Idea for more realistic equipment and inventory

Originally, I posted this as a response in another thread, but since much of it stands on its own, I am making a new thread to open up more discussion on it. Please read the entire post before responding.

Currently in Rust, it is very difficult to discern what or how much a player may be carrying just by looking at them. What’s more, a player can carry sizeable numbers of tools, weapons, items, and materials without wearing so much as a stich of clothing. Not only is this unrealistic, it adds to the tendency for distrust among players.

If you’ve been keeping up with the devblogs, you’ve probably noticed they are looking to add things like gun holsters so you can tell just by looking at someone whether they have a gun on them. This would be a great addition to the game because it allows you to better assess how much of a threat another player may be to you.

In the interest of realism and overall gameplay, I propose taking things a step further. This would involve fundamental changes to how players “carry” items and replacing the current structure of the inventory and hotbar.

Instead of an inventory, players would have an Equipment GUI that includes not only armor, but slots for things like a weapons, tools, etc. Instead of serving as inventory slots as they currently do, spaces in the hotbar would instead “link” to items the player currently has equipped in the Equipment GUI, kind of like a shortcut. Think of how hotbars work on MMORPGs like AO or WOW.

To allow for inventory spaces beyond those in their Equipment GUI, players would start with a backpack. It would be carried in a backpack “slot” in the Equipment GUI and would be a visible model on the player’s back. They could access its inventory with the same hotkey used to pull up the equipment GUI, then swap items as desired. Raw materials, construction components, food, even small weapons and tools could be stored in a backpack. However, items stored in a backpack would not be allowed to “link” to the hotbar. Higher quality backpacks could even be obtained to replace the starter one and expand carrying space, maybe even provide some protection akin to armor. For example, a starter backpack might be a burlap sack with no armor bonus and only 6 inventory spaces. Upgrading to a cloth one might give you 10 spaces, a leather one 20, etc.

Players would also start with a simple belt equipped in a belt “slot.” So long as it is equipped, it would open up spaces in the Equipment GUI for small tools, weapons, and consumables, so those items could be linked to the hotbar for quick access. If carried in these spaces, hatchets and pistols would appear as visible models on the player’s hip when not in use. Higher quality belts could be obtained to replace the starter one and expand carrying space. For example, a starter belt might be little more than a piece of twine with two spaces. Upgrading to a cloth belt would expand it to 4, leather 6, etc. If Garry has his way with how reloading guns will work, you could make it extra hardcore by requiring ammo clips to be stored in these slots in order to be reload the weapon “on the fly.”

There would be a Hand “slot” in the Equipment GUI to represent where the item currently in use is carried. Tools and weapons stored elsewhere in the Equipment GUI could be swapped into the hand slot “on the fly” using the links in the hotbar. If a tool/weapon is being swapped out of the hand spot in this way, it would go into an available slot in the Equipment GUI by default. If no slot there was available, it would go into the backpack. If there was also no space for it in the backpack, it would be dropped, and the player would be notified of this. Thus, the practical use of this slot would be for a player to “tentatively” carry a tool/weapon that they would otherwise have no space for. Also, construction components and other “placeable” items would have to be manually moved into this slot from the backpack in order to be placed. This is more realistic than plopping down a wood barricade “on the fly.”

Large weapons and tools, like pickaxes, bows, shotguns, M4, MP5, and rifles, could not fit inside a belt or a backpack. Instead, they would have to be stored in special slots in the Equipment GUI and would appear as additional models on the player. This operates on the assumption that such weapons and tools are always accompanied by a means to strap them to one’s body. Even a naked man can tote an MP5 on a shoulder strap if he so chooses. Alternatively, the number of these slots available could be dependent on the backpack a player is using.

If a player wanted to “link” small tools and weapons to the hotbar for easy access, these items would have to be equipped in holster “slots,” made available only by equipping a belt.

For example, imagine an equipment GUI with the following slots:
Head, Chest, Legs, Feet - Used for helmets, vests, pants, boots, as is currently in place
Hand - A slot for the tool/weapon currently in use. See above.
Back - A slot exclusively for a backpack. Newly spawned players get a starter one.
Waist - A slot exclusively for a belt. Newly spawned players get a starter one.
Belt 1, Belt 2, … etc. (I’m thinking a max of 4-6) - slots for consumables and small tools and weapons like hatchets and pistols. Only when equipped in a holster can these items be linked to the hotbar for quick access. The number of these slots available is dependent on which belt is equipped.
Shoulder 1, Shoulder 2, … etc. (I’m thinking a max of 3-4) - slots available to hold large weapons and tools when not in use. Such weapons and armor would be visible on the player’s back. Perhaps the number of these slots available could be dependent on which backpack is being used.

I welcome your feedback on these ideas.

I agree with what you have said here, it would be a great thing to add bags and holsters for larger weapons. Also this belt idea you got, seems extremely great.

They only problem I have with this entire thing is the coding it’ll take to do all this. I personally make games and it takes forever to get code to work right and when it starts to work, something else goes wrong.

So again I agree with everything you got proposed, it’ll just be a bitch and a half to do.

I agree that the functionality would be fantastic, but it would be a wicked challenge to make a clean FPS UI for this, not saying it can’t be done, but it’d be a major feat.

I agree with both your assessments that to make these additions would involve significant coding changes with added complexity. I get the impression that the devs have already been working on some aspects of this. They seem very interested in making weapons visible on the player, and I imagine this would be the most challenging part of this to do.

I don’t have very much programming experience, but it seems like a lot of these changes could be done based off of the existing GUI for armor and inventory. It would involve adding new properties to items so they could be distinguished in terms of where they could go. You can tell this is already in place to some degree, because there is already a basic Equipment section with spaces exclusive to certain type of items (For example, you can’t put boots into the pants slot).

For simplicity’s sake, it could be set up so that belts and backpacks needed to be empty to be unequipped. That way you won’t have people dropping and picking up belts and bags full of items.

Even though it would be off of that and it wouldn’t be that hard, it’s just the amount of messing around that would take the longest. Plus also about the bags and belts needing to be empty to drop, I agree to a point, I mean people drop bags in real life that are full (thinking about high school and all) so maybe being able to drop bags in RUST that has some items in it wouldn’t be that far off in realism. Plus also it would add another aspect of both giving items to other people and just de-rezzing items for when you are cleaning up your place.