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As mentioned in this question, inventory size is an issue in Diablo II. So far, I don't plan on playing with others, so for me loot whoring is not an issue.

Given this, I am interested to know if dropped loot ever despawns and if so under what circumstances. In other words, if I've got a book of Town Portal scrolls can I just keep loot running over and over until I've picked up and sold all of the dropped loot? If I'm playing solo - is inventory size really an issue, or just more of an inconvenience?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Items despawn depending on their quality:

Regular items and gold disappear after exactly 10 minutes.

Magic items will disappear after 20 minutes.

Rare, Set, Crafted, and Unique items will disappear after lying on the ground for 30 minutes.

If you pick up the item (and drop it), it resets the timer.

Source

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I checked this in game, and it seems to check out for at least regular items. Good source. –  EBongo May 5 '12 at 19:16
    
Does picking it up and dropping it require a trip into inventory? IE If you have a full inventory and pick it up, generate the inventory is full auto drop, does that count? –  Tharius May 6 '12 at 1:56
1  
@Stephen You just have to pick it up or click on it with your mouse to reset the timer. The overburden auto drop counts as picking it up and dropping it. It doesn't have to go into your inventory. –  Krazer May 6 '12 at 2:00

I can only speak for game play on battle.net but items certainly do decay if left on the ground too long (5-10 minutes).

The order, from shortest time to longest, is white/grey, blue, yellow, green and gold.

Unfortunately this means that rune worded items can be the first to go.

This may not have happened in prior patches but certainly happened in 1.13 and 1.14

Another user who experienced this is cited here.

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