The things in 4th Edition that, were they in 5th Edition, would cause you to buy 5th Edition

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In light of the Legends and Lore article and the subsequent thread, I'm just going to make this super duper simple and easy. Hypthetically, you, as a consumer, win a magic lottery ticket from a genie (or...whatever), and you get to save one or two features of 4th Edition that will be preserved (or at least ported) to 5th Edition. Everything you don't choose could potentially be on the chopping block. What do you pick?

The first thing I would preserve is racial powers. 4e is the first edition of D&D that I've played where an Elf Fighter and a Dwarf Fighter with identical feats (or proficiencies or powers or whathaveyou) actually play differently at the table beyond level 4 or so. The Elf Fighter, just by being an Elf, can do things the Dwarf Fighter can't, and vise versa.

The other big one is Themes. Adding in a subclass at level 1 from a list of concepts that are either too narrow or too broad to be classes in their own right adds a great deal of mechanical depth to characters, as well as the opportunity for wonderful roleplaying opportunities. What would a Scholar Fighter act like? An Ordained Priest Psion? A Devil's Pawn Paladin? A Gladiator Bladesinger? Beyond giving players extra mechanical options, it opens up the door for all sorts of interesting backstories and character hooks.
On the DM side of the house, I would keep the monster and encounter design paradigm.  Simple monster statblocks, relativity of monster power vs player level, minion/normal/elite/solo, adding up encounter xp total vs party level to determine difficulty, etc.  I have DM'ed a ton, and the whole thing just really works and was a huge improvement over what came before.

For the players, I would keep Roles as a general guide to class design.  Dividing up the labor in an obvious way gives everyone a job to focus on.  It prevents one player from hogging the spotlight as their character outpaces others or duplicates their entire role, something that was all too common in previous editions.


A lot of the crunch I am indifferent to.  4e has gathered a lot of bloat in a short time.  Feats, AEDU, hybrids, multiclassing, paragon/epic paths, skill challenges, themes, backgrounds, ability scores, four defenses, racial ability bonuses, the magic item treadmill.  There is a lot that can be discarded or improved upon. 
1. The Powers System.  Or at least something close to it; I'd rather they went to an encounter-based system and removed Daily powers and effects entirely.

2. The encounter design system, with simpler monsters and such.  It makes the system a breeze to prep for.
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1. Encounter design: 4E made the design of encounters very simple and fun. We don't have to look up obtuse challenge ratings and rely on "eye balling it" like we had to in 3.x. I can look at my XP Budget and slap together a balanced, enjoyable encounter on the fly.


2. Monster Stat Blocks: 4E is the only edition of the game where I can whip a dragon out and run him straight from the Monster Manual. Not only is this key to lessening the burden of DMing but it also allows a DM to throw more of those cool, iconic monsters out, especially on the fly. Additionally, the stat block system truly makes each monster unique and therefore, more engaging to battle on the player's side. This should be kept at all costs.


3. The end of the 10 minute work day: A focus on At-Will, Encounter and Daily powers eliminated one of the biggest problems plaguing older editions - the 10 minute work day - i.e. The PC's wake up, PCs fight a hard encounter, Spellcasters are drained of spells, party goes to bed.
Themes, Themes, and Themes.  Here's why:

Themes are a great way to differentiate between campaign settings, as exemplified by the Dark Sun and Neverwinter settings.

Themes are the perfect venue for DMs to put their personal stamp on their own game worlds.

Themes are cool.

In a future edition, I would love to see a Dungeon Master's Guide released initially, which partly concentrates on "world-building"  including using Themes to define the setting.  And the Dungeons & Dragons Insider subscription would give the subscriber access to resources such as Themes from the various campaign settings, as examples, or to use in an actual Eberron, Dark Sun, or Neverwinter (etcetera) campaign.

-DS
"One or two things" wouldn't be sufficient for me to buy a 5th edition - but I can list a few things that are necessary for me to consider buying a 5th edition.


1. Encounter Design
Honestly, I include monsters in this - stats, design, format - all of it.  This was one of the biggest things that got me back to D&D, and one of my most significant complaints about other d20 games.  Without this - or something very, very similar - I'm probably not going to bother.

