I've read stuff in reviews and FAQs that using your sword is supposed to be really awkward and difficult. It was at first, but I practiced. A lot. Just saving and loading, duking it out with the guards, learning to time the right kind of attack, how to parry and dodge attacks, how to turn archers on their friends, using environment (tricked a guard into drowning and another into falling into that starry abyss on The Sword). I got killed a lot of times but I'm really pretty good at it now, to the point that I have to play on expert or it's too tempting to just cut down the guards. Do you believe that the developers did not intend for the game to be played this way? Do you confine yourself to the bow and blackjack mostly? I'm a bad shot with the bow which is why I learned to be good with the sword.
Core 2 Duo E6600 Conroe 2.4GHz, G.SKILL 2GB DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
GeForce 8800GTS 320MB, EVGA nForce 680i LT SLI, Windows XP Pro SP3
I don't think the developers intended the game to be played primarily through combat or that combat should ever be easy. That said, they did leave it open for players who like the combat aspect to be able to make use of it and I suppose they did intend for you to be able to develop some level of skill at it. It's not entirely out of the question, but that's also why that created the difficulty levels. If you want to play in a more stealthy and less combat oriented fashion, then you can play the Expert difficulty. I like that it gives you a bit of choice. I for one have never played anything other than Expert but I don't begrudge anyone who would want to get good at using the sword for combat.
As for the arrows, I think I've played so many times that I've gotten really good at using water arrows and putting out torches. I can fairly consistently hit a torch that's quite a distance away. I'm not really sure if regular arrows have the same trajectory though. And obviously fire and gas arrows are easy since they travel in a straight line for some odd reason.