Tuesday, August 31, 2004

SWG: Inventory Encumbrance and Transport

I wouldn't mind a having a real "encumbrance" feature implemented... but this isn't one. The change that's been implemented appears to be just an inventory limit change.

A real encumbrance system would mean that light objects require less room in your inventory than heavy objects, and that small objects take up less room than large/bulky objects. In what universe does it make any sense that a single Bantha doll chews up exactly the same amount of inventory space as 100,000 units of Lead?

If the developers implemented this kind of true encumbrance system, they could remove the ability of players to carry vast quantities of heavy and/or bulky objects... as long as they also gave us new travel container types that are capable of holding these heavy and/or bulky objects, and let us attach these new containers to mounts, to vehicles, and to multiplayer ships when Jump to Lightspeed is released.

Suppose we define one standard Inventory Unit (IU) as the size and weight of one unit of water, then define the size and weight of all other in-game items relative to this standard, then that would determine how much of anything a particular container could hold.




Saddlebag I

small mounts

500,000 IUs

Saddlebag II

medium mounts

1,000,000 IUs

Saddlebag III

large mounts

2,000,000 IUs

Trunk I


800,000 IUs

Trunk II


1,500,000 IUs

Cargo Bay I

SoroSuub yacht

4,000,000 IUs

Cargo Bay II


15,000,000 IUs

Using the numbers I've suggested above (which are just off-the-cuff suggestions), the smallest travel container (Saddlebag I) would be able to carry five 100k stacks of water, or perhaps nine 100k stacks of gases, or two 100k stacks of medium-weight metals. To haul a lot of the heavier/bulkier items you'd need a larger travel container, plus a bigger mount or vehicle on which to put that container.

Where this would really come in handy would be in allowing players to specialize in shipping services for other players. We'd need other rules to insure that you could safely let someone else carry your stuff around for you (for a fee, of course), but an encumbrance system like this one would be the foundation of a true cargo hauling feature in SWG.

Not that I expect anybody else would want such a thing....