After around 25 years playing RPGs I still have to see a new edition of an RPG that does not bring with it the usual barrage of negative and malcontent posts and comments. This negativity is, to me, becoming repetitive and boring, so I wanted to add my "optimistic" two cents to the discussion.
1. First of all, I don't see anything evil or "damnable" in companies (FFG in this case) trying to make money out of publishing games. I don't think many of the writers in these companies are riding around in luxurious Porsches and I feel the amount of time, interest and love they put into game designing well deserves my praise, respect and part of the easy cash I earn in uncreative jobs. Creating games is not so easy as it seems; I have experience writing scenarios for my friends, even designing some small games and anyone that has this sort of experience will tell you it's hard and very time consuming (although very exciting too).
So for me, the argument that game companies are greedy "à la MS" companies trying to squeeze all your cash is moot (even with Wizards and GW, probably the two most profit-oriented companies of this hobby) because, unlike companies such as MS, game companies don't hold a monopoly or anything. If you don't want to spend the cash, you can find very cheap substitutes, and anyway, gaming is the cheapest pastime of them all... just consider how much money you spent on, say, D&D, WH or Call of Cthulhu, and how many hours of fun you had with your friends.
2. Many of the people complaining have the same attitude as many old people towards new generations: (mumbling) "Youngsters are lazy, they have it easier than us did and world is coming down the drain..."... Come on, people, your sermons are the same as the ones I had to hear in my kid days. Your whining and nagging is useless and not at all constructive.
So they complain against any kind of innovation someone brings into games: they don't like cards, they don't like special dice, they are "hardcore gamers" and black and white musty tomes should be all anybody needs... if it were for them we would still be in the Dark Ages of RPGs!
I disagree with all this "let's go back to the Dark Ages" discourse because it is not true, it is not inspiring and, above all, it is not fun.
3. I have tried D&D 4th edition and I think the innovations and ideas brought by Wizards were intriguing and interesting, they were not 100% my group's cup of tea, so our GM (with the help of the group) changed some rules and we adapted the game to our taste (that's the RPG gamer spirit, btw, not just negative whining). The great maps they use, the scenarios, the sheer wealth of ideas is fascinating! And you can adapt them to any mechanics you want.
Also in my opinion, another company in the front of RPG innovation is Paizo. Their RPG products are amazing and they have published cards, maps, special dice and all sort of nice goodies that get you in the mood and serve as inspiration for your games.
4. FFG is my favourite boardgame publisher. Their boardgames are inspiring and their quality production is top. I think the main reason why D&D has been the RPG leader is the amount of scenarios and adventures that players have at their disposal, and their innovative capability: maybe they did not have the best RPG rules, but they did have the best scenarios, campaigns, art, maps, extra goodies and inspiration capacity. In my opinion, FFG will be able to bring all these extras into WH RP and this will make the game even better than 2nd edition.
I thought WHFRP 2nd edition was the golden age of WH because of the amount of adventures and campaign BI was able to publish, but I am confident a few years from now we'll think about this as the best time to be a WH roleplaying fan.
Thanks, FFG, for giving me so many fun moments with the friends. Lots of luck with this new edition of WH.