To people who like 4E

... what do you think is wrong with it? What things don't work, what would you have changed? Let's for a moment play with the idea, that D&DN was based on the 4E framework. What things would you do away with, what do you find lacking  and would like to add to its next iteration? Note, this is meant for people who genuinely like and prefer the fourth edition, so no need to post "no powers, less mmo" - kind of stuff, thank you.

DISCLAIMER: I'm absolutely not trying to start an edition war here, I'm just curious. I personally prefer the earlier ones, but I can still instantly come up with at least two dozen things I would like changed in them.

Basically?  Write a decent version of the skill challenge mechanic (which can be run well, if you do it correctly).  Go through the Rules Compendium errata suggestions from the last two years; implement the vast majority of them (notably, something general to prevent infinite looping, something general to limit zones to once per turn or round (depending on which interpretation is favoured).  An overall look at feats and items, in particular, and a mass removal of obsolete elements (cf Barreling Charge).  A genericised Weapons Training feat giving proficiency and non-scaling bonus to damage with one superior weapon of the user's choice.  A better suite of damage-type enhancements (given that Radiant, Cold and Lightning/Thunder are the only ones with really good stuff at the moment).  Kill alignment with fire.  Ideally, though it would be a fairly major system rewrite, kill ability-score-based attacking with fire - go to a level-based system, possibly with variation depending on the choice of a specialist or generalist array/point buy - thus meaning that not all people who want to use the Fighter's mechanics, need to use STR to do so.  Kill class skill lists with fire, and make the base number of trained skills higher for all classes.  Rework the class system to include subclasses as a default, rather than a tacked-on addition - thus allowing things which thematically ought to share support, to share support (Seeker as a Ranger subclass, Swordmage, Artificer and maybe Bard as Wizard subclasses etc etc).  Ditto for Themes - and allow the use of these, as seems to work well in Next, to alter or define role.

In general, take the good bits that 4e did, and do them more, take the terrible bits and kill them with fire, then innovate to fill up the burned areas - or leave them burned to fertilise imagination.

4e is nearly a really good system.  It would be lovely if it were to get a real chance to be so.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
Slightly different progression for all classes (like gaining different powers at different levels depending on your class. Thespaceinvader said all the things that anyone would love to be changed.
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While one report may say that FLGS report a greater amount of book sales, one cannot forget the fact that the 71000 DDI subscribers paying 6-10 dollars a month don't count as "Book Sales."
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General thoughts, feelings, and info on DDN!
Stuff I Heard Mike Say (subject to change): Multiclassing will be different than in 3.5! That's important. There is no level cap; classes advance ala 3.5 epic levels after a set level. Mundane (AKA fighter and co) encounter and daily powers will probably not be in the PHB (for the lack of space), but nor will they be in some obscure book released halfway through the edition.
You can't please everyone, but you can please me. I DO NOT WANT A FREAKING 4E REPEAT. I DO NOT WANT A MODULE THAT MIMICS MY FAVORITE EDITION. I WANT MODULES THAT MIMIC A PLAYSTYLE AND CAN BE INTERCHANGED TO COMPLETELY CHANGE THE FEEL, BUT NOT THE THEME, OF D&D. A perfect example would be an espionage module, or desert survival. A BAD EXAMPLE IS HEALING SURGES. WE HAVE 4E FOR THOSE! A good example is a way to combine a mundane and self healing module, a high-survival-rate module, and a separate pool of healing resource module.
If I were tweaking 4e, I would drop the racial restrictions from pretty much everything, patch the base damage math up so that the striker role doesn't demand optimization to exist, and remove 90% of all the feats and magic items for being counterproductive. A rule that doesn't do something appreciably useful is just eating design space, which means it's merely trapping players who don't know the system well and stopping a future rule from being printed that might not suck. Split feats into combat and non-combat, better integrate the theme and hybrid mechanics, publicize the fact that the game is based around high heroic and paragon tier levels and you aren't expected to start characters at 1. Rework the skill system to not scale directly by stat. Consider removing daily powers and spells from everyone in favor of milestone recharges, and, uhm... various other things.
Changes to 4E? Oh, there's plenty. 

Clean up and tweak Skill Challenges, so they are smooth, and it is better understood that they are run in the background, to aid roleplaying, not as another encounter type. This includes skill challenges within encounters, or across multiple encounters, without the players actually knowing it.

Eliminate level-based bonuses altogether. Flatten it all out.

With that, all monsters are pulled back as well, into a lean machine of monster entries that last from level 1-30 per entry, remaining a threat throughout your entire adventuring career.

Eliminate the replacement of powers, instead allowing characters to continue to have more powers, not capped at 4 daily attacks, encounters, etc.

More at-wills. Seriously, a lot more at-wills across the board.

Codify the powers by power source, and spread them out, instead of unique names all over. If, for example, Tide of Iron fits in 4 classes, put it in all four classes, not clones of it elsewhere.

Make the save mechanic more meaningful, with more lasting repercussions. Three save types, Fort/Refl/Will saves to go with those defenses, and have a lot of save effects be a one-and-done (but save or dies, on the very, very rare occasions they are used, MUST be a series of failed saves over successive turns, not just one failed save and you're screwed). Saves get bonuses based on stats, and are hitting a DC, not a flat 10 plus rare bonuses/penalties.

Clean up rituals, big time. Lower the costs and especially the casting times for a whole helluva lot of them, such that they actually have limited combat utility (i.e. your wizard has 5 turns to complete this ritual to save the day; protect him during that time, or face the consequences).

I'm sure I can think of a lot more, but I'll add them later. 
I'm a big fan of 4e, but I'd say the fundamental flaws are as follows:

-Scaling of PC vs. monster math.  PC attacks/defenses scale by half-level, while monsters scale by level.  This means that you need stat bumps, enhancement bonuses (either in the form of magic items or inherent bonuses), and feat taxes to fill the gap.  The need for feat taxes is especially annoying.  Note that even with these flaws, 4e is still the most mathematically balanced edition of D&D that has ever been printed.  What is especially nice is how transparent it is, which makes it easy to fix.

-Skills and skill challenges.  The three-failures-and-you're-hosed default skill challenge mechanic discourages experimentation and encourages spamming whatever skill you're best at...and with all the modifiers you can stack onto skills, the range between your best and worst skills ends up being larger than the d20.

-Having the same pool for combat and non-combat feats.  This increases the likelihood of mismatches between party members, as well as between parties and encounters.  Utility powers also have the same problem of using the same pool for combat and non-combat powers.

-Bloat.  Too many useless feats, powers, and items to sift through.
So I actually like the essentials line, and those are the only books I own for 4e.  I also don't have a DDI subscription.

