A (non)-playtest experience-- 18 yr. old 4E player declines to playtest Next

The player in question is afraid all of the Next characters will play "boring or squishy."

The kid in question, who will be called "Fred," started playing 4E when I was excitedly getting into it, and I hosted Pyramid of Shadows and a homebrew module(crazed cleric of Moradin unleashes zombie/construct army trying to revive an fallen Exarch-- good times) at the FLGS where I have my second job.

He later joined my regular group(other players being in their 20s to 40s-- my girlfriend & I, a married couple, a couple of bachelors), playing in some homebrew, Eberron, Forgotten Realms games as time/school permitted. Fred eventually did a pretty good job of running a mix of my D&D group and FLGS regulars through the 4E Revenge of the Giants.

While playing, Fred favors sturdy types (Minotaurs or Revenants) of the Fighter class, that specialize in grabbing, knocking prone, and breaking objects. After downloading the Next playtest materials, he told me he was not interested in playing-- he found the fighter presented boring, and the wizard and cleric too "squishy." The lack of ANY maneuvers, IN THE RULES (and I explained that he was just supposed to/was able to improvise these things), for grabbing and tripping, and the total lack of attacks of opportunity, sealed the deal for him. Fred is out of the playtest as it stands.

Fred did express interest, however, when someone decided last week to start up Living Forgotten Realms 4E at the FLGS.

Personally, I am hopeful for D&D Next, though not optimistic. The simple rules and frail characters of the core game do not sit well with most of my group-- mostly 4E with some 3.5/Pathfinder fans. I am willing to continue to playtest and hope for the best, but am nearly alone in my circle, in my (muted)enthusiasm.

Anybody else have the playtest, as it exists, turn their groups away from the next edition of D&D?


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I haven't had any refuse to playtest it, but the two basic responses I've gotten from other players were "I think I'll be passing on this edition" and "I'll wait and see if it gets better than this, but if it doesn't, I'll be passing on this edition"
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No... our group enjoyed it, but it is still too early to tell if Next will be good enough to move the group away from Pathfinder. We need to see more before it is possible to tell.


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I haven't had any refuse to playtest it, but the two basic responses I've gotten from other players were "I think I'll be passing on this edition" and "I'll wait and see if it gets better than this, but if it doesn't, I'll be passing on this edition"

This is so alien to me.  The response I've gotten from everyone I playtested with was stuff like:

"I never liked D&D before--I can't believe I enjoyed this so much."

"This is awesome!  Are you sure this is D&D?"

"I really missed D&D, and I'm so glad it's back to something playable."*

And the Fighter was considered the "best" character by every person I played with (by whatever personal metric they used).


*Keep in mind these are not my thoughts--I thought D&D was plenty playable.  I enjoyed 3rd and 4e about equally.  But my normal gaming group hates them, so it was frankly a miracle I got them to try it at all.
My group loves what we've seen so far, but we left 4E a year ago with no intention of going back (I sold all my stuff).

Veteran of The Transfer... Add 700 to my post count... 

Does it make it any more or less significant that an 18 year old 4e player did not want to play test DnD Next?

I mean, is that the cut off age? 18 years and under do not want to play but 19 years and older do?

Or is it just an individuals decision based on what they want to play?

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Brining up age is not the wisest of ideas in these forums. Dang kids Vs the grumpy old grognards is right behind the edition war in terms of most common pointless arguments.  This guy has every right to his opinion, but you're going to have a lot if not most of the older players dismiss it because of his age.
Obviously outright rejection is very sad to see, and as others have said there have been less extreme reactions, but it's especialy troubling to see the young demographic being turned off, I can't help but feel it's related to "this let's go for nostalgia" tactic 5e is using.

I'm part of a group that is in the 35+ age range. We have been playing 3.75 (Pathfinder) exclusively. We tested the waters with 4ed, and a few bought the books but dismissed it since it didn't fit our playing style.
When 5ed was announced, two of the group members said they would not play it at all. One stating he didn't want to learn any new mechanics since he knew the current rules inside and out, and the other just didn't want to start buying a whole new series of books.


No one said anything about the fact that we all had our doubt that the developers would do 'right' after what we considered was a total failure in 4ed. Not being harsh but I was the only one that thought it had some merit, and the more I read the more I disliked it.


So the playtest came and I downloaded the materials. I enjoyed reading the 'new' idea's and hungered for more. I expressed my interest to test it with the group, even offering to DM it which is something I don't do.


