There are three obvious benefits to paying a lot for low level gear in Hardcore. 1) You’ll level up more quickly and have more fun. 2) You’re much less likely to die. 3) When you outgrow the gear you can stash it for some future reroll, or resell it. And most of the time you’ll get as much as you paid, if not more. Thus your pricey items turn into rentals that you use for 10 or 15 levels and then resell, paying only the 15% AH fee for the usage.
I think this is mostly for Hardcore where players have to reroll semi-regularly, but low and mid level gear is quite pricey for softcore as well. Does anyone buy it? I don’t know. I have rerolled 5 or 6 chars since I’ve been rich enough in HC to not mind dropping a few hundred thousand on an item I’m only going to use for about 10-15 levels, and every time I’ve looked, for a variety of characters, there are many items, of every type, listed for 5m+ from level 15-50. I’ve never paid that much for anything, usually spending 100-500k at most for any gear slot, but someone must or people wouldn’t bother listing rare level 27 bracers for 3.5m… would they?
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Click through for a few more details about the pros and cons of fortune hunting in Nightmare. If you’ve tried this, or done some fortune hunting on Normal or Hell, do share the news in comments. I’d love to hear details about what sells and doesn’t, which are the most coveted item finds, (Leoric’s Signets are level 17 and sell for 30-50m in HC) if this is actually profitable in softcore, etc.