I really liked essentials, and I wish they had more classes, and I wish they would put more classes into single books.

As for the rest of 4e itself, I never bought into it, because I didn't like how I felt they were milking me to buy books, that I really didn't want or need. (They did this by making half the book useful, and half the book not so useful.) 

However, what I think they did wrong with 4e (essentials included) was choice and option overload.   There were just too many options during leveling and charachter creation to pick from, and many of them not really of equal value.  

As others have said nicely, you had the choice between a feat which added a bonus to a skill check, competeing for the same resources as a huge bonus to combat.   You had a feat option which gave you a +1 to damage, plus some neat thing, competeing with a feat that gave a +1 to damage and nothing else.   It just didn't make much sense.

Another major flaw was the magic item system, which they improved in essentials, but then they didn't give enough magic items per level. 
So many things already said so I'll just tack on:

Language. Wording can be very clumsy in a lot of places and really needs someone to go through everything and standardized the language. Similar powers that are written completely different, different powers that seem the same, things that seem to function very differently depending on how you read it.

I know it's not everyone's forte, but they need to hire someone whose sole job is to be certain that what is written is what wil be read. And this goes beyond 4th, it should be done for everything, nothing should ever be unclear.
I believe there is a word for such a person, something like editor?
Mostly what others said.
Plus

1) the low base accuracy. A character should hit with 70% success with a starting score of 14. Missing at what you are good at frequently is bad for the game.

2) every class if power source should have received their own method of recovering encounter and daily power. Martials rest. Divines pray. Wizards read their books. Warlocks spend healing surges. Druid tap a primal leyline. Removes a lot of the "sameness".

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

I agree with most of these. 

+1 to calls to separate combat and non-combat feats as a resource in character creation so that you don't take a penalty in battle for wanting flavor.
This is something Next needs to be aware of regardless of what other direction it takes. 

Agree the 4e feat and power lists need to be taken to the threshing floor and have the chaff blown away.

Themes need to be more character defining. 
I believe there is a word for such a person, something like editor?



I think 'editor' is a pretty basic term for what they really need. I'm sure they already have an editor but they need someone who actually understands the game.
1) Definately separate combat feats and abilities from non-combat feats and abilities so that players are not forced to choose one from the other. This is a place where backgrounds and themes that they've shown in 5E could really shine.

2) The Psionic classes felt and played very differently from the vast majority of the other classes (no encounter powers) and the essential Slayer and Knight played very different from the vast majority of the other classes (no daily powers). They should have had more variation in how classes selected and used powers, while keeping within the same general framework of AEDU.
I already agree with most (if not all) of what was suggested here, but I'll add the following:


There is a trend regarding expansion of the game:
-You start with just the PHB1 races, classes, feats, and other options.
-All was fine and dandy then and we could make a level 1 character in 15 minutes flat.

Then came PBH2, PBH3, the Power book series, Dragon Magazine, Adventurer's Vault, etc
-Now there are dozens of races and classes, thousands of feats, and hundreds of other options to sift through
-Now creating a level 1 character is at least a 1 hour ordeal


Two solutions:
-Stop making so many extra and unnecessary options, especially when new options make older options invalid, obsolete, underpowered, but you still have to sift through it all.
-Or, in the digital tools, allow us to check and uncheck the source books we want to reference so we can look at a reasonable number of options rather than the hundreds to thousands we have now
If I were writing an edition with the starting point being 4e? Yeah, there's lots of stuff that can be done. 4e is a good system but it could easily be the best system ever.

1) 20 levels - 30 levels just creates a need for excessive amounts of stuff to fill in all those levels. Reduce the game to a 20 level system. That would help with a LOT of other things too. There's now only a need to find 10 +1's for the PCs for instance, which is easier.

2) Basically the current rewrite of the combat system that is in 5e is all pretty good stuff. There are a few problematic bits in there right now that will need fixing, but it is a good first cut at a faster and easier combat system.

3) Pool powers by power source - Instead of having 8 different arcane classes with each having a full suite of powers, etc move a lot of the powers into common source based pools. This alone would eliminate something like 50% of all powers.

4) Themes and theme-like elements - Again as 5e is doing, which so far seems reasonably good in general. The idea being to shift creating your character concept from a whole lot of small choices to a very few large choices. This cuts out a lot of system mastery and general fumbling through books now required for the average player to do interesting things with their character.

5) Rewrite the rituals - The ritual SYSTEM IMHO is not bad, but ALL rituals should be scaling with a scaled cost/benefit mechanism. You can cast Knock for cheap and open some cheesy level 1 lock, but if you want to open some high level lock, you're going to be paying 1000's of gold for that, best to leave it to the rogue if you can.

6) Scaling powers - This would be another 50% reduction in power list sizes. Instead of half a dozen similar powers that ramp up what is basically the same thing just have powers that can go in higher level slots and do more powerful stuff. Again, 5e has definitely latched onto this idea.

7) I'd cut back some on the numbers of surges and make access to healing a bit less prevalent. Actually PHB1 vintage 4e had almost got the healing availability right at first. Things just proliferated. Give people options for healing rates/recovery so people can tweak things more.

8) I think in general items have been dealt with in later updates. There might still be some more work that can be done on presentation.

Beyond that is just presentation. 4e doesn't seem to present the basic tools in a way that works well for a lot of people. Everything that is in the game actually can work quite well and we've had lots of amazing games. OTOH I read posts constantly where people seem to have missed practically everything and gotten some entirely different idea out of it what the game is about. I don't know who was responsible for the overall style of presentation, but it clearly wasn't effective.

I'm sure there are a lot of other little details, but it is not really worth spending that much time on it. 5e is doing a bunch of the things on my list, sadly it is also doing a bunch of things that are just downright 'unimprovements' at the same time. We'll see how that goes.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
Spend More Time on Skill Challenges:  Spend 10 pages on this, not 1.  There is so much potential in the idea, but it takes a lot of finesse to make them work well.  The goal is to create a game about skill scenes that leads to a resolution with some granularity of degree of success.  Discuss consequences for each failed roll instead of failure after 3.  Discuss allowing more than 3 failures.  Discuss example consequences for failed rolls or 3 failed rolls.  Give example skill challenges that have been extensively playtested for:  Stealth/B&E, Complex Traps, Searching/Exploration, Info Gathering, Negotiation/Diplomacy, Interrogation, and Arcane/Religious Ritual.  Given that you can write a skill challenge that's level independent, this would be extremely valuable.

