Gothic II

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  • Don't get into fights with more than one thing at a time, especially at the beginning, or you'll die. Learn to time your attacks, not just swing wildly.
  • There are like three or so different ways to get into the city at the beginning, any of them work fine, but I'd recommend working with the farmer; you get a nice set of starting armor out of it to boot.
  • I recommend exploring, but carefully and with saves, and only during the daytime. At night shadowbeasts roam the forests and that's bad.
  • Humans won't kill you (most of them, anyway), but just knock you out, take your gold, and possibly your weapon.
  • The first time I played, I don't think I had the manual and I don't remember losing much from the experience. There's backstory on factions and history and whatnot, but nothing you can't learn from the game. And the interface is many, many times improved from the first game.
  • When it comes to joining a faction, as far as I remember, until you've actually joined them and become one of them, you can do the joining quests for all of the factions, gaining a whole lot of xp and some decent items in the process.
  • It's an open world game, but exploration is highly level dependent. Basically, if a monster can kill you in one or two hits, retreat and quest in a safer area until you have some more experience.
  • Hand to hand combat is based on timing. It definitely takes getting used to, but a safe starting strategy is to constantly swing your sword from left to right. Practice out of combat to get used to each weapon's timing so you can swing it without interruptions.
  • The backwards dodge is your best defensive tool. Use it often, especially against monsters because...
  • Blocking only works against humanoids.
  • There is loot and herbs everywhere. EVERYWHERE. It's a goddamn medieval easter egg hunt. As in there are about 3 stashes within 30 seconds of the start of the game. Jump on top of roofs. Look under bushes and in dark corners. Climb onto every rock and mantle onto every cliff. The scrolls and potions you find will save your ass in the early game, and everything else can be eaten or sold.
  • Don't apprentice with the alchemist. Some herbs can be brewed into permanent stat boosts, so giving them away to an npc is a waste.