I had it for a brief while this week. I furnished my costume room, and filled the wardrobes and chests. Suddenly, I had the most elusive of all the RuneScape rares: Bank space. It's gone now. The new quest came out (two great quests in two weeks – way to go Jagex!) and I've got my Yak hide armour and my 4-piece jester's outfit, a new helm and a new shield: *[vanished]* away goes a precious row of bank space. My minions in Miscellania coughed up a couple of tree seeds that I didn't have, then there were a few monster drops, some stuff I collected for one of the quests I've still got to do. Add in a couple of prayer book pages I'm hanging on to because I think they're the ones a friend needs, and there you have it: a full bank. Again.
I'm sure there's stuff I could get rid of. In theory, I could dump all my tools and just get new ones from my house every time. In practice, I like having a hammer, knife, chisel, glass blowing pipe, and so on in my bank because that's where I am when I need them. I don't need them when I'm in my house – well only the hammer and saw -- I need them when I'm gearing up to go smithing, fletching, crafting, etc.
Then there's the business of keeping things organised. I like to keep all my armour together, my miscellaneous clothing gets put away neatly. Farming stuff takes up several rows. Between seeds and produce, there's a lot of stuff in farming. Food again takes up space. I cook all my fish when I get it, except for the stuff I need to keep raw (sharks and/or bass to recharge my lyres with, tuna for my cat, etc.) There's no point in having lobbies take up two spaces – one for cooked and one for raw. Weapons get put in one row, tools in another. Then down at the bottom of the bank is all the junk. Between the stuff that is only there on a temporary basis (quest items, treasure trail clue gear, and so on) and the stuff I use all the time - glories, rings of dueling, games necklaces, ectophial - there's never much space left, even at the best of times.
Bank space is a perennial problem for both P2P and F2P members. The people who have it hardest are those who have had to let their membership lapse for a while. All of a sudden, they're stuck with a bank full of "members objects" which they can't remove, and no space to add any non-members objects. Lack of bank space is one of the most popular rant topics on almost every forum, followed only by rants on how difficult it is to keep one's bank tidy.
Generally Jagex have been pretty good about adding bank space. Unfortunately, every time they add bank space, they add more items to put in the bank soon afterwards. So the problem of bank space keeps coming back time and time again. Construction has helped P2P players out a lot -- you can store almost all the books you pick up in your travels on the bookshelves in your house. A fully equipped, top of the line costume room will hold a lot of armour, clothing, holiday items, and random and treasure trail rewards. This could be improved upon by allowing players to store incomplete sets of clothing – it's annoying to have 4 out of 5 items in a matched set in the bank, while you wait for the random event to give you that last one. Between mime, zombie, and camo outfits, that's potentially a lot of bank space out of commission.
It really is two linked problems though: Space and organisation. I think that bank space will always be an issue for players who don't like to get rid of anything that might either turn out to be useful or become valuable in the future. Some players will always be willing to toss out that spinach roll or strange fruit, while others will always want to keep it. Another part of the problem is that different people have different ideas on where to put things in their banks. The current sequential system is very flexible in that respect (it's also the easiest to program, but that's a separate issue), and almost any solution Jagex implements is bound to please some people and infuriate others.
Of course, if it were possible to organise one's bank more easily, then perhaps people would find it easier to get rid of the junk and make better use of the space they have. The top half of my bank is very organised and tidy – cash, runes, essence, armour, weapons, clothes, tools, ores, herblore stuff, farming stuff, food. It's the bottom half of my bank that's the problem: it's a jumble of quest items, things that I only have one of (like the ectophial and amulet of ghostspeak) and things I use all the time (like glories and dueling rings with varying numbers of charges). These shift about a lot, and these are the things that I can never find, or don't notice when I'm cleaning up my bank. Mind you, sometimes there are some nice surprises: I found a load of dragon bones the other day – I thought I'd already ground them up at the ectofunctus, but nope, there was the 5K prayer experience I needed to make another level! Sort of like going through your parka's pockets in the middle of summer...there's always a few coins in there when you need them.
There have been several suggestions as to better ways of organising banks. Some people have suggested designated slots for different items. This is a good idea for common items (like runes) that everybody has pretty much all the time, but not so good in terms of all over server space, as there would be a lot of space that was allocated but empty. There's also been a suggestion for tabbed banking. You could put all your armour and clothing in one tab, all your farming stuff in another, weapons and tools in a third and so on. This is the one that gets my vote – even I could keep my bank organised with a system like that. Ideally the tabs would be user-defined, but even if Jagex assigned labels to them it would be a huge improvement. The front page of a multi-page bank should be able to be used to store anything, even if the other pages are categorised. That way, a player can keep the things he or she uses the most (e.g. favorite weapons and armour, cash, antipoison, food, etc.) right where they are most accessible and usable.
Another ability that would be useful would be the ability to destroy items without first taking them out of the bank. That would be a huge help to F2P players who've had to give up membership – they'd be able to clean out the stuff they don't want or can replace (holiday items for example), and have usable banks again.
Will it happen? Who knows. Jagex might already be working on something like that - maybe they're working on a way for players to purchase extra bank space for GP, or even on some completely different idea all together. What I do know is that they've been working very hard on improving the game engine, the player interfaces, in fact, the whole player experience, for some time now. So I would be very surprised if a better bank wasn't in the works. We've seen changes in the player interface which will make it easier for them to port the game to other languages. We've seen improvements in the way things are done, such as being able to operate rings and amulets while wearing them. Jagex has done a lot in the past six months to a year in these areas, and I can't imagine that an improved bank isn't on the list somewhere. In the meantime, no more phr33 st0ph pl0x! – unless it's bank space!
Do you have any thoughts or comments about what you've just read? Want to discuss this article with your fellow RuneScapers? We invite you to discuss the article in this forum topic.