Free Ritual Casting:  The time cost is enough for me.  Make ritual casting free except for magic item creation.  Rituals do not need to have a cost in gold pieces as well as time to make them special.  The gp cost is too much of a deterrant.  Also, list the cost for a scroll for each ritual in a table; because more often than not my players want a ritual for only one specific thing, so they'd usually rather buy a scroll than buy the ritual.  Also, release more rituals!  You could also assign rituals a rarity like you did with magic items, if you want to keep some rituals super special.

They're Not Powers:  The Essentials martial classes should become the base martial classes.  The original 4e martial classes can be presented as advanced rules versions (fighters with daily exploits can still exist, but move them to a sourcebook).  Remove the word "powers" from the books entirely.  They're either Spells or Abilities.  The base word for them should be "Abilities" with the caveat that whenever they use magic at all, they get called "Spells."  Classes like Warden, Paladin and Swordmage would use "spells" under this nomenclature.  You can call divine spells "Prayers" or "Invocations" if you like.

Essentials Solos and Elites:  Convert all of them to Essentials updated versions (shrug off Stun effects).  Move Unconscious, Dominate, Daze and Stun up the level ladder for monsters so that the only time you see it at Heroic is 9th and 10th level; and even in Paragon, restrict thhem to Controller type monsters.  At Epic, go hog wild.

Up Front about Design:  We know that the Epic Tier was designed to have longer, more epic combat.  In practical terms that means combats take longer in real time and game time (more rounds, and more minutes per round).  Be up front about that.  I know lots of people who jumped into an Epic game only to find 90 minute battles that constantly risked TPK.

Add Optional Stuff for Hardcore People:  Publish a single book with save or die monsters, save or die traps, traditional old school D&D exploration, riddles and puzzles with dire consequences, spheres of annihilation masquerading as portals, etc.   Call it the Fifthcore book.  The OSR people should read it and weep with joy without returning to THAC0 and "theater of the mind."  Those OSR grouches need to look up Fourthcore.  Sure there's no Find and Remove Traps percentage or boring fighter who gets reduced to a THAC0 and damage expression, but they'll find the feel they're looking for.  That sort of thing should come out as an officially supported expansion.

Theater of the Mind:  In the DMG, you should have rules for running simple combats without a grid.  This is possible in 4th edition, but in the instructions for designing a combat encounter, it encourages you to keep the threat level at "level-1" or higher.  Well, a 5th level party can kill a pair of goblins in a single action, but the TotM section should discuss why this encounter could A) still be interesting (the goblins will shout an alarm if they aren't killed quickly and stealthily), B) not require a grid (keep the terrain simple; be upfront about position description).  


Advice for Any Edition

Slow the Creep:  Any edition should release the core classes and races, feats, etc.; then move on to moduels and settings for a year or two before releasing new classes/races/feats/etc.  18 months of public release and everyone playing these base classes, races, etc. will give you a million times more information than playtests ever have.  When you've determined where the holes are after a long tail of time, release new classes/races/feats/etc. to adjust the balance.  Is Fighter doing too little damage?  Release a few fighter-only feats that adjust his damage up.  Is Druid really easy to break?  Errata a few rules to nerf existing Druids and release a simpler version of Druid so DMs can restrict players to the new Druid if they want.  Better, this gives you a chance to develop the settings and modules that make you the big bucks.  See below!

Be Money Grubbing... Sorta:  You guys who accuse WOTC of trying to milk you for cash are being whiners.  Look at the Amazon sales rank of the best selling RPG book (IIRC it's the Pathfinder PHB right now).  Then sit down and get the tissues out.  Then compare it to the kindle version of the Angry Birds Strategy Guide.  You're gonne be glad you got out the tissues.  Companies in this industry don't make a lot of money, even on the best selling RPG books; and it turns out you can't even copyright rules (you can trademark proper nouns and copyright setting though).  I'm not rich but if I can pay $50 for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, I can pay $50 for the 5th edition Sharn, City of Towers Module 1.  There's a huge disconnect when people complain about "money grubbing game companies" charging $45 for Madness at Gardmore Abbey while paying $15 a month ($180 a year!) for a MMO or $60 to download Skyrim on release day.  But to maximize penetration, keep the core rules books and the player books for campaign settings as cheap as possible.  That's what I mean by be money grubbing "sorta."

Focus on the IP:  Again, advice for any edition.  My advice to WOTC is to take my Slow the Creep advice to heart because of the money.  Here's why:  I bet WOTC licensed the Neverwinter IP to Atari for Neverwinter Nights for a sum of cash significantly greater than the total profit made on every single Forgotten Realms sourcebook ever printed for all editions put together.  The money is in the IP.  And the IP is in modules and campaign settings.  Once you've got the rules out, develop your IP and market it to us heavily.  Get us to wait on the next Eberron gazeteer/campaign module with bated breath.  Include premium items:  Battlemats, tokens, art, player handouts, cards, tiles.  Spend time and money developing them well because the real money is in the IP.  Sell the player books cheap to get penetration but price the DM stuff at a premium to keep production values high.
I would remove the 1/2 level scaling bonus from monsters and players as well as removing expertise feats and improving ability scores with level. I would change the monster math to accomodate this. I would remove all racial restrictions on feats but also cut down on 90% of the feats in the game, especially ones that only add flat + attack or damage. I would make inherent bonuses be mandatory ad have them apply to skills as well (basically 1/5 level saling instead of 1/2 and removes magic item dependency).

I would also switch trained skills to roll 2 take highest instead of flat +5 and allow any class to choose any 4 trained skills.

For powers I would rather see more at-wills (3 or 4 for everyone), and less everything else. A system with 3 at will, 3 utility, and 3 special seems about right. Special would be the players choice of encounter, daily, Vancian, or other. Vancian would give people more spells but of a weaker type and at a daily usage. So someone who chooses all Vancian special slots would have 9 spells to memorize each one about as strong as an encounter power. Someone else can choose 3 daily powers and another person 2 encounter and 3 Vancian daily.

I would try to make powers more even across the field and have pools that multiple classes can choose from. I would also cut monster HP in half across the board.

I really like the base mechanics of 4e but I wish it was simpler and more streamlined. Numbers bloat also tends to happen and the scaling math of the game is somewhat poor. These suggestions would help lots of these problems.
I never played 3(.5)E, outside of Neverwinter Nights 2, but jumping from 2E to 4E was a marvel in simple design, to me. I liked the way 4E didn't require complexity, but allowed for it (I really like the idea of Essentials for the same reason). My biggest complaint about 4E was the mad dash to keep creating sourcebooks to sell, and the resulting layering on of more and more redundancy and complexity.

