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View Full Version : Inventory Management - Simple Solution



etelan
09-14-2007, 09:08 PM
The new bag system is great and inspired me to think about a bigger inventory problem. Bear with me on the thought process it is actually a very simple solution.

Problem:
Inventory space quickly becomes a mess after playing a short amount of time. For builds like my dual wielding - bow user - umd - ranger/rogue tedious inventory management is a large part of my play time. I actually prefer to use potions than wands if I can just because potions do not equip and therefore do not move around. Most high level fighters carry 2/5 bags of weapons. One of these bags is always placed in front... why? Because the first bag is where all your weapons are placed when they are automatically unequiped (switching weapons on a hotbar). Run through a quest, switch some weapons, and get some loot and all of a sudden you've got weapons, wands, scrolls, and loot all over the place making it difficult to sort things out.

Answer:
When DDO automatically unequips a item it should place it back where it found it. Let's look at the current system.

--
Swap out a single item with hotbar switching:
The unequiped item takes the place in inventory of the newly equipped item.

Swap out a single item by dragging from item slot:
Same as hotbar switching

Swap out a single item by dragging to item slot:
The slot is unequiped and replaces item in inventory bag. Item in inventory is thrown in NEXT available inventory space even if it is equipable.
--

Okay, this works out well for most cases and is especially nice for swapping out clothing items through the hotbar. So where does all the mess come from... Weapon Sets. Whenever a weapon set is selected the items in those slots are tossed back into your inventory in the first available spaces.

So what about having each item remember where it was? If something is in its spot it kicks it back to the first available spot. Well this is not actually what we want when swapping out clothing items. The player could keep an extra slot open just for a helm when it is swapped out, but that is a waste of a lot of inventory space. It could also share it's 'home space' with another item, but then when swapping between more than 2 of that slot some items will get tossed back into the first available. Nope, the current system works best for clothing, but primary and secondary hand slots should adopt this system or one like it.

Each weapon, scroll, and wand has a permanent home position and this only requires two free inventory bag slots: one for your currently equipped primary, and one for you currently equipped secondary. Because this change will basically cause your locked inventory to remain static and organized only random loot will use up these spots where your primary and secondary should and they will be kicked out of them when your current items are swapped. Therefore we have a system that requires minimal work for the player and allows everyone to have a nice easy to sort through inventory (with loot of course still pilling up the empty spaces until sold). We would be able to place all your weapons on whatever page we want and organize them by creature type, weapon type, alignment, etc... and actually see them that way every time we look.

Random Engineering thoughts:
Storing the items 'home space' on the item is obviously a waste of space. Instead it should be attached the primary/secondary slot only requiring <= 2 additional bytes of data. From a networking standpoint this is a simple clientside UI change and is a very low risk new feature.

gserlenga
09-15-2007, 02:34 AM
Omg I couldn't possibly agree more with everything in your post. We should have containers of some sort for potions and scrolls, and everything in your inventory should stay exactly as you neatly arrange it at all times. Please Turbine??

Deriaz
09-15-2007, 08:28 AM
Would be great to see. :D

And even if they don't add it exactly like this. . . Even an "Auto sort" would be nice. Maybe arrange the inventory by weapons, then armors, then ammunition, potions, etc.

But I would love to see it done the first way, rather than an auto sort feature. :)

-D

Paragon
09-15-2007, 01:27 PM
Yes...its especially annoying to me that when I switch weapon sets it puts stuff wherever the heck it can find room for it, rather than swapping it with the items I'm putting in or putting the weapons back in their place.

Its a constant chore trying to keep my inventory from going to hell in a handbasket. We could use some more consistent rules for how items swap in and out.

Gornin
09-15-2007, 05:20 PM
/signed

Naso24
09-16-2007, 01:55 AM
Agreed - make them swap with the weapons being equipped, return to their previous location, or create a sort by item type button.

Geonis
09-16-2007, 04:01 PM
You want to carry that much **** ?

Then you have to sort through that much ****!

:eek:

dengar
09-16-2007, 09:40 PM
What about this option, it kind of plays along with the lock feature already in place by Turbine:

Have the bags themselves lockable. What this would do is anything that is locked to that character is able to go into that bag. If it is not locked then it goes to an open bag.

This would allow us to choose which bag we wanted our keep items in and we would know where the loot we are pulling is going to go. At least from the first " open " bag working to the last. I think this would be fairly easy to incorporate and would be consistent with systems already in place.

