If they construct a pinata, anyone can beat on it a bit and out will pop all kinds of goodies. I won't pay per month for the mindless clickfest, as you described it.
It will be all about the Gap. If they make the Gap wide, where the best options are more than double the effectiveness of the worst options, you could not PAY ME to play it. A 5% increase in effectiveness should be something to celebrate. In D2, not even a 500% increase moves the average player. The game got inflated to a point of worthlessness.
Runewords sounded nice, for example... but they have added nothing. How many characters are running around now with a Stealth armor? Lots. How many are using the Nadir helm? Almost none. Stealth is the ONLY choice. At least before, you had to gamble to get an armor, and there were MANY choices: Grey, Twitch, Iceblink, and plenty of viable rares. Now? Heh. There is only Stealth. There COULD BE lots and lots more, but Blizz is doling out the runewords like precious stones, and the options suck. They've nerfed the crafted items into senselessness. They are just fumbling around at this point, reacting to a cacophony of player complaints and balance problems without a sense of real vision any more. Feature Creep has eaten D2X.
The problem with crafteds wasn't the Safety Crafts, so much as the -20 dmg affixes that could go with them. Get an amulet with -30 damage and a circlet, then another 40 or so from other safety items, and it was too much. Any single Safety Item was NICE. You could plug a hole in your gear with a useful item. Now... why bother? They have nothing left to speak for them. Might as well have removed them entirely. The Gap is rising up to bite Blizz North in the ass, and hard. No matter WHAT they do now, it won't matter. The entire system is broken.
They can't balance this many goodies. In a morpeg, they would have to include a lot FEWER options, and specifically try their very best not to create ANY uber options, in order to balance them well enough to come out with a playable product.
Or... they can make another pinata, and appeal to the lowest common denominator. That will work... for a while. Just that the ten and thirteen year olds they are appealing to with that sort of gameplay are NOT the kind of paying customers who value what they are getting. They are the kind of people who buy a CD and burn ten copies for their friends, download the latest hacks, and don't have money to spend anyway (unless they can get it from mom and dad -- but then, with Ebay sales what they are, maybe that's good enough).
I don't have faith. I don't have much hope, either. The only kind of "hard" they have a handle on, is the kind that gives us the Curve, Hephasto, MSLEBs, Nihlathak and the Orange Twistee, along with the kind of "hard" that equates to making the gameflow as a whole play EASIER when soloing in "large" games than single player, when you examine risks vs rewards, and compare whole chars instead of individual fights.
They have a long LONG way to go, and I'm now wise to their hype and loose promises and "screenshot of the week" merchandising. In the end, they will either deliver an adult game or a child's birthday party, and the product will ultimately have to speak for itself.