I agree 100% that it feel different.... I just think D&D 2e compared to 3e plays and feels different. 2e or 3e to 5e feels different, but 5e is closer to 3e then 4e is to either... if basic, 1e, 2e, 3e,4e,and 5e are all D&D the feel is very mailable.I find that interesting because mechanics matter A LOT for me re: feel of a game.
For example, I just can't get into GURPS. I've tried (I"ve DM'd, friends have DMd, have tried it at a few conventions) - and I honestly think it's the D6s rolling 3d6 all the time just feels off. If D&D moved in that direction, it would be pretty tough for me to move with it!
Or when Deadlands released a D20 version. Group tried it, and wow was the feel completely off compared to the "regular" one. Even WITH all of the terminology etc. being the same.
D&D is a bacon double cheese burger. A 5 guys bacon double cheese burger is very different then a TGI Fridays bacon double cheese burger and both are a far cry away from burger Kings Bacon double cheeseburger... but I can recognize they are the same thing even if they present with some major differences.
I can't understand how someone that went through even 1 edition change would think (unless it was only 1e to 2e) that D&D was a burger king bacon cheese burger and not a 5 guys one..
now I am hungry