Originally Posted by Anderlith
Let me put this another way maybe? It's all about relative competence
Cop = NPC townguard
Average Soldier (after maybe one tour in war) or a well decorated cop = What I'd like to see as the basis for a level one character
Special Forces = 4e's level of competency of a level one character
I want my player's to feel mortal & like something mundane can kill them. It makes them act realistically to the world & to act a lot smarter about fighting foes.
Guards in 4e could probably beat an equal number of level 1-2 adventurers, assuming they don't burn up all their dailies.