We took the opportunity to test it when one of our players wasn't going to be available for a few weeks. It allowed us to pause a current game and jump into the Playtest. The results. The player who didn't want to try it, really enjoyed the adventure (and the wizard). The others thought it had merit as well, and were willing to keep testing materials as they were provided. Our biggest issue thus far is the Cleric. None of us thought it encompassed what our idea of a cleric was, too weak, not enough healing, and the severely limited turning... but I digress.


 


The point. We tried it, and enjoyed the material. So we are eagerly waiting to see what direction they are going with it. Hoping that they improve what we dislike, and keep going with the things we do like.


 


My two coppers


K

Anybody else have the playtest, as it exists, turn their groups away from the next edition of D&D?


I've had two groups react this way. 

First group is my 4e campaign, and we were in the F&F playtest. Two of the players dislike the system but will play it if the rest of us do, one thinks it's a confused, misguided and ineffective hack job that has the trapping of D&D but none of its soul (her words), and the last is contractually obligated to be optimistic about it but doesn't actually like it. This group threw a party when Cook quit, no joke. Also, coincidentally, this group is composed of a bunch of wargamers; we played many games of Warmachine in order to wash the bad taste of the playtest's combat system out of our mouths. 

This group is planning on continuing with 4e unless Iron Kingdom Mk. II kicks as much ass as we expect it to, at which point we might jump ship from D&D completely.

Second group is a bunch of diehard Pathfinder players who can't even be in the same room as a 4e book without making snide remarks about its mother. All six have an irrational, burning hatred for 4e despite not a single one of them actually understanding it (as usual). Their concensus is that the playtest is underdeveloped, boring, and kludgy in all the wrong ways and that by attempting to shoehorn in everything from every other edition of D&D ever, it's going to end up an unplayable mess come release.  

This group sees no reason to stop playing PF. As much as I dislike PF, I agree.



Personally, nothing has ever made me want to play 4e as much as seeing the playtest materials. The first night I was flipping through the playtest packet, I made a comment about not being sure I wasn't having some horrible nightmare where the only D&D that existed was all of the worst parts from the last forty years of it. 

You know that eerie look you get from someone when you say exactly what they're thinking, exactly as they're thinking it? Yeah, I got four sets of eyes with that look in them pointed at me. Nobody laughed.
I'm in 2 groups, and each reacted differently.

The first is all college age players new to RPGs in general, who just got into 4e this past year -they unanimously said - "we like our game, we're sticking with it."

The second is the gamestore crowd - who played Living Greyhawk when it was around, and played LFR until it disappeared - they have their home campaigns now and are perfectly content with them.

There was one exception - this detestable fellow who was known for liking 3e better despite coming to the 4e games - he constantly complained about the lack of power on his wizard, and from the stories I heard, was a nightmare for DMs in Greyhawk. He was excited - he had been running an old 3.5 home game and he was happy that next might "restore wizards to our previous level". 

This guy played the optimized and broken builds during my short time in Living Greyhawk, and tryed to do so in LFR, but found it not so easy, due to the balance of the system ,so he ragequit a few months later.

So all in all, 1 person at my FLGS is excited about 5e.
 
This is basically how I'm seeing it. If it is supposed to be an edition to unite all editions under one system, what is the benefit? What would compel me to play it instead of just playing 4e? So far, it looks like AD&D with a little 3e and 4e duct taped on. It also looks like it is going to be returning to being difficult to DM.

That, and it really offers nothing new. I haven't seen one new concept in it. Where 1e added a lot of complexity to the original, 2e added Thac0 and cleaned things up a bit, 3e brought in the idea of feats and unified progression, and 4e brought in an outlook on balance and everyone getting cool stuff of their own. 5e doesn't seem to "do" anything except what has already been done. There's nothing new and fresh. 

I can sympathize with the player in some ways. I want to be excited for it. I really do. It just seems like they're trying to get me to buy something that will allow me to recreate stuff I have already bought. Sort of like trying to sell me the shirt I'm already wearing, but first taking it apart and making me sew it back together. 
This is basically how I'm seeing it. If it is supposed to be an edition to unite all editions under one system, what is the benefit? What would compel me to play it instead of just playing 4e? So far, it looks like AD&D with a little 3e and 4e duct taped on. It also looks like it is going to be returning to being difficult to DM.

That, and it really offers nothing new. I haven't seen one new concept in it. Where 1e added a lot of complexity to the original, 2e added Thac0 and cleaned things up a bit, 3e brought in the idea of feats and unified progression, and 4e brought in an outlook on balance and everyone getting cool stuff of their own. 5e doesn't seem to "do" anything except what has already been done. There's nothing new and fresh. 

I can sympathize with the player in some ways. I want to be excited for it. I really do. It just seems like they're trying to get me to buy something that will allow me to recreate stuff I have already bought. Sort of like trying to sell me the shirt I'm already wearing, but first taking it apart and making me sew it back together. 


