Lack of subtlety is a major tampering-with that really derailed the series' story for me. I mean, it is really insulting - "spoon-fed" was a spot-on description. Everything is blatant and absurd.
I used to read more about video games than playing them. Once read an article (EGM maybe?) asking, "Can video games be art?" I dunno, but Blizzard was always a company, I thought, actively trying to bridge that gap. I don't think there was a minute used discussing/acting on some larger cultural vision like this. Maybe there wasn't with D1/D2, but it sure seemed like there was some ambition in this department.
Talking-too-much, totally agree. In art and entertainment, less can so often be so much more. Take country and pop music - totally spoon-fed, literal lyrics/story (if any). Once you burn off the simple sugars (In D3, the gameplay - following?), there is nothing left that is complex, nothing left to the imagination. Nothing lingers. It becomes business, work - and not an escape. D3 devs need to listen to more Radiohead before the expansion. Give us something we can make our own, be an individual with. Don't put us on a rail and talk to us like babies. Insulting.
Nowhere do we get to read between the lines or fill in the blanks. Can we not assume our hero and their follower occasionally talk, and thus create our own dialogue in our minds if we so please? Also, I liked the disposable mercenaries in D2. In my mind, I thought this was such a brutal world that it was "realistic" that people would become subjects to a master for a fee and follow them into battle without so much as a word spoken...with an understanding that so many people die in this world to Evil, why get close?
The complete anonymity of the D1/D2 heroes was such a brilliant move. In the monotony of the game I'd sometimes just daydream about who this "person" is in this other world. Maybe I don't do that in D3 because I'm now an adult and not a kid with a wild imagination, but something is much different in D3. What someone said earlier (sorry, not good at this forum thing) about the hero being treated as a powerful savior from the get-go rather than just another traveller seeking glory has much to do with it.
The technical stuff like the graphics (still way too kiddy) and the cutscenes before bosses stoppage doesn't help. Oh, and light radius. Seems like 3D actually limited them, which is kind of funny.
Blizzard: be ambiguous, let the players be as specific as they want in their imagination. Go back to a wild environment with a few dots to connect, don't micro-manage and have us trace over an already-done puzzle.
I enjoy the gameplay a ton and avoid comparing it to the predecessors. But bring back the soul of Diablo - the story and atmosphere and mystique!