If I were to give advice to the Next designers, it would be to reinforce the idea that a simple (not constrictive, just uncomplicated) framework is the best place to start, and any additions should add depth and dynamics to the game, not simply more layers. 
... what do you think is wrong with it? What things don't work, what would you have changed? Let's for a moment play with the idea, that D&DN was based on the 4E framework. What things would you do away with, what do you find lacking  and would like to add to its next iteration? Note, this is meant for people who genuinely like and prefer the fourth edition, so no need to post "no powers, less mmo" - kind of stuff, thank you.


I'd start by taking a look at more of the sacred cows and questioning whether they're really necessary. Some key ones to consider would be...

1) Ability Scores: Other than determining your hit points and carrying capacity, the actual SCORES for your ability scores are not used for anything inside the game itself. So why not replace the 8-20 (which is an artifact of the old point buy mechanics attempting to simulate the results of the old 3-18+racial modifiers die rolling system) with simply buying the bonuses to the ability scores outright?

In addition to lowering the complexity (no more need to calculate ability score bonuses), it would also close the math hole (the net result of +1 to two ability score bonuses at 4,8,14,18,24,28 and +1 to all ability score bonues at 11 and 21 would be a +4 bonus to two attrbutes and a +1 bonus to all the rest over and above what 4E provided without the feats... making the math fix feats unnecessary).

2) Armor Class: Is it actually still needed as a seperate defense or could its aspects be folded into the Reflex defense (and Fortitude to a lesser extent) instead? This would also require questioning the nature of weapon proficiencies and how armor works in the game which could also stand some looking at.

For example, older editions gave you a penalty for using a non-proficient weapon. If we returned to that (i.e. proficiency eliminating that penalty) there would be no need to have an AC 2-3 points higher than your other defenses and attacks against Fortitude (a knockdown attack), Reflex (the default strike), and even Will (a feinting strike designed to leave your ordinary defenses open) would all become easier to implement as options (whereas weapon attacks against non-AC defenses are quite potent due to the weapon proficiency bonus).

The type of defense a weapon is normally used against could also then become a property to better distinguish between types. By the same token, armor and shields might provide bonuses to Fortitude (that poisonous stinger failed to breach the plate armor), Reflex (the ridges of the armor are effective at turning aside blows), and/or DR (the thick padding beneath the plates absorbs a few points of damage from each blow) in different combinations to create greater diversity in armor types (depending on the character the armor that grants +2 Fort/+1 Reflex might be a better choice than +1 Fort/+2 Reflex or one that might provide +1 Fort/+1 Reflex/1 DR).

Maybe keeping Armor Class is a better decision, but it would certainly be one of the things I'd want to test if I were pushing the 4E design concepts forward.

3) Resources: Is a mix of at-will, encounter, and daily resources the best way to balance characters against each other and against encounters in the game? Some alternate approaches to explore might be...
- Spell/Endurance Points (every power beyond the classes at-wills costs X points to use and some number of these points are recovered during a short rest).
- Recharge (once you use a power you must wait X rounds before you can use it again, with the strength of the power determining its recharge time).
-Combination (powers cost a variable number of points to use and the character regains some number of points each turn).

4) Non-Combat Options: Could we do away with feats as a combat resource (i.e. they would provide non-combat abilities while powers and class feature provide combat resources)? Could backgrounds and themes be used to balance non-combat resources the same way that classes are used to balance combat resources?

Those are the first four things I can think of in creating a "Next" iteration of 4E.
I would say AC could be split into Fort and Reflex alone, depending on the type of armor you're wearing, and have it less to do with what kind of weapon you're facing.

Light Armor protects less by absorbing damage as by deflecting and allowing you to dodge attacks by not hindering movement -- Reflex Defense.

Heavy Armor protects by absorbing damage and deflecting attacks through resistance, rather than your ability to move -- Fortitude Defense.


It would be an interesting switch in the dynamic where Heavy and Light armor protect in different ways, but Light Armor isn't always inferior to Heavy Armor. 
The biggest thing that I would have changed to 4th edition was how bloody long combat became.  Everyone at my table had a character sheet with 2-3 sheets of 9 combat cards, each card with a paragraph or two of text. EACH turn took forever as people had to read over what they could do. Even if they were reading and planning in advanced this would take a long time. 

I liked the fact that the Fighter could do more than just swing his axe. Some of those powers really helped out, and made my players feel like more than a one trick pony.... but after a while, too many powers just bogged our group down.

Also, the multiple effects affecting creatures got to be cumbersome. My group used the ring around plastic cola bottles to mark various effects.... but still. By the end of a standard game, the evil necromancer had rainbow hula-hoops surrounding him.

When I play and not DM (which is seldom) I tend to play magic users. And while they had some cool spells in 4th ed, I felt like there weren't as many that I could use outside of combat. Our D&D games are full of fun/funny uses for spells beyond dealing damage and status effects.

Lastly, I would have changed the book layout. While the art was beautiful, and the stat-block approach to powers and magical items were great.....   there wasn't as much of the fluff. When I would thumb through a new book, I would see pages and pages of powers, items, feats. But very little on background, suggested ways of playing, advice, wacky d% charts. I missed those.

All said, I did enjoy 4th edition, it just got too big too quickly for my tastes. 

I´m not very demanding, but the things I would change about 4E are, in level of importance:

1 - Combat must be faster. Not that I dislike tactical combat, I love it, but I don’t´ like when it replaces the RP time. So, drastically lowering monster HPs could be essential.


2 - I would make miniatures optional, so you use when you need it, when you like it. I like them, I collect them, but I´m aware some people don’t care for it very much, making it not optional is bad for the game.

3 - Less meaningless choices, meaning feats/powers. There are to many powers that do almost the same thing, just a tiny bit different. For that they call it with a different name and put another stat block for it. Too many feats, it gets overwhelming some times.


4 – Less mechanical elements that are not tied in some acceptable description in the game world, I mean powers that do stuff, but don´t really explain how that actually happens. Sometimes it’s a bit of a trouble to figure these out if you are more in to a storytelling mode. For example, why wouldn’t a creature grant me cover? Those type things. I woul like thing that makes sense only in a war game redesigned.

5 - Adventures that are more open ended rather than a succession of encounters. More focus in Story.


Anyway I think 4E is a great game, I play it right now, and I love lots of things in it. I´m not too mechanics oriented, but I really enjoy the elements tied to story, like paragon paths, backgrounds, ohhh... backgrounds are great, themes, all the approaches in DMG 2 are amazing. So, it’s a great game, I only house rule some tweaking in Monster HPs, and use lots of minions, other than that I mostly play by the book, Its great and you can build great stories using it. I can play it for years, even essentials or regular 4E.


