Currently in Japan and trying to play with a really close friend back in the States today, and because of the time difference there is not a lot of time in which we can play together so it was a bummer to find that the servers were down.
I actually like the fact that the direct player choice on stats was excised because it was a pretty bad system. One felt there was a specific way you had to spec to truly get everything and make the hard modes viable. Also from my experience in the Beta I enjoy the rune systems and skill systems a lot more than DII.
I will definitely give the podcast a listen for a few weeks and see what I think of it. After having lived in Japan for a good portion of my life, I very much enjoyed the Japanese Video Game lifestyle, and was a Monster Hunter Fanatic for a good period of time there, so I would love to listen to more of what is happening in Japan.