We've just gotten back to work now.
As far as testing is concerned, we generally attempt to guide people more subtly by adjusting particular classes / traits as we need them tested. Usually, at the time we make a balance adjustment to something, that's when we need to get it looked at.
Design changes at this stage in the project always feel more dangerous because everything is dependent on a lot of other things.
The "death" topic is complex and conflicted and I prefer to stay out of it.
Balance discussions happen (kinda inevitable), unfortunately we don't promise hands-on response on any of those nearly as much as we used to. Other stuff that we've neglected keeps coming up as a reminder of our priorities.