I knew I had found true love when I played Secret of Evermore back on the SNES. The adventure, story, and customization were all that I had ever wanted in a game. After engrossing me through time and space with my pooch, RPGs were a part of me. I recently cleaned up my last few remaining achievements in my latest escapades, Dragon Age: Inquisition and Witcher 3. Although these were both great games, I noticed while graphics and combat have evolved over the years that other things seem to still be rooted in the past and hold no real meaning or enjoyment to the player.
No matter how you choose to play these games, we all have one goal. That is to be a bad ass and do bad ass things. Whether it is taking down enormous bosses, laying down some mean smack talk, or defying authority without fear, we eat it up. So… WHY AM I PICKING FLOWERS!?! If you put it on the ground, a rpg-blooded player is going to loot it. It doesn’t matter what it is. This same problem arises for gear that no one would ever use. If the corpse is sparkling, we are going to pick it clean.
We are a hero, seasoned adventured, or whatever the game is spinning, so why would these objects register as loot to my character? I ignore the cups on the table and the weaponry on the wall, but this sword that did my fallen enemy no good is somehow important? If they are meant to be vendored then just make it a coin purse. This may seem like a minor inconvenience. However over the course of 200+ hours, picking up gear and flowers, managing inventory, or going to a shopkeeper can really rack up the clock. Don’t punish explorers and trailblazers for treasure hunting. Don’t punish crafters by making them harvest plants every two steps. These tasks are not enjoyable and take time from actual play.
It is a wonder that my character doesn’t have bad knees with all that bending down, but my god his back must be shot from that inventory. One of the few joys on par with actually defeating a challenging enemy is feeling like your choice of equipment got you there. If there is one thing we do more than loot as rpg fans, it is tinker with that loot in our menus. Inventories are another huge problem that hasn’t been solved. I don’t need to sift through trash to get to the one item I know I need. I don’t need to get online for a guide on what to keep and what to sell. These menus should be clear and manageable without causing frustration every time the game is paused.
I am not calling for end to these practices (although I wouldn’t miss them), but I would like to see developers improve them so they are more meaningful or at least fun. Maybe since everyone still goes through the motions that it seems like there is nothing to change. I continue to do so as well, but many breaks are a result of a daunting mini map full of harvestable vegetation. Nothing feels weirder than bearing the weight of the world as you rush towards an imminent story quest and stopping a second to get a few extra herbs.