Sessler's Soapbox: Weighty Decisions

Posted: June 21, 2011
Sessler's Soapbox: Weighty Decisions
Adam discusses encumbrance as a gameplay mechanic in games like The Witcher 2 and Resident Evil.

Comments are Closed

  • Weeezin

    I don't really care about realism in games. It's a game. But I understand that to make it challenging to make money they have to limit your inventory. I just wish there was a way to increase it later in the game. I love to loot things and I hate to manage my inventory and wonder what to toss. Although I appreciate that Fallout 3 has a locker that you can get early into the game for free. If a game lets me store an unlimited amount of items at my 'home base' then I honestly don't mind encumbrance at all!

    Posted: June 27, 2011 1:46 PM
  • D_Hubbard_OH

    Firstly I don't get how you all are saying that encumbrance is such a hindrance, in my opinion its quite easy to gear juggle. All you have to do is assign a value/weight ratio (for games that tell you values) and then drop the one with the lower ratio. Usually in games that have an encumbrance system if you give it time you don't need to collect everything, you will start making plenty of money in no time.

    However I think if it is a real problem for games a simple solution be to allow the hiring of "torchbearers" just your average joes who want to make some money but have no skills with which to deal with the obstacles provided by dungeons. You give them items up to their encumbrance and when you reach town again they sell it at a profit, so you basically give them something that normally sells for 90g then they sell it for 90g and take 10g giving the player a net profit of 80g. Seems like that would be a simple solution. PS I'm not quite sure what my point of saying all this was either, I took the time to re-read some of it and didn't get a point but i already had most of it typed out ;P

    Posted: June 25, 2011 12:09 PM
  • Jordan_160

    Hey I found out how to get rid of weight completely in The Witcher 2, I even made a youtube video showing you guys how to do it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch ?v=U1AwB2diIQ0


    Posted: June 25, 2011 11:04 AM
  • BuckRodgers

    It is indeed frustrating to sell X crafting material because of a weight limit then find a recipe that needed X and you either have to go farm or buy it from a vendor for 10x the amount you sold it for.

    I agree in games like resident evil and dead space the inventory limit is more to limit your arsenal so that you aren't super powerful or have a gun for every situation, making you choose effective weapons for the enemies you are facing and if you hit one that is different from the others in the area you have to figure out a way to destroy it with the lesser effective weapons.

    But yeah, having to fast travel then run to the loot to pickup or to the vendor to sell quickly kills enjoyment especially when you have to do it multiple times for each dungeon. Systems like Torchlight's Pet that takes gear back to town to sell or Wow/Diablo 3's salvage systems are additions to Rpg's that I hope to continue to see. They still make you decide what to keep/sell but you can do it without the treck back to town, because while encumbrance does give us another connection to the game world, if it chooses to make us choose between running to town or leaving gear, especially with systems that don't tell you which items are the most valuable to a vendor, it creates a disconnect that decreases our fun playing.

    Posted: June 24, 2011 1:51 AM
  • M-Theory

    I think encumbrance only works (or, I only tolerate it) if, when encumbered, you simply move a lot slower. I really hate it when I m going through an area, looting a dungeon, I pick up a shiny battle ax that I know will fetch a pretty penny, and I stop dead and am unable to move. That was the only real problem I had with Oblivion. Have me move slower in relation to how over-encumbered I am, and I love it.

    In a game like Resident Evil, though, I think it ups the tension when you can only carry X-number of supplies--be they weapons, ammunition for those weapons, or healing implements--and serves the survival-horror genre nicely.

    Posted: June 23, 2011 12:21 PM
  • MasterNoble6

    Editor and cheif you are losing fans with this trainwreck of a website, every time I click on anything it takes longer than 56k modem speeds. The giant billboards at the top taking up quarter of the page, riddled with flash that works right most of the time, and watching a commercial before what is essentially a commercial, feedback I can see but stll not good. I know you need money, (I like muny) but do it with more class and stop ramming it down our throats. This is turning into mtv. Lets not see how long we can take it.

    Thanks Cheif!

    Posted: June 23, 2011 10:33 AM
  • Sponge-worthy

    It's a tough call. In a game like Fallout 3 or Oblivion, I think that leaving 'home' with a limited amount of gear does actually add to the fun of adventuring. However, when looting an area, the task of fast-traveling back and forth multiple times is indeed an annoyance.

    Posted: June 23, 2011 9:30 AM
  • Ailya

    I'm playing Fallout: New Vegas on Hardcore mode right now, and the inventory thing is the worst.

    Posted: June 22, 2011 8:16 PM
  • njdss4

    Encumbrance is one of those features that I understand adds realism and importance to what you carry, but I think in the long run it adds more frustration to the gameplay than excitement. I'm old school in the fact that I like games that have inventories that hold only a certain amount of different items, but up to 99 of each item as one stack. You can't hold on to every item you've ever picked up, but you're not encouraged to sell every item you don't have an immediate use for just in case.

