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Thomas Kaira
I'm seeing a lot of talk in the Skyrim boards about preventing the player from dropping quest items to be hand-holding. I've already posted my response, and as usual ended up having to debate it, but if anyone here is interested in reading it, here you go:

It's not really hand-holding than it is more of a frustration prevention device. In a game this big, you really cannot expect the player to be able to keep track of each and every item he received for a quest, therefore it makes sense to implement countermeasures to keep those quests from being messed up, especially if the player were to take a break from that quest for one reason or another and not remember what items were important to that quest.

The quest item system is in place to prevent accidents that would result in quests becoming impossible to complete. Intelligent quests are the ones that make you think about your options to solve it, not remember each and every item that was given to you. That is unnecessary. Who wants to have to keep track of all their quest items in their mind just to make sure they know not to drop it? That is way too much to ask of anyone in a game this big.

I still don't advocate NEVER allowing you to drop quest items, but there really is nothing wrong with warning the player that the item will be important somewhere down the road. Just give them a pop-up notice that the item might be important sometime later on and let the PLAYER make the decision of just how "important" that importance is. Dropped quest items are hellish to find again if you lose them, and would seriously detract from the fun factor if you were forced to hunt one down. Remember, we play games for fun. Finding some ring you threw away in a random location because it turned out to be important to a quest is NOT fun. And reverting to previous saves here does not work, as there's no telling how long the player might have been away from that quest. Could have been for a few minutes, but it could also be for several months.

Nothing wrong with letting the player know that an important item is important. I see nothing hand-holdy about that.
Thomas Kaira
Actually, Kiln inspired in me a better idea just now:

I actually completely forgot about the existence of Clairvoyance. That would give players a quick-n-easy way to find lost quest items and allow for the quest item notice to be made not quite as intrusive as I previously thought.

Instead of the above message box upon attempting to drop, instead, we can just place (quest item) in the item's name and provide no warning upon dropping it. If you do lose track of it, no problem, just cast Clairvoyance and you'll be guided back to it.
grif11
Yes, the clairvoyance thing would definately help. I can imagine an akward scene from oblivion if we could drop quest items:

Jauffrie - The emporor gave you the amulet of kings? Let me see it.

Hero - Erm, well, If you look down in the Imperial city sewers, you might find it... sorry about that.

Jauffrie - ohmy.gif
treydog
I have to wonder how much of this is a result of the (apparently numerous) people who managed to sell, lose, drop or otherwise fumble the coded packet that is sort of essential to begin the MQ in Morrowind.

It doesn't really bother me- IF there is an "expiration date" on the essential item- i.e.- do what you need to and the flag gets changed to non-essential- at which point the "neat freaks" can clean up their inventory.
Destri Melarg
Personally, I like your first idea better. Just give a pop-up notice and let the player decide from there. If you drop said quest item even after being told that it was important then you only have yourself to blame. The Clairvoyance thing seems a little too much like the hand-holding we all lament from Oblivion.

@ trey - I did that in my first playthrough. I stole appropriated Foryn Gilnith's shack in Seyda Neen and left everything behind in my determination to walk to Balmora. It took the better part of a day and battles with an alit and four kwama foragers to finally limp my way into the South Wall Cornerclub. When I finally found Caius he chastised me for leaving the packet at home and I had to trudge all the way back to Seyda Neen to retrieve it. On my way back out of town Vodunius Nuccius hipped me to something called a silt strider. *facepalm*
King Coin
I'm fine with the 'never drop' policy of Oblivion, but a simple pop up message before dropping or selling an item would be better in my opinion.
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