@adrenaline, I've been running some tests for the visibility of the warrior models while they're all beating the snot out of each other. Its a concern, and I got to wondering what the motivation was for bungie to hide all health and team information by default. Presumably because it was a visual mess with 100+ units on the screen, but I think we can do better these days.
Currently, we're placing the health bars on top of the friendly units, and adopting a health bar system similar to DOTA2. This means that you'll see the health of your army as they're brawling (without the need to band select them), but not enemy health. I think showing friendly and enemy health gets overwhelming, but maybe we can do some things where enemy health bars are shrunken/minimized to something visually different but still informative - like a single dot, with health color, unless you mouse over or select the enemy unit.
With regards to the use of team color and emblems for identification, this is one motivation for adopting a more stylized art design. It's also less work for a smaller team like ours, but it's also much more readable.
Emblems on shields, yes I had similar thoughts. Probably a bit further down the line though. Customization will play a really important role in Deadhold.
There's been some really interesting discussion on the GoS forums about the role of randomness in games, and the benefits/detractors for casual vs competitive. I've been thinking of some solutions there too. I gotta say I love these discussions, they're all thought provoking, and really help me crystallize my thoughts.
I think we'll have to get an irc channel up soon so we can get more dialogue going.