I took a brief look at the D&D 4E quick-start rules on display at my Friendly Local Game Store today, and it increased my hesitation about the system overall. The main problem that I saw was that it is more clearly a rip-off of World of Warcraft than I’d previously thought. Rogue abilities they list are all pure DPS abilities. Predictably, Fighter abilities are all focused on tanking, taunting and defending and so on.
Most egregious to me was the fact that for Wizards, the three abilities they list are one Arcane spell, one Fire spell and one Frost spell.
A close second was the Paladin’s Judgement ability, which has an immediate effect on the target and buffs the party. I mean, come on. You can rip stuff off of MMOs, sure, but do you have to be this blatant about it?
Copyright violation anyone? I mean, come on. There’s already a D20 World of Warcraft game. Do we need another one? And given that its the most expensive its been for the full set ever, do I really want this more than 7 months of WoW? I’m not so sure. There are still cool things I’m expecting from 4E, but as I see more of it, I’m not getting that much more excited, which is a bad sign.