5e is a much more mechanically simple game than 3.5e and if we concern ourselves only with first party, officially published, fully edited, non-playtest material such as the official books, we find that the release pace of 5e has been much slower than 3.5e. In total, one would hope that the editing quality of 5e has been superior to that of 3.5e. But has this actually turned out to be the case?
To give some examples of how this question can be answered without too much focus on opinion-based elements, here are some objective standards for how we can say that the editing of 3.5e was poor:
- Lack of due care. Examples include:
- This handbook counts almost 1,000 dysfunctional rules in 3.5e. This includes blunders such as example characters being invalid, things imported from 3e that no longer make sense in 3.5e, or rules having a clear disparity between RAI and RAW.
- Poor errata quality. Notorious cases include the Rainbow Servant's "text trumps table" issue, WotC simply giving up after failing to fix Polymorph, and the Tome of Battle errata becoming a copy and paste of the errata for Complete Mage halfway through.
- Books that are notorious for their poor editing, such as Serpent Kingdoms.
- Game design blunders. Examples include:
- The huge disparity between the usefulness of classes.
- Classes that were obviously never playtested. The Truenamer is particularly notorious for this. It is not broken as in overpowered, it's broken as in "does not work without the DM houseruling over the gaps and contradictions in its rules".
- Feats that are either "trap choices" (what Druid doesn't take Natural Spell at level 6? And several PHB feats) or make your character worse despite appearing to be improvements (e.g. Vow of Poverty).
- Several of the items in Weapons of Legacy make your character worse in exchange for giving you things that you could have easily obtained elsewhere.
- Epic Spellcasting is either useless or game-breaking depending on what version you allow, no middle ground.
So, to repeat my question, how does 3.5e compare to 5e in non-opinion based editing regards such as these?