Exploring Eberron: What is all this stuff in my inventory?

Wednesday night's Nights of Eberron was its usual crazy success, and the diversity of player types makes for an interesting mix. "Interesting" is a very good thing in this case, as the guild is made up of players on every part of the spectrum from those with several years of experience in Dungeons and Dragons Online to people who are rolling their very first character.

For those new players, or even those who gave the game a brief try back when it went free-to-play, it can be a bit confusing. I'm going to spend some time in this column going over things for the newer players, because Dungeons and Dragons Online offers some pretty handy items that you don't want to miss out on.

OnedAwesome, Massively's official Dungeons and Dragons Online guild, ran through the Waterworks Wednesday night, killing an absolutely ridiculous amount of kobolds and picking up some handy loot. It was our first foray outside of Korthos, and at the end, there were lots of things in our inventory that were a mystery to many players. Follow along after the jump as we take a look at what they were.
Repair


While it's not technically "in" your inventory, we're going to start with one of the most important things for your inventory and your characters. Most MMOs have some sort of armor repair function, so you may well be familiar with it. Others do not, so I'm going to give it a nod just in case. At every general vendor, you'll see a "repair" tab in their window. Clicking that tab will show you a list of all gear in your possession that needs repairs. You can either double-click each piece to drop it down into the cart, or simply click "add all" and repair everything. It's a very good idea to take care of this on a frequent basis, because when a piece of armor or a weapon becomes worn it can suffer permanent damage. While it's still useful after that happens, the item is much more fragile from there on out, so it's best to keep everything in good repair.

Item penalties and requirements

While you are looking at items in your inventory, you'll notice that some of them have a yellow or red border. It's not just for decoration, so let's take a look. Item proficiency has the potential to be a lengthy topic, but essentially you are better with some types of armor and weapons than others. Some of it is inherent according to race and class, and some is advanced through the use of action points. If you see an item bordered in yellow in your inventory, it's warning you that you can use that item, but you are not proficient. You're going to incur some penalties as you use it -- hovering over the item will give you a window telling you the item's stats as well as the type of penalty. If you have an item with a red border, it is an indication that you are unable to use the item at all. Usually the item will have an "absolutely required" clause to it, such as "Race absolutely required: Warforged", and if you are not in that category the item is useless to you.

Gem and Collectible bags

When the OnedAwesome guild began making its collective way over to Stormreach last week, I reminded everyone to pay a visit to Mari Mosshand and pick up the gem and collectible bags that she was offering. Hopefully you did, because they are some of the handiest items you could have in DDO. These bags serve as extra inventory space for items that you will be picking up constantly once you arrive in Stormreach.

We'll start by looking at the functions of the bags themselves. They're pretty straightforward: they sit in your normal inventory, only taking up one slot. However, if you open the bag by double clicking it, you'll find that it holds much more than just a single item. Hovering over the bag itself will show its "unique item capacity," meaning it can hold that amount of different items. Unique items within the bag stack as well. So what does this mean? If you're running through a dungeon and pick up ten peridot stones, for example, those ten stones can go in your small gem bag and only take up one slot. When you've got the bag open, you'll also notice a small check box at the bottom with the words "auto gather." Checking that box will cause all gems and collectibles to go straight into the bag as you pick them up, so you don't have to sort them later. Mari gives small gem and collectible bags free, but there are other ways to earn larger ones down the road -- or you can purchase them in the DDO Store if you want them now. For the time being, the small ones serve their purpose nicely.

How about the items inside the bags? Well, the gems are pretty simple -- their purpose is to provide valuable loot without taking up a ton of inventory space. When you're in the sell tab at a general vendor, check the bottom of the window and you'll see a small "sell gems" button. Just click it, and the vendor will buy all of the gems in your inventory. It's a quick, simple method. One quick note: if you're of the packrat persuasion, feel free to hang on to them and hope for the future. There's been player speculation for a long time -- Turbine has not said anything on the matter -- that they may be used for something else down the road.

Collectibles are another story. Don't sell those off; you've got a couple of options. Hovering over any of the items in your collectibles bag will give you a small box telling you what collector wants that item and where s/he is. Each collector gives a variety of items of a certain "type." Goldscuttle, for example, gives things such as arrows, bolts, and throwing darts, while Celaeno gives different varieties of potions. Collectors are quite easy to find. If you look at your map or compass you'll see several small blue/purple pyramid shapes denoting collectors. Hovering your mouse over them will tell you who the collector is.

The other option is to check the auction hall. Collectibles can go for a fair amount of money there, so if you find that various collectors don't hold anything of interest to you, you may want to check the "collectibles" section of the auction hall and find out what items are selling for.

Dragonshards

Finally, we come to dragonshard fragments. You'll probably find those adding up in your inventory very quickly as time passes, but don't just sell them to a vendor and move on. There are several different types, and can prove very valuable to you. I've mentioned before that the DDO wiki is a bit limited, but in the case of dragonshard fragments it really shines. These fragments, depending on the type, are part of a diverse crafting and collecting system. Smaller components can be combined to form larger components which in turn can form even larger components, eventually being used for feat changes or spells. The wiki listing for all types of dragonshards is a very good starting point for figuring out what these things in your bags are.

Hopefully that helps to clear up a bit of the mystery about all these items rattling around in your inventory! A couple of final notes: don't forget to keep an eye on our Nights of Eberron Facebook discussion to find out what we're planning for next week, and feel free to make any suggestions if there's something you would like to tackle in DDO. While you are waiting for next Wednesday to arrive, make sure you log in to check out the Risia Ice Games! Turbine has brought them back into game until May 2nd, so don't miss out on the fun and games in Stormreach.

See you Wednesday!
This article was originally published on Massively.