What a way to start off the new thread.
I think it's noticeably different now and I think that will naturally turn some viewers off who liked the first season, while also attracting some who may not have liked it before. But as objectively as I can view this sort of thing as a fan of the show I don't think it's bad, either now or last season.
It's definitely focusing on more slice-of-life/mundane stuff and fewer crazy situations. Part of that is because there's more of a marked divide between Star and "the forces of evil" right now, and also because the use of less magic now is a plot point. If that was the main appeal for someone, the monster fights or magic use getting out of control, then that is effectively gone for the time being.
But I think the characterization right now is great, the secondary characters are being used extremely well (especially compared to the first season), the plot is more prominent now and is balanced better with the lighter episodes (not crammed in like 2/3s of the way through the season), the continuity which has always been there is more obvious now, and on the whole the commitment to not falling back into status quo post-Storm the Castle is impressive.
All that said I sort of miss the action scenes like hell, but I think the above strengths balance it out and I can see why they've been severely lessened-- don't want to make your heroes seem too invincible or "normalize" the actual threats. At the moment I think I might still like the first season slightly more, mainly because it's finished and so I know and can assess it better. But I think 2 has had many strong episodes and good qualities, and while it's different I like that it went there and am interested in seeing where it goes.
I did feel similar to you around episodes 4-6ish of this season, for that's worth, but I think it's pulled itself back since then and has been pretty good on the whole.