I posted this on the Diablo 3 forums as well. Its pretty long but I wanted to share.
I don't visit this forum often but recall numerous times during the Diablo panels that the Blizzard employees read them and take feedback directly from the forums, so I decided to come here and convey my thoughts/suggestions for Diablo 3 and hope some of this finds the way to the developers. I have had the honor of playing the demo version of Diablo 3 at both Blizzcon 2008/2009 and both times I went was purely to play/see Diablo. I have spent countless hours on Diablo 2 and value it as the best game I have ever played. So I will start with a general review and then a few points that I noticed that could be improved. I realize that the game is far from done and there is a lot of work to do, but I hope my suggestions help.
Overall I was satisfied with the overall feel of control over the characters. I played every character 3-4 times over and there was only a few times where it was awkward. The graphics all looked amazing and I really like the way the dungeons/outside area's have a life of their own. The characters are all awesome and I personally enjoy either of the 2 casters over the others.
First the list of things that are awesome:
Checkpoint system - maybe add some sort of path on the minimap on how to get back to where you died.
Random Dungeons in the ground - Maybe throw some down the mines and stuff too (act 2). Although those random pillars in the dungeon which were so huge when you where clicking around would send you across the map were pretty annoying. Maybe just have them be destructible terrain and not targetable. (the unstable ones were good though)
Let me continue with items i saw i thought need improvement:
In 2008, we got to use an inventory where every item took up a slot and there was talk of bags being added as extra storage space. I am so used to the inventory from Diablo 2 that it really felt akward to find items in your bag.
In 2009, we got to try a new "tetris style" inventory where everything was 2x1 or 1x1. This felt a little more natural, however, the entire time I was using this inventory, it felt extremely confusing. The reason for this was that every item bigger than a gem was the same size, and fell in different spots in your inventory depending on the items you picked up. I remember one instance with the wizard where I picked up a staff, and then immediatly after picked up a wand. When I wanted to equip that wand with a orb I had also found I had to go through a lengthy process of finding not only the wand by deciphering the text, but also distinguishing the orb from the rest of the items as well. One of the advantages of Diablo 2's inventory was that each item had it's own size, but the downfall was that some items took a lot of room and where over sized.
The red X's over the items have to go. Talk about blocking an already small image with a huge red X. If you cant use it just shade the background red but dont block the graphic.
My suggestion: for this would be to have fewer slots in the inventory, make the items graphics bigger and not so set back into the background of the slot, keep the "tetris style" over the first style, but keep the items to a limit of 1x1 1x2 or 1x3. Fewer slots in the inventory would make picking up unnecessary items irrelevant without the town portals.
Rare items (gold) dropped WAY too much. I had a complete inventory of rare items in the 15 minutes we were able to play. I understand that, (from one of the panels) you are trying to bridge the gap between rare and unique items by making them in some cases better than/equal to some uniques, but I really dont like that idea. I think unique items should be extremely rare and should be better than the rare items. Especially if the amount of rare items dropped stays the same. I outfitted on of my wizards in a full new set of rare armor/weapons in one of my games. Which means I completely suited up my character with equal level rare items in 15 minutes. I feel that my character shouldn't even have magic items (blue) equipped until later in the game. And definitely not in all rares until the middle/end of nightmare difficulty. Then all uniques until hell difficulty. Again, this is purely based on the amount of drops from the demo and I understand that it might have been toned up a bit. I am hoping and praying that there items as rare/if not more rare than say a Zod rune.
+skill Modifier: I dont remember seeing this on any items and would be really upset if it was taken out. The +skill modifier was the end all best upgrade you could look forward to. Diablo to me is about maxing your characters and not repeatability of content. I recall something about not having to rely on gear to play your character. But why. I understand not having to rely on gear to get through normal difficulty. But you should definitely be reliant on harder difficulty's. (Im tired so this doesn't even stay on topic but is a general gist of so many factors that rely on each other to make Diablo Diablo)
Also, only got to play with the runes a little in the first demo, so that whole paragraph above might be moot.
No mana potions/cooldown on health potions: I have to give this one a BIG thumbs down. If you ever get down to low health and have to kill some monsters for some health globes, but cant because you are out of mana and health potion is on cooldown, you lose time playing your character. Ya having to buy a lot of potions was annoying, but not nearly as annoying as running away knowing there is nothing you could have done about it. This affects the witch doctor and wizard the most since their killing power is reliant on mana. Justifying it with having to spend points in talents is demoralizing and shouldnt be in the game.
"This item is worth 300% more gold to vendors" Please please please please please dont implement this mechanic. If we need 300% more gold from vendors, I'd rather just go pick up another item.
Cooldowns: *sigh* I think if you design skills around cooldowns, they shouldn't be there in the first place. Limits to how many of a spell can be active yes, cooldowns no. Cooldowns are not a fun mechanic. You add a whole new element to Diablo: Time management which is really not a fun one to keep track of all the time. It also adds to you losing control of some of your characters abilities and thus repeating that you don't have complete control over your character at all times since time itself has taken a part of it.
Passive Skills: I really don't like having to invest my points into passive skills. The different skills you invest to should all do something visually, whether it be add another spell. The passive skills should be applied to affective spells like synergies in Diablo 2. All this says to me is that someone doesn't want to think up new skills for all the characters and wants to fill in the blanks with things that people really don't want to have to spend 5 character levels on to max out.
