First - the good - enemy AI does appear to be behaving far better than previously, they now actually commit to a target rather than continuously changing their mind (and, also break aggro and change targets when you actively attempt to make them do so). I even saw a new attack animation out of rocknoses that I don’t think I’ve ever seen - presumably because previously they were so focused on changing targets that they rarely actually attacked at all. This is a big improvement.
Second - the bad - sadly that appears to be the only improvement to combat, unless the intention was to make it so easy that I was able to destroy a King Shaleback without having my hand on the keyboard - victory with mouse only (admittedly dodge is bound to a thumb button, so I did have that option) - I was hit once in the entire fight, despite not moving except the occasional roll.
Stamina management is meaningless under the new system - because you will always be free to move only a moment after reaching exhaustion (so you are never actually penalised for not managing stamina properly), and the bar refills fully in under a second, so just the briefest pause is all it takes to be completely fresh. I can’t believe you’ve got me to the point of making a standard PVP argument - where is the skill?
As a result of these changes, there is no longer any meaningful reason to wear any armour other than heavy - stamina regen is just as fast (oh OK, Firespark proved that light regens stamina two thirtieths of a second faster than heavy - which seems more like a joke than a difference…), climbing is the same whatever your armour, only the dodge speed remains as any sort of difference - and you’ve extended the ‘invulnerability’ period on dodges, so the value of a faster dodge is even less than before.
Shields quite honestly feel completely pointless - even if you fix the fact that they don’t prevent damage currently (I am aware that’s a known issue), they still no longer serve any apparent purpose except to reduce your damage output. The only real purpose they appeared to serve before was to either help shed aggro (which rarely worked, and now appears irrelevant since the enemy AI is behaving better and therefore sheds aggro more reasonably) or to take a moment to regen stamina (which required at least a small amount of skill/timing since you had to time blocking and not blocking). They are no longer relevant for either role, and in fact are a quicker way to drain your stamina than just continuing to move around (after all, with the near instant stamina regen when not blocking, you’ll be able to roll again in less than a second anyway).
Frankly, this whole patch appears poorly thought out and poorly executed - ‘fixed bugs’ are already being reported as not fixed, glowing goop (which you only fixed a couple of weeks ago) is once again nuclear (suggesting this patch has been built on the wrong version of the game code). And to top it all off, the testlive client has crashed twice in the past hour - suggesting it isn’t even stable. I’m done with testing for today - I may give it another go in future, but, honestly, I see little point right now - past experience suggests that you will push this patch live without fixing any of these issues and despite near total opposition from the player base. I have been a vocal supporter of Funcom, but right now my faith is at an all time low.