I was digging through some old blue posts on the classic forums looking for a quote I had seen a long time ago when I ran across one of Bashiok's replies to the removal of manual stat attribution all the way back from 2008. It was composed of well-founded and well written arguments justifying Blizzard's design decision, and though I fundamentally disagree with the decision, I can at least appreciate where they are coming from.
The post I'm referring to can be found at:
Now, he breaks down the "auto attribute" haters argument into three main issues, two of which have more or less been hashed out to an endless extent. The third issue, and the one I want to discuss in this thread, is the "loss of a 'leveling achievement'". It's one of those things that people mostly just brush off as not a big deal, because 'you just spammed those 5 attribute points into vitality anyways', but the fact that it was a tangible, instant gratification-esque reward for leveling is undeniable.
Now, the interesting part of Bashiok's post is where he addresses this issue with the following:
The loss of a feeling of a leveling achievement is actually something we recognize and intend to address.
Now, this is actually one of the bigger beefs I have with the new stat / skill systems in D3 - leveling just doesn't seem as awesome to me if you really don't get any tangible rewards (read: clicky clicky) for your character. You could argue that unlocking skills is a tangible reward, and this is certainly true, but that ends at level 30. You could also argue that unlocking additional content and items is the reward, but that to me isn't necessarily a direct function of leveling so much as just playing the game - ie. it's not a level-up specific reward.
Now, what I find interesting is that Blizzard identified this issue way back in 2008 and clearly had concrete plans and design ideas to combat the lack of 'leveling achievements'. What I want to know is what exactly Bashiok was referring to way back then and is it something we have seen to date in the beta content? Was he alluding to achievements and the banner system? The flashy 'level up' graphics and damage dealing explosion upon leveling? Or was it something we haven't seen (yet) that may have been scrapped or is yet to be implemented?
From what I've seen of the beta play this is still an issue in-game and, although they've shifted the focus more towards level cap play, I still think there is a lack of "Wow, I leveled, now I get to do X!" or "Man, I really want to hit that next level so that I can do X!"
Anyways, just thought it was interesting that it was something they specifically identified and targeted, yet (in my opinion) don't appear to have specifically addressed or replaced in the current build. To clarify, I'm not griping or whining or moaning - I'll certainly live if what we see is what we get at release - just thought it might be something interesting to discuss.
TLDR: You were warned in advance, but I suppose if I must - in 2008 Blizz said they knew 'leveling achievements' were lacking and it was something they specifically intended to address. Did they?
Edit: to make the link easier to copy.