2. Equal-Opportunity Race/Class Design
The other thing that got me back in was the parallel design for races and classes - particularly classes.  I'm not just talking about the balance aspect (though that's a spectacular goal as well - even if it's never perfect), but about having all of the classes on the same system.  I'll even stretch that to include the Essentials stuff.  This is what caught my eye - and my imagination - with 4e (StarWars:Saga Edition for the most part, as well), and I'd hate to see it go.  Only having to learn one system - and then the slight variations on that system based on your particular choices - is one of the primary draws for me.  It all helps with the "balance" thing too (makes it easier).

Seems good enough to leave it like that, even if I could add a few more.
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you get to save one or two features of 4th Edition that will be preserved (or at least ported) to 5th Edition. Everything you don't choose could potentially be on the chopping block. What do you pick?

The AEDU class structure & level progression, including classes having one Source and one consistent primary role.   Monster types and levels, especially, monsters being 'built' entirely differently from PCs.

If you meant more specific bits:  ...hmm...  The Warlord.  Healing Surges.



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1. The Powers System.  Or at least something close to it; I'd rather they went to an encounter-based system and removed Daily powers and effects entirely.

2. The encounter design system, with simpler monsters and such.  It makes the system a breeze to prep for.


I was going to make my own post, but then I saw this, so I don't have to.
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A focus on the cinematic rather then the simulationist and a focus on being the hero and his story instead of the long list of guys who for some strange reason keep doing each other's quests even though they never live long enough to get to know each other.

Everything else can go as far as I'm concerned, assuming they can come up with something equally good or better.
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nothing would make me buy 5th edition
I have no plans to purchase 5th edition unless it is more or less easily compatible with one of the previous editions (Preferably 4e). 

It would basically have to be 4e with the math fixes put into place, maybe a bit more fluff in powers so they are more forward in their application outside of combat for those players who need it (to make my life as a DM a little easier). 
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I'd partially agree with frostof, nothing will make me buy 5e.

Why would I bother with 5e? What is 5e offering me?

There's nothing I'd want to keep, let 5e be what it wants to be. If it's better I'll go for it, if it isn't why would I ever bother?
If you use the DDI tools you'll be forced to move to 5th since the 4th edition tools will cease to be supported.


If you use the DDI tools you'll be forced to move to 5th since the 4th edition tools will cease to be supported.





i dont know if that will happen. just stop updating them and keep them in a subscription. cant cost them much
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I want the multi and hybrid class rules more intergrated and fixed, but mostly remian. (I would say remove current power swap feats, and make 1 feat that at level 6 lets you swap 1 of each type)


I want to see themes, but more intergrated at the heroic levels.


I want to keep Paragon paths and Epic Destnies but with EDs being slightly redesigned


I want to see PHB3and Essentials stlye where things are seprate but similar. I have no probelm with psionics having alot of at wills and power points, and slayers have no dailys and stances. But from the begining so that every power source plays a little diffrent, and each class in the source very slightly diffrent within the source.


I want to see sup implments intergrated in with sup weapons from the begining


I want to see races grow...maybe take 1 utilite in the heroic tier (maybe 6th) and make it a race power. then at levels 2 and 10 you have theme or class...               

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I think we really need to keep the basic rules for character and npc construction. Not in every detail, but roughly it needs to give the results that 4e does now.

Good combat rules that work tactically. Again, not the same exact ones, but they need to work and not be either 'just wing it' nor stand there swinging while the wizard blows everything up.
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I like the race, paragon path, epic destiny, and theme system.  I view them as all part of a single system.  All of these things can add new powers and features onto your character.  It helps customization, it's very very fluffy, and it doesn't have nearly as many problems as multi-classing did.

I don't know what I'd pick for a number two.  Anything that helps build encounters better. 
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I'd rather they went to an encounter-based system and removed Daily powers and effects entirely.




Total, scrap that last Vancian vestige (and can cause meta-gaming).

And while I initially liked the AEDU paradigm, I became a bit disillusioned with it (the homogenisation, all classes feeling a bit like a caster etc). 