Mhykke
09-17-2007, 12:54 AM
One of the most frustrating parts for me is trying to reorganize my stuff after every quest, b/c it all gets put back in different locations.

If they could fix this, I'd be much happier.

Aranticus
09-17-2007, 01:59 AM
/signed

on principle i agree but do know why it is hard to implement it. the best way is to of coz lock the slot up so that its only for that piece of gear, but this will create ruckus due to decreased space

the alternative is to code it such that when you change your weapon, any other item in that "remembered" slot will be pushed to to an empty space. this requires lots of memory and can possibly increase lag during weapon swapping. in addition, if the coding is not implemented correctly, then a situation where like you mentioned

"It could also share it's 'home space' with another item, but then when swapping between more than 2 of that slot some items will get tossed back into the first available."

could lead to potential gear disappearing should u face sudden d/c, etc.

would you be willing to take the risk?

Spookydodger
09-17-2007, 03:43 AM
Random Engineering thoughts:
Storing the items 'home space' on the item is obviously a waste of space. Instead it should be attached the inventory spot only requiring <= 2 additional bytes of data. From a networking standpoint this is a simple clientside UI change and is a very low risk new feature.

Wouldn't really work, I think, because then there would have to be a search of each and every bag space until it finds which space "owns" the item in question.

Every time you unequip an item, it would have to search 1-75 (125 max) bag spaces. Additionally, it would be less space to remember which bag-spot an item went into rather than which item a bag-spot owned, as there are 125 max bag spots, it would require 1 byte to remember which spot it went into. If it was a matter of bag # and spot in that bag, then the number could be split up into 2 bits and 6 bits, or perhaps 2 and 5 with 1 bit to denote "no home" (easiest to use the negative order bit). For the way you were proposing, each spot would have to store an item ID#, which are probably bigger than 2 bytes.

Perhaps it would be easiest to have this behavior apply only to locked items. It would prevent them from being sold, and also redirect them back to a stored location, displacing any non-locked item there, or going to the first free spot if a locked item is there.

As for a possible workaround till such a solution is implemented, I have used the following for my two-weapon fighters:

Place 2 to 3 bars beside each other (I usually put them vertically on the left side of the screen), then I put the weapons that I only need sometimes into these bars. I try to group them together. Ghost-touch weapons besides one another, for instance. Then when I need to redo my weapon sets for a quest, I click each shortcut that I need to bring the weapon into my hand, drag it into a freed weapon set, and then click the secondary weapon (drawing it into my primary hand) and dropping that into the weapon set.

************************************************** **

Ideally, however, shortcuts would be made that when you drag a weapon onto it, it makes a shortcut for that weapon as a primary weapon. If you control+drag a weapon to a shortcut bar, it would equip it as a secondary weapon. If you control+drag a weapon onto a shortcut that already has a primary weapon, it would become a weapon set. If you control+drag a weapon to a weapon set, it would replace the secondary weapon in that weapon set without a need to recreate it. The same for dragging a primary weapon to a weapon set. This would make an easily understandable UI mechanic that would obliterate any need for weird workarounds or more weapon sets on the Inventory screen (as well as freeing up existing inventory space currently taken up by a finite amount of weapon sets)

Beherit_Baphomar
09-17-2007, 08:44 AM
I need this to happen. Seriously, it needs to happen. This is so frustrating.

Someone once posted saying if you put all you hand weapons in bag A, then all your cloaks in bag B etc they will go back in that bag...well, that works fine until you have an empty space in your backpack. Once that happens all hell breaks loose.

Please fix it so that items go back to where they were found.

etelan
09-17-2007, 02:47 PM
Wouldn't really work, I think, because then there would have to be a search of each and every bag space until it finds which space "owns" the item in question.

Every time you unequip an item, it would have to search 1-75 (125 max) bag spaces. Additionally, it would be less space to remember which bag-spot an item went into rather than which item a bag-spot owned, as there are 125 max bag spots, it would require 1 byte to remember which spot it went into. If it was a matter of bag # and spot in that bag, then the number could be split up into 2 bits and 6 bits, or perhaps 2 and 5 with 1 bit to denote "no home" (easiest to use the negative order bit). For the way you were proposing, each spot would have to store an item ID#, which are probably bigger than 2 bytes.

