Over the course of the last few weeks I've read nearly 7,000 blog posts for . . . purposes that aren't important right now (nailed it), and I've developed a theory about why 5e is enjoying the level of success it's seeing right now as opposed to previous editions. Where many of the previous editions* of the game tended to present themselves as an authoritative version of the game that all of us should attempt to live up to, 5e has been consciously designed to mold itself to our needs. In other words: by making 5e so malleable the Wizards of the Coast design team has created an edition of the game that its consumers have taken full ownership of.
I've never run across a version of the game that so many people are sculpting to their own needs without seeing the stereotypical backlash that seems to come when someone goes away from the rules as written. If you think that I'm wrong about this, what accounts for the way that people have been reacting to 5e?
* Clearly I'm referring to the more formalized rules and not the free form fun that was Chainmail and Original D&D.