Have you read through the AMA that Mearls did? At two points, when asked a question like "I like the edition I'm playing now, why should I switch to the new one?" Mearls' answer was "Don't! Keep playing what you like!"

Kinda says something about a game when the lead developer can't give you a compelling reason for why you should upgrade, doesn't it? 
This is basically how I'm seeing it. If it is supposed to be an edition to unite all editions under one system, what is the benefit? What would compel me to play it instead of just playing 4e? So far, it looks like AD&D with a little 3e and 4e duct taped on. It also looks like it is going to be returning to being difficult to DM.

That, and it really offers nothing new. I haven't seen one new concept in it. Where 1e added a lot of complexity to the original, 2e added Thac0 and cleaned things up a bit, 3e brought in the idea of feats and unified progression, and 4e brought in an outlook on balance and everyone getting cool stuff of their own. 5e doesn't seem to "do" anything except what has already been done. There's nothing new and fresh. 

I can sympathize with the player in some ways. I want to be excited for it. I really do. It just seems like they're trying to get me to buy something that will allow me to recreate stuff I have already bought. Sort of like trying to sell me the shirt I'm already wearing, but first taking it apart and making me sew it back together. 


Have you read through the AMA that Mearls did? At two points, when asked a question like "I like the edition I'm playing now, why should I switch to the new one?" Mearls' answer was "Don't! Keep playing what you like!"

Kinda says something about a game when the lead developer can't give you a compelling reason for why you should upgrade, doesn't it? 



Yeah, I did read that. I was hoping he was being sarcastic. Either that, or he's intentionally trying to not sell new product, which boggles the mind.

he doesnt want to play? did you tell him he would get to fight orcs and kobolds for 20 levels? and he STILL didnt want to play?

jk sounds like a well adjusted young man

This is basically how I'm seeing it. If it is supposed to be an edition to unite all editions under one system, what is the benefit? What would compel me to play it instead of just playing 4e? So far, it looks like AD&D with a little 3e and 4e duct taped on. It also looks like it is going to be returning to being difficult to DM.

That, and it really offers nothing new. I haven't seen one new concept in it. Where 1e added a lot of complexity to the original, 2e added Thac0 and cleaned things up a bit, 3e brought in the idea of feats and unified progression, and 4e brought in an outlook on balance and everyone getting cool stuff of their own. 5e doesn't seem to "do" anything except what has already been done. There's nothing new and fresh. 

I can sympathize with the player in some ways. I want to be excited for it. I really do. It just seems like they're trying to get me to buy something that will allow me to recreate stuff I have already bought. Sort of like trying to sell me the shirt I'm already wearing, but first taking it apart and making me sew it back together. 


Have you read through the AMA that Mearls did? At two points, when asked a question like "I like the edition I'm playing now, why should I switch to the new one?" Mearls' answer was "Don't! Keep playing what you like!"

Kinda says something about a game when the lead developer can't give you a compelling reason for why you should upgrade, doesn't it? 



Yeah, I did read that. I was hoping he was being sarcastic. Either that, or he's intentionally trying to not sell new product, which boggles the mind.



He said it live at origins, and then when I talked to him, he reiterated it when I asked him if he was worried about clones of earlier editions, so yeah, he's serious.
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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.
I suspect part of this is the fact he's played nothing but 4e.   4e IS D&D to him.  I had many totally new players in my playtest (I picked them for that purpose) who haven't played D&D before.  They liked it.  I had a few grognards as well and they liked it.   

I also suspect that people who love 4e may have a hard time sometimes not contaminating the test subjects.

Obviously that varies person to person but some people on here are so cynical I'm not sure how that doesn't flow over to others.


Funny Aside:
Maybe WOTC should sell 3e and 4e and turn it into a contest about which game is better.  Maybe the true diehards on both sides are desperately buying stuff in their edition.  People won't touch the mini with 4e on the label even if it's identical to the 3e labelled mini.   They might sell more books than they've ever sold Wink 
Yeah, I did read that. I was hoping he was being sarcastic. Either that, or he's intentionally trying to not sell new product, which boggles the mind.

One of the cardinal rules of creative works is that you have to believe with every fiber of your being that the project you're working on right now is your favorite thing you've ever done. If you don't do this, the thing you're working on is basically doomed to failure. I don't think Mearls believes this about Next.

Cook was at least smart enough to bail out when he realized it.


He said it live at origins, and then when I talked to him, he reiterated it when I asked him if he was worried about clones of earlier editions, so yeah, he's serious.

