Before you play the Eschalon: Book II game, you will definitely want to know these simple but useful tips and tricks. If you have any tips feel free to share with us!
Things to Know Before Playing
Many skills have a trainer who will train you up to the first 10 levels of a skill, or a book that will teach you the skill (or increase it by 2 if you already know the skill). You should therefore focus on only one damaging type skill and a few other necessary skills at the start rather than spreading out points. To maximize free skill gains, first buy 10 points from a trainer, then read a book for 2 more points, for a total of 12.
- Skill trainers are available for Bows, Thrown Weapons, Foraging, Pick Locks, Hide in Shadows, Move Silently, Cartography, Alchemy, Elemental, Divination, Bludgeoning Weapons, Cleaving Weapons, Swords, and Repair.
- Skill books are available for every skill Except Meditation, Repair, and Thrown Weapons.
- If you want to be a magic type, dump all your points during character creation into Perception and spend your first one or two level ups on raising it to 40. This gives you maximum mana gain per level up and increases your mana regeneration to about 1 point per turn. The Meditation skill also helps mana regen, but not to the degree that a natural 40 Perception does (you can ignore meditation for now if you're going this route).
- When you reach skill level 10 in a weapon skill, it gives you a special attack which you can activate using shift+click. These attacks usually automatically hit in addition to a bonus effect. Raising a weapon skill above 10 lowers the cooldown for your special attack.
- Don't pay for repair at a shop or spend level up points in the Repair skill. There's a set of a very common gloves that give +2 Repair; just put those on every time you rest and you'll be able to keep your equipment in good order.
- Armor skills are generally not worth it beyond the first point to remove the armor check penalty. Increasing your armor skill just raises your damage reduction which isn't considered worth the skill investment. Better to find a skill book to gain these skills or level it up once and be done with it. Light and heavy armor can be equally effective, it just depends on the tradeoff between weight and armor class that you're comfortable with.
- Divination and Elemental skills almost reach parity in terms of effectiveness of buffs, damage, and utility spells. Divination eventually gets damaging spells that are a bit less effective than Elemental spells, but get status cures, healing, and good buffs. Elemental has the best damage, as well as decent buffs and some of the most useful utility spells such as lock melting, trap disarming, and portal.
- Keep around a few explosive barrels in a convenient spot. You'll need a couple to access a chest tucked behind a mountain range and to break down secret walls.
- Loot is randomly generated. You can savescum before opening a chest if you want to make your rewards worthwhile.
- Port Kuudad has an alchemy store that sells you all the recipes in the game for a flat fee.
- Boots wear out when you use quick travel. Take them off or switch them with a lesser pair if you don't want your good boots to suffer equipment damage.
- Foraging really trivializes the hunger and thirst mechanic, plus gives you a bunch of good alchemy components at high levels. Again, raise Foraging through trainers/books because it's more of a convenience than necessity.
- Merchants restock weekly. Visit all sellers and rest if you don't find the spell book/gear you need for sale.