I don't understand this "running in circles" thing. Balance and polish are back to square one, meanwhile the game is re-imagined (again!) rather than expanded and improved. Not for the first time, I'm baffled by the course the development is taking.
Sure, I'm all for the Fame mechanic, at least. Can't say differently, as I was a very vocal supporter of it since the Elemental: War of Magic era... but, back then, the argument was regularly dismissed. Also I've always (and again, vocally) opposed the chance-based and messy leveling system of heroes. So, I welcome the related changes as "fixes", but at this late stage changes should be kept to a strict minimum anyway.
Encumbrance was a fine enough mechanic, imho. At least, no so bad as to make it worth throwing half of the other game elements into chaos by removing it.