Please take everything I write with a grain of salt --- I don't have my hands on the SRD yet, so I know as little as everyone else.
From what I've seen and read of 4E, Áereth right where it needs to be. This has nothing to do with us succesfully anticipating 4E but everything to do with Jeff, Mike and I writing a setting that's exciting to play.
In short, we got lucky.
Points of Light
: Jeff, Mike and I wrote a PoL setting before Wizards came up with the buzzword. Even the Gaz's introduction highlights this. To me, a setting where even something as simple as travel is fraught with danger is truer to the medieval world, and just plain fun. The heroes need to be Heroes, and everything about Áereth is tailored to keep the spotlight on the PCs.
Tieflings/warlock’s infernal pacts
: We got lucky on this one, but we nailed it. Quoted directly from the Gaz:
Like the priest-kings of old, many of those serving the Secret Kings are soulless husks, their souls sold into damnation in return for terrestrial powers. This is not undertaken lightly, since the Secret Kings are far from achieving their goals, and enemies abound. More commonly, the scions of the Secret Kings carry demon blood within their veins. Cambions, tieflings, and half-fiends, so common during the reign of the Priest-Kings, still exist within the dark halls of the Secret Kings.
The 4E tiefling, and pact-making warlocks are already in the setting.
Again, got lucky, but we nailed it. Or rather, Jason Little nailed it, in his Vault of the Dragon Kings
. Dragonborn fall neatly into place as mortal descendents from the deific line of Dragon Kings. This is doubly cool because it means we get to write up noble houses and warriors clans (in some fashion or another) for the dragonborn race. In DCC world, dragonborn adventurers are nobility from a lost age --- warriors where honor is everything, and customs reach back for eons.
Like tieflings, dragonborn aren't common by any stretch of the imagination. 90% of the regular population go their entire life without meeting a dragonborn. But as heroes, they are justified, since their story should be unique.
Split of Elves/Fae Realms:
Again, got lucky. Check out Adventure Continues
and Castle Whiterock
for the first DCC forays into the Fae Realms. Way to go, Adrian and Jess.
Jeff loves gnomes, Harley less so. But Harley got to write the Northlands so you don’t see a lot of gnome lovin’. This was just me being lazy. The relegation of gnomes to "monsters" is a non-issue for me. Before you flame me, see the next point . . .
DCC world was always intended to be your
world. Hate dragonborn and tieflings? No sweat. Tear the pages out of your players' core books. Love gnomes? Declare Crieste overrun by the little guys. More power to the GM. DCC world is perfectly suited to 4E because, above all else, we always intended for it to be malleable. Don't let me, Joseph, or Wizards tell you how to run your game. Use what inspires you, and throw away the rest.
The 4E Known World isn't terribly different from the old-school Áereth we wrote into DCC #35. It's still a dangerous world rife with adventure and desperately in need of heroes. And, honestly, (please forgive the bias) I can't wait to play in it.