The magic and speed caps are not a game feature, it is an artificial limit created by storing those stats on 1 byte instead of 2. I don't understand why you would praise the game for this. It is bad game design that really hurts the more magic based characters in the endgame.
The penalty for death leads to changes in player behavior. People will reset or use savestates to prevent losing their money. This is especially important in my romhack, because you need to save as much money as you can to buy seeds at Melenam. If you die in my romhack the penalty is that you lose your time.
The character crits are a big buff to physical attacks, but due to other changes, magic attacks are far more effective in terms of dealing damage in most situations. This buff gives characters more individuality on their physical damage, and gives more uses for it. The reason Lux has such a high crit rate is because, as a robot, he can transform the shape of his hand as he attacks (he mentions this if you talk to him when the game starts). It makes logical sense that he would have a high crit rate considering this. It also fits his gameplay. Lux has the least utility of any character in the game, so the few things he can do, he MUST do well, or he would be useless. The same is true for his abilities. It makes NO SENSE for a robot to be poisoned or have their life drained from them, so I made him immune to these things. It not only makes logical sense, but it makes Lux more unique as a character and prevents him from being crippled by too many debuffs due to his low speed. Although to be fair, Defense 2 causes him far more problems than poison would.
Balancing the apprentice battles is one of the most difficult challenges I have faced in this project. If I allow the original Elnard bonuses, many characters can be killed in 1 hit due to how much more damage magic can do, and how overpowered that bonus was. Certain matchups are still very difficult because of this. Esuna can still 1HKO some characters like Wilme occasionally due to her magic crit ability. Furthermore, to say that the Elnard bonuses are a highlight is going a little far. After a certain point in the game, apprentice battles become virtually impossible.
I'm considering changing the exp reduction with partner, for awhile I had it at 25% and I'm starting to think that would be a better solution to balancing solo runs VS. partner runs. All I have to do to make the game a lot more difficult is lower the EXP gain from enemies. this is not a huge or difficult to solve problem. In fact, even as things are, there are still a few places where I expect players to grind.
I don't know what you mean by almost all items/runes buffed. The only runes that are different are light, moon, and star. Star and Light are buffed, but Moon is nerfed due to the power spell itself being heavily nerfed. The Light rune buff to magic attack as well as defense makes logical sense for what it is, and lets you feel more overpowered before the game takes it away from you. The lore of the runes is that whoever has them is basically invincible, and my changes to them fit that. The items I buffed are minor ones that you normally wouldn't use anyway (such as b fire/ice). Even with those buffs, their use is still situational. Most items haven't been changed, except to make their cost reflect their usefulness.
As for spells, many of the spell buffs also apply when enemies use them against you. For example, attack magic and poison deal a lot more damage to you, enemies use more buffs, debuffs, and higher level spells against you, and Defense2, HP Catcher, and MP Catcher are much more debilitating when used against you than in the original game. You seem to only consider the buffs I gave to the player without also considering other changes that make the game more challenging. To call my romhack another easytype is way off the mark. My version plays and feels very different from the original. It's fine if you don't like that, but let's not pretend that this is simply an easier version of the original game, because it isn't.
Here is a link to a zip that has all of the changes to the game I made in my 7th Saga Editor. This includes changes to items, character data, equipment, monsters, etc. https://www.dropbox.com/s/ehkmdjxwv78yuph/7th%20Saga%2B%20Editor%20Changes.zip?dl=0