So. This has been something I've been tossing up for a long time. Let's say you have a world that has a broad availability for magic power and mages are a normal part of life. Like DnD 3.5 worlds or what have you. Not everyone has magic, but you'd know someone who does to some extent.
This includes stuff like telekinesis, teleportation and stuff like that.
Realistically speaking, wouldn't most magic combat in a world like this be instantly over the moment one magic rips the hearts of the enemies out of their chests with a small telekinetic pull, or incinerates their lungs, or reverses the electrical polarity of their brains, or makes all the water in their bodies jump one centimeter to the left? Human's are fragile, and in these worlds people through incredibly deadly powers around like hotcakes.
So my question has always boiled down to. Wouldn't all combat involving even minor powers be a MAD scenario. Where you either defend with shields and magical shielding or kill everything while they kill you. (In life or death combat that is. I know people can be sensible and do mexican standoffs). So as a result, wouldn't shielding be a major priority in almost all spheres?