Very interesting thread this, I look forward to reading more ideas :-)
Huh. I thought the story of the expansion was already written (how can it not be?), and we were just having fun writing imaginary plots.
There is no information available yet on the story line of the expansion, but you are quite possibly correct in your assumption about the status of the story. That said, there is no harm in checking out what ideas you guys have and find out about the things you would like to see in the expansion. :-)
2. Open ending for next expansion
I'll assume the obvious things are in (New class or two, new acts, new items and so one)
The one BIG, not obvious things, that I personally feel needs to be done is bring back some tough decision making to the game.
I know, I know, I know.. this argument raged pre launch and it was the developers stance that freedom trumped all, and you know.. I like it to a point.. But I have found myself lately getting verry tired of the skill/rune system in general. If I had to sum it up in a short sentance, I would say "it feels like a layer of customization is missing from the skill system".
By that, I mean picking your 6 skills is great, choosing your rune for that skill is great, but there should be "another" choice related to your primary skill choices - somthing along the lines of "I'm committing this Wizard to be a 'Battle Mage' Wizard" which would result in bonuses to Health and Armor.. that kind of thing. (I know, thats sounds like I'm talking about passives.. and to be honest I'm not sure how to explain this any better).
So to sum it up again, the one thing I want in an expansion is a somewhat major overhaul of the skill / rune system, one that is designed to bring some feeling of "tough choices" back to Diablo (tough doesn't have to be permanent).
Design it in a way that its fun to level up and make choices, its fun to level new characters and make "different" choices.
1) Necromancer with minion blood pool and able to sacrifice between pools.
2) Druid with shape-shifting focus
3) New Artisan that can upgrade/change/randomize affixes.
4) Endless Dungeon with progressively harder mobs. See how far you can go and maybe track progress online. Vendors periodically to clear bags. If you teleport out, you have to start over.
5) A new cohort and the ability to modify/retrain them.
And now for some things I haven't seen requested yet.
1) return of bag-expanding items. Maybe add 3 "slots" to the side of the Backpack UI. In that, you can place your new cache items. The largest cache you can find (act IV inferno) is a Heavenly Cache with 15 extra slots. 3 of those would mean 45 extra bagspace (good for that endless dungeon).
2) The horadric cube. Maybe as part of the plot in the expac. As with Diablo 2, we can use it to combine items for a small upgrade/addition on affixes. A pipe dream here, but it could potentially come with a revenge of the cow king level as he tries to take over whimseyshire.
3) Name Items. "Of Egress" would be great to see on my favorite axe. They would probably bind to character when you do it, but that would be great to show off in your profile.
1. The Golden Bird of Ku Y'leh (now Platinum for some reason yet to be defined) has really been angering Alkor. It talks to him at night and won't let the poor man sleep. Obviously, the old man has finally lost it. Your job, in this post-Diablo world, is to hunt down various herbs in the forest to help Alkor find rest from the voices in his head.
2. Diablo's very feminine left breastplate has, for reasons yet to be defined, not burned to cinders. The prudish keepers of heaven are loathe to deal with this potential bit of scandalous material. It's your job, hero, to establish The High Heavens' first Human Resources department, giving angels "eyes up here" seminars, getting Tyrael to stop giggling whenever he sees the fel artifact, etc.
3. Ormus' sense of self-importance levels the Kurast Docks. There's no mission here, just a giant Ormus head floating near the remains of the port, talking about how awesome he is.
4. All female Demon Hunters can now choose flats instead of heels.
5. The Fowl Lair's chickens are clucking up a storm in Caldeum! You have to negotiate egg prices with various merchants whilst battling the feathery plague.
6. New troll spiders can spell insults with their webbing, adding a level of frustration for even the most disciplined Monk.
7. Travel back to The Harem in Lut Gholein to witness a seemingly endless sea of really, really hot chicks. Literally, they're hot. In fact, they're on fire. Put those ladies out with a new stop, drop, and roll maneuver!
A new class
More room in the party, atleast 5-6 please.
more skill slots would also be nice,
puzzles and labyrinths. Indiana Jones style, i think people like being lost and not having a clue whats around the corner, give people a reason to talk to each other via headset . make each run memorable
The fact that both gear and skills are completely changeable at any point in addition to no visual customization for you character (apart from the gear) makes customization somewhat lame even though mechanics wise the skill and gear systems are phenomenally great.
How can you really feel great about your character when the same class next to you can basically become identical to you if you just hand your gear over and he changes to the exact same skills at the spot?
