Thats interesting. What you have to consider s control. You are in a sense arguing that reality sucks. What would be better then to control a saber in reality and fight with friends. Well if you think anything is better then that, then I have no business arguing with you. But if you indeed think that would be truly amazing then you can perhaps take vantage of my perspective.
It is a game. Yes. This is why we require extra luxury and general aids to help facilitate this lack of physical control, and sense. We also have protocols in place (as you mentioned), that help improve gameplay, because the reality is, we ARE NOT ACTUALLY THERE wielding sabers ourselves.
However, as games become more technically advanced, more and more of these factors that hinder our influence of the motions depicted by our screens, our 'control' weaken and even vanish which leads to steps closer and closer to truly feeling as if you are wielding the saber yourself. If you think games and movies have no business with eachother or that they are essentially always different and should remain that way, then sir I would completely disagree, and would have to say you are not of the perspective of the innovator.
I think you have your mind set in the world of JEDIKNIGHT 2 (ie. quake engine), and tweaks applied to it. Try and let your mind grasp an entirely different level of control. Still the same mouse and keyboard movement, but think it more advanced and one with essentially a greater degree of control.
A great and simple analogy of this "EVOLUTION OF CONTROL" might be the game Splinter cell. You might notice the superb animation. Moreever you may notice (if you've played it of course), that you can scroll your mouse to achieve not only a slow walk, and quick jog speed, but an intermediate pace setting with animation that is cleanly blended and a good balance of both the slow and fast pace.
Now imagine adding 2 more paces, and maybe 4 more paces, and eventually adding animation so dynamic that it seemingly integrates (as in calculus), all intermitten motions giving you extreme control, and thus allowing you to better navigate based on a particular situation. It is this innovation that can make ANY GAME great, and it is this evolution of games that may be forseen. As a game developer said on XGR (Xtreme Gaming Radio) "soon we will be playing movies".
Now your jumping ahead. Your going from a game full of aids and help, to a game with NO AIDS, and NO first person view? Take it slowly and things can come into perspective. Why would FPS's die if realism was popular. Of the various styles of games FPS's seem to me to be the most condusive to a realistic environment, and best suited to convey a realistic feel. So in support to my perspective fps's are successful. But then again, this is a weak argument as many game styles are successful. So I cannot pursue it, simply reject it.
True, but one must not discount realism (and when I say realism I mean reality in action and not reality in context, like physics for example, but not everything must be tactical ops or some real shooter, fantasy is still extremely appealing) and its possible implementation as a tool to enhance the level of entertainment a game provides. An environment that better resembles and reacts (ie. breaking walls and lamps upon impact perhaps) will definately bring more then a static unrealistic environment (although its success with its player is definately dependent on the way it is utilized, it may possibly be a burdon, but it could also be brilliant if it is done correctly)
Seems like you conveniently forgot about LUKE AND VADER whose battle is of a far greater (imo) demonstration of a jedi's perception of battle, and caution. At this time we have jedi who are extremely strong, granted luke is still starting out, but he is nevertheless quite tough. Battles here demonstrate both the jedi's ability to use the force and predict what to do, but also don't go so far as to indicate the blatant coreography.
At times episode 1 and 2 do similar things with combat so that it just seems more believeable, that the jedi are using powers of their mind to fight rather then stepping in a pre determined sequence, particularily Dooku and Obi-wan. But there are times when the dancing is just too much (additional spins and twirls that are synchronized, and basically frills, you will see alot of this in ep3 from the looks of some trailer footage).
Wow, are you kidding me? The movies in ep1 are fast and really enjoyable to watch. But I can easily tell each and every step and swing that is taken, it is very clear. This combination of clarity and speed is evident since it is REALITY! Obi is actually swinging and he knows what to do, he doesn't have saber stances with pre-defined attacks. So this level is ESSENTIALLY inachieveable at least for now, as games cannot be as free and close to reality as is there, but nevertheless they are progressing to something along these lines (albeit slowly).
Again you are putting a cap on your imagination, confining ideas, restricting evolution. You must believe the impossible is achieveable somehow. KOTOR has its own extrodinary flaws as well (people don't wait until you swing, or stand in front of each other and don't move while they are making moves, moreover the player control of combat is nill, it is semi turn based and basically click to attack, the computer will perform the intricacies of the attack for you) but it is an incredible game in a different sense, which is beyond the scope of this discussion.
How do you propose to have a FPS have more realistic fights anyway? Here are some issues that need to be resolved:
1. How do you enforce no running and jumping in a FPS saber fight?
There are many options to this and all your questions that designers will eventually find suited to them (as games like jediknight evolve and go from engine to engine).
One idea would be to first have movement acceleration, so you cant strafe dance side to side, but when you push a direction you may start slow for a brief moment, then slowly ramp up speed (like reality, you can't just run in one direction then suddenly in a split second run in the other direction, you have to slow down, stop, change directions, speed up, run. Jumping could be connected to a constant use or physical force pool that governed basic jedi movement while a seperate pool was responsible for force. These are then scaled individually as desired for the best use.
2. Guns vs. Sabers
Yes this is quite a problem. But it can be solved with innovation. Although what I might say could sound unattainable or foolish, only time will reveal the possibilities of programmers and designers.
Here I would say 100% manual blocking. Obvious not to difficult of blocking but tied with saber control which is a HUGE ISSUE. My vision is that of manual mouse saber control, but still regulated with certain yet deep and branching variety of animations. It is complex to explain so I will simply say that manual block would force jedi's to take their time and use their own SKILL to block blaster shots. It would also force mercs to be agressive and break the jedi's ability to block or outshoot their deflection ability (precisely like the jedi master shot off the genoshian balcony by jango in ep2),
3. Force Users vs. Non-Force users.
How do bounty hunters do in the movies against jedi? Pretty damn good don't they (boba, jango, and also imo the greatest bounty hunter Calo Nord [from kotor] who could probablly kick the crap out of an avg jedi). When they have the skill and the mechanisms to fight (and experience/knowledge), they can perform quite well. But again this comes to the realistic implementation. Jedi should use force powers extremely sparingly so as to achieve these kinds of epic battles that seem a good fight. Again one reality system depends on another and so on. It is a big web that must be strongly linked or fail all together.
4. Damage and Killing
This issue is really up to the developer and the context of the game. As I said earlier don't just JUMP to an ALL OUT REALITY GAME (like the game that will corrupt itself if u get killed so u can never play again). But instead take smaller steps to something more and more real.
Again, immobilizing and damage might be critical to delivering an interesting and immersive experience. The other thing you have to consider is that this isn't the JEDI KNIGHT we have now with some 1 hit damage mod. This is a whole different system, one that perhaps delivers the greater realistic control that would warrant physical damage and immobilizing (as it may happen less often if 2 players are of similar skill and are able to defend and attack well, and like the movies basically endure the battle, and suffer the consequence of their defeat). When you bring all these components of reality together your mindset completely changes from that of simple 'a game' and moreover the jediknight experience in its current form.
I hope my post may have changed your way of thinking about our debate slightly, it is only a bit of what I try and conceive in my mind. A better gaming experience is always ahead, their are almost no limits.