Blizzard's Micah "Bashiok" Whipple revealed that the upcoming Diablo III will feature 15 tiers of armor, up from the previous five seen in its predecessor.
"Diablo 2 did not have 15 [tiers]. It had 5. And those were mostly recolored versions of each other with extra pieces stuck on to make them look different," he wrote. "Not to knock Diablo 2. The number of looks it had are amazing considering what it took to render them out."
Instead, Diablo III will contain 18 tiers of armor, multiplied by the game's five classes, and 8 individual armor slots, equalling 720 unique pieces of armor in Diablo III.
"I don't think this is being compared accurately to what Diablo II or even other games offer as far as visual upgrades to a character. 18 tiers, times 5 classes, times 8 armor slots is 720 unique pieces of armor in Diablo III. That's not counting weapons, or alterations to make each armor piece fit both genders. Oh, and right, the dozen or so different colors you can dye each of those pieces.
"I also hope this isn't being confused with actual diversity in item drops. You're still going to be finding tons of items with varying quality levels and stats, but the best are going to always be pushing your character's aesthetic 'impressiveness' forward."
Bashiok confirmed that while Diablo II had more "unique looks" per act, Diablo III will contain a lot more unique looking items for players to find.