The ever present storage problem

In real life I live in a very small house, so I’m very familiar with having trouble finding space for all my stuff. In game it was never an issue until last expansion when transmogrification was announced. Void storage might have come along with it but it was nowhere near enough. For the whole of 4.3 I ran around with about 20 free bag spaces, my bank was completely full so I had to carry a lot around with me.

Through vendoring off spec gear and being ruthless I made more space to start in Mists. However, it’s only been two weeks and I’m back to 20 free slots again. With all the new vanity items, plus the changes to cooking, space is at a premium. That’s why I believe that Warcraft is overdue an overhaul of the inventory system. Here’s what I’d like to see them do with it.

Transmog Closet
I wrote about this before in a post about transmog. However, as a lot of my space is taken up with items for their graphics, it’s worth mentioning again here. There should be someone somewhere, like with void storage, where you can take an item for transmog and deposit it. Rather than going in a fancy bank, which is what void storage is, you can’t take it back out, it enters into a list of gear you have for transmog. Then when you go to the transmog guy it’ll be something you can select for use. Basically you have that item for transmog only if you deposit it this way. You should still be able to transmog items that aren’t deposited into the closet. It would also be cool to have a character pane where you can play dress up with your character, and see what items you have in the transmog closet. That would be cool but would be an extra feature, it’s the depositing for transmog I’d like. Make it a gold sink like void storage and have people pay to do that.

Account-wide bank
Be honest what do most people use the mailing system for? Mailing things between alts, or collecting auction house gold/items. I can see this as an argument for some kind of player housing. Make it so people have to pay a lot of gold, or have to grind a lot of materials, reputation, whatever. When they do though have an area there, like a guild bank, which they an access from any character on their account so long as they are on the same server. Although keeping servers separate in the days of CRZ is getting redundant and is worth a look. I’d like this area to have like a portal to it, like the ones monk’s get to the Peak of Serenity, where they return to where they left from afterwards. How many people have a guild bank because they want more space? I wouldn’t bet against them out numbering proper guilds. That means you have to have a character you don’t play much as your banker, or a special banker taking up a character slot. Having a bank accessible by all characters makes much more sense. It gives you more space, enables the transfer of items from one character to another, and means multiple characters can use the same items without losing track of who has what.

To go with the account-wide bank, and the cooking pantry below, something else that would be cool to have in this player house/bank would be a toybox. You get so many cool vanity items these days, some of which subsequently disappear from the game, or are really rare. Blizz are encouraging you to change mains if you want, with the account-wide achievements, mounts and pets. So why not open up all those fun items as well? That player was there for that event, or in game when that raid/dungeon was around, or I don’t know but they were there. They were just there on a different character. Why penalise people over the fun stuff for changing characters? I did Operation: Gnomeregan on my mage, which I’ve since dropped like a hot potato. My paladin is my main and I would love to have the little Gnome suit on it. So why can’t I? What would it hurt?

Cooking pantry
I have about 40 bag slots dedicated to cooking supplies right now. Between fish, meat, and all those vegetables grown on the farm it adds up. I like to keep them on my main so I know what I have, and then I can go on my alts and grow what I need. It probably annoys my real ID friends no end. Every morning I log all my alts and harvest, send it to my main. I then look at what I have and decide what I’ll cook next, and then log all my alts again to plant for tomorrow. Having an account-wide pantry would be my preference, particularly as they’ve made it so much easier to level cooking on alts. I will be having to re-level cooking most likely due to the limitation on Ironpaw tokens. However, having it per character would be fine too. I just need somewhere to store all the materials when I’m not cooking. I carry them about with me everywhere and I need the space.

Tabard pane
A lot of tabards are items that you can’t get again, most recently the Theramore Tabard from the level 85 scenario. You can’t get rid of those as you can’t reobtain them. The Argent Tournament tabard costs a lot of tokens, so you can’t get rid of it. There’s Loremaster and Explorer and lots more and they all take up space. Particularly now in Mists where they’ve moved to having tabards be decorative, rather than functional with rep gaining, losing a bank spot to them is difficult to justify. It would be so much better if in the character pane there’d be a tabard list, like this is for titles, where you could select what tabard you would like to wear. You’d have to get each tabard of course originally, and then you could learn them like you do with pets and mounts. This would also make it easier to see which tabards you were missing.

Higher stack number
Most items currently stack up to 20 before starting a new stack, some don’t even go that high, though admittedly a few go higher. However, 20 is a very small number. Make everything be 100, or 200 minimum instead. All it does is condense it to less bag slots. Right now you have to note the number of the stack for multiple bag slots, as you can have less than a max stack e.g. 17, so you could even argue that condensing it would be kinder to the database. This will help with space issues and it just makes sense.

Make it a currency
Elder charms are a currency but lesser charms aren’t. Every week you can trade 90 lesser charms for 3 elder charms. However, the lesser charms rack up like nobody’s business. I have almost enough to buy another 3 weeks worth already and that number is only going to get higher. These lesser charms already have 2 bag slots and that number will have to go up. I suppose at some point, when I’ve got exalted with lots of factions, the number I get every week will go down, and then the exponential growth of them will slow or stop. I could in the future be having to run dailies just to get charms. However, for now, and the foreseeable future, I have way too many and they are taking up valuable bag slots. They really should be a currency, like tokens, and I don’t see why they aren’t.

Increase the default backpack
They have said many times that this would be very difficult to do. I don’t know why it’s so difficult, but then I have no idea how Warcraft works. I might have a background in programming but not this kind. Either way the entire storage system could do with an overhaul, so if they overhaul it completely then they can change the backpack at the same time. Ideally I’d like it, as you can’t replace the default backpack, for it to automatically increase every expansion to match the new max bag size. They could do this as a reward for you hitting the new level cap.

Adding it up
This will remove all the clutter from banks and bags. The only things that would need to be kept in would be those that don’t fit into the above categories, which is actually still a lot when you think about it. There’s all the gear, main-spec, off-spec, off-off-spec, pvp etc. There’s items you collect for rep like the idols from AQ40 or Oshu’gun dust etc. There’s mats for professions e.g. ore, gems, cloth, herbs and the results from those like flasks, cut gems etc. There are things that you collect like the archaeology rares, all the new rares available in Mists, different fishing poles, your first epic drop etc. The rare fish, letters from NPC’s, letters from friends, random cool drops with funny tooltips. So much stuff!

There is still a lot left even with the measures suggested above. However, right now we’re bursting at the seams. Blizz has put all this cool, fun stuff in the game so they can’t blame us for wanting to keep it. So I really think they should take measures so that we can. Right now it’s a balancing act. I have a stocked banker guild, things getting mailed from alt to alt, and so little space on my main. Please we need more storage space!