I remember back in the day before online gaming existed I played a game because it was fun. Paying attention to things such as immersion, art style, UI, music, storyline etc etc. I never once lived for the thrill of stroking my ego to the point where I needed to be fighting someone online to enjoy it.
There is a clear cut difference between my generation and that which currently plagues a majority of the Diablo 3 official forums and NOW it seems the diablofans forums. Kind of sad.
Back in Diablo 2, there was never a "gear ranking" system it was simply who ever had the rarest item on there character "won"
The hostile system back in Diablo 2 was hardly EVER used the only time I'd see it was in the middle of a cowrun a guy would come on overly geared to the hills lvl 95+ and grief us all for no reason then leave.
Everyone is expecting D3 to have every single feature in the world on release and yes they could easily have put them in, but where does that leave them in terms of patches and expansions? They've got to keep some things on the back burner for when the game gets stale.
How will I enjoy the game if there is no way to compare myself against others ?
- no hostility
- no duels
- no gear rating
- no ladder
- no arena public rating
in WoW, there is countless ways to compare yourself, you can :
- world pvp
- inspect (gearscore, arena rating, ...)
I mean, everyone playing in a sandbox, is that how multiplayers games are these days ?
You can inspect eachother. Also the banner system allows you to show off your achievements. More importantly, if you play good and have the skill and survive the last parts of inferno, that will mean way more to your fellow players than any gear rating.
WoW didn't have some of the stuff you mention at launch. Blizzard has announced there will be PvP and there will be a online profileviewer, much like the WoW armory. Once that is up, you can be sure other sites will take that data and create all kinds of ladders.
Finally, you might find that working together with team members can be satisfying as well. You don't really need gear rating, it's about them skillz.