Set items are special items introduced in Diablo II and continued into Diablo III. They are like Unique Items, in that every time you find the same item it has the same attributes. However, in general Set items are a tad weaker than Uniques. This is because Set items are each part of specific sets, and if you equip the entire set you get an extra set of bonus affixes, hence the name "Set items." Set items are denoted by their name appearing in bright green.
In Diablo II, sets can be completed even on the hireling, who fully benefit from the set bonuses.
Partial Set BonusEdit
At first, you had to equip an entire set of items to get any bonus effects at all. With the Diablo II expansion pack Lord of Destruction, a Partial Set Bonus feature was added to the sets that include more than two items. For each item you equip past the first, there is an extra bonus added to the item itself, until you put together the whole set. This means it's no longer necessary to equip an entire set to get some very useful bonuses. The partial set bonus concept was kept for Diablo III.
Moreover, in Diablo II, some set items gain new affixes as players equip more and more items of the same set. These bonuses are separate from the set bonus, and depend on which pieces the player has.
New Full Set BonusesEdit
Some of the new sets added in Lord of Destruction give particularly interesting bonuses upon completion. Many will give you bonuses that are not normally found on Magic or Rare items. One of them (Trang-Oul's Avatar, a set for Necromancers) will even transform you into a Vampire enemy, and give you three of the Sorceress' Fire Skills!
Each class in Diablo II has a set specifically built for them. Upon the completion of these sets, Your character will get a golden light shining around them, except for when using Trang-Oul's Avatar, your character will transform into a Ghoul Lord, and when using Natalya's Odium, your Assassin will appear faded. These sets always include class-specific items, i.e. only the class the set is indended for can complete it.
- Amazon ~ M'avina's Battle Hymn
- Assassin ~ Natalya's Odium
- Barbarian ~ Immortal King
- Druid ~ Aldur's Watchtower
- Necromancer ~ Trang-Oul's Avatar
- Paladin ~ Griswold's Legacy
- Sorceress ~ Tal Rasha's Wrappings
There are other sets beyond these also intended for only one class, but they do not award a unique graphical feature. Diablo III has generic class-specific sets as well.
Craftable set items drop one recipe for the entire set. There is no need to find extra recipes.
Some sets exist in two variants: pre-70 and 70. Note that different versions of the same set cannot be used to complete each other, but different level items (of the exactly same set, check its name carefully), just obtained at different levels, can. Example: Cain's set items of pre-level 70 variant are different from their level 70 versions, and cannot complete each other; but Tal Rasha's Elements Set items dropped at level 60 can be used to complete a set of Tal-Rasha Set items dropped at level 70.
In addition, Legacy sets (obtained before patch 2.0) are considered different sets from their post-Expansion counterparts, even if they bear the same name.
While technically being Legendary items, set items in Diablo III very rarely have unique affixes like legendaries, as those are replaced with set bonuses. They can still have affixes that are normally not allowed on that item type, though.
Most sets have between two and four items, but some can number up to seven.
Most classes have four or five class sets (Crusaders have only two): one minor 60 set (two class items in weapon slots), one 60 full set, and two-three 70 sets, usually mutually exclusive. These sets can sometimes be completed by any class (some are entirely class-exclusive, while others are not), but set bonuses are related to class-specific stats and skills, making the sets entirely useless to other classes.
In addition, a very popular Ring of Royal Grandeur is known for reducing set items requirements (i.e. number of set pieces to complete the set) by one, to a minimum of two. This allows player to complete more sets on the same character, gaining more set bonuses. Alternatively, it allows boosting sets with Legendary items that have unique and irreplaceable properties: the best example is Raiment of the Jade Harvester, which doubles its damaging potential with Quetzalcoatl, but the latter can only be taken if the Witch Doctor makes use of the mentioned ring.
Unlike Diablo II, Set items equipped on followers provide no bonus neither to the player nor to the follower. Pieces of the same set on both follower and player cannot complete each other.
As of patch 2.2.0, sets also display the slot of each item on the list.
Unlike Legendary items, if a new patch changes the set bonuses, set items are typically changed retroactively, while legendary items that gain new special affixes must be obtained anew. The reason for this is that set items work in tandem, and making these changes non-retroactive would force players to find the whole set anew.