When fighting, around 75% of all slashes are made in thin air, while not even being close to connecting. And that's 95% for you blue whirlwinders, you know who you are...
Why is this possible?
Because we have seemingly impossible hits connecting, and because people can backtrack and sidestep like a monkey on crack.
Because, as it is now, you haven't got any REAL control of parrying when your opponent engages you up close. Because you cannot be 100% sure of parrying when you are swinged at, naturally, you break off and run... Don't get me wrong, the new parrying system is FAR better than the last, but as it is now, it's still better not to be there in the first place when the blows start to fall. What do you do when a player comes whirlwinding with the fast stance towards you? I sure don't trust my parrying.
Part of this problem also comes from the players. Mindless blue "stancer's" whirlwinding around the map are silly. i can partly understand the "striking before you're even close to each other"-thing with the red stancer's, but doing it with blue is very, very, very lame. I will say it again to you f***tards: STRIKING WITH BLUE WHEN YOUR ENEMY ISN'T CLOSE IS LAME. You have NO chance of hitting him, and you look so foolish it isn't even funny. Click your attack button when you honestly think you at least have a chance of hitting. And don't say it's because of the "fear factor"... I am not afraid of your lame attempt at being funny by swinging in all directions when i'm miles away.
Your idea on stamina is good, but i think that with blocking costing stamina, you'd see player backtracking because it's better not to parry when you are swung at because it costs stamina.
Movement should be reduced though, and stamina helps here. Backtracking should be reduced SEVERELY; so many games gets this thing wrong. I think that someone found at that you move 46 km/h in halflife, whether backtracking or not.
"Special" moves should be changed or reduced.
I just saw a monstrous example of this: An idiot used the lunge ONLY in his duels... And i mean ONLY, this guy was spamming it like you've never seen it before... Raven, please make it so that you can't do that move over and over and over and over again. Add a timer or something similar, so you'll have to wait a bit till you can use it again.
I do understand those that would like more control in what they do, however. Hence i see these spamming morons more and more. Add more special moves("finishing moves"), but don't make them that "special". NO extra damage and NO extra chance of hitting, but just a larger repetoire of cool moves to choose from.
And lastly, get rid of blue stance and red stance. Blue stance is just too fast, you can't properly CONTROL where you are aiming and neither can the defender block properly, when all he sees is your flashing saber swinging all over the place.
Red stance is way too slow, you cannot convince me that someone would VOLUNTARILY strike THAT slow, it's utterly pathetic and would never happen. A red user would get completely butchered in a somewhat realistic saber duel.
Add the new STYLES of saberfighting like the topicstarter suggested, don't change the speed that much. Maybe one style would be slightly faster etc, but not to the extent we see it now.
As always, flame away...