* Extremely dumbed down from D2, with insulting amounts of hand-holding present everywhere. This ranges from autostats, all skills enabled, no skill levels, freespecing, restricted skill choices without elective mode enabled, simple skill tooltips, removal of almost all combat mechanic affixes, no weapon swap, 4 socketables vs the hundreds of D2, generic/boring legendaries, etc.
* Lack of social support – poorly implemented chat channels, automatched game joining only, ghost town effect (similar to SC2′s major problem with Bnet 2.0), 4 player limit = even less socializing.
* Cheesy B-movie story-telling, cliche one-dimensional characters, corny voice-acting, non-sensical/comical actions by villains, predictable twists and plotline.
* Lack of diverse character types within and among classes – no more physical/caster/hybrid – all character types now rely on weapon damage like physical characters in D2. This destroys a huge amount of itemization/gearing choices, as there’s no longer a deviation between decentralized gear (caster) vs centralized gear (physical) vs a build that needs to balance the two (hybrid). In D3, there are no more physical barbs (frenzy/ww), caster barbs (singer), or hybrid barbs (BvC), there are only barbs that all base their gear on weapon damage (physical).
* DRM online only – no offline single player, no lan support. Laggy servers, and all the same issues of botting, duping, spamming, and trade exploits present in a game that’s over a decade old.
* Crappy UI that’s designed by a console developer – convoluted to navigate, clunky, and inefficient at utilizing screen space.
* Approx FOUR times less legendaries (uniques/runewords) in the game than D2:
* 9 chest pieces vs 37 uniques + 14 runewords
* 18 swords vs 35 uniques + 26 runewords
* 6 shields vs 22 uniques + 8 runewords
* 7 helms vs 23 uniques + 5 runewords
* 7 bows vs 19 uniques + 16 runewords
It’s actually more like 20x less if you consider that all but 1-2 legendaries per category are completely worthless – low/mid-level legendaries are unusable due to a general lack of utility mechanics present in the game, and no way to upgrade the base item to the next type (which would increase base damage or defense).
* 4 gems vs 7 gems + 8 unique jewels + 33 runes + a NEAR LIMITLESS variety of magic/rare jewels.
* Legendaries are generic, boring, and don’t have the flavor that D2 uniques/runewords did. Legendaries hardly seem to have themes or any effort done to them anymore, and most are just cookie-cutter molds that have been pasted onto every Legendary item type. Randomization of 1-3 entire affixes also makes the item much less iconic or powerful than before.
* Lack of combat mechanic affixes compared to D2:
% CTC Skill on Striking
% CTC Skill on Struck
% CTC Skill on Attack
% CTC Skill on Death
% CTC Skill on Level Up
% CTC Skill on Striking
% CTC Skill when you kill an enemy
Aura on Equipped
Fires Explosive Arrows or Bolts
Fires Magic Arrows or Bolts
Slain Monsters Rest in Peace
% Crushing Blow
% Open Wounds
% Hit Causes Monsters to Flee
Cold Damage (Slows Target)
% Slows Target
Cannot Be Frozen
Hit Blinds Target
% Reanimate as (Monster Type)
Displays Full Set Aura
Natalya’s Permanent Fade State
Trang Oul’s Permanent Vampire State
And stun, slow, immobilize, chill, and freeze all pretty much do the same thing…
* The removal of attack rating (accuracy), faster hit recover, and faster block rate equates to a severe loss of having to balance such stats on gear, and represents yet another dumbing down of the decisions you make in the game.
* Much weaker bonuses on items in general aside from pure stats – less attack speed, less damage reduction, less run/walk speed = items feeling much less powerful than before and gear choices becoming much less meaningful or strategic. Set items also have extremely weak, almost laughable bonuses.
* Inferno mode is broken. It’s not more difficult, it’s just cheap. 1/2-shots everywhere, melee is severely handicapped. A number of retarded monster affixes that should never have been put in. Most builds except for a select few aren’t even viable. There’s no semblance of strategy, just having the best gear possible and dumb luck in not hitting the wrong champions. Since when did Diablo change from a game where you mow down monsters and feel like a god, to one where you repeatedly get cheap-shotted over and over again in a boring grind?
* Quests feel a lot more forced and non-optional than in D2.
* RMAH diminishes the sense of achievement of finding items. Spending hours finding a great item just doesn’t feel as rewarding when you know you can find something similar at the RMAH for a couple of cents. Although buying items with money was prevalent in D2, at least it was hidden away and not endorsed for all players to see and use.
* Farming has shifted from item finding to gold finding – mainly due to the rarity of legendaries, the low cost of legendaries, as well as gold being a readily attainable universal currency. However, gold finding is considerably less fun than item finding. To give a comparison: D2 was like playing the slot machine, each pull of the lever and you had a chance at something amazing. D3 is like going to work everyday, earning a paycheck, then buying what you want with the money.
* Outdoors feel a lot more linear, which is amplified by their completely static nature – there’s less vast open areas with less monsters at a time compared to D2 = less opportunities to kill hoards of enemies at once. The cow level – which was one of the most iconic vast open areas with hundreds of monsters, has been reduced to ponyville – a cramped twisty area with few monsters.
* No ethereal or superior items, no ability to create items with such properties or transmute it onto items you own, no gambling, no charms, no way to reroll item affixes. Mystic used to be able to do this, then got scrapped. All this just represents more dumbing down of features.
