I do think Dark Sun in 5E needs to be close to the time of Kalak's fall (either right before, or shortly after). Part of the strength of that setting is the lore of the Sorcerer Kings and their tyranny, and I do believe that to set Dark Sun 5E in a different region in a different time period is a risk that WotC should not take. People really do like that established lore (myself including), and I don't have great faith that WotC can create entirely new stuff that is tangentially tied to the old, with the same caliber I enjoy from the old stuff. And I also enjoy the freedom of having some "unexplored territory" that I can homebrew my own lore to if I'd like.
Color me puzzled guys.This I would agree with. I think a lot of Dark Sun fans primarily remember the 2e days and the 2e art. Furthermore, I agree a draw to the setting is the tyrannical sorcerer kings and their templar. The wilderness is extremely inhospitable, and the cities make the wilderness look welcoming by comparison. That is an interesting idea even if hyper grimdark has worn a little thin in recent years. [...] Basically, I don't have faith in WotC, either.
The 1991 set and the 4e redo are still around. They haven't gone bad or anything; you can still use them regardless of what 5e does. There are lots of Dark Sun fan resources for 5e too. @toucanbuzz did an excellent campaign guide and monster manual for it. It wouldn't be hard to run the the 1991 set or (inferior) revised setting in 5e--or 4e, or 2e. Forgodsakes there are fan conversions of Dark Sun for Dungeon World, Savage Worlds, and Lamentations of the Flame Princess. Anything that WotC does now would be an addition to the very large trove of Dark Sun resources that already exist.
Why ought they do the same stuff over again for the third time?
I understand your justifiable concern that new content WotC adds to the setting might be bad. Indeed, I am of the opinion that most content after the 1991 setting is bad. But... so? If it doesn't suit my headcannon I'll just steal the parts I like and disregard the rest. I'm sure you can both do so as well with, for example, hypothetical underground upside-down pyramid drow pirate mummy realms. (not to pick on you @Urriak Uruk --I just find that phrasing fun to write).
That goes without saying, right? Most good works of fiction start with more conflict and potential than they end with. Developing the conflict of the steady state world in a way that fulfills its potential is the point of the exercise.The whole problem is that the books start out with a much more interesting setting than exists at the conclusion. This is the problem with Dark Sun, Dragonlance, and Planescape (although I think Planescape has big problems even with the original lore). The most interesting bits of the settings happened before the "current" time, and they're just less interesting settings for adventure because of it. Many of the Magic: The Gathering settings have this problem, as does the Star Wars universe, the Lord of the Rings universe, the Harry Potter universe, etc. The draw to the world is partially that initial setting and conflict.
But that's not to say that new and equally interesting conflict can't be built over the previous premise. I think Beyond the Prism Pentad actually did a pretty good job of that. To quote myself from another thread:
The post pentad status quo really wouldn't be all that bad as long as the deep lore abut Rajaat, the blue age, and so forth is kept obscure/ambiguous in published material. Maybe throw in the vague suggestion of a canonical retcon--but never commit one way or another. Moreover, with a soft reset that jumped the timeline past the book characters' deaths from old age, there'd still be plenty of thematic Darksun to go around.
The take in my headcannon:
Dregoth will have laid to waste and occupied Raam (and most people think he's the original dragon). Sadira will be the faux sorcerer queen of Tyr--less evil but still an eccentric dictator. Tectuctitlay's "son" Atzetuk will be the new divine ruler of Draj, by dint of extreme psychic powers. Balic will be a strife-riven disaster, but with Andropinis still exerting weird extra-dimensional influence. Hamanu, Nibenay, and Lilali-Puy will all be right where we left them. And there's omnipresent religious strife between Dregoth and Lilali-Puy's cultists. All of that is a straight line from 2e's "Beyond the Prism Pentad", with only minimal effort to curtail the metaplot's sunshine and rainbows.
There are many possible permutations of Dark Sun which can capture its "tyrannical sorcerer kings" goodness without being set immediately before or after Kalak's death.
I would like to see WotC try one.