Its commendable that Blizzard has such a strong stance on quality - but lets look at the facts. According to wikipedia development on Diablo 3 begun back in 2001 when Blizzard North was still in operation. Over 10 years later and they're still not finished. The posts stating that it should not be compared to DNF - perhaps your right, but keep in mind DNF was in development for 15 years. D3 is quickly closing on that gap. While I expect the quality of D3 to greatly outdo DNF, I think even if DNF was the game we were all hoping it would be it would still carry the stigma of being vaporware.
Lets look at some recent releases - namely Skyrim, since I feel its a good indication of a deep and compelling game. Again referring to Wikipedia - development on Skyrim begun in 2008 after the release of Fallout 3. In under 3 years Bethesda managed to create a game whose scope is more than likely larger than Diablo 3. Its growing increasingly likely that we will see the release of games like Guild wars 2 and Torchlight 2 before Diablo 3's release, and I have no qualms about saying that the quality of those two games will be comparable to the quality of D3. At this rate, I wouldn't be the least surprised if those games overshadowed the relase of D3.
It would be naive to say that fans of Blizzard and the Diablo franchise aren't starting to get irritated, and this white-knighting for Blizzard and their delays is only doing more to hurt the fans then help. Its telling Blizzard that not only is it okay to give the impression that a game is nearing completion only to come back months later and say that numerous game systems were undergoing massive changes, thereby eliminating any estimate of a possible release date. It's telling them its okay to create incentives for their customers to throw money at, either via the Annual Pass, pre-orders, collector editions, etc...and then respond with this waterfall-behavior of game design.
The fact of the matter is the systems that are now being revised should have been changed months ago, either before the beta or shortly after. Changing it this far into the release cycle jeopardizes the game - it discourages the fans and it gives the impression that Blizzard is no longer the competent game designer that we've all grown to love.
At this point - it doesn't even matter to me. I opted for the annual pass - which I do, to some extent, regret doing. Seeing as there's no way for me to backout I have no choice but to wait it out. However, I don't expect that when D3 is released I'll feel the same joy and excitement when D2 came out - or D2:LoD, the feeling of finally being able to see and play SC2. Personally this is the death of the Diablo franchise for me, it'll be another game I install - play for some time, then quietly forget as I move onto better games.
And for me - that is a terribly depressing realization.
Edited by Savages, 19 January 2012 - 06:19 PM.