And by that I mean the first iteration. Since then it's ONLY been cuts, cuts, cuts. Now D3 is in a state where the amount of game mechanics is WAY less than in D2.
Rune drops -> cut
skill trees / talents -> cut
crafting -> not for endgame, thus uninteresting
also, no equivalent to runewords
no equivalent to charms
no equivalent to jewels
no use for white / grey items
How can they make a successor to a >10 year old game with WAY less game mechanics? I played the beta, and it's fun for a couple of hours. But while it only features a small portion of the game, it contains basically ALL elements of gameplay of the final game. I've been looking forward to this game for years, and now that it's getting close to release, blizzard has cut a worrying amount of gameplay. The last weeks led me to seriously question Diablo 3 for the first time.
The problem is not only that Blizzard cut so much stuff, it's also that they cut exactly the things that they themselves appraised as extremely fun game mechanics. Remember how proudly they presented the initial rune system ? Remember how they presented slides about how rare high end runes would be, and how powerful their effects were ? Remember how they presented the most complex talent trees, to show us that they really cared about what we wanted ? Well, now they removed all that and suddenly are convinced that it's better this way.
My question is, how can the devs justify those 180° turns in their mentality ? How can they suddenly promote simplicity and a lack of diversity, when these were exactly the characteristics they promised us a few years ago. I mean blizzard KNOWS that we want to be able to modify our skill set with item drops. Still they removed exactly that shortly before release.
My only guess is, that they had to make the basic game lame, so that they can sell us as many addons as possible. I BET, that 1 or 2 years after release they will tease us with promises of exactly what originally was in the base game, and put it in an addon.