First is the loss of customization, and Iíve mentioned before that we donít think it will be an issue, but let me elaborate a bit more. With the current skill system, runes, and item affixes, as well as other unmentionables, thereís not going to be any issue with not having enough customization. If there is, bottom line, weíll add more. Weíre not going to release a game weíre not happy with, and a lack of character customization options would make us unhappy. But, even right now we have a lot more variety and ability to customize a character than Diablo II had. Iím going to come back to some of this later because weíd like your help.
Somewhat similarly is being able to create ďoff-specĒ builds, or characters that arenít just cookie cutter ideals of the class youíre playing. This is important to the game, and we will ensure that it doesn't get "tuned out" of the game. Most importantly though being able to manually spend attributes does not make this a possibility. Which is to say that us automatically assigning attributes does not take away the ability to make these types of characters, at all. Manual attributes were not what made them possible in Diablo II. The ability to make these types of characters relies solely on the complexity and diversity of the the options available to steer your character, and not that they come in the form of a "+" button.
The loss of a feeling of a leveling achievement is actually something we recognize and intend to address.
The nostalgia of simply having points, and spending them on base stats is probably the most difficult. Liking something because itís familiar is difficult to argue with, but itís also probably the easiest to overcome. Since we canít force your memories out of you, we just have to make the best game we can and hope you realize that manual attribute assignment isnít the best, most engaging or entertaining form of character customization possible, and that weíre offering an even deeper and richer game without those buttons. Or youíll just forget you even cared because you're playing Diablo III and it's totally kick ass... one or the other.
On what's finished:
Just to clarify this was an interview with Rob at the announcement of the game at WWI, and just to avoid any conclusions drawn without watching the video here's the quote:
"I think most of the other classes are actually playable back at the home office, but I'm not going to tell you about them today. And most of, kind of the first act, is also pretty playable, but we still have a long ways to go."
So you're quite a bit off from "all classes" and "all of act one" being finished. It's really insubstantial information though, because anyone that understands the Blizzard development process and core values we're all about iterating. It's not done until it's done.
As far as information releases go and current development everyone on the team is working really hard on the game, and it's progressing really well, but we're just kind of in a weird spot as far as new information releases go right now.