I agree with all of this and felt the subject deserved a thread of its own.paultakeda wrote:Do I want to manage my inventory, moving crap around tiles just to make stuff fit? No. I don't care if it doesn't seem immersive, but frankly all I need are encumbrance ratings for every single item held against a character total. Locking items to characters but allow other inventory to be "pooled" is fine, too. But do I want to manage my squad's kit down to what helmet, chest, leg, arm, hand and foot bit they were, along with what they hold in their left and right hand, what they can carry on their back as a secondary? Yes.
My gold standard for a party inventory system is Wizardry 8:
The "paper doll" shows slots available as appropriate to equip armor, weapons (including primary and secondary loadouts that could be quickly switched in combat), and accessories. Then there is a section for individual items carried. Although Wasteland 2 had fewer equip slots per character, which I am fine with, this is essentially how it worked.
The difference was in the "Party Items" area, an innovation of Wizardry 8. Items in this shared inventory were difficult to access during combat, requiring a full turn action (presumably to dig through backpacks and whatnot) to move to individual character inventory. The advantage (and wonderful creative idea) was that the encumbrance of these items was automatically load-balanced to whichever characters in the party had "free space" and the strength to carry more. (Note in the screenshot that the weak Fairy Mage is only carrying 9 pounds of stuff total, although the Party Items add up to more than that. She probably hasn't been given much of the party burden.) Quest items and loot that didn't require any specific person to carry them were simply packed up into shared inventory, and anyone who could handle it would automatically carry it. If the loot really piled up and started getting too heavy for the group as a whole, the load balancing would mean that all party members would take a light encumbrance penalty, depending on their individual load and carry weight. The penalties would get heavier and heavier for the group until items were sold or dumped. Of course if you preferred, you could assign heavy items to a certain character's individual inventory, encumbering him while avoiding the penalty for others.
This system seems ideal for a game like Wasteland 2 or 3 in which there is a ton of junk loot. It was very nice in Wasteland 2 how loot could be auto-distributed on acquisition, and I certainly advocate the return of that system too, but having a shared item pool as well would make things even easier.
Unrelated to the Party Items idea: equip slots. This seems like a good place to reiterate my very simple idea for displaying armor and clothing in the game.
I suggest five body equip slots, exactly like in Wasteland 2: Cosmetic Head, Cosmetic Torso, Cosmetic Legs, Armor, Accessory.
Equipped Armor will appear on the character model UNLESS items are equipped in the Cosmetic slots. Cosmetic items will override Armor models. A player who wants to see his equipped Armor can simply not equip Cosmetic items.
So if a character equips Power Armor and no Cosmetic items, his character model will show as full Power Armor.
A character that equips Power Armor and a Cosmetic Head item, say a cowboy hat, will show as a guy in Power Armor but with his helmet taken off and wearing a cowboy hat instead.
A character that equips Power Armor and three Cosmetic items, say a cowboy hat, buckskin vest, and jeans, will show in game simply as a guy with a cowboy hat, buckskin vest, and jeans. He will receive the mechanical benefits of the Power Armor without having to sacrifice the look of his character for doing so.
Anyone who dislikes the unrealism of this can simply not use the Cosmetic slots. Everyone wins.