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Do the items offered from a store depend on the character in any way (e.g. on the character's level), or only on the merchant? Also, do the act and the difficulty level play a role?

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Character level and merchant. But I can't find any source on the web (only by experience) – Michel May 16 '12 at 14:27
@MichelAyres It doesn't depend on the the act and difficulty at all? In any way I'm content with an answer from experience as long as you're confident in it. – Oak May 16 '12 at 14:46
Diablo 2 depended entirely on character level (and the type of merchant). Makes sense here. – Resorath May 16 '12 at 17:10
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Act and Difficulty seem to be the biggest modifiers for item quality in Diablo III - Act IV Normal merchants will give you Normal-grade items around req 21-25 even if you're level 60, while Act I Inferno will give you high Hell or low Inferno grade items with requirements in the late 50s. The level of the character starting the game does appear to influence it slightly to about a 5-10 level degree of potential variation - join up with a higher level character on the same difficulty as you and check out their Act I merchants, and you're likely to see higher leveled items - but in general you're going to see better vendor items in later Acts and on higher difficulties.

As for what types of items they stock, that depends on the merchant. The fence in the back of New Tristram will always have a couple rings and amulets for sale, no matter when you visit him.

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I have to agree with that fact that character level doesn't seem to have an effect on the items available at the merchants. – deutschZuid May 20 '12 at 22:32

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