Reposting from the general Old Blood feedback thread, since this is a better place for it in retrospect:
Speaking as someone who ran staves in my melee slot exclusively between the release of Melee 2.5 and now: the new Clashing Forest stance feels absolutely awful and runs counter to most of the stated design goals for the combo redesign.
Old forward combo: Resolute Flurry. Three very quick attacks where the first lets you move at full speed and the other two stop you from running but come with a nice, big forward step. It wasn't exactly a combo you wanted to mindlessly spam while running down a hallway, but those forward steps did a great job of keeping you moving from enemy to enemy without making it hard to stick to a tough target when you needed to. It felt great. Excellent mix of power, mobility, and control. Only Vulpine Mask on rapiers had a more fluid forward combo.
New forward combo: Ostensibly created with mobility in mind, this is in fact dramatically less mobile than the old Resolute Flurry was on the exact same input. The swings are sluggish and you feel like you're trudging through molasses. Resolute Flurry was moved to the neutral combo, where it lost most of its mobility (it really isn't the same without it).
Old blocking forward combo: Skyward Limb. Okay, technically this was the neutral combo, but if you held block while moving forward you'd do it instead of Resolute Flurry, exactly how tactical combos work now. Anyway, this combo was a short string of sweeping attacks which allowed full movement followed by a leaping forward lunge. The lunge was more than a little awkward, and the damage was rather poor, but you were moving at full run speed or faster for the whole combo, so it was good for swatting away weak enemies while moving. It complimented Resolute Flurry well as a utility combo that traded damage and control for even more mobility.
New forward blocking combo: The old awkward lunge followed by a totally stationary follow up. I never want to be forced into a dead stop during a forward combo. There is no combination of forward and tactical combo inputs that let you feel like you retain decent mobility in the new stance.
The old forward and "tactical" combos were strictly superior to the new ones for keeping your mobility. With these changes, staves went straight from being one of the most mobile weapon types to one of the least mobile. I really don't see any good reason to use them anymore.
My recommendation: Revert Resolute Flurry to the old version with the forward steps and move it back to the forward combo. Don't replace the neutral combo, so you do Resolute Flurry both standing and moving (one of the polearm stances is already like this). Bring back the old Skyward Limb as the tactical combo (you can switch the attack order to put the lunge first if you absolutely must, for consistency). Retool the current forward combo into a standing block combo (it's practically stationary as it is anyway). This would feel way better and fit the stated design goals of the new combo system better.
These issues are not by any means unique to staves; it's just especially jarring because they were so much better before. Probably over 75% of stances are similarly ruined by sluggish, awful-feeling forward combos that don't suit the purpose they were intended for. In a way I guess this is still an overall improvement, since up until now I considered a grand total of two stances to feel tolerable in the mobility department, but there's a ton of room for improvement here.