I ditched that last junk game I was in and played with a new group. Currently, I am playing a halfling warpriest, who is working out much better than I anticipated. The rest of the party is a human gloom pact hexblade, an elf druid (yawn), an elf rogue, and a dragonborn warlord.

Two leaders, two strikers, and one controller. We could use a defender but we're managing right now. We had a shorter session last night, but here are my observations based on the single combat encounter.

The background: we're a mercenary party in the service of a kingdom, and there's this other kingdom nearby, and they don't really like each other, and the uneasy peace is getting uneasier. RIght now, we're headed out with supplies to garrison a guard tower.

Naturally, we are attacked on the way by soldiers of the other kingdom. There are a handful of them, all are standard monsters (no minions / elites). This is, as before, a group of relatively new players, so I'm the player who knows the 4e system best. (Possibly better than the DM.) What I took from this session is that:

(a) At-will powers are junk.
(b) The striker role should not exist.
(c) Round-by-round tracking sucks.
(d) Forced movement is awesome.

I'll go through these bit by bit.

(a) At-will powers are junk.
Nobody understood these. I did, of course, and the gloomblade's player is smart enough to get the rules, but everyone else was very, very confused. Now, not to toot my own horn too much here, but I'm usually the smartest guy at the table. I have a head for numbers and rules. I "get" the 4e rules. In comparison to 3e, it's very easy to play. Unfortunately, it's not easy enough.

Lots of players are not very smart. And that's not to say they're dumb, but they've exceptionally average. This is fine and dandy, but the rules need to be written for them, not for the above-average population who can.

The rogue in particular had difficulty with his at-wills. He wanted to use his Sly Flourish ability, so he rolled a melee basic attack. I explained that he used Dexterity on this roll because it was Dexterity vs. AC. He did that and rolled 1d4 + Strength damage. I explained that he added Dexterity + Charisma damage on this, and we got things sorted out. Next round, we had a similar problem--he was insistent on rolling that 1d4 + Strength basic attack.

The warlord also had some trouble with his at-wills. He didn't really "get" how to use them effectively--he wanted to make a basic attack instead of using his special attacks. (He didn't even use his breath weapon, which is the dragonborn's big thing.)

The druid was just a mess. He got the basic idea of at-wills (and used his flame seed power to some effect), but he was really lost when it came to wild shaping and using his at-will attacks, especially when he could use them on AOOs as a basic attack.

As a side note, the gloomlock and I were the only ones to understand encounter / daily powers. Everyone wanted to use their at-will powers, but the rules were too confusing for them.

In summary: there need to not be at-will special attack powers. As it says in the Bible: "Let your basic attack be a basic attack." If you want to attack with your dagger, then attack with your dagger. Don't throw a bunch of math changes into the system. Having a bunch of separate special attacks is too difficult to track for new players.

(b)The striker role should not exist.
In the combat, the strikers did the majority of the work. My warpriest hit a few times, doing a paltry 1d6 + 3 damage. The gloomblade, on the other hand, was doing 1d10 + 7 damage, and the rogue (when he finally managed a sneak attack) was doing 1d4 + 2d6 + 6 damage. There wasn't much in the way of healing needed in the battle, so I felt somewhat useless. Also, the druid's flame seed did pitiful damage.

My proposal is simple: every class should be a "striker"; that is, every class should be capable of doing decent damage.

(c) Round-by-round tracking sucks.
There needs to be a set duration for powers. Either they last until the end of your next turn or the beginning of your next turn or the end of the enemy's next turn or the beginning of his next turn. Trying to figure out when powers ended was a huge pain and caused more page-flipping than the actual powers themselves.

(d) Forced movement is awesome.
Originally, I was skeptical of forced movement and the over-reliance on the battlemat. I recant immediately. I like a good tactical challenge, and there were some really neat moments that forced movement provided in the game. My personal favorite was when the last remaining soldier fled and the druid used one of his at-wills (that couns as an MBA) to slide him back into position to provoke another attack of opportunity.

Thus, what I want to see from 5e:

(a) Few, if any, at-wills. Special encounter / daily powers are fine, but hitting with a sword should just be hitting with a sword.

(b) Nobody gets shafted with damage.

(c) Better duration mechanics and few intra-round tracking abilities.

(d) Forced movement.