A few posts ago, you may recall The Journeyman GM and I making some predictions as per the potential of an upcoming edition of Dungeons and Dragons.
Well, lo and behold: it looks like we were right. In the latest "Legends and Lore" column, Mike Mearls officially outed the current development of a new edition of D&D.
As you can imagine, I'm not particularly surprised. When Monte Cook came back on board and the 4e release schedule slowed to a crawl--much as it had at the end of 3.5e's run--it was fairly easy to tell that something was amiss over in Seattle. When word started creeping in by other industry insiders, such as Margaret Weis, it's hard to deny that something isn't going on.
Honestly, I'm sort of looking forward to a new edition. While I love many things about 4e--the rise of the non-caster character, archetypes such as the warlord getting their due, and the entire ritual system--I almost can't bring myself to play the game anymore. The reliance on minis-based combat, the similar-feeling powers, and the labyrinthine character sheets (particularly in Paragon tier and beyond) just got to be too much. When a character sheet hits 8 pages, there's simply too much to go through!
My biggest worry, however, is summed up best here: in an article for the New York Times by Ethan Gilsdorf.
When 4e came out, the gamer market fractioned. For over a year, Paizo's Pathfinder has either matched or outsold D&D, as disgruntled fans sought their fix elsewhere. I've been a devoted D&D player since 7th grade, and I haven't touched the game since this past Origins. Before that? Almost six months prior. Other games--which tend to have a longer shelf life, simpler rules, and faster play around the table--have attracted my attention. I don't see that changing, to be honest.
It's been stated over and over in the few days since the new edition's announcement that the hope is for a "reunification" of the fractured gamer community. I can only hope that this is going to be the case...