Baal is finished....
I loved Diablo II. And I think Lord of Destruction (LoD) is a good expansion.
First off, I love the new Mini-Map option. Blizzard must have take a page out of the Nox playbook, and made a bright mini-map that get tucked in the corner. I found it much easier to navigate with that on the screen.
The graphics got a facelift as well, now displaying in 800x600. But to honest, I didn't see any difference.
The new charms, jewels are runes are a great touch.
Charms sit in your inventory and give you bonus to your stats/resistances/attack rating etc. I like the fact that you have a ton of them and they are cumulative as well. The runes are nice to have as well. Outfitting a helm with a couple of Ort runes will increase your Lightning resistance by 60%, and that comes in handy when your up against the many Lightning enhanced enemies.
And I like the fact the size of the stash has doubled, and the amount of gold you can stash has increased dramatically. I've got a bunch of gems sitting in there waiting to be transmuted in the Horadric Cube. Speaking of the Cube, there are more recipes to be found as well.
It was short. I expected at least 6 hours of gameplay (on normal mode), but I finished it in about 4. The 6 quests you got through are decent, but I was expecting that since this was the 5th act, it would be more difficult than Act 4. I sailed thorugh Act 5, and I though Baal was fairly easy to beat. I had a more difficult time beating Diablo than I had Baal.
The Bottom Line
Asides of the fact that it's short and a bit easy (on Normal difficulty), it's a great expansion. Lots of new stuff to try, lots of bad guys to kill, and some nice gameplay.
Bottom Line: Buy it for the extras not the Fifth Act. You'll have more fun finding out what the Charms and other things do than defeat Baal. :)