I quit Diablo2 over 5 years ago, after ~3 years of playing. I had 3 lv99s and several 90s when Hexing Charms and White rings hit the main realm, followed closely by Runewords...Blizzards attempt to regain control of the game by imposing OP items... I've recently started playing again, to find not much has changed in the years... I just finally got myself in good gear but...
I have been on WoW for many years now, so a constant grind farming is something I'm all to familiar to. It is this farming in D2 though, I think little have thought about when the game is patched. Currently that market is made and driven by Bots, like it or not, the majority of all gear avaliable in the game, is or has once been in possession of bot-farmers.
While many people do legitly farm their items and market them, I'm willing to say the dozen companies that spam every game have made the market what it is. People may be happy for a reset, restarting everyone, but it wont change where the game stands. Even with security changes for the game, programmers will find ways and bots will be back within a week. Since now you've given up your items, you are right back to the mercy of bot-farmers and then people are all but forced to purchase items (against Blizzard rules) or spend hours farming hoping for a trade-able item. It won't change that they exist, that they are the best geared, and it will actually boost their profits (by crushing supply and boosting demand).
As for Hammerdins, I made one years ago and if not for the patch, I'd be Forced to do it again. To open the can of worms...
Immunities are the main challenge of the game, made obvious by the large health and dmg Imnty changes each level of difficulty. Every dmg class (Phy, Fire, Ice, Psn, Light, Magic) all have an immunity or dmg reduction to them...Somehow Hammers never fell into any of these place. Just like in WoW, Pallys were orginally given a 'Holy' element of dmg....No resist ever was created, or covered, this area of dmg. So already you have an issue of Hammerdins have no "natural enemies" that they are basically forced to run away from (other classes have entire creature types they are forced to leave be)
Paladins have several abilities that allow them to take reign over other classes:
Auras. They are able to boost their Resists, remove Debuffs, and even collect souls for health and mana (and yet, melee can't get a break with life leech?)...No costs or set backs.
Damange element and the resist against it. Hammerdins still appear to have their own style of damage, where no mob is unaffected by (ok, just 1 that you don't ever have to encounter).
Spell category. Hammers are ranged, but are effected by melee abilities. They need to be set into a spell dmg type or need to be made physical. Either way, it breaks their current mechanisms which originally is what brought their Reign.
Survivability. Many classes can do lots of damage, often at the expense of life. Hammers can reach damage levels higher than that of most classes, and somehow retain all the advantages of health, survivability, and defense. With their variety of auras, holy shield, and stat allocation, Hammerdins become the easiest class in the game. They only need a little STR for gear, enough Dex for block (Holy shield takes care of most of the issue), no Energy (despite the constant casting and no leech, their ability to collect corpses for health/mana far trumphs life/mana leech), and this allows them to dump vast amounts of points into Vitality.
wall of text crits my face for OVER NINE THOUSAAAAAAAAAND
Obvious ____ is obvious.
A. Gear Score
D. Richard Nixon