For me, the newer systems of D&D just don't have the appeal the original does. The game has moved away from the concept of greenhorn, first-level adventurers with few powers testing their wits and steel and beginner's magic against a hostile world, and toward power-gaming, bonus-stacking, and abundant magic on every street corner.
Maybe I'm just waxing nostalgic for those first D&D games I played a quarter of a century ago...
Yeah, my guess is that you had great games with the older editions, and either Nostalgia-block or outright bad experiences with 3E. I never played a 2E game I liked, and people had to drag me into a 3E game, and I eventually found that I liked it, at certain levels and with certain DMs. Presumably 2E could
be fun for me, but I've yet to see it happen, and I'm not going to bother learning the rules for it just so someone can try to awaken the magic of it.
And 4E... well, I just don't know. On the plus side, a glimpse through the PHB seriously taught me how to play the game. It's good when the rules are simple, although from the sound of it, every single monster, ability or "other thing" will have an exception to those rules, and these exceptions won't be standard "It has the Banana quality" (allowing you to read up the Banana quality and understand what that does with everything possessing the Banana quality). But it looks simple.
And it seems the best way to make friends is to clobber people down to "bloodied", then Intimidate them (+15 at first level is the best I managed, with a quick look). They then surrender, so you can take the time to make them into a willing servant and send them off to sacrifice their lives for the greater good. At least the DM doesn't have to say "No, fuck off, you're not talking your way out of everything" - there gets to be half a fight each time.
But a lot of it just seems to be complete balls. Maybe what it really needs is for the cool stuff to be injected back in (or dragged back to proper levels). I mean, regular punks belong at level 1 or less, LotR at level 5, maximum. From there, it's "Romance of the Three Kingdoms" up until 10th, and after that you pick up "Homer" and "The Iliad". THIS IS SPARTAAAAAAAAA!
With the highest levels being Makai Kingdom.
"I couldn't see where I was going, so I accidentally collided with a few planets on my way here. I assume they're destroyed. I do apologise."
Interesting Note: The Gaming Den predicted it would be bad, so we did sort of have low expectations which made us *look* for problems. But there are genuine issues. And really, it was made by Mike Mearls, who hasn't an actual success to his name and who, when having a certain task, decides that's too hard and therefore mustn't be that important.