Sorry for the misunderstanding here. There is no searching required and this is much simplier than the suggested slot locking method. When I said attach the value to the inventory slot, what I meant was the primary and secondary item slot. When a primary weapon is equipped the slot remembers where it found it from and returns it there. When the primary slot is then switched the item is returned to its place and the slot's inventory value changes to the new item. Hence the <= 2 bytes (the less than written for the math you described - depending on Turbine's implementation)

Now if the player places a locked item in that slot in the mean time that is a valid issue. The only way to resolve such an issue to move one of them to an available spot and slighty mess up the players organization. Unless, when the player manually places an item in this slot it will warn them with some simple error/warning chat text; adding 2 simple checks per manual move. One check to see if you're moving a locked item into the primary's home space & one for secondary. Of course this will have absolutely no visible performance hit, especially if entirely handled on client. This also assumes there is no other way non-loot items can automatically be moved. While we hope to minimize or remove this all together it is easy enough to ask Turbine not to allow locked items to be automatically moved into the bag slot that the weapon slots have marked. In fact, it is easy enough to ask that nothing can be moved into these slots if players don't mind losing 2 slots for loot. In fact, if Turbine wants to leave the icon and dim it for the spot these items return to that would rock. Opinions?

Gandalfs_Ghost
09-17-2007, 03:16 PM
Agreed that the inventory system is a pain, partly because its tough to quickly review your possessions, partly because it has no particularly useful inherent organization options.
Even if stuff stayed where u put it, its stil hard to see what exactly you have at a glance.
I tend to use a tavern keep or vendor to view my post-quest inventory to see what I have to sell/need to buy/need to repair, and decide whether its worth the run to the brokers or just dump the junk right there.
Maybe a 'list mode' button that emulates the sell/buy window view style.
Maybe have new loot get added to the back of the pack instead of the front.
Something.

DSL
09-17-2007, 04:52 PM
[...] Even an "Auto sort" would be nice. Maybe arrange the inventory by weapons, then armors, then ammunition, potions, etc.

But I would love to see it done the first way, rather than an auto sort feature. :)

-D


I tend to use a tavern keep or vendor to view my post-quest inventory to see what I have to sell/need to buy/need to repair, and decide whether its worth the run to the brokers or just dump the junk right there.
Maybe a 'list mode' button that emulates the sell/buy window view style.
Maybe have new loot get added to the back of the pack instead of the front.
Something.

I would greatly prefer seeing some sort of option to display the backpack in the same format as the vendors, which is far easier to use - not only is it sorted by item type, but the name is right next to the icon, eliminating the need to scroll over it to see which item it is. For a while, my rogue was using 5 kukris that all looked exactly alike, and finding which was which was a pain (as has been said, two-weapon users have it worse). Since the list display exists already, I would guess that it would be much easier to implement.

It's very much like in Windows, where you can display your folders as icons or as a list. Icons are fine when you have only a handful of files, but once you have more that a few dozen, I find it so much easier to locate things in list format.

Spookydodger
09-17-2007, 10:48 PM
Agreed that the inventory system is a pain, partly because its tough to quickly review your possessions, partly because it has no particularly useful inherent organization options.
Even if stuff stayed where u put it, its stil hard to see what exactly you have at a glance.
I tend to use a tavern keep or vendor to view my post-quest inventory to see what I have to sell/need to buy/need to repair, and decide whether its worth the run to the brokers or just dump the junk right there.
Maybe a 'list mode' button that emulates the sell/buy window view style.
Maybe have new loot get added to the back of the pack instead of the front.
Something.

Amen.

FluffyDucky
09-18-2007, 07:48 AM
I welcome any change to make inventory management easier but would love to have a vendor view of my backpack as an option. Since this view already exists I can't imagine it being very hard to add as an option.

Ringlord
09-18-2007, 08:22 AM
I would not mind a system to keep items locked into the bag they were originally put in, but I don't see a way around how things work now without a lot of hassles. That said if you have equipment you use in your packs then turn on the no sell lock on each and every piece of equipment in your packs including your potion stacks and wands and scrolls. This means that no matter how much your stuff gets rearranged during a quest you can always identify the loot you pulled from chests by the fact that they are not locked.

