The Daily Grind: Does MMO inventory weight add immersion?

    
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The Daily Grind: Does MMO inventory weight add immersion?

In a recent Pantheon developer livestream, the team announced that it was going to give coins in the game weight to add to the immersion of this fantasy world. So now currency will be another factor in how much a player can tote around, as he or she will have a maximum carry weight to consider.

Inventory management tends to be a touchy subject in the MMO community. Some people really, really hate the limitations that it presents, while others find that games that lean in to the concept drives up the realism and fantasy of it all. I used to play Fallen Earth, and I know that I had to always be factoring in the weight of whatever I looted into whether or not it was worth hauling back to my storage.

What do you think? Does inventory weight add to immersion in MMOs, or is it just a total bother?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

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John Buczek

I have been super excited about Pantheon, just sort of ignoring news about it until it closer to release to not burn out on hype before it’s even out.

But now, if they actually go this direction with the game I’m just writing it off. I do NOT want to play a game with this level of nonsense. Inventory management is enough of a nightmare on most MMOs before adding in coin weight.

Just No.

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flying_dutchman

I think there’s a line in the sand that MMO companies have to deal with. In order for any achievement to feel fulfilling, it had to be difficult. The question is how difficult should a thing be.

How tedious should mining be? How tedious should cooking be, how tedious should delving dungeons be? How long of a time investment should a game of Battle-Royal be?

There’s obviously no right answer to the question because so much of it is personal preference. The trend is obviously to make everything as easy an accessible as possible. The question is when will companies get so much push-back that they’ll stop. *Cough* WoW *Cough*

Personally, I think games should be adding more tedium back into games, but I know that I’m just an old-school gamer and obvious not in the majority.

rafael12104
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rafael12104

The short answer? No. It is a time sink. And, also a cash grab.

The way some MMOs dole out space and throw in weight just to sell inventory slots is so fucking transparent is sickening.

Devs won’t readily admit that, but yeah. The bean counters love that bit of monetization.

What some devs have said is that it is a time sink. A governor on progression. Fuck that. There are plenty of other ways to sink time.

If you can put a giant dragon in your pocket, sure that will break immersion. But if you pick up a herb you need for crafting and suddenly you can’t move? Yeah that’s not an immersion problem at all. Lol!

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Schmidt.Capela

Actually, I find limited inventories, and in particular inventory weight, to be an immersion breaker, because it forces me to go back to the inventory page all the time in order to decide what to keep and what to discard, which usually involves either calculations based on artificial stats or looking into a guide to make sure I’m choosing the right items to keep.

It’s also immersion breaking in that in real life we can find ways to circumvent carry weight limits, but games don’t allow usually that due to balance and complexity issues.

Finally, I despise inventory management, so besides being very immersion breaking for me, it’s also frustrating. There’s a reason I bundle together with the game’s base cost the price of each and every inventory-increasing microtransaction when deciding if it’s worth the asking price (and also why I tend to outright reject any game where inventory space needs to be purchased for each character individually).

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Crowe

So one moment I’m fighting for my life and barely manage to get my spell out to defeat the wolf pack I encountered while solo exploring this cave. Whew, that was thrilling and my heart rate was way up and I definitely had an adrenaline spike! Now it’s time to make 10 trips to town (each about 8 minutes one way assuming I don’t run into anything I have to fight) in order to vend or bank my loot. Yeah, I just went from exciting to super boring all in one brief minute. I’m sure those wolves won’t respawn in the meantime.

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Bruno Brito

If the immersion is based on wasting my time and my patience, then yeah, sure.

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zuldar

Not really. In order to be immersive there would have to be ways to circumvent the weight limit, just like we have in real life. Player housing to store items, banks to store money, objects and npcs to carry things for you for a price, etc.

Then there’s always the huge issue where things weight completely unrealistic amounts. Take the bobby pins from Fallout 76 that used to be made from pieces of neutron stars as a perfect example.

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Robert Mann

It could, if the rest of the game was built with such realisms in mind.

For most MMOs it’s just tedium, and fairly un-needed. It’s almost never balanced against what you actually need if you want to do things, but neither are inventory slots. Both systems fall far short in the status quo designs… one is meant for a game that is far less liberal about throwing in other things that make the feature nonsensical (weight) and the other one is an archaic database use mitigation factor that has simply remained in use despite advances…

P.S. The super-slowdown walk of overburdened shame is just stupid. Either you can move at a halfway decent pace, or you are going to be dragging something because you are NOT lifting that.

Random MMO fan
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Random MMO fan

It doesn’t add anything to immersion. It is all digital anyway, you do NOT HANDLE PHYSICAL CURRENCY IN ANY GAME, there is no point in adding such limitations as physical weight to it. No point other than force the player to store less items on character, so then as a developer you can milk the player by selling things like extra storage containers using real life currency. Plus it is a way to deal with lack of content – you force player to waste time on running back and forth to sell stuff to free up inventory space, and you force player to waste time on idling while re-arranging the inventory space or thinking about what they should drop or what they should not in terms of profit they can get from selling stuff, this wasted time masks the lack of fun content(such as length of the story or amount of dungeons or tools for social activities or other types of minigames and activities) by giving player an impression that “I played 7 hours today and only managed to visit this area, the world is really big with a lot of content” even though a lot of that time was spent on micromanaging inventory and running to and from vendors and bank space to deal with limited weight and limited space. And before anyone will make stupid comment like “but in real life you also must make choices when dealing with limited storage space and the weight of the items and the cost of extra storage” – this is not why most people enjoy play the games, most people play them to get away from real life limitations and relax, they do not want to play “QuickBooks Online” even if YOU enjoy this for some reason.

Long story short – it is a BAD DESIGN for a player, made to milk player for extra money and made to mask the lack of content and there is nothing “immersive” with giving a digital currency (any currency in any video game is digital) a weight property, unless you can “feel” that weight using haptic feedback ;-)

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Crowe

You make your points very nicely and I completely agree. (I did get a nice chuckle out of the QuickBooks Online thing, too!)

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Dean Greenhoe

Yes.

Just give me the ability to store all my junk via in game mechanics. I am willing to work for extra storage.