Ideally, different actions should have different animations, preferably strongly indicative of the action, preferably with quite a short preamble. I'm sure that any animations that are generally annoying will be weeded out in EA.
The outcome of the animation should perhaps also indicate the outcome of the action. For example, a critical success with a melee weapon would result in a louder, more effective looking connection with the target, through to a critical miss that would result in no connection at all.
Camera shaking on hits is more of a first-person APRG expectation, that makes less sense in third-person, unless you are really affecting the whole environment, not just the attack target. There is no reason it couldn't be an option for each player to turn on if they want a more JRPG REALLY-BIG-SWORDS experience, as it has a no effect on the rendering, just jitters the camera position.
Real medieval combat was probably a lot more like a mass brawl than any game depiction. From what I've read, if you were armoured, the main priority was to stay on your feet ( or even better, your horse ), and if you were unarmoured, your main priority was to stay away from those who were armoured ( and still on their feet / horse ).
But that wouldn't make a particularly satisfying game experience for anyone.