Heart of Fire - thoughts after reading

So I just finished Heart of Fire - I played a Mage.
General impression is that Heart of Fire is a much much better book than Legion of Shadow, and definitely an awesome experience. Improvements include:

* A far better item set. The Speed curve is much more sensible than Legion of Shadow, and in general the items are balanced against each other much more effectively.
* Battles were significantly more interesting, but on the whole I didn't find them very difficult. In only one battle did I have to use any items - a full heal potion vs Krakatoa.
* The quest interactions - key words, weird items and tradeoffs - made the game very enjoyable. Legion of Shadow was much less interconnected. The saga of the Glaive of Shadows in particular was awesome. I ended up breaking mine for the Runed Rod.
* Storytelling was tighter, more riveting, more exotic. Definitely a great read.

On the whole, a big step up from Legion of Shadows. I can't wait to play Eye of Winter's Fury.

Side notes:
There is still no good reason to build an Armor hero. An armor hero has much lower Brawn/Magic and their battles take a lot longer, but most significant battles involve a time-component - you take X damage every turn ignoring armor. In those circumstances the Armor hero is hosed. I've played zero-armor heroes primarily and there hasn't been a single fight yet in either LoS or HoF that I was wishing for armor.

Also, the proliferation of abilities is becoming a bit excessive. Between innate abilities, career abilities, multi-ability items and runes, I ended up juggling 22 abilities. By comparison in Legion of Shadow I ended up with 16.