Anyways, I started playing (DM'ing really) and have had a blast playing the game. Yet, something still doesn't sit with me (outside of ritual casting, I am still not a fan of EVERYONE being able to ritual cast, but that's beside the point)
I was reading some of the forums and much of what is complained about over the years of posts is the fact that all powers for all classes tend to have (quoted from a post long ago)
In 4th, you find there are maybe five powers:
1) Deal damage
2) Deal damage + move,
3) Damage + move foe
4) Damage + heal yourself
5) Damage + status effect
now look at 3.5 powers
sv or die
for the most part that's it, seriously look at the spells and abilities.
So, here's the thing, the formatting of the powers makes it easy to discern the mechanics of the action, but it doesn't really tell you what the power does! There is a snippet of flavor text, but outside of that, you basically have a power block that looks bland and lifeless and is the same across all of the classes. So, many people have boiled the powers down to being different names for the same thing across all of the classes.
Here is an example: Confounding Arrows - Ranger Attack 15 - Your targets won't know what hit them.
That's it, sure there is the mechanics below, but that is just like the mechanics of EVERY other power for EVERY other class. There is nothing that makes it FEEL ranger, or gives you a clue as to how you could use it a different way. I think if the powers were fleshed out quite a bit more, especially with a broader overall description of what is actually going on, (coupled with different formatting for each class, or for each power source maybe) I think a power like confounding arrows would have a lot of stuff it could do, and flesh out the description to be used creatively by a player in combat and non-combat situations alike.
Want more? Read the description of the WEB spell from 2e to 3e to 4e, it leaves a lot to be desired in its new iteration IMHO. I like the idea of using powers outside of combat and I like the idea of powers having a lot of class-centric flavor (which you got in a haphazard fashion simply by DESIGN in the older editions)
I think that is the main bone I have to pick with the game, and why I don't get the same feeling when choosing to play a Wizard in this iteration as opposed to a Wizard in a prior edition. Playing the game is still a lot of fun, however (from a DM's perspective)
I also really really really miss the spell "rope trick" and wished 4e had more of those type of utility spells.
What do you think?