Ethereal armor and weapons (excluding missile weapons and Phase Blades, which cannot normally be ethereal) only appear in Expansion games. Like socketed items, their names are displayed in grey text when they're not magic quality or better, although they appear translucent in equipment slots, inventory or stash (an Iron Golem made from an ethereal item will also appear translucent).
All ethereal items are translucent, but this only affects player character appearance when the item is a weapon or shield
's arm and leg may be visible through his shield, but helm
and body armor
- Low quality and Set items cannot be ethereal and neither can indestructible items, with the following exceptions:
- However, an ethereal item with > 0 durability can become indestructible when socketed with a Zod Rune (otherwise the item cannot be socketed with the rune, preventing the player from wasting it on a broken item).
- Otherwise, all eligible items have 5% chance of being ethereal when dropped, resulting in the following:
- Required Strength -10 and required Dexterity -10 (after any Requirements -%)
- Armor has base defense +50%
- Weapon has base damage +50%
- Durability = [maximum durability/2] + 1
- Cannot be repaired or recharged
- Ethereal items cannot be bought from a townsperson, nor can they be gambled unless they are one of the three Unique items listed above (these are always ethereal).
- Items created using the Horadric Cube cannot be ethereal, even if ethereal items are used to create them; however, ethereal items that are socketed or upgraded remain so, as do those that are imbued.
- Ethereal normal armor socketed using the Horadric Cube applies the ethereal defense bonus a second time: for example, normal Sacred Armor has (487-600) base defense so ethereal Sacred Armor has (730-900), but after socketing it will have (1,095-1,350). This can be (ab)used to create Rune Word armor with extremely high defense: for example, a Prudence body armor's (140-170)% Enhanced Defense would result in (2,628-3,645) defense when made in the socketed ethereal Sacred Armor.
- Hidden durability of throwing weapons is reduced, not stack size (which is unaffected).
- Ethereal superior items with Increase Maximum Durability (10-15)% have Durability = [ [maximum/2] * (100+%) /100] + 1
- Magic items that were failed Set items have double maximum Durability, so when ethereal they have Durability = maximum + 1
- Rare items that were failed Unique items have triple maximum Durability, so when ethereal they have Durability = [maximum * 3/2] + 1
- Ethereal rare or Unique items upgraded from Normal to Exceptional or Exceptional to Elite using the Horadric Cube are set to the maximum Durability of the base Exceptional or Elite item. For example, when ethereal Shaftstop Mesh Armor (Durability [45/2] + 1 or 23) is upgraded to Boneweave, it now has maximum Durability 45.
- Any hidden + Maximum Durability on Set or Unique items is added after base durability has been reduced.
- Ethereal items always spawn at 100% of their reduced durability, with the exception of ethereal rare or Unique items upgraded using the Horadric Cube (since their durability is not reduced). Throwing weapons do not spawn with maximum stack size.
- Ethereal items lose durability at the same rate as normal items (contrary to what is stated by the Arreat Summit).
- Ethereal items do not lose durability when equipped and used by a mercenary.
- An ethereal item with Durability > 0 will sell for 25% of the value of the same item when it is not ethereal; a broken ethereal item will sell for just 1 gold, but it will not be added to the vendor screen even when there is space for it.