Thing I loved in L5R and hated in 7th Sea are metaplot characters:
In L5R you had few long-dead heroes and distant world-scale BBEG likeSeven Thunders or Iuchiban, but no NPCs largely considered "canon" to have in your game. GMs have freedom to sculpt Crab daimyo's personality according to their campaign and players didn't have any expectations beforehand.
In 7th Sea 1st ed there were TONS of currently active Heroes and Villains with Thea-wide plans, and you couldn't do anything on larger scale than rat extermination without being noticed and interacted by one of them. As for GM, I have no problem with declaring that there is no Leon Alexander, Theo Villanova is a peaceful shutoff and current eisenfurst of Freiburg is third generation after the founder, and noone cares to remember his name.
But as a player I have to face same boring-when-you-meet them 3rd time guys and largely the same global picture.
I hope that in 2nd ed setting most NPCs are guys that can be excluded without reforming third of the setting's global politics, so that i will be able to meat some big guy without reading on his wife's lapdog stats during previous campaign ran by me.
I'm fine with few named rougly-shaped NPCs. I'm fine with using sample characters. But amount of metaplot charaters in 1e was killing me even more than amount of knacks. And I hope that 2e will do to metaplot characters the same they did to amount of skills.