I´m confident that DnD 5E will keep up with the story elements and add more flavor to it. I´m not too worried about the mechanical changes at al.  I survived Thac0, I guess I´m all set.

The thing my group has found to be the root of our gripes with 4e is the (to us) artificial construct of the "encounter" as a timing/recharge mechanism.  

Resource management boils down to dailies and healing surges: you get a "reset to zero" at the end of every encounter until you run out of these two things.  And then you die in the next encounter.

Fixing that would require reworking a lot of stuff...  Not sure how everything else would hang together afterwards. 

Returned from hiatus; getting up to speed on 5e rules lawyering.

Flat Math: this is all important to me.  The Math ladder makes things difficult to balance and doesn't really serve any purpose except to make people think their character is getting stronger.  However if we make the game assumptions just a bit more protagonocentric (meaning that the math is always an abstraction from the PoV of the player characters) we can mantain the feeling of power progression while still having solid math.  

No more +Xs: It just doesn't serve any good purpose.  This is the root cause of feat taxes AND the magic item treadmill.  It has to go.

Wealth detached from advancement: We already have a numerical value for advancement in the form of EXP, I don't see why wealth has to be part of advancement.  I prefer wealth as a fun tool you can RP with.  Perhaps you arm millitias in local towns to help protect villages from attack.  Perhaps you open chaples to your deity wherever you go, perhaps you bribe politicians in a corrupt city.  Whatever you do with money it shouldn't be a neccesary part of the magic item treadmill.

Retool Skill Challenges: Other people have made this point better than I can.

Rituals need work: No more cash cost. Give us some other mechanic to control ritual use.

Exeption based Class design: Like the psionic, I think the idea of using AEDU but with exeptions would work well and be interesting.  Of course you would have to work to avoid the essentials failure of making some classes dummy versions.  However I would love to see a fighter that had stances, Encounter powers and recharge powers in place of dailies.  I think a system like that could be made to work. 

Rules for building your own: Monsters and magic items are the two things that jump out at me.  Monsters don't need to change at all but I do think they should do a better job with templates:  So say you want a warrior goblin you apply the warrior template to the basic numbers and then give it a goblin flavored feature or two.  With magic items it would be even simpler, a table or something of appropriate powers and properties to give magic items.

Escalation Dice: Heard about this mechanic that is being added to 13th age.  From what I understand you get a dice pool based on how many rounds have already happened in the encounter and you get to add them to whatever die rolls you want to increase damage/accuracy/ect.  I love this idea, seems like it would probably cut a round or two from combat.

Chris Perkins DM AI: Create an AI based on Chris Perkins brain and give us a copy with each purchase of the DMG so that he can run our games for us.  I keep asking and WotC keeps failing to make it happen.  I would finaly be able to play instead of having to DM all the time.
Conservative, rule-based class design.  Not every character needs to have exactly the same number and type of resources.  This design principle, we can already see, has been thoroughly ignored in 5e, so thumbs up for that.

Rule-based power design.  I acknowledge that page 42 of the DMG exists, and that a good DM can encourage whatever behavior he wants, but the vast, vast majority of 4e material carries the implicit message that "You can do what your powers say you can do."  5e needs to do better at telling players and DMs that they are free and welcome to get creative.

Weak multiclassing rules.  A feat tax to get a tiny fragment of another class' functionality?  Not nearly as cool as "I am a fighter-mage!"  The hybrid rules were a better effort, but they were always a bit awkward because the system hadn't been built for them, and they were never well supported.

Feat taxes in general.  No.  Feats should have interesting and positive effects.

Magic items assumed to be part of character math.  They should be special, not required.

Encounter length.  Too many complicated off-round actions, too many hit points.  I should note that as a player I liked having lots of off-round actions; they made me feel like I had more control.  I just didn't like it that everybody else had lots of off-round actions, too.  I think this is a bit of a prisoner's dilemma situation:  if we all give up off-round actions, we end up better off.  As for the hit points, that was just a bad call on calibrating the math.  Each hit just needs to do more damage (and attacks probably need to hit more often, too).

Skill challenges.  Too complicated, too abstract.  Although I will say in their favor that they did tell players and DMs to get creative with how to use their skills, so that part was good and should be expanded on.

The alignment revision.  This seems to have been an attempted compromise between those who liked the old two-axis alignment system and those who didn't, and I don't believe the result was pleasing to either camp.
Basically?  Write a decent version of the skill challenge mechanic (which can be run well, if you do it correctly).  Go through the Rules Compendium errata suggestions from the last two years; implement the vast majority of them (notably, something general to prevent infinite looping, something general to limit zones to once per turn or round (depending on which interpretation is favoured).  An overall look at feats and items, in particular, and a mass removal of obsolete elements (cf Barreling Charge).  A genericised Weapons Training feat giving proficiency and non-scaling bonus to damage with one superior weapon of the user's choice.  A better suite of damage-type enhancements (given that Radiant, Cold and Lightning/Thunder are the only ones with really good stuff at the moment).  Kill alignment with fire.  Ideally, though it would be a fairly major system rewrite, kill ability-score-based attacking with fire - go to a level-based system, possibly with variation depending on the choice of a specialist or generalist array/point buy - thus meaning that not all people who want to use the Fighter's mechanics, need to use STR to do so.  Kill class skill lists with fire, and make the base number of trained skills higher for all classes.  Rework the class system to include subclasses as a default, rather than a tacked-on addition - thus allowing things which thematically ought to share support, to share support (Seeker as a Ranger subclass, Swordmage, Artificer and maybe Bard as Wizard subclasses etc etc).  Ditto for Themes - and allow the use of these, as seems to work well in Next, to alter or define role.

In general, take the good bits that 4e did, and do them more, take the terrible bits and kill them with fire, then innovate to fill up the burned areas - or leave them burned to fertilise imagination.

4e is nearly a really good system.  It would be lovely if it were to get a real chance to be so.

I liked what you said but I was confused with the kill them with fire, I really thought you meant something in the game. That was a bit distracting. 
I'm not very good with knowing how systems work, I think your ideas sound like good ones cause you aren't just putting down the system. I'm just not that great with systems so if you could explain these changes in terms for someone who is new to the game how would you say it.
... what do you think is wrong with it? What things don't work, what would you have changed? Let's for a moment play with the idea, that D&DN was based on the 4E framework. What things would you do away with, what do you find lacking  and would like to add to its next iteration? Note, this is meant for people who genuinely like and prefer the fourth edition, so no need to post "no powers, less mmo" - kind of stuff, thank you.