I have a hunch: If I were to corner him and ask him to give me five reasons why Next is a better game than 4e, he couldn't. If I were to sit him down, explain what I like about RPGs and roleplaying, and tell him to sell me on Next, he couldn't. 

That's a bad sign.
So my group got together, and we ran through the playtest material.

I've been playing RPGs of all sorts with the current incarnation of this group for 12 years.  Two members I've been gaming with for 18 years.  One I've been gaming with for close to 28 years.  I trust their reactions, and their judgment.  Collectively, we've got over two centuries of gaming experience accumulated between us.  Most of us seem to have an attitude of "once bitten twice shy" when it comes to D&D.   As a group we all cheerfully invested our hard-earned cash in 4E with bright expectations for the new game, and as a group we were all very disappointed.  Nathan (the one with whom I have 28 years of mutual gaming history) has sworn that WotC will never see another non-Magic: The Gathering related dollar from him, ever, because he feels cheated when it came to 4E.

While the rest of us don't hold that view, we were all left feeling ill-used by the earlier edition.  I openly admit that this attitude probably colored our perception of the playtest material.

After the run-through I asked what they all thought.  They liked the game session well enough, but it wasn't compelling enough for anyone in the group to say they'd switch to Fifth.   The most enthusiastic reaction was probably from Steve, who said, "Well, at least its not Fourth Edition."  That brought a round of chuckles from everyone.  The general consensus on D&D 5th (we are refusing to call it by that ridiculous "D&D Next" moniker... though Nathan points out that if we were honest we'd be calling it D&D 9th) is that the designers are flailing around like drowning men, unsure of what particular elements it was that caused them to lose their market share.

All of us feel that 5E is a backpedal away from 4E.  None of us feel its going to be worth investing in.
most people in my current group of 8 have gotten the playtest and read it over.

no one has offered to run or even bring it up as a "maybe we should try this?".

i'm really not excited by anything it has to offer me at the moment. at best the only mechanics that really caught my eye were advantage/disadvantage which i would really need to look at in play as well as analyse a bit deeper math-wise but honestly have not had much energy or will to do so, and the jump rules which is more of a "duh! why did this not appear much earlier?" moment then anything else.

it just saddens me that the jumping rules are the thing that probably stuck out the most for me as rememberable. the rest is simply forgettable or uninspiring.

if they want to grab my attention, they need to put out more material for me to look at rather then simply say "we're working on it".
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The biggest problem is that there is no direction. There are no design goals. D&D is a product that constantly re-defines itself with every new iteration. Some stick with it, others do not. It creates multiple editions of one brand that are essentially different games. You can't come back and say we're going to make one game that is all of them in one. You just can't do that. I don't care if you put the word modular on it. It still needs to have a direction.

Take GURPS, for example. It is a modular system with no real design goals or default assumptions. It doesn't really have much of a playstyle to it, aside from some simulationist aspects. It really shows in the supplements, too. There is no "feel" to it. It's pretty dry.

Now, take Savage Worlds. It's as modular as they come, but it at least has a design goal. No matter what setting you play, or what supplements you use, the game is built to have a pulpy, high action feel to it. It does this extremely well, better than any other system I've tried. Those that like pulpy games love SW. Even the Call of Cthulhu setting for it, while adding some grittiness and other ideas, it still has an overall pulpy feel. Especially compared to Chaosium's game. It is ever present, and it is better because of it.

DDN doesn't have the luxury of going the GURPS route, because of its history. They have to choose a direction, and stick with it. They have a lot of competition out there in the form of retro clones. They need to sell the customers playing other games on it, and without a clear direction, I don't think that is going to happen. Convince us that it is worth investing in yet another new set of books after only a few years.

Choose a direction, and move that way. Alter your trajectory based on feedback if needs be, but have a clear picture of what you want the game to be. "Every edition broken down into modular mechanics" doesn't sound very interesting". It has to have something new and fresh. "We're selling this new edition that does this new shiny stuff, and then you can even add in these modules to recreate those magical moments of the past under the new shiny stuff of the present" is a better sales pitch. It doesn't have any new shiny stuff to sell, though. 
The biggest problem is that there is no direction. There are no design goals. D&D is a product that constantly re-defines itself with every new iteration. Some stick with it, others do not. It creates multiple editions of one brand that are essentially different games. You can't come back and say we're going to make one game that is all of them in one. You just can't do that. I don't care if you put the word modular on it. It still needs to have a direction.

Well said. 

Anybody else have the playtest, as it exists, turn their groups away from the next edition of D&D?


Yep we playtested it, and were all bored and frustrated by the game.
The next week we playtested 13th Age and loved it.
We've now switched to using the playtest rules for 13th Age for our regular weekly game (at least until the final rules are released), as for us it is a better 'next edition of D&D' than D&D Next.
Anybody else have the playtest, as it exists, turn their groups away from the next edition of D&D?


