Thanks for the update! Here are a few of my thoughts:
Love the idea of bringing back the allocation of skill and stat points; didn’t realize how much value this had until I didn’t have it. Further like the idea of some permanence to builds; getting attached to a character and the choices you make for it is an important part of the process, and it needs to be meaningful, whereas in D3 a character is essentially a shell for the items you find.
I am generally liking the item concept, but perhaps there are a few too many items types? I’m sure we’ll have common (white) items, magic, rare, legendary, and Unique…I guess I am concerned at what point in the game is it only about the last two, and how much proliferation there is in gear; D2 has some stuff that was near impossible to find, and that made hunting those items a real important part of your play. D3 went too quickly to everything is a legendary or set item, and they are abundant. I want those finds to be meaningful, and give me a reason to run something; I want to defeat a boss on the chance I’ll find something rare, not more stuff to salvage, because legendaries become ubiquitous.
It is also really important to not level all items with the character level, although this is really a part of the rate at which we acquire better gear; if a legendary item drops and it is tied to your character level, it ceases to promote replayability the way items did in D2; when your level 78 Sorceress finds a few low level uniques, it can spur interest in rolling a different class to use that cool item. If it was tied to the sorc’s level, you have less interest because you can’t use it until you are at that high level as well.
Lastly, and it wasn’t really covered here, I’m curious how difficulty levels will work. In D3, due to the way gear is acquired, power creep was so exponential that it forced multiple increases in difficulty; D3 has some 21 levels of difficulty, and that is just too many. Regardless of the name, I’d like to see a return to a 3-4 tier design, where the challenge and payoff really culminate in that last one. The absolute best part of D2 was taking on Hell difficulty with the stuff you found, smart use of skills and crafting, and beating the game that way. I know for a lot of players on the realms it was more a matter of getting a lot of high end runewords, but single players were not afforded that accessibility (not a criticism, it’s just how the game worked) and thus had to make do, and it made for a very rewarding experience.
Thanks again for the update and looking forward to more news in the future.