I liked the variant classes a lot. They were fun in and of themselves, and I hope some of them made certain people more comfortable trying out 4th Edition.

Another way they could have gone that I’m a bit sorry they didn’t was to expand on the way classes could be modified by the Power books. For instance, the ranger or fighter could give up some of their standard options to pick up very different options. The fighter could become a battlerager and get almost to the point of being a striker, or could become a tempest fighter and focus on nimbleness. The Essentials classes could have given us the same core classes but stripped of abilities and said, for instance, “To make a Slayer or a Knight trade [the core PHB fighter abilities] for the abilities set out in this book.” And the core abilities wouldn’t even /be/ in that book, where they might scare certain people, it would just refer back to the PHB, which people could buy or not. Oh, well.