There are a number of items that, when first obtained, are unidentifiable. These items are denoted by a series of "???" in the item name. In order to have them identified, you will need to take them to an Appraiser and pay a small fee. The identified object may be a piece of junk, or it could be a really nice find, but you will never know until you take it to the Appraiser!
Where to Obtain Items
- These "???" items are obtainable through successfully completing Assault missions or the Scouting the Ashu Talif, Royal Painter Escort, or Targeting the Captain quests. When you open the final Ancient Lockbox for your treasure, you will find an unidentified object. The "???" item will automatically go into the inventory of whoever opened the Ancient Lockbox, while the rest of the treasure items will go into the Treasure Pool.
- "???" items are also given as rewards for successfully rescuing a prisoner captured during a Besieged raid on Al Zahbi. Prisoners can be found in each of the beastman strongholds (Mamook, Halvung and Arrapago Reef) held in a cage of some description, e.g. Pot Hatches in Mamook. If an NPC is inside the cage and you release them by unlocking the cage with the correct key, they will give their thanks and then warp. You receive 100 Imperial Standing for doing this, but on speaking to the NPC when they're back in Al Zahbi, they will thank you again and give you a "???" item.
- A ??? Box is also given as a reward for successfully completing the quest Finding Faults.
The below appraisers will appraise items for you. Trade the "???" item to him and he will automatically take 500 gil from you (Chochoroon only charges 50 gil) and give you the appraised item back. If you're in a party when you get it appraised, the item will go into the Treasure Pool - this way, if it ends up being a Rare/Ex item, the party can choose who will get it (or cast lots or whatever). If you get an appraisal by yourself, no need to worry about having an extra space, you will gain one space when you trade the unappraised item.
What can be Appraised?
When an item is appraised, it will be appraised as one of any number of different items. The set of possible results is determined partially by where the "???" Item is obtained. Where the item is appraised seems to have no effect on the possible results. Below are some notable appraisal results and their reported sources:
Some people in Vana'diel make their living as appraisers, helping merchants and mercenaries determine the type of items they have picked up during their travels in Aht Urhgan. The Near East's powerful ocean winds, rust, or even mere age can make an item unrecognizable to the amateur eye. The finder may even simply lack the knowledge to make an accurate judgment and find himself unsure of how to use the newly discovered good. In such cases, appraisers use their experience and keen senses to ascertain what the item really is. Qiqirn can use their keen noses to sniff out information about an item, and many make excellent appraisers. The only drawback to using a Qiqirn appraiser is that they might be a little difficult to understand due to their odd accents...
Does the idea of finding a mysterious item on your adventures sound exciting?
For example, let’s say you find a “??? sword.”
It may look just like an ordinary sword, but it could turn out to be an incredibly powerful relic. On the other hand, what looks to be a keen blade to the untrained eye may end up disappointing its finder. So what is the sword’s true identity? Could it be a legendary item? There is only one way to find out--by visiting an appraiser in town. The development team has decided to implement this feature in order to add an increased element of anticipation to adventuring in Aht Urhgan.
The mysterious items do not stop at swords. There are “??? gloves,” “??? rings,” and many other varieties. However, you will be unable to equip these items after finding them.
That is where the appraisers come in. By getting your mysterious items appraised, you will learn their true identities, and they will henceforth become usable. This service will require a payment in gil, but will not be very expensive.
If you get an item appraised while in a party, the appraised item will be added to the treasure pool. This is so that the treasure can be distributed among party members, even it is an Ex item. If you are playing solo, the appraised item will be added directly to your inventory. If you do not have enough inventory space, you may be unable to receive the appraised item, so be sure to clear out your bag beforehand.
So if you find an unknown item while adventuring in a party, you can travel to town and have the item appraised together before disbanding. Perhaps the item you have been holding will turn out to be a fantastic find, and then you can all celebrate together!