First impressions of v4:
The moods mechanic is really interesting, and makes this feel like an entirely different game! I liked the previous version, and I look forward to seeing how this new change plays out. The new (I think?) additions of more tentacle story arcs and at least one new animation (or more!) really shine.
My only concern is that without the other types of bonding (feeding, playing, etc.) available, it feels like "bonding" is a constant necessity that could lose its appeal after too much repetition. (Also by virtue of it feeling like a "necessity" more than a fun game mechanic.) I already find myself clicking through scenes I'd previously looked forward to, trying to unlock/reinstate the ability to raise Relationship stats. Do I just need to be patient and unlock "feed," "play," or "discipline" abilities later? (I've mostly been playing short test games to get a feel for the new features. And trying to unlock the Queen's Nest lmao.)
Also I can't seem to locate where Intel is recorded, now. I can scout, but the "Intelligence" tab eludes me. Maybe I'm just overlooking it. The Encyclopedia being immediately accessible is fantastic, but it's a little frustrating that the save function is a bit more buried now.
I really appreciate the increased emphasis on getting new species at random when bonding is concerned, but are all wild encounters going to be a dice roll as well? (This isn't a gripe; I've just noticed that I still get random offspring regardless of the method used.)
This is a huge change and it's obvious how much hard work went into it. I hope that at least part of this ends up being useful and doesn't come off as petty complaining.