Blocking, how about remove that, have a combat more based around knocking the enemies thrust out of the way, well for bayonet v bayonet combat at least. blocking up & down to stop yourself from being stabbed always felt weird in Warband.How would it feel weird? The only other way to stop another player from killing you would be to dodge their attacks which most of the time would result in you dying, or to chamber them in which you didn't time it right you were dead. Blocking, in my opinion, is a necessity to at least make the melee balanced.
I'm thinking more in a real life scale, you and your opponent have a long, narrow, pointy object. He thrusts at you with his long, narrow, pointy object. The long, narrow, pointy object in your hand, doesn't have enough surface area to block it, hence you use your long, narrow, pointy object to knock the opponents long, narrow, pointy object in another direction to prevent it from stabbing you.
I'd like to have something other than warbands directional phase-shields.