I think this is a promising development - it might return some of the old games' specialness (missing in 4E) to magic items. It seems to represent some motion away from the rather campaign-invasive assumption that every character will have access to magical weapons and armor commensurate with her level.
I have to be careful what I say becasue I've seen some "alpha" files which aren't released yet and can't recall what I've seen where, but I believe the plan is to make items more individualized like what the DCC RPG has done.
Each item would have some special things about it that makes it different from other magical items. A +1 sword, for example, would have some special properties so you don't just throw it away if you find a "better" one.
Last Edit: Oct 17, 2012 14:31:13 GMT -6 by Finarvyn
Marv / Finarvyn DCC playtester (2011) S&W WhiteBox author (2009) C&C playtester (2003) Builder of the TrollBridge for T&T; Amber Diceless player since 1993 OD&D Player since 1975; Metamorphosis Alpha since 1976
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!" - Dave Arneson
I think magic items are an interesting area of design because they're a place where the "world" part of game-making intersects with the "system" part of game-making. I guess that's true of a lot of things, though, like spells, mundane equipment, classes, and (especially) races.