I have read that on earlier versions of D2, you could pretty much force SoJ's by holding Nagelring and Manald Heal in your inventory or stash. What versions of D2 / LoD does this work for? Also, is this practice considered "legit"? i.e., playing an older version to farm a few SoJ's then bringing them up to 1.12a?
The only SoJ I found was from either NM or Hell Andy. It was totally unexpected too. I was running Andy for the sake of running Andy. Of course it was SC too but the drop odds are the same for HC and SC.
As for playing older versions and bringing the item forward, thats OK in the forums. Taking backwards is another story tho.
IIRC the method you're talking about is for Classic 1.06 and earlier. In those versions, the odds for gambling uniques were much much better, and if already have naglering and manald heal on the char/stash, and roll a unique ring while gambling, it'll turn up as a SoJ. I believe it's briefly mentioned as a perk in the Classic HF rushing guide.
AFAIK it's an acceptable tactic. It might be less work to just run NM or Hell Andy in the version in which you already have some wealth/characters, though. Unless, of course, you have another reason to invest in older Classic versions (such as HF rushing).
I can't remember quite where I found my first SoJ but the second one I went after NM Andy with a passion for. It actually didn't take to long and I managed to score a Tal's amulet in the process. I'll see if I can find the post.
Edit: I found my first SoJ from hell countess actually (now that I've found the post)
Espr was correct about the versions - the fixed drops for unique rings was in versions 1.06 and earlier, and uniques were gambled at about 3%. It works out to 1.6m gold per unique ring, or 4.8m from scratch before you get a SoJ.
However, getting gold (not to mention, you know, levelling) in classic is not easy. If you're not playing 1.06 classic to play 1.06 classic, NM andy is a significantly better option. At p8 with 500 MF (and it's quite easy to get well past 500 mf for NM andy without sacrificing kill speed), the odds of a SoJ are 1:805. Figure 30 second runs and you're looking at a bit under 8 hours of runs. 8 hours into classic I was somewhere in the middle of normal. It probably took me a couple months to get a gold find infrastructure set up, and even with that, it might still be quicker for me to do NM andy runs than 1.06 GF runs if I wanted more.
Long story short, take your main MF'er (bonus points if she has some fire spells), load her up with as much MF as you can manage while still maintaining either 63 or 105 FCR, and go run NM andy for an evening.