The re-releases are awesome.. SO why switch to Next

I think the two best fantasy Role play systems are Pathfinder and AD&D 2nd edition.  Now AD&D second edition material is available.  WHY should I switch to Next.  I have system mastery of both 3rd edition and 2nd edition, I do not need to spend the time to learn Next, though I have run the play test.

For me NEXT is great because I might get a D&D game I like, so I was in a position where I had nothing to lose because I did not like 4e.

Now with Forgotten Realms being fixed with the sundering, what would have worked out best for me is this:

4e stays published developed and supported.

All the old editions are re-released, maybe cleaned up, but support is available through DDI.

Forgotten Realms published as a system neutral setting.

Honestly I have the games I like:  Pathfinder, AD&D, ALternity, Star Wars (WEG) and SAGA, Mutants and Masterminds, and Marvel FASERIP.  For me I buy new systems as a math exercise, nothing more.  I can't find a system that does what I need better than the listed systems (I even argue that FASERIP represents heroes better than Mutants and Masterminds, but just throw balance out the window).  Why would I ever switch to NEXT?

Yeah its neat, but it doesn't do anything better than PF or AD&D.

What can the system do that I cannot already accomplish?




CAMRA preserves and protects real ale from the homogenization of modern beer production. D&D Grognards are the CAMRA of D&D!
Because 1e through 4e each had their own mechanical flaws and drawbacks.  That's what Next is trying to fix - to take the best parts of each, and blend them so that no matter what style of D&D you like to play, you're in the same boat as the rest of us.

What the system can do that you cannot already accomplish is do things like have a 2e-style experience that fixes the flaws, have 3e-styles multiclassing that's balanced and doesn't break the game apart.

What the system can do that you cannot already is do what you can already do better.  Now, is it there yet?  No, of course not - the game's not even remotely close to finished.  But that's the goal, and that's why you should want to be involved in the process.  Not because this particular snapshot looks like the final product you want, but because you want the final product to be something you want.

If you just throw up your hands and say "this isn't for me, it's not what I want" when it isn't finished, that doesn't help anyone.  It doesn't help you, it doesn't help them, and it doesn't help this forum.  You're wanting it to be 'done' - so that you can recognize why you would play it over whatever your favorite edition is.  Well, it's not done, and so why would you expect it to be better than a finished product you've been enjoying for years?
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Because 1e through 4e each had their own mechanical flaws and drawbacks.  That's what Next is trying to fix - to take the best parts of each, and blend them so that no matter what style of D&D you like to play, you're in the same boat as the rest of us.

What the system can do that you cannot already accomplish is do things like have a 2e-style experience that fixes the flaws, have 3e-styles multiclassing that's balanced and doesn't break the game apart.

What the system can do that you cannot already is do what you can already do better.  Now, is it there yet?  No, of course not - the game's not even remotely close to finished.  But that's the goal, and that's why you should want to be involved in the process.  Not because this particular snapshot looks like the final product you want, but because you want the final product to be something you want.

If you just throw up your hands and say "this isn't for me, it's not what I want" when it isn't finished, that doesn't help anyone.  It doesn't help you, it doesn't help them, and it doesn't help this forum.  You're wanting it to be 'done' - so that you can recognize why you would play it over whatever your favorite edition is.  Well, it's not done, and so why would you expect it to be better than a finished product you've been enjoying for years?



True, I haven't given up on it.  Maybe I am over excited about the re-release.  I will post more later, after I gather my thoughts.

CAMRA preserves and protects real ale from the homogenization of modern beer production. D&D Grognards are the CAMRA of D&D!
This trend is ispiring another PSA...
My two copper.
Because DDN is going to be the way new players are introduced to the game.  I like that very muchly.  I think the new edition beats all previous editions hands down in terms of how easy it's going to be to teach to incoming players, new to the TTRPG experience.  If you have a prior edition you prefer, by all means, go have fun with it.
Yeah for FASERIP mention! If you like that check out: ZEFRS www.midcoast.com/~ricekrwc/zefrs/

The lack of any attempt at balance in FASERIP was one of my fave parts about that game.
Well everyone is pretty convincing here.

And thanks for the FASE RIP link!