I can see why they ditched it; new class, first level features, 100+ powers, rinse, repeat.

The things it must have from 4e are huge... ie the principle design goals of 4th edtion - I mean they can adjust there approach to accomplishing them for a 5e and they can expand on the goals perhaps to include more balance in "out of combat" mechanics for example.

And it will need to be maybe 4 years in the future for me to spend on it.
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1. The Powers System.  Or at least something close to it; I'd rather they went to an encounter-based system and removed Daily powers and effects entirely.

2. The encounter design system, with simpler monsters and such.  It makes the system a breeze to prep for.


Pretty much agree with this in general.
I disagree on the dropping of daily powers/effects. I'm not sure I'd be willing to play a game like that in long run. Gamma world was fun for a session, but having the same resources available every encounter of every session of every game until you add a bit more when you level would get boringly repetitive for me. Having resources that you have to martial on a larger scale than the encounter is something I consider key.

I would be okay with the particular AEDU structure being more generalized, though I would want them to bring back the modularity that essentials cast aside (making multiclassing initially impossible and later very hacky).
For example, maybe every class gets a power or feature every level from 2 to 30 (or whatever the top level ends up as) except levels where you instead get them from other things (PP/ED or their equivalents). If you multiclass, you can trade a level 3 power or feature from base for equivalent or lower from second class. Maybe a wizard gets another daily at level 3 because they have daily powers available at every odd level, a fighter gets another use of Power Strike, and cleric gets an encounter attack power. The Fighter MC Wizard can swap his extra power strike for a wizard daily, which are balanced with the goal of contributing about the same amount over a typical adventuring day.     


(As I've mentioned in other threads, I'd be cool with replacing 'day' with a more gamist concept for recharging, like limited uses per level. I'm just not cool with dropping everything to encounter scale.) 
The modular class design structure of 4e is truly awesome (one system to learn for all classes). If only the meat on the bones were better fleshed out ;) I don't want to see the next ranger class be pidgeon-holed into being drizzt or legolas.

What I don't want to see is another sea of powers and feats as the edition matures. I want 5e KISSed till it can't breathe, but NOT the way of essentials. More like legos, cuz legos are always cool.

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i'm much happier with the homogenization then the free-for-all of previous editions. 

i've seen pre-4th ed players finally try out new classes simply because they didn't have to relearn how to walk, but rather only get accustomed to a new pair of shoes. players who played fighters not because the class was interesting, but because playing a wizard or cleric in a way that moderately effective required them to read up not only on the vancian system (a resource management system), but also a whole new way of thinking (picking the tools you're going to use before you get your daily tasks VS being straddled with only a hammer and treating every problem like a nail) and equipment management (which spells are best prepared daily, via scroll or via wand/staff).

the "best" wizard players are incredible micro-managers in previous editions, guys who know how to set themselves up with the best general use-tools for the day and knowing how to call upon their situationally useful ones when needed. 

the fighter player had his hammer, treated every problem like a nail and hoped for the best.

many of the previous edition classes required relearning to walk when you changed resource management. it was a little less jarring when you played off-shoots of existing classes (think sorceror to dread necro who was a nercromancy themed sorceror with class abilities) or wizard to psion (similar in that they had lots of versitily, though their management was different).

but jumping from the more straitforward classes to the more complex ones was VERY daunting to new players or even old players, who didn't want to have to invest in a lot of system mastery. they wanted to play a wizard without having to worry about several levels of resource management but still do the fantasic stuff like hurling fireballs, turning invisible or whatnot.

i can see why some people don't like the AEDU paradigm, but if we ever go back to the "let's not care about consistency between classes" paradigm, i can't see myself backing that edition. 
--------------------------------------------
as for what things would need to be kept to get me to buy a 5th edition?

very little.

let me explain:

if i wanted to play 2nd ed, i'd play 2nd ed.
if i wanted to play 3rd ed, i'd play 3rd ed.
if i wanted to play 4th ed, i'd play 4th ed.

if i wanted to play any previous editions, i'd play that edition, not a new edition.