Yes your pack may still become a mess, but it is only really important if the items are not tied to a hot bar slot and you have to switch them by opening your inventory screen. Otherwise it does not matter what slot they occupy because once they are locked you can't accidentally sell them. I really see the only people having a problem with the constant re-ordering of everything in their packs are those who might have a bit of OCD and need to have everything in a set place all the time. :D

Mercules
09-18-2007, 08:51 AM
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Why? Because that would be 15 slots constantly wasted in my backpack. Even if I am not swapping an item(say I only have one helm) this system would require it to have a locked location in my backpack. This means 15 backpack slots wasted on EQUIPPED items.

My Rogue alone has 8-10 wands, 8 rings, 2 goggles, 2 necklaces, 2 bracers, 2 belts, 3 gloves, 4 trinkets, and a host of weapons including 2 returning throwing weapons(+3 True Chaos Returning Throwing Hammer of Righteousness=Ranged Skellywhacker and his Dwarven Thrower).

Start locking items to slots and I'll never be able to pick up anything without them adding another backpack slot for us. I shudder to think about my WF with all his swappable gear and wands and he is only level 5.

FluffyDucky
09-18-2007, 09:00 AM
I would not mind a system to keep items locked into the bag they were originally put in, but I don't see a way around how things work now without a lot of hassles.

I see lots of options, many listed in this thread.


That said if you have equipment you use in your packs then turn on the no sell lock on each and every piece of equipment in your packs including your potion stacks and wands and scrolls. This means that no matter how much your stuff gets rearranged during a quest you can always identify the loot you pulled from chests by the fact that they are not locked.

I don't have a problem deciding what to sell to vendors; they show my inventory in a nice sorted list with descriptions.


Yes your pack may still become a mess, but it is only really important if the items are not tied to a hot bar slot and you have to switch them by opening your inventory screen.

Don't know about you but I have more inventory than hotbar buttons. I also do not want to fill up my screen with hotbars containing items I rarely use but still want to keep handy. How often do you use a resist sonic potion? Do you want always taking up screen space? How about that silver/adamandite/etc. weapon that you only use for specific mobs?


Otherwise it does not matter what slot they occupy because once they are locked you can't accidentally sell them. I really see the only people having a problem with the constant re-ordering of everything in their packs are those who might have a bit of OCD and need to have everything in a set place all the time. :D

Again, selling is not the issue. Finding that rarely used item or looking for that curse removal potion to give to my teammate is a problem. And the fact that the potion was on my hotbar didn't help since clicking on it would make me take the potion, not give it to the person who needed it.

Spookydodger
09-18-2007, 10:23 AM
Sorry for the misunderstanding here....


Oh, sorry. You mean the actual hand locations / item body locations, such as cloak spot, helm spot, etc.

Yeah, that would be the least overhead, and could be stored client side without any need for server interaction except in reporting where it actually puts the item

That's a right proper idea. You only store... what... (thinks)
helm, necklace, trinket, face, arms, feet, hands, body, 2x rings, 2x held-items (weapons)... 12 bytes more of data per character while keeping things roughly neat. Though there is nothing to prevent, then, that spot from being filled by junk.

Might still be necessary to actually lock individual bag spots so they don't get filled, or at least, when putting items in, doing a cursory search to see if the spot is reserved.

The only problem I foresee is that it first unequips an item, then equips the next one. Often times, like in the case of body clothes, the two items are exchanging spots. It might have to know that the items were exchanging spots or you're right back to where you started, as I think you have alluded to.

etelan
09-18-2007, 10:57 AM
Oh, sorry. You mean the actual hand locations / item body locations, such as cloak spot, helm spot, etc.

Yeah, that would be the least overhead, and could be stored client side without any need for server interaction except in reporting where it actually puts the item

That's a right proper idea. You only store... what... (thinks)
helm, necklace, trinket, face, arms, feet, hands, body, 2x rings, 2x held-items (weapons)... 12 bytes more of data per character while keeping things roughly neat. Though there is nothing to prevent, then, that spot from being filled by junk.

Might still be necessary to actually lock individual bag spots so they don't get filled, or at least, when putting items in, doing a cursory search to see if the spot is reserved.

The only problem I foresee is that it first unequips an item, then equips the next one. Often times, like in the case of body clothes, the two items are exchanging spots. It might have to know that the items were exchanging spots or you're right back to where you started, as I think you have alluded to.

Actually, as I was attempting to describe in my original post the swapping of clothing items works fine as it. It's only the items that are moved into primary/secondary slots that shift around when using weapon sets. That way there are only 2 'reserved slots'. I think the best way to prevent confusion would be to lock these reserved slots either from non-loot items or from all items (gray out the items reserving those slots).