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Not many newer RPGs seem to do this anymore (probably because of the increasing trend of holding the player's hand), but I really like the idea of finding an unusual weapon or a piece of armor in a dungeon and not knowing what it is until I take it to a an expert, such as a blacksmith... or in the case of legendary artifacts, a lore master. Unless of course your character or one of their companions possesses such knowledge themselves.

 

Naturally, if you buy a sword from the shop you should get a detailed description and stats straight away, but for stuff you find while exploring, there should be an element of mystery. All you should get is a very basic description of what your character can see with their own eyes - such as 'an ornate looking wooden bow in rough condition'. Then upon taking it to an expert, you might learn that it's a rare type of bow made only by the peoples of a far off land - along with it's value and general attributes.

 

If I recall, most of the IE games took this approach... so i'd like to think that PE will do the same rather than conforming to the player convenience found in modern RPGs.

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Well I hope its better done than in the diablo series where you need an identifying scroll just to annoy you if you don't have any on you. All you have to do is make a portal to town and buy one which isn't even expensive. What was the point of identifying scroll anyway?

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Well I hope its better done than in the diablo series where you need an identifying scroll just to annoy you if you don't have any on you. All you have to do is make a portal to town and buy one which isn't even expensive. What was the point of identifying scroll anyway?

Yeah... BG had identifying scrolls / spells also if I recall. Not really a fan of that feature. I'd rather rely on the knowledge of NPCs than a scroll / spell button all the time.

Edited by Piccolo
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I want identification to be a big thing, loved it in the BG games and when modded it added even more unidentified items to the game. I would also like people to sell items thinking they know what they are but upon further inspection your lore master reveals a little more than the store clerk knew, or perhaps noticing the clerk was just lying to you.

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Legendary Weapons Made By You - A post about weapon customisation and creating your own legendary items

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I also enjoy identifying items. And contrary to Starwars above, I believe even +1 long swords should require identifying (although lesser enchantments should be given a little more flavorful names than "+1"..). The reason is because having "unidentified" should just indicate that you don't know what the hell it does. It shouldn't indicate "this is powerful", but rather "this can be anything -- cursed; powerful; shît).

Just copy-pasta how Infinity games did it, but avoid +numbers enchantment names. Have your own characters be able to identify with either natural Lore (simple inspection of item based on a mental stat like Wisdom or Intelligence), scroll/spell or have NPCs be able to identify it for a fee.

Edited by Zed
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Both in PnP and CRPGs, I love the moment when I find a mysterious and/or awesome looking item I can't identify on the spot, can't wait to bring it to someone who can, and the thrill of discovering what it is: in the case of D&D, yeah, discovering a simple mace + 1 was quite a bummer, but if the majority of PE unidentifed items will be "named" ones, maybe with a written story (which is likely, judging from previous posts by developers) that come along with them, of course I would like to see some sort of "identify item" system.

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I would definitely enjoy this, at least for the more mystical and powerful artifacts we might run across.

 

But please... No identifying an item to find out it's an exciting Longsword +1, for the love of god.

 

Haha, yeah...

I too found it a little annoying in the InfinityEngine games, that even after many times of using a scroll or spell or shopkeeper for identifying the same mundane low-enchanted item, my characters could *still* not identify more of the same by themselves. Heck, even I, the player, learned to identify some of the items sooner than my characters, just by looking at the icons...

 

In general, I'm in favor of requiring item identification though.

Edited by anek
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Who's to say a Sword of the Apocalypse +666 can't look like a Short Sword +1?

It can look like it, sure, but it shouldn't take a genius to figure out that the sword that vanishes into the planet's core when you drop it point first might be sharper than the other.

 

A group of seasoned adventurers shouldn't have trouble figuring out the general properties of equipment. You think they would develop some sort of testing procedure that enables them to figure it out so long as it falls within common bounds.

 

Now, the ancient artifact with special properties not seen before or since, that one's tricky.

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I always found identification system weird. So if you don't know that this sword is especially stingy towards orcs it won't have its properties? I wonder if this could work the other way around: after you convince yourself that a sword you have is a flaming vorpal holy vampiric sword +10 it will really become such. Now that I think about it, it would've been fun to have an option to make your weapons more dangerous simply by wishing they really were in Torment.

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I am for cursed items.

 

I find a sword in a tomb that has not been disturbed for hundreds of years I do not expect to know what properties they have. I do expect however to be able to use without identifying, after all a sword is a sword, be it with good or ill effects.

 

I am not keen on how modern roleplaying games assume your main character is a grandmaster lore keeper that knows the personal history of every magical item ever created. We need one of the non-combat skills to be lore.

