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Path of Exile and the Future of Stash Tabs

Path Of Exile: Harvest

With the recent reveal of three new League item Stash Tabs, GGG was hoping players would be excited, instead, they were very unhappy. Hundreds of POE fans took to Reddit and social media to protest the announcement, calling the new Stash Tabs a cash grab and saying that GGG has failed to deal with core problems in the game. One of the core problems with the current systems of Stash Tabs is pretty simple, there’s just too many. And it’s this issue that players are angry about.

Grinding Gear Games responded with a forum post, laying out two new ideas that they have for helping reduce the Stash clutter.

Tab Folders

Tab folders in POE would allow the tab window to be organized via folders. You can place all your Tabs into Folders as you designate them. If you want all your League item tabs in a folder, you can do that. This can be done with any tab, free or premium, and is aimed at reducing the clutter of scrolling through large stashes. And yes, you can hide empty stash tabs.

Tab Affinities

Tab Affinities are basically tuning the Tabs and folders to a specific item or class of item. You can set Tab Affinity to a given item type, presumably by designating that item in the tab/folder, and the Ctrl+Click motion, while that tab is open, will place the items into it. According to GGG, “You’ll be able to tick a checkbox on one of each type of your Currency, Map, Essence, Divination, Fragment, Unique, Delve, Blight, Metamorph and Delirium Tabs, to indicate that that Tab should receive items that are Ctrl+Clicked from the inventory.”

Though these solutions help, they’re a ways away. The developer wants to release them before the next expansion though. There’s also another common problem that this solution doesn’t help with.

What Other Problems Are There?

The common criticism of trade issues came up again as well. It’s painfully obvious that the current approach to trade is imbalanced. For trading for powerful items like new armor, it’s rather easy. Although using a third-party tool is kind of cumbersome, it’s still better than the useless trade chat. The real issue arises when you try to trade currency, maps or other consumables. These items take forever to trade. Many players have to whisper 10 other players or more just to get one reply. In short, it’s too hard to trade for what should be easy to trade for, and arguably too easy to trade for things that the developer wants to be difficult.

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Chris Wilson has said that he doesn’t want to change trading by implementing an auction house like other RPGs, and players vehemently disagree. So while the new stash tab plans don’t address these trade-related problems, they do make the game easier to deal with.

Players have met the new Stash Tab plans with mixed feelings. The ideas floating around are varied, but most seem supportive of making the clutter easier to manage. There is one major issue with the Tabs and Affinities idea, that being remove-only Tabs.

Players are fearful that the affinities could lead to a bunch of remove-only tabs that hold a handful of different items within a larger tab hierarchy. But even with the sorted tabs, players wishing to organize items may not have enough active tabs to handle all the clutter.

This could lead to a potentially disastrous clutter situation thanks to an induced demand problem. Induced demand is when a closed system is overloaded by new input pushing it’s capacity to unmanageable levels. Think of when a city builds a new highway to deal with traffic congestion in one area, only for both areas to become cluttered again. This is due to the trend that when a system is made more accessible, more input is put into it. To use the traffic example, when you make transport easier, more people take trips.

In POE, induced demand for stash tabs could lead to players having tons of items that they want to hang onto, but nowhere to put them. When you give players more stash space, they tend to internalize the idea that they have space to burn, and they grab items they otherwise wouldn’t. Tab folders can help with this, but it’s eventually going to become very annoying for some players.

Source: POE Site

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