The catacombs at the start of the game can be fairly challenging, especially for melee characters. The game gets easier as it progresses though, and IMO is too easy towards the end. Some people find it helpful to use a bow
as (or in conjunction with) their main weapon for at least awhile (you do not need to use/find/equip arrows, you just need a bow). At least the first level in Repair
will come in very
handy. You don't necessarily want to run away from a big fight to find someone to repair your equipment, and from what I have read, bows can become damaged faster than melee weapons. Also, repaired items are worth more, so if you can at least partially fix something, it will help when trading.
Increasing your gamma
(Options menu, Video, Gamma) will brighten the screen and make it easier to find your way around, especially underground. The game is fairly dark to start with; I set my gamma to 1.35 and had no eye strain problems (too bright of a screen can be hard on the eyes) An appropriate value will depend on your monitor and settings, and how/if it is calibrated. In addition to being able to see clearer farther away, a higher gama will help you spot the levers
(shaped like a demon's head, which open some locked doors in dungeons), loot, and other points of interest. Above ground, there are keys
to many locked doors / chests, usually in the general vicinity of what they open. Try to look for keys/levers before using a lockpick
. Locked barrels/vases can be smashed open if you click on them in combat mode; no need to waste lockpicks on these.
If you see a pile
of something, move it out of the way. Often there will be something under, behind or between whatever is piled up.
Once you get your vitality and mana above 80, you may want to put a skill point in Alchemy
and start using restoration potions (health+mana). See Restoration potions
The following contains some minor spoilers. If you are far enough along to be having trouble, you may have already seen most of what is mentioned, though.
Save before talking to new people or trying to steal
; re-loading is a lot easier than trying to build up their opinion if you get caught. After you finish the catacombs, if you ask Otho about a certain incident, his opinion of you drops by 10 each time you ask, so don't ask.
Save the game before starting off on a quest, before an expected tough fight (use the mini-map), after completing a quest, after finding some great equipment, after leveling up, etc. The saved game folders are fairly large, but older saves can be zipped to free up quite a bit of hard drive space, and really old ones deleted.
Save under unique names
Quick saves are convenient for frequent saving as you are battling and clearing out various areas. The latest patch
rotates between two (by default) quick saves, and disables saving when you are dead (which you really do not want to do). If you are playing the un-patched version, you can change the hotkeys
assigned to quick save and quick load in the game options (main menu, Options, Keys), to make it harder to accidentally mix them up in the heat of the moment.
If you make a mistake, realize you missed something or run into a bug, you do not want your only save to be after that point. Saving the game under a unique name will give you the option to go back to specific moments
. Don't abbreviate too much with names, like I did. I have looked for old saves to check something, get screen shots, etc. and names like 'e4' don't help find the right save very fast.
Even if you never make a mistake or encounter a bug, I have backtracked quite a few times to try something different
, see if another choice would result in more experience or reputation, etc. Having just a quick save from 10 minutes ago severely limits your ability to experiment
Steal anything of value
that isn't nailed down. Then sell it back to them. Always
, always save before trying to loot, enter back rooms of buildings or anything else that might get people ticked off at you
. Some back rooms look like private quarters, so there is advance warning, some do not. Some merchants do not care if you wander around or move things, some do.
Save before you enter each building
in Aleroth (and new buildings in general). If you quick save before clicking on a chest/bookcase, hitting the alt key or running your mouse over it, you can quick load to see if you can get something better. In most cases this just wastes time for little benefit, but early in the game and for a few key pieces of equipment later, it can really help. I had a bit of trouble with the demo; re-playing the beginning of the game I had much less. For the game I re-loaded a few times looting everyone's house I could, and got lots of armour, most with a small vitality bonus. Some people saved before every chest/bookcase for even more re-loading.
