wow that's a great post. I like all the changes you've talked about. Sounds like the iterative design process is working well for you. Can't wait to play the full version.
I'm glad you liked it, I think it may be the best devlog I released so far. : )
I think that thanks to the game's very simple engine (no physics, no actual character movement in a rendered space) it's much easier to fix some issues with the core systems even on the late stages of the development. I don't have to pour tens of thousands of dollars into the trash bin.
I remember that feeling well back when I ran my own indie videogames studio. It could get stressful at times. One of the reasons I'm happier being back writing tabletop roleplaying games. Always enjoyed the game development and writing, didn't enjoy the business development and 'suit' stuff :D
Keep on going - it sounds like you are moving in the right direction, and for what it's worth I will be encouraging many of my friends to get the game as I think they will enjoy it.