In this post I will talk a little bit more about the new identification system. As I wrote in part 1, you can now identify potions, scrolls and wands at will by spending energy points. This makes identification much less of a hassle, but it also slightly removes the feeling of mystery when finding something unknown. Potions and scrolls are one-use items and are not that exciting anyway. Wands are usually identified quickly by using them, so they are not too exciting either. The most interesting items you find are probably equipment.
Enchanted equipment (such as a “dagger of fire”) is really exciting to find and usually contributes heavily to your character build.
However, since one-use item identification is now much simpler, I still wanted to keep the excitement of finding unidentified items.
From the next release the enchantment of a piece of equipment will be unknown when you find it. Instead of a dagger of fire, it will say “enchanted dagger”. The prefix “enchanted” is always used to denote an unknown enchantment. You can learn its enchantment by equipping it or identifying it using Ep, but there is a catch…
I have made a somewhat risky decision to introduce a concept which is quite controversial in the roguelike community: sticky curses. That is, equipment that once equipped cannot be unequipped and that usually comes with a bad effect. These kind of curses fit very well in TGGW, especially together with the energy point system.
The New Rules of Enchantment
I will start by listing the rules of enchanted equipment, and then explain the rationale and consequences:
- The chance for equipment to be enchanted has been greatly increased.
- All enchantments are unknown when found.
- An enchantment can be good or bad (and cursed/unequippable).
- Enchantments are learned by equipping or by using 10 Ep.
- There are now services and items that can disenchant items (including curses).
That is, you will find more enchanted equipment than earlier, but you have to be much more careful of when to equip it. You have three choices:
1: Identifying by Equipping
Equipping the item immediately identifies it, but there is always a risk that it is cursed. A cursed item cannot be unequipped in anyway. Curses are quite rare (you are more likely to find a good enchantment), many of the curses are bearable; just a slightly worse version of the normal item, some can even be useful in certain circumstances (weapons of berserk increases melee but reduces blocking) while a few curses are truly terrible!
If you happen to equip a cursed item, there are several ways to get rid of it. There is a new common scroll of disenchantment that disenchants all your equipment when read (including curses). There are also several services that offers to lift enchantments from items for a fee. You can also get rid of a curse by destroying the item (for example by getting splashed by acid, or rusting the equipment). If you have a scroll of disenchant or know a service that disenchants, you can safely equip an item with an unknown enchantment.
2: Identifying by Energy points
You can identify a piece of equipment using energy points, just like with other items. However, identifying an enchantment like this is very expensive (10 Ep). It has the following consequences:
- You have to have 10 Ep available. Remember that Ep doesn’t necessary fully replenish when resting (it depends on your food level).
- Identifying an enchantment always takes you to 0 Ep, i.e., exhausted status (since you can have maximum 10 Ep). This means that you cannot do anything else that costs Ep (including equipping the item in question!). This effectively means that you have to rest before equipping the item once you have identified it.
3: Not Equipping
Of course, the cost or risk to equip the item may not be worth it, so you may decide to just ignore the item.
As mentioned, some people don’t like sticky curses in major roguelikes (personally, I like them!). However, in TGGW the common problems of sticky curses don’t apply: first of all you know in advance if an item may be cursed. Secondly, you don’t find that much enchanted equipment in a given run, so it won’t be a chore to try to identify items, but rather something you do once or twice per game.
Curses add a lot of interesting decisions: should you use your only disenchant scroll to find out if the enchantment of this dagger is worth it? Would it be worth paying a sage to get rid of a nasty curse? Should you use up all your Ep to identify this enchantment knowing that you’re getting low on food? Is it better to spend Ep identifying all my potions?
Curses also add a delay to when you can equip enchanted items, this makes up for the fact that you will find more enchanted items per run than before. Equipping enchanted equipment recklessly can be a bad idea.
Finally, curses makes Ep-management more interesting. The heavy cost of 10 Ep is huge, and if you want to immediately use a newly found enchanted items you usually have to rest twice (once to restore Ep, once more to restore Ep to be able to equip it). Many times you want to use your Ep for other reasons, delaying the usage of the enchanted item even further.
In my opinion, the new system with unknown enchantments adds depth to TGGW, I hope you will like it as well. In the final post of this series I will talk about a new item category that also uses Ep: Tools.