So ever since I noticed the weight of heavy armour in book 2, it's been bugging me. I had some intention of switching a few pieces of my light armour for better heavier armour, but for the most part I've found that I'm better off just waiting a little while until I can find some decent light armour. At the worst, light armour was 2 points behind heavy armour and a fifth of the weight; yet for half the game (I guess was lucky with a chest) I was walking around with dragon hide armour which was better than any heavy armour I'd seen and weighed less than any heavy armour and even my supposedly light armour pants. Anyways, I've managed to think of some suggestions that might be a possible fix, plus a few other suggestions about things I'd like to see in book 3.
1. Heavy armour needs a notably, consistantly higher armour rating than light armour.
2. The most prohibitive aspect of heavy armour was its weight compared with light armour. As anyone who has ever carried a piece of armour a long distance then tried wearing it instead can tell you, it is a lot easier to wear the armour than carry it because the weight is more evenly distributed. What if the weight of worn armour didn't count towards the encumbrance limit? Instead why not have heavier armours have more of a nonproficiency penalty so that more armour skill is required to wear the armour without penalty? You could also have heavier armours with lower weight/penalty than other heavy armours with a similar armour rating to show that these armours are better crafted.
3. A little more variety in equipment might be nice... I kept wishing that I could throw on a robe or dress for my sorceress. It'd also be nice if some more variety for custom enchantments was available - I'd have loved to be able to put the increased health, mana, attribute, and skill enchantments from various items onto items of my choice.
4. It'd be nice to have the cartography trainer in the first town again.
5. Walking speed still needs some work. It'd be nice if there was something like a run option where you move twice as fast, but at an increased food/water consumption.
6. Some sort of levitation or water walking spell/potion would be really cool.
7. I don't recall there being as many obnoxious tree-mazed dead-ends in Book 1 as there seem to be in Book 2. I'm not a big fan of using trees as wall to start with, but it would be nice if I didn't feel like I was wandering around in one small cul-de-sac of trees trying to figure out if there's more of an area to explore or not. There also seemed to be more stretches with no points of interest than in the previous game. A few more monsters or barrels in some areas would have been nice. Still, I'd like to point out that I do understand that it can be hard to fill out areas sometimes and that Eschalon does a great job of usually having something that makes the exploring worthwhile.
8. I'd also like to see better named weapons, most of the ones in book 2 felt rather inferior to shop bought items given that I had thought the name indicated that they were supposed to be powerful artifacts. Bael's delight was the exception to this and made me very happy I'd decided to invest in piercing weapons before I even knew of its existance.
9. Also (this is really nitpicky) some of the item weights seem ridiculous, although for the most part they seem to be well researched. A 12 lbs. cloak isn't going to do anything other than choke the wearer. I also have no idea how studded leather leggings can ever weight 12 lbs. Generally, it seems to me that steel weapons shouldn't weight more than iron ones as the difference between iron and steel is the addition of carbon, which is lighter than iron. Plus steel is harder and holds an edge better than iron so the blades don't have to be as heavy to be as effective. Lighter, better forged blades are superior to heavier, more unweildly weapons: just look at the effectiveness of a katana - there are demonstrations of just how much cutting power one has and heavier, more western styles of swords just aren't as effective. The same is true for armour; the shaping and ease of movement in armour is what made armour effective, not so much the weight of it. Basically what I'm trying to suggest here is that I would like to see better equipment that's lighter rather than heavier than the next best item and weights slightly more in keeping with practical maximums (there's a reason most one handed weapons that were historically used in widespread areas don't often weight more than a few pounds (and around 5 lbs. at most) and two handed weapons tend to remain in the 8-12 lbs. range). The plasma wand also seemed ridiculously heavy, but that might be because when you say 'wand' I was picturing something about the size of a stick and not made of something denser than steel.