Once upon a time I was a hardcore D&D fan boy. D&D was my favorite RPG system and I was very passionate about it. I did dabble in other RPG's but I did not like most of them because I wanted a fantasy based RPG and as far I was concerned D&D was it. The only other one I liked was Star Wars D6 which I played in the 90's. I started on BECM but after a year and a bit of that I got bored with it and moved on to 2nd ed. I liked 2nd ed but I was young and loyal to TSR and then WoTC. 3rd ed came out and I had liked alot of what I had seen in Dragon magazine leading up to it and I switched over no questions asked. I more or less done the same thing with 3.5 up until 2008.
I know what I like and I know what I don't like. 4th ed was not for me for various reasons. The main problem I had with 3.5 was CoDzilla, the main problem I had with 4th ed was that it was different. It was actually very good at what it was designed to do and it had pure gold in it I was jealous of in 3.5. I tried out the play test for PF back in 2009 and passed on that as well as it was 3.5 warmed up and I could just keep playing 3.5. From 2008 through to 2012 we played a variety of systems before settling on Pathfinder which had been fleshed out a bit more and Star Wars Saga which we thought was a worthy successor to the old D6 SW which we played instead of d20 Star Wars.
The main fall out for me personally from the edition war and WoTC handling of 4th ed (even though I did not play it) is that they have lost my automatic brand loyalty I had to D&D. Most people posting on these forums are passionate about D&D even if I disagree with them strongly or they like an edition I do not. Put simply I do not trust WoTC anymore with the D&D franchise and it really would not bother me if they sold it off or even shelved it. I'm not 100% sure what I want from D&DN but I do know what I don't want, that being a reprint of 4th ed (safe from that) or a jump back to pre 2nd ed style D&D. I got sick of dungeon hacks and simplistic classes and races years ago. That is why I moved on to 2nd ed even though I liked BECM.
I like the d20 system (including 4th ed in that description) and it seems popular enough if you count Pathfinder as a d20 game. 4th ed was a step in the right direction for a less complex game as 3rd ed went to far in that direction. There may be a market out there for a basic D&D game but the d20 players are probably the largest % of D&D players (3.5, 4th, PF). That theory could be wrong but I suspect 4th ed had problems because it was different not because it was bad. D&DN is going to be different but it may pay off it may not. Put simply if I want a simple D&D I do not have to buy a new version of D&D as I still have BECM and 2nd ed for that. Maybe they can get in a large influx of new gamers and bring back relapsed players. There could be a large market for that I really do not know.
Anyway the main problem with D&DN is that it is different from the last 12 years of D&D and brand loyalty from this consumer towards WoTC has evaporated. There are other RPG products out there and I have my old D&D material anyway. 19 years of D&D and I have somewhere close to 200 books for it which is almost an average of one a month. I used to buy minis, magic cards, SWSE books and various d20 materials WoTC used to produce and very little of that 200 books is 3rd pp. I might buy D&DN I might not. That loyalty to the D&D brand/label is gone. And that is the main problem WoTC has in selling D&DN at least to this consumer/gamer.
I like D&D so sell it to me.
Fear is the Mind Killer