Mirror image: splits you and the mirror image right where the image is cast. This spell would be a lot better if the mirror image was cast and spawned at the point where the mouse is. This gives a lot more control over where the image is, where monsters fire their ranged attacks, and doesn't account for any loss of character control when the split happens.
Explosive Blast? I think it was called, whatever looked like the miniature nuke. Something didn't feel right about this spell, I don't know if it wasn't balanced, or just didn't feel like it was doing anything compared to arcane orb for example. Maybe it was just the graphics against the desert, but as far as light show goes, this spell needs to be upped. It would be really cool if this spell was replaced with a castable ranged fire nova or something of the sort.
Frost Nova Freezing rather than slowing = awesome.
Energy Twister: Again with the lose of control, not of your character but your spell. Not being able to control where the whirlwind's fly is annoying if you just used your entire mana pool to shoot 6 twisters that ALL went around the 5 guys our shooting them at. We already this spell and it called :charged bolt
I don't think we need another.
My Suggestion: Make the whirlwind animation bigger (not much mind you) and have it cast where the mouse it at and not have it move. Have it start with weak damage and gradually get stronger over time that way if you are running away, its pointless to cast it, but if you have a group of enemies and a tank, then it would be great to cast it if the monsters stay put.
Ice Armor: Whats the deal with it wearing off..... timers are really annoying.... my 2 cents.
Disintegrate: Make this fire and light things on fire!!!!!!! Making it bright red and arcane is weird.
Teleport: Just remove this altogether. I understand its for getting out of tough fights, but come on, put something cooler in the last tier and just get rid of this ridiculous spell. We have frost nova and mirror image to get out of tough spots, the last thing in any tier should be a REALLY cool offensive spell.
On another note i'm really interested in seeing how this melee wizard will work since it seems like the only skills for it are in the first couple of tiers and aren't supported by anything later in the tiers. But Im sure that's just a work in progress.
Skull of flame: I don't care what its called, its amazing.
Zombie Dogs: Any way we can have more control over these?
Parasite? - Why are there 2 ways to summon zombie dogs. Seems like a waste of a talent since you can just summon the dog after the creature dies anyways.
Haunt - Loss of control, again. Have him just shoot a spirit out from his body and the spirit dive down the mouth of the monster and possess it or something.
Biggest concerns: No high damage single target attack. The fire bomb is great to lob in for some AOE, but the witch doctor has no single target attack as I recall that isn't from summoned items. He is in definite need of something like: Voodoo needles: The witch doctor throws a barrage of needles into a single target for x+x more damage than the fire bomb. This concern is also that the witch doctor relies too much on micromanagement and not actually playability. Defensive skills in last tier = bad.
I don't remember a lot of the skills from the barb or the names, but I do remember the Rage system. I for one am really not a fan. It felt weird, and when you are sitting there smashing things and buttons, you don't want to be looking at 3 little globes in the bottom right of the screen to make sure you have enough to use your next move. I know the mana is the same way, but mana is a sliding scale, whereas the 3 globes are a visual count. Big difference when it comes to function.
It honestly felt like I was just smashing buttons and if he did the move, then cool, and if not then just keeep smashing until he did. Mana has a limit, you know when you are reaching the end of the limit and you need to refocus your attacks. With the rage system you add micromanagement to attacks and add limits past something you can control = not Diablo-esque
The Knock-back attack: Knocking something back and then knocking it to the floor are 2 completely different things, knocking something back and having to wait for it to get up after spending that rage on it was pretty annoying if you ask me.
Cleave was good.
The Monk was probably one of the best thought out characters. I play casters in most games but enjoyed playing the monk.
Seven sided strike: Loss of character again. Since the monk is holy have him strike and the images of holy just attack while the monk stays where he is. No need to keep taking the characters and making them move. When he charges ahead, have him stop when he hits the first creature and then the seven sided strike go off.
Why doesn't he use the staff if its equipped. Makes no sense, he shouldn't equip staffs if he isn't going to use them and they shouldn't give him extra damage if he isn't using them. I saw some fist weapons in the concept art so I assume it will be changed, but the stat specific staffs should only be there if you plan on making one of his trees a holy caster type.
Better visual for combo points. Actually to tell you the truth, I still don't know how to tell what point of the combo I was in. I didn't even realize that the monk had combos until I heard about it in the developer panel. I played him as soon as I got there and for someone who was just trying to get as much play time in with him as possible, i didnt even really examine the skills much.
The last class: I am not saying I know what it is, but based on my best guess, please dont call it Hunter, Rogue, Assasin, or amazon. Ranger sounds nice ;).
Of course I got some questions after blizzcon that I wasn't able to ask at the panels. I know Blizzard has a habit of being hands off with questions. Im sure some of these were answered and I just missed them, but Ill ask anyway. But figure I'd ask a couple non imposing questions.
What is the main focus of development at this point in time? Content, Characters, Story, Multi-player?
Are +skill items planned? Maybe trying to be avoided? ( I think this was answered somewhere, just cant find it again)
Linkable items? Would love to link an item in Diablo 3 to my friend playing SC2 through battle.net.
Are uniques still purple, and planned to still be purple?
Anything like an armory planned?