The amount of times I've heard that name uttered with pure disgust and hatred throughout the last few years/months/weeks/days is somewhere between thousands and hundreds of thousands, partially from my own mouth.
When the word "release" is uttered in this context, we all shudder and have flashbacks of queue times, lag, wizards and DH being OP, monks and barbs being worthless, Inferno being stupidly difficult. Act 2 alone deserves a special mention, considering the gear curve was nearly vertical, and there was basically no hope to jump from Hell to Inferno, unless GG drops were found.
Not to mention the connection issues, making hardcore a pipe dream, and the Auction House, which nearly instantly had exploits found.
Fast forward to today, after Reaper of Souls and Diablo 3 episode 2: The Fixening have been released.
It's reception has ranged from being hailed as the Lord of Destruction of D3 to being absolute shit derived from RoboHitlers robotically enhanced RoboBowels.
It's all but fixed the gearing issue, it's completely flipped the difficulty system on its head, it's restored some balance. But it's been full of issues as well. Not quite D3 release issues, but still some.
3 word summary: It's pretty meh.
My reasoning is, they finally fixed the gear issue! Now anyone can breeze through the first three difficulties, but the question is who can breeze through Torment 3? The difficulty spike is both great, but bad at the same time. It took me 45 minutes to gear my wizard for torment 1, it took me 5 days for me to gear him for torment 2. And that's nearly continuous play.
(note, this was before the collective wizard community realized that channeled spells were absolutely broken, although this has been fixed in a recent patch.)
Even with being capable of clearing t2, I thought "This is great! I actually have to grind for gear, but I can still be successful!" And then I shit my panties when I read that %ele damage builds were the way to go. Now I can wipe the floor with t2, but t3 quickly became a game of "dodge the ground effect/bullshit hard to see projectile." Even though I could burst down anything in t2 and tank everything on screen, the damage increase of t3 caught me totally unaware. Now I'd have to sacrifice damage for survivability.
Now I can read what's on your mind, "But ninjamoose! Isn't that part of the game?" Yes and no, my friend. Yes, I'm all for a substantial gear wall for torment levels. I'm definitely not for having to stack straight vit/%life because my HP pool won't be chunky enough to take a single hit from a trash minion.
I've got very nearly 300k hp, and tons of resists, why am I getting melted so hard?
- They have made the classes a bit more balanced! Yay! This means I can finally keep up with whirlwind barbs without having to rely on Critical Mass.
- Build variety! Whoo! I can finally get away with not using Critical Mass! I can actually run Arcane Torrent! I can stack fire damage! I can toss giant fucking boulders! The game actually has some class variety now, ranging from boulder toss barbs, to fire Whirlwind barbs, to Call of the Ancients barbs, to Pet Witch Doctors, to 0 DPS monks!
- Utter lack of Critical Mass! They took the most boring Wizard passive out of the game, which makes me a very happy guy.
- Mo'fuckin Frost Orb.
- Fucking finally they fixed the gear holy shit oh god. On release/up to Loot 2.0, the only way to go was mainstat+crit chance+crit damage+attack speed. Really boring, since it pigeonholed drops into all of that bullshit. Now they have buffed all the other cool stuff, like %damage, %elemental damage, blah blah blah all of the above. Not only this, but they also increased the rate at which good drops come, and they introduced a smart drop thing that makes it so RNGsus prefers Dex for Monks, Intelligence for Wizards, and Strength for Barbarians.[/size]
- New class is pretty neat. I like the idea behind the Crusader, he looks good, has a cool voice, lots of cool abilities.
- Lag problems are at an all time low! Now there are very few disconnects, the lag doesn't randomly spike as much, doesn't have periods of near unplayability.
- Barbs are still the most gear reliant class, meaning that they will crush torment 6 the hardest at the end. Leap/Avalanche, anyone? Wizards and Demon Hunters have a very, very hard time doing anything above torment 3 or 4 due to their squishiness, since they don't have the innate damage reduction like the melee classes. Witch doctors are super good as well, although they need very specific legendaries to roll at high torments, which in my eyes is fine.
- Builds at t6 are just as stagnant as builds were at mp10 in vanilla. Every WD you see is a pet witch doctor, every crusader is shotgun, every barb is a jumpalancher.
- Lag problems are still a huge thing, since while disconnects are fewer and far between, they are still there. The random lag, lag spikes, and net jitter being really high is more prevalent than I'd like. It's enough to keep me from playing harcore, even though many still do.
- No real endgame to speak of. Rifts are cool I guess, doing rifts at higher difficulties is OK, but where do you go after you have played your 5732nd rift? I guess there's uber bosses, but they drop little to nothing useful. Hellfire rings are basically worthless in comparison to something like a Unity.
- True class diversity is a little too much of a thing. I hate to draw other games into one about D3, but look at Path of Exile. A Witch can go for a melee build, and still be successful. Try to throw a sword and shield on a Wizard. Try it. I know I have, and it really, *really* blew in comparison to a wizard with a wand/source, even for melee style builds. Let me use a giant katana with my wizard, dammit!
- How the hell is real PVP still not in the game? I mean come on. It was shown in the gameplay previews, it was promised with vanilla, then a later patch, then the expansion, and here we are. I just want real PVP.
- Ladders aren't here yet. This one's a bit nitpicky, not going to lie, since they are on the PTR. But for a game like Diablo 3, whos predecessor had ladders, and said ladders were a big focus point, it's a bit bogus to not have them at vanilla.
'The ugly' section I'm gonna dedicate to what I personally don't like, or like, which the public may not agree with.
- No Auction House. I liked it. There, I said it. I liked the gold AH, not so much the Real Money one. Am I glad it's gone? Yes, yes I am. Now you are rewarded for playing the game. Would I have been upset if they had kept it in? Not at all. If it was still ingame, I could buy respec gear super cheap for t1 without having to grind forever, which as a casual diablo player is way better than spending hours and hours grinding for 3 pieces of a legendary set, which may or may have good rolls as is.
- I miss the old difficulty setting. It wasn't as much arbitrary nonsense, Torment 4 could mean anything. With the Monster Power system, you knew by cranking it up what it would do.
Honestly, I'd say save your money if you aren't really looking for more of the same. While the quality of the base game is better, it's still severely lacking in terms of longevity, multiplayer options, and content in general.
A meh looking car will always be meh looking, no matter how many spoilers and LED's you tack onto it. Unless you lower that shit, then it's rad as hell.