. Playing without wizards, in a game built for a high-fantasy world, can't be a long-term solution, can it?
Well, I have two answers to that. The first is that my particular forum personality (which is only slightly better thought out than my actual one, and not by much) is to be very tongue and cheek. So really, anything I say ever should likely just be ignored and forgotten.
The second answer is, predictably, contradictory of what I just said.
By saying "don't play wizards" I wasn't advocating a low magic, or less high fantasy campaign. My particular campaign is set in Eberron and is rife with the stuff. I've got players who play arcane characters next to divine, martial, and primal. I have all four roles represented with a striker, defender, leader, and controller. What I don't have, specifically, is a wizard or a controller like one.
My controller is a druid who plays like a rogue and his controlling capabilities are limited to pretty much a few enemies in melee range and Chillwind. He's quite simply not capable of laying down the kind of battlefield support that a wizard, invoker, or even some of the ranged strikers can provide. When you have one of those classes - one built to take on multiple foes in a wide area - it behooves you to design encounters where they get the opportunity to shine. This, however, can drastically increase the number of enemies in play, which is more book keeping and more time.
Now, I also don't want to be misinterpreted. I really like some of the ranged casters, and I think all of them in 4E are pretty great at what they do. But I don't have one, so I don't design encounters for them, and as such my combats tend to be a lot shorter than they perhaps might be. And as I said above, your mileage may vary.
Finally, just because you don't have a ranged aoe specialist in the party doesn't mean that you shouldn't pit one against them now and then, to spice things up. 8)