There have been a few APs I've not been thrilled about (usually ones that play it more traditional fantasy or ones involving demons and such -- boring to me) but I've stayed subscribed. Can't be more thrilled with MM and IG, can't wait! Also I don't want to lose my Charter tag, I know it's stupid but... Well. I wonder how many people still are Charter AP subscribers?
Edit: And I know it's silly to keep subscribing for that reason even during APs that are less than appealing. But I do always find interesting ideas and enjoy reading the fiction and the bestiary stuff at the very least. I have all 150 issues of Dungeon and all 78 issues of the APs and I dunno, just seems silly to end it. It's like any other subscription -- some National Geographics don't have articles I'm thrilled about but I always come away feeling like I got something out of even the "weak" ones.
I think the cancellation of those two magazines (though I must admit to being more partial to Dungeon -- I still have all 150 issues and a handful of module rejection letters from Roger E. Moore) is one of the biggest blunders WotC has made and a true blow to the hobby.
I had always dreamed of being published in Dungeon and the news of the cancellation hit hard. Not having time to muster up a proposal (it had been almost two decades since my last one) I decided the prudent course of action was to consider getting a letter published in Dungeon "good enough" to fulfill my dream (when the bar's too high, lower the bar!). You guys ended up publishing my letter in #150, the couple of copies of which I treasure to this day. Thanks!
There is consolation that Pathfinder rose from those ashes but I still wish the two publications were around today. Great blog and thanks for letting us peek behind the curtain!
While I love parts of what I've read of the book (from the PDF, c'mon snail mail, get the book in my hands!) I must agree at being a bit disappointed that the caster classes got so much love in this book. I'd have loved to see sections on staging interesting fights (the aforementioned "swinging from chandeliers"), fighting with flair, etc. Maybe that falls too much in the GMG side of things, I don't know. But I can't help but wonder what other cool stuff we could've gotten without so many pages dedicated to a part of the game that, frankly, doesn't need the help in a book dedicated to a part of the game that does.
As for Ninja and Samurai I can't help but feel they may have made excellent archetypes as well -- I'm just not sure they feel meaty enough (as opposed to the Gunslinger, which does) to stand as their own as base classes. Yeah, yeah, alternate base class -- whatever, it is either a base or it isn't. They are given the page count of base but feel closer to an archetype. Though I suppose as replacements to the Cavalier and the Rogue they do make some sense, but UM didn't have Wu-Jen and other replacements. Of course, eliminating both of the alternate classes from UC means that both UC and UM got one true new base class -- so there is some symmetry.
I guess I'd rather have seen a hardcover dedicated to Far Eastern replacements for casters, martial, weapons, monsters, etc. etc. -- get it all in one place like the old Oriental Adventures (and other ones for Arabian, Meso-American, African, and Indian analogs).
That all said, I'm not unhappy with the book. It's just that for us martial lovers I was hoping for a bit more oooomph, or at least not have our "NO FINGER WAGGLERS ALLOWED" clubhouse sign so brazenly ignored.
Okay, let's see what we can glean from Beginner Box photo on Facebook.
Cardboard stand-ups with plastic bases, pre-highlighted numbers on the dice, Rogue / Fighter / and I think Cleric Iconics (supporting the basic four), traits, skills, proficiencies. Seems to support it being Pathfinder L1 - 5 and not a greatly simplified Pathfinder ruleset (more akin to BD&D or something).