D&D Gets A New Manager
What does this mean for me or for D&D players in general?
Reading Mike Mearl's post on EN World, his heart seems to be in the right place. It seems like he realizes a lot of the community is not happy with 4e and that he gets where "Old school" players are coming from.
That doesn't mean he can really change anything, even if he wants to do so.
WotC has so much sunk into 4e and is so intent on developing its own IP around it (hence Slavicsek's position), they aren't going to scrap 4e and bring out a 5th edition that combines what people miss about previous editions with what was actually improved in the game engine by 4e.
Then again, 4e may have run out of ammo. All of the classes and races they've strung out over three editions of the PHB are out. There are no players waiting for a PHB4, as that would just continue race and class bloat and a myriad of powers that seem to blur together. And for WotC to keep making money they need to keep printing books that players will buy. Looking at the upcoming line-up, it's a mix of recycled product and splat books to give you even more versions of "2W and slide 1" powers and builds.
Maybe Mearls will bring something back to the game that it's missing and I wish him well, but my appetite for 4e product is sated.