I'd be lying if I said that this game didn't suck. Blizzard had twelve years and a nearly unlimited budget to give us a magnificent game, but, alas, that is simply not the case. This is quite an enigma, considering Blizzard already had a proven blueprint with Diablo 2, a game that is still played by thousands of people today. Yes, Diablo 2 had its own share of problems like broken skills, hacks and bots - but the overall design of the game was perfect. All Blizzard had to do was improve the graphics, fix the broken skills, and find ways to make hacking difficult. However, for some reason, Blizzard decided to reinvent the wheel - a wheel that never needed to be reinvented in the first place! There are so many things wrong with this new 'invention' of theirs that it makes the game not worth the time or effort, and I honestly do not know if there is any way to salvage it.
So, what is wrong with Diablo 3? EVERYTHING. Let's begin by doing direct comparisons to Diablo 2 (I know Jay Wilson and the rest of the developers will call this unfair, but Diablo 3 had big shoes to fill, and did not accomplish this; plus, Diablo 2 is a perfect example of what game design should be.)
No Streamlining - Diablo 2 had virtually no coherent story or distractions, which allowed the game to be played seamlessly. In Diablo 3, the story is forced upon the player, virtually eliminating the 'smoothness' that was present in the previous Diablo incarnations. I don't want to have to talk to worthless npcs, and I certainly don't give a damn about the half-assed story of Diablo 3. In Diablo 2, Diablo had only ONE speaking line throughout the entire game; In Diablo 3, the ***** won't shut up, even while you're fighting. This is not only a distraction, but also a hinderance. An example of this is when you get Diablo to two-thirds health, he/she transports you to another dimension to fight shadow diablo. This is not good game design, and Blizzard knows it.
Stupid Followers - Seriously, why are these even in this game, Blizzard? Not only are they also completely worthless in every possible way, but they won't shut the hell up. In Diablo 2, the merc you could purchase was efficient and did not speak - which was perfect. These followers need to go away - or, at the very least, improved so that they mirror the merc in Diablo 2. A permanent mute button without turning the voices off in the settings would also be nice. I'd prefer to just get rid of them and bring in something old and proven.
Worthless, generic loot - Diablo 3 has no good items. No runes, no small charms, no jewels, and no runewords. Are you freaking kidding me? This is the only reason to play a Diablo game and Blizzard denied us that. Hell, they didn't even give us locked chests! This just tells me that the developers are incredibly lazy or they simply don't care about the game - possibly both. In Diablo 2, your items and armor mattered, and most armor complimented many other items and finding these combinations was part of the fun. In Diablo 3, all of the armor and weapons in the game are just as generic as the cookie-cutter characters that wear them. Anyone can implement a Rand() function in regards to programming, but I can't believe that Blizzard lacked the imagination to come up with 'unique' items with static features such as 'cannot be frozen'. Blizzard was banking on the idea of the auction house, but no one is going to want to buy crappy, unimaginative items. I certainly won't.
No + Skills - This is one of the bigger problems with Diablo 3 - there is no way to improve your skills. Yes, there is a way to make your attacks stronger - for instance, if you played a demon hunter, you would need to equip gear that had dexterity. But this is retarded. Let me rephrase that: absolutely ****ing retarded. While the skill tree in Diablo 2 was limited, it more than made up for that limitation with synergies and +skills on the armor, weapons, and items. Yes, there were many players in Diablo 2 who had the same build; for instance, most players who played a sorceress used a lightning/orb build. But not every player had a sorceress that had a level 52 chain lightning. This kind of character building was the heart and soul of Diablo 2 and is completely absent in Diablo 3. Shame on you, Blizzard.
No way to join or create games - Seriously, what was wrong with the Diablo 2 implementation of joining and creating games? In Diablo 2, I could create a trade game on-the-fly and people would come in and trade with me. I could also create a 'help with act 1' game, and people could come in and play with me. In Diablo 3, this does not exist; instead, it has been replaced with a totally ****ty UI, where you have to choose a quest and then join a game and hope and pray you didn't join a game with a crappy player. The fact that only four players can join a game is also a travesty. Totally unacceptable.
Crappy story and cinematics - Diablo 2 had no story - you had to read the manual and the diablo wiki to understand what was left out of the game. Diablo 3 should have been no different, but instead Blizzard decided for it to be more story-oriented. This was a huge mistake because the game cannot be played smoothly because of it. This includes the cinema scenes which play in every act throughout the game - even after you've beaten it. In Diablo 2, the cinemas played only once, and then the game would detect if you've seen it and never play it again. Why this feature was not implemented in Diablo 3, I'll probably never know. It wouldn't be so bad if the cinemas weren't so convoluting. Yes, they are beautiful and well-done, but they do not fit the theme of Diablo. In Diablo 2, the cinemas were dark and foreboding, and were brilliantly narrated by Marius. The acting and direction in Diablo 3, however, is wooden, unimaginative and unnecessary.
Not enough enemies and no farming areas - There are no mobs in Diablo 3, making it extremely difficult to farm for items. This is not good because a player will be walking around the map more than he or she would be fighting. This makes the game very boring. In Diablo 2, the mobs were immense and very scary because when you died, you lost a lot more than gold and durability: you lost valuable experience. There is no sense of urgency in Diablo 3 and probably never will be due to the fact that the enemies are too big and are not small and compact like the enemies in Diablo 2. Overall, this is just really bad game design.
Linear Worldmap - There is nothing 'random' about the worldmap, with the exception of dungeons which are random. All one has to do to get to their destination is move in a straight line up. In Diablo 2 everything was random, including the town exit. If you're going to make a Diablo sequel, Blizzard, do it right. It's the small details that matter.
Unusable Waypoint to other Acts - This is definitely a frustrating design error. In Diablo 2, a player could use the waypoint to access any other waypoint - even ones from other acts. In Diablo 3, that feature has been removed and been replaced with an Act-Only Waypoint System, which, I might add, sucks. This makes the little amount of farming that can be done in the game even more detering.
There are many more things that piss me off about the game, but the ones I listed are definitely the ones I feel betrayed by the most. Twelve years of waiting and this is what we get? Seriously? Perhaps the fluoride in the water has dumbed down enough people so that they no longer possess criticial thinking- and perhaps Blizzard is exploiting that fact, just like every other big business does (e.g. the movie industry). The masses have been artificially dumbed down to the point where they can barely tie their own shoes - this is a fact. With that in mind, why would you create a game for the masses, instead of creating one for the rest of us who still possess reason and our higher functions? This is just an observation, but it seems that ever since Activision merged with Blizzard, and Blizzard North was disbanded, nothing but crap has been produced. World of Warcraft was an abomination, Starcraft 2 was atrocious, and Diablo 3 looks to be following the same pattern. Perhaps I should drink some more fluoridated water - maybe then I will actually like this game.