* A late game character doesn’t feel sufficiently stronger than an early game character. In D2, you felt weak in the early stages of the game, and like a complete badass in the later stages. Yet in D3, every spell is over-the-top and makes you feel powerful even 5 minutes into the game. Increased attack/cast speed are at much lower values than from D2 and inferno difficulty actually makes you feel a lot weaker than you did in the mid game.
* Lack of character uniqueness/identity/ownership – all builds are freely changeable, many builds in the late game are similar or identical – no character permanence + lack of customizability = lack of character attachment.
* Lack of in-depth customization – skills only have 1 level each so it’s impossible to specialize in certain skills to the extent you could before. You can’t specialize in builds that aren’t predetermined for you through the passive trait system. Because there are no points to allocate, there’s no more tinkering with unique builds, thinking about your build, or calculating your allocation of skill points/synergies. Although stats played a lesser extent (due to most people putting enough str to wear gear, and rest into vit), removing stats still removed some unique build options such as pure dex amazons, pure energy sorcs, pure str barbs, half/half varieties of the aforementioned, and max block vs 50% block vs passive block depending on dex allocations.
* Lack of good PvP support – not even in the game yet, but when it does eventually arrive, it will suck. There’s no 1v1s, no 2v2s, no in-game pk/pvp, no true team on team matches – only continuous-respawning deathmatch style matches on a timer. Furthermore, players are automatched by skill, so even players that are doing well will never truly feel like they are as there’s nothing to show for it without a rating system. RMAH also pretty much equates to buying power.
* No immersion or horror atmosphere – minimap with blinking dots and arrows, text messages and numbers popping up on screen for each attack or effect, annoying and repetitive character dialog every step of the way. Horror atmosphere is almost non-existent. Sure there’s “gore”, but the abundance of a bright colors, the cartoony almost surreal nature of the game, and the well-lit dungeons make it impossible for the game to scare you.
* Low replayability – no point in making more than 1 character for each class. All unique builds can be tried out in the timespan of a few minutes, instead of a few weeks. Unique builds aren’t practical in Inferno. Not enough depth in customization. Not enough depth in itemization. Bad pvp = low incentive to find loot. Bland loot = low incentive to find loot. Gold farming = low incentive to find loot. Low social support = less fun while playing. After beating inferno, is there even a point in continuing to play a game that’s no longer fun?
Face it, this game is dying. People are leaving in droves after running through the game and reaching max level. This game is just too dumbed down and too badly designed to have enough replayability to support it for the years to come in the same way D2 did. This isn’t an action “RPG”, this is an action beat-em-up – this is Gauntlet Legends online. And don’t you dare think that any of these issues are because “an ARPG can’t do well in modern times”. It can. And it’s a darn shame that it very well could have, had Blizzard not hired that clown of a director Jay Wilson who ran the series into the ground. I’m done with D3, and my respect for Blizzard has suffered a large blow. Somewhere along the way, Blizzard simply lost respect for their customers, and it’s just not right.
Perfectly summarized. However, I'd like to elaborate a little about the very content of the game, not percentages, game mechanics, systems etc.
Before I start, I have to tell you that I used to be a huge fan of Diablo's franchise. I even decided to write BA thesis about linguistic aspect of angelic and demonic names presented in the series. My conclusion was that Diablo 1, 2 and The Sin War trilogy was highly enriched with symbolism, references to the legacy of literature and religions (i.e. the Bible for instance or Hebrew language, Pagan beliefs and so on).
My feelings about the lore in Diablo 3: Everything is cheesy and as if it was random. No any deeper meaning. The characters don't have any background that would symbolise anything nor had any refrences. Of course, there are characters with such attributes, yet they were previously invented by Blizzard North loremasters or Richard A. Knaak.
I think this was the essence of Blizzard's games beauty. Those games used to be perfectly designed, with this mysterious background to be discovered by players, to learn more about different characters you came across while playing the game.
Unfortunately, there's no such thing in Diablo III.
Personally, I think the lack of dark, gothic atmosphere - graphics is a huge disappointment, but I think everyone has managed to get over with it now... which is sad, because we cannot do anything about this today. It's just too late to change it.
And for God's sake. I loved my character to be silent in Diablo 1 and 2. I really don't understand why does Wizard have to say this "I am unstoppable"ish cheap, egocentric texts over and over again. It's useless and has a huge impact on the game's atmosphere.
Who wouldn't agree? Not to mention really bad voice acting (well, except Leah -Jennifer did a great job and Cain). Blizzard and terrible voice acting? No way... yet it's true! Take a look for example at KOTOR, Mass Effect or even Dead Space has better voice acting! I really regret that there was so much effort put into this and none could have stayed in the team that it sounds wrong and cheap.
I was really surprised when i first walked into Caldeum. Wow, seriously? Why couldn't it be a dusty, covered with sand city instead of some kind of carnival in Rio? It would be as much impressive as it is now (even more?).
Honestly, the only three areas I liked in terms of atmoshpere in Real of Terror, Hell Rifts and Act 1 outside areas at the beginning. Maybe Cathedral.
A lot of skills should be simplified. A lot of visuals shoud have been cut. Imo if Blizzard would do that and played a little with saturation, darken the games textures a little, there might be a good atmoshpere restored.
A lot of NPCs' dialogues should have been cut aswell. I really felt like playing Mario or somtehing when i encountered Auriel after destroying the Oculus in a Hell Rift.
"Well done Nephalem"... She even appeared out of nowhere, like a Paperclip in MS Office Word to give you a tip of the day. There are plenty of such dialogues in Diablo 3.