CAMRA preserves and protects real ale from the homogenization of modern beer production. D&D Grognards are the CAMRA of D&D!
Because 1e through 4e each had their own mechanical flaws and drawbacks.  That's what Next is trying to fix - to take the best parts of each, and blend them so that no matter what style of D&D you like to play, you're in the same boat as the rest of us. [snippage for brevity]

True, I haven't given up on it.  Maybe I am over excited about the re-release.  I will post more later, after I gather my thoughts.

I'm looking forward to all the older material because I love published adventures and stuff. At the same time, like you I'm excited about 5e, largely because of what Mand said above -- looks like WotC is going to blend most of what I like about AD&D with good parts of the newer editions, and add new stuff on top of that. We like that idea! And it shouldn't be too hard to use old adventures and modules with the new rules.

In memory of wrecan and his Unearthed Wrecana.

..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true">And it shouldn't be too hard to use old adventures and modules with the new rules.

As a DM, I've never understood why this was hard to begin with. I'm currently playing through a Pathfinder adventure path using the 4th edition of D&D set in 3.5 Eberron. After the 4e campaign set in 2e Dark Sun.

Supporting an edition you like does not make you an edition warrior. Demanding that everybody else support your edition makes you an edition warrior.

Why do I like 13th Age? Because I like D&D: http://magbonch.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/first-impressions-13th-age/

AzoriusGuildmage- "I think that you simply spent so long playing it, especially in your formative years with the hobby, that you've long since rationalized or houseruled away its oddities, and set it in your mind as the standard for what is and isn't reasonable in an rpg."

As a DM, I've never understood why this was hard to begin with. I'm currently playing through a Pathfinder adventure path using the 4th edition of D&D set in 3.5 Eberron. After the 4e campaign set in 2e Dark Sun.



It really depends on how much time you have to convert.  When I was a teen, through college age it was easy enough to do because I had more time than I knew what to do with.  Now, time is scarce and running pre-written material is a way of still being able to table a great campaign without all the time consuming work.  If the conversion takes almost as much time as just writing new material then the pre-written stuff isn't as appealing.  Next currently looks enough like 1e, and 2e AD&D to make coverting those materials a snap.  3e and 4e...not so much.

Kalex the Omen 
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Concerning Player Rules Bias
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The argument goes, that some idiot at the table might claim that because there is a "default" that is the only true way to play D&D. An idiotic misconception that should be quite easy to disprove just by reading the rules, coming to these forums, or sending a quick note off to Customer Support and sharing the inevitable response with the group. BTW, I'm not just talking about Next when I say this. Of course, D&D has always been this way since at least the late 70's when I began playing.

... And it shouldn't be too hard to use old adventures and modules with the new rules.

As a DM, I've never understood why this was hard to begin with. I'm currently playing through a Pathfinder adventure path using the 4th edition of D&D set in 3.5 Eberron. After the 4e campaign set in 2e Dark Sun.

Converting THAC0 to d20; PPD/PP/RSW/Br/Sp saves to Fort, Ref, and Will; and AC from -10 to 34 -- or the other way around -- without causing a train wreck.

In memory of wrecan and his Unearthed Wrecana.

I have to say I'm always surprised by the 2e/3e fans who ask why they'd want to play Next. 4e fans I kind of get, because it doesn't look like Next will have the rigid balance or tactical complexity of 4e... but it seems to me like 5e has the promise of having pretty much ALL the major features of, say, 3e without many of the drawbacks.

I'll confine myself to 3e since that's the system I'm most familiar with. Why play Next over 3e?

1. Martial classes and spellcasters are already more balanced at high levels.
2. Fighters and rogues have more interesting and unique abilities.
3. The removal of class skill lists opens up more character possibilities.
4. Feats are more meaningful, enhancing character creation options.
5. The monk isn't a joke.
6. The core combat rules are simplified and streamlined, without losing many tactical options. (Example: attacks of opportunity.)
7. Differences in saves are gone and differences in BAB are minimal, so multiclassing will (or should) be much more viable.
8. Built-in kits (deity/domains, wizard traditions, rogue schemes, etc) add more built-in variety to the classes.
9. From the DM side, monster stat blocks are easier to read and more dynamic.
10. The focus on ability checks as a core mechanic enables easier improvisation.
11. Bounded accuracy (when it comes to skills) encourages characters to attempt more tasks outside their "comfort zones." (That is, there isn't a 20-point disparity between the Diplomacy check of a tenth-level fighter and bard, so the fighter might still try to act charming now and then.)

