A Pack Rat’s Tail

I’m a terrible pack rat, I just can’t throw anything away. Maybe it stems from Zork and similar adventure games, where you’d habitually pick up anything that wasn’t nailed down in case it was useful later (and if it was nailed down, you could use that crowbar you picked up earlier to fix that…) This carried over to computer RPGs, where my characters would stagger under the weight of their sword, a spare sword (in case the first one was lost or broken), a backup spare sword, an ornamental sword which wasn’t very good for actually fighting with but looked nice, a two handed sword for extra damage, a shield in case defence was the better option, a mace in case of opponents more susceptible to bludgeoning, a glaive, a guisarme, a glaiveguisarme, a glaiveglaiveglaiveguisarmeglaive etc. I’d amass enough of a collection of scrolls, potions, rings and amulets to set up a library with a particularly well stocked bar and jewellery shop in the foyer, but would be loathe to actually use them just in case they were needed more later.

The apogee of this has to be the Elder Scrolls series, particularly Morrowind and Oblivion, and their magnificent “sandbox” worlds, where you weren’t limited to the traditional weapons, armour and the like, but could also pick up cutlery, crockery, ornaments, housewares, furniture, small animals, shrubs, villages… Being limited in the amount you could carry (I’d always work on developing my Strength, if for nothing else than being able to carry a few extra plates and a nice vase) this necessitated a new place to store things: your own house, either within the regular game, or through a user-written add-on. Many’s the hour I could spend in Oblivion, just wandering around town purloining assorted items to furnish my house. A bit like Old Man Murray’s take on Deus Ex, in fact.

Anyway, for reasons I can’t quite fathom myself, I had a fun evening chucking items around between various characters in World of Warcraft last night, as the Burning Crusade opens up new crafting possibilities for some of the stacks of cloth, leather, metals and gems kicking around on various alts. Also, with all the new item drops, I had a fairly ruthless (by my standards) clearout of stuff; some old armour, now outclassed by Burning Crusade drops, a bunch of useless items like the Faded Photograph from some Un’goru Crater quests (you never know, they might add an NPC in a new patch who gives you a bundle of epic loot for this stuff!), so I wound up with nice, neat banks, with everything lined up in the correct order. Maybe it’s just obsessive-compulsive personality disorder…

2 thoughts on “A Pack Rat’s Tail

  1. Van Hemlock

    Maybe it’s just obsessive-compulsive personality disorder…

    Yes, and you aren’t alone. My current EQ2 bank boxes fill the entire screen when all open and contain at least 50 of every resource I’m able to harvest, ‘just in case’, despite me being unable to actually use about half of it, in any way shape or form.

    I too am also hanging on to that Faded Photograph, because you never know…

  2. Zixia

    Well, there is that quest in Searing Gorge, setting light to the beacons on the towers, that rewards you with the apparently useless dragonflight molt, which you only find out 10 levels later you require for another quest in Burning Steppes.

    If you trashed the molt, you can spend a few hours grinding elite dragons for the stupidly low-rate drop of another molt.

    Hang on to that photograph.

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