The final major innovation was crafted on a drive back from Playthrough convention in North Carolina. You see, at the time, the rule for "I can't play anywhere" was to begin replacing arcana cards until you could make a play. Sometimes this cycled through 6-9 cards, giving far too much information while skipping over fun card abilities.
We needed a better way to handle this scenario, one that would still cause the game to advance (usually by adding fate to the board). The solution was... what if you just put your fate on the board? But in a way that signaled "I'm playing here illegally." We created a "dumpster" card to make this easier, and had it shift fates to the right so that they would still pile up in front of cards that could fade. (The "shift right" was chosen to prevent gaming the system by piling fates up onto the most durable or least useful cards.)
We got home, playtested it, and found an instant improvement. "I can't play" turns are still rife with information, but no longer the insta-wins of yore.
And that's all for today! I can't say thank you enough to the friends who playtested the game with us so much over 2 years, and who helped us slowly but surely craft it into the final version. You are all wonderful!