I went home for lunch to play and re-rolled my Crusader on Expert. I know I could have just upped the difficulty, but I wanted a "clean" run knowing I started on Expert with no gear.
The game is about 10x more fun now. That is definitely the sweet spot for me in terms of challenge. Really I see no reason for anyone to start on something lower than Expert unless you just like mindlessly mashing buttons. Expert makes potion drops actually mean something. You have to use strategy, pull mobs, etc, vs wading into crowds. Skill selection becomes much more crucial. Gear drops become much more exciting because they actually impact your success. It just improves the game in every conceivable way.
To answer ATB's question, here's my take on it. This is coming from a long time PC gamer who only recently delved back into the console world:
- Interface - I used to get the dreaded "Diablo hand" from clicking the damn mouse so much on the PC. The console version alleviates that. It seems weird, but hitting A feels more visceral than clicking the mouse button. It makes the combat more fun to me. I grew up playing every action RPG that came out on the consoles (Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance, etc.), and this throws me back to those good old days.
- Graphics - I've got a nice 24" monitor in my office, but seeing Diablo 3 blown up on a 50-inch is way better. Sitting my lazy ass on a couch instead of an office chair is also way better.
- Sound - This game sounds REALLY good when piped through a home theater system. I play all my games through my surround sound, but this is the first one that's really made me sit up and take notice, mostly because it can get loud as hell in the rears when you're bashing monsters.
- Polish - Having not played Diablo 3 since they made a lot of the major changes and fixes, it's nice to have what amounts to "the whole package" in one game without worrying about patches, expansions, etc. Here's the game with every improvement, every bit of content, and a couple of little extra features that you don't see on PC as an added bonus.
Now, I am experiencing a tinge of buyer's remorse for spending that $60 on a game I've (mostly) already played before. There are a LOT of really great new games coming out in the next two months I could have spent that money on. But I can tell you that despite having played this before, I'm still itching to get back home and dive back in.