I'm nobody's expert on Next. I'm signed up for the playtest, and I've read the first release of the playtest rules. I don't follow all the development blogs and interviews, news and soundbites, though. Well, I sort of follow them, by way of the Grumpy Dwarf over at Tenkar's Tavern. In his latest post we find this quote from a Legends and Lore article by Rodney Thompson.
"Instead, we represent the difference in characters of various levels primarily through their hit points, the amount of damage they deal, and the various new abilities they have gained. Characters can fight tougher monsters not because they can finally hit them, but because their damage is sufficient to take a significant chunk out of the monster's hit points "
If you recall from my post from December of last year, I proposed that a Fighter's increasing ability should be tied to damage output, not necessarily to the "to hit" bonus. I apologize if I sound boastful, but it really is vindicating when I am on the same page as the designers of the flagship for the hobby. I'm just a guy with an outdated computer and severely restricted resources, and I forwarded a design paradigm six months ago that the "professional" designers have just gotten around to.