i buy the game, the mechanical task resolution system, because to me it's better then my current options. this is why i simply won't GM 2nd or 3rd ed: any game i would want to run in a fantasy setting, i can do in 4th ed with less hassle and all the options i actually want.

for me to buy into a 5th edition, it needs not to do what 4th ed does, but expound and do better what came before it.

now, there are concepts i like in 4th ed:

-mechanical consistency & balance between classeses 
-the larger focus on d20 + 1/2 lvl + stat = effect. while 3rd ed did use the d20+mod for most task, it had odd corner cases where it used it in a less intuitive manner.
-the seperation of fluff & crunch
-the seperation of PC & NPC rules
-the focused skill list
-the dependancy on less magic items 
-monster & encounter design being
-the awesome, awesome DMGs that actually teach how to run a session & campaign, rather then act as a "rules players shouldn't see, even though we all know they will" 
-dynamic and fluid combat

could it be done better? sure it could.
-while i'm a huge fan of the small & concise skill list, i would like to see a focus on adding a second layer of specialization within those skills, rather then divide or add more skills. keep the characters trained in a broad array of skills but allow them to further specialize between each other.

-cut away the last vestige of mechanical bonuses to magic items. let the items have effects that add extra options, rather then have them be a forced necessity.

-change the design from "adventuring day" to "encounter-based" would, to me at least, allow for easier pacing rather then hoping you setup your adventure correctly

-change the weapon/armor design from a long list to a few basic frameworks
*unarmed
*one-handed
*two-handed
*ranged one-handed
*ranged two-handed
*ranged one-handed(limited ammo)
*ranged two-handed(limited ammo)

and then finally having a light/heavy option for both with light being more accurate but less damaging & heavy being less accurate but more damaging .

armor can simply be Light, Heavy and the sheild is simply a sheild.

the specifics can be tailored to the character. call me a Gamma Word fanboy, but i've found this to work VERY well. as it can allow for some degree of basic specialization but capable of handling a lot of interesting concepts. from my chainsaw-happy dinosaur to the treant that snaps off a branch and beats people senseless.
 
my dinosaur's light armor is his kevlar vest while the treant's heavy armor is simply his abnormally thick hide. 

basically i want more stable framework i can lay my fluff on, rather then have to play or rework the gear someone else provides or create workarounds.

-more advice in the DMGs on how to use Skill Challenges as a basic foundation or structure for prolongued tasks over the course of an adventure, and how successes and failures can contribute to the adventure progression. i like the concept when it was introduced in 3rd ed's Unearthed Arcana, but i really wished they had spent more time on the concept rather then simply throwing examples.

-more advice on coaching players to be ready on their turns. most of the major slow-downs i've noticed are simply players not ready when their turn arrives. in a perfect world, once their turn ends they immediately start planning their next turn, adjusting on the fly based on what other players & the NPCs do. however, we don't live in a perfect world, so more help on pushing these guys along would help.

but yeah: i don't want a rehash of 4th ed or 3rd ed. what i do want is a game that acknowledges the problems of previous editions and works to resolve them while adding it's own personal flare. 
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I agree with Windfury, Racial powers are really cool and I would like to see them in the next edition

I also like everyone getting feats more frequently (every 2 levels is good)

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Class+Theme to build a character.

I'd like to see something basically using 4e's game system but with that idea built into it.

I like the power sources, I wish they just had overlap between classes instead of totally new lists.
Fighter and Ranger both kill stuff with weapons. Fighters have Combat Superiority, Rangers have Hunter's Quarry, that's already enough to differentiate between them. Sharing the same "Martial Power Source" powers to choose would be just fine.

So my ideal for 5e would be...

CLASS- affects your power source and the powers to choose from.
THEME- augments your 'role', such a Protector giving defender abilities or Outlaw benefiting from combat advantage




Power Sources... Reworked for how they work, if needed, but I like this idea.

(I'd be sad, honestly, if D&D dropped the very concept of Clerical, Divine powers-magic BTW... I must be a rare fan of this side of D&D.) 

