You dont sound as asking for help, more as stating facts. But if you list up problems with Construct i have this urge to put in my 2 cents.
If you need help with this, then upload a .cap.
Now i have to assume, and picture myself a way trough how i think your events look like.
So i assume you made a copy of the characters sprite, erased some outer things as "the tip of the head", and this new sprite you use as sensor, in pixel detection mode. I sure can imagine this construction going stuck. Try to figure out a bounding that does the same, if needed 2 separate simple objects, and use the bounding collision method.
I have no idea how you drive the sensor, how you snap the character to the sensor, and how you align your animations. Plz trow in a .cap.
One thing about animations though. I noticed that since the last release, Animations stop playing when you auto-align angles from a angle-sub-animation with more frames to an angle-sub-animation containing only 1 frame. Just go to the Animator, and right click the lonely frames to copy and past. So you have at least 2 frames in each animation. When its a non moving animation, just 2 the same frames, of cours. And all problems with animations not playing are gone.
And about your last point.
The "8 directions" behavior can be set on "ignore keys', if thats what you use to drive the sensor.
Ashley brought "slow-motion" into construct. I have not played with it myself yet. So i have no idea if its possible to slo-mo parts of things. But then again ....
What you describe should not be a problem. If you bring a nice flow into your events.
If you let the keys alter variables, and move, fire, sit, stand, according those variables. Then you only need 1 global variable that represents the state your games is in.
Then if you organize all your events in nice event trees,
All you have to is open a tree with checking the global " FloW variable".
key 'fire' pressed
_______ set the flow to fire
'flow'' set to fire ?
_______ is the thing allowed to fire, yes or no
'flow' not equal to "fire"
_______do all the moving stuff
'flow' equal to 'fire"
_______do all the fire stuff, and when done set 'flow' back to moving
Its easy to drive a complicated game on only 2 "flow" variables.
Greetings : ) ( to stay on topic )