Heh. Of course 4E is coming… and, I’m thankful for it. (How much worse would it be if D&D stopped being produced?)
However, the recent “New Releases” list from Wizards has made it fairly clear to me that 4E is some way off. There are a great number of interesting products there – and the start of a few more series of products.
What are these new series?
Weapons of Legacy is the first of the D&D Magic Series
Battlefield Adventures is the first of the D&D Genre Series
Meanwhile, we conclude the Hero Series with Complete Adventurer; and the Races Series with Races of the Wild – or Races of Eberron, depending on how you count it.
Codex Anathema continies the Ecology series (though it doesn’t have a formal name, to my knowledge), and the D&D Environment Series continues with Sandstorm and Maelstrom.
It looks like the business plan put forward at GAMA last year has certainly changed the way D&D books are arranged- and I am extremly pleased with the results. Sure, I don’t want every book Wizards are making – but there are now plenty of options.
Interestingly, there is no Map Folio planned for the first eight months of next year (not that surprising given the reaction to the first two); unfortunately there is only Grasp of the Emerald Claw as an adventure. I hope that we’ll see more of them, though.
So, where does this leave 4E? Given the product plan through 2005, it seems that Wizards should be well set through 2006 and possibly the early part of 2007. Perhaps we’ll see 4E in 2007 or 2008, but later than that is still a distinct possibility!
However, because of this wealth of material, it becomes less and less likely that the d20 System will be abandoned or seriously modified in 4E. Aspects of it might be changed, of course, but the core balances are likely to remain.
Of course, I’m an optimist…