Ok. After good few hours of playing the new build, time to give my two cents.
First the good things: (and there is many of them)
– I really like and appreciate barbershop customisation options
– New bigger map goes a long way to provide you with a feeling of being a part of something bigger happening.
– I like the noble houses and their own different agendas idea
– Opportunity to gain some additional money with a bit of trading
– Nice division of your reputation into how effective and how noble/honourable you are
– Different kind of settlements actually feel different now
– Skill values on level up finally not being set in stone.
However one really big issue I have with the current build is how miserly the skill rewards tend to be during the level up. On its own it might not have been such a big deal, but certain other changes tend to aggreviate the problem.
First there is the price of armor and weapons. It often takes several succesful contracts to buy one piece of good armor. During that time you pay wages, buy food, bandages and repair tools. After you finally have your armor it is not uncommon for your best guy to die in it and it gets destroyed. Because so many weapons now bypass the portion of your armor value and deal damage directly to health, the death of your guys is much more likely to happen. Because both their main attack and defense skills can now go up as little as a single point ( I know I was complaining about it being only 2 in the past. That will teach me to keep my mouth shut ;) ) you cannot reliably defend or quickly dispose of your foes to prevent it. One last thing is the fact that you can only field up to 12 guys that now can’t hit the barn door unless 3 other guys are holding it tight to overwhelm it, all the while your opponents can field over 20 deviously skilled goblins for example and it really becames frustrating at times.