Umm.. its too goddanged early to tell? We know nothing about mechanics, what sacred cows stay, which ones leave, which ones come back. All we know is that its coming, probably 12-24 months out (a reasonable timeframe from 4th's release) and they will involve the community in sculpting the rules.
Good on them? Good on them.
Will it satisfy everyone? Doubtful. Different people want different things out of D&D and its IMPOSSIBLE to make everyone happy. Some of the old schoolers have mostly spent the last 5 years or so shoving every stupid, moronic, unbalanced, inelegant, and unfun rule Gary Gygax came up with right up their asses and making them holy and sacred when in general more people tended to think most of them were stupid.
Hell, most of us thought most of them were stupid well before WOTC or even 2nd edition got started.
Heck, just look at classic 80s computer RPGs. Most of them were blatant D&D ripoffs and most of them threw out much of the stupid, or as much as they could get away with.
Of course the old schoolers won't accept this to the point they rage on 2nd edition AD&D which is 1st edition with most of the major complaints eased back to a more sane, reasonable level with the stuff few people really used turned into OPTIONS, usually in a nice boxout in case you wanted to use it
Then 3rd fixed most of what people hated in Gygaxian D&D while putting in their own levels of stupidity and overdesigning it.
Then 4th tried to fix the core of D&D and turned it into something that didn't feel like the previous 30+ years of D&D did while being fun on a different level.
But it was so different the Old School and the 3.x fans alike could only agree they disliked it, with the fans of it mostly screaming GROOOOGNNAAAAARRDDDS! IT IS WE WHO ARE THE FUNHAVERS YOUR GAME WAS NEVER FUN EVER EVER EVER!! and thus turning the D&D discussion universe into a morass of divided opinions, brandwhoring, and outright silliness.
Can 5th bring these people back into the fold?
Doubtful. It will probably sell well and at least be a sales shot in the arm for the D&D division but even if they take the time to listen to everyone there is no way they can please all.
When even the old schoolers can't agree which edition they like or what was good and bad, what chance does WOTC which has corporate influence to deal with and a bottom line of profit to keep up?
But... WOTC is trying. They aren't speaking from On High as they did with 4th which sent many people away and gave Paizo an opening to become the 2nd place RPG company. They want to make something people can use and buy product for if they wish, possibly not overloading a new player, but still providing a way to get steady sales on new product for years,.
So ultimately I am optimistic for both the online RPG community and D&D but right now it is entirely too soon to tell. Maybe we will know more in 6 months or so...
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