Yep we playtested it, and were all bored and frustrated by the game.
The next week we playtested 13th Age and loved it.
We've now switched to using the playtest rules for 13th Age for our regular weekly game, as for us it is a better 'next edition of D&D' than D&D Next.



My favorite part about it is that it isn't a 4e "Pathfinder". It's a 4e redux, with some AD&D and indy elements to flesh it out and make it its own entity. They didn't just take 4e and throw some chrome wheels and a new paint job on it. You can tell that the designers really knew what they wanted, and probably wanted a lot of this in 4e initially.
@English
I think that this core philosophy is exactly what 1e,2e,3e had.   It was D&D.  Vancian wizards and all.  So I believe 5e is definitely going to provide a way to play that game.   They do though realize that 4e was important to a lot of people so they are figure ways to address those concerns too.   Not every concern is diameterically opposed.  

@Others
I disagree with the guy that said Mike Mearls couldn't defend the fun of 5e.   I ran into him in the early days of 4e.  He seemed pained at defending that edition even then.   He did of course but I can read people.  He wasn't sold in my opinion.  So I believe he is overjoyed to provide a game that caters to more styles.   We aren't (hopefully) losing a style so much as adding back in others that were lost.   I talked to Mike Mearls at Origins recently and my take was that he was excited for the game.  Maybe a bit tired but that could have been the heavy travel.  

What bugs me the most is the need for some people to claim their style is the ultimate end all of everything.  If it is fun, good for you.  No need to destroy all the other styles that exist.   I can enjoy Golf without destroying Tennis.  

There is also this issue of "progress".  I'm for progress which is why I am excited for 5e and I was for 4e right up until I had played it a while.   History is littered with companies that made designs that turned out badly though and they ended up backtracking.   I think 4e turned out badly from a financial perspective.  Their behavior this time around gives them away.  Unlike some of the 4vengers here though they don't want to boot those different players out the door and slam it behind them.   





 
My group started D&D with AD&D played 3E and 3.5E.
But someday a lot of them were not happy with 3.5E anymore wanted something new and switched back to a new edition of Das Schwarze Auge (DSA) where we came from (its a german RPG).
When 4E was released I started a 4E D&D group but quite a lot of the guys were not so interested. Saying time is short and DSA is better. Nevertheless some tried it and we are playing a more or less monthly 4E group now. But overall we are not really convinced of 4E and some like 3.5E more. We are actually playing 4E because I bought a lot of stuff.
But what we have seen so far from D&D NEXT - we like - could be a good edition for us. Maybe more of us are coming back to D&D.
Anybody else have the playtest, as it exists, turn their groups away from the next edition of D&D?


Yep we playtested it, and were all bored and frustrated by the game.
The next week we playtested 13th Age and loved it.
We've now switched to using the playtest rules for 13th Age for our regular weekly game, as for us it is a better 'next edition of D&D' than D&D Next.



My favorite part about it is that it isn't a 4e "Pathfinder". It's a 4e redux, with some AD&D and indy elements to flesh it out and make it its own entity. They didn't just take 4e and throw some chrome wheels and a new paint job on it. You can tell that the designers really knew what they wanted, and probably wanted a lot of this in 4e initially.



Yes, 13th Age really feels like a new edition of D&D rather than an X-point-Y game.

One of the best bits about 13th Age for us so far? For last night's game we decided to use minis, and you know what? 13th Age blends Theatre-of-the-mind and Tableu-Vivant perfectly - we got a tactical minis combat out of THE SAME RULES as we used our first session for theatre of the mind style combat. No modularity - just well written rules!

We also like how the rules are buttoned down tight but the creativity is wiiiide open. We had a telekinetic rabbi, the last worshiper of a dead god, and a reformed villain adventuring with a holy thief, a former bear, a warp-spasming barbarian, and an indiana-jones styled wizard! Not only do the rules mechanically support unique fun concepts but they do so unintrusively and smoothly. There was never any point I felt like I had to say "no" to a player, but also there wasn't any point I felt players were gaming the system because I didn't say "no".

13th Age is well produced, it looks to the future with innovation and solid design, and it respects the past of the hobby in such a way as it can repeat past triumphs and yet it is not tied to the past in such a way as it is forced to repeat past mistakes or fails to learn past lessons. So yes, loving the next edition of D&D produced by the designers of the previous two editions, pity it dosn't have the D&D brand name on it. If only WotC had hired Tweet and Heinsloo to do D&D Next.


