"My players like incorporating objects around them into combat, and many of them don't do traditional damage at all. Things like knocking an opponent out, or entangling them, etc."
"It depends on the players and the locations. A square 30'x30' room with nothing in it is not going to be very interesting. A 30'x30' library with bookcases to pull down, books to throw for distraction, and desks to jump up onto (and possibly onwards from there to swinging from chandeliers) is a world away. But with players who aren't up for that the two might as well be the same thing."
"When I was running something like a balor, which has numerous spell-like abilities, I found it necessary to prepare his tactics well ahead of time. If I didn't have time to prepare, I just had him spam his sword-and-whip melee attacks over and over again because I couldn't be bothered to flip through the spell descriptions to find the optimal choice every round. When I did have time to prepare, the notes that I took ended up looking quite a bit like a 4e statblock."
" In 3E we had very little fun in combat precisely because there was a rule for absolutely everything and that rule boiled down to "You better have put points into the skill every level and/or have the appropriate Feat, or it's a one-way train to fail-town and you might get an AoO or three on the side!"."
"The DM would assign a penalty and/or assign an effect in lieu of damage or whatever, and we were off to the races. Just encourage the players to not worry about the game mechanics and just try stuff. If you decide on a couple guidelines for how to handle such thing in general you can handle whatever they come up with minimal fuss and maximum speed. Detailed rules make you sweat the details. Don't sweat the details and trust yourself!"
"it was all about the effot the gm and player were willing to put in"
to me, 2E got less fun with the Player's Option guides, because that was sort of a proto-3E, and introduced tons of crunch.
"For me, in every version of D&D I played prior to 4th Edition, combat was only ever fun in spite of the rules governing it. That is, yes, I had fun with the descriptions of it and making sense out of the senselessness, but I never enjoyed working with the rules themselves."
"the more rules you add, the more it becomes about gaming the system, rather than using your wits to interact with the shared imaginary space of the game world."
I know, that's A LOT of quotes. But I think they're all very interesting.