Well, thanks to KillingMoon and Kreador for their input. That's what I've been doing wrong all this time! I haven't been hitting left-shift to use my Focus skill. If I had: I'd've had a much easier time and wasted much fewer arrows!
I really, really wish I'd known this, sigh... .
Was it in the PDF that came with the game? I haven't even bothered reading it... now I'm going to.
As for darkness: early on I got a hat that gave me 1 point in Elemental, then hiked up my intelligence to 15 so that I could learn Gravedigger's Flame and Predator Site. Helps a lot since you can't shoot a bow while carrying a torch.
Here're my character's stats, level 1 & level 5, compared :
Yes, true: I did hike up my strength anyway, despite the dex advantage of being female . . . so I could cast spells without switching gear.
Notice: Move Silently only gained through Featherwalk Ring. 2 cartography from amulet plus 4 points investment (I like detailed maps, it's a weakness). I also invested 1 point in Spot Hidden because I figured that should prove helpful: my only extravagance other than cartography . . . but this means I'll have to hike up Perception from now on in order to take advantage of it, since my perc is low. Sigh... .
I'm thinking: next level I'll add 3 points in Bows (to 15) and 3 points in perc (to 15).
Her alternate equip is unarmed with an Animal Rage amulet (+2 damage), a Brawler's Ring (+2 unarmed combat) as well as the Featherwalk Ring.
Sure, it has a plot. No narrative, though, at least so far, and this is bad. The narrative should start at the very beginning and pull you in foot by foot.
No narrative? Could you please elaborate.
Of course, man. What I mean: Plot is what tells you, essentially, "This here's the situation." The situation in this game is that somebody's after you and the others in your guild. Also, somebody or some group of people -- likely the Taurax -- are trying to unite the gems and you must stop this at all cost.
So: that's a plot.
Now, narrative is different. Narrative is just storytelling. When you have a game where things happen and you derive meaning from it and that directs you someplace and characters have reactions to it and act based on it, and events react to you and act upon you, and when you reach that place then you find out new things and there're new developments and you have new information and then you have other directions on your hand and new concerns . . . and basically you are moved through the game as if on a kind of conveyor belt . . . that's narrative.
I don't think I'm explaining it well, but essentially: Plot tells you the situation. Narrative carries you along. Narrative is a boat you take and you don't know where it's going to go because at some point, maybe, Poseidon, who's really pissed off at you, is going to cause a storm and throw you off course. But I've gotta get to Penelope!
Too bad. The story has brought you someplace else.
To use another metaphor: the narrative thread is the thing you hold onto so you don't get lost. It's something you want
to rely on, like a brother or sister, although he or she always, always disappoints you.
Now, this is just me: but I think that a game as challenging as this one would be helped by such a thread. It helps if you have a boat, even though Poseidon keeps throwing you off course. No matter what: your boat you can rely on.
Until Poseidon destroys it. But then you build another boat.
My reasoning, mostly: if there's a strong narrative, then when we get frustrated with the game: the story will call us back, we'll want to follow the story. The story is intriguing. People love stories. We want to know what happens next
. As it is, however: the only thing pulling us into the game against all frustration is curiosity over the places we haven't explored: and that's just not enough, at least for me.
Of course, I understand that Eschalon is intended to be a different animal. I know.
And I know that others' gaming perspectives are different from mine. Lots of people prefer open-ended games with no narrative to confine things for them. They want to run free.
The problem, however, arises when the player get frustrated and needs something to pull him or her back in.
If Book 3 wants to still go with the freestyle no-narrative: my advice:Best thing BW can do is expand on character depth. Make characters with real personalities who interact with you on a regular basis.
That's important, I think: it keeps you interested, you want to know more about these people and you want to come back and play -- if nothing else -- for these people that you've come to love
. It's what makes a game like NwN2 great, and it's just human to want to do so.
Lovable characters, BW? Please, please, please?