I could keep going, but yeah. The downside? Well, obviously there isn't nearly as much material out there for 5e as there is for 3e/d20, and there's still new stuff to learn, and everything is in flux since it's a playtest (so there might be some "dealbreaker" lurking in the shadows ready to ruin the final version for you.)
Because DDN is going to be the way new players are introduced to the game.  I like that very muchly.  I think the new edition beats all previous editions hands down in terms of how easy it's going to be to teach to incoming players, new to the TTRPG experience.  If you have a prior edition you prefer, by all means, go have fun with it.



This pretty much nails it. D&D is really unique in that it's a brand name everyone knows and WoTC has an awesome relationship with stores and putting together events for newbies. And the newbie experience for D&D probably peaked in the early 80's with the Moldvay/Mentzer editions of Basic D&D. I'd be willing to bet there was a bit of a shock for some people at Wizards when they went back and replayed these editions in just how quick and easy it was to play D&D back then.

I can see those elements(quick and easy) in DDN and even if you're not into DDN itself, you should think of it as a gateway drug to get more people into the hobby. And as a bonus it seems like WoTC is commited to bringing back the old versions of D&D products too. So you'll be able to buy old 2e material and play it at the table under 2e or DDN.
D&DN will have ess options than 3.5 and I think people have houseruled 3.5 into something playable so RAW balance issue is not a concern.

 I'm currently rewritig part of PF and alot of the thing in D&DN I do like can easily be addd to 3.XYZ. The concentration mechanic and words of power for example  fix the 3.5 cleric if you change a few spells around. 3rd ed is inherently modular so you can rip out parts of it you do not like and add parts from D&DN and 4th ed and SWSE.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

D&DN will have ess options than 3.5 and I think people have houseruled 3.5 into something playable so RAW balance issue is not a concern.

 I'm currently rewritig part of PF and alot of the thing in D&DN I do like can easily be addd to 3.XYZ. The concentration mechanic and words of power for example  fix the 3.5 cleric if you change a few spells around. 3rd ed is inherently modular so you can rip out parts of it you do not like and add parts from D&DN and 4th ed and SWSE.



I can see some parts of Next working as patches for 3.5, but there are some major core parts of 3.5 that are problematic (BAB, iterative attacks, and the skill system spring to mind.) With the amount of work it'd take to houserule that stuff into shape, and teach it to your group, you could much more easily buy and learn the rules for Next, which would probably be a lot simpler and less slapped-together.

And if that's your deal, Next is MORE modular than 3e, I'd argue. 
I can understand people not liking BAB, iterative attacks, and the skill system but they are not fundamentally unworkable. Pathfinder has a better skill system than 3.5 een though is similar so yo can port that in or you can use SWSE skills if you want. BAB works well, iterative attacks not so much but once agian you can use SWSE BAB instead if you want. Even RAW though they are not the major problems 3.5 has which is CoDzilla.

 There are plenty of d20 based games you can import material from into 3.5. Pathfinder may be a dirty word here for some but its actually grown way beyond PF by itself. One of the new PF things has a kick starter going for it and it as Frank Metzer on board. D&DN isn't competing with PF for sales its going to be competing with d20. In 3rd ed most 3rd PP were garbage, now their work is roughly on par with WoTC better in some cases/ways. 

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

I can understand people not liking BAB, iterative attacks, and the skill system but they are not fundamentally unworkable. Pathfinder has a better skill system than 3.5 een though is similar so yo can port that in or you can use SWSE skills if you want. BAB works well, iterative attacks not so much but once agian you can use SWSE BAB instead if you want. Even RAW though they are not the major problems 3.5 has which is CoDzilla.

 There are plenty of d20 based games you can import material from into 3.5. Pathfinder may be a dirty word here for some but its actually grown way beyond PF by itself. One of the new PF things has a kick starter going for it and it as Frank Metzer on board. D&DN isn't competing with PF for sales its going to be competing with d20. In 3rd ed most 3rd PP were garbage, now their work is roughly on par with WoTC better in some cases/ways. 



