Just to give a little background on myself, I have played Diablo 1, 2, and 3. I think i consistently played Diablo 2 for probably around 7 years before moving onto other games. As most people, I was stoked when I heard Diablo 3 was coming out, but after playing it during the few weeks after release, I was almost immediately bored with it. I essentially quit playing the game and only came back occasionally for a week or two at a time, mainly to test out new content being added to the game via patches. None of it kept my attention. I've had plenty of ideas about how to improve the game and with the RoS release looming in the not to distant future, I figured this would be the perfect time to expound on them a bit more and post these ideas on the forums with the hope that at least some of them may be implemented.
I will start with a feedback section explaining my thoughts on the information that has been released regarding RoS including systems like Paragon 2.0, Loot 2.0, etc. After that, I will add a few "original" ideas to the discussion that I think would make the game seriously more fun, that I haven't seen discussed anywhere.
Feedback on Currently Planned Systems/Game Changes for RoS
#1 --- Paragon 2.0
I like the initial direction that this system is going in general. No cap on paragon levels gives you something to continuously strive for and also an endless route to ever increasing power. I also like that Blizzard is attempting to implement a talent point style system like many of us have been asking for for awhile. It just adds a little more variation to your character and a way to specialize in a particular stat or set of stats and combine this with specific skills/runes to achieve unique builds.
The major problem I have found with this system as of now is that you can only spend points up to a cap in each category aside from “Core Stats.” There are several problems with this iteration of the system. Limiting us to a specific amount of points in a particular category just encourages or worse yet enforces standardized point distribution. Every person will be spending there first “X” number of points filling out all the talents in the capped trees and then dumping the rest of their points into whatever core stat will benefit their class the most. I want to see more variety and openness in the game. So many problems I have had with Diablo 3 stem from this exact approach that has been taken with numerous systems in the current game. Don't give us artificial “choices” that are more like guided button clicks every time we earn a point. Let us do whatever we want with them. If I want to dump 100 points into 1 talent/stat, who cares? That option actually makes everything more enticing to the player as well. When there are multiple awesome options to put your points into, deciding between things and pushing further and further with paragon levels becomes increasingly fun.
#2 --- Loot 2.0
Another system change that I think will be a solid edition to the game. Itemization has been a HUGE problem in Diablo 3 for a long time. Loot 2.0 will be introducing a solid reduction in overall quantity of drops with an increase in quality of the items that do drop. This will allow us to finally build out our characters gear sets by slaying monsters instead of hitting up the AH. Also, we will see a use for traditionally garbage items (white items) which adds a reason to care when something that isn't rare or legendary drops. Lastly, we will see legendary items rolling unique and powerful affixes that are intended to be build altering. Large bonuses or alterations to current skills gained from specific rolls on a legendary will allow for far more fun, unique and powerful builds. There isn't much else to say about loot 2.0. Overall, I think this new loot implementation is a huge positive and a necessary prerequisite to fixing the game, at least from my perspective.
#3 --- Loot Runs
I like the concept of fully randomized dungeon “events” done specifically for high level loot, something along the lines of maps from Path of Exile. However, I think this idea could be taken further. Since these runs would be in a more controlled environment, giving rewards to players (loot/xp/cosmetic) for completing the events in under a certain amount of time or without utilizing a certain mechanic (something along the lines of a hardmode) would be a ton of fun. I like the initial idea, but I would like to see them push this concept further.
#4 --- Darker Overall Theme
This is something that really bothered me since the beginning of Diablo 3. I hate the “silly” feel the game has at many points throughout the campaign. I want the dark, lurking, terrifying theme that was the original Diablo series. The developers stated that this is their intention with RoS and I REALLY hope they push the game heavily in that direction.
The only problem I see with this idea actually isn't really with this idea at all, but with everything else surrounding it in the current game. I would really love to see the darker theme come through in RoS, but I think it would still be overshadowed by the sub par story/art direction that was the original Diablo 3. I would really like to see a redone world, including “old” Diablo 3 content (Act I-IV) in the expansion. It doesn't have to be completely overhauled or remade from scratch, just merely altered. Changing color palettes, adding weather effects, darkening areas, and maybe remaking some monsters could go a long way to bringing the original acts more in line with the dark themes they are shooting for in Act V. This could even be linked with the story line of the expansion as we are dealing with the Angel of Death. I would assume his presence will impact the world significantly and could be used as a means to justify an altered Act 1 – 4. I don't know all the story / lore surrounding the character, but I feel like this concept could be made to fit. Think something along the lines of a Cataclysm remake for World of Warcraft. Deathwing shows up and the world changes forever.