DISCLAIMER: I'm absolutely not trying to start an edition war here, I'm just curious. I personally prefer the earlier ones, but I can still instantly come up with at least two dozen things I would like changed in them.




HP bloat on the monster side at least- maybe a little bit on the player side as well.  Long grindy combats suck and when you need to carve through 1k hp and need a 14 or 16  to hit the monster it sucks.

I'd be ok with a bit more flexibility on the part of wizards for their spellbook so maybe they had more dailies and encounters to choose from each day by studying.  Allowing them a bit more flexibility so long as they didn't have an unlimited number of spells or automatic "I win" buttons would be ok with me if it made the "oh wizards don't feel like wizards now" crowd hush up.

Ritual casting - great idea HORRID execution.  costs and probably time to cast need to be reduced radically in most cases

While I love the reduced number of skills they have -making the existing ones broader I HATE the skill challenge system with a burning pashion- it sucks.

I'd actually prefer a flatter math than exists in 4e.

Magic items - HATE them, hate they are considered part of the math of the game, hate that they are in the phb, hate hate hate the magic item assumtions in 4e.  Yes I know they made options later on but I wasn't fond of the rules even with the later additions.  My favorite character had 4 magic items in his entire multiyear 9 or 10 level career (1st edition so 9th or 10 level was pretty high).  With the exception of his magic +1  horsemans mace I can tell you where he got the other three items -+2 banded mail (which was eaten by a darned rustmonster) and his +2 rod of flailing he recieved from the lair of a deathknight we fought on the way back from crossing the river styx, his helm of underwater breathing he recieved on an island infested with vampires where he picked up his siren girlfriend.  In the 20 years since then I could not tell you anything about the many magic items I've gotten from other campaigns where magic was so much more plentiful, in many cases more powerful and in all cases less memorable.

The "economy"  so even though those elite orcs have extra special nifty swords and armor I can't loot it and sell back in town?   mmmmm-k.  We can't skin giant weasels any more to sell their pelts for 1-4k gold each?  Rats.  You CAN sell magice items but you only get 20% of the listed price?  You can SELL magic items gaaaaah (goes back to the last point) 


Not a fan of some of the later classes or races (the seeker-really? that weird crystal race-uhh huh sure not in games I run tyvm).  Part of that is that I don't think the classes are well designed and part (especially on the race side) is pure aesthetics- they don't fit into what I see as a fantasy rpg world.

Love class balance and for both effectiveness and fun.  Love the variety because despite what many people seem to find I see a lot of differences in the way the different classes play. 
Orzel

2) every class if power source should have received their own method of recovering encounter and daily power. Martials rest. Divines pray. Wizards read their books. Warlocks spend healing surges. Druid tap a primal leyline. Removes a lot of the "sameness".

I love this,  I know they were going for balance with the AEDU powers but I like the idea of recharging, it makes no sense for Fighters not to be able to swing their sword again, unless they were tired or something like that. I believe that they could even have different amounts of these powers. 

The Skill Challange problem, I really don't see what's wrong with them, I know you have to figure out the challenges as a DM but they seem ok from read the Essentials DM guide. But hey I may not know a darn thing about this game. 

sorry about the spelling errors darn spell check isn't working and since the invention of the spell check I gave up on learning how to spell. Tongue Out
  
I already agree with most (if not all) of what was suggested here, but I'll add the following:


There is a trend regarding expansion of the game:
-You start with just the PHB1 races, classes, feats, and other options.
-All was fine and dandy then and we could make a level 1 character in 15 minutes flat.

Then came PBH2, PBH3, the Power book series, Dragon Magazine, Adventurer's Vault, etc
-Now there are dozens of races and classes, thousands of feats, and hundreds of other options to sift through
-Now creating a level 1 character is at least a 1 hour ordeal


Two solutions:
-Stop making so many extra and unnecessary options, especially when new options make older options invalid, obsolete, underpowered, but you still have to sift through it all.
-Or, in the digital tools, allow us to check and uncheck the source books we want to reference so we can look at a reasonable number of options rather than the hundreds to thousands we have now

I liked all the opitions silly me.
Chris Perkins DM AI: Create an AI based on Chris Perkins brain and give us a copy with each purchase of the DMG so that he can run our games for us.  I keep asking and WotC keeps failing to make it happen.  I would finaly be able to play instead of having to DM all the time.

This is the best suggestion I've seen on any forum. I learned to play by watching his playthroughs with Acquisitions Inc.. I think that's why I never thought 4E was too complicated, or grid combat too restrictive, or any of the complaints grognards flung its way - if you just DM'd and played with a WWCPD attitude, you're guaranteed to have an amazing time.

- Slow down the treadmill of bonuses, possibly just flattening it entirely in places. +1/2 level probably doesn't needed to be added anywhere, much less everywhere. It doesn't really matter that a party will super-duper crush a low-level encounter instead of merely crushing it.
- Similarly, don't make system math dependant on having an up-to-date magic weapon.
- Get way, way more conservative with what gets to be a feat or magic item. The system is ludicrously bloated with bad feats and bad magic items, making it hard for someone to make a remotely principled decision about what they want to take at level-up if they're not already expert at the system.
- Get a dedicated templating person, like MTG has. Yeah, 4e is better at templating than some systems, but it could be better yet.
- Figure out some more appealing way to do rituals. For better or for worse, people have a strong aversion to spending money on one-shot effects.
- Do whatever possible to keep the default combat length down. Lower HP is a start, but maybe also additional conservatism when it comes to off-action attacks.
- Less tiny conditional bonus stacking. This was something they were supposedly designing to avoid in 4e, and then they sort of ended up doing it anyway.
- I don't like 4e Multiclassing, but I also haven't the slightest idea how to do it better. Multiclassing is something that no edition has done much of a job at, but I don't particularly love 4e's job of it.
- I'm not positive that this is actually a good idea, but perhaps shift more things to universal abilities; 4e has three defined ones: Bull Rush, Melee Basic, and Ranged Basic. Maybe things like tripping, etc., should be in there?
- Let's get a little gutsier with making same-role classes a little different. Having different sub-strengths is a great start, and I like that it's pretty easy to tell what class someone is and that playing different classes is a generally different experience, but I think we could go further in that regard. Mixing up the structure of how abilities work is neither necessary nor sufficient for this, but it's a good start. (Psion vs. Wizard demonstrates that it's not sufficient to mix up how stuff works to deliver a different experience; Warlord vs. Cleric demonstrates that it's not necessary.)
- In general, I want more choices and fewer options. Feats are where this is worst.
Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
I like 4E. I consider it to be the most balanced and easiest to run (as the DM) of all editions. That said, there are a few things I would change.

