Posted November 02, 2015
Thing is, a lot of skills aren't really useful. For example, you only need one melee weapon skill (sword, axe, mace, unarmed), and missile weapons just aren't very useful in general (I'll just throw a magic arrow spell/wand charge at something if I want to get its attention from a distance). Lore is almost always a useful investment, and a few points in Swimming and Acrobat are also good investments (but only a few for these two).
Tafferwocky: The specific mantras don't seem as good: they give 2 or 3 points in the 1 chosen skill, but the general ones give 5 points in 2 or 3 skills. As a result, the general one (after some reloads) gives the better result overall.
The area of the screen your cursor is in when you start to charge the swing will determine whether you slash, hack, or stab (except punching, which only has one version), and your weapon animation will move accordingly. To hit the enemy in melee, you need to be close enough (and pointing in the right direction) for the swing to connect and you have to pass the To-Hit check if you are close enough. Regardless of weapon, I've always used the slash, myself. Practice in an empty room and you'll get used to it.
Tafferwocky: One thing that seems inconsistent and I'm trying to work out is whether you have to keep your cursor over the enemy when swinging at them, and to what extent you do. Can't work it out for sure. Also whether to use swing or stab with my shortsword. Someone told me to stab because it's a shortsword (like daggers), the manual says swing with swords and I'm not sure myself.
Raise both your Attack skill and your Sword skill, and it should happen a lot less often. If your skills are in the middle range, you may still see weapon damage when attacking very strong foes (the Chaos Knight definitely qualifies). Btw, use the Chaos Knight's equipment.
Tafferwocky: My shortsword still takes damage against bandits and the Chaos Knight, despite levelling up my skills. Hoping to find a longsword soon :)
You only need to back up if you need to actually release the spell into the world (ex. Magic Arrow, Acid, or Fireball). Spells like Heal, Light, Destroy Undead, and Flame Wind can be successfully cast even if you are bumping up against an enemy. Being able to dodge in and out is important even if you are just using melee though, since you can actually dodge enemy attacks by moving out of range before they connect.
Tafferwocky: So magic is just a support thing; got that. In fact I'm getting good at backing up and running away to cast at foes, or to use healing spell.