Hussar said:Oh, I don't deny that people are getting up in arms about it. I just find it very ironic that in a combat system that is abstract from beginning to end, THIS is the "cinder block" that squishes the camel, to quote ByronD.
We ignore and hand wave all sorts of abstractions in combat. And the thing to remember is that the battle map is ONLY used in combat. Movement rules, even in 3e only apply during combat. There is no squeezing outside of combat for example. Outside of combat, we handwave pretty much everything.
So, we have an abstract system for combat. The battlegrid is a rough approximation of distance - we handwave the fact that nothing comes in discrete 5 foot distances, or a man on a horse suddenly exists in a quantum state that covers all four squares. But, changing the rules that, at best, is an abstract approximation, to another abstract approximation suddenly causes the downfall of civilization?
So, yeah, I find it ironic that people get so immersed in this. It's abstract. It always has been abstract. Getting bent out of shape over a different abstract is ironic to me. YMMV and all that.
Sure, D&D is abstract in a lot of places...and there's enough people that already have a problem with hit points as an abstract concept of character combat durability, or with cyclical initiative as a core concept, or the weird way some creatures fill a square area while in combat. (By the way, living in a room tiled with 1' square tiles, I can easily see myself fill a 5' square while holding a weapon and maybe a shield, or a staff, and trying to move out of the way of incoming attacks. About that gelatineous horse, though...well, I never liked that kind of abstraction either, which is why I never adopted 3.5 )
But on a whole, those are just that...abstractions. This thing now is simply a step further. It's not an abstraction to say that a diagonal between two 5' squares is the same length as the side of one of the squares, it's simply wrong. And the few ways how it can be "explained away" (because nothing else is done with hit points and other abstractions) are completely bypassing anything resembling even a shred of real-world experience (space being anisotropic? ), or simply based on intentionally ignoring the problem outright.
That's why it's rubbing so many people wrong. Make sense?