The public playtest is out and slowly getting out there as Wizard's servers are being hammered. I will be writing more about my experience with this version and the previous closed playtest version. But in this post I want touch on what I feel is D&D Next Characteristic.
One of the first things I checked is to see if the same progression from the closed playtest is still there for the characters. Why?
Because that is going be THE hallmark of D&D Next. The flattened power curve.
A lot of people will nitpick on the at will spell abilities the Wizard will get and a dozen other details. But all that pale in the face that the power curve has flatten between characters, between levels, and monsters.
This was thrown in my face when a friend and I decided to get a jump on an upcoming playtest test and try out D&D Next Combat. We made two characters with the closed playtest, which very quickly, and faced four orcs. Based on playing OD&D in the form of Swords & Wizardry I figure it would be a fair fight. It wasn't, the orcs slaughtered us. Granted we got bad rolls, but we still would have won the fight in OD&D. But with D&D Next we were dead, with two orcs left standing.
D&D Next plays a lot like OD&D, very deadly and you need to keep on your toes to survive. But it doesn't do it in the same way as D&D does and for some that will be a deal breaker. but it is definitely D&D and not a game that just has the brand slapped on it.