I just got back from a trip to both my FLGS and also B&N where I spent a good while checking out the Star Wars Saga Edition rule 1st hand (rather than just reading the online previews). I'm really eager to see how many of the revisions are incorporated into 4th Edition.
After looking things over, it doesn't seem like it would be hard at all to convert (read: rebuild) 3.x characters provided the book had fantasy rather than sci-fi classes. The rules were instantly familiar and I can't see anyone (either existing 3.x player or those new to D&D) having a hard time adjusting. The way saves (called defenses in the SW SE book) had been reworked were a logical evolution to eliminate the multiclassing confusion of 3.x. With that said, the mechanics are about as dramatically different as buying a new pair of running shoes when Your old ones wear out, NOT like replacing them with roller blades.
My cell rang just as I was looking at the grabbing/grappling rules but even those seemed to be improved via evolution rather than some confounded unrecognizable new system.
In short, if 4th Ed follows the same design considerations, I could see many anti-4E groups remaining 3.5 but dropping in some of the refined mechanics to give their games a 3.75 tune-up.
Huh? You know, it makes it really difficult to see someone as honest when you expect them to live up to a promise they never made. Unless you can point to a statement I totally missed?
I wasn't at GenCon, so there are a lot of things I don't know from first hand experience. But I was talking to my local FLGS game store owner about fourth edition on Tuesday of this week. He was at GenCon, and if I understand him correctly, he was also at another convention since GenCon with a WotC presence.
He was very interested in what is happening in 4th edition. Someone, as part of the WotC presentation told him that 4th edition is supposed to last for 12 years.
Even if the information I have been given is false, WotC has lied to me. From statements about how I'm going to be excited by their big reveal to statements the past six months regarding 4th edition still a long way away.
If 4th edition isn't going to last 12 years, and they know that now, I think that is a problem.
I think every product should be considered for the product's lifetime. I certainly think that 3.5 was getting a little 'busy' with the number of supplements, but I don't think that was the time to end the edition. There were a lot of other directions they could have gone.
And for me personally, I'm very upset about the cancellation of Dragon and Dungeon magazine. I don't think 'web content' is a replacement. So, whether fourth edition is 'better' than third or not, I certainly don't trust WotC to have my personal best interests as a gamer at heart.
Thankfully, I still have Paizo. And it seems like they're honestly trying to serve my best interests, and truly listening and trying to accomodate all of their customers - not just writing off huge blocks.
At this point, the only thing that MIGHT convince me to switch would be if Paizo switches to 4th edition, but even that might not be enough.