I don't mind the dial. Its just a thematic representation of an imposed interactive time limit. They obviously felt they needed it in the game to prevent extremely long matches. I can see this being especially important when you have to play two games (one as light, one as dark) in a tournament round.
And, the objective set deck building makes sense. I'm not 100% on board with it, but they are trying to shake things up a little bit and make the game more accessible to casual players. I think this does that, and while it does hinder the hard-core deck builder, it still leaves enough decision points to give a good builder advantage over a poor one.
My biggest problem with what we've seen so far continues to be with the gameplay. As others have stated, its so generic. I might as well be playing cowboys vs indians, axis vs allies, or any other opposing factions. Tap (focus) a card, spend a resource, play an event. Its Magic/VS/GoT/etc all over again. They just call it different names and hope the intellectual property makes up for it. Which, I must admit, it does. I won't touch Magic, but if someone came out with a balanced Star Wars game that played identical to it, I'd play it. And, the starship vs character interaction is just flat out lazy. The designers should have done better in that regard (unless things have changed since the previews).
But, in short, its Star Wars, so I'll give it a shot. Even lackluster game mechanics can be overlooked if it does a successful job of making me feel like I'm in the Star Wars universe.