We were talking about the "defend" command, not the stance. Defend is activated in battle by pressing 'X'.
Defensive stance is ofc a really strong skill.
I'm not the gamedev, but here's my take from another player's perspective.
1. I somewhat agree that the grab is tough to deal with, especially when the behavior to do so is random, but it used to be a lot more infuriating in the previous v3 build. You can re-equip your clothing in the battle for 30 lp now, back then it was gone for the rest of the battle and there was no escape option either. So he's definitely taking steps to improve gameplay. Even as of now, it's really not that bad, just grind a few more enemies earlier on to boost your hp if you're having difficulty. I think adding some way to predict when a grab is about to happen can help players prepare for it, maybe by storing lp.
2. Fountains can be seen as a blue circle on your map once you find them, shouldn't be too hard to get to them if you're desperate and near death now that an escape option has been added. They're also incredibly abuseable, you can just stay within the general vicinity of it, farm exp and use it to heal back to full afterwards. I think it's a great addition, checkpoints make the game a little more challenging as well as gives you a reminder to save in the first place. I remember going through the a previous build, getting pretty far and dying only to realize I haven't saved in like 5 floors because I was never prompted to do so while playing. BTW if you want to encounter less enemies, you can manually change the encounter frequency in the menu.
3. HUD definitely seems a little cluttered but it's not really hard to understand or anything.
Also agree that defend is a pretty useless command. I think it shouldn't take away lp, that way you can stall while in lewd stance to save up lp for a first aid heal or heat/taunt. If i wanted to take less overall damage and drain overflowing lp, I'd rather just use first aid. It is, however, helpful for viewing the drawings of attacks from previous enemies that are too weak for me now that I one shot them. But making it so that lp isn't taken away would serve the same purpose. Though it's tough, this change could make her overpowered depending on how much damage it prevents.