So far the playtest material for DDN has been really well received by my group thus far.  There are certainly a few things that need some work at this point and the limited scope of the current packet is frustrating because they immediately said, "Can we make our own PCs up so they feel more like our characters?"  But the streamlined rules, simple resolution system, and quick combat has been a hit.

3/5ths of the group have been playing 4e since day 1.  The other has about 18 months of 4e experience.  The fifth (irregular) man hasn't played D&D since 2e.  However, if I had to classify the group's primary edition in terms of where they've had the most experience, I'd says it breaks down like this:

Basic - 1 person (me, the DM).
1e - 3 people
2e - 2 people

So we're fairly "old school" in terms of where we've cut our teeth and I think what's resonated with us in the core module is the call-back to the simpler setup of classic D&D but with the logical parts of 3e and 4e still intact.  We all agree that 4e is a good, balanced rule set, but because everything is so codified, it stifles the RP part of the RPG experience - at least among our group.  I think we'd all love to continue playing the game in the boundaries of the Adventure System as a tactical mini board game with some RPG elements.  But for our main game we want something a little lighter on the rules and more fast and loose in the play.

It's actually funny the things that people have called out as impressive to them thus far.  I like how there's a lot more of 4e bolted onto the system than I expected (the feats provided by the themes, at-will cantrips/orisons) and a lot less 3e than I feared.  One of the players likes that not everyone has the same XP total and the loot is randomized.  Another likes the lack of opportunity attacks.  Another likes that it doesn't follow the 4-5 encounter day model of 4e. 

I will say that having my copy of the Rules Cyclopedia at the table has been essential to answer questions.  (How many coins in a pound?  What's the duration of a potion of invisibility?)
After being stationed in colorado springs I left most of my group and haven't been able to form a solid group I've enjoyed playing with since. So currently all I've got is a friend living with me and my wife to playtest with. And neither are interested to play at all. My friend has been playing dnd for some 15 years and my wife started with 4E. She is not even interested in discussing the subject if DDN and he is willing to talk about it but very unsure if its worth it.
I've seen the playtest of 13th Age and didn't like the rules.  It felt too much like 4e with 4e's design goals and sensibilities for me.   I do think though it may be a home for those who just love 4e and want some support.  It is different.  I said design goals and sensibilities and not an exact copy.   It's not a clone.  

I did like the setting information and some of the stuff though enough to pre-order the core book.  I'm really not a hater of any group save the haters.   (yeah I got a little self loathing in that Wink). 

I'm one of those people Mike Mearl's talked about...

I've bought (or downloaded when free) the following in the last six months
1.  Adventurer Conquerer King
2.  Hackmaster 5e
3.  Castles and Crusades
4.  Planning on buying Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG

How many will I actually play?  Not sure.  I will choose something if 5e doesn't work out but I think 5e will be my game in the future.   I'm a houseruler and a game designed for that is a big plus.  Maybe 6e will have trouble pulling me away from 5e.   But I'll probably buy it anyway Tongue Out.





 
To the OP: Your not alone

My group decided that it wasn't that much fun and they'd rather continue doing the ongoing campaign we started with before the Playtest (Thundespire Labyrinth, 4E). And my wife, who doesn't really care for 4E all that much, said she'd rather play 4E than more Playtest. From their responses, it came down to a few things such as:
[*]Limited Actions: Getting to either hide to gain Advantage or attack was annoying (my wife's words)
[*]Boring Options: Using Magic Missile every single battle because Ray of Frost was pointless in multiple group encounters and Shocking Grasp put too much risk on the Wizard (again, my wife's words). Also, Radiant Lance every turn got stale. (my friend Pete's words). The fighter just swings and does some damage and that's all he does (friend Eric's words).
[*]DM'ing pains: Monster stat blocks were too minimal in the adventure. The cross referencing with the Beastiary was annoying, espically for their saves and special abilities. I didn't like how Diseases were just additinoal damage (again, too boring). The adventure lacked validity (I had no clue why the battles were set up the way they were or what the battles were testing). Healing is an issue, we like a better resource aspect for our daily ventures aside from the Wizard/Cleric being out of "Big" spells and HP isn't the best way to do it (we liked Healing Surges, for reference). 
 
Post Game commentary:

~My group felt Improv-actions were a lazy way of allowing character to do anything under the sun. We like codified rules that explain how and why things work within the system. With nothing to reference that by, we had no way of knowing specific things such as Jumping over a pit and what the DC might be or How I was going to rule Bull Rush or if Disarming was allowed? Basically, we're just not the sort of group that really enjoys heavy Improv and player knowledge being more superior to Character Knowledge.   

