I am quite amazed by this thread!!
I recently tried the beta for the 1st time, and stopped playing it immediately after the 1st fight (there's a guy in a mineshaft and 3 opponents come to end us), because I was sure the combat system was bugged and out of order.
Reading you all makes me believe that this awfull lock and target system are working as intended, and that frankly horrifies me.
I tried this fight like 10 times (both with keyboard+mouse and gamepad), and at best I could kill one of the folks (because I can kill him before the AI reacts to me), but... seriously? I'm always locked on the wrong target, then I manage to do it some dmg by miracle, and the targets shifts on its own?
I'm a big M&B player and a lot of you mentions this game as reference, but I feel absolutely no relation there due to this lock and targeting system. The forced permanent 1st person view also changes it all because I never know if my character is actually trying to block/parry, or not.
I really thought naively that as the game is in beta I'll just have to wait for some patches to see a working combat system, but if you guys are able to manage as it is, I think I suck at it, and prolly won't play this game ever again.
It's the same with the 3 witcher games : i bought the 3 on gog, really tried them for hours, and really wanted to love them, but I couldn't go by the controls and combat system
So unless there's a way to play it with diplomatics only and never fighting (but I doubt this might be an option), I might not play KCD again