There is a set of leggings
between some packages in an empty house in the north of Aleroth; I re-loaded a couple times and got a set with +16 vitality. Lanilor's house is empty at the start of the game, and can be looted (I found a training sword
, which I used for most of the catacombs). George will ask you to acquire some herbs for him (agree to do so, or you will break a later quest
, though not an essential one) and leave the room. You can loot his shop before following him; he has some good armour
and a potentially decent bow
, among other things. Ignore the charm quality of the armour; I reloaded a few times thinking a higher value would be good to have. By the time I found any charms, though, I needed to replace the armour. Otho and Goemoe wander around
, and leave brief openings to grab stuff. I looted Mardaneus' house before triggering the scene with him and Lanilor; got some good stuff (a helm, IIRC, and a spell book
for Burning Wall). I think any bookcase has some small chance of having a spell book; the one in Mardaneus' house has a better chance, about 1 in 10 IIRC). Someone mentioned quick saving before moving the mouse over, hitting alt or clicking on, all the bookcases in Aleroth, then quick loading a few times if they didn't get a spell book. They found a dozen spell books, but it must have taken quite awhile to do.
There are quests in the first town which will give you experience without venturing into battle
right away. Healing both patients
will give you a level of Restoration
, very handy at the start of the game. Do not
tell either healer you have cured their patient until you cure both
patients. They assume you helped one at the cost of the other's life, and their opinion of you drops. When you correct them, it goes up some, but not enough to compensate for the drop.
You can kill the rats
under the well by Mardaneus' house for some experience. If you are more practical than sentimental, you can kill the rabbits for a little bit of experience and some meat (restores health). If you attack a cat, all cats everywhere (except the one in Aleroth you can talk to) will become hostile towards you
(same for dogs).
Visit the small graveyard in the north of Aleroth, and read the inscriptions. Any evil ideas? Save first, then move the flowers from the grave of Jake's wife to his. Zombie Jake
will appear; he is relatively easy to kill with a bow or Meteorstrike, but tough with melee. If you run away and loose track of him, re-load; this may only result in him disappearing and missed experience, but one person had him wander around and kill one of the healers. Now enter Jake's house (just south of the graveyard), go down to the cellar and kill him again (you can do these in either order).
Get the second teleporter stone
Once you open the way to the catacombs, Lanilor will give you a teleporter stone. Save the game, then drop and use
the teleporter. You will be attacked right away, and things can get a little hectic; assign hotkeys
to potions (open the potion bar, hover the mouse over a potion, then press the function key you want to use) and skills, and use the space bar to pause the game. As a warrior I used my spin attack
3 or 4 times and thinned them out quite a bit.
When the fight is over, collect any loot, stand close to the second teleporter stone and open your inventory pane. Click on the stone (holding the mouse button down) and drag it over the inventory pane, then release the mouse button to drop it in. Now use the teleporter stone (without dropping) to get back to the first one.
Setup a home base
Place one teleporter stone near a bed
, and carry the other with you, so you have a quick way to sleep, drop off loot, buy potions / equipment and get back to where you were. Set up a couple chests; keep a chest for valuable stuff or anything unique or different
that you may need latter, but do not know what to do with now.
Trade with items you do not need, rather than gold. Keep one chest for stuff that has full durability and can be traded for the maximum amount
, or divide these into the crappy / broken stuff, and stuff that is worth more. Optionally, toss all the stuff with less than full durability in another chest to be repaired and sold later. I found more than enough broken or full durability equipment at the start of the game; my needs-repair
chest became rather full before I was able to max that skill.
Keep a chest for spare food and potions
, so you don't carry around too much weight. Meat / bread (health) and chicken (mana) were the only food I kept; other stuff can temporarily increase stats (ie alcohol increases strength and drops intelligence, fish increases intelligence). Some find this handy to use before a big fight; I sold them.
If you find anything with a spell bonus in Repair, Alchemy, Identify, Pickpocket
(need level one or two later) keep them. I had 2 levels in Repair, and three items with a Repair bonus, so I could batch repair things completely, and toss them in a chest to be sold for their maximum value.
See also; Starter Tips?