First of all, I can confirm that v1.8 made the enemies (at least Black Rabite) not counter any skills. I just tried it. I spammed the attack skills, and BR didnt' counter at all.
This might be a dangerous thought, but is there a way to make the "countering enemies/bosses" (such as Bill/Ben, Lugar, and Black Rabite) use their counter skills randomly (instead of those skills being activated by being attacked by magic), just like the "non-countering enemies/bosses"? (such as Full Metal Hagger, Jewel Eater, and Tsenker) Of course, all bosses should keep their unique HP threshold moves (such as Knights starting the fight with a Saber magic, and Lugar/Gildervine transforming, and Black Rabite using the spell combo and Ancient). That way, the players will have to be always vigilant, instead of just using melee to not activate the counters (personally, I think Luck Denies Counter still discourages players to use skills, simply because there's an option to not activate the counter skills at all -- by just using the boring melee). While I was testing, I fought against Black Rabite, and I specifically didn't use any skills (I only had v1.8 enabled), and honestly, BR was extremely easy. But if BR used his counter skills randomly (like Supersonic, or Great Demon summon), then I would constantly have to be vigilant (esp my healers), which would make the fights more difficult and interesting. Actually, some players might still die, because player damaged BR enough to activate the spell combo, while BR was activating a random powerful skill. But that's half the fun. Being vigilant while fighting.
Just a thought.
Also, I think M.Def buff is a bit too much. Based on the number, M.Def Up should only raise the M.Def by 20%. Duran had M.Def of 138, and with the buff, he got 165. So he should only reduce the damage by ~27 points, right? But when I got attacked by BR's Dark Force, the damage got almost halved (216 reduced to 114 points). But that doesn't seem to be the case for M.Def Down (Angela did 367 damage with Evil Gate against BR, and the same spell did 467 when BR had M.Def down). That seemed a bit weird. Can you check that out, and if possible, make M.Def buff a bit less powerful?
When you apply stat up magic, the one being applied sometimes have that green aura. But sometimes, it doesn't. And I think I also saw the yellow aura before at some point. Does anyone know what those aura color means? Also, if you apply stat up, and then someone applies stat down, then do you go back to being neutral (neither stat up or down), or do you just have stat down?
I think the green aura is when you apply the same buff as before (and green aura indicates that whatever buff you did, you're not getting anymore buff). I'm guessing yellow aura is the same thing, except for debuff. And as for Stat up and down after another, I think it cancels each other out, making it neutral. At least, that was true for HP Up/Down. I'm guessing it's the same for other stat up/down. So if an enemy did Power Down on you, and you want to increase your melee attack (relative to the normal state), then you need to apply Power Up twice.