My first game

So let me just start by saying we got spanked. The DM remembered from a previous version that players were not getting challenged, so in turn tuned it too hard for us (apparently the playtest package is no longer so powerful). 

What I loved: 

Advantage and Disadvantage
Cantrips!!!
Specialization for (almost) every class!
Any class could take Arcane Dabbler, or Open Locks, or sneak, or Herbalist
Backgrounds and Flexibility--a wizard can be a Soldier, Or a rogue can be a Sage, or a priest can be a Knight. 
New spellcasting!!

What I liked:

Some of the new weapon tags, like Versatile, or Finesse
Armor is simplified--medium armor is always Max 2 DEX. 
Fighter expertise dice

What was good and bad:

Skills--I loved I could take any skill, and that everyone got at least 4. I am not sure about unlinking skills from Intelligence. Still, at least you can get more as you progress. 
While I love the Cantrips, the non-damaging ones need to explicitly define their uses in combat--or at least HINT at them. And while we're at it, define their limitations too. 
The human +1 to all stats. I see why they felt the need for it... because humans are otherwise boring. But I think it was the wrong approach.
Cap of 20 to each stat. It sucks I can't specialize as a more powerful wizard. and I'm not sure it's good to force us to generalize our stats. But it will improve our saves in other areas, and helps make us generally stronger without being overpowering.

What I don't like:

Everyone should get access to rituals. Maybe through a feat, or a skill, but rituals would add to the high magic feel. (At the same time, i like the ritual caster abilities). 
Saves. Saves don't seem strong enough. At level 1 my save DC for my spells is 15. That makes the intent appear that you shouldn't be able to dodge, resist or shake off magic easily. But then, the stats cap makes it easy to improve a stat and hence a save... 

What I hated:

Nothing.  
I think the stat cap would be fine if they did not give out so many stat increases.  If they keep stat increases I think they should raise the cap.

Regarding the rest of what you said, I totally agree with most of it, but:

Skill:  I think them being unbound from intelligence is a good thing.  IRL more intelligent people don't necessarily know how to DO more things.  Live it as the lore attribute, but giving everybody equal skills I think is good.

Rituals:  I definitely don't agree here.  Magic is already less effective in this edition at high levels due to restrictions in spells memorizable and cast/day. Rituals and cantrips are some of the few things that let it still be useful for utility outside combat.
To read about my playtest sessions click here: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/29995793/?sdb=1&pg=last#533677003


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I like using abilities for saves. However, I am feeling now that saves not linked to levels are definitely a problem. I'd like to see some sort of specialization here, like fighters getting advantage on CON saves, or something to that effect. It feels like the spell DC's continue to be very high, even for more capable characters. Of course, save or die is gone, so maybe this is okay. I definitely like folks being extremelt worried about AoE's.
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