The Trading Floor – A Rare Rant in Skyrim
As I finished up my latest stint of looting and pillaging outside Whiterun, I became encumbered and found it difficult to flee the scene of my latest crime. I turned to Jenessa, my faithful servant in hopes that she could lighten my load by carrying some items from me only to find out that she too was at her maximum carrying capacity. Suddenly, I’ve been thrust into a difficult decision that can really only end in a loss for me – do I drop some heavy but powerful weaponry, or neglect to take my latest spoils?
These are among the only choices that are unwelcome in Skyrim. Before the Bethesda-faithful banish me to the barracks for neglecting to point out that there are ways to increase carrying capacity such as perks, let me tell you to shut your mouth. In a game as rich with content as this, there should be numerous, accessible opportunities to control your inventory. Later in the game, options such as storing items in your house become viable but 20 hours in, I’d be hard-pressed to scrounge up the gold and besides, there are more dire needs I have for which I must pay.
My question then becomes “where are the traders in Skyrim”? To those of you angrily pointing to your world maps, it was (somewhat) rhetorical. I know exactly where they are but the fact remains that there are not enough selling opportunities. The effect of this is two-fold: 1) I’m finding it tedious to manage my inventory as I’m constantly near or at capacity, as is my follower 2) I’m missing out on many money-making opportunities by holding on to the trinkets I’ve found along the way that have little to no use but still carry a hefty price-tag.
Surely I should cut them some slack – the game is absolutely gargantuan and the developers had no way of knowing that I would search, raid and pickpocket to this extent. But that’s the type of scrutiny that falls on the ambitious RPGs of today. The risk here is that players who meticulously examine environments with attention to detail like myself have a real deterrent to playing the way we want to play very early in the game. It’s a damn shame because I’ve barely scratched the surface content-wise, but the problem poses a real threat to the game’s longevity nonetheless.
The solution shouldn’t have to be that the player changes their play-style, or prioritizes how they collect differently. Rather, there should be more opportunities earlier to sell some inventory, make some coin and continue exploring the beautiful world without that heavy feeling in your boots or the pit of your stomach.