I like this new melee combo system. Also buffing all of the weapons suddenly made, even the ones that were useless before, useful. For example the Ether Reaper or Ether Dual swords. Personally I am really liking how scythes got some much needed love (really liking the Hate scythe) and I also like to use Fang Prime now, as well as glaives like the Falcor.
On to the combos: Before, the combos were "static" so to speak. Now you can fluidly combine any of the combos into a more flashy, longer and deadly combo which is a very good thing. I also like that you can fluidly do any of the combos even if you are not in the melee-dedicated mode and use quick melee instead. Also really like the mechanic that it auto-blocks if you are using quick melee which I hope will stay. I also really like the new heavy attack system along with the 2 different types of slam attacks. Those heavy slam attacks high from the air into a pile of enemies look and feel so satisfying, along with the proper oomph in sound effects! Take that nullifiers! And the effects are very cool as well. You can get some really fancy looking ones if you play around with some energy colors. Tested this with Gram Prime (which showed like a surging lava/fire effect along with the ground shatter effect), Jat Kittag, Fang Prime, Falcor and Hate. I also love how you kept the ragdoll effect for Jat Kittag, so thanks for that!
Another good thing are the universal combo binds. As in you no longer need to remember each stance's combo specifically. And getting rid of the "Press melee button and then pause before continuing the combo" -mechanic... SO GOOD! It was really annoying to try and do that if you had too much attack speed due to some buffs for example. Now that the combo binds are universal and use the same approach as well (like if you want to do a forward advancing combo move, it's always block + forward + melee), it works on all. This is a really good feature. The spin-to-win moves like in the Cleaving Whirlwind stance also feel much more fluid and movement friendly.
The new "Lifted" status is useful in a CC kind of way. Some weapons do it much easily in their combos than others. Standing still and pressing E with Hate for example immediately lifts the enemy up. I guess there are some heavy weapons that might lift up a whole group of enemies with a heavy slam or something, not sure since have not tested them all, but that would be pretty flashy. Sometimes if there are no walls to hold the enemy in place so to speak, it can get a bit iffy to try and hit them if they float away over an edge for example. But I consider that a pretty minor thing.
I'm not sure what the last phase of the melee will contain in the future, but I would hope it would at least contain more combos to some stances. For example Gnashing Payara only has 3 different combos. Technically 2 if you don't count the standard melee button mash while standing still. Gladly there's Spinning Needle to save the day.
All in all, an excellent update to the melee system as a whole. Looking forward to the final phase!