Every loot interaction is a “Do I need this?” question that often leads people to pick things up they already have plenty of.
Display next to the items in a loot container, 3 small numbers. How many of the item you have on your character, in your storage, and across all your characters. This will give people the information to make decision making much easier.
For example if you had 300 7.62 on your character, 4212 in storage, and 6000 across all your characters; 7.62 in a loot container would show "300 © 4212 (S) 6000 (A) . This would give you the decision making knowledge to know that while your character doesn’t have much 7.62 left, you have plenty in storage.
- Technical Implementation Suggestions:
Process the items counts for the inventory of the storage box, and characters after every loot / inventory interaction is finished. This has 2 advantages, the numbers will come up instantly when the player loots since the processing for the counts is already done, and the information can stay in ram to avoid disk writes since it isn’t needed for save file integrity.
Also I’d suggest having an explanation of the numbers when mousing over an inventory item or when selecting a single inventory item on console.
- Solution Reasoning:
This greatly distracts from the excellent game play as you often end up having to stop and decide to what to drop eventually. At end game this gets much much worse when your storage box is full. Speaking as a person who has a storage character for equip-able items, ammo, and items I don’t commonly use. I realized the reason that I had acquired so much of everything was when I went to loot I had no idea what I had.
I’ve run into this kind of UI design issue in IoT systems with thousands of systems per user and 100s of active alerts, people get information overload pretty quickly and start making the quickest decision or ignoring data. We put a lot of effort into breaking information down visually into “decision making sized” data.
Those 3 stats, how many are my current character, in my storage, on all my characters are “decision making sized” data for the question “do I need this?”.