David Brevik was one of, if not the, most important developers behind the first two Diablo games, so when he talks about Diablo III, it's worth listening. Many people love it, others are a little disappointed, but in this interview with IncGamers, Brevik goes into a fair amount of detail regarding his own opinions, and what he might have done differently.
"Honestly, I think that they did a lot of the things the best they could," said Brevik, "it was a very different game than I would have created, the team and personalities, the people, the talent and all the design philosophies of the people that worked on it in Irvine, we called them Blizzard South, those people have their own style and the their own way they like to design. It was very, very different from the Blizzard North.
"So I think that when Blizzard South took over the development of Diablo 3 it was inevitable that they were going to create an experience that was in the Diablo theme but concentrated more towards the things that they liked to experience. Including more story and things like that."
Brevik was very tactful, but believes Blizzard may have made a few mistakes, especially with regard to loot drops.
"They made some decisions with the loot system that were very different than the way that we did it in Diablo 2 and I think that obviously the community has been upset with some of the decisions they made," he said. "Having all of your powers work off your main weapon and things like that, to having blues that are more powerful than yellows. Eventually the auction house and how that worked, even something as simple as when you equip an item and it’s bound to your character permanently would have totally changed the dynamic of the game.
"It seems odd that they have not really responded in a quick fashion to some of these things. I think they are very well aware of the problems at this point and are trying to fix some of this stuff. It’s a shame that they had to learn some of these painful lessons."
It's well worth taking a read at the whole interview -- very interesting to hear from someone who was so heavily involved in the first two games.