The story is enough incentive to play the campaign.
The story in Diablo 3 is more of a series of consecutive facepalms and wtf moments. I really hope that the story of Act 5 will be better.
Haha, I'm certainly not saying it's a good story by any stretch, but even if they had Adventure Mode in from the beginning, I still would have started in the Campaign and played it through a few times before switching to Adventure Mode.
Not everyone pours 200+ hours into video games (in general, let alone into a single video game). I have plenty of friends who only played through Normal, or only played one character up to 60, etc. As a justification for Campaign mode, the story is plenty. I mean, take yourself for example - you certainly sound like you're going to play the Campaign for Act V at least once before you switch over to Adventure Mode.
I haven't played the RoS beta yet, but my impressions from a few bounty/rift runs at Blizzcon were that they were a lot of fun and were pretty varied, but sometimes could be "streaky". By streaky I mean all of your bounties would be exactly the same (go here, kill a guy).
Maybe there could be a guaranteed minimum number of each and then a pool of random ones. My strongest feedback: there should be more 'Den of Evil' type bounties (find dungeon, kill every monster) than 'Kill this guy' bounties.
Balancing rifts rewards/frequency is one of their top priorities if blue posts are any indication.
Basically: Randomized objective-based exploration. Decent variety of bosses and midbosses, spread out over the map to give you reason to visit other spots. You can still farm specific spots over and over if you want (Vault of the Assassin, Festering Woods, Keep Depths, etc.), but if you don't feel like going to those places, you can still reap some rewards going elsewhere.
But at least with the variety, whatever exists now as a viable farming spot isn't taken away, it's just added to. One thing I thought of, while seeing all the Bounty and Rift coverage? "Man, I haven't done an Uber Run in forever, I really should do a couple...I have, like, 20+ machines saved up."
Also, without Nephalem Valor, you don't have to feel FORCED to do a warm up run before your actual run, you can just jump right in. And your average run can basically be decided at the whim of where your bounties lie. Like in bigger areas, you can use the opportunity to explore, dive into some side dungeons, then Waypoint to the next Bounty whenever you're ready. "Well, I had to come to the Sirocco Caverns in Act 2 for this Bounty...why not get the Resplendent Chest while I'm here?" Or "Had to scour the Fields of Slaughter for that midboss...oh look! Caverns of Frost, let's take a peek in there."
It's just meant to give you a series of randomized objectives so that you don't feel as if your "efficiency" is tied JUST to how many legendaries you get, or JUST how much XP you get, or JUST how many elites you meet, etc. One run can be profitable and net you a bunch of legendaries, another time it'll be worth a lot of gold, the next time it'll mainly be for the XP.
It's supposed to offer variety and give runs a purpose, as opposed to "okay, guys...let's calculate where the most elite mobs are, and farm that place over and over." Or, in the past, "Ya know that X boss? He has stupidly awesome drop rates...so here's what we'll do...we'll get totally OP gear and kill him over and over! That way, he'll constantly give us the best items!" Two ridiculously ancient ways of playing the game.
You can say "Bounties are repetitive," but that seems to come from a "farming is repetitive/I seek only efficiency" mindset. It's really overthought, and part of this is to reduce the overthinking about where to farm, and get people into exploring wherever Bounties bring them.
These are different. Basically, they're there for the challenge. Bounties are randomized to an extent...you still go to places you've been, and fight indigenous monsters. In a Rift, it's entirely randomized, 100% from top to bottom. Elites, as far as I've seen, are pretty prevalent there, some of them even drop Horadric Caches.
Rifts are basically supposed to be Anti-Bounties. Bounties are randomized to an extent and provide unpredictable objectives, while Rifts aren't meant to have an objective but are uber randomized.
I mean, Blizzard said the average Rift should take 10-15 minutes...please...I go into a Rift, I'll be spending as much time as I can there. I may not go all the time, in fact, I think they should either make the Rift Keys be harder to get or have some other purpose besides just opening Rift Portals...but they seem like great fun, and extremely unpredictable ways to test oneself.
Just when you think you have your build all set and it can handle everything, you head into a Rift and meet some insanely bad combination of monsters that obliterates you. That's pretty awesome, :-D
Keep in mind, too, Bounties also net us Blood Shards to use for gambling purposes. I think the shards might drop or be obtained elsewhere as well, but it does something that Rifts and Bounties both are also meant to do...provide players with additional ways to get high end gear.
Right now, the best way is to kill lots of elites. Which is okay, but THAT'S what gets kinda boring. If the simple act of killing elites isn't netting legendaries and high end gear, it's seen as a failure. At least with Bounties and Rifts, there's more reward to be obtained in different ways. If killing elites isn't netting you legendaries, a (Greater) Horadric Cache might. If a Horadric Cache doesn't, using some Blood Shards might.
One thing I'm looking forward to...if I have all but one piece of a set, I'll save up my Blood Shards and use a ton with the Gambling NPC on just ONE gear slot/type. If Blizzard is smart, they'll allow legendaries and sets to appear there. Luckily, I think some folks have reported them appearing through gambling.
But I really think Bounties and Rifts serve their purposes. Players could use more alternative avenues to get gear, crafting materials, gold, XP, etc., than JUST farming random locations repeatedly. Events are great in Campaign Mode, but they often aren't worth doing, due to 1) the lack of quality item rewards, and 2) how they cut into "XP efficiency."
Bounties and Rifts seem to attack both of those. As far as the density goes...it's BETA, I'm sure they'll tune it before release.