I tried out the new changes - while the intention is well, it's execution leaves something to be desired. When players kept asking for quick switching, I do not quite think this is what they had in mind. Having to remember that aiming instantly makes me pull out my gun even though I've bound my left mouse button to melee is significantly more troublesome than how I had it before phase 1's deployment. When fighting level 120 ancient nullifiers, I do not have time to try to keep switching weapons and trying to figure things out in the heat of combat.
One of the absolute first things you're taught as a fighter in any martial art is to retain control of your weapon. We know that in combat, the most important aspect of a fighter is not the weapon, but the mind. This is what extensive training and the like is about - coaches in sports, for instance, can tell when a person's off because of their lack of coordination. To be an effective fighter, one must be able to execute their judgments on command, almost like a machine. This is what war is, instinct against instinct, training against training. A soldier is trained to almost fight like a machine, this is what made the roman legions so effective and have had such a profound impact on Western European and subsequently, global civilization, as a whole. Incessant drilling led to one pretty much becoming a war machine.
Now, let's take your system you have created here. When going toe-to-toe with the enemy, you may want to throw a star or two at an enemy while in combat with someone else. I want you to visualize what I write to you as I say it. In front of you are three guys who can do a lot of pain to you as you can to them, W, X and Y. A fourth, we'll call him Z, is about 10 meters away from you. Engage the three of them with your blade. You've taken one down and have done a roll away from the remaining two, X and Y, to throw stars at Z who is just out of your reach. Let's say you can move at superhuman speeds and you decide to keep Z busy with some kunai in his face, then get back to finishing off X and Y. Your natural move is to temporarily half-holster your melee weapon and quickly throw stars at Z, then pull your blade out again to get back to the melee fighting, right? Now, you've been trained in your martial arts school that your stars are in your left hip pouch, so mechanically, you'll reach in there and throw them at Z, then finish off X and Y in CQC. End visualization.
I've said all of this to highlight my main point: your combat effectiveness is determined by your ability to bring weapons to bear at the specific point of battle to execute your training upon the adversary. The current system, as it is, is very detrimental to furball (a term used by pilots referring to large aerial engagements). In this horde shooter/looter that you've created, this system can be very detrimental to overall user experience. What your players are really lamenting is loss of control. Control is the key phrase here - my ability to do what I wish when I wish it as such. When I'm in combat, I need to be able to shoot when I want to and to block and melee when I need to. Aiming's override of blocking encourages slothfulness and dissonance in my mental conditioning. I need to "feel" my actions upon the enemy. This feedback is what grounds me and helps me to overcome my enemies - I am able to exercise granular control over my movements. Automatic blocking takes away from this because I am not telling my avatar to block, it's doing it on its own - this gives me a serious sense of loss of control of my character.
Unlike many of your other players who mostly just shoot with a few quick melee's here and there, I've been doing it all just as you've shown in the trailers - shoot, melee, wall run, roll, groundslam, aerial or ground slide attack, I do it all, I easily chain all of these movements to take out the enemy. I've been doing this for years because I can control my movemements. I've highlighted the preceding words to form the basis of my writings concerning this update. Again, I control movement. My body, my mind, my actions. Let these words be the mindset in which you hear my words. It has been said by ancient warriors that to become one with your blade is the highest ideal. The blade becomes an extension of body. Bruce Lee spoke about his body and said that his movements were an expression of self. To truly make an excellent melee overhaul, your chief goal in all of your undertakings must be player control. This is why we're doing away with locked combos - endowing the player with the ability to control themselves is necessary for enjoyment, for freedom of self-expression.
To retain effective control of arms, I need to be able to switch to the weapon I want for this specific situation. Let's say I have an amprex and my Kavat wants some fried Grineer. I need to quickly break off my Bleeding Willow combo and whip out my amprex, shock some, throw some corrosive-tipped kunai to soften up some heavy gunners, then get back into it. As I said before, I need those neural pathways and the ability to exercise them with a very high degree of control. The best way for me to do that as an effective warrior would be for me to quickly switch to the specific weapon I need on the fly. How can I do this? I need to be able to equip the weapon I want with the press of a key. I've been doing this for years and I challenge you guys to try this out there at the studios as well. Before Phase I, I had "equip melee" bound to my 'V' key, and I could switch to and between primary and secondary weapons bound to my 'F' key. I was able to manually block as I needed and aim when I wanted. This is how I'm able to do things very many of your players cannot do.
This is what I want you guys to do there at the studios - create for yourselves the same control scheme as mine, except use whatever keys are most comfortable for you to use to control your primary/secondary switching and melee equip key. Retain the instant swapping speeds you have now across all weaponry. 'E' remains quick melee, but does not necessarily put you into full melee mode. I want you to go toe-to-toe with the enemy - you cannot hang back and spam powers and shoot, very many of your inflicted casualties must be melee terminations with a good mix of ranged kills - these fights must take place in tight quarters. You'll find that being able to switch weapons on the fly is most important in such situations as this.
My suggestions for this update are as follows: players are able to equip and switch between ranged weapons with the press of a key while they can equip full melee with a specific button. The M 2.9997 features as follows are optional: aim switches to gun while in melee mode, quick melee transitions to full melee, blocking is automatic in melee mode. The new features available are simply there as additional options to help players streamline their combat experience according to their tastes.