I would rather just stick and, give feedback about D&DN, and then buy into that... if, of course, it continues to develop into something I really want to play. So far so good though!
I can understand people not liking BAB, iterative attacks, and the skill system but they are not fundamentally unworkable. Pathfinder has a better skill system than 3.5 een though is similar so yo can port that in or you can use SWSE skills if you want. BAB works well, iterative attacks not so much but once agian you can use SWSE BAB instead if you want. Even RAW though they are not the major problems 3.5 has which is CoDzilla.

 There are plenty of d20 based games you can import material from into 3.5. Pathfinder may be a dirty word here for some but its actually grown way beyond PF by itself. One of the new PF things has a kick starter going for it and it as Frank Metzer on board. D&DN isn't competing with PF for sales its going to be competing with d20. In 3rd ed most 3rd PP were garbage, now their work is roughly on par with WoTC better in some cases/ways. 



I would rather just stick and, give feedback about D&DN, and then buy into that... if, of course, it continues to develop into something I really want to play. So far so good though!



 Depends on where D&DN ends up. I do not like BA as implemented and Mearls wrote something about trying to get the rules down to 16 pages which is BECM basic and I swtched to second ed long ago as I wanted something more. I think D&DN will be a good version eventually but it is going to have to be better than Pathfinder and SWSE for our group and we have been running 2nd ed for those times were are burned out of d20. Otherwise at best it is going to be BECM for us compared to PFs AD&D. Modularity to me screams splatbook and I am not going to pay money for a MTG style gotta collect em all mentality for optional rules modules. It will have to depend on the final version of D&DN but we played the Mud Sorcerers Tomb and the players actually said lets not bother playing D&DN and come back to it later in the test cycle. Even 4th ed did not get that kind of reaction from my players and they would still play it over D&DN. I asked them what they wanted to play and they are happy with PF, SWSE and I was surprised they liked 2nd ed as well (most of them are d20 era players).

 Its a playtest and incomplete but it has been a year and they still can't get the fighter right. Doesn't bode well IMHO. All they had to do was grab something similar to the 3.5 fighter and key manuveaurs, powers or whatever off its feats and you have  modular fighter or use the SWSE soldier reskinned.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

My bad. I was under the impression it had been going for over a year based on comments on these boards.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

D&D Experience at the end of Jan 2012 had Next material.  We're quite a good ways away from that, even the May release was.

And to the people saying there hasn't been enough progress, why don't they just work faster...have you done game design?  Ever?  Under what circumstances should we believe your expectations are reasonable?  Do you know how long development took for 1e, 2e, 3e, and 4e?  Don't just go by announcements, now, go by the real development time.  And then keep in mind that this time we, the public, got involved way, way, way earlier than is typical.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Mand12 they already had a decent framework they could build off via 3.5/4th ed and SWSE. I don't thinkit would have been that hard to say grab the 4th ed core and then eliminate the complex parts of 4th and 3.5 if they wanted to make a more user friendly version of D&D (SWSE was very good at this btw).

 They are going with lets reinvent the wheel. 3rd ed was very popular, 4th ed was initially and nothing WoTC  can do will get back the hardcore pre 3rd ed p[layers. Casuals do not really care what version they play for the most part as they will play whatever the DM is running.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

No, going with a Frankenstein's monster of the stitched-together corpses of the prior editions is not a good plan.  Far better to do what they're doing, where they're creating things from scratch as a cohesive thing in and of themselves, that are designed to evoke the feel of the prior editions.

Starting with existing editions only perpetuates their specific focus, good or ill.  You want an example of how that works?  3.5 and Pathfinder.  Pathfinder is not 'new' - the core of its system is still d20, with all of its associated legacies.  This doesn't mean it's necessarily bad, mind you, so please don't misunderstand my point here.

With Next, the devs have the opportunity to change some of those fundamental system axioms, and largely I'd say they've been for the better.  Some bumps in the road, to be sure, but overall I agree far more with the general system precepts of Next than I do those of any other edition.  Even 3e and 4e, which I like greatly.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
 Well the 2nd ed to 3.0 changeover went reaosnably smoothly despite some holdouts because it was an evolution out of 2nd ed.  Even 4th ed evolved out of 3.5. D&DN is new even though it incorporates things from each edition.

 Does it offer the complexity that 3.5 and 4th have? No. Is it as simple as Pre 3rd ed and will appeal to them. No.

