The edition war rarely reached the intellectual level of a discussion or debate, it was characterized by fallacies, especially personal attacks, intellectual dishonesty, questionable agendas, and many persistent factual errors & misrepresentations.In short, yes 4E has been much discussed. But seldom has its fundamentally overwrought design complexity been questioned.
Actual discussion of 4e, itself, rather than the straw man effigies of it being attacked, was rare by comparison. The game has been dead & burried for 7 years now, and it's still not possible to have an honest discussion of its actual qualities.
4e being overly complex and hard to learn/play has been an edition-war accusation very nearly as long as the accusation that it was dumbed-down and simplistic. Both were equally valid.
Of course, RPGing is a complex activity, and there are many ways to manage, conceal, or otherwise render that complexity acceptable. Rules Lite games - including no version of D&D ever - cope with it by off-loading complexity to the GM, and in more progressive ones, the players, as well. Rules-heavy games, by over-rewarding mastery of that same complexity. D&D has generally skated on the issue of complexity, because it's the oldest, most-played of RPGs, it's familiar and familiarity reduces the perception of complexity. TSR eds are often considered less complex than WotC eds, when the opposite is true - 3e & 4e each consolidated the needless complexity of prior the edition, and 5e re-einstated only some of that. But less complex than Gygax's baroque masterpieces is still plenty complex.
5e relies on that same familiarity to mask complexity more than the other WotC editions, while 3e encintivizes the embrace of complexity with lavish rewards for system mastery. 4e reduced the experience of complexity through clarity & consistency, but that approach only worked for new & casual players, having the opposite effect on those already very familiar with past editions.
Not really: like 'fun,' it can be awfully subjective. Some players may be fascinated by, say, building up a town and keep in meticulous, economically-realistic detail, others bored to tears.I mean, the absolute priority is to avoid Boring, right?
The point of 'fast combat' is to minimize boredom or distaste for those who don't like combat, in the first place, by /just getting it over with/ - that it also minimizes fun for those who might enjoy a good combat notwithstanding.
The point of a more involved, dramatic and engaging combat is not to avoid boring with the threat of quick death, but to be interesting and even fun for all the players involved, in the first place - thus, if it takes 40 or 90 minutes, instead of 15 or 60, it's time well spent, rather than wasted time minimized.If the only way to make a fight sufficiently challenging to avoid Boring is to make it take a long time, then your core game is too involved.
Some groups are going to like that, and others are going to like all getting to participate.I think that shows why there is a limit to the lengths a game should and can go to avoid anti-climactic and/or Rocket Tag.
It's up to the DM to decide how to run & pace his game. I played in a 3e campaign where the DM went to great lengths to manage elaborate, tactically engaging combats - it helped that no one played a wizard or CoDzilla build, but it was still quite a feat - and in a 4e campaign where the DM would use over-leveled minions, even minimized bodaks with the death-gaze intact - to create fast/difficult combats where you felt overmatched, at first, but it wrapped quickly.
The key is actually balance: in that 3e campaign, player restraint played a meaningful role in keeping it enjoyable for all - our resident Powergamers amused themselves with complex melee builds, well the most casual player had a sorcerer, for instance - had someone been optimizing SoDs, it'd've been different.
4e was more consistent, so if you colored outside the lines, to get something different from the default, no one's PC was likely to be marginalized, and the something different was more likely to happen. The issue was that it was so easy to run a decent session, DMs weren't often gripped with that urge to achieve something different.
5e accomplishes the same thing without resorting to the iconoclastic, sacred-cattle-mutilation of class/encounter balance, through DM fiat, which require more art, artifice, & and just plain guts on the part of the DM. But, that same DM who ran rocket tag with minion bodaks in 4e, ran set-pieces in 5e.