To Chris Brady and Calie, I agree about what they did to the Realms. Most of the people I play with now cut their teeth on 4E and I tried to explain to them the whole time why I didn't like 4E. Honestly, it was the shitshow that WotC made of the Realms more than anything. A hundred year time jump so the only people that are still around are Drizz't and the chosen? That was the first straw. And I think the part she was talking about about Thay exploding and all the bad stuff happening in the Realms is more that like...the change got rid of the idea that the Realms were a relatively safe, well connected place, I guess? Because in the 4E books and especially the novels, it kind of makes it seem like everything has gone to shit and like...Mithral Hall and a few other places are kind of the only places left. Waterdeep went to Pirates, Sembia went to the Shadovar, Szass Tam started a civil war in Thay for control of it.
While I agree that the "Points of Light" idea is kind of always what D&D is about, I felt like it was just less...dismal before the Spellplague. There were evils, but there were also lots of heroes around to help. And now we're stuck with only Drizz't and Mystra's Chosen, and Mystra died until they decide to bring her back again. And those novels? Honestly? It's not that I don't think they can save the world, it's just that it's probably gonna bore me trying to read about it.
ANYWAY, THE PART ABOUT NEXT:
I read through it a little bit and I mean...I like the idea of changing how the races work a bit and the Advantage/Disadvantage system is okay I suppose, but having played two of the early playtest packets, there was something they had considered for the fighter that didn't make it into the completed game I don't think and that really kind of bummed me out. I like what they're going for and everything, I just...don't really see enough of a difference to warrant the effort they went through, you know? Not yet, anyway. In face in the second playtest packet I read through, I saw a lot of stuff I really liked and I don't know how much of it was kept, but I have a feeling not as much as I would have liked.
Anyway, just my two cents. Always a pleasure to discuss these things with you guys, even though I'm always absent for months on end.