Smaller that RTL dungeon layouts? I don't think so, Tim. I admit that the map for "First Blood" is pretty small, but perhaps you're forgetting how small RTL dungeon levels really are? I wouldn't say it's as small as all that, besides which, it is an introductory scenario, after all.
I've been following the previews myself, and I don't recollect seeing all that many quest maps. Maybe two or three different ones, and First Blood several times, repeated from several different angles. I'm not saying I expect any of them to be as massive as 1e quests were, but I think you might be getting a little bit ahead of yourself with worrying about them being tiny.
As for the OL's deck, it starts off small, but he buys more cards with XP over the course of the campaign. The customization is still there, it just evolves over time instead of being done all at once. As for flavor, the three OL classes help to ensure you can tailor your OL deck to whatever flavor of play you presonally prefer.
I'm guessing you're still in school, if you can afford to throw away two whole days playing a single board game. If that's the case then, yeah, I can see how the shorter play time of 2e would suck for you. Personally, I don't think I'd be interested in buying 2e if it couldn't be played in short bursts. I just don't have that kind of time on my hands anymore. Depending on how close you are to graduating and joining the workforce, you might find yourself coming to appreciate the compact style of 2e more quickly than you think.
Steve-O … first I absolutely must respond to your last statement first. Made me laugh … very hard. I am probably a very UNTYPICAL gamer on this site. I am actually 51 years old and a professional poker player living in Las Vegas. So, I, and my friends, tend to have all of the time we need to play games. Most of us grew up playing all kinds of board games, strategy games, etc.
Now, I just spent several hours looking at the layouts of many RTL dungeons, and in fact many of the outdoor Encounter layouts; I counted map pieces used and measured for a rough, overall size. Even if we discount First Blood, and only look at the 5 distinct maps detailed within the video (0:22, 0:29, 0:33, 0:41, and 0:49), only the map in 0:49 appears to be larger than most of the D1 RTL maps/enocunters; all of the others are smaller. Now, I am assuming that what appears in the video are actual maps for quests (Act I or Act II), and not just some stuff thrown together for visual presentations.
As for customization of the OL deck, if you are not playing in campaign mode (and quite frankly even if you are), 15 cards just is way too small. There are too many events/triggers/cards that allows the OL in D2 (at least what is shown in some of the previews) to discard cards from his deck, arrange them (at least the top 5) in whatever order he wants, etc. I just don't think there will be enough variety in the long term; in fact, I think it will make it far easier for the OL and Heros (assuming a resonable memory) to know what is left in the deck at any given time, and prepare better for what is coming.
Now, of course, this could have been a decision made by FFG to enforce more interest in expansions, drive additional sales, etc. Certainly a good business model. I also agree that as expansions come out, and additional cards. map pieces, quests, archtypes, subclasses, etc. are made available, the overall re-playability of things will improve dramatically.
My concerns is what actually will lead me to also purchasing the conversion kit; if for no other reason that to allow additional heros, monsters, etc.
Thanks for responding; I don't often post, and more usually just lurk, but a well reasoned opinion and discussion adds value. I have followed many of your posts in the D1 forum.