|The Shiny New Covers|
Unlike the previous edition, the three core rulebooks will be released on different dates. The Player's Handbook will hit shelves on August 19th, with the Monster Manual arriving on the 30th of September and the Dungeon Master's Guide coming out on November 18th. All three will be $49.95. Personally I find that a little disappointing, but Wizards of the Coast must have their reasons.
Between the releases of the Monster Manual and the Dungeon Master's Guide, Kobold Press is scheduled to release two adventures for this new system: Hoard of the Dragon Queen on August 19th and The Rise of Tiamat on October 21st. Both adventures will be $29.95, which is kind of expensive in my opinion for an adventure. Wizards of the Coast outsourcing the first official adventures for this new edition to a 3rd party publisher is a rather interesting development.
It's also interesting to note that none of the products sport the "D&D Next" moniker. I know that might not be a big thing to most of you, but it is to me. I HATED the "Next" title and wished it would die a fiery death. Thankfully, it looks like I got my wish. Its a minor thing, but it definitely makes me happy.
Although my enthusiasm for this new edition of Dungeons & Dragons started to wane during the public playtest, I'll most likely purchase the three core rulebooks when they're released just to add them to my collection. I highly doubt they'll see much use at my gaming table, but you never know. I might actually be blown away with what I find inside those books. Only time will tell.
((*UPDATE*)) As most people already know, the Starter Set will NOT include rules for character creation (which I still feel was a strange decision). However, the interesting news is that Wizards will be releasing a free PDF called Basic Dungeons & Dragons that will be the core rules for the upcoming edition. I honestly like that it'll be free and it makes me more interested in giving it a look.