I've been playing a lot of Path of Exile, which always makes me think about why Diablo III let me down. Diablo II: Lord of Destruction is easily up there in my most hours logged into a game category, and I wouldn't be surprised if somebody told me it was the game I spent the most time on.
Diablo III was fun, but oversimplified things. I feel like when they went to design it they said, "Look, maybe only 10% of the players ever crafted a rune word and nobody likes re-rolling their character to respec." While both of those statements are true, they also were the main things that kept me playing the game for something like 6 years after it was released. After I binged on Diablo III and Reaper of Souls, I kind of just fell off.
Path of Exile leaned into all that complexity in a way which is hard to penetrate for new players, but has me absolutely hooked on the end game.
This seems to be the case with games I like which get the "AAA treatment." For instance, I like the new Fallout games, but they also kind of bum me out because they're nothing like the originals. I'm able to let that one go, though, because the new games are good in their own way, and Brian Fargo is back at it with the Wasteland series.
Does anybody else have a sequel that make them feel this way?