I've seen the playtest of 13th Age and didn't like the rules.  It felt too much like 4e with 4e's design goals and sensibilities for me.   I do think though it may be a home for those who just love 4e and want some support.  It is different.  I said design goals and sensibilities and not an exact copy.   It's not a clone.  

I did like the setting information and some of the stuff though enough to pre-order the core book.  I'm really not a hater of any group save the haters.   (yeah I got a little self loathing in that ). 

I'm one of those people Mike Mearl's talked about...

I've bought (or downloaded when free) the following in the last six months
1.  Adventurer Conquerer King
2.  Hackmaster 5e
3.  Castles and Crusades
4.  Planning on buying Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG

How many will I actually play?  Not sure.  I will choose something if 5e doesn't work out but I think 5e will be my game in the future.   I'm a houseruler and a game designed for that is a big plus.  Maybe 6e will have trouble pulling me away from 5e.   But I'll probably buy it anyway .

 



In your list I'm seeing a lot of retro design style games, so it dosn't suprise me that you didn't overly like the 13th age rules (it is very much a 3.5 meets 4e meets indie/story game, the design is quite modern). 13th Age won't be for everybody, just like 5e won't be for everybody. 5e is looking increasingly to be a high-production fantasy heartbreaker, which is a pity because if it just embraces it's retro leanings it can explode onto the scene as THE game. As it is it feels to have too many modern elements to be everything it could be.

Personally I like a bit of the old retro stuff now and again, but for my main game I want something with more modern design sensabilities and 5e definately dosn't have that. For all it's talk of inclusiveness it isn't that inclusive - unless the playtest isn't actually representive of the rules, style of writing, and design decisions.

I do really like the advantage/disadvantage mechanic of 5e ... I'm stealing that for 13th Age rather than the +2/-2 Ad/Dis mechanic used there.
@5Efan
Well....

I've also purchased or downloaded
1.  FATE rpg
2.  Cortex rpg
3.  Gurps (this one is beyond 6 months but I own it)
4.  13th Age (I did order this one)

So I am aware of a lot of different games.  I'm only passingly aware of the world of darkness stuff.  The flavor sounded great but the game system didn't.

 
@English
I think that this core philosophy is exactly what 1e,2e,3e had.   It was D&D.  Vancian wizards and all.  So I believe 5e is definitely going to provide a way to play that game.   They do though realize that 4e was important to a lot of people so they are figure ways to address those concerns too.   Not every concern is diameterically opposed.

Not every one, but this one is. I get that most people don't understand why, but it's not hard to figure out that the guiding philosophy of Next's rules is fundamentally different from 4e's. From that philosophical differences comes the essential incompatibility between the kind of play expereince 4e delivered and the kind of play experience Next delivers. 

The two are not the same thing, and no amount of bolt-on options will change that.


@Others
I disagree with the guy that said Mike Mearls couldn't defend the fun of 5e.

I didn't say he couldn't defend the fun of Next. I said he couldn't give me a reason to switch to it from my current game. 


I ran into him in the early days of 4e.  He seemed pained at defending that edition even then.   He did of course but I can read people.  He wasn't sold in my opinion.  So I believe he is overjoyed to provide a game that caters to more styles.   We aren't (hopefully) losing a style so much as adding back in others that were lost.   I talked to Mike Mearls at Origins recently and my take was that he was excited for the game.  Maybe a bit tired but that could have been the heavy travel.

Mearls didn't spearhead 4e, Heinsoo did. 

What bugs me the most is the need for some people to claim their style is the ultimate end all of everything.  If it is fun, good for you.  No need to destroy all the other styles that exist.   I can enjoy Golf without destroying Tennis.

Except there's only one channel, and it will either broadcast Golf or Tennis exclusively. You want to watch Golf. I want to watch Tennis. See the problem?

There is also this issue of "progress".  I'm for progress which is why I am excited for 5e and I was for 4e right up until I had played it a while.  

Rather contradictory, in my opinion. You want progress, but you dislike 4e which was nothing but progress. You want progress, but you like Next, which is everything except progress.

 
History is littered with companies that made designs that turned out badly though and they ended up backtracking.   I think 4e turned out badly from a financial perspective.  Their behavior this time around gives them away.

"Reunify the editions!" didn't work in 2001. "Reunify the editions!" didn't work in 2003. "Reunify the editions!" didn't work in 2008. "Reunify the editions!" didn't work in 2010. 

What makes you think "Reunify the editions!" is going to work now?

Unlike some of the 4vengers here though they don't want to boot those different players out the door and slam it behind them.

Except for the part where that's exactly what they're doing to the 4e players, few though we are. 

