Decaying Inventory, How Do You Like It?

(New year, new thought. It was initially just a mind game among my friedns and I do not expect any real changes based on this. However, thinking help us undersanding the game more deeply. No matter you like it or not, you are welcome to leave your comments.)


Suppose that some or all of inventories become unstable so that they decay over time, how do you like it? Will this promote or harm the current playing environment?

[Some (Imaginary, Assumed) Changes to Ingress]

--Each item in your inventory will have a half-life period. For every instantaneous period, the item has a very small probability to disappear. For example, let's say, daily decay=0.5%. If you have 1000 l8 XMPs, 24 hours later, you are expected to have 995. One months later, 860 left. One year later, 164 left. Two years? 26 only!

--The decaying rate may vary according to special events. Note that a small change in decaying rate may have a HUGE impact. say, daily decay=1%, then 1000 XMPs becomes 730 after a month and 27 after a year. Daily decay=5% means your whole inventory must be brand new after 2 months.

--Accordingly, the productivity (expected number of outputs from one hack) increase to compensate such inventory loss.

--We may allow some things, like a fixed small number of items (say, 2 special capsules of items), or (all or part of) keys, live forever and do not decay over time.

--We may increase the size of inventory. Temporarily you can have more than 2000 items (say, 2500? or even more) but they decay faster than normal.

[Logic and Discussions behind the Change]

The decaying inventory will significantly discourage item accumulation but stimulate item using. It is designed to make players use rather than accumulate items. The decaying mechanism is equivalent to an inventory maintaining cost. Here are some possible impacts:

--People may feel bad seeing their "belongings" disappear. To some of them this might be a hugh dissappointment. We have too many similar bad feelings in real life (inflations, for example), why another one in our beloved games?

--For those inactive and wandering around AFKs, it is much easier to push their quits. Simply wait, do nothing, inventory loss, positive feedback on their leaving. (Mathematically, if the difference between one's resource gathering rate and item using rate is less than decaying, s/he cannot hold a healthy and stable inventory level.)

--Active players have to be are more active now. Since it is risky to keep items over time, they are likely to use more items after farming. The average turn-over time of inventory will be much shorter.

--Those active players may smash the town back and forth many times within a short period of time.

--Consequently, the "farming" becomes more oriented. If you see opposite faction farming, it means they are going to do something quick, not simply rebuild their inventory to ~2000.

--Key farming: anchor potals are still anchors, but it is much harder to keep an anchor for several months before **** BIG fields on it. It is not only hard to keep anchors but also hard to keep that many keys now.

--SITREPs and BFs are harder, too. For agent travelling alone with L8 Resos, VRLAs and remote keys, he or she must be prepared for additional copies.

--Unfortunately, this would be a really bad news for those whose fun comes from simply accumulating VR items. (Personally I know players simply having fun from calculating how many new VRs hacked every day. S/he will cry, loud.)

--... which, fortuantely, is also a bad news for script farmers and item traders. Their dooms day. isn't it?

--Backpacking issue from multiple accounts is still an issue but should be better. Given the temporary larger inventory, the incentive for backpacking should be smaller. You may still use your secondary device or your spouse/parents/kids/roomates/passed-away ancestors' account as a backpack, however, the more you backpack, the more you will waste. The fundamental restriction on a single player will be his or her playing time. I mean, if it is simply a backpack account, it will encourage you play more in short periods, and if they are real players and come out to play with you? More than welcomed!!



  • XJL310XJL310 ✭✭

    Thanks for the comments. I like your idea that "Not all items are usable the second they get hacked," which makes me think what items are really "useful".

    I understand that people all like L8 gears, but without them, playing can still be fun. Sometimes I underestimate the role of l5/l6s. By keeping a small number of 7/8s, one (a locale community) can easily live with 5/6 item cycles: most of protals are l5/l6, and most local people attack with l5/l6 xmps. I have experienced this for years and it is still fun. In the same sence, VR defensive and VR farming mods are also not too crucial-- sort of, but one can simply double hacking to replace Ito en +/- and waits longer or visit more portals to replace HS/MH. Farming with only C & R mods is not that bad.

    The only irreplaceable VR, based on my knowledge, is LA (VRLA/SBUL) and ADA/Jarvis, which cannot be replaced given portal locations and # of players. (that's why they are the only three things I am accumulating.)

    Given them above, that's why I would say, we need some level of inventories (may 200) which must not decay to maintain a sustainable playing.

  • PerringaidenPerringaiden ✭✭✭✭✭


    The only irreplaceable VR, based on my knowledge, is LA (VRLA/SBUL) and ADA/Jarvis, which cannot be replaced given portal locations and # of players. (that's why they are the only three things I am accumulating.)

    Just to be clear, I've had VRLA sitting in my inventory for close to 4 years now. Not because they're useless, but because they're precious, and irreplaceable, unlike SBUL, ADA and Jarvis.

  • If you really want to attack backpack accounts then tie the output of quantum capsules to actual game activity. A combination of activities should yield the greatest output. And no activity should yield nothing. And those backpacks that do nothing but generate gear will become useless. But item decay of any kind isn't the answer.

  • PerringaidenPerringaiden ✭✭✭✭✭

    Uh, that would help spoofers no end.

    "You can reproduce items by walking"

    "Ok, my account will be walking in circles 24/7 for the next year."

    They reduced backpack gains by removing Quantum reproduction of VR gear.

  • XJL310XJL310 ✭✭

    Among all people who dislike my idea, only you point out the key issue. It was not about backpack but about whether we should encourage item circulation faster.

    Thanks for sharing your story and for the reading. This made me understand why people disagree with me. I totally buy what you said:)

  • Agree about inventory turnover. What can be done to encourage faster inventory turnover? Your suggestion doesn't quite do that. I know that I go below x = time to reload. In my case reloading is merely time spent, not a weekend someplace with the almost sole intention of reloading.

  • CarpOfDoomCarpOfDoom ✭✭✭

    Surely all this would achieve is to force people to spend more time farming (and travelling to farm) and less time playing. After the best part of four years of Ingress, I can safely say that the biggest impediment to play for the bulk of players is kit shortage. I've seen more players pack it up because of that than anything else (farming can be a nightmare if you don't drive), and all a decaying inventory would do is exacerbate that problem.

  • XK150XK150 ✭✭✭✭

    It's a really bad idea, and your should feel really bad for suggesting it.

  • No. No! NO!

    players are inactive because the new UI and graphics are bad, as can be seen in the very poor ratings for UI and graphics.

    Why would you want to push away infrequent players? Isn't the purpose of a game to get more players into it?

    Losing gear by rarity would hit especially hard at a time when there are fewer players, because getting rare gear requires teamwork.

    Also, quantum capsules do the opposite of inventory decay. Quantum capsules are very popular. Changing them so VR gear no longer reproduce was very unpopular, so making gear decay is sure to also be unpopular.

    What Niantic could really use right now are game ideas which will be popular, and which would please longtime players who are fed up with prime as it is right now.

  • omg I agree so much 😳 I stopped playing for 2 months after prime was forced on us...I admit I'm a sprint agent...I go hard and then take a break 😅 if my inventory depleted during my breaks?... yeah ..i'd prolly quit...hording is not an issue with me I grind for everything I have

  • theimmctheimmc ✭✭✭

    If I'm a casual player, and I return after a couple of weeks / months to find a bunch of things missing from my inventory, what do you think is more likely: that I'll start playing more, or I'll give up on it?

    The way to increase play is to make the game more interesting, not making it more frustrating.

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