As the combat is at the moment, we only have swinging weapons. Every attack is chosen out of a set at random, and while each have their perks, it's up to you to react and adjust your aim, or even cancel it (by simply letting go of the mouse button) in favour of parrying. It makes for very skilful gameplay whilst being hugely dynamic and simple to operate. Parrying is automatic, but you're at the mercy of physics, and learning to rotate your character so your parrying arm is better placed to deflect the incoming blow is key.
I spent a long time playing Mount and Blade, and not to blow my own trumpet but it was one of the games I was very good at, and I'm obviously talking about PvP against some very good players. While it is seriously fun, combat is not very dynamic and it's not hugely fun to watch unless you can appreciate the skill involved in what's going on. It is purely mechanical and looks kind of silly. With only 4 directions of parrying, all of which you can attempt every single attack (if you're quick enough), it is entirely possible to, say, make a macro that cycles parrying every direction, rendering the entire system exploitable. This is not a criticism, I love the game, it's just the nature of a mechanical system.
This is very, very early combat you're looking at here. Think typical isometric game, where all you can do is left-click. If you were watching someone play the third installment of a game who's name I shall not mention, and all the person was doing was left-click attacking, I think it would be far less enticing. We are going to have special strikes you can incorporate into your build and even stabbing weapons as either an alternate attack, or more specialised weapons like spears. These will be pin-point accurate, based on our epic collisions and bring in a whole new play-style to the early gameplay you're seeing in our videos. We would also like to include double-tap behaviours for dodging and a wide variety of close-quarters utility thaumaturgic powers.
Shields will play an important role in defensive melee combat, and instead of providing a static defensive bonus, when you aren't attacking you will adopt a sort of bracing stance. It will be up to you to angle the shield into blows, and allow you to perform bashes and other offensive maneouvres. Skill points are very limited, and choosing to incorporate a shield into your build will be a significant build choice, rather than just a damage/defence tradeoff.