Well, the more I read into the PHB, the less I feel like switching. For every thing I say "Yeah, cool!" to, there are three things that I say "Oh gods no!" to. Or at the very least, the "Oh gods no!" comments weigh more heavily than the "yeah, cool!" ones.
What seems to be one of the major nails on the coffin is the sheer amount of invincibility of players. First of all, they start with max hp. Not a big deal, but it just starts the snowball rolling. Then we have spells like Mass Heal, where a cleric can heal 2,000 hp of damage in a single spell. Add to that the death's door rule where each round the charcter gets a 10% chance to stabilize and even begin healing, and also the way clerics can swap other spells for healing, and we now have the equivelant of a bunch of Xmen Wolverine healing factors. The assault on a dungeon no longer becomes dangerous, it's simply a matter of attrition. Go in, kill what you can, retreat, heal everyone, go back in. Never has this tactic been so easy. Hell, now you don't even need to retreat, just heal on the run, why not? Just takes a short time to memorize new spells anyway. There's no longer any need to retreat as charcters can heal as they explore. There's virtually no limit to the # of healing spells available. I hope the DMG doesn't list healing potions, because they're an unneeded redundancy.
And this horseshit about characters healing 1hp/day/level?!?! Good gods, that means a 10th level charcter heals 10 hp per day, 15 if he has bed rest! In 2E, a character got 21 pts per WEEK with total bed rest, otherwise just 7 pts per WEEK. These 3E powerhouses (gods) can get more healing in a day than a 2E character got in a WEEK! That's before taking into account the overglut of magical healing available.
It seems to me that 3E is obsessed with superpowered characters, with unkillable PCs who never need fear death. Never have characters had such potent and plentiful healing potential. In the old days, the cleric haad a handful of healing spells at best, and if you were lucky, a few healing potions. You went into a dungeon or on some other type of adventure, and relied on your wits to keep you alive. The healing was just there as an emergency measure. You had to be careful, and you knew there was a limit to the healing ability of the team. Gods forbid there are two clerics on a team in 3E...you no longer need to worry about damage, since you never need to go more than a few hours with less than full HPs.
I truly, honestly fail to see how a DM can challenge a team of 3E characters without working his ass off just to balance out this single powergaming aspect. I can't make heads or tails of that damned cleric spell list, but I take it if I'm reading it right, that a cleric gets Mass Heal (an 8th level spell) at 15th elevel? Ok, that is a pretty high level, but by the time the team is around that level, they're automatically healing 15 hp/day WITHOUT magic. Given that an average fighter at that level will have about 60 hp, that's a hell of a lot of automatic healing! And if he gets bed rest, that's 22 hp healing per day. A cleric at 15th level can also trade in what...25 or so spells towards healing spells?
No, I think I'm staying in 2E, where the charcters at least have a CHANCE to die.
-- Halaster Blackcloak
"Undermountain, the Realms' deadliest dungeon? I prefer to call it home." "Elminster? Bah! Neophyte!"