Situational Gear / Inventory Management

  • From a post from a great thread on siutational gear, inventory magagement, and other related issues.  I wasn't able to address every question and concern, but did reply to the OP.  I don't think there's anything super new here and I've certainly posted and talked about this stuff in the past.  That said, it does try to address the OPs legitimate concerns as well as explain not only how we're dealing with those concerns but also why all of this is so important to us.  Bottom line:  a few dev diaries that may overlap or say the same thing here and there is still hopefully useful.  Sometimes just letting some time go by and then re-adressing an issue after having processed it further results in our ability to communicate more effectively.

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    First, while I scanned this long thread (sorry for being late), I've not had the time to read it in detail.  So my comments are more for the OP....

    Yes, inventory manipulation as it relates to wearing the optimial gear for the right encounter is a big part of Pantheon.   That said, we hear you loud on clear about item manipulation/storage/organization/potential hassle.  And those are smart questions -- I like how you're digging deeper -- saying something like situational gear sounds cool is fine, but those are real concerns:  if more items, then how can we avoid extra hassle of dealing with them?

    First, it's a UI/Ux issue.  If we're going to make a more item-centric game with situational gear being a part of that then it's our responsibility to take as much of the hassle away from you.

    Here's a short list of the direction we're headed as it relates to this issue:

    1. Players can define Outfits for their characters.  That means you can create a set of gear, name it and save it, and then put it on with 1-2 clicks.  I think being able to organize, sort, and take on and off Outfits is going to be essential.  

    2. Containers are going to be very important, possibly more important than many other MMOs at lower levels.  While a huge weightless 'Bag of Holding' would still be quite rare, containers that hold more gear and reduce (and eventually remove) the weight of that gear is an important part of inventory management.

    3. Sorting and searching for a piece of gear important.

    4. Being able to add a Tag to a piece of gear that you can later search for/locate easily is key.

    5. Switching to your optimial outfit for the next encounter if primarily about Bosses.  There could be a dungeon that has a theme to it (say it's really cold).   Then you need to prepare before you enter said dungeon.  But we're not stopping there -- in different areas of this dungeon there may be different atmosphere/climates.   Our dungeons are huge and I don't see why environmental conditions would remain static.  And then there's the bosses.   It's quite possible one outfit is serving you well in one region of a dungeon, but then you come across a boss mob that changes that equation (by his behavior/disposition, by the types of spells he/she casts (fire based? cold based? ethereal? etc.).   So while you're not swapping outfits constantly, encounter to next encounter, making it a hassle, *special* encounters may encourage you to Outfit yourself in a specific way.  

    The bottom line is that atmospheres/climates/situational gear are supposed to make the environment matter more (as I sometimes say, let's put the E back in PvE).   There supposed to make difficult encounters require different tactics.   They *can* be used as 'soft keys' -- in other words, you probably ought to have certain items before you head into this particular region.   But don't take that too far and picture a world full of soft keys -- that's something that certainly could be taken too far and we're aware of that.  

    And the other big thing, as mentioned, is making the boss mobs require different tactics.  Death to tank'n'spank mobs (e.g. simple bosses that just have a ton of HP).  That's the lazy way out.  In Pantheon you'll need to learn the best tactics for a region or a specific mob.   Variety is good.  Learning how to overcome a particular environment is key.  Not simply employing the same tactics regardless of boss mob is important to us.

    And this goes beyond having the best gear for the situation.  It goes into having the right abilities prepped, the composition of your group, positioning of your party during the battle, etc.   One of our goals is trying to minimize repetition, and that includes there being one or only a few ways to deal with every important mob.  

    Outside it could mean that you approach an encounter differently depending on weather conditions (again, making E important, not just pretty because we made rain or snow look cool).   Inside there could be rooms filled with absolute darkness, or areas of high pressure, etc.  Then again add in there different dispositions and behaviors -- having particular mobs choose different tactics during the battle and having to learn the right way to counteract those behaviors is a big part of the game.

    Bottom line we think all of the above and more will make for a better MMO and is part of our efforts to move the genre forward (again I always am compelled to let you guys know we are not making an emulator of EQ or VG or any other game).  Players of past MMOs should feel right at home, and in that case we are making spiritual successors.  It's who we are, it's what's in our blood.  We are not content with simply re-creating the past.  

    But that being said, we are acutely aware that this also means a powerful UI that helps you deal with, in this case, inventory mangement.  That's on us.  And we take it very seriously.

    Lastly, restrictions on when and where you can swap gear (particularly in and out of combat) is TBD right now.  We want to mess with it in alpha and beta.  

6 comments
  • Saicred
    Saicred Really good read. Thank you for this information. I'm extremely excited to this play out in testing and even after release!
    September 19 - 1 likes this
  • fancy
    fancy We get to frickin' outfit ourselves! HELL YEA! I never mind if I get to make myself look all cutsie like in most of these Asian games with ditsy half naked females, or if it's like WoW where you can only make yourself look a certain way with the gear they...  more
    September 20 - 1 likes this
  • bryanleo9
    bryanleo9 Great read! Thanks Aradune
    September 24 - 1 likes this
  • aDemi
    aDemi My biggest concern about situational gear is only a slight fear that this will take some of the lack-luster away from classic EQ styled gear, where each piece of armor in your inventory is hard-earned, and feeling a sense of accomplishment when you get an...  more
    October 17