 It might appeal to some players and new players and it will sell well on release regardless. New is bad for a large % of the &D playerbase. They are not opposed to all change but totally new= bad regardless of how good or bad it is mechanically. Thats the edition war in a nutshell. 

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

Is it finished yet?  No.

Don't you think it's unreasonable to judge who it will and will appeal to in the end based on a snapshot where they haven't even started on major system components yet?

Apparently not, but that's just being foolish.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
 I know its not finished but its not really aimed at 4th ed players it seems clear. That leaves the pre 3rd ed players who more or less hate everything WoTC does regardless- go to their websites and have a look. They seem to e planning on sticking with 4th ed or 13th age.

 The Pathfinder players alot of them are loyal to Paizo more than the actual game. Not everyone is hapy with PF though for various reasons.

 The stated goal might be uniting the fanbase. If it is nice and simple the pre 3rd ed players still won't be interested as they made their choices back in 1981, 1989 and 2000. Who is D&DN target market? 2008 upset the player base and they seem destined to do it again by upsetting the existing 4th ed players.

 They may be aiming it to casuals but who is going to prop it up in the mean time? No version of D&D under WoTC has lasted more than 5 years with the average being 4.

2nd ed. 1997-2000
3.0. 2000-2003
3.5 2003-2008
4th ed 2008-20012

The main appeal of an older edition right now is that it is not going to be errated all of the time and be out of print in 4 years time. They may have to aim the game at new players because they have alienated a huge chunk of their own player base the 3.5 crowd being the most obvious ones due to Pathfinder, and probably the 4th ed crowd as well and there has always been a few people who stuck with TSR material.

 The gamble as always is do the new players gained offset the ones lost? 

 

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

I would rather have WotC just say,  screw all, and remade the game from the ground up as a brand new game, instead of just recycling ideas that as of now, are mostly ideas that have never contributed to make the game a good game like they are doing with D&DNext.

I want wotc to ditch anything from D&D and start all over again from scratch, a complete rebooth, free of the chains of tradition and nostalgia.  Free to do what they think would be...the best PnP RPG possible.
Zardnaar, There are a ton of people who just stuck with TSR Era D&D. I am one of them and have been playing AD&D for 25 years. Also yes 2nd Edition lasted from 1997-2000 when under Wotc's control but actually lasted from 1989- until when 3e was released. Btw I noticed you recently took up 2nd editon yourself, that is if you are Zardnaar on Dragonsfoot.  
I can understand people not liking BAB, iterative attacks, and the skill system but they are not fundamentally unworkable. Pathfinder has a better skill system than 3.5 een though is similar so yo can port that in or you can use SWSE skills if you want. BAB works well, iterative attacks not so much but once agian you can use SWSE BAB instead if you want. Even RAW though they are not the major problems 3.5 has which is CoDzilla.



I'll admit to some unfamiliarity with Pathfinder and SWSE, but when I talk about skills and BAB being hard to swap out or house-rule without a lot of work, what I mean is that unlike the 5e skill system, they're intertwined with lots of different elements of 3.5e. For example, if you change or get rid of the Concentration and Tumble skills, spellcasting and movement in combat (respectively) become very different. And if you change or get rid of the BAB progression, a lot of feat and PrC prerequisites need to change. If you want to get rid of feats or skills altogether, you have to redesign entire classes.

Compare that to 5e, where even so-called "skill tricks" technically barely interact with the skill system and don't interact at all with the skill list. 5e is clearly DESIGNED to be modular in a way previous editions weren't, in that you can strip out or radically redesign lots of important systems (skills and feats most obviously, but also spellcasting, rest/healing, etc.) without having to rewrite other aspects of the game.
 Same guy I responded to your PM btw but IDK if you got the reply. I kept my 2nd ed books and started DMing it again to see what my current players thought about it as only one of them was a 2nd ed player. They all liked it.

 A lot of my arguments are based around the commercial reality of D&D. I don't think an outright reprint of any of the ediitons would sell very well at least to a 30 million dollar  year business which is what they had.

 4th ed tried and failed to bring in new players but I odn't think any other edtion would have done any better in that regard. The height of D&Ds commercial popularity seemed to be early 1980s and 2001 or so. I like Spelljammer but I don't think I will be seeing it reprinted anytime soon because its just not that popular.

