To give you an idea for combat, I helped my wife with an AF body quest yesterday. Those are level 50 instance fights, typically requiring a full party.
The first three attempts we wiped. Not because we were unskilled, and not because the fight was that difficult, but because there was a disconnect in the party strategy, and the strat that the vocal majority wanted to do wasn't voiced down to what what originally planned.
So, we went in, expecting 2 people (a tank and a healer kite), while the rest of the party pulled off mobs and killed. Well, the Black Mages decided they were going to sleep/nuke the mobs, and needless to say, the first time we wiped pretty quickly. Next time, we went in, the decision was made to sleep the mobs. Well, the white mage mob curagaed the slept mobs, woke them up and we wiped pretty quickly...
You can see, this did not bode well, and of course angst insued, and all around, just the just kill it mentality no longer works on everything.
While most of the strats used are either straight tank and spank, kite and kill, or sleep/nuke, people are beginning to work out strategies to do things, and you have to adjust your strat based on your party. Requiring people to actually talk when they form a party and discuss what they are going to do. No more forming a party and just expecting victory. Though, it is very quickly developing into a "Know your role", where people expect people to know the strat that they are going to use (even if another strat is already discussed).
As for the crafting mini game. It is still fast (rapid), slow (careful), and normal (standard) craft options. But you always have up to 5 of your set abilities shown (if you have more than 5, 5 random ones are displayed, or 4 random and Hasty Hands, if Hasty is set).
You get a modifier based on the qualify of your synth to your base experience, plus your rested bonus, food bonus, and scroll bonus if you have any/all of those. The net result is that, you can get upwards of 2-3k exp a single synth if you know what you are doing. However, if you just plow through synthing, the exp is still the same 400-700 exp on the top end.
So, the more skillful you are at synthing the more exp you get, which makes the mini game more engaging. Stability is more consistant, so, if you just Standard plow through a synth, you are more likely to succeed, but you get nominal experience. You can get ~20% progress per attempt (I believe the standard cap is now 25%), and they brought back the 50% progress for rapid, and 100% quality increase for bold caps. Allowing a person to get HQ results from using careful, and to allow for rapid synths to actually be rapid (and you now get zero quality from using rapid).
The net result is you finish a synth much faster if you want to chew through them, and now, you can't use Hasty Hands to compensate for the speed (before the update, Hasty hands was ~7x faster than a normal synth with 1/2 the exp, now it is still ~7x faster, but with 1/10th the exp you can get per synth).
The net result with crafting is that, you know what you are going to get (with the %chance of HQ getting displayed, and you don't even get a 1% chance if you have less then 300% quality, meaning exp synths will no longer net HQ results, unless you are using +1 ingredients... and god help your success rate). While, people who actually are working towards HQ results know where they stand, and what they have to try for to get it (even starting at 500 quality, getting to 1k is difficult, especially if you are going for level 50 gear).