The cosmology.  I like the Astral Sea, Elemental Chaos, Feywild, and Shadowfell far more than the old Inner and Outer Planes.

Spellcasters who can cast spells every round.  It never felt very magical to be plinking away with darts or a crossbow.

The active character targetting defenses rather than the defensive character rolling saves.

Rituals.

Everything else I would like preserved under the D&D brand are sacred cows from the earliest editions.

Of course, I am a D&D **** who will buy the 5E core even if it converts to a dice-less, stat-less storyteller game.

Power Sources... Reworked for how they work, if needed, but I like this idea.

(I'd be sad, honestly, if D&D dropped the very concept of Clerical, Divine powers-magic BTW... I must be a rare fan of this side of D&D.) 



I would like to see power sources reduced to pure fluff consideration.  Pick a class, slap whatever power source you want on the powers, and be done with it.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I hope 5th edition is nothing like 3rd or 4th edition. I hope it brings it's own uniqueness to the table.

I have 4th edition is I want to play that style and I have Pathfinder if I want to play that style.
1. Every class being able to contribute at every level. I'm playing in another edition game currently, and its just painful to go back to spellcasters that suck most of the day at low levels.

2. Being awesome out of the gate. Another thing thats super painful to go back to: having to wait to for your character to eventually reach the point where its mechanically fun to play.
Power Sources... Reworked for how they work, if needed, but I like this idea.

(I'd be sad, honestly, if D&D dropped the very concept of Clerical, Divine powers-magic BTW... I must be a rare fan of this side of D&D.) 



I would like to see power sources reduced to pure fluff consideration.  Pick a class, slap whatever power source you want on the powers, and be done with it.

Then, why have power sources at all, if it is kinda replaceable, meaningless fluff?
Power Sources... Reworked for how they work, if needed, but I like this idea.

(I'd be sad, honestly, if D&D dropped the very concept of Clerical, Divine powers-magic BTW... I must be a rare fan of this side of D&D.) 



I would like to see power sources reduced to pure fluff consideration.  Pick a class, slap whatever power source you want on the powers, and be done with it.

Then, why have power sources at all, if it is kinda replaceable, meaningless fluff?



That works too.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Power Sources... Reworked for how they work, if needed, but I like this idea.

(I'd be sad, honestly, if D&D dropped the very concept of Clerical, Divine powers-magic BTW... I must be a rare fan of this side of D&D.) 



I would like to see power sources reduced to pure fluff consideration.  Pick a class, slap whatever power source you want on the powers, and be done with it.

Then, why have power sources at all, if it is kinda replaceable, meaningless fluff?



That works too.

Not really - power sources in a way are way older than this edition,a  part of D&D. Implied.

Remove it, and.. what? where the frig come your powers? ridiculous.

i actually would like SOME importance to power sources brought more. The choice matering. 
Your powers come from wherever the frig you want them to.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Power Sources... Reworked for how they work, if needed, but I like this idea.

(I'd be sad, honestly, if D&D dropped the very concept of Clerical, Divine powers-magic BTW... I must be a rare fan of this side of D&D.) 



I would like to see power sources reduced to pure fluff consideration.  Pick a class, slap whatever power source you want on the powers, and be done with it.

Then, why have power sources at all, if it is kinda replaceable, meaningless fluff?



That works too.

Not really - power sources in a way are way older than this edition,a  part of D&D. Implied.

Remove it, and.. what? where the frig come your powers? ridiculous.

i actually would like SOME importance to power sources brought more. The choice matering. 



Yeah, I like the fact that qualifications for feats, for example, sometimes relies on your power source.  Makes it have mechanical meaning, as well as showing where you draw your power.

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quote author=56832398 post=519321747]Considering DnD is a game wouldn't all styles be gamist?[/quote]
i would basicly want to see the same system as it is now but to me it currently feald dumbed down a bit.

so instead of 5TH edition i would like to see advaced D&D 4th edition.
maybe even more like skills and powers was for 2nd edition

chose race
chose background/theme (these would weigh in even more on the rp side then they do now )
chose power source
chose class powers  ( point buy including hp per level and what armer you can wear but also mecanics like marking and sneak attack)
assign skills
chose powers ( only limitation in chosing powers would be that they would have to be from your chosen power source)

this would alouw for making intresting characters, but it would also alouw for characters that woulden't work so not for beginning players

so it would become

essentials for begining players
4th for avarage players
advanced 4th for experianced players
please, PLEASE, can we cut this elitist crud about 'dumbed down'? 

