Yeah I think this is the heart of the issue here - that people just see the game different, and enjoy different things. Which is obviously difficult for a game designer then. You are perhaps right that the majority of people prefer the old-school ARPG style. But, tbh, I think that genre is in some ways dead, or at least dying. But that just happens. It's very difficult for a game to have longevity if it doesn't incorporate some form of competitiveness (or economy, which D3 apparently won't do, or modding, which D3 also is unlikely to do). I think Blizz recognize this (obviously they understand with their other successful games all of which rely on a competitive scene to keep them alive). This is surely one of the reasons they introduced leaderboards in conjunction with GRifts and seasons.
I would not want to play the type of game you're describing. You mention that, for you, the game doesn't start until after you've found all the gear. Well, for me, that's when the game ends. Once I've gotten a character as near to perfection as RNG will allow, the game quickly grows boring. It's fun to ROFLstomp through monsters for awhile, but God Mode is only fun for so long. Once you've gotten all the rewards there are to have, what's the point of playing anymore?Quote from PrvtPile
All i'm saying is that everyone should have access to all the items within a reasonable amount of playtime to allow people to create and try different builds.
I realize that your views are different and I obviously can't speak for others. However (and I hesitate to say this) I feel that people like me must vastly outnumber people like you. I've no proof for this, but the way Blizzard has designed this game certainly favors us. This is also the case for every other ARPG I've ever played. Which has to be saying something. If there was real demand for an ARPG that had practically no reward system and was driven instead by variety in customization, I think that we'd have seen such a thing by now. But we clearly haven't.
I think, if this is the kind of thing you enjoy, you're in the wrong genre. There are lots and lots of game types out there that will let you fiddle and experiment to your heart's content - this just ain't one of them.
And that's the main reason why I would prefer the alternate system - I think it's better for a competitive scene. But, yeah, as you say, people want different things...