I gave up on D&D and switched to playing other rpgs right before 3.5. I gave 4th ed hard pass (not my jam, like at all) and I came back to D&D in 2018 (after learning about Critical Role). So, I missed whole Pathfinder and first 4 (or so) years of 5e. Can anyone tell me how it started? Was there much enthusiasm in the fanbase? Did it took off quickly, or there was slow reception? If you've been there and then, did it progressed as expected, or were you surprised about direction WotC was taking?