I miss D3 vanilla too. The interesting thing is nearly all my D3V friends never came back, even after RoS. Makes me wonder how many of them would have still been playing now if D3 wasn't changed so heavily from how it was originally.
D3 vanilla obviously had plenty of issues, but it's not like everything is great with the current variation of D3 either. I could probably list 50+ issues with D3V, but here are some of the main things I miss from D3V:
1) solo being viable.
In D3V I can log in and play when I want. Now I have to log in and find a group to do anything even remotely efficient.
2) gearing choices.
MF vs actual stats was a pretty big choice. There were also more times when taking offense vs defense was actually a choice. Current gear comes with everything, and everyone wants the exact same rolls. Also there were actually choices of what to waer, and yellows could be better than legendaries. Right now sets make most non-sets useless. Every yellow item is bad.
3) skill choices.
Right now the only viable skills are the ones that go with the sets.
This season it took like 10 hours per alt to pick up enough gear to get on the solo leaderboard. Seriously screwed up how fast you get gear right now. If gear drops so fast, the seasons need to be significantly shorter. I'm not going to say the drop rates of D3V were perfect - they're not. However, the current system is just way too short to gear up. The funny thing is the game is hardly even about drops anymore. Like 90% of my gear came from the cube or kadala.
The current version of D3 really feels too much like a game on training wheels. The game is missing choices, everyone is looking for the same items. Everyone runs nearly the same comp for exp and progression. It's really kind of like there's 1 path to follow.
Fully agree with you on Your Points. Vanilla was far from Perfect (RMAH was the biggest error Blizzard made just because they wanted extra income), but good drops felt special, there was actually some gearing options and most of all, more challenge (not just getting newest 6-piece from Kadala in 2 days of gaming). I for one enjoyed the slow progress in inferno towards Diablo and when I finally got there it felt like an achievement. Also liked the fact that you could farm in any level of the game With decent efficiency (despite teh fact that there was "the best zone" with every patch). Now it's just an endless generic pipe called the rift/grift...
Don't get me wrong, the current game is still good and fun to play, but as you say "With training wheels".
Also, don't waste a single crafting material during your lvl up. The only situations where you'd want to do that is if one or more pieces of gear are way lower lvl than what you can craft, and you haven't found usable upgrades in a while. The reason you don't want to waste your materials is because at lvl ~40 you'd want to craft a lvl 60 weapon and reroll one of its secondary stats to reduced lvl requirement.
Can someone confirm that you can craft a lv 60 weapon after reaching level 40 without having any toons already at lv 60?
I tried crafting lv 60 wep in season 2 start when hitting 45 or so, but as far as I remember I couldn't do this because I could not train my blacksmith high enough with the mats I had available at that time.