I still find it funny that the only people with an issue are the ones who have 2,000 hours in the game.
At some point things become stale, it is not the fault of the game, if anything, it is the fault of your addiction.
They cannot give you 100% of everything that is behind the scenes, but if you learn to read the language, they gave a lot of hints. But you have to be able to understand implied theory, start educating yourselves!
I admire your perseverance, always trying to point out the positive aspects. I did that for a looooooong time. I went from super casual (D3V, never really got to MP10 farming status and not even close to paragon 100) to competitive (several high leaderboard spots in the first 3 eras) to semi-casual again (played only one weekend in the past 5 seasons, with the exception of S5 IIRC). I think it's not too much to ask that the game should still be exciting after ~35 hours played, but that was my approximate playtime in 4 of the past 5 seasons.
Also, as someone who reads a lot on the forums and tries to grasp the community's perspective from all sides (not just the top players or the casuals, but sort of both) I can tell you that there are people annoyed/disappointed in every range. I know people who still play 500h+ every season, but that's just a handful. I know people who play only a few hours, not even until Conqueror, and even more people who don't play at all. Their complaints are always very similar: there's nothing to gain but paragon. For a non-hoarder the stash tab is meaningless, and the cosmetic rewards or achievements are just not enough.
Diablo is a loot-based game. Remember the Blizzcon video where past Diablo developers were just providing brief statements or single words about what makes the Diablo universe? Multiple of them shouted "loot". But in Diablo 3 right now, loot is meaningless. It is given to your for free at the start of each season. With Challenge Rifts, you will play with fixed items (not even your loot) and you will not even get loot (besides the reward if you make it into the top of a leaderboard, which is obviously only an option for a very small number of people). I'm a Diablo Fan, but Diablo 3 is moving into a direction which is, in my opinion, betraying its origin. It's not about "me having played thousands of hours". It's simply about the developers making changes that are wrong.
And I can tell you from looking at the statistics of Diablofans views, Reddit views, counters on my Diablo tools like the Journey tracker, and most importantly by just looking at the leaderboards (on some of them you get ranked with a GR40ish) that I'm not the only one. If in a game with 30 million sold copies only a few thousand are still playing at all, I think it's fair and just to discuss how to improve the situation.
Very, very well said Bagstone, thank you.
Maybe the same sentiments coming from someone else besides me will elicit actual discussion, instead of flaming and hatred.
What's to discuss that we have not been discussing for years now about the lame duck item/character/progression landscape? the "flaming" and the "hatred" is absolutely deserved overall. Not sure how to explain this other than to simply state; Reading such a somber post written by such a prominent mod on such a frequented website is....enjoyable.....to me..... to say the very least.....because dissatisfaction is a VERY important step.