Simplication is elegance and intelligence at times, as well. AND there is a thing as being too complicated for it's own sake.

Urgh.  

This current edition is surely NOT for braindead fools. You need a working brain and a level of education to use it.

AND your suggestion finaly... All the past experiements show one thing; it splinters the market, and kinda make an inside competition. And spread ressources too much. There is a GOOD reason why BD&D died after AD&D entered - at one moment, TSR found they had to choose. One products line, or the other - not both.

Where are sensible critiques gone?
What I'd like to keep?


1) Character balance. I like that you can build a character and have it contribute easily and without much trouble. The optimization gap is not as big as it once was and everyone helps in a combat situation, and only ever getting positive modifiers from races has created much better racial balance (human is no longer the best choice for any class, it is now only a competetive choice for any class).

2) The monster XP budget/encounter design system. As a DM this is a life saving feature, being able to predict roughly how an encounter will go much more accurately than the old CR system.

3) Something resembling the way that characters enter battles ready.

What I'd specifically want changed? That's not quite the question, but it'd be equally important to me -

1) Encumbrance system is dumb. Please just change it to "whatever the DM thinks is reasonable" or come up with one that makes more logical sense. Also, please do something about some of the ridiculous fantasy equipment conventions - wearing 50 pounds of plate armor should not encumber you just as much as carrying it in a backpack, and there are simple fixes to some names like turning longsword (a proper name for a specific kind of two handed or hand-and-a-half sword in real life) to long sword (just that space fixes it, since a long sword can be any sword that is long... not the specific typologies that are designed for use with two hands), or things like that. Mostly "cosmetic" system fixes along those lines.

2) It is very difficult to see the effects of earlier struggles in later encounters (i.e. lower than full HP, missing encounter powers, etc). The milestone mechanic is not as strong as it should be to offset the need for rest, and the only "true" daily resource are daily powers since you get so many surges every day and show up to the next battle always at full HP.

3) The power and class system seem to be getting very top heavy and complicated without something akin to true multiclassing (the new multiclassing in 4e is very... minimal). You release fighter powers? Only fighters will ever really be able to use them since hybrid options and new multiclassing are not designed with enough potency to be popular, which means the workload for the power system is huge (as every class needs support, and the powers released for one class will probably only ever be used by that class).

4) Just a minor fourth thing, I'd like to see a suggested rules focus shift from XP from monsters to XP from quest completion. This was a big problem in 1st edition as well IIRC, where fighting monsters gave a ton of XP and in a later release (the greyhawk supplement I think?) they cut that down by a LOT to encourage people to get away from the "kill monsters and take their stuff" mindset and get into more creative problem solving ("Well, we can avoid the monsters and take their stuff with no risk, and the monsters don't give as much XP as the stuff, so this makes logical sense to do").
please, PLEASE, can we cut this elitist crud about 'dumbed down'? 



I had really hoped all of the "dumbed down" comments had gone the way of the dodo by now.

I challenge anyone who claims 4E is dumbed down to DM an Epic-level combat encounter, utilizing monster tactics, terrain features, and everything else. If you're not paying very close attention every second of that combat, you can get so bogged down that you'll never dig yourself out. Buffs, debuffs, conditions, auras, temp HPs, ongoing effects, HPs in the thousands....it can be a bookkeeping nightmare if you don't stay on your toes.
1. Steamlined Rule Set (elegant and efficient - what some called dumbed down)
2. AEDU  Class Structure (with more choices - use the essentials mage as  the template)
3. More attention payed to non-combat items in regards to fluff (crafts, professions, world building)
4. Get rid of dailuy requirements and/or offer an optional rule for recovery of abilities based on time and/or events (encounters, milestones, etc.)