I didn’t get to work on this main book directly, which is a shame because White Wolf gives you a pay bump for core rule writing. However, while it was being composed, its first couple supplements (Nomads and Rites of the Dragon) were in simultaneous development. I wrote Rites and, to my delight, Justin included qu otes from it in the main book.
The whole V:tM/V:tR transition was just an interesting phenomenon, albeit one with some unreasoning passion on both sides. My impression is that if you played the old game, the new one excises whatever you liked best and whatever you hated most. For instance, extra-movement Celerity is gone, prompting howls of disgust from those who loved doing three or four times as many things as everyone else, and cries of ecstasy from players who hated feeling like they needed to buy up Celerity or resign themselves to never getting any spotlight time. Same thing with the dreaded metaplot, or the free successes of Potence, or the unpronounceable Tzimisce. (Did I spell that right?)