#5 --- Auction House Removal
What is there to say about this other then “Thank God.” The AH destroyed the loot system in more ways than one and you can't solve the itemization problem without addressing the underlying reasons loot is in such a precarious position as of now. I have nothing else to say about the AH. I am glad to see it go.
What I Would Like To See In RoS
#1 --- Additions to the Achievement System
I would like to see more stuff to do in the game aside from just farming optimal areas to gain loot so you can more optimally farm those same areas. I think using something like the achievement system that is already in place to give players unique challenges they can complete with significant rewards would go a long way to adding something else to do in the game then simply farm random elite packs. If the achievement system was expounded on in RoS and awesome rewards were given for completing achievements, we would have a lot more to do. I would love to see a ton of achievements that are skill based, as in killing a boss under a certain amount of time, without getting hit by his fire breath, or without wearing any gear. These are some simple suggestions and could obviously be improved upon, but you get the point. The harder the achievement, the bigger the reward. You could give out paragon points, bonus xp buffs, huge gold perks, guaranteed legendary drops, etc. for completing various achievements. This way you have introduced hundreds of new challenges for players in a way that is not required, for the casual player, but is a ton of fun for the veteran / hardcore / min max player. Also, this system would switch the mentality of players away from farming optimal areas in the game over and over to completing unique objectives that give awesome rewards combined with the incidental farming involved with getting to the areas / bosses that are required for completing said achievement. You now have players doing different parts of various acts attempting to complete these achievements WHILE farming instead of simply farming the Bridge of Korsikk in Act 3 over and over. The other perk to this system is that balance really doesn't matter. You can have achievements that are ridiculously hard or nearly impossible because they don't impede your overall progression in the game. They are highly beneficial to do, but not required to progress your character.
#2 --- Alterations to Loot Tables
Getting people to play various acts and all the content in the game is a huge task that I know the developers have been trying to overcome since release. Having particular bosses / mobs in specific acts have significantly increased drop rates on gear for particular item slots would be a useful mechanic in my opinion. I realize Diablo has always been about the randomness of loot, however having increased chances of specific types of loot from certain monsters would encourage people to farm different areas depending on the gear they are looking for, while not removing the possibility of any piece of gear dropping from any random mob.
#3 --- Open World
This was another big pet peeve of mine. I would really like to see them give us the ability to move between any act at any time without leaving the game, turn off cinematics / dialog, and open up Act V to be a much less linear experience then the original acts. You want your players in game, playing their character as much as possible and having to continuously remake games, read dialogue / watch cut scenes, or follow a simplistic, precisely laid out quest chain just detracts from the fun.
#4 --- Hyper Rare Legendaries
Put simply, I want things to strive for. I want tons of different legendaries ranging from mediocre to completely insane and I want the difficulty of finding said items to reflect their power. I don't want everyone running around with the best sword in the game 1 month after release. These things should be crazy difficult to find. In the current iteration of the game, it is practically impossible to find a piece of loot that worth selling, let alone using. However, the reverse would be a problem as well. We need to know or have heard that there are items of immense power out there, but not be able to get our hands on them easily. This was the funnest part of Diablo 2 to me. The item hunt was always rewarding, but you always ended the day still grasping for an upgrade. Not just an increase in strength or a helm with 0.5% more crit chance, but maybe a pair of gloves with a build changing synergy.
#5 New Gear Tier: Artifacts
I've thought a lot about this and I really think this would be a fun way to engage players in the item game even further. This tier of gear would be an extension of the legendary tier. You would not actually find Artifacts in game. Artifacts would be created out of extremely rare legendaries. As I discussed above, I want legendaries that fall into various categories from mediocre to downright insane, and I want those top tier legendaries (perhaps the top 5%?) to be upgradeable to Artifact status. When you receive one of these, they could have some lore attached to them. Now, they will already be some of the best items in the game, however they will be tarnished, broken, or damage in some way tied into the lore. To reforge them to their original pristine status, you will need huge amounts of gold, gems, crafting materials, rare items off specific bosses, etc. The list could go deeper for sure, but you see the point. This would make already insanely difficult to find legendaries even more epic with a long term goal to “reforge” the item and achieve its “Artifact” status. This gives player more immersion with the lore and story, more long term goals for gear, more reason to do varied content instead of mindlessly farming optimal areas, and more gold and crafting material sinks to keep the economy fresh.
Hopefully enough people out there agree with me and we can get some of this feedback seen by the Diablo dev team. From what I have seen so far, Diablo is headed in the right direction, but I am not sure if it will go far enough. Let's help get it there.