Now matter how skilled you are, arrow through the head will take you out
I even read a rant from famous Peter Molyneux on the topic, let me search it, oh, here it is:
During a Leipzig GCDC briefing, Lionhead boss Peter Molyneux laid out some ideas on how to change the way combat games work. According to Eurogamer, Molyneux said combat games have the same issues among them, in that they are all about the same thing: hit points, weapons don't do much damage and the environments mean nothing.
Molyneux proposed that fighting in games should be more like the combat seen in films (using Kill Bill as an example). He said that game developers "do not treat a sword like a real thing; it's like a big squashy thing. And that's not what we want to present, or what Hollywood presents as combat." He said that he'd like to see more one-hit kills instead.
I have read some AAR on FE here about how the blood course allowed his Sov to raise hit points from 80 to 1050, which emphasises the ridiculum of the system. More skilled characters should not be that much harder to kill. Sure, trained body absorbs shock better, the muscles can soften impact, good physical condition can improve healing, but let's admit it - if someone run you through with a spear, you are done.
The best system ever saw is in Dwarf Fortress. There are no hp at all, the body is modelled in quite a detail, with bodyparts having skin, fat, muscle, bone layers, organs are in place too, and each successful blow has a chance to penetrate and do damage - the greater the blow, the better the edge of the blade, or density of a blunt weapon, the greater the damage. Muscles can be bruised, but also cut open, bones can be crushed, and if a cut is strong enough, limbs and heads go flying. Organs can be pierced, sensory and motor nerves can be severed, causing permanent loss of mobility, and the game even has a wrestling system where you can proceed to dislocate joints, break bones, or throw, choke or trip your foes.
Even though the game has no graphics, the combat logs are brutal, captivating read, and combat is what it should be - unpredictable, bloody, and with lasting consequences. One cut to the leg, and you will need a crutch to walk for the rest of your life. However, crutch-walking is a skill that can be trained, and legendary crutch-walkers are sometimes as nimble as healthy people.
What are the disadvantages? Main disadvantage is that the game does not pamper the high-level characters - an arrow to the eye kills them as quickly and as surely as green recruits - which is as it should be. But today's RPG players are spoiled, they think that if they invested enough time in their characters, they have a "right" not to lose them to an odd blow. But that led to inflation of combat - in real combat, everyone risks everything, but in RPG combat, high-level characters risk very little. That's why it's less thrilling than it could be.
What do you think?