From Diablo Wiki
"Rare" refers to items or monsters with yellow-colored names and special, randomized properties.
- See the Elite Affixes article for details about "Rare" monsters.
Rare can also mean "uncommon" in the more general adjective sense of the word, hence some Legendary items with the lowest drop rates can be called "ultra-rare" which is a little confusing since "Rare" is the term for another whole time of non-legendary item.
Rare items in Diablo 3 spawn with up to 6 random affixes (up to 4 primary and 2 secondary, after the system was redesigned in D3v2 and Loot 2.0). Rare items share the same pool of affixes with magical items and legendary items, but the possible numbers for each affix differ between the item types.
On the whole, Rares are designed to be good, but not great. Rares are very common items, via monster drops and gambling, and a character newly arrived at the max level will will quickly find or gamble Rare item upgrades to most item slots. Longer term, players should plan to replace most or all of their Rare items with Legendary items, since these have bigger and better stats.
Legendary vs. Rare Affix Values
One major change in Loot 2.0 was the elevation of Legendary items over Rare items in almost every way. This stems partially from legendary affixes, but is evident in the numerical ranges for almost every affix found on items. For instance, the following are the stat ranges for a variety of affixes on level 70 rings, comparing Rare to Legendary. These figures do not include any
- Attack Speed: Rare: 5-6% vs. Legendary: 5-7%
- +Damage: Rare: +(40-60)-(80-120) vs. +(60-80)-(120-160)
- Area Damage: Rare: +10-16% vs. Legendary: +10-20%
- Attributes: Rare: +350-415 vs. Legendary: +416-500.
- Armor: Rare +340-364 vs. Legendary 373-397
- Life%: Rare: +8-14% vs. Legendary +10-15%.
- Life Regeneration: Rare: +1186-1863 vs. Legendary: +1864-2476
- All Resistance: Rare: 81-90 vs. Legendary 91-100.
- Reduced resource costs: Rare: +4-7% vs. Legendary: +5-8%
- Reduced cooldown of all skills: Rare: +4-7% vs. Legendary: +5-8%
It's interesting that the two most valuable stats on a ring are identical for Rare and Legendary, though almost no other numbers are. (This is likely since those numbers were unchanged in Loot 2.0 and RoS and if they had been reduced, many imported lvl 60 rings would have been forever better than new lvl 70 items.)
- Critical hit Chance: Rare: 4.5-6% vs. Legendary 4.5-6%
- Critical hit Damage: Rare: 26-50% vs. Legendary 26-50%
Obtaining Rare Items
Obtaining Rares required some luck shortly after Diablo 3 was released, but they became more common in several patches and ultimately lost value. During most of Diablo 3 vanilla, most types of Elites (Champions and Rares especially) dropped at least 2 Rare items, and up to 4 or 5 for players with very high Magic Find.
One of the itemization changes in Loot 2.0 was a reduction in the total number of Rares dropped, along with several changes improve the quality of the Rares (and Legendaries) that did drop. This was done largely through the Smart Loot system.
Reaper of Souls introduced gambling via the NPC Kadala. Gambled items during the RoS beta test were split about 50/50 between magical (blue) and Rare, with a very low % chance of scoring a legendary. Upon release to gambling odds had been tweaked to increase the chances of getting rares and legendaries, and several post-release patches further boosted the chances of a legendary from gambling. As of Patch 2.0.5 in May 2014, gambling returns something like 9/88/3 magical/rare/legendary items per 100, though opinions and runs of luck vary greatly over time. There's a huge results thread of use for reference.
There are also hundreds of crafting recipes (Armor and Weapons via the Blacksmith, Rings and Amulets via the Jeweler) that can create Rare items of every type, at preset item levels. (Crafting recipes to create legendary and set items result in better gear than Rare crafting, of course.)
On the whole, Rare items drop like candy in Diablo 3 version 2 and Reaper of Souls, and experienced players soon gear up to the point that Rares are not possible upgrades in any slot (except perhaps jewelry or gloves), and thus Rares have value solely to sell for gold, or to salvage for materials.
Rares Development in Diablo III
During Diablo 3's early development, Rares were going to be roughly equivalent to Legendary items in quality. A quote from community manager Bashiok on this toic, from
This is ignoring the fact that rares can be crafted, of course. It is currently unknown as to if rare items will follow the Diablo II model by having unique, randomly-generated names.
More information about other item types can be found in the item category entry.
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