So i've been hearing about this alot lately, and I just though I should educate Bombers to how this works... unfortunately its not simple, so give this a read. http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/3811455085
People aren't reading so I will pull some passages:
First up, stats
4. Player choice on stats
Now that we’ve explained the differences between the stats in D2 and D3, let’s look at the way in which you increase their values. D2 allocated a player 5 stat points for every level they acquired. Some quests also rewarded stat points. Gems gave stat points as well. Gems were largely useless as a source of stat modification. The max level gem only gave +10 to a particular stat, and only to helms or armor. Runes may fill in the gap but they weren’t really used for that purpose.
D3 takes stat allocation to a whole new level. A lot of players make the argument that they are losing out on the ability to customize their character, let’s take a look at that. What did we lose? If you look at the gem distribution you’ll note that they all add a significant amount to your stats, all the way from 6-58. You’d only need 10 max level gems to have more control over your base stats than a level 99 character in d2. It’s basically Blizzard saying “okay player, instead of spending 5 per level up to 500 points, we’ll give you items which give (instead of 6 levels worth at end-game D2) 20-40 levels worth of stat points as 1 modifier on an item”. There could be an item in Diablo 3 (or multiple items) that give more stat points than the entire level 2-99 bonus (490 points) COMBINED. Now put some gems into it! Now that’s the polar opposite of a “pretty !@#$ty customization system”. The biggest lesson here is that the higher the numbers go (outside of leveling bonuses), the more control a player has over where to spend them.
Beyond that, the choices for using the stat points are now meaningful. You may note that the end of each section says "this stat is now viable for all classes". It isn’t simply “100 str, 75 dex, 400 vitality, 10 energy”. Now you have to choose, do I want to dish out the damage? Would I rather absorb the damage? Can I just avoid the damage? These are a lot more meaningful choices and they still progress along the same line as leveling. You can also a directly quantifiable return from investing these points. It just might take a little longer to get to the same point in D3 as there’s an item find and gold element to the increase now, instead of a level up curve.
Honestly this translates to a time commitment anyway so the only real question becomes this: Does it take the same amount of time to earn enough money to add 540 points (via gems and crafting) to a character as it did to hit level 99? That’s the real customization question. In all honesty 540 is worth less in Diablo III since the values will go MUCH higher than D2. 540 might need to be compared to 1,000 or even 1,500+ to get an accurate side by side. Beyond those facts, will it be more fun to run something other than Baal in that timeframe?
Or this one, on runes,
The largest controversy of the skill system is the removal of skill points. Players felt that points allowed them to inject their own brand of customization into their character. This was direct opposition to Blizzard customization (the designs of the skills themselves) and allowed a player to decide whether to receive some of the following bonuses: more damage, more duration, less cooldown, higher range, more projectiles. Did you really (as people have said) lose these choices?
If we look at D3 we’ll notice that runes have all the same bonuses. Runes actually add even more choice to the mix! Runes alter damage types, change animations, create secondary effects, and much more. If you were looking for incremental damage gains like skill points, this is another area where the rune system shines! As you leveled in D2 you had to choose what abilities became more powerful. In Diablo 3 the answer is that the character itself becomes more powerful. As you acquire better items and improve your primary stat and weapon damage, all of your abilities follow suit. Now I can use frozen orb and hydra, still getting max damage from both. How cool would it be to play a sorceress that mastered firewall, blizzard, chain lightning, enchant, and static field all at the same time? That sounds pretty darned fun!
Or this one on smithing
4. Player customization improvements
Inherently this change (the addition of crafting) adds a very rewarding objective for those who want their character to feel like they customized it. There aren’t many players who will argue that the D2 crafting system was inherently better. Smithing is the obvious area that improved over the previous iterations (runewords and to a much lesser extent orange items). It should be noted for the player who feels like there is less customization that you now have control over what slot will be filled by an item.
A 10 hour D3 session might yield nothing equippable or even sellable. However it still guarantees that you can go to town, take the materials you earned, and roll 6 different rare shields. When could you ever do that in D2? You might go 10 hours without even seeing a rare shield. It’s not like it would have been useful when you did find it either. In D3 the less effective affixes (looking at you damage taken to mana) have been removed or reworked.