Just a random though while I was looking through my books.
Old school gamer (OD&D, B/X, AD&D and early 2e) were toolkits to aid in imagination. Sure they had options, sometimes plenty of them, but they were often simply meant as spurs to you imagination.
Newer school games, late 2e (with the Kit books) and up are more about options. Rather than winging it, you can easily grab a book and viola, the rule will be there for you.
4e is perhaps the ultimate iteration of that, where virtually every cool thing your character or a monster can do is a power of some kind . The monsters tactics are fully specked out for you, the treasure is in literal parcels and all you have to do is take what pieces you want provide flavor text, set up the board, play. This structures the game in a way that Old School games never did. This is not wrong, if you like it mind and while I enjoy creating options for Pathfinder and such -- that amount of structure is no longer what I want in my D&D.
In fact I'd say my ideal D&D is more about imagination than anything else. Just roll some dice, be fair, err on the side of generous and go play. And since it doesn't feel like 4e supports that, I won't be buying in.
Instead because making options for that game is fun to me, I'll support Pathfinder and I'll play old style any time I can.
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