Fans have been peppering Jay Wilson’s twitter with questions (complaints) about the legendary items revealed by those photos of the official strategy guide. When the pictures were first revealed, some fans refused to believe that they were accurate or complete, since those fans had come to expect hundreds and hundreds of legendary items in Diablo III, and there were *only* 226 listed in the strategy guide.
Jay’s responded by saying they have about as many legendaries as there were uniques in D2 + D2X. To which fans have replied that D3 has far more types of items which means there are a lot fewer legendaries of each type, and there are fewer Item Sets in D3, and there aren’t Runewords in D3, which were essentially DIY uniques in D2X. To that Jay has replied… well, just read his tweets as quoted below, with one added in from @Bashiok that bears on the issue.
To Renos’ point, there are only 2 Mighty Weapons (1h and 2h) that are level 60 in the game? — murphydandan
Again, this does not differ greatly from Diablo II. Also, rares and crafted are end-game competitive. Our goal was to balance, not dominate with legendaries –Jay Wilson
Then Bashiok was lying… He said there were a lot more items in the game than in the guide. These have all been seen before.
Do not be so quick to call people liars. –Jay Wilson
You said there are “far more” items in the game than the website shows but the strat guide suggests there are only a couple more? –@firatb84
Because items in Diablo are random. http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/4887629121#3 –Bashiok
How about that being much less than D2 lod and Titan quest (without the expansion pack) –FrankRenos
How about both the examples you just used were a game + expansion. –Jay Wilson
Can you confirm there are only 226 legendary items in the final game as the strategy guide suggests? –firatb84
I have not cross-compared the strat guide with the game. Items were one of the last things, so there could be differences. –Jay Wilson
I have to side with Jay’s logic on this one, though I don’t think he or Bashok have done very well explaining or defending it. As they say, there were a comparable number of uniques in D2, and they’re clearly leaving room in D3 to expand and deepen and improve things in the expansions (just as Blizzard North did with D2X, when they added charms, jewels, runes, runewords, elite items, tons more uniques, elite Item Sets, etc). That’s why the D3 devs removed several item features during development (Charms, the Talisman, the Mystic‘s item enchants, only 4 types of gems with bland bonuses when socketed, etc) all of which we’ll likely see in improved and polished form in D3X.
Also note that while D3 has a lot fewer uniques of each item type (since there are so many more types of items in D3) the uniques are clustered at the high range, with 1 or 2 lvl 60s in every type, and others in the mid or high 50s. Also every single item in all 13 found and 3 of the 9 crafted item sets are lvl 60, which adds 16 item sets made up of 61 set items, all at level 60.
Plus, Item Sets and Legendaries are much more variable in their stats than they were in D2, and they’re not balanced to be way better than rares, which means that found and (especially) crafted lvl 60 rares will be as good or better than legendaries and sets, in many cases.
I’m sure we’ll find balance issues and other problems with end game play in Diablo III, but I don’t think lack of item diversity at level 60 will be a major problem.