I'm genuinely surprised to hear anyone defend it. Diablo 2 had a story but it didn't beat you over the head with exposition and forced events. If you wanted to find out more about Marius and the other characters it was all there. You were just a regular guy, not a Hero Saving The World like D3.
I thought the plot was threadbare and vapid which is fine because hey, its a Diablo game. I am there to click things to death and loot shit. But at the same time please don't force the silly events on everyone then. You only lost control of your character at the end of an Act in D2, not every 30 minutes.