I fail dialogue skill checks all the time. I’m almost positive that this is because I haven’t put any points into my persuasion skill, but this means that builds focusing on persuasion ultimately cost twice as much. They’re still strength/intelligence/wits checks and such, so you presumably need to have points in one of those to succeed, and that’s a lot of points to waste considering that you can’t talk your way out of fights. Many of which are mandatory. It’s just frustrating that Sebille’s absurd strength stat isn’t enough to threaten people in conversations because I’ve neglected some random ancillary skill that would have taken points away from her other abilities (like the combat-useful telekinesis and sneaking).
More things are becoming a thing
The Source magic I’ve insisted on avoiding is becoming more and more of a factor despite my best attempts to avoid it. Using it to “Bless” various things has been necessary to progress in some quests, and more and more skills that I find (*cough*) require spending a point of it. Right now each character only has a single point of Source to use, which is annoying, but a character has suggested that this won’t always be the case. Hopefully this doesn’t suck. It very easily could.
Runes are also becoming more and more of a thing. Some items can have runes put into them to provide extra bonuses, and these don’t seem to be used up, so you can remove them before selling equipment and reuse them as needed. You can apparently also craft more powerful ones, but the crafting system thus far has been a mess. There are so many items and the grid of inventory items such a hassle to organize that using various things on other things is a tedious waste of time, and I’ve only ever found new recipes for things I either don’t need or already have plenty of.
Just because you can doesn’t mean you should
That gets into one of the criticisms I have of this game: there’s just too much stuff. It sounds ridiculous at first glance, but there have been numerous examples of sequels making things bigger and better and losing a sense of focus as a result. Focus isn’t something that’s often considered when judging the value of a game, but it’s the reason that stories tend to be better in linear games. That’s not only true of the stories, either—just about everything is improved when you don’t constantly feel overwhelmed by things, and having been wandering around a new area after leaving the beginning area, “overwhelmed” is definitely the word I’d use.
Mechanics can be improved by a sense of focus (though I adore most of the mechanics here, things like crafting and such are such a mess that I don’t even want to bother with them), and having a feel for what you’re doing without getting sidetracked by a million characters means moving through the world with a stronger sense of purpose. Here I lose hours and hours rummaging around for more powerful skills and equipment, mechanically going through a million sidequests so that I can be leveled up enough to deal with many of the tougher enemies bound to pop up the second I remember what I was actually supposed to be doing. It’s all interesting and incredibly intricate, but those aren’t necessarily the same thing as fun.
Using hired characters for cheaper items
All right, I’d say that’s enough criticism for now. How about a fun little semi-exploit-ish thing I found? There’s this character who showed up who seems like he’ll be important, but pickpocketing once means that you’ll get caught if you try again. The underlying mechanics may be more complicated than that, of course, but that’s how things have panned out thus far whenever I’ve tried. Point is, I don’t want to pickpocket him too early in case doing so later might be useful, but he has these special runes that are too absurdly expensive to even think about buying.
Nearby, there’s a character who lets you hire throwaway characters, presumably to help aid those who were stupid enough to kill all of their potential companions for whatever reason. You can temporarily break up with one of your party members and buy new characters for much less gold than the expensive runes cost, using a nearby mirror that lets you mess with your stats to put points into thievery, then steal the expensive runes one at a time before dismissing the thief and getting a new character to steal with. It still costs quite a bit, but nowhere near what the guy was asking for, and my thieving character then gets welcomed back to the group. If the guy ever has to be stolen from in the future, she’ll be able to do so without a history of pickpocketing him making it impossible to do so again. I have no idea if that will actually be useful, but it never hurts to be prepared for future thieving shenanigans.
I keep accidentally stealing things
While it’s interesting how many things are lying around (and slightly baffling that two identical items next to each other can have different ownership statuses, meaning picking one up in plain sight is fine while the other counts as stealing and will have people looking for you), it’s starting to become a real problem. I don’t drag the cursor to move around, instead opting to click like in the old-timey cRPGs I adore so much, and I keep accidentally stealing items in front of their owners while trying to get around. It’s annoying how easy this is to do, and it’s just a matter of time until I get into a fight and have to fight a bunch of random people who become hostile over it.