I agree with much of what is said here in this post by babelfisch. First let me explain a few caveats about my own opinion. I am a fairly old fart (have lived a good bit more than a half century) and I know very well I will never be one of the greats at KCD combat, as I will never match reactions with some of the young, twitchy-finger types! I accept this fact without reservation. I am also plunging into entirely unfamiliar territory, having played games since 2002, but those games all had very similar or the same controls, and all were very different than KCD. I have moved with my mouse exclusively for over a decade, so having to go back to using WASD is, so far, frustrating as hades. Add to this the fact that I am a hunt-and-peck typist with no "native control" over the keyboard (I usually have to look to get on the right keys), and the idea of adding Q to block and F to kick turns into a finger-twisting mess for me most times. Now with all of this said, here is the big surprise:
I actually like the combat in KCD, and I view it more as a challenge than anything else right now. I know it will take a lot of practice and hard work for me to get better at it, but that is okay, as long as the time invested will eventually allow me to be a fairly good combatant who can handle the unavoidable fights in KCD and not stop me from doing what I need to do within the story line. As long as that is true, I will manage. If after a few weeks of practice and hard work, it still doesn't allow me to do what I need to do in the game--if it continues to frustrate me after I have made an honest and thorough attempt to master it--well, that is something different entirely. If the combat is only for those with speedy fingers and superior reflexes, then the game will certainly be very limited in its player base.
So, here are a few things I think would make the combat much better for those like me:
One of my biggest complaints is with the "rose" that allows directional selection--it is a bit too small, and I feel like my mouse is connected to it by a long elastic thread--I move my mouse to change direction and nothing happens, but if I move it a bit more, everything happens all at once--it runs past my choice and zips around through a few different positions. (Aside--I have felt this same "elastic band" connection between controls in other areas of the game as well, especially when trying to control my old glue-bucket of a horse!)
The tutorial definitely rushes one through the directions, and gives little time to read and study the maneuvers or whatnot. It would be awesome to have a "training dummy" that we could hit and practice with--something that would let us go as slow as we needed to in order to try the rose targeting, etc. in isolation, so as to learn each part (and maybe gain a bit of hand-eye coordination) one at a time. A place where the targeting would work on the dummy just like a fight, and we could train inexperienced hands in the movements necessary, one step at a time. For those like me who have not played all the other medieval sword type games and have played all games only with mouse and keyboard (and never played consoles ever) it would be helpful!
I would love to see Henry have a bit more stamina too--or perhaps better regeneration of stamina--or a bit of both. maybe once I am better at this, it may be okay, but as someone who makes mistakes and wastes moves sometimes, it seems stamina stays near empty way too much of the time.
There are other things that may not be traditional combat, but are part of conflict, such as something I read about sneaking up on people and being able to smother them, or other non-traditional things that do not seem to be made common knowledge anywhere I have seen. I feel like the vast amount of knowledge about the game is missing--and trying to find out everything in game by trial and error is frustrating at best--especially with the all-too-short daytime period, and the relative worthlessness of anything in the night.
I will be giving this game my best efforts for a while, and we will see how it goes! There are a few other things I will mention, but I will do that in a different thread, as it is general information and questions, and I do not want to derail here.