Best case scenario, WotC gets about a quarter of the total players still playing 3e and earlier material, including retroclones. The PF crowd mostly doesn't budge but maybe a few come back. About half the 4e market comes over simply out of brand loyalty while the rest keep playing 4e or find other games. People who don't already play D&D mostly don't start.

At the end, you still have more than half of the "D&D" market playing something other than Next. You see an initial surge in sales that makes it look, for the first year or so, like the game is a success, but after that it trails off as people who bought the books to try the game out decide it's not their thing and stop buying more. 6e is announced in 2016 alongside talk about how the new edition will "unify the D&D community" under a single system.
Basically, we're just not the sort of group that really enjoys heavy Improv and player knowledge being more superior to Character Knowledge.   
 



Can you explain more clearly what you mean by requiring player knowledge?
http://art.penny-arcade.com/photos/979299305_WsMkV-L.jpg
I've seen the playtest of 13th Age and didn't like the rules.  It felt too much like 4e with 4e's design goals and sensibilities for me.   I do think though it may be a home for those who just love 4e and want some support.  It is different.  I said design goals and sensibilities and not an exact copy.   It's not a clone.  

I did like the setting information and some of the stuff though enough to pre-order the core book.  I'm really not a hater of any group save the haters.   (yeah I got a little self loathing in that ). 

I'm one of those people Mike Mearl's talked about...

I've bought (or downloaded when free) the following in the last six months
1.  Adventurer Conquerer King
2.  Hackmaster 5e
3.  Castles and Crusades
4.  Planning on buying Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG

How many will I actually play?  Not sure.  I will choose something if 5e doesn't work out but I think 5e will be my game in the future.   I'm a houseruler and a game designed for that is a big plus.  Maybe 6e will have trouble pulling me away from 5e.   But I'll probably buy it anyway .





 



It's really not compatible with 4e. I'm not sure what you mean when you say it feels too much like 4e, either. You can definitely see the inspirations in the foundation, but the game itself is quite different. It has a very indy feel to it. Every class functions relatively independently, yet still pretty well balanced. Combat is a bit more swingy, and the escalation mechanic makes it so that the fight gets more deadly the longer it goes. The combat rules are vastly different from 4e, while still dynamic.
It's really not compatible with 4e. I'm not sure what you mean when you say it feels too much like 4e, either.



 he doesnt even know. i doubt he has ever even seen 13th age
I have seen it frothsof and I resent you implying that I'm lying.  If you have the playtest packet yourself, please give me a page number and paragraph number and I will quote it to you.  

If either of you bother to read my post on it, I said that it seemed designed with some of the 4e sensibilities.  That does NOT mean it is an identical game.   3e was definitely designed with 1e and 2e design sensibilities but it was not the same game.   I thought it might be a good game for people who really like those design philosophies.  I did not suggest you not try 5e.
I'm just curious as to what sensibilities you are referring to is all. What, specifically, did you dislike about it?

I can tell you right now that the monk is pure genius in my eyes. When I've been discussing how I want martial characters to operate, that is almost a blueprint for the design. The opener, flow attack, and finishing maneuver structure is awesome. The ability to mix and match the full disciplines allows you to fully customize how you want to tailor and encounter and set something up exactly the way you want. It really is the highlight of the playtest for me.

The Fighter is nice and simple, yet remains dynamic and interesting. It isn't simple to the point of "I hit with my sword", but it is very easy to pick up and learn. It still definitely presents itself as the master of martial combat, and has the options available to be whatever you want it to be. Tank, archer, twf, sword and board, 2handed weapon, whatever. That, and the bonuses to intercept really just puts the class in full command of the battlefield.

My only real complaint is that the barbarian kinda looks slapped together, and we still haven't seen the druid.

I also love the relatively seamless transition between a battlemat and narrative combat. Especially with the way AoE's and zones work. AoE's are brilliant in it.
@5Efan
Well....

I've also purchased or downloaded
1.  FATE rpg
2.  Cortex rpg
3.  Gurps (this one is beyond 6 months but I own it)
4.  13th Age (I did order this one)

So I am aware of a lot of different games.  I'm only passingly aware of the world of darkness stuff.  The flavor sounded great but the game system didn't.

 


Ah, I sit corrected
GURPS? Ah, that is a blast from the past. Terrible core system, great suppliments.
I haven't had any refuse to playtest it, but the two basic responses I've gotten from other players were "I think I'll be passing on this edition" and "I'll wait and see if it gets better than this, but if it doesn't, I'll be passing on this edition"



This has been the reaction of most of my players as well.  Many of the players for whom I DM started with 2nd or 3rd edition, and the majority of them are unimpressed so far.  The most common observation they have is that so much of what Next has presented is backpeddaling away from 4th Edition, which many of them enjoyed.