Here is the difference between D2 and D3 builds.
In D2, each build had a very specific and unique play style. Some builds were far better than others, of course, but you did not play inferior ones for efficiency, you played them for a different experience. While some of the inferior builds took longer to be viable, ALL of them were viable at some point in the leveling progression. Beyond skill point diversity, you also had some builds centered around gear, which allowed for even more options.
In D3, Everything is centered around gear, and even with all the rune buffs and monster nerfs, there are very few builds that are viable. And what makes this worse, is that it dont matter if you have spent 50 hours on your build, or 1000 hours on it, it cant get any better as you play it. (assuming you are using the auction house).
I see people talk about how MP10 is harder than hell player 8 in D2. I dont know if it is or not, but it is impossible to compare the two because the character progression to get to the hardest difficulties is so different in each game.
The comparison I would use for both games is how viable a build is at the hardest difficulty. In D2, if you could do beat baal in hell by yourself in a players 8 game, you had a viable build. In D3, if you can beat diablo on inferno MP10, you have a viable build. Now, why dont you guys start counting up how many REAL viable builds there are in D3...
As I said before, pretty much all builds in D2 were viable at some point in their progression. Some may have been at level 50, while others aren't until level 80. But they are all viable. In D3, there is virtually no difference between a lvl 60 and a lvl 60(100), and likewise, no matter how many thousands of hours you play, your character CANNOT get any better.
Edited by kweagle#1932 on 2/17/2013 2:14 PM PST