And also, I'm not even quite sure you've even read the books completely through.
I read the PHB through, and I skimmed the MM and DMG.
About the only thing thats "missing" Is crafting.
I merely meant building stuff, not the actual magic item crafting. But how about: Flying for more than 5 minutes? Changing forms? Animating dead? Befriending exotic beasts that you then use as flying mounts? Raising armies? Being able to fight large armies? Teleportation to places other than those in your immediate vision?
For many of those, the simple reason is "They caused problems in 3.X, and we're too lazy/incompetent/stoned to actually fix the problems. So we'll just remove them entirely."
The system is tooled around combat, with many of the non-combat system elements removed.
Almost. That basically is true, except they provide just enough information to effectively say "You cannot do this". For instance, the classic spells that make short-term friends just flat-out don't exist, so you have to use diplomacy... which doesn't have standard difficulties for, say, convincing the barkeep to put it on your tab. So everything is magical tea party. The flight thing can't happen, because there are rules for 1/day 5 minute flight, so any kind of "Fly across the world" directly contravenes that.
Now you need to convince your DM with what you actually say to earn the trust of a cohort, rather than simply rolling the die and asking if it beats the DC. Your own actions should determine what you can do and, and not simply what the table in your class entry says.
Good idea. Also, none of this "make a strength check" stupidity. Players should prove that they are strong enough to do those tasks by breaking the door. Instead of just rolling a die for combat, they should try to hit the DM in the face with a wooden sword. And casters? Oh come on, they shouldn't just look at their sheet, the player should cast a real spell.
You see the problem with what you say?
And yes, variety is indeed a little low. But there's only THREE BOOKS.
A little low? Almost every non-utility power is exactly the same thing! It's fake choice! The PHB of 3.5 allowed for actual choices - classes actually did vastly different things, there were abilities that weren't "Enemy takes ___ damage. Also, they are slowed/shifted/dazed for a round."
playing Warforged characters.
I won't hold this against 4E - after all, they were sadly playable in 3E too. But it was still a shitty choice.
And also, there's no animate dead spells because the Evil half of the old PHB has been cut and put in the DM's guide/future books. And I like it, because it keeps basic players focused on the good side of alignments (where they should be for 99% of campaigns)
I don't know where to start... animating the dead is and isn't evil - they couldn't make their mind up. But I see you've made yours up. It isn't in the DMG (other than "These things exist as the animated dead."), and it probably won't be in future books because it is something that isn't exactly the same as what everything else is doing, and they try to avoid things being different.
And if they really want to force players to play the good guys, they shouldn't even pretend evil is a choice, not just deny them nice things but offer good guys nice things. Besides, their approach to alignments has always been utter balls, and all of the cool deities are evil. Most of the best creatures too, for that matter.
Also, doesn't the idea of "Just start at 10th in 3.X" Kind of defeat the purpose of even having those levels?
Sure it does, unless someone else likes helping old ladies cross the street and finding buckets for people, and thus likes the early levels. But still, yes, if I were in control, the game would start at tenth, with previous levels existing for NPCs. No, I wouldn't rename 10th as 1st. Everyone would have ten levels to play with upon starting.
They've taken the fun of 10+ and made that fun kick in at 1st, and it doesn't leave when you get to 30th.
I can only assume you're on crack.
That fun of 10+ does in no way kick in ever. You can not do the Lu Bu routine and be the sole contributor to victory in an army. You cannot be so important that kings plead for your assistance and offer rewards instead of just saying "Do it, otherwise I'll have some guards kill you, and tell a different replaceable group of guys to do it." You cannot have any kind of interaction with monsters that isn't "fighting them" - you can't play as them, you can't team up with them in any way at all, you can't turn into them, you can't ride them into battle, the game even frowns upon you setting down for tea and biscuits with them. You can't command the awe and admiration of everyone as you walk through the streets. You cannot fly or teleport from city to city. You cannot summon things. You cannot black out the sun, or reduce a town to ashes, or place long-lasting curses.
You... can walk through dungeons and use the same few abilities over and over, slowly chipping away at the health of enemies.