The article in The New York Times stated the rules are going to be designed by the fans. Sort of. It sounds more involved than simply “rules designed by the fans.”
The article points out that Wizards wants to include people who actually play the game to help design the new rules set. They’re currently getting feedback from a limited playtest community made up of Wizards employees and their gaming groups. Then they will be expanding that group to consist of members from their existing group of playtesters.
The article says that at some point in the spring, they’ll begin what they call “open playtesting”, which is where they’ll release rules, classes, monsters, etc… for the general public to playtest and then respond to.
I like that idea in that it will give Wizards a different perspective since the majority of the player base likes different things, they can see what works and what seems or is broken in the rules and fix it.
I had lost some confidence in Wizards being able to craft a good game, but that may change with 5.0. I started out playing 2nd edition, then when I had just gotten used to the rules, they came out with 3rd edition. Then another learning curve, then 3.5 came out to fix some issues with 3.0. That was when I put it down for awhile. Then came the major announcement about 4.0 and a renewed interest in D7D began. I had to relearn everything again, but it was a fun ride because of the new playable races and classes. Now with 5.0, we have the playerbase helping craft the system and I think that is a good thing in the long run.