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Hi all,

I really enjoy this title, though I haven't played such a game since "Stonekeep".

However, there seems to be a bit of an insane "skill curve raise" when it comes to combat past the initial three "open" areas (i.e., once you are at "the Hub"'). Neither in the bogs, nor in the ruins can I deal with the enemies present on "normal" difficulty. The crabs, the toads, the herders are killing my entire party with ease. Which is weird because those that came before, I had no big trouble. It seems that suddenly the game gets insanly hard.

My people are all Lvl6 now, Human Fighter, Mintour Barbarian, Rat Alchemist and Human Mage. I've tried to level them focused, i,.e. armor and weapons for the fighters, alchemy and firearms for the rat and magic for the mage. I've made sure they are equipped according to their skill, though they have still a lot of evasion penalties for the armor they are wearing.

Since the alchemy ingredients don't respawn I also find it very difficult to stay stocked up on healing potions, and whenever a party member has an injured body part that's the only thing which helps (short of a crystal). I'm actually worried I'm using up alchemy resources at too high a rate.

I did some backtracking and grinding on shipwreck beach and the first few dungeons, but it will take me hours to gain another level for each.

So I really don't know what I'm doing wrong. I could restart on easy but that would be time-consuming and maybe too easy in the long run. Maybe the trick is more movement during the battle (i.e. the wierd grid-locked circle strafe?) but I find that really hard to do with the keyboard.

All in all, a bit of a downer. I love the game but progress right now is more like work than fun. Any hints?
This question / problem has been solved by Cyraxptimage
If you have an alchemist in the party, make sure that character keeps at least one of each herb in their inventory at all times because that will allow them to cultivate more.

Have your weapon-users invested anything in the Accuracy skill? Anyone using weapons - even back-row ranged combatants - should have at least 2 points in it, not just for back row melee (which only matters to a few) but because +20 to the character's accuracy rating makes a huge difference to their hit chances. For low-dex characters like the minotaur barbarian, going all the way to 4 is well worth it.

Likewise, the mage should get Concentration to 2 ASAP. The extra energy is nice, but the Force Field spell is the critical thing to be found there, since it allows you to control the battle far more than anything else will enable. A secondary control option is frost bombs, which your alchemist can produce with high enough skill and the right herbs.

The 2x2 strafing tactic doesn't work on most creatures in LoG2. A few of them are deliberately vulnerable to it, but most have ways of dealing with that tactic. Movement does matter, however. Keeping your distance is helpful against most things but when going with melee vs melee it's often best to adopt a strike-and-retreat pattern that gets you out of reach before the enemy can retaliate. This requires some situational awareness so you don't get stuck or accidentally move into a new (enemy-filled) area.

Explore new areas a bit at a time. They'll generally have sections that are too difficult when you first arrive, or that simply can't be accessed until you have an important item or clue from somewhere else. In addition to the ruins, the entry area of the cemetery should be open, and if you have any unexplored areas remaining in/under the forest, now's a good time to go back and clean them up. The river and lake areas also have a fair amount of stuff to find, some of it concealed behind puzzles and/or in small underground areas.

I kept wondering why my stacked alchemy items became unstacked. So basically the guy is growing new ones?

Thanks for all the other pointers, I will give it a good try in the way you suggest. A lot of it makes sense now that I think about how my battles fail.
Actually, 2x2 totally works in the Grimrock 2. It's just that instead of moving yourself, you let the monster make the first move then react accordingly. The majority of monsters in the game can easily be defeated by your party this way (if they are alone - if you're surrounded, it gets more difficult).

Next, firearms are atrocious and, because of that, you'll be pretty much fighting with 3 characters instead of 4 for the entire game. Your race choices are also so-so - humans only excel as pure casters and minotaurs are not that good as a frontliners. Ratling's extra stats are also lost on the firearms skill, btw. As for your mage, it also really depends on which schools of magic you went for.

It is a default game party, I didn't really try to build my own for the first playtrough.

It's true that I see Firearms now doing so much (or little) damage as the slingshot.

