I would like to share my thoughts about weapons and armors and give my idea.
I would use 2H axes as an exemple, like this 3 2H axes:
This 3 axes are not so rare to find, so if youre ussing 2handed axes, the lower attack ones will be left behind, they will serve no purpuse other then selling to NPC. Like in tibia all high levels use the same gear, couse gear has no random stats, like in diablo 3, path of exile or ultima online.
My suggestion is that all itens could came in normal, uncommon, rare, epic or legendary. The diference between them will be the random stats or even an special effect (for legendaries) of course phobos team can create other names and tags and unique system to it
Lets say you use a Nightmare Battleaxe 72/10 uncommon that has no stats, but you looted a rare Stonesplitter battleaxe with +5% melee, +7% ice damage, +6 str You now will have to think, and do the matemathics to see what axe is better (not just choose the higher attack one)
Now imagine that you find an 39/9 Legendary Axe with +15Str +15Fire damage(that could be displayed when you hit with burning sprites) +15 Dodge +1 cleave and an special effect "there is a chance when hitting to explode an wave of earth in front of you +150% weapon damage" oh that would be cool! sounds too OP? Make OP monsters that can only be killed with high tier gear. You can also set a legendary to be a reallllllyy rare drop like 1 in 100k
I also dont think this is enough, I love path of exile gear because you can enchant gems on it, with special coloured slots, so your gear gets even unique. Im really bored with all high levels with the same gear, that can be found over and over.
Here are some references from other games:
I know that this is a dificult thing to do, but it would give a 2D game a new experience
Thats my thinking and proposal what would you add?