After coming back and playing Diablo II again in softcore and pretty much getting as far as I could get (everything done and super-fancy gear with 4 classes), I'm venturing back into hardcore. Although, 'back' is a relative term... I've never gotten further than a sorc in her 70s that died in Hell durance (damn those stygian dolls!)
In any case, I may try to do a completely untwinked run-through at some point, but for now, I'm starting out simple and hoping to trade up for some solid gear, which leads me to some questions about how trading works in hardcore. Any explanations would be greatly appreciated.
1) Are the basic trade rules the same in HC and SC, in particular:
a) Do games with names like 'N wizspike O um' work as a reliable way of trading?
b) Is it possible to trade through the forums?
c) Are runes (pul and up), and perfect gems the main currency?
2) Are the trade values comparable to SC, in particular:
a) Is an ist worth 2 mal, or 4 um runes?
b) Can you trade 40 (junk) jewels, 40 Pgems or 8 spirit packs for an ist rune or something close?
c) Can you get items that are really good for survivability but common in high difficulties at a low price (um or below)? I'm talking about items like Wizardspike, Guardian Angel, Thundergod's Belt, Harlequin Crest, Ravenfrost, Nature's Peace, Stormshield?
d) Can you trade useful low level items for higher level ones or runes, for example: smallcharms with 15+ life, 4@ or 7% MF and 4soc or 5soc flails?
3) Are there any special things I should look out for in HC trading? Any common scams or general tips to do well?
Thank you in advance for any help you can give.