Well, substitute "battle axe" with "two-hander", if you like, the "in between" thing being a broadsword or whatever. Apparently, you want to have fast and strong attacks, regardless of which weapon you use. I don't find it very convincing that you should have a fast attack with a heavy two-hander or a mighty blow with a light rapier.

And no, fights shouldn't just consist of frantically hitting the mouse button. I prefer turn-based tactical fights, though I realize they are getting rare. I also like real-time fights that you can pause to analyze the situation and to adjust your tactics, if necessary. I'm not interested in fights that are only tests of whether you can press the right buttons quickly enough.

If I get you right, you want something that keeps you occupied while your character fights. Fine. In Divine Divinity, fighters had a special attack you could use when surrounded by enemies and a normal attack you could use against single foes. That made sense. So how many different attacks are you suggesting to implement and in which situations should they be effective? If you just want your character's attacks to look flashy, I don't mind. However, there's a difference between an option to switch fighting styles and a necessity to do that if you want to win.

What you've written sometimes rather sounds like the latter. If I can let the computer worry about my "combos" and still fight as effectively as someone who uses the different attack options you've mentioned, why would most people bother to use different attack options at all?

This is part of the problem that Jade Empire had: Different attack styles (and in an Asian-themed world where they really fit), plus enemies that were immune to certain attack styles - but most of the time, one still didn't have to switch between, so many players found them boring (and additionally, they weren't balanced).

In my eyes, this is a fundamental problem: Either you force players to switch styles/press different buttons, or the whole system becomes somewhat superfluous.