We’ve all experienced this a million times:
*You loot [insert junk loot] and 32 silver.*
We do that a few dozen times then realize we have to go back to the vendor to free up some inventory space. When we get there, we rummage through our bags trying to figure out what is supposed to be ‘junk loot’ and what’s worth keeping. After about 30 seconds, which feels like 30 minutes, and some aggravation later we finally have a somewhat clean inventory. A few minutes later we go to equip our new sword and realize we just sold it to the NPC.
I don’t know about you, but that’s a tale as old as time for me. Usually it’s bad enough to drive me to find an addon that simply sells all of my junk loot, or I stop looting everything altogether. Sometimes I’ll even just vendor everything and say to heck with it all. I started thinking about this yesterday and came to the conclusion that it’s not an interface problem, or something to be solved with an addon. All of this is indicative of a larger problem: Why have junk loot at all?
Having mobs drop coins makes just as much sense to me. I don’t need that act of going to a vendor and saying, “Hey, would you like to buy my moldy broken leather belt for 6 copper? Please?” Mobs can still drop loot. Why not make it all worth using in some way? Let’s assume I was going to get a broken hilt from a bandit. Makes sense that in our scuffle he broke his sword. Usually that’s junk loot and I would have to sell it. How about it becomes salvageable in some way? The mechanic exists already in almost every modern MMO to be able to break down an item into components of some sort.
In many MMOs today if you kill a bat and it drops its wings — rare, I know, for a bat to have wings — you vendor them as junk. In EverQuest they were used as reagents in the spell ‘levitate’. Bone chips, a common thing found on a skeleton, were used for necromancers to summon their pets. Many items that by today’s standards would be automatically sold by addons were used in quests to gain experience; Collect 5 belts and turn them in for faction and experience. That turned ‘junk loot’ into something people actually wanted to hang on to and trade among other players.
Here’s another lesson of the day from Keen: When you think about getting an addon to make your life easier or solve a problem, think about whether or not there’s another way this issue could have been solved if the game was designed just a little bit different. You’ll be amazed by the wondrous ideas and possibilities you discover.