I have to say, after years of anticipation, I expected a lot more out of Starcraft 2. While it will undoubtedly be a good time and will make Blizz truck loads of cash, I don't see it as being worth the wait. I mean what do we get? Better graphics, different units/abilities, a continued story line and slightly altered gameplay. Sounds like a big patch to me, hardly worth 10 years waiting and $60. But what does this have to do with Diablo 3?
Blizzard needs to step it up, big time, for Diablo 3. When I mean step it up, I mean completely wow us, change how video games are played like they were when Diablo and Starcraft first appeared.
D3 needs completely interactive environments. Barbarians uprooting trees and hefting boulders to chuck at opponents, Sorceresses opening the sky up with lightning, Necromancers animating half a mountain side for a golem, Druids summoning an entire forest of Ent like warriors. Depleting minerals and forests isn't enough anymore. These characters need to have the raw power to change the face of their world.
Every battle should be epic, skills should be non-spammable, awe-inspiring feats. Druids should summon massive molten fists of lava from the ground, which explode when a Sorceress blasts them with frozen bolts from the end of her staff, responding by raining razor sharp shards of ice from the heavens which are stopped only by a raging twister emanating from the Druid.
WoW will be a very good template for D3, but childs play compared to the final product. A large MMO world, vast lands with many quests and levels of play, professions, guilds, factions and massive cities that rival the size of real world cities. There should exist players so powerful they are able to lead assaults on these cities and topple them- literally wiping the city off the map, forging game history themselves.
But Jaquiezz, doesn't this cause the game to be unbalanced? Well, of course not. New players will certainly have fun growing up their characters and learning new skills that can't be had any where else. Experienced players will battle each other for God-like status or spend hours battling Gods themselves.
Every player should have the chance to become a hero themselves- doing hundreds of Baal runs doesn't make me feel very epic, but battling for the actual fate of my race and every character on that realm certainly has a sense of importance in it.
The AI should be a force of its own. Not just random rabid bunnies running around unchecked, but armies of demons 50 abreast and 100 deep utilizing spells, archery and artillery to overtake cities. The AI should have strongholds themselves, which when attacked by small groups is not effected, but when hundreds or thousands of players attack at once, they are overwhelmed and crushed, bringing about an era of peace (say a week or so), until the enemy forces resurface. The more experienced players might cut a path to the enemy leadership and artillery, while players who have not yet mastered their skills engage the cavalry and infantry of the opposing army. The AI should be backed by actual programmers capable of making intelligent decisions, hitting weak points and employing advanced tactics.
I believe this is all within the reaches of current technology, and would certainly transform video games forever. If you don't dream it, you can't do it.