neschria): I hoard quest items and crafting supplies that I might never use. I sometimes end up getting rid of stuff when I run out of all possible storage, but it hurts me to do it.

MJ Guthrie (@MJ_Guthrie, blog): Do I hoard in games? Do I? BWUA HAHAHA AHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHA *breathes* HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA *struggles for breath* hahahaha.

You could say that. Just ask anyone who watches my streams and has anxiety attacks every time I open my inventories. I hoard crafting materials, gear, consumables — anything that could be useful. But do I ever use it? Not often enough obviously. I mean I do use the crafting mats, even giving tons away, but never as many as I have. Same with the gear. I rarely use/remember to use potions and consumables and just tough it out. Oh, yes I also hoard decorations and cosmetics too. And currencies. So yes, yes I do surround myself with the comforts of digital things. I fully admit this was part of my growing up poor and knowing it was better to have and not need than need and not have. And bonus, I get to help others in every game that allows me to trade!

Samon Kashani (@thesamkash): I hoard it all. Literally anything that might have some obscure use; I’ll hoard it. My Guild Wars 2 bank is completely packed with items that had one use seven years ago. The mini decoration that lets you view the zephyr area or something. The mysterious portal device from an event that was never completely finished is just another one. I even have dozens of unidentified amber for a weapon set in one of those early HOT maps because, you know, I’ll complete that set never.

Single player games I’m no different. I’ll never use my X potions; I might need those for the final boss at the end of the game.

Every week, join the Massively OP staff for Massively Overthinking column, a multi-writer roundtable in which we discuss the MMO industry topics du jour – and then invite you to join the fray in the comments. Overthinking it is literally the whole point. Your turn!
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