When I first started playing ESO, I detested the idea that every barrel, box, and urn had something in it. That was one of my least favorite parts of Oblivion and Skyrim: Picking up cheese and vegetables in every barrel. You didn’t have to, but the healing from a big stack of corn could save you in a pinch, because it was too expensive to buy health potions.
At first it seemed that ESO only put food-related ingredients and recipes in the environment. I wasn’t interested in provisioning, so I cheerfully ignored them, only clicking on a barrel or crate now and then if it happened to be right under my cursor.
Then I started to notice more in those barrels than just supplies for provisioning. Sometimes there were racial crafting items. Sometimes lockpicks. If you’re very lucky, sometimes a racial motif. In other words, sometimes you find good stuff.
So now, curse you ESO, I have to click on everything. But since bag space is at such a premium, I can’t pick up everything. So I have to click on the container, see what’s in it, and decide whether to pick it up or not. It’s a bit like a lottery every time you get to a box or barrel.
And I like it. Because it is like a lottery every time you click on something in the environment. It’s just like when you kill a monster and run up to see the loot it dropped. Most of the time it’s nothing special. But sometimes it’s good stuff, and there’s a tiny thrill when you find a nice blue plate chest piece after killing some random mob that happened to be in the way. I get the same little thrill when I click on a wardrobe and find an Argonian Flint trait piece. Oh! I can use that!
I miss it when I go into other games. I never would have believed how much of a psychological benefit it is to have a chance at finding small useful things lying about in the environment of an MMO. Everyone should do that. Fine-tuning the percentage chance is key, though. It has to be a significant chance, like 5-10%, not like 1 in a million.
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