General Changes-There's some stuff missing, such as a table of contents, index, or list of example NPCs. Those will be back in later.
-The Term 'Actor' was changed for 'Avatar' because the former got a bit messy since it is a relatively common word. The latter still plays up the meta angle without getting confused with its other meaning. Enacting is still a thing, because no one uses that word.
Character Creation-Natures no longer grant you Power-related Traits, nor do they have fixed lists of Powers. Instead you choose two Packages of Powers when you make a PC, and pick Powers from them when you need to learn one.
-Default Powers increased to six from three.
-Powers all cost one point, can be repeated even in the same turn at will, and have been obviously rebalanced.
-Starting number of Points is one, but you get another one for each Threshold Level lost as well.
-Genre Points reset every Episode instead of every Arc, but increase in their starting amount by 1 after each Arc.
Mecha Construction-Nearly everything that is a mecha rule changed in some way, and a good chunk of abilities were eliminated. Rebuilds are pretty much obligatory.
-Designs were cut in half, then reworked to be generally build-defining without being too niche.
-There's four Chassis types instead of five.
-You can assign Upgrades and Weapons to any Area, and there are no space restrictions anymore.
-You do not Enhance Upgrades anymore.
-Exceptional Aptitudes were either rolled into other Upgrades or cut out.
-Potential Upgrades were nixed.
-Most Terrain Adaptability Upgrades were also thrown out, they're either a special mode (in the case of Anti-Gravity) or rolled into Features.
-Enhancements increase your Gear stats but their costs increment gradually like with PC Attributes.
-All Weapon Types have in-built abilities to them.
-You can now create Custom Weapons. Every generic Weapon in the game has been deleted as a result.
-There's a seventh Mecha Attribute, Systems, which is equal to your Genre Points and used for a few specific abilities plus Initiative.
Playing the Game-Damage calculation changed. Penetration is no longer rolled.
-A bunch of Actions changed, from names to function.
-Terrain streamlined a bit further.
Running the Show-NPCs come in three tiers: Grunts, Rivals and Bosses. Grunts are simplified PCs, Rivals are exactly like PCs, and Bosses have unique rules.
-Features are special abilities with an upside and a downside that can be applied to any Unit to make them distinctive from regular Gears, such as Kaijus or Squads.
So much red text! It has been a while since I used that, and to think this began with just three changes in mind (Custom Weapons, Faster Damage Mechanics, Better Genre Power rules) the domino effect was reaaally big there. Anyway I hope you have been keeping up with the latest blog posts because they explain a lot of these changes better than I could tackle them all here right now. Instead I'll touch on something else, namely why I removed a bunch of stuff and modified a lot of what remained. All of it is aiming the game in a particular direction so I should probably elaborate on which direction it is.
For the most part a lot of what was excised was, encouraged the slow accruing of benefits - Energy, Tension, Genre, etc. And it did so passively. Whatever replacements exist right now hinge on the fact that they tend to be active and have a limited use (like Support Upgrades) or that you do not control them - such as earning more Genre through getting beat up.
The direction I am pointing the game towards is a more dynamic one, a thing that I have been doing the veeeery first update to the game. One of the big things early on was that I tried to make Tension into as big a part of the game as possible, and it showed. Every Point of Tension was big, it was like an upswing of 1.5 in your Damage output and turns added up fast. I've been slowly making the game faster by diminishing the importance of Tension, with this being the logical end point. This new take on the Damage mechanics is a lot more... generic in comparison, and I'm probably going to miss the charm of the old style, but the game does encourage you less to sit around now, which is a good thing.
Not having a mixed message makes for tighter game balance and sleeker gameplay, since there isn't a bunch of upgrades that can be rendered potentially useless just because you're a slow rolling tank and everyone else in your party is crazy on getting as much damage as possible early on.
Another concern is that more streamlined rules also means less options, which in turn means lack of support for some niche builds. It should be noted that while say, the old Supercharged or Learning Computer are gone mechanically, their flavor lives on in new rules. Maybe a specific build is no longer possible, but the concept of the energizer bunny mecha or the self-learning mecha still does. You will probably have to rebuild, but you're not likely to need to scrap a whole character.
This is a big shakeup, which is why I had to wait to implement all the changes at once and did so after I've been satisfied with playtesting. Even though I've had to take out a lot of stuff I personally liked, I can say that I firmly believe this is where I want the rest of the game to go. With that having been said, it would not be the first time I'm wrong, so we'll see how well this holds and if necessary roll stuff back. Gut reactions aside, I believe that if you give what is there a chance, you will like 1.4 better.
I still want to change the rules for the ground level game, and I would like to see that done by January or February, but I cannot quite make that promise yet - Experience tells me I'm probably going to have to put out fires regarding this new version between now and then.