We played through some combat scenarios tonight and mixed the dice rolling with discussion of the 5e rules.
Here are some of our observations in no particular order.
If you are taking stock at home, we have two players in their 20s and two in their 30s:
*We don't like the HP bloat for PCs or for monsters.
*We don't like the bonus bloat either.
*We understand that bonus bloat requires HP bloat
*The laser cleric needs to go. The cleric player just stood back like Cyclops from the X-Men and blasted monsters. That wasn't fun.
*The dwarven fighter never missed.
*The frost ray of the mage player was particularly effective given the amount and volume of damage the party could deal in one round.
*We don't like the advantage/disadvantage rules. Why? It kills the sanctity of the dice. It doesn't allow the dice to play their part in the development of the game. It prioritizes the rules over the dice. We really dislike that.
*Is the gameplay fast? Yes, but that's because the bonuses are outlandish. You'd expect combat to end quickly given the bonuses and advantage/disadvantage rules.
*There needs to be a happy medium between AoO and no AoO. Unless we missed something (which is entirely possible) monsters can move unhindered right through a party to get at the spell-casters and vice versa.
*The cleric player wasn't really sold on the at-wills, but the mage player seemed to like them. They suggested getting rid of at-wills in favour of more spells that you could cast once per day.
*We felt it would be very difficult for a PC to die in this edition.
In sum, quick painful death must be a part of the game to make it meaningful. The randomness of the dice are a highlight of D&D, not something to get bracketed with rules. The combat plays fast, but that's the direct result of the buffy characters. Too buff for our taste. We like resource management, and the current playtest rules do not allow us to emphasize that aspect of the game (to the degree that we prefer). D&D is not a supers game, and this playtest felt like a supers game with first level characters.