The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Loot Guide
Loot in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt can be disorienting, so you might need a hand in choosing the right stuff to preserve and the one you should get rid of. Here's our guide that will help you in making the right choice when talking about saving space in your inventory.
There are four levels of item rarity. Common items have no background colour, Master items have a Blue background colour, Magic items have a Yellow background colour, and Relic items have a Gold background colour. Individual items (e.g. a Skellige Aketon) may be of any rarity apart from Relic, while certain named items are always of a certain rarity (e.g. Boots of the Elder Folk are always a Relic).
Master weapons / armour tend to have higher physical characteristics compared to their common counterparts (e.g. 30% piercing resistance vs 25%); Magic items tend to have an additional effect (e.g. +5% Quen intensity) but may not have higher physical characteristics, and also tend to have a rune/glyph slot; Relic items tend to have multiple additional effects, significantly higher physical stats, and multiple rune / glyph slots. Merchants also pay more for a Relic item vs any other item, even if the actual item value is the same. Witcher set items are somewhere between Magic item and Relic in terms of strength. Non-witcher crafted items are usually Magic level, but there are a few Relic-level craftables as well.
When you enter an area, the type of loot in chests becomes set. Reloading the game won't change the type of loot, e.g. a Cidarian Gambeson will remain a Cidarian Gambeson. However, the level and rarity of the item is not set. One try the item may be a Lv3 common item, the next it may be a Lv7 Magic item or even a Relic.
Tip, in case you need crowns: after you destroy a Monster nest, if you loot it but leave one item, walk away a few steps then come back, all the items will have respawned and you can rinse and repeat. This is a very easy way to get rare crafting materials which may otherwise be tedious to farm, e.g. Dragon scales from the two Draconid nests in east Velen, Sea Shells and Shells to dismantle into Pearls from Drowner nests, etc. Note that this sort of break the economy since you can make pretty much infinite money like this if you are patient enough.