Why does the game have the “identification” setting?

TL; DR::

In modern games, especially Diablo-like, the “identification” system mainly plays a role in controlling the rhythm of the game and guiding players to rest. In the past, the “identification” system used to deal with “unknown” insurance in a labyrinth of hardship and bitterness.


This question is really a treasure trove, let me dig out a lot of eye-opening things, but let’s answer the main question first.

Admittedly, as other respondents said, the identification system has such and such ideas on game experience, but consistent with the theme’s perception, “identification” is not meaningful to the players at the level of game mechanism, and it even has a slight drag on the rhythm. I am playing with Diablo III (Diablo 3) when playing with a few highly gameplay friends. They are often told not to identify objects in secret. Friends who have played must know why — read bar! One person reads a note and three people stand by. This is absolutely intolerable in a brush game that emphasizes efficiency, not to mention the time limit of the big secret.

But on the other hand, why do players identify items in secret? The reason is simple, because players don’t want to put a pile of potentially rubbish in a limited backpack. After all, it is very likely that a bag of garbage will be very uncomfortable when you leave the secret area after the backpack is full. If the player’s backpack is infinite, and there is no need to identify items, then in D3, which does not actually consume props, the player can theoretically play in combat, when it is really too tired to play, when it will be offline.

In fact, there is a focus here – to leave the secret world. Because the time for players to maintain high-intensity combat state is limited, in order to enable players to maintain a better state in combat, games need to guide players to break away from combat state for a period of time to rest . The lattice-limited knapsack system allows players to collect only limited loot, while the < strong > identification system prevents players from actively screening loot , which multiplies the two, making < strong > players have to return to town soon after high-intensity combat for sorting out . And in order not to let the players who leave a pile of garbage get too frustrated, the game is designed to be able to change useless dark gold and suits into resources for secondary extraction.

With the player’s game experience getting higher and higher, high-quality items get faster and faster, the speed of backpack full is faster and faster, but at this time the player will notice that he knows what equipment he needs very well, and the backpack can directly see the style of equipment, just can not see the attributes. In this case, players will only choose to pick up the equipment they need, and will not travel to and from towns and battlefields too frequently.

In summary, the “identification” system in modern times mainly plays a role in controlling the rhythm of the game and guiding players to rest.


However, Diablo is not the first game to make an identification system. Controlling the rhythm of the game is not so important in the old-fashioned CRPG, which has a slow rhythm and low mobility. So why did we have an identification system at that time?

To a large extent, as Big Fisher said, most of these games come from D& D, and D& D focuses on “battle, play and adventure”.

The first game in the world with an identification system was MORIA in 1975, when all prehistoric games were the product of American university laboratories and operated on engineering machines, such as the 1962 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Massachusetts In Int). Stitute of Technology, MIT), running on PDP-1(Programmed Data Processor-1) Spacewar!. MORIA is a game independently developed and published by a famous university University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (U of I) running PLATO (Programmed for Automatic Teaching) designed and developed by the university. > On the system, the system is applied to the ILLIAC I(Illinois Automatic Computer) independently designed and developed by the school. In those days, computers weren’t directly used for operation. Users connected to computers through terminals. Terminals were the kind of green screen in the game Fallout(“Radiation”). Now they are based on POSIX(Portable Operating Interface)< / There are also emulators in a > system, such as < a href= "https://support.apple.com/zh-cn/guide/terminal/welcome/mac" of macOS > Terminal. If we go further, we may go back to teletypewriters and punch tapes. There will be more and more unfamiliar nouns and worse readability. [^1]

This game is a Roguelike DRG and has a first person perspective similar to the concept of Wizardry (Wizardry). A friend who read my first answer may understand what this means: it’s definitely hard to die.

Sure enough, the game has a very interesting way to play. When I talked about witchcraft, I said that it was difficult to recognize the road. The solution to witchcraft was to use magic to determine the player’s position. MORIA had a more interesting design: players could put a rope behind them, and if they needed to find a way back, they could go back along the rope. But the problem is that monsters can bite your rope…

In further understanding, I found that the game has been updated. In the 21st century, it has a very fine UI and monster map. Because of the nature of the network terminal, it has also developed multiplayer games, even trade union systems. It is obvious that it is impossible for players to play games through real terminals connected to PLATO anymore. So the author found that PLATO network is now running through terminal simulator in community , but the network is extremely closed, and it needs to provide identity information and live audits for a week to join the network…

Although we can’t study MORIA – and even now, it’s an updated version decades later, and it doesn’t show how it was first used in the “identification” system, we have other games to refer to to to see how these ancient living fossils can play through the “identification” system.

Ancient Domains of Mystery There are three types of identification scrolls used for identification: general identification scroll, blessing identification scroll and curse identification scroll. As its name suggests, a general identification scroll identifies only one item, a blessing identification scroll identifies all items of the user once and checks whether the item is cursed, while a curse identification scroll causes memory loss and turns all items into unauthenticated items.

In Angband, not only the initial state of all non-whiteboard equipment is not identified, but also its consumables may be unauthenticated. Consumable items can not be identified, so the player closed his eyes to use, the effect is fatal.

NetHack and Castle of the Winds allow players to use unauthenticated equipment. Of course, the game has a cursed feature, so using unauthenticated equipment is also highly rewarding and risky.

So, what often happens in the game is that the name of the item that the player gets in the maze is only a superficial description. For example, the player picks up a “red medicine” in the maze and chooses to take it in the battle that is doomed to fail. As a result, HP returns full and produces an aggressive Buff, but this does not mean the next “red medicine”. Pharmaceuticals will not cause players to die or become dementia with an IQ of 0. More importantly, these “red medicines” are the same on the system. If players pick up several bottles, they will see “red medicines * n”, but the effects of these bottles are not the same…

So, although in general, most of the game identification system is like the pleasure of gambling at the moment, but the identification system of that year is indeed the name, it is reassuring.


After the affinity of RPG with (“The Brave Fighting the Dragon”), few items were widely malicious, but interestingly, the system of “identifying” malicious items had a cultural impact in Japan. In Japanese in the context of popular culture, when someone or something is in a strange and doubtful state, it will use’000′? For example, ru 5 (“Goddess’s Anecdote 5”)

According to the @Moon Yongfang survey, this writing is common in informal settings, especially in entertainment-related topics, but not in papers or serious online manuscripts. But what is the effect of this kind of thing?


Of course, the above content is at best a glimpse of “identification”, and professional analysis is also available, such as this article which specializes in the identification system of Rogue, if necessary, please use it yourself.

https://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/John Harris/20150427/241993/Play_81_On_Rogues_Item_Identification_System.php.

Thanks for @Anjie’s reminder.

[^ 1]: Actually, because I am not old enough, the earliest computer I have contacted is PC, and the network-based operating system is Novell Netware.

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