Let me begin with some clarification, Diablo III was a good game (it really was), but all the changes to the game made it feel like less of a RPG, and more like some sort of action game, and that isn't what people want to play a Diablo game for, and thats why I think Borderlands 2 is a better alternative to Diablo III if you're looking for the Diablo experience, and I've got 4 solid reasons for that.
Character customization in Borderlands 2 is head and shoulders better than Diablo(3), because character customization in Diablo 3 is virtually nonexistant. The extent of how different your character is from another, is your loot, somebody with the same class could run the same build as you in seconds due to the neutered skill system, and while the same can be said for the skill trees in Borderlands, you still can't change your skills on the fly like in Diablo. Not to mention that Borderlands loot seperates you from players in the same class as you better than Diablo 3 (arguably) because of the brilliant class mods, which can change the way a class is played along with the skill trees (although the same could be said for Diablo's skill system). Borderlands also has playerskins to compensate for the fact that there isn't armor like in Diablo, and as for allocating your stats, Borderlands 2's new badass token system allows what is essentially a simplified stat allocation process by completing challenges, which is a pretty innovative way to use achievements(although Call of Duty has been doing something like that for awhile now). Now if we were to judge Borderlands customization against past Diablo's, Borderlands would get blown out of the water, but Blizzard decided to nerf one of the most compelling aspects of older Diablo games, and Borderlands 2 ends up winning the character crown.
Now Borderlands and Diablo 3 feature essentially the same idea in their loot system (encouraged Co-Op, tons of different loot possibilities), and they both work pretty effectively, especially in encouraging their respective Co-Op modes, but I've still gotta give this to Borderlands, because of instanced loot. The instanced loot in Diablo 3 means everyone gets their fair share, but it also neuters a bit of the fun of looting, because that jerk wizard can't take your rare drop anymore, and while that might make you happy, non-instanced loot makes the cooperative aspect of playing, all the more important, and it really adds to the feel of Borderlands 2's cooperative play. For instance, I killed Diablo on Nightmare with 4 other random people from battle.net, we never talked and we all got our loot and went our separate ways, and that was it. In Borderlands, I played with 3 other people, all around my level, and we had to communicate (especially about loot) and I would also find myself locked into several duels for that sniper rifle over there, even when they joined my game! It really adds to the feel of the game, and Randy Pitchford even said that "
We played Diablo III and actually thought [Blizzard] seriously damaged the cooperative experience."
Neither one of these two games has a strong story, but the difference maker, is the writing, Borderlands 2 is ridiculously well written, no game has made me laugh as much since Portal 2, except this time the writing is just crude and hilarious, whereas in Portal its subtle and witty. Meanwhile in Diabloland, the writing sounds like just about every other fantasy novel, movie, or game, ever, I mean the names of places, even the monsters sound familiar, and that's not what you want in a big budget "RPG". If you don't understand go youtube Tiny Tina or Handsome Jack, and you'll see what I mean about Borderlands writing (oh also all the easter eggs, minecraft, TMNT, theres even a Top Gun mission!).
Finally the nail in Blizzard's coffin, Co-Op, and there aren't many games with better co-op than Borderlands 2, because it can really be defined as cooperative. From the shared loot, to the way the classes fit together like a puzzle, or even the sheer motivation everyone should have to play co op (better loot!), it ends up just feeling more whole, because the game is best played with others. The character classes really complement each other, for instance, the Siren in this game, can manage enemies by locking them in place, making them fodder for your friends, while also healing you and company, meanwhile the Assasin can stealth around and pick off enemies, or just snipe from a distance, while the Gunzerker distracts enemy fire, it just feels right, not to mention you have to get along to get the loot you want, and the enemies are so tough on 4 player, one class couldn't do it all anyways! Meanwhile on battle.net, you're getting matched up with people who most likely aren't communicating with you, just wanting to speedrun through levels to get to the boss flavored loot cake at the end of the dungeon, this is a bit of an extreme example, but still, there really isn't as much motivation to get along in the game, because most of the classes have a few skills that allow them to do everything, I sure know my monk and demon hunter did.
I guess sorta captures the feel as best as a gif could.
In closing, what do you think readers? Am I just a fanboy gushing over Borderlands? Will Borderlands have the same longevity as Diablo 3? Longer? Do you think I was wrong in some of my points? Drop me a comment below :)
Sorry For the Lack of Diablo Photos, I just couldn't find any that fit, and apparently no Diablo 3 gifs exist or something :'( read