Killing new content (not just the same procedurally generated rifts you've been fighting since level 1) and gaining new skills and getting new gear as the game goes on really makes the game feel fresh and challenging. The D3 treadmill where leveling to 70 is an almost irrelevant nuisance, then you get geared in a brief window, and then you spend the rest of the season on the same treadmill, adding a lot of mainstat to your build and replacing existing items with new items that are the same, but have more mainstat and adding augments that have more mainstat is just a recipe for boredom with the game.
Currently D3 has three phases
1) Leveling to 70 (a matter of hours for experienced players)
2) Getting geared up (getting yourself all the items in your template, but not necessarily your final gear) this is hours to days for experienced players)
3) Quest for mainstat (the bulk of the season) - The rest of the season you just add more mainstat from things like Ancients, Augments, and paragons, to the extent mainstat hits diminishing return and you are rolling it off your gear for stats like AD and CDR and the like. The only gear you are interested in is better rolled versions of the gear you are currently wearing. Sadly, as seen by the many people who aren't interested in this quest and bail after a week or so, this quest doesn't resonate with many people.
Nothing, because I sincerely doubt there will be a D4.
I have to agree with you. I mean people blindly speculated that there was going to be D2 HD, D4, or an expansion announcement at Blizzcon. We were all wrong.
The Devs themselves even after 2.5 years of paragon 2.0 said they will not change it. Implementing Primal Ancients is another sign D3 is here to stay. If you want something "better" go to a different ARPG. A different Dev team promised PvP arena. It was Jay Wilson's team. Currently his team is working on WoW and Jay Wilson no longer works at Blizzard.
At this point its more logical to speculate we'll get DX12 support, more class packs. and they'll probably implement china's pay to win formula within the next 5 years.
If you want D4 to happen, Blizzard need to buy out Path of Exile development team and move the current team to other games.
I would be stunned if we don't get D4 eventually. Although eventually may be half a decade or a decade from now. D3 sold over a billion dollars worth of software. When they can't squeeze any more money out of class packs and the like, they will eventually make a sequel.
Personally, I think the future of D3 is just the low effort we've seen in '16 and '17, and whether we ever see any more class packs will depend on how well the Necro pack sells. Personally, I hope its a flop because the sooner they close the chapter on 3, the sooner they can really push development of 4.
While i want trading back there need to be restrictions, such as time limits(30 min to hour) so people dont go out and buy gear. Also need to add more stats. Main stat/vit/CC/CD are boring. Allow for some actual theory crafting.
Make the end-game related to the storyline. Rifts have just always felt out of place for me. I defeated the prime evils and now their minions are stronger than them in these rifts?
Allow the players to choose their gear for each slot. These set items and their accompanying big damage boosting legendaries feel so restrictive. You have to use certain items in order to use certain skills, it's terrible game design.
Allow the player to determine the power of their skills as they level up (like D2 skill tree). The removal of the skill tree has allowed some runed skills in D3 to be the outright best choice. All they had to do to remove the restarting due to skill tree error in D2, is to add a respec option, not remove it completely!
Get a new development team. It is clear the current team doesn't care about the legacy of the Diablo franchise, and just want to implement their own way of things.
atmosphere... fix the frigging atmosphere which d3 ruined in series first.
what do i mean?
-everything explodes and flies away. TOO much epic that it doesnt look even a bit realistic. goatman flying 100 meters and stuff..
-hero destroys everthing with such a big force and impact, that nothing holds a fearful effect on player psychology, not even bosses.
-talking about bosses, they really talk too much and game itself is explaining every single detail which leaves no room for mystery. yeah we want to learn more and more lore, but not like this. it shouldnt be like this.
-no darkness whatsoever. light radius was acctually a brilliant idea, both in mechanical use and atmosphere. i come to realise that now, i wasnt a fan of this back then but more i think over it more i love it. im writing my own imaginary diablo game, and nearly half of my monster ideas are associated with darkness mechanic. it feels holy/unholy, it gives a nice touch to creater, it creates an unknown fear.. the list of reasons goes on... this kind of game needs different levels of dark & light in it. no doubt.
-some armors and weapons looks way over the top. im playing barbarian and i absoloutly dislike the end game item looks. it all looks giant, feels like im in a some kind of anime-game. this is wrong. previous diablo games never did such a thing. epicness is not about how big an item is. half of d3 items look totally out of place.
-for the most part, music is terrible. esspecially in vanilla. who the heck thought ambient sound effects are good for diablo? diablo music is not a background music that fades away, on the contrary it pulls you in with its strong sound. guitars, drums and strong orchestral music which is almost wagnerlike(like in d2 LoD, act 5).
-enviroment looks like a painting, it focuses on being beutiful.. it kinda achieves being beutiful but objects look like plastic and baby proof rounded corners are everywhere lol. no grim sights of realistic torture/corpses and stuff.. enviroment has a wierd fog on them. probably for good causes such as not causing any visual cluster... but it also destroys realism. backgrounds is.. too much background.
-color themes are horrible. i still cant understand why they thought this was a good idea. act 5 is all blue, from leoric to butcher, all the way is colored heavy red. i mean if you are going to use lots of colors in diablo at least do it the right way. color themed enviroments are horrible.
-too much politically correct. no nudity, no dead child or women. reused zombies as corpses. gender equality concerns all round the game.
-d1 & d2 mythos was heavily influenced by christianity, but d3 has like.. none. again, pollitical correctness. they redifined mythos for no real reason and know it doesnt seem sanctuary but looks like a new fantasy setting.
-serious mood ruined by jokes all the time. just why?
-gameplay evolved around being superfast. it shouldnt be like this. we shouldnt be rushing everything, from rifts to killing monsters. this may look like what we want, but its acctually devs mistake. they caused this desire to emerge.
There are people hired for a Diablo project, so something is coming, albeit a long time off.
I expect it to do something substantially different with the series though. We could get an xpack just fine if they really wanted to make more of the same, but slightly better. So its hard to carry forward specific mechanics ideas when even the whole genre of the game can and perhaps should be different.
Some examples of different genres the game could go in:
Third-person mass combo beat-em-up on console, a la dynasty warriors.
First-person Diablorim (unlikely since Blizz loves multiplayer...)
Truer roguelike/roguelite (permadeath, high difficulty, no farming, shorter game)