One of the things I remember Bartle banging on about in his Designing Virtual Worlds book was how many designers simply copied ideas and systems from earlier games without fully understanding why the original designers had implemented them.
I was reminded of this recently when reading about a MUD in development called Casadona.
There’s a thread on their forums discussing what to call their implementation of an inventory space specifically for storing groupable items. Anyone who has ever played an Iron Realms Entertainment MUD in the last few years will probably recognise this as a storage rift.
If you’re an old Achaea player you might remember a time before storage rifts when items such as herbs were kept in pocketbelts, which were themselves a copy of Avalon‘s pouches system. Pouches or pocketbelts probably make more sense thematically, but according to this staff member the storage rift system was introduced for technical reasons to limit the database size and improve server performance.
It may be that Casadona’s designers decided that a storage rift was the best way to handle groupable inventory items on their server, but I expect they just copied it from IRE without understanding why it was implemented in the first place.
[Update 16.04.13] It looks like Casadona have blocked the link to their forums.