No, sadly, I wasn't able to attend Gen Con this year...or any year, for that matter...but I have been following its coverage on Twitter and some of the announcements Wizards of the Coast made gave me inspiration to type up this post.
One of the major things that caught my attention was the announcement of the player classes forHeroes of the Feywild, a book I've been excited about since its announcement last year. WOTC announced that the Satyr (that's right, an f'ing Satyr!), Pixie, and Hamadryad will be playable classes. One of them, they admitted, would be able to fly at 1st level...which I'm assuming will be the Pixie. In addition to the new classes, WOTC also announced a new Barbarian build (that goes from Defender to striker while raging), a new Bard build (a Skald type build), and several new Druid builds. Damn. My excitement level for this book just went from about 9 (out of 10) to about...oh, 20 or so.
Another bit of news that touched my fancy was some more information on the super-adventure Madness at Gardmore Abbey. WOTC announced that it would be an "open-ended," "non-linear" adventure. They also stated the box set would contain all a DM needs to run it: tokens, maps, adventures, and a 4e version of the Deck of Many Things (as an actual deck of cards). I must say, I'm more intrigued about this now than I was before.
The other big thing WOTC mentioned was the new campaign setting for next year. They would not say what it was but admitted that it would be something different and would be a "twist" on what people think of as a campaign setting. Now, the word "twist," when used by WOTC, kind of worries me. Their "twists" are usually things they think are great but fall flat on most gamers.
They did admit the campaign setting would not be Dragonlance, although it is on the "back burner." They also stated both Kara-Tur and Al-Qadim would be getting DDI support. Which I rather like.
Let's see, what else... Oh, they are working on a new miniature skirmish game that uses cards instead of dice, and they are planning to release non-randomized miniatures for both the skirmish game and the RPG.
Those were the main topics that I found interesting. Oh, yeah, they also showed interest in releasing digital copies of classic Dungeons and Dragons rules...which would kick all sorts of ass!
Other topics: new board games, new novels, whole bunch of elemental based things(including a new "Heroes" book), and a few more, mundane things.
All in all, I'm rather excited about the future of 4e DnD...first time in a long time.
No, no 5e was announced. That's probably next year. ;)