So, I really do like this game. It does a lot of things very well. The art style is great, and the terrain and environment design are frankly awesome. I love the core open world gameplay loop of pursuing map completion while doing various story things.
I have one really substantial issue with the combat, which is that enemy animations/combat tells are often far, far too subtle for how much damage the attacks do if they hit you. I am especially thinking of the attacks that put only a faint red circle on the ground, which can easily be covered by layered ground AoE particle effects, and of the translucent "mist" effect that surrounds an enemy who is charging an attack, which is incredibly easy to miss in the midst of a hectic/particle-filled combat.
As much as I enjoy the game, nothing brings that enjoyment to a screeching halt like suddenly exploding from an attack I literally couldn't see coming. Maybe I'm alone in having this difficulty, and others can easily what is going on, but it is definitely a big issue for me.
I would really love for this game to implement (as an interface option if nothing else) something similar to how Champions Online does it; in that game, every enemy using a charged attack has an icon that appears both above their model and on their target frame. There is a different icon for each general type of attack (Cylinder AoE, Sphere AoE, Single Target, Etc), and the icon grows larger as the attack charges, allowing you to easily tell when it is about to launch. Something like this would make a huge difference, especially in big fights. (It would also help if there was a target-of-target frame, but that's another issue.)
I fully admit I am not a huge fan of the whole "dodge roll to not die" style of gameplay, but I can handle it when I can see what is going on. Now, I don't expect anything will really be done about it at this point; this is an old game and these systems have remained unchanged from the Beta (I remember giving critical feedback about this waaay back then, even). But honestly, after my latest death to a forged officer with the Invisible Spinning Axes of Instant Death, I really just needed to get this off my chest.