On the last blog post, commenter Matt proposed a fairly clever hybrid solution to the death-loot problem that should work well. It uses the “invisible bag” plan, with a clever proxy add-on.
I’m going to go ahead and pencil in this plan. Because my tech for items is pretty fancy, this should be a straightforward implementation, and it combines lots of the benefits of both approaches. It’s also rather elegant in how it lets people be sociable and helpful without a lot of extraneous inter-communication.
(There’s a stray thought in my head that there might be a way to abuse this system to get extra inventory space. But I’m not seeing an exploit that’s substantially better than mail-muling, which I have no problem with. If anybody sees a vulnerability I don’t, let me know.)
Here’s Matt’s post. Thanks, Matt!
Allow your friends to interact with your corpse; when they do they won’t be able to loot your actual stuff, but will instead get an item that will sort-of proxy your stuff. This bag of “Matt’s Stuff” (for example) wouldn’t be an actual bag or container of any sort; your friends wouldn’t be able to open it or use any of the stuff that’s ostensibly “inside” it, but they would be able to give the “bag of stuff” back to you, put it in guild storage, or whatever.
You could then get your stuff back by either looting it directly from you corpse or by acquiring the bag that someone else “looted” and brought back for you. This second option would allow a few additional benefits:
1. It means you don’t need to completely trust other people with your stuff. Anyone who “loots” your corpse can only help you, not hurt you. While it’s interesting to require trust as a prerequisite, I think it’s more useful to use death and “corpse runs” as a way of building trust.
2. It would allow multiple friends to loot your corpse. While rationally silly, this sort of capability makes a lot of sense for a virtual world, where you don’t know where or when you’ll see any specific friend again.
3. You could still do the corpse run, and get your stuff back yourself (should you enjoy that sort of challenge, or if you’re next online when your friend’s aren’t). Once you’ve acquired your stuff, you may even be able to get the game to do something silly with any remaining supposed bags of “Matt’s Stuff” laying around.
For example, “You swear there was something important in here, but it’s just a goblin’s dirty laundry,” or “It’s a bag of rocks. Why are you carrying around a bag of rocks?”