Eschalon Book II is now out for PC and it’s a great Ultima-style RPG game. Mac and Linux versions are due out May 26th 2010.
Here are a few hints and tips I’ve built up so far:
- Start with light armour, not heavy armour like I did, that was dumb. Probably best not to bother with shields until later too (I got it early at the expense of other useful stuff).
- Get at least level 1 in cartography. Level 8 seemed to be pretty useful and I didn’t bother to go higher.
- Don’t get divination or elemental until you have at least 15 in wisdom or intelligence respectively otherwise you won’t be able to learn any spells anyway. Spend the points on fighting or something else until you are clever enough.
- If you get wisdom 15 and divination, you can learn the heal spell, pretty darn useful. There’s also a neat cartography spell at intelligence 15 and elemental (I think it was Int 15; I got it around then anyway).
- Use the quick save a lot and reload if you get a disease, otherwise you’ll be really crippled and that snooty cleric charges a fortune to remove the disease. Of course if you are purist you’ll have to grin and bear the ailment.
- Sometimes you identify something to find out it’s worth less than the cost of identify! If you have lots to identify but not enough cash, save and then identify the first one and make a mental note what it is, then reload and identify the second one etc. until you find the best thing. Again you may find this against the spirit of the game.
- Quick Save just before going into a shop. If you don’t like the selection keep reloading until it’s better because the shop’s contents randomize each time (if you went with the default game settings). Also you can do it before smashing open barrels and opening chest etc. This is dirty cheating.
- If you are being chased, run off the map and they’ll go away. Handy!
- Try to get monsters to chase you just one at a time to pick them off (classic technique).
- Lead monsters in dungeons to a torch on the wall so that you can still hold your shield and fight in good visibility.
- Don’t bother doing any fighting at night especially in rain storms (torches don’t work), camp it out until dawn.
- Bows are pretty crappy at first, as they have a long distance penalty and then you can only get off a couple of shots before you have to swap to melee weapon. You must swap when then enemy is still several squares away otherwise they’ll whack you whilst you are swapping. Also arrows are expensive.
- Setup two weapon configs: melee and ranged. Don’t forget to apply the same armour and rings etc to each config. If you gain a new item, switch to config 1 first, then put on the new item and save, then switch to config 2 and put on the new item again and save. Bit of a pain but you don’t want to accidentally remove it when changing config.
- Use bludgeoning weapons to smash barrels, doors, chests etc not bladed ones.
- Read all the in-game tips (F4).
- Use the hotkeys (press F1 to find them out). X is very useful as it beings up 3 core dialogs.
- Don’t let yourself starve or dehydrate, it’s real bad.
- If you get desperate for cash, sell a scroll, they are worth at least 60, then you can buy food and repair your cheap shoddy weapons and armour.
- Rat meat. mmmm good. Well not that good, but if you get hungry, kill some rats.
- You can carry kegs of black power and put them down where you want. They can be used to blow up special walls, locked doors, locked chests and closed barrels etc.
- Keep an eye out for small square hard to see panels on the floor in dungeons as they are switches for hidden doors, traps etc.
- Get some Lore rings early on and put them on whenever you need to identify stuff. Of course later on just get the Lore spell. Other useful rings are foraging rings and intelligence rings (put these on when you can’t learn any more spells due to low intelligence).
- Get a whole bunch of gloves that you can use at different times such as: tinkers glove (for mending whilst you are camping, this is VITAL to save lots of money), lock picking gloves, skullduggery gloves etc.
- Take off boots when quick travelling so they don’t wear out!
- Consider keeping hold of some wizard hats to boost intelligence or wisdom in the event that you can’t learn any more spells due to low intelligence or wisdom.
Quest Tips (SPOILERS):
- Ruel’s house isn’t that near the sea like the woman says, it’s somewhat inland. I wondered off into outlander territory looking for it (too far NE) and was getting ass-kicked but then stole loads of cool stuff off them and ran away.
- Kill the black molds in the pump room to get the copper key.
- Trust the first guy who tells you about the werewolf, it’s not a trick like you are led to believe
- Destroy the wasp nest with a powder keg or demon oil. Don’t use a bladed weapon for goodness sake.
- The treasure map from Everdale is for the East Fellpine Forest above the river.
- You can get into Port Kuudad via the sewers which you can reach by going the the caves near Everdale. Go North East when you exit the caves.
- For the 4 chests in the sewer that lead to a secret hideout you need: a candle, a bag of salt, a lockpick and quill. All these can be found and bought from shops. Sometimes you need to travel for a long time to make sure the shop restocks, then save and reload until the item you want is there.
Please add your tips too!