My name is Joel Smith, I am a hoarder.
I suppose the worst of it has been my need to build new houses to store my stuff, and to have somewhere nearby where I can drop things off. In my line of work I find myself encountering a lot of valuables, and they’re just there for me to walk away with, it’s a kind of salvage operation in dangerous areas, so I’m ultimately restoring a lot of valuable items to the general public, and I will sell them on, but I guess there’s only so much people can buy from me at any given time, so I end up sitting on a small stockpile of… I dunno, ebony hammers? Spells scrolls? Piles of dragon bones?
Climb Every Mountain
The very nature of my style of gameplay is to explore. I get my kicks, not out of the exhausting boss-fights, or unlocking that super-dramatic power that engulfs mobbing swarms and leaves behind a pile of ashes. I appreciate those designers who fill games with little secret stashes of money and weapons, rewards those who think “I wander what’s down there” or who manage to reach that near-inaccessible rooftop or mountain top and find the cunningly hidden cache of wealth. I’m even satisfied to find something small, just so long as I find something.
My little habits make for a bad co-op partner, and a boring streamer, nobody wants to sit and watch me scour every corner for every unseen coin, crate and box, or some switch or lever that will unveil the secret room or concealed path. They do make me better at puzzle games, they ensure I will never want for ammo, and in RPGs they make me so rich I can enrich an economy by farting in the right neighbourhood.
In Skyrim this results in a lot of time spent wandering across the enormous landscape at a fraction of my normal speed seeking somewhere to safely stash my gear or to sell it all. In games like Grim Dawn or Borderlands, it’s a lot of wandering to the nearest vending machine and/or merchant to empty some inventory space. In Thief or Dishonored, it means I feel a personal failure if I have anything less than 95% of the available shiny objects.
Thank Gods There’s No Economy
It is all wildly unnecessary of course. A vast proportion of games barely fill those places that I am guaranteed to check with the proverbial fine-toothed comb, and there is nothing to spend my tremendous wealth on because I will frequently trip over loot that outstrips what the shops are stocking dramatically.
Games in which I can buy real estate are a minor perk, and so often that investment is a distraction at best. Part of why I backed Strongholds and Followers (by Matt Colville, almost complete and ready for digital distribution) is because I look at the hordes of coin an RP group can accrue, and I’d like to give them something to invest in that makes more sense than a visit to the local Priceless Arcane Relic Emporium.
A game that also includes some kind of paid-for crafting service like Dishonored or Grim Dawn can also give me something on which to spend my ill-gotten cash and expend a few of my other resources in pursuit of something bigger, better and more potent. It rarely makes a dent however.
I write all of this from first person perspective and personal experience and whatnot, but I think we all know I’m not alone in this. How many of you are natural born hoarders? How many of you refuse to leave behind a single magic item where anyone could just come along and find it? This is a safe space, you can talk to us.