Well, based on my experience, if the GM wants to he can just grind the players into the ground. We are rank 3, and we are powerful (with a lucky set of rolls and comboing action cards a Priest of Sigmar in our group killed an uninjured Rat Ogre in one low. The Wizard also once got 11 dice of defence… unfortunately all he got to use it against was a snotling…), but if the GM wants they can just total us. The deadliness of combat works both ways. Even when a GM isn't trying to "beat" us, a deliberately silly encounter, with special enviroments combined with some… unlucky rolls, meant that a fight with some snotlings almost killed two characters.
However, I do agree the system doesn't work that well for 1st and 2nd edition style adventures, where you are brawling it out in city gutters with bandits and cut purses who are nowhere near your competency but still pose some threat, even in not huge numbers.
You are absolutely right Yepesnopes.
PCs in V3 start off as second career PCs in V1, approximately. This said, PCs in V1 could have Str 40 if they got lucky with their dice, even more so in V2 since talents like Very Strong would bump your stat up 5%.
So yes, PCs start off stronger. Is that a problem, IMO, not really.
V3 is structured around the concept of storytelling, of narrative over simulationism. It's a design choice. If you don't like it, then I would suggest reducing Creation points to suit your taste. Maybe 5 for Dwarfs and elves and 10 for humans? That would severely nerf the starting stats.
You could then consider your starting PCs as being Rank 0 instead of rank 1 when they begin, as Ranks are an important rules feature later on.
To conclude, I would say that V3 designers wanted to give able characters right off the bat so players could start having serious fun already in session 1. With V1 style characters, the first adventures must be so toned down that sometimes that doesn't suit the tastes of players keen on cinematic action and scenes full of perils.
Either way, the rpg experience can be great.
Thank you for your opinion.
I was not trying to highlight that there is something wrong with players starting more powerful than in previous editions. I was more concerned with knowing your point of view about "what PCs are before they start adventuring". A bit more of a philosophical question if you want, than rather rules. If in v1 and v2 they were average people trying to escape from their grey lives and break the stablished system, fight corruption, chaos etc (to say something), what are they in v3? Since they are more capable than they comrades, may be they go adventuring to find the challenges they cannot find on their everyday life, or may be they feel like outsiders around so much "grey people" and they go adventuring to team up with others more of their equal (like going to a school for genius when you are one).
Well, to answer your question that has more to do with story and background than rules, I would say that they either are identical to V1 and V2 characters, but with that special heroic potential already tied in the character. They look like standard peasants (and think they are) but they are not.
Second possibility is that when the game starts, these ex-peasants already have some adventuring (or more likely bumming around) under their belts. They aren't green anymore.
Those are to ways to look at it, IMO.
Lastly, you must also consider that non-combat careers are really at the normal man level of proficiency in that respect. PCs in V3 start off stronger IN THEIR ZONE OF PROFICIENCY ONLY. So having a group of scribes that are above the norm in intellect and education won't really help you in a scrap…