Since you're here, you probably noticed that this blog is going to be all about our opinions on where it should go, how it seems to be going, and, ultimately, where it ended up.
Since you're here, you possibly know that we've done this before. Go take a look if you didn't, to get a feel for what to expect.
The tl;dr version of our 4e blog: we didn't care much for roles; we didn't care much for the loss of customization (compared to 3.5); we did like the new encounter design (especially me, who's usually the DM). Do we have hope for this next version going "our" way? Perhaps it's too early to get my hopes up, but a post in Legends and Lore by Monte Cook left me a little hopeful:
Like simple rules for your story-driven game? You're good to go. Like tactical combats and complex encounters? You can have that too. Like ultra-customized character creation? It's all there. In this game, you play what you want to play. It’s our goal to give you the tools to do so.He also goes on to point out that D&D isn't just the rules, but the adventure, the story. That the rules are just a tool to provide some structure to the storytelling, to provide the suspense that you didn't know your story needed, or the twists that you never would have expected.
The story. Our group has been playing since 3rd edition was introduced, and we still revel in memories of adventures a decade gone. "The cowardly kobold Meepo in Sunless Citadel" that Cook mentions is our Meepo too, even though our stories of him are probably different than others'. Fleshshivering a dragon in mid-flight. Riding a beholder. Death-striking a dragon. Lightning-rodding party members. Citizens. Axiomatic rocs. All of these things bring back such fond memories of years gone by, and keep us coming back.
Our group is currently playing Pathfinder, having given 4e a somewhat fair shake. We had discussed revisiting 4e after a break, to see how we felt, but with this announcement, I don't know that we will. Some of us have applied to beta-test this next version, but if we can't (or depending on the NDA involved in such a thing), we'll write about our views here, and then use what we find out to decide if we're moving forward, or if we'll be stuck in our ways.
Cook says that their goal "is to make a game that all D&D players want to play." He says the right words so far, so let's see how they do.