Gosh, that took some reading so it definitely must have taken some writing, but I think it was worth it
As I never stop saying, thanks for sharing so much!
While part of me will always wonder what the top down game could have been (the same dumb part of me that wants a Freelancer sequel or for Morrowind to be made in the Skyrim engine), the switch seems like it was a positive decision that's going to result in a much better game. Visually it's gone from something that I quite like to something that I really really like, and if you guys are happier doing things this way and feel more able to reach the ambitious overall goals you've set then we can definitely all be happy
Pretty much everything about the game play and game systems you've detailed above sounds great, especially the crafting changes and inventory systems. One tiny thing I would say is that I don't much like the term 'catalyst' for things like wood, metal or cloth. To me these seem like the things that things are made of, not the 'extra bit of help in the recipe' that the word catalyst suggest. However I admit I'm being totally non-constructive and can't immediately think of an alternative, just something to think about.
Also, I should have been more clear about what I meant by 'nighttime', which was just 'darkness outside' as opposed to in buildings or underground, rather than 'a day/night cycle', which I knew wasn't in the game (although this clears it up for others anyways!)
And finally I was totally
unclear with what I meant by map, which was not the overground map (I assumed this was the same as no change was mentioned) but the mini map in the corner. I guess it now shows all the overground landscape and caverns you've explored? Are points of interest still marked? Does it show enemies now? That sort of thing :p but also thanks for confirming that the overground map does work as before, which some folks would probably have asked anyway!
Sorry for the lack of clarity!