You even slipped by saying above that you have never tried the mechanics of other classes because you were uninterested. :)
It's not a slip. I play the DH because I enjoy it, period. As I mentioned, trying other classes wasn't nearly as appealing as I thought it would be. Within the DH class itself, I've tried a lot of stuff, and can understand what works and what doesn't.
And no, You don't need high end gear ego boosting BS to understand basic maths. You don't need BiS gear to understand Rapid Fire is light years away in terms of efficiency when compared to cluster arrow, or any other hatred spender, do you? That's precisely the point
. The skill system itself is flawed from it's conception, mostly because every bit of power is entirely derived from gear alone, because of the blatant omission of a robust character development system. I don't know how else to explain this.
I'm playing D3 self-found, which has shown me a good deal about how the game was intended to be from the devs' perspective. The game is amazingly entertaining this way, but just making the game a little more difficult didn't really balance things out with an AH that has no real restrictions.
This is actually a good point. If you notice, on low MP levels, where healthpools are closer to the original design, a lot of stuff can work, and you can have some actual diversity. That still doesn't make all skills viable, because there are still plenty of them that are complete garbage, but you certainly have a bit more room to experiment without having to be pressed by that glaring mistake of obscenely overscaling them with the gearcheck levels, specially above MP5.
For example, my current build with basic self found gear is working nicely in MP3. It's got a nice synergy going on between entangling shot, frost arrow and cull the weak, with some support fire from sentries since it's a kiting build. The build seems to be somewhat efficient in terms of damage for that level with that gearset. I could probably push it up to MP4 without much trouble. However, Trying the same build above MP5 is a pain in the !@#, because the skills themselves are still tuned to deal with relatively reasonably sized healthpools, instead of obscenely overgrown ones, whereas ridiculously overpowered skills, such as rapid fire, are clearly the best option for a DH in MP10, regardless of gear quality. To some degree, spike traps work as well, but they aren't nearly as efficient as RF for evident reason.
That change alone (ridiculously overscaled healthpools) has completely destroyed the viability of many skills, and even ranged playstyles as a whole have been gimped to the ground in high MP levels, because kiting those humongous punchbags for a long time results in a monumental edps loss. It's just so much easier to stack some defensive skills, and spam whatever biggest skill you've got available while soaking incoming damage through life leech.
The thing is, gearcheck levels aren't even difficult, because the content is entirely outgearable thanks to the design that's been implemented. In these terms, someone playing with ghetto self found gear playing MP1can be just as challenged as a wallet warrior playing MP10. Once again, we find a case where linear progression becomes problematic for Diablo 3, and why periodic content updates are mandatory to keep the game thriving thanks to this design. It's the main reason why people keep asking for additional content. The system itself is only partially implemented, because the periodic content updates to keep max level gameplay fresh aren't even being issued.
Not like a proper ARPG would need them, anyways, but by now I think it's safe to assume a lot of people understand this focus on max level gameplay demands those periodic updates to keep the game alive for extended periods of time, whether Blizzard plans to issue them or not. Heck, they have a perfect example right where they based this dumbed down game (WoW), so I can't even understand how did they not see this coming.
I tried PoE self-found, and it's barely even an option. The game's core concepts have been designed with trading in mind, and the end-game was designed with team play in mind. They're more restricting in many ways, but that adds a sense of value for a lot of things.
It's a fair observation. ARPGs were never designed for you to find all your gear on your own. Trading is a part of the charm in this kind of game, even though I must admit I've often found myself trying to deal with some stupid scammer, which makes the overall trade experience quite frustrating by times, but you learn to deal with that at some point.
In D3 self found is just a way to try and squeeze some reward out of this unrewarding gold grinding treadmill, I guess. It's how I see it, at least. The fact this self found movement emerged is just a sign of how horribly frustrating the current itemization is, to the point where the only way to feel like you can progress is by gimping yourself to give some sense of slight progression, if at all. Since some weeks I switched to that playstyle just for that, and despite not being nearly as addictive as good old D2 MF runs, at least you can come across some slight upgrades somewhat consistently, even if by community standards you're just wearing garbage.
I honestly don't mind somewhat restricting rulesets. In fact, I welcome them as a legitimate challenge. That's why I consider commitment such a pivotal ingredient of a legitimate ARPG experience. Having it all available just doesn't convey the same rewarding feeling, even less when you can't even evolve predefined skills in any other way than monetized gear like it happens in D3.
TBH, the only element I find truly compelling in D3 is the fantastic combat engine. The "A" is definitely there. Sadly, The "RPG" is not.