I always considered it another obsession obsession that I'm picking up gold piles of 1000+ pieces instead of just enough to pay repairs and merc resurrections and you are even keeping rare armor and bring it into town to sell it for 35k . I only do that if I need money really urgently while I only pick up piles of 1000+ pieces if it's not too much of a detour. It seems we have completely different concepts of what's worth doing and what isn't.
I think it's not worth to continue the debate, so let's agree that we disagree on what's worth doing, statistically or with respect to having fun.
I id all rares regardless if it's optimal or not; it's only pixels after all and I love the rush I get from id'ing a good rare (not that I've ever played enough to find very good stuff, but still). In D3 with the RMAH this might change ofc... But in D2 I've always been fairly lazy with my ids/trades. I just gave a guy Ohm for a mediocre Wolfhowl because I was, like, le tired of waiting and lul wulf.
iŽve always thought of runes as a choice, as in an addition, rather than a must-use-or-youŽre-a-noob kinda thing. the newly introduced runewords opened up possibilities rather than limiting those. i agree in that they are more often than not the better/best possible option for a slot, but on the other hand nobody forces you to use them. so the only thing the runewords really changed is the mainstream playstyle on battle.net and probably on single players too. if there wasnŽt something new introduced every now and then, i doubt this game would still be as attractive to most long-time players as it still is now. if you feel the need to use the overpowered/gamechanging runewords just because others do...well i feel sad for those.
if runes ruin your fun in the game, just donŽt use them
to say one playstyle is better than the other is highly controversial imo: this is a game. it is supposed to be fun, if some style of playing is more fun to someone and another is more fun to someone else, why should one be superior to the other?
rare items been my major obsession my entire d2-career, to find one with amazing stats (i have found several in my years) is the main purpose i am still active. however rare items can not beat their rw/unique counterparts in some slots when it comes to pure usefulness and no limitations. armors, shields and often weapons are those slots. however there are limitations that change that:
1: MLD, LLD, VLLD: the level restrictions changes the playing field and high-end rares become very important
2: PVP-leagues/tounraments: many of those have severe item restrictions limiting or banning uniques and runewords completely. this is where the high-end high-level rare armors and shields come into play
that is where rares fetch those ridiculous prices.
i think dizzy had/has a barb for one of those leagues. if u dig in his thread/post history u might find a thread about a barb and paladin using only rare items, amazing ones, and a big post in the old rare-item-show-off-thread too iirc
is it worth picking and id'ing rare items? for me yes, finding the amazing ones is my reason for playing. but that is just the question: do you like to gamble or not?
no matter what, youŽll end up filthy rich if you have enough time to invest, since both methods of earning cash requires time
btw the easiest way to earn cash was always providing services...HC CLASSIC RUSH FTW!!
^That was hilarious.
I agree with Krupa that runewords simply opened up possibilities, and didn't limit anything. There are so many more character builds that can be made, and used effectively thanks to the runewords added half a dozen years ago. If you don't like them, don't use them. The game was obviously working fine before they came around. I also agree that thye added an appeal to some people who have been playing for ages. Imagine if all you really could hope for was that rare windforce drop, and the TC87s were really all there was to shoot for.
I know with respect to dueling there are some differences, like if you refused to use an enigma, and as a result was stomped by every other build (I don't duel, so I don't have any for sure examples). Of course, duelling really is all about optimising your character, and if you refuse to make use of the in-game items to do so, you're the one missing out.