 The main point is you do not trash your customers which is what WoTC seems to do with every new edition cycle. Alot of the problems 3.0 had was because it was new (unbalanced etc), 4th ed had the same problem and I think D&DN might have the same ones although maybe that will be mitigated. Totally new is bad IMHO, evolved a bit yeah sure. 3.0 was different from 2nd ed but most of the clsses at least resembled the 2nd ed classes, the cosmology was the same, and every 2nd ed core class and race made it to the 3.0 PHB. Not all of the 2nd ed players came along but d20 was very popular and still is via PF.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

"4th ed tried and failed to bring in new players"

Source please, because I have proof to the contrary:  my local gaming group.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
I can understand people not liking BAB, iterative attacks, and the skill system but they are not fundamentally unworkable. Pathfinder has a better skill system than 3.5 een though is similar so yo can port that in or you can use SWSE skills if you want. BAB works well, iterative attacks not so much but once agian you can use SWSE BAB instead if you want. Even RAW though they are not the major problems 3.5 has which is CoDzilla.



I'll admit to some unfamiliarity with Pathfinder and SWSE, but when I talk about skills and BAB being hard to swap out or house-rule without a lot of work, what I mean is that unlike the 5e skill system, they're intertwined with lots of different elements of 3.5e. For example, if you change or get rid of the Concentration and Tumble skills, spellcasting and movement in combat (respectively) become very different. And if you change or get rid of the BAB progression, a lot of feat and PrC prerequisites need to change. If you want to get rid of feats or skills altogether, you have to redesign entire classes.

Compare that to 5e, where even so-called "skill tricks" technically barely interact with the skill system and don't interact at all with the skill list. 5e is clearly DESIGNED to be modular in a way previous editions weren't, in that you can strip out or radically redesign lots of important systems (skills and feats most obviously, but also spellcasting, rest/healing, etc.) without having to rewrite other aspects of the game.



 Saga retained BAB but dumped iterative attacks and multiple attacks came at the expense of feats and talents. PF skills is superficially similar to 3.5 but its a condensed skill list and you do notget X4 skills at level 1. If you spend a skill point in a new skill you get a +3 bonus for the one rank and you get a bonus skill point for your favoured class and for intelligence. In effect it encourages you to spread your skills out and there is less of a extreme difference between 2 skill points a level and 4.


 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

"4th ed tried and failed to bring in new players"

Source please, because I have proof to the contrary:  my local gaming group.


Same here. In fact I brought in more new people to D&D with 4e in one year, with encounters, than all of the years of 3e combined.
My two copper.
Jenks, it's because 4e failed because we're talking about Next, nevermind that by that standard 1e, 2e, and 3e all failed too, because we're talking about Next.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
"4th ed tried and failed to bring in new players"

Source please, because I have proof to the contrary:  my local gaming group.



 Ok the new players were probably insufficent for the amount that left. Proof Pathfinder existing and being number 1 while 4th ed was still in print (late 2010/early 2011 depending on who you believe).

The actual numbers are irrelevent (I suspect 4th ed made more money) but the playerbase was split and a large chunk of them walked. IDK who many so I would be very careful about claiming a majority either in PFs or 4th eds favor.

1st, 2nd and 3rd ed did not fail in the first 3 years they existed is the difference and none of them went out of print after 4 years. None of them handed a large % of the playbase over to another company. 

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

Not being #1 means you've failed?

Wow.  Harsh.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
That's kind of like saying the first Harry Potter book failed because J.K. Rowling had to write a sequel.

I feel like the edition cycle is actually rather healthy for the hobby: a new edition comes out with some new mechanics and simplified systems at its core, it gradually gets more content (spells, classes, feats, monsters, etc.) added to it, along with new rules and errata. After a while, some flaws in the core design become apparent, and it's better to start with a clean slate than to keep patching the old version.
That's kind of like saying the first Harry Potter book failed because J.K. Rowling had to write a sequel.

I feel like the edition cycle is actually rather healthy for the hobby: a new edition comes out with some new mechanics and simplified systems at its core, it gradually gets more content (spells, classes, feats, monsters, etc.) added to it, along with new rules and errata. After a while, some flaws in the core design become apparent, and it's better to start with a clean slate than to keep patching the old version.



