They definitely took this code and re-designed it from the ground up. The framework is still there, but they changed almost every aspect of gameplay. Most of it sounds really awesome, but some of it has me worried....or at least curious. I can't wait to play it. For what it's worth, here's my $.02.
There were several things that made me cringe a little during the stream (mostly Jack's "gloves"!). I'll have to see how I feel about some of the changes after playing. But there was a hell of a lot that had me very happy.
***** On the fence about...
The Scoleris. They never really bothered me. I always saw them as a risk/reward. Be creative about getting them down (don't just hit directly) and collect a triple super. I'm not going to be upset that I don't see them as often, but when they do come now the risk/reward isn't the same proportion. Still dangerous shots, but for a 1x super that you can collect three times.
Constant multipliers. This really jumped out at me, especially when Mike was playing at the end. Left ramp to proton pack can keep you in Xplay indefinitely. But it is still GB, so indefinitely might not be that long!
Ghost Target. Enabling this to spot mode shots seems like a cop out (or a way to add an "action button" after the fact). Having to hit that "hard" shot in a mode was the challenge! Being able to bypass the "hard" shots...probably good, but I need convincing.
Mode Completion. It's obvious that they are addressing the "I can never play StayPuft" complaint with this change. Completing modes just by starting them is going to make getting deep into the game much easier.
***** No doubt in my mind it's a good move...
Pulling Video Mode from the skill shot.
Adding Librarian mini-mode to the captive ball.
Isolating Loopin, Mass, PKE.
Adding audio and LED indicators for Mass flipper change.
Removing the immediate ladder start for the next mode. This frees up time to start the mini-modes and Tobins/Negative, and makes you "start" modes.
Making the spinner increase the super jackpot. This is going to make supers HUGE!
Adding several new call outs. I heard a lot of things that I never had before. Personally, hearing WBTD never bothered me, but it did a lot of people!
Are You a God?!?! Obviously this is focus. Coupling it with WRTBY is an interesting twist. I really didn't care much about this missing wizard mode, because I'd only gotten to WRTBY twice in a year and a half. It just seemed like something people "wanted" but wasn't really "needed". I think with these changes making the game progression easier, people will see it a lot more (ok...maybe not a lot!).
From what they presented, it looks like an incredible update. If I had to describe it in basic terms, I'd say they tried to compensate for the mechanical difficulty of the game, by making the ruleset easier. We'll know for sure next week how that worked.