Paul Simon once said that there had to be at least 50 ways to leave your lover. Back in the day, however, there was considered to be one appropriate way to leave an MMO, and that was to proudly announce that you were leaving in some public forum. And so when you had gotten past the people who tried to persuade you not to leave, you moved into the tier of people who asked what they considered a more pressing question: “Can I have your stuff?”
This obviously meant a fair bit more in games where “your stuff” had nothing that even pretended to be bound to an individual character. All of your stuff – including your powerful equipment – could go to someone else, and maybe it would be the random person who just messaged you! Stranger things had happened, although no examples readily sprang to mind!
But whatever. Here’s what I’m going to do for you. Before I even bother quitting, I’m going to tell you what my stuff is in this game. It doesn’t matter what game it is; this is my stuff, and thus this is what you can have when I quit.
1. A small amount of money
There is exactly one game where I have a lot of money, and I am never going to tell you what it is. Every other game? It’s a small amount of money. It’s always a smaller amount of money than you would think. Sure, money is usually the one currency that can still be given away, but if you looked at the amount of money I have on a given character, you would always think, “Wait, how do you only have that much money?”
The answer is that I spent it. On frivolous things.
2. Equipment for alts I’m never going to make
A rare drop showed up! Unfortunately for me, it was a rare drop for a thing that I don’t play. But that activated whatever stupid part of my brain made me think that however rare it might be, it’s imperative for me to keep it around because reasons, and so it sits in my inventory awaiting the day when I make an alt in dire need of exactly that rare drop.
When will that happen? The answer is it won’t. It will never happen. Half the time I don’t even want to play whatever could use the equipment that I’m storing up for no good reason. It’s just sitting there, languishing in my inventory because some day I might want it and I have convinced myself that this thing (which isn’t even worth much money) is a pure gold piece of desired gear for the future hypothetical alt.
3. No-longer-relevant consumables
Here’s a health potion for characters to use between levels 5 and 9. My character is level 48. Why do I still have this consumable? Well, I kept waiting for the really difficult fight when I’d be glad to have all of these valuable consumables to use, and before I knew it that fight never happened, and so it sits there, unused and unnecessary.
4. Still relevant consumables I’m not going to use
Did I learn my lesson? Of course not.
5. Outdated crafting materials
“Do you just turn your characters’ bags into the virtual equivalent of hoarder dens?” The answer is yes. You never know when you’re going to need older materials for a newer craft, even though the actual answer to that is “rarely” and “when it comes up you can probably grab the lower stuff pretty easily so there’s no reason to save it up.” But no, I see older crafting materials and I feel compelled to hang on to them just in case I might need them at some point in the future.
This is much like hoarding consumables, but at least there’s a step between consumption and use.
6. Cosmetic toys
I really appreciate games where non-combat pets, cosmetic toys, and similar such items do not take up space in my inventory. Why? Because they will live there regardless, and that is to my detriment. If there’s something that has a weird use for cosmetic purposes, I will hold onto it as if it were also gold.
This includes any sort of fireworks item. Once again, I am holding on to it until the right moment comes. Would you like to know what the right moment is? Good. So would I. I have never yet found it, but if it ever happens, I have enough fireworks to celebrate for days. Maybe even weeks.
7. A quest-giving item
There are a lot of games where you can pick up a specific item that will later give you a quest of some variety. Some of these are rare, some are common, and it doesn’t matter which is the case for my experience because inevitably I will not take the quest itself but will keep the items in case I ever change my mind.
In my defense, this often happens for older quests I no longer need but where I don’t feel like farming up the item again if there’s ever a reason in the future to want to grab the quest and actually complete it. I don’t know why I feel the need to defend myself here, though; if you’ve made it this far, you probably have gathered the idea that there is nothing really defensible about the way I play these games. And you know, that’s not wrong.
8. Old equipment I might want again at some point
So here’s the cycle. Let’s say I have Wristwraps of Aiming +6. I then get a new drop that’s Wristwraps of Aiming +5, Ranged Damage +10, Vitality +10. Obviously, the second one seems like a better item. But I’m always faintly suspicious about that fact. Maybe one extra point of Aiming is more valuable than all of those other stats. Maybe I’d be much better served if I actually picked up that boost to my aiming. So the old wristwraps sit in my inventory.
Later on, I wind up with Wristwraps of Aiming +7, Ranged Damage +20, Vitality +20. So do those old wristwraps get thrown in the garbage where they now very clearly belong? If you say “yes,” you obviously aren’t paying much attention to this list.
9. Some item I don’t remember getting
I don’t know why I have this. I don’t know what this is. It’s in my inventory. It doesn’t look as if it falls into any of the categories I already covered, and it definitely isn’t one of the things that I can’t give to another person. But I don’t know why I have it in the first place. I don’t know what it’s supposed to do or why it’s relevant. I don’t understand. I must have had a reason, right? Someone tell me what that reason was.
Look, I never promised any of this was going to be remotely useful.