    Posted: June 22, 2011 2:01 PM
  • Jooma

    I'd just like to say I love hearing from Adam.
    I think I've had just all I can take of Craig...

    Posted: June 22, 2011 10:12 AM
  • ninenightmares

    monday-friday is shooters for me like, halo reach, cod black ops, and crysis 2. Then on the weekends its all rpgs for me like, dragon age, dragon age 2, and maybe some guild wars, maybe.

    Posted: June 22, 2011 9:11 AM
  • Bassglass

    I enjoy invintory managemeent and if done right enhances the gameplay. I like how the ES games handle it helps making a good use of chosing what is need and what you want to sell. Having merchents not have unlimited gold to helps make deciding on where to sell also helps out with that.

    Posted: June 22, 2011 7:16 AM
  • flipfreak

    hear that he sead shooter fans are dumb lol jk

    Posted: June 22, 2011 12:41 AM
  • StrongestSaiyan

    One nice thing about playing a game again is that encumbrance can be avoided the next time and it frees you up to try other things. For example, during my third play of The Witcher 2, I knew what type of ingredients I wanted so I could carry other things.

    Posted: June 21, 2011 11:54 PM
  • kings_legacy

    Remember Diablo 2 being were I had to drop a armor set piece then about half an hour later finding the damn boots for that exact same armor set!!

    Posted: June 21, 2011 8:56 PM
  • soldojo

    I am doing a hardcore playthrough of FO:NV that adds:

    -all items (including bottlecaps) have weight
    -headshots are nearly 100% fatal, no matter who/what/when/how
    -you can bottle purified water
    -there is no fast travel
    -sleeping does not heal you in any way, regardless of bed ownership
    -you can hold shift to sprint (higher weight and lower end/agi make you sprint slower/shorter duration)
    -the time of day and night lasts roughly 30 times longer than normal game (nearly on the same scale as real time night/day)
    -you can use a backpack to carry extra(has a graphic)
    -there is massive sand/rain/wind/radiation/elect ricity storms with different negative penalties for staying outside, and they last a very long time
    -you can smoke cigarettes, and become addicted to them
    -most if not all invisible walls within the mojave(not the out edges)have been removed
    -it is EXTREMELY dark at night and in dark places and dark oriented play is very, very different (much more like a horror game).. the pipboy light is essentially a homing beacon for enemies to see you, that you cannot see beyond ... but without it, its pitch black ...
    -many graphical and appearance based mods, such a blurred depth of field and many more player character customization options

    If it were not for these modifications, I would not really enjoy the game. It's, in vanilla form, extremely easy, even on the highest difficulty and hardcore.

    Just pointing out that, on the issue of encumbrance, sometimes it's simply the overall experience of hyper-realism within the confines of a believable yet unreal environment that create the perfect recipe for a fun time and great place to adventure and explore. The very same idea drives everything from COD to to TES. It's just that the inventory and weight management aspect of realism show up in RPGs more.

    Posted: June 21, 2011 8:08 PM
  • lustinius

    I rather enjoy encumbrance, but I would agree that it could use some reworking to make it less frustrating. One thing I would really enjoy is having a way to get a boost to the amount of loot I can carry, like having a pack mule or a wagon or something so that I can carry more swag.

    Posted: June 21, 2011 8:04 PM
  • Thogin

    Weight and other things add to a game depending on what the game wants to convey. In the sense of RE it forces you to choose.

    I will most likely play witcher 2 without the patch.

    Posted: June 21, 2011 7:43 PM
  • RPG-fan

    As someone who plays hardcore RPGs I don't mind encumbrance. As Adam said you can exploit some RPGs without it. Anyway in Witcher 2, the important items are usual stored in quest item section in your inventory and are weightless, therefore, there's virtually no way those items can be thrown away.

    Posted: June 21, 2011 6:22 PM
  • Wozman23

    Encumbrance works in certain genres. In a survival horror game like Resident Evil or Dead Space, it adds to suspense and limits you from just overpowering everything.

    In open world games, or games that place a strong emphasis on loot, like Fallout or Borderlands, I find it to be more of an annoyance. Anytime I am over encumbered the game comes to a stop and I must either find a vendor before I can continue or play a juggling game dropping crappy loot for better loot.

    Fallout gives you so much to do, but weight limits hinder the fun. Instead of being a jack of all trades, and being able to collect scrap metal, and crafting items, and carrying guns of all shapes and sizes, you have to prioritize and specialize. I end up never carrying any of the big, fun weapons like the Fat Man, Incinerator, Missle Launchers, or Gatling guns because they tie up to much space.

    I'm fighting Supermutants and giant scorpions with a mechanical dog; I don't care about realism. That's why I like Insomniac. Other than Resistance 2, they let you simultaneously play with everything they give you. They cater to the hoarder in me and let me carry the ashtray, the remote control, the paddle game, this magazine, and the chair. And that's all I need!

    Posted: June 21, 2011 5:25 PM