Edited by Aedelric
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a system of identifying things that grows with how experienced your party is would be good, starting off you need to take unknown items to an expert but as you learn you need to do this less but still high end items still need identifying, you're not going to find a 1000 year old sword and know what it is, what its made of and what it does

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a system of identifying things that grows with how experienced your party is would be good, starting off you need to take unknown items to an expert but as you learn you need to do this less but still high end items still need identifying, you're not going to find a 1000 year old sword and know what it is, what its made of and what it does

 

it used to be called Lore

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Sorry for the minor offtopic here, but I think it's important in order to fit the concept of lore and identification in the world.

 

I'm all up for realism, so for me it's important to have different qualities of swords/armors: rusty, bronze, steel and maybe something more mystic (star metal).

This would also be a convenient and elegant way to avoid the boring and immersion breaking "+1" magic tag.

 

Distinguishing between the first three would require a very low blacksmith skill. And identifying such items would give you information on its damage. The fencing skill would give you information on the number of attacks per round the weapon speed.

Although for identifying something more exquisite such as star metal or recognizing a peculiar forging process (like the one in making a katana, it would require a higher skill level).

And forging such items would require an even higher skill, obviously (and having the schematics for such).

 

 

Now, as for unidentified items and lore.

I'd like for it to be possible to use unidentified items and make use of its effects (*). However if it's cursed, tough luck pall, cursed girdle of gender and Edwina gives you T representation in the game.

Knowing all about the magic associated with the item would require having a high enough lore skill or bringing it to someone with the necessary skill level. And please!, no uber lore master that knows it all on sh+ty town.

It could also be that for a few items, there would be two lore levels. The first would uncover the more basic magic properties, with the latter give you information on some high level stuff (eg: performing a ritual, gives room for interesting side quests).

IMO getting this information should be done in a convenient way like "identify everything on party", otherwise is becomes a tedious chore.

 

 

Finally, the trader skill together with the lore and blacksmith skills should give you information on how much gold an item is worth.

This saves you the trouble of playing the role of a mule carrying stuff that isn't worth a dime (this is really material for another thread about game world economics).

 

 

(*) although I'm of the opinion that weapons and armors should play better or worse depending on the occasion, instead of a matter of simply being better in a one-size-fits-all (which is boring and provides no strategy at all).

Furthermore, I'd love for some Diablo 1-ish items, where they had both advantages and disadvantages.

 

 

 

tl,dr: no identify spell, use a lore skill, nice items descriptions and artwork like in BG2

Edited by hideo kuze
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There's nothing good about identifying found items on the spot with lore/scroll, it's just annoyance. Either drop the identification mechanic, or make it a proper one, where you haul the item to a legendary smith/craftsman who holds on to it for days while it's being identified, and maybe even requires you to do a quest ("To identify the true power of this items I need some dragon eyes, would you fetch them for me while I study this artifact in detail?").

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I don't know what's the fun with identifying. It only stops the gameplay because the player group has to travel to the next merchant/sorcerer to identify an item after the found one. And if somebody in the groups knows a spell for that purpose it's even less reasonable because you can do it at once with no effort.

 

In my opinion it would be a better choice to drop the identify-system or (even better) to incorporate a more sophisticated system. It would be better if you have to find hints in books or dialogues with whom you have to talk or what you have to do to get information about legendary weapons and armor and to aquire the requirements to use them. In such a system normal magic items (like "longsword +1" or "armor+5% fire protection") are already identified when finding them and the real legendary or "better" items all have their own "quest" or "special requirements". No simple, but boring identify-system.

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I think identifying adds a lot of excitement, even when it's handled annoyingly, like Diablo 2. In BG 1 you could eqip unidentified items, and I think you could do so in Diablo 1 as well, which was really neat, so if identification is in, that is a must-have feature.

Otherwise, the BG way of identifying with lore and spells is fine, I think, but I really like some of the suggestions here, like finding tomes that explain certain items for you, or using different skills to identify different properties. Like, maybe instead of a catch-all 'identify' spell, you would f.ex. cast 'detect evil' and suddenly discover that your mace is +1 against good creatures. Something like that.

Or just identify through long-term use.

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The only way I'd be okay with identification if it hid features that have sensible reason to be hidden. For example, an unidentified magic wand is useless as you don't know how to use it, but a flaming sword should always deal fire damage regardless of if you know its properties or not. Otherwise it's just silly: what, does said sword need your permission to be what it is? I think not (unless it's sentient and literally needs you to order it to be such, which would be amusing).

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