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Brainstorming Inventory: Radical Other Ideas.

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--- Quote from: tigersfan on November 28, 2011, 06:59:15 pm ---While not being able to warp back would be more "real", it would also be more boring. Dreadfully boring, in fact.

--- End quote ---

I can confirm that from my own experience with this game in earlier states, actually.  Feeling "less real" with the warp system as it currently stands is something that bugs me, but I've not thought of or seen any other model that meets all the criteria for actually retaining fun gameplay without boring stretches of repetition, so less real is the unfortunate side effect.

In terms of the warp system kind of putting the kibosh on the limited inventory idea, that's a really good point.  Probably the inventory system really does need to stay quasi-unlimited the way it currently is, and the strategic options just need to be built around that premise (which they already have been, so far).  Sometimes it's good to do a sanity check on this sort of thing, though, especially after the game has really evolved a long way.

Much as the idea of a finite inventory in the field attracts me in some ways, I don't think it would be a workable thing for this game.  Link is always a walking armory by the end of Zelda games, too, and that works out quite well.  Or any of the Final Fantasy titles, etc.  Having a lot of strategic options at any given time, ala FF games, can actually really open a lot of interesting doors.  The main problem in this context is that in an action game you have significantly less time to choose between your options.  So in one sense, your inventory during a boss fight IS finite, unless you find a corner to hide in and switch ability bars or rearrange things there.

I agree that warping back to redo inventory slots makes that particular aspect a bit weak, and I'd worry about hitting enemies that had random resists that I couldn't bust with the 4 spells on my quickbar (or whatever) but I also do like some concept of limitations.

The quickslot bar already feels a bit like equipment slots in most games, and I don't think that's a bad thing.  If anything I would reduce the hot slots (perhaps severely if health mana pots/scrolls are gone) and make mobility spells be required to be in a hotslot to be used.  Could still switch things out on the fly, but would limit what the player could do at any one given time.  If I only had 4-5 slots, picking my spells and if I want a shield or a double jump or a dash, or a scroll spell/ light/ trap/ whatever could be a lot more interesting (perhaps scrolls useable anywhere in inventory to make light spells less annoying).  Especially if combos come into play and if I need to mix and match on a very limited bar, choosing those bonuses for combos vs having utility . . .just thinking aloud now.

But AVWW  already has some built in systems to reduce the feeling of having everything at once - namely spell tiers--and once more spells are fleshed out the time to gather mats vs out leveling what you craft will likely mean focusing on several spells/spell lines down the road . . or so I'd imagine.

Ultimately I do think that locking the player down a bit more will be good long term, needing to decide between mobility and ranged DPS or shield spells and melee . . .that sort of thing feels interesting.  Maybe crests will do it, or balancing in gem availability vs crafting recipes, or maybe the limited hotslot idea.  But I suppose the idea of having different playstyles and choosing to do one or two things well is a lot more appealing than doing all things at once.

I think limited inventory would work really well with another idea. I know you didn't like the idea of timed turns, though I think that still has potential. How about making it such that every time you enter a settlement, a turn advances? From a narrative perspective, going back to a settlement is equivalent to resting between expeditions. You're welcomed home, you get to sleep and catch up with the NPCs, and time passes.

You get to make all strategic decisions during this visit (ie. no turn is lost), and every outing becomes an expedition where you have to consider what to take with you. You then have to consider (given limited inventory): What do I take with me for this expedition? What am I planning on doing out there? What do I really need to do before the next turn?

I think this connects the action and strategy elements in a really good way.

Problem is, that breaks down completely when you go to multiplayer; players need to be able to individually leave and enter settlements at will.  Not only that, but a server needs to be able to stay up and running whether or not people are doing anything productive in it, much as an FPS server does.  This is part of why there absolutely cannot be any automatic passage of strategic time, aside from the fact that it puts an onus on players to play the strategic part of the game when they might prefer to do more adventuring, or vice-versa.

The separate strategic and action parts (where you can do each for as long as you want independently of the other without ill consequences in the neglected side), but where the strategic and action side enrich one another if you choose to play both of them, is one of my and Keith's core design goals for the game.  I really don't think there's any way that auto-incrementing strategic turns would ever fit with that, or with multiplayer.  Part of the reason for no auto-incrementing turns is that this isn't an RTS game, it's a TBS game.  Having time pressure to do something before something else happens is absolutely counter to where I'd want to take this.

You're right that making it so that only having it auto-increment when you go back to settlements would handle most of those complaints, except multiplayer would be badly broken by that, but even in solo play that would lead to some undesirable consequences.  Having to avoid town when you're low on supplies or just need to craft something new, because there's something bad that will happen when the turn auto-increments, creates a really unpleasant situation and I think that would be extremely common.  Especially once there are multiple settlements, or other things of that nature.

It's not that I don't think that could be a good game, but the decision to add time pressure to the game is something rather major that would affect all other aspects of the game, and it's really counter to the general feel we're going for.

To make the limited inventory work, you'd really need to use a system something like the Unlocking Chunk Warps I also mention in that post.  As long as there is a series of chunks (maybe 3-5) that a player needs to complete with one load-out of inventory and warping back to town requires him to restart that chunk, then it could work.

To simplify, you could even make it in most areas you have full access to your inventory, but in "locked" areas you get only the first few rows and the rest is grayed out.  You never actually need to get back to town, just outside the locked chunks and you are free to drag whatever you need down into those first few rows of personal inventory.


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