 4th ed is more comparable to Batman and Robin movie in the Batman franchise. The Dark Knight was a reboot of the franchise and it seems to be what D&DN is doing. 4th ed did have some great things in it which have een kicked to the curb because WoTC is more or less dumping the good bits of 4th ed. 

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

erdana, sans-serif">The WotC family of fantasy role-playing games:

erdana, sans-serif; font-size:small">DUNGEONS & DRAGONS (eq. 1e/2e)
erdana, sans-serif">PATHFINDER (eq. v3.5)
erdana, sans-serif">CASTLES & CRUSADES (eq. 4e, DDE)

Maybe even:

erdana, sans-serif; font-size:small">LABYRINTH LORD (eq. BECM)
erdana, sans-serif">SWORDS & WIZARDRY (eq. ODD)

If it were me:  Rather than develop (yet) another game, I'd simply reprint the previous games under new names.  A family of fantasy RPGs, everyone has their pick, rather than trying to bring everyonen together under a single game.  I don't believe that'll ever happen, best intentions aside.  Better to simply give us a variety of choices.

'New' stuff would be supplements to already existing games (rather than a new game).  Think of it as horizonal development, rather than vertical.  erdana, sans-serif; font-size:small">Oh, and the names are just placeholders to get this crazy idea across (I know they've been taken ;)).erdana, sans-serif">
 
 erdana, sans-serif; font-size:small">It'll never happen but its fun to imagine what if?  They've been reprinting legacy products for a while and PDFs are just now coming back, so yeah, I'd stick with that approach . . . if it were up to me ;).

/\ Art
"4th ed tried and failed to bring in new players"

Source please, because I have proof to the contrary:  my local gaming group.



 Ok the new players were probably insufficent for the amount that left. Proof Pathfinder existing and being number 1 while 4th ed was still in print (late 2010/early 2011 depending on who you believe).

The actual numbers are irrelevent (I suspect 4th ed made more money) but the playerbase was split and a large chunk of them walked. IDK who many so I would be very careful about claiming a majority either in PFs or 4th eds favor.

1st, 2nd and 3rd ed did not fail in the first 3 years they existed is the difference and none of them went out of print after 4 years. None of them handed a large % of the playbase over to another company. 



If you want to talk about sales, I think you should consider Essentials. No, it was not just splatbooks. And it was that big. Among with other mistakes.
By your standards, Pathfinder is proof that 3e and its OGL failed.  Because without it, Pathfinder doesn't exist.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
I have to say I'm always surprised by the 2e/3e fans who ask why they'd want to play Next. 4e fans I kind of get, because it doesn't look like Next will have the rigid balance or tactical complexity of 4e... but it seems to me like 5e has the promise of having pretty much ALL the major features of, say, 3e without many of the drawbacks.

I'll confine myself to 3e since that's the system I'm most familiar with. Why play Next over 3e?

1. Martial classes and spellcasters are already more balanced at high levels.
2. Fighters and rogues have more interesting and unique abilities.
3. The removal of class skill lists opens up more character possibilities.
4. Feats are more meaningful, enhancing character creation options.
5. The monk isn't a joke.
6. The core combat rules are simplified and streamlined, without losing many tactical options. (Example: attacks of opportunity.)
7. Differences in saves are gone and differences in BAB are minimal, so multiclassing will (or should) be much more viable.
8. Built-in kits (deity/domains, wizard traditions, rogue schemes, etc) add more built-in variety to the classes.
9. From the DM side, monster stat blocks are easier to read and more dynamic.
10. The focus on ability checks as a core mechanic enables easier improvisation.
11. Bounded accuracy (when it comes to skills) encourages characters to attempt more tasks outside their "comfort zones." (That is, there isn't a 20-point disparity between the Diplomacy check of a tenth-level fighter and bard, so the fighter might still try to act charming now and then.)

I could keep going, but yeah. The downside? Well, obviously there isn't nearly as much material out there for 5e as there is for 3e/d20, and there's still new stuff to learn, and everything is in flux since it's a playtest (so there might be some "dealbreaker" lurking in the shadows ready to ruin the final version for you.)


2nd & 3rd edition are what I'm most familiar with and these are the reasons I am really liking Next.