1. I kind of have to disagree. I’ve never had a bank alt in any game, not even in WoW, despite playing two of the most inventory intensive classes — druid and hunter. Players tend to be packrats and stockpile too much crapola that they really don’t need. If you vendor all that junk periodically you won’t have a storage problem. What you are describing is a problem created by a personal choice that doesn’t require a developer solution.

    Regardless, games have to limit storage space or players would constantly be increasing the number of items in their storage, essentially without limit. Aside from any potential gameplay issues (searching through 12,347 items to find the one thing you need) it would have severe database issues that would essentially ruin the game’s performance. If you have thousands of characters querying an inventory database, and each character has thousands upon thousands of items, bad things will happen to your game performance :p

  2. Graktar hit the nail on the head. As a game developer who frequents this blog because of its (usually) intelligent articles, I’m surprised this kind of ridiculous rant got published.
    Just because you are playing in a virtual world, does not mean that those virtual items don’t take up some real world space and resources to manage. Sure its just a couple bits here and there, but if all the players in the game are storing virtually limitless amounts of items, the developers would have to pay out the nose for extensive server upgrades on a regular basis. It would also cause some serious system performance issues each time the server was queried to get the 15000 item inventory that a player is lugging around.
    Limited storage is also a tool to manage the economy in virtual worlds. Imagine how fast your economy could be obliterated if all those items were suddenly sold off in a hurry. By forcing regular item destruction through sale/storage, it keeps the economy from ever becoming bloated or controlled by in-game groups.
    In short, this was by far the worst thing I’ve ever read on MMOCrunch. It reeks of the kind of whining forum fanboys that destroy gaming communities.

  3. The argument that quering huge amount of items will kill servers is poor. There are simple solutions that would completely make this a non issue. First having 15000 slots of personal space is not what I was saying. Currently most games have about 100-200 slots for personal use, so bump that to 500 or 1000. Make levels. Lev one would list up to 50 items, so put your most used items there. The next level would hold another 100-200 items, lev 3 another 100-200 items. This is exactly the same way banks work, except in my scenario I don’t have to waste my time going to a bank to access them. I can access these extra storage locations right on my char.
    As I stated in my post, the economy is basically the only valid arguement to not expand storage space. However I don’t think it would ruin it, the only thing you might see is inflated prices.

  4. I will get to the server issues in a moment, but first, you are still completely ignoring the real-world costs of increasing in-game storage. Virtual items are still bits and bytes of data that require hard drive space to store, which requires electricity to spin and occasional replacements and upgrades. Imagine a game like WoW doubling storage space available to players. The costs would be absolutely astronomical.
    As for the server issues, you are ignoring the way your suggestion would change gameplay and how that gameplay would effect server loads. Banks require players to go to a specific location to access the database, which means fewer calls to the database since it requires time and effort to get access. Give players constant access to the bank, and they’ll be making queries on the database far, far more often to shuffle their equipment around and keep the most relevant stuff on top. Even with small-batch queries, you’re looking at a ridiculous increase in database traffic. Sure its doable, but it WILL effect performance, especially in large games and on high-pop servers. Oh, and it’ll cost a ton of money to accomplish as well.
    There are also game design/population control issues that banks help with. Requiring trips to the bank pulls people out of gameplay areas for short spans and pushes them back into social zones. That a) opens up the area you were farming for new players b) cycles new players into groups and promotes community growth and c) provides natural breaks that remind players of the real world. Also, if you don’t think inflation could be a major problem, then you’ve never handled a virtual world economy.

  5. In order for MMO games to feel like MMO games they need central hubs of activity.

    In most MMO games like WoW, these are the main cities where Banks, Auction Houses and Crafting stations are.

    You have to be careful when removing anything from the game that causes players not to need to go to a central hub anymore.

    If WoW got rid of banks, allowed the Auction House to be accessed anywhere in the world and made crafting stations portable, the main towns would be GHOST TOWNS. Nobody would ever be in them and that would 100% totally hurt the ‘immersion’ factor of the game.

    As far as increasing the number of slots causing a vast amount more database traffic or server load, bull. Doubling the number of slots available does NOT double the amount of queries to the database, not even close.
    At the very most all increased slots do is add more storage space requirements and possibly larger amounts of data coming back from the database/going to the player when querying the entire bag. This is not very much at all to deal with in my opinion.

  6. I honestly think your blowing the server load issue why out of proportion. Having a 40 person raid puts a hell of a lot more strain on a server then people being able to query static items from a database. If servers are able to handle multiple 40 person raids at any given time, then they should be easily be able to handle more quires to an item database. Yes they will need more space, but space is extremely cheap. If you have to double the space on each server, what would that cost, $500-1000 max? Whats that to a billion dollar company like blizzard. Even with 1000 servers to upgrade your only looking at around a million dollars, which they make in about 5 mins with WOW. Even if it costs 10 million, thats not much.
    I think were going to have to agree to disagree on this subject.

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