In the beginning I thought the stock had quite a lot of different items but now in the middle of the game I don´t see much variations and it is hard to find or buy any good magical items. In the first 10 hours of the game, looting chests was fun and certain chests really hold rare items like better armours or weapons but now it seems there is a limit of what you could find and I feel I have reached the limit of what I can get. That makes looting quite unattractive for the time being.
I remember that I in my first post said I thought the game was too easy at the start. Now it is more balanced and I have had several tough combats where I´ve had to come up with a perfect mix to use my abilities in order to win.
If you are lucky you could find powerful books that teaches you a totally new discpline group. They are very rare though and you have to carefully decide which memeber should learn it. The only thing you could be sure of is that you yourself will be around all the time.
The manual for the game is very good, explaining not only game mechanics but also a long history about the different vampire clans and the gameworld. This is just another example of lengthy manual that are never included in games nowadays.
Talking a little more about the combat system I can say that it really are a hack´n slash game. As long as you hold the left mouse button down on your selected enemy, your selected companion will attack continuously until either one is killed. If you hold down the CTRL key at the same time, the whole group will target that creature as well.
So what is affecting the outcome then ? Well, first you have the terrain. I have often lost fights or gained heavy losses by not having enough ground for all my members to move on. For example if being stuck in a stair, doorway or corridor. You could also drag out the enemies one at a time and kill them off instead of having the whole swarm of them attack at once. That is probably the most important thing to master if you are to survive later on.
What I don´t like with this system compared to true realtime 3d dungeon crawlers like Dungeon Master is that enemies will never walk around other than in very limited pre-planned routes. They don´t react to anyting happening outside of their limited activation zone. That becomes somewhat boring, predictable and repetetive after awhile. But most action-rpgs are like that.
You could set the groups offensive stance from defensive, neutral to offensive. If set to offensive each member will actively seek out the enemies and split the group. I only see a use when I know we will win the fight. Otherwhise it could be very dangerous. I never use defensive because they just stand there while their comrades are being attacked. Neutral is the best one since your team holds together but tries to thwart any attack. Still a problem is that sometimes your group members just stand there doing nothing while one of your nearby teammembers got beaten up. That is a flaw. Also the path finding is not very good. Many times your own members block you from getting through.
What affects combat is your dexterity which indicates if you will be able to hit and strike a critical hit. Your strength affect damage together with the weapon of choice. Of course your armours and stamina helps you soak enemy damage. Your use of scrolls and discipline skills are often important to determine the outcome of the harder combats.
Something I don´t really like is that the members your don´t actively control use up potions and blood mana as they see fit. They could use up valuable assets for pretty simple fights. I would have like to be able to individually tweak their behaviour.
The story continues...In my last post we where tasked by the prince to free some slaves in order for him to reveal what he knows about Anezka. We entered a complex and managed to free some slaves in the end.
One of the prisoners was Erik, a vampire that when set free, volunteered to join us. He was very welcome and brought great combat strength. I had to try to give him what I could offer in the form of equipment. The rest would be bought when coming back to town.
Anyway, I later convinced Ecaterina I had to follow Anezka to Vienna and she had no ways of stopping me so she let me go together with my trusty companions.
In Vienna we learned from some women in an inn that count Orsis would have a reception and we got invitation for his mansion so we went there.
In order to reach Luther Black we had to climb into the rooftops to reach a secret entrance into the church.
So this led us to enter the Haus the Hexe (nice name by the way) and here I entertained myself with their reactions towards me.
Eventually I came to the last part of this complex and my opponent bewitched Erik and turned him against us, forcing me to kill him unfortunately. That was a tragic event but unavoidable. I had to reload to get hold of his good equipment before he departed. The battle with the boss was quite hard as well but after a few tries we vanquished.
We never found Anezka, she was always ahead of us but obviously alive through all here adventurous contacts. We returned back to Prague only to find out that the castle was besiged, the prince dead and now I heard Anezka could be hold hostage there so we immediately headed there.