Thus far during Diablo 3’s development, durability has not been implemented. The devs have never said it would or wouldn’t be in the game, but it’s not in there yet. The developers have said that durability is annoying for players to manage, but that it’s also a very useful gold sink that might be needed to keep the end game economy functional. Thanks to a brief post from Bashiok we know they’re leaning towards putting durability back in:
I looked around but wasn’t able to find anything about if durability will be making a return, i kind of hope it doesn’t as it was sort of a pain. Then again it is also a good way to keep players from getting super rich, so is it coming back?
The issue of durability has to be considered in terms of the whole game economy. The D3 Team want to include a functional economy, one in which gold has value. (This wasn’t very well handled in D2, where repairs were cheap and gambling was the only real long term use for gold.)
In Diablo 3, gold is automatically picked up, and characters accumulate much more gold from pick ups than from item sales. (At least that’s how the early game economy worked during the last two BlizzCons.) What will we do with gold, though, long term? Item repairs are a major gold sink in most RPGs (such as WoW), and if there’s no item durability in Diablo 3, then there have to be other things that cost gold, lest it become a shiny yellow nuisance. The devs have mentioned various planned gold costs, including respecs, and item modification (crafting) Other likely gold costs include resocketing (items or skills), Auction House expenses, and perhaps a return of some sort of gambling.
Since we don’t know how the final game economy will work, let’s just go with aspirations and desires. What’s your ideal Diablo 3 economy? Do you want item durability and repair expenses to be major gold expenditures? Or do you want gold to be only needed for fun, voluntary stuff, like respecs, gambling, crafting expenses, auction houses etc?