About the only real market opening I see is "more crunch for 5E". That is, not actual 5E, but 5E-like. With more playerside crunch.
Do you really want to get into re-treading tired edition-war ground? I mean, you absolutely /could/ tell the same stories with 4e as with prior eds - it was just easier, and there were a lot of /other/ stories (or other gameplay agendas) you could go with, instead.If you think 4E failed simply because it wasn't exactly as before you don't get what people like about D&D.
4E failed because it had lost the soul of the game. You simply could not use it to tell the stories you were used to. At least I couldn't.
4e "failed" because of a perfect storm of business disasters, and the fake controversy generated by the nerdrage of the edition war keeping new players from ever trying it.
"Soul of D&D" is sure a grand way of saying LFQW, the 5MWD, and DM Empowerment.5E, in contrast, retains the soul of D&D but not the niggling peculiarities of d20.
You can't omit the history of the game from 2008 to 2014 and expect to understand the differences between what it was then, and what it became, now. There was a war for the "soul" of D&D if you want to put it that way, and /WotC era D&D lost/. Not just 4e, but 3e, as well. The hallmarks of 3e are bowdlerized optional rules, 5e has nothing like it's customizability nor the associated lavish-to-gamebreaking rewards for system mastery, it does not foster dogmatic reverence for RaW, but gives the game - heart & soul - /to the DM/.You won't be able to see what Paizo needs to upgrade if you can't understand the value of the 3E-5E upgrade.
We'll soon see where PF2 ends up on this scale. Give me maybe a month and I might provide a first impressions.
5e /does/ retain a lot of the niggling (and even occasionally intuitive) little details of d20 - the d20, ascending AC, preference for bonuses over penalties, casters made less challenging to play by removing restrictions/limitations, contested checks, even 4e group checks, hiding rules, and the like - but they're details, the overall feel is very much back to that of the classic game, and, like Classic D&D of the TSR era, it belongs to the DM.
3e vs 5e isn't that important, they're not /that/ different, apart from 3.5 having a much higher stack of books.I simply cannot understand your desperate attempts to shift the discussion away from 3E and 5E.
PF1 is a clone of 3e, with an even higher stack of books, but what 5e did is not that important.
What PF1 fans will accept, /is/.
The question is "will it become 4e?" The answer is "No, it better not, because the PF fanbase loathes 4e." ;P And, not that that's not serious, but more seriously, aping 5e will get PF2 nowhere - 5e is already there, being like 5e (and, with options turned on, a bit like toned-down 3.x, but, mostly, a lot like AD&D thanks to DM Empowerment), or worse, going /further/ than 5e from 3e (even if not as far afield 4e), would be disastrous. And, focusing on non-issue Sacred Cows like LFQW (beloved, cherished, and venerated by fans of OSR, 3e & 5e alike), is a red herring. How 5e tweaked the LFQW curve (starting casters farther along, and advancing it a bit more gently) is a pretty minor consideration, whether you're trying to be like the 500bl D&D gorilla (and vanish into obscurity like every other fantasy heartbreaker) or be differentiated from it (and maybe carve out a little market niche for yourself). And, really, with an established fanbase of their own, neither of those is a good idea, maybe - maybe - an incremental evolution of PF1 would have been a good idea, something that lets fans feel like they're not just dinosaurs, without actually disrupting their Jurassic ecosystem too much.when we're worried about they maybe not leaving Pathfinder 1 enough (=3E) and/or reaching the same "level of comfort" and the current standard and market leader (=5E).
In order to see my point, please lay down your 1E or 4E stories, if just for a moment.
But, just from a business perspective, jumping on the 5e 3pp bandwagon seems the smarter, safer, more profitable bet.