Our friends at Diablofans has asked Jay Wilson a question about items, that we all care about:
Will there be items as rare in Diablo III that are as powerful from the start, or will players have to slowly improve the quality of their items, through crafting/runes/other systems?
Jay Wilson: Throughout the history of patches on Diablo II, there were a lot of updates to runewords and they really powerful from when they were introduced. At one time or another though all of the different item types were the most powerful, like unique items were the best, or rare items at some point.
Our general approach for Diablo III is to make sure that every type of item has a place to be useful. For example, maybe we’ll have a legendary item, which is the new name for our unique items, be the best helm, whereas rares will have the most powerful chest armor, and so on. Having a spread like that will allow for a more varied itemization system we hope.
I think we’ll still be stuck collecting exotic components but time will tell if Diablo 3 will be like Diablo 2 item-wise.