Holy walls of text, Batman, this is way more in-depth discussion than I expected, but in a good way! And here I was concerned that this post would get buried.
Let me start off by pitching my game idea to you, just so you know exactly where I'm coming from with my particular game:
Loot Shop is a video game. It has elements of a dungeon-crawling hack-and-slasher (think Diablo), an item shop simulator (Recettear), and a management sim. Those last two may sound boring, but: COLORED LOOT!
Everything was good in the world of Acquesitia. Adventurers' endless appetites for acquiring newer and better loot from killing evil creatures ensured that the forces of evil would always be kept at bay.
Then, one day, the Real Money Auction House was established, and everything went to hell. Adventurers could now buy and sell items with their endless supplies of mythical Real Currency, causing the established gold standard to bottom out. After awhile, adventurers stopped using gold to trade items altogether, preferring to deal solely with Real Currency.
While the adventurers of the world traded items and Real Currency back and forth, the forces of evil, no longer being farmed for their loot, rose to power for the first time in milennia. They began to terrorize the civilizations of Acquesitia, and the adventurers, no longer equipped to fight, found themselves unable to fight back.
You are Stebbins, a grizzled old adventurer who was all set to have an easy retirement as an item vendor (as is often the case for aged heroes), but then all this happened. First, vendors were rendered obsolete because of Real Currency, and then the forces of evil rose to power and started terrorizing everyone.
Despite being Too Old For This Shit, Stebbins sets out to right the wrongs of the world, the only way he knows: capitalism.
Basically, it's going to be Recettear but with Diablo-style loot and with added and expanded mechanics for managing multiple heroes and their gear and stuff. (For example, once you get heroes up to a certain level, you can send them off to fetch loot on their own [but it's less effective than if you were to "go along with them"].) There's more to it than that, but that's the basic idea. You can read some of our incredibly rough ideas on our github page if you're interested. (I'm just starting to get into the actual game part of it; I've had too much fun making a loot generator [mostly because of the silly names].)
Because the game is at some level just an elaborate way for my friends and I to poke fun at Diablo III for being less awesome than we'd hoped, the loot will be Diabloeque in nature, although I agree with you,
was talking about not being possible. I think it's possible, but extremely difficult to get right (and, of course, nothing beats a knowledgeable human DM). Unfortunately I don't think I'm anywhere near good enough or have near enough time to create a deep system like that, but man... it gets you thinking about how awesome/evil games could be, doesn't it?
One more idea I've been kicking around and I'm getting close to being able to actually implement is the idea of making those silly prefixes and postfixes actually affect the weapons. Like how in the Diablo games, an "x of the Boar" would have y properties, etc. I had to learn how to make straight-up Windows programs last night, something I've never done before, just to make an editor so I can have a sort of database of "Modifiers" that I can easily edit at will. Right now, Modifiers are only "good" or "bad" (the former for better-colored loot and the latter purely for garbage grays), but soon I'll be making the system work in a way that, for example, lets me make an "x of Cannibalism" have life-stealing, etc.
But yeah, keep the discussion coming, I love reading and thinking about stuff like this, even if it doesn't apply to my game ideas directly. I don't know about anyone else, but at least for me, Diablo III shined a bright light on loot systems and how they don't always work as awesomely as they should, and any talk that generates ideas as to how to improve them is awesome.
(Also, I tried uploading a hopefully-better-working version of my console loot tester thing. Hopefully it works!)