@Ed kudos for old school D&D
As far as 4th edition, it is there to prevent a lot of the flaws in 3.5. The fact that Casters bog down the game at high levels. case in point my Cleric was able to cast about 12 buffing spells on himself before entering combat.
Old skool gamers don't like 4th edition because they have spent YEARS learning to munchkin-ize and 'break' 3.5 and don't want to have to learn it again. Just by my browsing of the game each character has "powers" based on their race and class. So it is kind of like Diablo. 4th is different, but I think it makes it more enjoyable for new gamers since everything is rather clear cut at what you can do. Instead of 3.5 where you have to spend time reading books to figure out the best way to min/max your player
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get busy with it!