Originally Posted by c0nnection
I like the sword fighting in this game but it is difficult and pretty unfair for Geralt when he gets manhandled by peasants, even on Easy. What I hate is having to roll on the floor constantly to pick each AI apart and the Parry doesn't always work. It just doesn't look impressive and it reminds me of Gothic 4's tedious rolling to dodge opponents.
Parry doesn't work if someone attacks from the side, or you have no vigor. Parrying is a bit crap if I'm honest, and you should only do it if you're going heavily into the sword skills tree, as then it can be used to set up ripostes and use less vigor.
In mass fights, either use AoE from bombs (grapeshot bombs are VERY cheap and can be enhanced with an alchemy talent (2/2 gives 100% extra damage), re-usable traps (beartraps are reusable), or magic.
Learn to use Axii to your advantage; once you have 1 or 2 points in it, your new friend will hold aggro VERY well indeed, leaving you with a much easier fight. The first 6 levels of the game are very, very difficult indeed relative to the rest of the game, but it gets easier. Especially if you focus on Alchemy, although I will admit annoyance at sometimes not being able to use half your abilities because you had no chance to drink a potion.