A few days ago Mike Mearls made a fairly exciting post on the D&D Next website. In it he expands on some earlier discussions outlining plans to craft a two-tier system for D&D Next, where there would be a completely stand-alone basic core set that could then be expanded to make a crunchier 3.5/Pathfinder like game if players so desired.
Mearls description of the core set makes it sound like it would be squarely aimed at OSR-types, new gamers, and returning gamers. His vision essentially describes as a virtual re-release of the 1981 Basic/Expert set combo. I am stoked! This model would be something that would differentiate 5e from Pathfinder while also leveraging D&D's pop cultural visibility to attract new players into roleplaying. I like it and I hope it happens.
Mearls' post is also kind of amazing because it reads like he is making a point-by-point response to my previous musings on the last D&D Next playtest packet, right down to paring down combat options and citing Settlers of Catan as a model for maximum rules complexity. Hmmm....
I just want to express how excited I am by what is being expressed. I am hoping to see a playtest packet of the new Basic Set soon!