This is an issue that's come up on a bunch of boards but I'm not seeing an active topic for it here right now so I thought I'd ask for some opinions. Are you guys mostly cool with the new simplified items in Diablo 3, or do you think it's a step backwards in the loot department? My friends seem to think I'm a bit nuts for being critical about it, but you tell me.
Diablo 3's items feel like they came out of the day 1 release for Diablo 2, for better or worse. You find a thing, and it either has the two stats you need, or you salvage it. I've been running a wizard and if it doesn't have Int or Vit on it I don't really have any reason to hang onto it. Sockets let you put even more Int or Vit into the things, if you have the gems for it, but since we don't have runes, the stats are all we can settle for. Because of the randomization your armor is just as likely to have +dex on it as +str as +3 yards to gold collection, and for as rare as the rare items are, I've only found something like 6 out of about 25 that were of any use to me at all, and that's not accounting for all the rares I crafted that had the wrong stats on them every time. Uniques (Legendaries) are uncommon enough that people have played up to 60 without running into one, and their stats are just as randomized as the rares, often with lower levels than the rest of your gear at the time you discover them.
The up-side of this system is that it allows for players to grind out better gear without having to jump through hoops trading with friends to find the resistances and skill bonuses they need to compete in higher difficulties. The down-side of this system is that the loot is totally uninteresting and I have no desire to farm for, auction off, or purchase any of it. Half of the fun of the loot system in Diablo 2 was just how ridiculously random it was. You had modifiers that gave you %chance to stun on hit, bonus damage to undead, bonus damage to demons, knockback, mana steal, life leach (which is sort of in the game), element absorb, skill bonuses (which I personally enjoyed immensely), chance of nova on hit, chance of charged bolts on hit, and chance to open wounds. You had crazy pieces of unique loot and set items that set you up to be immune to fire, learn skills from other classes, or even transform you into a vampire. You had gems, jewels, runes, and charms you could grind for, and crazy recipes with the horadric cube that allowed you to spend gems to socket items that didn't have sockets in them or turn regular items into magical ones with specific properties. In Diablo 2 even the non-magical items served a purpose, whereas in Diablo 3 you can sell them for something like 8 gold a pop? And that's all you can do with them?
Am I out of my mind? I've got friends sitting at 60 farming loot right now, and I can't possibly imagine what's even remotely exciting about that. You *really* want 10 more strength on an amulet? I mean, is that really what it boils down to? There are no interesting or unique properties, no final-fantasy level crazy game-altering late game items to dig up. You're choosing between some amulet with +90 int +112 vit and something with +125 int +70 vit while desperately grinding to find something with +120ish +120ish so that you can get through inferno... so you can farm inferno? The end game of Diablo has always been the gear grind, and I'm not seeing any allure to it now. Did I miss an announcement somewhere where Blizzard said they were going to flood the auction house with better items or something? Or release some patch with new content? I'm not exactly looking to buy an expansion to get access to items Diablo 2 has had for 7-8 years, I just want this loot mechanic to feel less like a total chore and more like a treasure hunt.