High level play being less functional isn't quite the same as removing it, but, yes, point taken...Those are two separate things. You're arguing that removing the high level play experience is the same as rebalancing the game at high levels.
Nod. My experiences through the edition war do contribute to my perception that way. It might be that a different, but still effective form of balance could have appealed, or at least, not inspired such profound rejection - I never saw one identified, however hypothetically, FWIW.This is the same "4e was balanced, therefore balance equals 4e" argument I was pushing against earlier, but formed from the opposite side. It's reductive to summarize dislike of 4e down to an opposition to a balanced game, exactly in the same way it's reductive to argue that balance is inimical to D&D because 4e set it as a design goal.
It's important to note that I'm not evaluating 5e for balance because I've defended 4e, just like I'm not finding fault with the 5e fighter because I've talked up the design of the 3.0 fighter or finding fault with 5e neo-Vancian because I liked playing magic-users and druids under traditional Vancian back in the day.
Rather, I found that, while several editions of D&D have tried to deliver class balance in a variety of ways, 4e has come closest. There are many other ways to achieve balance, other games that do so, but they'd likely be even less 'really D&D' than 4e was.
One possible alternative that occurred to me back in late 3.5 days, would have been to design all classes as single-level building blocks, like the 3e fighter, but more so. At the time, I thought "make everyone a fighter in the next D&D" was a non-starter, and that it wasn't really possible to balance classes in D&D, nor encounters except by DM talent/experience/illusionism. 4e proved me wrong. So I'm quite open seeing a very different form of balance than the one 4e tried working, presumably in some other game, since balance does not seem to be an option in D&D going forward.
Unplayable or/and unbalanced level ranges still consume resources and design space, just for little if any utility.It's bad because it consumes to many resources and game design space..
It often seems like D&D is aiming to work only in its sweet spot, because 'people don't play to high level,' which, if I'm following, leads you to conclude "why not just have a 1-10 game?"If you're willing to burn down level 1-20 expectations whynot 10 or 15 levels?
That doesn't sound unreasonable.