1) Faster Combats- I would reduce monster HP and make both monsters and PCs hit more often. Our Defender can get his AC up to 31 already, so the monsters could stand to have better than a +12 to hit.

2) Rituals- Rituals were a great idea, they just are too expensive and take too much time for what they do. In the game I currently run as DM, I have houseruled all rituals to cost one half the printed gold price and take one half the time to complete. They work MUCH better this way. The players actually use them now.

3) Magic Items- They just aren't as awesome as they used to be.  No, I don't want to make them too powerful, but they could stand to be more powerful and just plain more interesting than they are in 4E. I actually don't mind having them be assumed in the basic system math, though.
I love 4th ed, but I would love to see a few things improved:

-Less of a treadmill/number bloat.
-The importance of magical items and how some builds become 'married' to certain items (Badge of the Beserker, Frost Weapon, I'm looking at you). 
 Actually, the whole charge package is too good and reduces diversity in play style.
-Skill challanges to be run more like newer LFR mods. I think they figured out how to do them right at the end.
-No feat taxes. Read my lips: no new taxes. Taxed Enough Already.
Good question OP! While I love 4e, there are several ways in which it could have been improved. 

--Monsters were given way too many hps and not enough damage. The dev's realized this, but a bit too late. Some of the early modules and Monster Manuals are a recipe for 3-hour long battles.

--Automatic damage. We hates it, precious, we hates it!

--The new, online character builder is STILL worse than the old, in many ways.

--Heavy Armor was still in many ways not much better than light. 

--Bludgeoning/slashing and thrusting should have been damage types. Maces should be better against skeletons than spears. 

--The Fighter defender mechanic was a little too strong. Combat challenge AND combat superiority were a bit much.

--Some classes got under-supported (Seeker, Runepriest, etc.)


Those are just a few of the major ones for me.              
          

 

"What is the sort of thing that I do care about is a failure to seriously evaluate what does and doesn't work in favor of a sort of cargo cult posturing. And yes, it's painful to read design notes columns that are all just "So D&D 3.5 sort of had these problems. We know people have some issues with them. What a puzzler! But we think we have a solution in the form of X", where X is sort of a half-baked version of an idea that 4e executed perfectly well and which worked fine." - Lesp

Rituals -- don't have a major problem with them, but my campaign is a little fast and loose, so they've had little impact. 

Skill Challenges -- interesting idea, but they were terribly implemented.

Feats -- if you're going to "obsolete" some feats half-way through your edition, can you actually eliminate them, please? (Better yet, eliminate the lame feats and feat-taxes from the start).

Magic Items -- they should be *awesome* and completely unnecessary to the viability of the character, rather than vanilla and vital and boring as hell.

There's more, I'm sure, but I'm tired now...  
1) Make everyone better at what they're supposed to be good at, and worse at what they're supposed to be bad at. Controllers need harder control power, with less damage, and they need to be squishier. Defenders need to be tougher, and have much more ability to disrupt the enemy from within their ranks. Strikers need to be more mobile and hit for even more devastating damage, but at the cost of being much squishier.

2) Eliminate the leader role. What healing does is it negates the benefit of tactics. If the wrong person takes a lot of hits, then you can just slap a bunch of heals on him and its like it never happened. In-combat healing should be a rarity, not a core feature of an entire role. Out of combat healing should be handled with surges.

3) Reduce power bloat, in the system and on the character sheet. There should be far fewer powers, but the powers should be much more distinct. Also, characters need fewer things to do each combat. One or two encounters is plenty, one or two dailies is plenty. The basic power of a class should rest in its features, not its powers. 
"So shall it be! Dear-bought those songs shall be be accounted, and yet shall be well-bought. For the price could be no other. Thus even as Eru spoke to us shall beauty not before conceived be brought into Eä, and evil yet be good to have been." - Manwë, High King of the Valar

Chris Perkins DM AI: Create an AI based on Chris Perkins brain and give us a copy with each purchase of the DMG so that he can run our games for us.  I keep asking and WotC keeps failing to make it happen.  I would finaly be able to play instead of having to DM all the time.



Eliminate feat taxes (expertise and defenses).

Clean up some redundant rules like immediate actions and OA's. Make it one mechanic and change abilities like combat challenge to be a 1/round OA.

Fix the classes that need fixing like the vampire (needs direction.. a design goal), the Binder (should just nix it completely, or make it not completely inferior to the phb1 Warlock in every way). Support classes that got left out (assassin, seeker, runepriest). 

I don't have a problem with Essentials, per se. I mean, I loathe what they did to the martial classes, but that ship sailed. I think the whole thing should be redesigned so that the pre essentials classes don't have to be arbitrarily nerfed to come into parity with the post Essentials classes.

Feats should be seperated into multiple categories. Flavor feats (talents) like Linguist. Combat feats like Weapon Focus. Abilities like those should never come from the same pool.  

There's some more nitpicky stuff. Can't think of anything major at 5am, though.

 
A lot of what I'd want has already been said, but for the record:

1) Flatten the math.  I want lower level monsters to be useful for longer (and I want to be able to spring higher level monsters earlier more often)

2) Eliminate Number Porn.  Related to #1.  Too many goddamn numbers that inflate to match other numbers that inflate, in an endless arbitrary cycle.

3) +X from magic items not assumed for character balance.  Tied to #s 1 and 2.  Magic items should be a bonus, not another step on the treadmill.  4e's Inherent Bonuses was a nice step.  Just make it official.

4) No feat taxes.  Again, pretty much tied to #1 and #2.  Deflate the numbers, tighten the math, and avoid generic "+X to hit/defense" that would be utterly dominant (moreso than they already are) is a flatter math ruleset.

5) No patch feats.  If a class needs something, patch the class.  Don't make us waste feat slots on something you've decided we should have.

6) Less out-of-turn actions.  This lesson seems learned, thankfully.

7) More At-wills known.  2 isn't enough.

8) No daily abilities.  Replace with daily-like abilities that aren't set to in-game time, but adventure pacing time.  At-wills aren't every 6 seconds; they're every Turn.  Encounter powers aren't every 5 minutes; they're every Scene.  Likewise, Daily powers shouldn't be every 24 hours; they should be every Adventure.  Single-handedly negates the "5-minute Workday" problem.  I've played around with the Milestone mechanic as a functional replacement for dailies.

9) Varying power amounts.  I'm not personally in favor of it, but as a means to make the game more popular to others, I could stand seeing some classes with very few encounter powers in exchange of having more daily (or daily-ish; see above) powers.  Or vice versa.

