I always had the impression that I was a hopeless pack rat when it came to all things MMO – or really, anything that has an inventory and allows you to collect stuff (including Diablo-style ARPGs and real life.)
Today, I was logging into my GW2 characters at random, wincing at the messes I was looking at – bags half to three quarters full on actively played characters, filled to the brim on storage alts, an account bank stuffed with account-bound souvenirs of nothing but sentimental value mixed with items that might conceivably be worth something later (maybe), two guild banks full of non-account-bound tradeable commodities that were being kept for the dual reasons of “it might be worth more later” and “what if Anet tweaks something that makes this super-expensive and I want to craft something super-desirable that suddenly requires it?”
As usual, I was telling myself, “you hopeless packrat, you, I don’t even know where to begin…” when it suddenly hit me.
Maybe I’ve got it all wrong.
It’s not really a -hoarding- problem, is it?
Folks define hoarding as the accumulation of stuff (mostly seen as worthless by other people) to the extent that it starts to impede someone’s quality and standard of living, possibly posing a health hazard, yadda yadda.
Even though I have a lot of GW2 stuff – admittedly, some of it sentimental, in the sense that they were one-off souvenirs:
a) many of the other items are not seen as worthless by other people, and has the potential to go up in value over time
b) and/or I will -really- regret it if I throw them away or sell them now, given Anet’s proven track record of suddenly making valueless items valuable (and vice versa)
c) it’s not that I have run out of virtual space to keep all the stuff – I have two empty character slots, and two of my lowbies are new, have completely empty bags and aren’t presently being used to store anything
No, I don’t have a -packrat- (as in collecting or hoarding) problem per se.
What I have is a severe lack of any organization system, or a good way to find and retrieve any desired item among the amorphous piles of unsorted stuff.
In GTD terms, I’ve only collected, but I’ve barely processed any of it, nor thought about any way to systematically organize the things I want to keep, and certainly I don’t regularly -review- my inventory AT ALL.
Sadly, better defining the problem or seeing it from a new perspective doesn’t immediately lead to any magic solutions.
I did drool a little after Googling up a third party add-on for LOTRO that apparently allowed the player to look at the inventories of all their alts in-game, and search them by keyword, listing how many quantities were on which character. Wrong game, alas.
GW2 apparently has an inventory API out, but bleh, frankly, the thought of letting a third party website have an authorization token to look at my account inventory makes me more than a little nervous, so that’s not a great solution either.
It may end up being a case of old-fashioned Excel to keep track of the 17 of 19 character slots… (yeah, I’m not sure how that happened either. What can I say, I’m an altholic, and it’s nearly been three years) though I’ve also been browsing some home inventory programs for general ideas on how I’m going to handle this.
I also bit the bullet and logged in every one of them, to take a screenshot of their inventories and do an initial “obvious junk” cleanup.
Hopefully, it will sort of provide me with a brief overview of the entire scope of the task that lies before me… Maybe.
I suspect part of the problem is that it’s very difficult to sort anything if my account bank is completely stuffed and thus posing a bottleneck to transfer items from one character to another.
So that’s something that needs to be addressed too. *sighs*
I have this feeling that I will need to print out everything onto sheets of paper to draw little arrows and circles to group “like” items togther, before I can even begin to grasp how I can best get this organized…
… that or cut and pasting in a paint program or something.