Torand and Sizygy just came back to D2 last week or something. I just came back 3 weeks ago or so. I was fortunate enough to receive the help of a friend, but if I hadn't, this amulet would probably be looking pretty dang good to me if I were running a barb of any sort.
I've struggled to gain wealth in this game for many seasons. I try to keep what that was like in mind when things like this come up. I'm not suggesting that you don't know what you're talking about or anything, Mystic and I hope I didn't come across as being offensive. I just think you set the bar too high.
When ladder seasons go on and on, even the decent amulets and rings and everything go down in price, so the standard is always raised. The same thing is going to happen in Diablo 3 too.
Yes, new people join ladder all the time, but it's not enough to counter-act the lack of demand for the item as the ladder season goes on. In order for items to maintain their value in a game like this, the number of new players has to continually pour into ladder to match the number of players that started ladder... but that's never going to be the case.
So yes, my standards are high. That's just the nature of the game at this point, as it is on non-ladder too.
my 2 cents on this:
unfortunately the economy of this game (probably more in standard than in HC) is sick.
A couple of weeks ago a guy in the realm was cleaning up is bots and gave me 2 stormshields, 1 soj, 1 low maras, wartraveller, 1 Sur, dungo, Griffon and some other stuff for the 1 Dol he was missing to make exile ("of course I don't keep Dols otherwise my bots get filled up")
Even without the bots, the same phenomenon would happen in this case with the amulet.
Highlord's Wrath, just as an example, has no varying mods. For this reason, it's price is very low over long periods of time. You can take out hacks, bots, dupes, etc., and the same thing would essentially happen. This is going to skew the values of rare amulets for certain builds, and barbarians essentially have it pretty bad. At least Paladin V/T and Javazon amulets without fcr can sell for large amounts, despite the competition with Maras. Barbarians are mostly forced into using Highlords, which is a very cheap amulet, even in the beginning stages of ladder. It's so inexpensive, I don't even mule them or keep them unless I need one.
The economy is sick though, mostly because the value of jewels, hrs and other such items are skewed due to dupes.
I didn't think there was a lot of duping going on with respect to hrs in patch 1.13, but I see something 2 days ago that changed my mind. The prices of runes going elsewhere have sunk so low, I am not convinced that this is normal market-driven supply/demand anymore.
I found out about a working dupe method from someone on jsp about 1.5 days ago. I didn't get details on how to do it, and I obviously didn't partake, but with the rune prices dropping on jsp by about 50% this week, I take him at his word. I saw mules full of runes that nobody could have traded for or found. It's too much.
I don't think all runes are duped. All of the runes I've traded here are self-found, and that's probably true for a lot of people. But this forum doesn't exist in a vacuum - there are other people doing this elsewhere obviously. I expect this has been going on for some time elsewhere, but i've seen it done to such absurd levels recently. I guess blizzard lowering the rune drops wasn't enough for these people.
I think runes would naturally lose their value over time anyway without duping. But at the prices runes are trading at now... and with what I've actually seen... it's not natural that runes would fall in purchasing power as much as they have this week.
I guess it's a good thing I don't have many runes. I never trade for them to protect myself for these exact same reasons. I am happy to hold hard items instead, even if they do take more space.
I am a little upset though. They are basically stealing, and there is no diablo police to protect the property of players in the game. So basically we're all victims, whether we realize it or not.
The dupers are not really getting "rich" per say... they are just making everyone that holds runes poorer. Sure, they are making some wealth even at the ridiculously low prices they are selling the runes at, but the real wealth loss is with the rest of the players.