My first thoughts upon reading were, "Holy crap! This is better then anything in these Dragons!" Then I discovered, I was not the first to have such a thought, and there was a bit of controversy about that particular line of thinking.
For what it's worth, what I specifically mean by that thought, is that I found more useful articles in one issue of Fight On!, more articles that I am going to whole cloth drop into my game, then in the ten or so issues of Dragon that I grabbed (ranging from issue 100-190). This is simply a fact. There is more content per page, the contents are more varied and complex, specifically in a visual sense, and there are more things that are immediately useful to me as an RPG.
The Dragon's on the other hand, had three or four long articles an issue, often with an obscene (3-4 pages) amount of research on 'historical context' and several shorter articles. There was a great deal more consistency between each article, and a much larger interest in providing a imaginative historical context "to understand how D&D was meant to be played".
I recommend against visiting any link in this post - the vitriol surrounding some of this is galactic in the scope of it's stupidity. I've been so excited and so busy having fun with all this fun gaming I've been doing, going through some of this commentary has been a slap in the face. Horrible rants about one of the creators of this hobby being a toad, to spiteful arguments back and forth about some random descriptor - it's adults and publishers acting like Wizards of the Coast forum trolls.
- Ignore most of the above links
- Fight On! is awesome
- Dragon magazine was focused on providing imaginative background for Dungeon Masters and less on actual useful gaming material