My mage is currently +1 in each category I think, trying to decide what to go for next.
Ugh, default party is so atrocious. And 1 each for the mage also isn't that good but, as you're already on that route, I guess you should aim for the final form of 3 concentration & 3 of each magic so you can cast all the elemental shields. You can even skip air, I guess, and make the water 5 just so you can freeze your foes more or less reliably.
Abuse the Crystal of Life even if you have to wait a few seconds without doing something, you can't let your characters die and kill the enemies at the same time because those characters won't get xp for those kills.

I'm playing the game in Normal, almost at the end and my party is:

Human Fighter lvl 13 (front row)

1 Athletics
1 Concentrarion (so that i could use some special attacks)
5 Light Weapons
2 Accuracy
2 Armor
3 Dodge

My set is Light armor and double light weapons, i'm also using items that boost evasion and this amulet that prevents him from getting any bad stat (blindness, poisoned, petrified, etc)

Minotaur Barbarian lvl 13 (front row)

Athletics 2
Heavy Weapons 5
Accuracy 1 (and i really need to level up this one asap)
Critical 1 (also this one since i have a weapon that needs crit)
Armor 4 (so that i can use heavy armor)
Fire Magic 1 (i needed to use a special attack)

I use him as a tank + heavy damage (heavy armor and 2 hands heavy weapons), the problem is that he misses alot so i need to boost his accuracy. He's also my "mule", lol.

Lizardman (more like Lizardwoman) Rogue lvl 13 (back row)

Missile Weapons 5
Fire Weapons 5
Accuracy 2
Critical 1
Air Magic 1 (for my electric bow)

Well, if you haven't figured out, i use it for range damage. The fire weapons also come in handy when i wasted all my arrows (and trust me that there will be though enemies that will soak damage), i'm using the repeater that does around 50 damage so it's ok, a shame that firearms doesn't level up with dexterity.

Human Wizard lvl 13 (back row)

Alchemy 3
Concentration 3
Fire Magic 3
Air Magic 1
Earth Magic 2
Water Magic 3

This one is more complicated since i have to divide between Alchemy and 4 elemental magic (+ concentration), still, it's better to have a magic user to dealt some extra damage vs other elements.


If you're having problems at that point, well, i have bad news for you, the game will get even harder... Some bosses will be really hard (especially when you have to fight him AND mobs), some enemies have annoying conditions (petrified comes in mind and that is the same as to your character being dead) and oh boy... there will be a area with LOTS of enemies, they're mostly easy but there will be 2 big ones that deal area damage, those are a pain in the ass.
Post edited October 27, 2014 by Cyraxpt
Thanks all.

Somehow it's getting better, thanks also to the hints here. I was able to clean out the bog and dungeon now, I have health potions and better weapons, I might just stand a chance in the ruins with this party.

It seems that sometimes a single skill or two on the entire party can make a world of difference.

I'm actually sorry that I can only mark one post as solution, you've been all very helpful.
Post edited October 28, 2014 by RSColonel_131st
RSColonel_131st: Thanks all.

Somehow it's getting better, thanks also to the hints here. I was able to clean out the bog and dungeon now, I have health potions and better weapons, I might just stand a chance in the ruins with this party.

It seems that sometimes a single skill or two on the entire party can make a world of difference.

I'm actually sorry that I can only mark one post as solution, you've been all very helpful.
Something you might want to consider for long term development is to give your alchemist magic ability in an element that your mage lacks. If you got a fair amount of willpower from your mutation trait you'll have energy to spare, and when your gun gets jammed you can still bring a bit of damage to the table. Since I didn't have a mage, I actually built my alchemist to be my main spellcaster, and he did a pretty good job at it. In order to succeed at any kind of melee or ranged combat to deal respectable damage you need a lot more skillpoints than a mage does.

I personally went with Earth magic at first because I loved the idea of having an alchemist shooting poison bolts purely for flavour, but going for 3 water 1 earth (and 3 concentration) or something like that is probably more optimal. Not in the least because of some type of enemy you will meet later...