I just registered to say, that out of my points I still hope for in this game, Auto-directional-blocking is the most important.
Reflexes are not a skill. When I kite an enemy group into the right formation so they don't stone me to death, when I charge at their exposed members on the edge of the formation, at what point I release my spear-thrust, those are skills. I can learn that. I may not do it perfectly at first but then I experiment, try it just a little bit differently until it works and then it feels great. Blocking not so much: I know, that when my opponent attacks from a certain direction, I need to tap into that direction and then press the block button. And I don't manage at first and then I try the exact same thing again and I still don't get it and I can try the exact same thing over and over and it does not work and then I really don't need people who do the exact same thing I try to tell me: "just learn how to do it", because they can do it and enjoy it. It's not a skill, it's reflexes, basically a physical attribute. You would not tell a short person to "learn" how to reach the highest shelf without a ladder because you don't need one either. You would not tell a person with small hands to learn how to play a piano-piece that requires a certain finger-spread-distance.
Now, I see how reflex-based games have their place and I don't go into those games and tell the designers they need to make it more tactical but Mount and Blade is otherwise fine and it really is just this small feature that is missing and it should not be declared WAD that way because some people would like the game to be more reflex-based and not just for them but for everybody for some reason I'm to liberal to understand.