After trying the combat ingame, I've got another suggestion:
what does the Q button represent IRL? In game, holding the Q means, that you are blocking all strikes against you and when you do not hold Q, all attacks against you reach home with success. Does it work like that IRL? Do melee fighter have 2 "modes" of combat stance and the default one is defenseless, while making some intentional "focus" he/she magically becomes invincible? I would say NO (based on, for example, watching MMA fights). In default, the fighter is implicitly defending him/herself against the strikes and he/she releases the implicit block just when he/she is willing to attack (which can be exploited by enemy). So, why we need the Q button?
The devs are claiming to make realistic combat system, based on HEMA, historical studies etc., but I do not find any justification IRL for the Q button. Blocking should be automatic, default stance.
But I can imagine, that Q is there for "game purposes" to make blocking a game feature, making combat more difficult in a gamey way. What about making the block more realistic and based on something real?
We have 5 directions of attack, but it does not matter where the attack comes from for blocking purposes at the moment; I even do not know why I should be feinting the direction of attack (as the tutorial suggests), when simple holding of Q (or pressing it in the right time) makes the job regardless of the direction of my sword. And there comes the suggestion:
I would suggest to use the directions of attack for blocking as well.
- You have to be facing the enemy (so the target is locked and combat star scheme with directional arrows appears)
- When the enemy is attacking from a direction you have your weapon prepared (in the same direction as attack), it is the successful parry; example - attack comes from your left-down direction and you are pointing left-down arrow on the combat-star scheme => parry
- When the enemy is attacking from a direction and you have your weapon prepared one direction-wrong, it is normal block; example - attack comes from your left-down direction and you are pointing left or right-down arrow on the combat-star scheme => block
- when you completely miss the direction of coming attack, you have some probability of blocking based on your RPG skills
An addition to that, the success of parry and/or block may be determined by the current level of stamina + current combat skill.
Something like that:
with 90% stamina and better combat skill than enemy - pointing the arrow to the right direction of enemy attack => auto parry
with 50% stamina or worse combat skill than enemy - ceteris paribus => 50% parry; 50% normal block
with stamina depleted and worse combat skill than enemy - ceteris paribus => 50% block; 50% enemy hits you
With this combat mechanic, you will get rid of one key (decrease the complexity of controls), while increasing intuitiveness (it is intuitive to follow the direction of enemy weapon and try to foresee the direction of attack) and increasing the complexity of combat itself and making it even more skill based. Also, feints would make sense.
The only issue to solve is the block of thrust attack, but I believe solvable.