Initial thoughts on Melee 2.99 are as followed: VFX is great, almost everything else is utter trash. No, this is not the lack of being able to use Exodia Contagion because that doesn't do anything anymore until it gets noticed and fixed. It is literally a bad change to the game.
First: Instant switching. This literally prevents Holster styles from working, meaning essentially wasted plat for a no longer available effect, and this ruins my next point, combos. Also, this makes the game extremely clunky to play. I have received a lot of thoughts from friends saying that they didn't know if they would be able to use melee anymore because of these changes.
Second: Combos are mostly ruined beyond existence. Anything that required block for combos (such as August Mesto from Tempo Royale) now requires you to hold right click, then spam melee. If you press right click after the first melee strike (like beforehand and how combo flows naturally), you will literally just switch to your primary secondary.
Third: Removal of manual block for auto block. One of my issues with this is not being able to block in captura without getting extra unwanted effects. If you don't block, you shouldn't receive damage resistance. This also removes countering in melee from existing anymore, which used to be when you channeled while blocking and another enemy meleed you, causing a finisher.
Fourth, and final for me here, are ground slams. This is my only positive thing other than VFX that Melee 2.9 changed. Even this however, comes with it's own painful sacrifice. Slams pre-24.4.0 were absolute garbage. They did near nothing (with some weapons having special effects) and were bad for damage. The new ground slams have directional, but the angle of which this occurs ruins air strikes normally for things like Exodia Contagion, even if it wasn't bugged and didn't work.
This update, while trying to add "Flow" to combat, has done the complete opposite, and a revert might be a good option. The Melee 2.0 system we had was very good, and was one of the more enjoyable parts of combat, and made new players enjoy the game because of it's flow. Thanks for taking the time to read this far, hopefully at the end of everything a perfect balance can be found.