10) Shared power pools.  Generic powers that anyone can take.  Power source powers that anyone of the appropriate source can take.

11) Divorce skill checks from specifc stats.  Go go Strength + Intimidate for flexed muscle-type threats.  I'm sure you can think of more examples.

12) Better design direction for feats.  Feats should tweak your style.  No flat bonuses.  No patches.

13) Scaling Rituals.  Rituals should be able to be performed "on the cheap" (i.e. with pocket change or less) and relatively quickly for basic, minor effect (limited by caster level).  If you're higher level AND invest in some high quality components, that same ritual becomes much better.

14) Avoid bloat.  Partly tied to #s 10 and 12.  Pretty self-explanatory.

15) Page 42 in the PHB.

16) Rethink Skill Challenges.  Great idea, awkward execution.

17) Speed up combat.  Aided by #6, but also potentially by #s 8 and 9.  A lot of the slow down was actions out of turn, and too many actions to choose from.  If you don't have to worry about "is this the time to pop my daily", you can eliminate a lot of internal deliberation.  If you have almost everything daily, then that also eliminates internal deliberation.  On top of that, increase damage and lower hit points.

18) Lower the amount of surges.  Healing Surges are great.  Just have less of them, across the board.  Either that, or have more things cost surges as a mechanic (like rituals, or daily-ish powers).

19) Have a wound mechanic based on the disease mechanic.  Triggers when brought below 0.  Full night's rest heals all HP, but you have an injury penalty that gets better with time.  Skill checks can decrease time, but if failed worsen the injury, prolonging recovery.  MARK THIS AS OPTIONAL RULE, BUT HAVE IT IN A VERY OBVIOUS PLACE IN BOTH PHB AND DMG.

20) Uh...I'm struggling for a 20th idea, but I'm compelled to have a nice round number for my list.  Hmmm.  Ummm, maybe have better names for the Feywild and Shadowfell?  Maybe?
Essentials zigged, when I wanted to continue zagging. Roll dice, not cars.
I like the At-Wills, Encounter and Daily options within 4E a great deal and think that it's a positive step, however I think it'd be improved by allowing them to be more improvised. Each character has a speciality within the class (fighters are martial, rogues are mobile, mages can conjure area effects and ranges and Clerics can aid\enhance and heal) so the improvisation should be within those areas.
A fighter could use an encounter to strike an opponent in the leg to knock them prone, slow or immmobalise them and do damage based on Encounter Attack Level, a rogue could use his encounter to move and attack during the attack plus slow without an attack of opportunity from the target.
A clerics Encounter could offer another player a Save if the attack were successful.

A Wizard could make a Blast 4 Fire based attack into a blast 3 target but taking a -2 to hit due to having to modify their spell. Or even -5 for a Blast 1,2. Other attacks could be modified within the elements that the character has 'Mastered', mastery is set by what elements the mage has learned so far so a mage who has spells that are Fire, Acid can change his spells to these elements without suffering any modifiers but if they try to change a Burning Hands to Cold then they would suffer a -2 for non mastery.

Not easy for innexperienced players & DM's however and could offer balance issues.
... what do you think is wrong with it? What things don't work, what would you have changed? Let's for a moment play with the idea, that D&DN was based on the 4E framework. What things would you do away with, what do you find lacking  and would like to add to its next iteration? Note, this is meant for people who genuinely like and prefer the fourth edition, so no need to post "no powers, less mmo" - kind of stuff, thank you.



I was actually able to pin down some answers here tonight.  Firstly, 4e won me over from a highly skeptical attitude after the first gameplay.  I immediately saw the fun in it.  It has changed how I play RPGs and how I run them, and all for the better.

However, it does have a lot of what I don't like.  I don't need fifty powers.  I need a few key ones that I can customize via feats, and maybe a way to augment on the fly, not unlike the Psion can.  I want a wide variety of options to choose from to create a character with, but every round my choices need to be clear and simple and yet flexible.  What 4e got right was the ability to let the player describe the actions that led to the mechanic that the power represented.  You had fluff text defaulted in, but no description the player wanted was ever wrong.  So, if I felt like I wanted to explain my arcane magic as being a Vancian wizard whose dailies vanished from his mind afterwards, I could.  Or I could make up a whole new tradition.  The effects were the same.  Perfect for me.  Still, that left too many options on my sheet. Old schooler that I am, I liked a classic two sided character sheet.  Not five pages I need to reprint every time I level up.  Save a tree!

Also, I dislike how there's no discrenable difference between what makes a power a 3rd level power vs a 1st level power and so on.  Magic items have the same issue, only worse.  Some items at higher levels do less than at lower levels.  There's also no guide to this, so when making your own, you can't set a level and have it be anything but arbitrary and a best guess.

There's too much math, short term riders we still struggle to track even after all this time playing it, and a lot of damage calculation that in some cases takes long enough to go get pizza during.  It went overboard in certain areas, despite being a very good idea in some ways, and even with all its flaws, led me to some of the best RP times I have had.  Dial back all that stuff and simplify and you have a winner for me.  I didn't like and never played Essentials because I couldn't character build the way I wanted to, I was pigeon-holed into one build vs another.  I never bought one book, and never played an Essentials only game, or an Essentials character.  I understand now maybe I should try it and see if it hits the sweet spot I would like to see.  Maybe I will.

Lastly, I strongly dislike the way Wizards transitioned to and supported 4e.  The terms of the game license changed, the content was hidden by a subscription, and to compound this player-hostile action with seeming incompetence, the character builder was a hunk of junk, and you more or less needed one to build a current character...and you had to pay for that too.  And it loads a loading screen FFS.  Yer killin' me.

That was when I lost faith that WotC understood what good public relations was and how to enact it with their work.  5e efforts so far leave me with that feeling not only entrenched but a deeper, creepier feeling that they may not understand a good direction to develop the game in at all. 

Considering they offer a first glimpse to an international audience of what D&D will look like, and it has typoes, bad layout, a poor module choice and write up, inattention to detail, and is otherwise a generally needlessly difficult drafting of a key document that should have been designed to do its utmost to inspire people towards the product.  I'm not asking for retail ready, but organized and proofread would have been nice.  This was your moment to create buy-in, Wizards.  I'm more skeptical than ever now. 

Sorry for the tangent, I'm not fussed about one edition over another, I'm wanting to feel like the product is in good hands, and frankly, I don't.  That's been true for years, and it started at the time of 4e, and in spite of what I love about 4e.

More on what I would keep from 5e later, there are some things.  Some good things.  They need much better treatment to suit me though.  Up too late though.  Thanks for asking.
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