The English Major in me says that now is the time to be aloof and above it all. I should sit in a leather chair with my snifter and while looking on with disdain at all the fifth edition chatter.
Mind you, a snifter filled with a good Russian Imperial Stout would be quite tasty.
I am just not that person anymore. I like D&D in all its forms, clones, and houserules.
Truth is, that I will probably play the new version of D&D because it will be easier to find an in-person game. I will also look to get the stuff created by Kobold Press because it will be that darn good.
If (and that's a big if) I get the new edition, I know that I will houserule the heck out of it. I will also come up with Spelljammer rules for it including the giant space hamsters. I will gleefully hand over a house rule ebook for other peoples' tablets or kindles while digging out my notes from a three ring binder.
I don't think about how WOTC will make it encompass all the editions, I will make it do that. Give me the PHB so I know what others expect and I'm good. Heck, give me the starter set and I'll get by somehow. I say this knowing perfectly well that if I can afford the Monster Manual, that I'll buy it and any other creature book they publish.
For what it is worth, I'm not a fan of the 5e covers. Then again, I'm particular with RPG art. I like the DCC art style, I like Erol Otus, I like Matt Lichtenwalner, I like Jeff Dee, and I like Emily Vitori. Weird as it sounds, I wouldn't like them all together in one book, but I would be thrilled with each one illustrating an entire book including full color cover. If I ever win the lottery, I will do just that.
Maybe the final product will not make the executives at WOTC happy. I can imagine that if D&D doesn't dominate Pathfinder and fill up a couple rooms at convetions, that the RPG part of the brand will disappear. I don't know how D&D will do, but I hope it does not go away.
I know that I simply cannot afford it. Heck, I don't have five dollars to support all the OSR folks and zine makers I wish I could. (Then again, I wish I could make a zine and just give it away.) Still, I can dream, right? I can hold out for the winning lottery ticket numbers.
I believe that if Monte Cook had stuck around, it may have felt more old edition than new. Then again, I'm thrilled that he and Bruce Cordell have found success with Numenera.
The last playtest I saw, D&D felt like 3e and left me a bit cold. Then again, Dungeon World felt like 3e to me at first, and I love playing it. Go figure, there's no accounting for taste with me, I guess. 🙂
Since I enjoy older editions, I have Swords & Wizardry and For Gold & Glory to fit my needs. Practically, I don't need a new edition. Yet, I find an excitement in it all. Maybe it is my inner 12 year old that wants to see Yet Another Boxed Set. (After all, the beginner box comes with dice. Based on the mass production, those dice will probably be the most old school thing about the whole production.) Maybe this will be the box that comes after the Immortals set and starts off your second run at level 1 to 36. Maybe I'll win D&D with the new edition if I stick with it. Again, my inner 12 year old is yelling that I might still have a chance to finish what I started so long ago.
Good luck D&D. Seems like you'll need it.