Also, don't slap the new (permanent) customization thing just to the max level (like WoW seems to mainly do) but make it so that you can start customizing from the beginning (at the latest on nightmare).
Edit. Wish I could change the avatar after posting.
Maybe new skins of high level items
what else for the items ?
For the history of the game i would like to kill some angels turned bad like imperius and kill adria ofc.
The way I see it theres problems with the AH and item system, people who love to farm and want the game to reward playing rather than being able to buy your way into great gear without actually playing much. People who love to make big AH buys and want their items to be more exclusive than the over saturated Leg/Set situation we have now. Also, people from all camps who just want to see some more variation in the gear/builds, every other DH running around in Nat armour and Inna pants with a Manticore etc, everyone looks the same and has the same stats.
So to help them all I suggest 3 new classes of item as follows...
Masterpiece Items: have a new red class of items that are superior to the average leg/set items. These things are incredibly rare, Im thinking about 5000% less likely to drop than a current leg/set piece, but when they do theyre super hot. That helps strengthen the AH for big buyers and brings in variation we all can enjoy, you cant just get a budget full red item setup for 15mil and run around doing a 'lite' version of what the big players are doing. It also provides a large but distant carrot for people who will never have that cash but maybe one day one will drop.
Limited Items: a new purple class of items. These have guaranteed limited quantities per server. Each one has specific bonuses for particular builds/classes/play styles that helps enforce both visual and play style variance in builds, also helps reinforce the AH and people who want to buy something not everyone else has.
For example, have some limited Manticores, a 'Natalyas Manticore' caption 'a customised Sister to the Manticore weapon used by Natalya in the 3rd Demon wars'. Its a guaranteed 2 socket manticore that only rolls in the top 50% of each stat, but has an additional property of counting towards the Natalya set bonus. Change the skin/light effects a bit to match the Natalya armour. In the info it states that it is 1 of 300, that means theres only 300 of them in existence on that server. If one gets vendored/salvaged ingame then Blizzard put one more back into circulation in the drops. They then become like the Legacy items, something that can only be traded for once they have all dropped. Have another Manticore that rolls in the top 50% but also has a 75% chance to causes addition 10k to 20k poison damage over 10 seconds, slow kill that doesnt suit tanks, but lethal for spam n kite play. Immortal King Ceremonial Plate, a limited edition IK chest that rolls top 50% on all stats and has a bonus which helps a certain sort of build like whirlwind or rend, then a different looking one that helps the other.
Have tons of variations to help people gear towards their builds in a more individual fashion and give some steady items to the AH system that will only ever crop up 5 or 6 at a time. Mega rare to drop like the red items, so it provides a play carrot, a force for diversity and a big AH stability/longevity boost. Im sure your artists can knock out 10 new skins in no time.
Follower Special Items: have a class of legendary type items for followers that give buffs to the main character. I know they want to take out magic find because of the gear swap issue etc, what would be cool is to lose it from the players item but have additional magic find/gold find/health globe chance/pickup radius/movement speed/exp bonus type stats that can be found on follower only, account bound items. You cant sell them on the AH, you cant swap them with your friends, the only way to get these items is to have them drop in the game during play. The 2 item classes above provide play carrots, but mainly boost diversity and the AH system, these ones are purely to buff people who want to go out there and find gear themselves. Ok the big AH wallet men want their exclusives that not everyone can find, give it to them, the grinders want some items you cant just buy in the AH, a reason to go and loot for themselves, this lets you give it to them too without it effecting character items or health/damage stats/pvp play.
In general I think we need more sets too, ok so every other Barb and DH is running around in IK/Nat armour, but what gives some individuality is when you can get maybe 2 bits of Blackthorns too to boost health/resist, or innas for the speed. There should be more glove+bracer+shoulder or ring+ring+amulet or sword+shield sets that give bonuses to specific things diff builds use like IAS/CC+CD/AR/LS/LoH etc, so yeah you might have an IK set like a million other people, but you are an attack speed junkie and have those set arms to compliment it where the next guy went for the CC+CD boosting set rings/amulet. Like complimentary sets with smaller but still useful bonuses.
Bascialy Id like them to just expand what they have now, it seems to be working great since the last patch, every thing is sort of coming together, but they need to replace the super rare factor lost by the new drop rates that gives people longer term goals and just expand the variety in whats going on.
Also, with mortals having proven themselves it stands to reason that angels would be more involved in human affairs, more to the extent demons are.
also making Lingering Spirit baseline for haunt and allowing it to stack would go much further for making it useful