There are certain systems in a game that are essential for play but are very really talked about. I think inventory is one of them. Sometimes you will hear people complain there is not enough of it, but really I can not think of anything else I have heard a community discuss. Well, let’s put that right for Chronicles of Elyria and have a good old look at what we know about the system so far.
From the Developer Journal #4 Easter Egg Hunt we found out that Soulbound Studios are (yet again) going away from the norm when it comes to the inventory system. Moving towards realism and a ‘what you see is what you get’ approach. Here is the obligatory Jeromy ‘Caspian’ Walsh quote:
In CoE, everything carried is either in your hands or worn on your body. For example, there may be stuff in your backpack – but that’s only if you HAVE a backpack. If so, it’ll be either in your hands or on your back. Either way, the backpack will be visible. There are also different types of backpacks suited for different types of travel. …
To increase carrying capacity it is possible for advanced craftspeople to create boots, bracers, cloaks, belts, etc… which provide additional slots for carrying additional items. For example, boots with pockets for blades. Garter belts with places for daggers or small pockets, belts with additional pouches, or even additional scabbards for throwing knives, daggers, etc… So in general, you’ll be able to tell by looking at someone how armed they are. As well, the types of pockets/holsters you’re wearing will often be indicative of the type of character you are.
As you approach your target *cough* I mean another friendly player, you will be able to see what sort of equipment they have about their person. Perhaps, a player is coming towards you with a sword in their hands a garter belt with a dagger in it, throwing knives on their belt and a short sword in their boot. You are going to know that player is expecting trouble, or perhaps out to make it themselves and adjust your actions accordingly. We can actually make split-second choices about another player and how we interact with them, first impressions may well count.
The different types of backpack could also be visibly different and indicate the occupation of player, perhaps allowing you to be able to make a guess at the sort of items they might be carrying. With causing another player to spirit walk being illegal, and it being the only way to get your hands on what is inside another players backpack, a highwayman will appreciate being given some clues about whether a particular target is worth the risk. A player returning to town with a mining backpack and while copper prices are currently sky high? Maybe that score will pay for the jail time!
However, it is not just the visible nature of the inventory that is different. This time, Miguel ‘Souzou’ Sierra got to spill some of the beans:
You will not be able to carry unlimited amounts of weight. If your character is physically weak, then you aren’t going to be able to carry a lot of weight.
Finally, a game where carrying 500 lumps of rock might actually be a bit tricky! If you are suddenly worried that you are never actually going to be able to transport anything and all trade is going to be in rather small numbers on of the other things that were mentioned in the Developer Journal was “pack animals” so that could open a world of possibilities. I think it adds a lot more thought about what you are going to be doing on your adventure into the open. If you are exploring and have no idea what you are going to find do you want an animal slowing you down and restricting your movement? Or do you want to have one so your trip can last longer and you might get to more undiscovered places? What if you are a highwayman, you are going to need a way to get your loot back to your hideout but you do not what a neighing horse giving away your hiding place?
The inventory system yet again seems to open up a lot of player choice, forces decision making, and impacts player interactions. It is far more than a 500 slot space for stuff, and I am glad to see that this part of the game hasn’t been missed with the, now patented, Chronicles of Elyria ‘added depth’ brush.