A few first impressions and some questions

There is some obvious contention between the way certain mechanics are currently being handled. While admittedly we will never see eye to eye, I thought I would open it up to some of the primary concerns I'm seeing.

I am of the mind personally (this is strictly opinion) that a more elegant system will almost always been preferable. I spend most of my time rummaging through the CharOp threads so I can see how painful an inelegant expression can be. A game system should always present itself in a way that is clear, consice and straightforward.


Complexities to be addressed:

Wizard v Fighter - Some people seem to argue that the wizard's inherent nature is more complex and therefore it should have a more complex aura of mechanics surrounding this. Others take the standpoint that both classes should have a similar structure of abilities (see 4E).

Attack v Save Mechanics - This seems to lump into the previous one slightly, but it was mentioned by one poster that the level one pregen Wizard has spells that use 3 separate mechanics. The opposing viewpoint to the current display in the packet is something where a player makes an attack against static defenses.

Ranges - Why are we measuring in feet? The table top grid system is the primary realm upon which this game is currently played. That makes 5 ft = 1 sq. So now instead of giving people a clear understanding of the range, you're requiring them to add in math that will slow things down. Is WoTC catering here, or do feet really reach the majority of players in a positive fashion? Also, how is this handled in metric-based countries?

Things that Seem Quite Elegant:

Attack Values - I cannot point to where I heard this, but it seems as though values will remain relatively constant throughout the life of a character. I believe this may have been expressed in Jan. There is elegance there. Personally I use Normalized Attacks and Defenses to figure out if I am on par and it seems WoTC is going to save me the trouble of doing math. However, I am aggravated to think I might never be able to really raise that stat. I'm the type of player who will forgo damage if I can have a character who never misses.
 

Oddities:

The greataxe does 1d12 in the 'How To' but does 2d6 on the character sheet.
The fighter will average better damage than the rogue over the long haul.
Where is the fighter getting the +7 to damage from?
Why is the wizard at +6 to attack with a +3 Int mod and +2 magic bonus?
The fighter averaging better damage is definitely a goal. Mike Mearls has stated that for this test, the fighter is the biggest damage dealer. The rogue is more of a sneaky explorer type with skills.
Did you guys also notice that a dagger attack on the Rogue is 1d6, not 1d4? How is he getting a d6 for his dagger attack?
I'm thinking it's a typo. How to play has the dagger at d4, the character sheet has no indication of increasing the damage die of daggers.
Ranges - Why are we measuring in feet? The table top grid system is the primary realm upon which this game is currently played. That makes 5 ft = 1 sq. So now instead of giving people a clear understanding of the range, you're requiring them to add in math that will slow things down. Is WoTC catering here, or do feet really reach the majority of players in a positive fashion? Also, how is this handled in metric-based countries?

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I would vote to transition distances to yards.  (1 yard = 3', or about 1 meter, or about one reasonably long stride length).

A yard is a reasonable size for a "square" on a battlemat, and also is a descriptive term (like feet) that isn't associated with the battlemat.

Also useful is the fact that a person is about 2 yards tall, give or take, with maybe 1 more yard of reach vertically (esp if you do a little jump).

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I'm the type of player who will forgo damage if I can have a character who never misses.
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Never missing was abusitvely powerful in previous versions of D&D.

Having an attack option that doesn't miss (like magic missile, or 5e's "do stat damage on a miss") can be reasonable.  But if you have a power that was roughly designed for a 50% hit rate, reaching 100% hit rate more than doubles its effectiveness (as it both shrinks variance and grows the average).

The reason for the measurement in feet is the designers are making the battlemat an option in the game.  So, when running combat off the mat, having measurements in feet makes more narrative sense.  There's going to be math either way, since if the measure is in squares, those groups who don't use battlemats will have to convert anyway.

For those who use the metric system.  5 feet is (ROUGHLY) 1.5 meters. 
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