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Identify is a spell found in the original Diablo I. Its use was to reveal the properties of an unidentified item so that it could be used. It was not available as a spell in Diablo II, but was implemented into the game in a very subtle way.

Diablo I

Identify was a spell in Diablo I that can be cast from scrolls. It allowed the player to see the properties of an unidentified item in the player's inventory.

Unidentified items once equipped stay on the character applying their mods and could not be removed. This spell was especially useful because of the various negative attributes that items could receive at that time so that the item could be unequipped if the item had a negative mod.

This spell's functions were provided by Deckard Cain for the price of 100 gold per item. This was useful for low-level characters until they could get their hands on a Staff of Identify. Like all other spells in Diablo I, Identify also appeared in Scroll form as the Scroll of Identify which was carried over to Diablo II.

Diablo II

Due to the complete overhauling of the Skill system in Diablo II, Identify was robbed of it's spell status and transformed into a mere scroll that would drop from monsters and bought from magical vendors.

In Diablo II, the act of Identifying is limited to the act of using a Scroll of Identify on an unidentified item, Tomes of Identify are used in a similar manner. This was done by right-clicking the Scroll and clicking of an item to identify it. The result is that the hidden attributes will be shown. Unlike in Diablo I, this is always a positive change, as there are no negative attributes in Diablo II, except in some Unique Items, as well as the fact that unidentified items merely sell for the price of the standard equipment version, in addition to being useless as they cannot be equipped.

Deckard Cain can also identify items, this time for free if you rescued him in the Search for Cain. He will show up in multiplayer games and have the same function for players who have not done the quest, but he will charge 100 gold for identifying your whole inventory.