i think the death penalty is good in D3. it should cost a lot to repair broken items from death. the normal wear and tear on items should have been reduced a bit more though. the problem is not with paying for dying, i understand and agree with that. the problem i had was a big repair bill when i didnt die
I see that many people miss the D2 feeling of being quite overpowered (for PvE) most of the time. I can only recommend to spend some time in earlier difficulties - compare D2 Hell with D3 Hell and the experience from slaying hordes of monsters will be very similar. But somehow I don't see people doing that - most still play primarily for the loot as far into the game as they can. I guess people miss being able to cruise through PvE while still being able to find end game gear/HRs. I miss that too BTW - 2 crapy Legendaries and 0 Sets after 200+ hours is a big fail for me.
Anyway, nice to know that people don't see the concept as viable.
Without a doubt, you should seriously consider applying for a job at Blizzard with that suggestion.
Because it fits in with their whole stance on antagonizing the player in any way they can, be it through massive repair bills, lousy itemization, broken hitboxes, unavoidable damage, crowd control, revive timer all together are a family, a way to make sure the player is never actually have fun.
Mind you i do understand that your intention with this idea is not to make the game worse, you are looking at it from a positive point of view, but the reality is that the game is already struggling and plays more like a MMO rather than Diablo.
The game punishes players in many ways, even when they dont make a single mistake and day + kill everything. Because then the biggest punishment of all is delivered: The gear you spent hours and hours getting is straight-to-vendor trash.
If Cataclysm taught Blizzard and other MMO developers anything is that, you probably should never listen to your hardcore fanbase, if you do, expect 2 million customers to walk away, never to return again.
If Diablo 3 taught Blizzard and other ARPG developers anything is that, you probably should not design a game around antagonizing the player.
The idea that games should be challenging is great, but only games where you have full and utter control over your character, where hand to eye reflexes are required to survive, think of gaming in its purest form, classic 80s arcades, Donkey Kong, Pacman, Missile Command etc.
Games which are centered around loot or other things which must be collecting (say Pokemon) can never truly be challenging in the most basic way, either they are easy (Diablo 2 for the most part) or frustrating because they are so gear dependent (Diablo 3).
A loot game is played to collect shiny gear and feeling like a badass, not running away from mobs like a headless chicken.
As said, if it costs 20-40k to repair typical inferno gear and it needs 4 deaths for a full repair, it's 5-10k per death, something which needs 2 minutes of playing of a different character. That's almost no penalty at all and I haven't heard any convincing reasons so far why it's too much.
I don't think the heart of the problem is actually the repair costs themselves but once again the "difficulty" of inferno. People die and die and die. Repair costs add insult to the injury. Of course one can say that it's their fault that they are dying and that's entirely true. But it still brings the focus on whether inferno is very well designed or not and is the process of preparing gear for inferno well thought out or not.
Also people got big bills without dying for just regular wear and tear but I suppose that was fixed