I had a chance to check out some of the changes that were made to the game in the latest update and can report the following:
The new method of players joining combat makes it much less annoying when that happens, so mission accomplished.
The drop rates in Cool Ranch, at least for the particular Buffaloon quest I was working on, seems to be greatly improved. I needed 8 hides and it took me 4 battles. Previously, I had done around 5 battles without a single hide. Once again, mission accomplished.
I can't say whether the battles feel faster or not with the increased character movement, but even a small increase is welcome.
All in all, with the few things I've had a chance to check out, I haven't seen anything glaringly wrong and the game feels as though it has changed for the better. That's what you want from an update!