You should bring your friend over here, so we can see where he wanted to go with this.
Ironically, the "Points of Light" thing being embedded into the core of 4th Edition was one of the things that turned me off of learning 4th Edition.
When I started playing D&D, 2nd Edition AD&D was just coming out and we got a large number of different campaign settings, each of which had a different vibe. I saw the "Points of Light" concept as a "restriction" that would make it harder to get the classic campaign settings I liked to fit with 4th Edition rules. When 4e Forgotten Realms came along and the designers decided to toss out the previous cosmology and radically reboot parts of the world, that made me feel that Forgotten Realms was being fitted to the Points of Light theme with a shoehorn (rather than having 4th Edition rules built around Forgotten Realms themes).
When Dark Sun and Eberron got converted to 4th Edition the chatter I heard made me think that they were also rebooting parts of those campaign settings too. There was a lot of nerd rage, back then, so it was often hard to get objective advice on converting older campaign settings to 4th Edition. So I'm not sure how much of that was connected to the 4e game engine and how much of that was down to Points of Light being a reboot goal for any settings that got brought back for 4e.
When the number of new settings coming along seemed to dry up (I seem to remember a "one setting per year promise" from someone) that kind of made me feel that WotC were struggling to find settings that were compatible with the "Points of Light" theme.
Then I saw things from another angle, where the Points of Light theme was being used to underpin a campaign based around something called Nentir Vale that was being heavily played down. And while I saw something like a Points of Light vibe as a barrier towards GM choice when 4e first came out, I saw it as an interesting concept to explore in a new
world. A very interesting concept, because Nentir Vale could do this Points of Light thing to the max and not tell me I was "playing D&D wrong".
The main problem for me, then, was that Nentir Vale was played down and hidden inside core 4th Edition books and WotC had not put out a book for it that I could buy to take a look at the implementation of it. And then, just as there was supposed to be a Nentir Vale Gazeteer and a series of other gazetteers
to give us a world that used the Points of Light theme to good effect WotC decided to pander to the nerd rage and take an about turn with D&D. Richard Baker (who apparantly came up with the Points of Light idea) got the boot, Nentir Vale got wound down.
I felt that Nentir Vale took the blame for anything that anyone didn't like about the 4e design. Because when it comes down to it RPG systems are just a bunch of mathematics. It is places, like Hammerfast, that people will remember their PCs visiting.
I know that you and DMSamuel had a brief chat about 13th Age Icons for Nentir Vale (as I recently put on my moderator hat and split the discussion into a separate 13th Age and Nentir Vale
topic). So if your friend's argument is that 13th Age can do Points of Light so well that it would help Nentir Vale fans add stuff to their games, I'd be very interested.
But if the Dragon Empire is going to always be kept more vague than Nentir Vale was and "Points of Light" and "more simple maths than D&D" are the main selling points of 13th Age, that's much less interesting to me.
I'll tell you something I'd like to see, if we are going to compare 4th Edition and 13th Age (and it might be too off topic for this discussion). After Richard Baker got pushed out of WotC he went off and set up Sasquatch Games with Stephen Schubert and David Noonan. They built a world, called Primeval Thule. And Primeval Thule has had full-blown campaign setting books published for both 4th Edition and
I don't know if Richard Baker had the Points of Light theme in mind, when he helped create Primeval Thule, but Sasquatch Games gave us a full-blown world new for 4e and they then gave us the same thing for 13th Age. We will never know how well Richard Baker would have converted Nentir Vale to 13th Age, as WotC are never going to let that happen. But I think that Primeval Thule could possibly be a good case study for doing a side-to-side comparison of a Richard Baker world and seeing how well 13th Age holds up against 4th Edition.