I posted the following over on enworld and I think it bears repeating here:
I would like to give kudos to the intent of the 4e designers...
The OP mentioned the comparison to C&C (which is my preferred system), and in one big respect, at least at what is beginning to emerge, there is an apt comparison here.
D&D 4e is attempting a hybridization between "old school" gamist philosophies (the adaptability and less rule-specific mechanics) and the "new school" desires for what the OP refers to in character builds, powers, options etc. (which also focuses away from the traditional archetypes of classes and races to a broader spectrum).
Like C&C, this hybrid approach will likely please some, antagonize others (as it clearly has on these boards). Still, I am not being flip when I say kudos... it takes a bit of risk to go this way, and quite honestly I am somewhat impressed that the larger corporate entity backed what is not as sure a course with the design (of course that may be granting Hasbro execs with more understanding of RPGs than is reality). The fact that TPKs are occurring in playtesting is, for me, a sign that some portions of the game are more like OD&D, B/X, etc.
As I said, I already found my niche with C&C. I've never begrudged those who tried it and didn't like it because a.) It was still too much like d20 in universal mechanics or b.) it is "too" rules-lite --- each to his own niche, I say.
I also think the discussion about battle-maps and minis is very relevent - many on other threads have mentioned the question of "need." While one can make the argument that neither 3.x nor 4e "need" battlemats, from what I've seen the use of "squares" as primary movement indicator shows that 4e is certainly DESIGNED for it. Again, not my cup of tea as it fits more with the "new school" influence of the hybrid here, but for many this may end up being their particular niche.
Of course, the big question that comes up then is -- can we gamers be happy with our system as just a "niche," or are we wanting it to be an "industry standard?"
Since I already play in a niche system, the answer for me is easy.
Peter's point is well-taken. I think we end up driving away potential players of C&C when we call names. It's fun to gripe and vent, and I'm as guilty of complaining about different rules from my tastes as the next guy sometimes, but there should be a measure of respect for other gamers.
The title of the post essentially asks "why don't old school 1e devotees 'see the light' and convert to C&C?"
Answer 1: They haven't heard of C&C. Answer 2: C&C doesn't do for them what it does for me.
If it's answer one, then all we need to do is just keep sharing our positive experiences with C&C without trying to denegrate any other tastes.
If it's answer two, then tip a cap and say "alrighty by me." This is not a plea for a "kum bay yah" touchy feely board (I think I'd puke) - just that we can say "what I don't like about system x, y or z is this" and debate it without getting personal or snarky.
I own a set of 3.0 books. I came back to FRPG with 3.0, so despite the fact that I moved to a system (C&C!) which is far closer to what I want doesn't denegrate the fact that 3.0 played an important and beneficial part in my gaming life. So when some use terms like TETSNBN, 3-tard, etc., I'm not really on board with that.
I give kudos because I've come to think that what the designers of 4e are doing, whether I like the system or not, is a legitimate attempt at a "new" bridging of philosophy... just not the bridge I want to take.
John "Sir Seskis" Wright
Ilshara: Lands of Exile:
High Squire of the C&C Society