Development Diary: Forum Item LinkingEdit

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

We demonstrated in-game item linking in this week’s screenshot of the week. Another feature that we’ve been working on is linking items on the forums. This allows people to show off their items with credibility and to conduct trades knowing that their partner has the item they’re claiming to have.

Here’s a ring I found while playing the alpha build of Path of Exile recently. Hover over it to see its properties. As you can see, this is rendered in the same way as the game client. What you see here is what you’d see in game if I linked the ring to you or showed you it in trade. There’s no way to fake the properties of the ring – you select it from the set of items on your character. If you see someone on a forum claiming to have seen a certain item, then their link is proof that that item exists.

Of course, knowing an item exists is a far cry from being able to claim that you own the item. That’s why we’ve implemented the concept of verified ownership. If you’re linking to an item that your character still has in an unmodified form, then the item appears as “verified”. This lets other players (and prospective traders) see that you are indeed the true owner of that item. If other people link it, it isn’t verified for them.

This means that it’s very easy to post a trade thread in the forums showing off the items that you found today. People can easily see which are still available for trade, because they’re the ones that are still verified. There’s no need to take screenshots of items, painstakingly type out their descriptions, or update the thread frequently to cross off items that you’ve traded away.

An additional benefit is that the items could automatically translate to the correct language for the viewer. Once we have Polish localization for example, a Polish viewer could choose to see linked items in their native language.