Thursday, March 17, 2016

Game Review - MARVEL Avengers Academy


Game Review: MARVEL Avengers Academy
Score: +7/-3
UPDATED SCORE: FAIL (updated: 2016-Jun-26)

I've been scouring Google Play for a decent game for my smartphone. Most of the ones out there are clones of each other. Various styles of play but generally focussed on addicting your time so that you end up spending money for convenience.
Mage and Minions is one of the very few that feels very different, and for very specific reasons I highly recommend it. MARVEL Avengers Academy shares a lot of the traits I really like.

The game basically plays like one of the Sims games: Characters have generic actions, and through a combination of "appropriate" generic actions you complete tasks that advance the story. The story happens offstage and and you get conversations that update you on what happen, and thereby advance the storylines.
You are therefore really only playing for various storylines, and getting characters to do things to accumulate resources and pass time. There's a little more to that, but this is the core of the gameplay.
There are occasional special events like the recent time-limited opportunity to recruit Blue Hulk and Red Hulk. And there are various triggered events that encourage you to spend money to recruit certain characters.

The game starts quite slowly, but once you have more characters and therefore a better ability to complete tasks, things start to get busier.
TIP: If there is a task on the mission board that takes a long time, you can click the small trashcan at the upper left to delete the task and get another one after a 20-minute refresh time.
++Great as a truly "casual game". It's single player and you really can put it down at any time without worry. Unless there's a special time-limited event, there's just no urgency.
+Unlimited play. You can play as much as you like without having to wait for "energy" to recharge. You are waiting for characters to finish tasks, though, and so it's not really conducive to a sit-down session unless you want to spend money to get Crystals to accelerate things. This is really a casual game for people who don't have a lot of concentrated time or just want to check in once in a while when they get a few spare minutes.
+Low demand on your time. There are no Daily Quests or any of that to addict you to checking in every day.
+You don't feel like you are missing out when you don't play. But do check in, in case there is a special event. Typically, however, you play at your own pace. 
+Single Player. Not only are you not competing with anyone (so you can't "fall behind"), but no one is attacking you so there's no urgency to advance quickly or feel worried you will lose resources.
+Decent graphics! A bit simple, but character animations are pretty good.
-Inane. Sometimes the stories are inane. You really have to get into the these-are-teens mindset. There's nothing serious going on here. Humour is also sort of weak. Nothing laugh-out-loud so far.
-Poor return for purchase. You can buy all sorts of buildings but the spread of characters actually using those buildings for Missions that award something is very weak. For example, I have the Maverick Dorm, but I have yet to see any mission using it.
-Decisions that seem stupid or that make no sense. Examples:
  • During the Guardians of the Galaxy limited event, Gamora can train her combat skills either in the Quad or at Club A -- but why not at the Cosmic Combat Simulator they got you to build? DUH.
  • There's a "Hone Deathblows" action for the "Club Life, Pt. 2" Mission -- and again, instead of the Cosmic Combat Simulator, they have Gamora doing that at the PUNCHING BAG in Avengers Dorm. DUH.

Game Review - Mage and Minions v1.1.29

Game Review: Mage and Minions v1.1.29 
Score: +13/-2
I've been scouring Google Play for a decent game for my smartphone. Most of the ones out there are clones of each other. Various styles of play but generally focussed on addicting your time so that you end up spending money for convenience.
Mage and Minions is one of the very few that feels very different, and for very specific reasons I highly recommend it. MARVEL Avengers Academy is another great casual game.

There are two types of characters you can play. The titular Mage, and a melee Warrior. For more of a challenge, play the Warrior.
++Great as a truly "casual game". It's single player and you really can put it down at any time without worry, even in the middle of combat. You don't even have to turn off your phone because if you get killed, you can at no penalty or resource cost resurrect nearby. There's just no urgency.
+Convenient interface. Tap to move instead of clumsily using a finger "mouse pad". Automatic targeting on new nearby enemies once you have selected a target and it is dead.
+Really cool use of drawing symbols to activate skills.
+Unlimited play. You can play as much as you like without having to wait for "energy" to recharge.
+Low demand on your time. If you don't play for a day, there are only two things you might possibly miss out on: Daily check-in prize (which takes so little time to do anyway) and one daily quest for each character of level 5+. The daily quest is just to kill X number of a type of things, which you can typically do during regular gameplay. And even if you fail to do it, you are only missing out on 20 Gems (which you typically buy with money), so it's not a big deal.
++Convenient daily quests. The Daily Quests are shared by all characters once you start the quest, so if you only have time to play one character today, start all quests for all characters and use your gameplay with the one character to complete them all. Then go back to each character and turn in the reward. If you start one but can't finish it before server reset, you can still finish it, AND pick up the Daily Quest for the new day.
+You don't feel like you are missing out when you don't play. In many other games, you have to wait for "energy" to recharge and there is a limit to how much you accumulate. If you don't play regularly you will "waste" it. Here, there's none of that so you don't have to feel like you're missing out on anything.
++Playable offline. Some things still need a connection, such as checking the progress of your skill upgrades, but otherwise the game is completely playable offline whereas most other good games need you to be connected.
+Single Player. Not only are you not competing with anyone (so you can't "fall behind"), but no one is attacking you so there's no urgency to advance quickly or feel worried you will lose resources.
+Skill Synergy. There are lots of skills and it can take a lot of time to upgrade a skill. But none of it is ever wasted because every level you accumulate goes toward a counter that gives you a stat bonus. Therefore no skill upgrade is ever entirely obsolete.
-Scaling. Low-level maps eventually scale up in enemy level, so you can't really grind for loot or do quick casual runs to clear Daily Quests. I feel the scaling goes up way too aggressively.
-Inferior graphics. Compared to many games out there now, graphics are inferior with a and "blocky" look because of not enough polygons. But overall not too bad because of the small screens you are seeing it on.

TIP: Start multiple characters, but focus only on one. That way you can collect Daily Quests from the other characters and farm Gems once a day from each. The startup cost to do it increases drastically though: 100 Gems to have a third character and 500 for a fourth means you won't break even for 5 and 25 days respectively.

TIP: Use your Gem-farming characters to re-play the easy levels while they are completing Daily Quests. You can play a map up to five times for a total of 10 Gems after all five runs.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Arx Fatalis walkthrough level 8 - Dwarven Forge, Helm of King Poxellis


Arx Fatalis - map level 8
OUR NOTES:
  • [6 Helm of King Poxellis]
    • To use the "glowing objects", use them on the column instead of dragging the item onto the column.
    • After you pick up the Helm, two liches appear and you must defeat both to exit the tomb. For weaker characters, the key is to hide and wait till you are ready to do a hit-and-run. The tomb is dark, so it is easy to stay hidden and rest to restore mana. Our tactic was to rush and Fireball them, then use Invisiblity to make them stop pursuit so we could hide. See the video below.
      • Invisibility and Drain Life also work just fine if you can sustain the Mana cost.
  • [15 Ore crushing room] The lever you need to work the crusher is not the wooden one on ground level, but upstairs on the walkway.
  • [23 Forge] Both chests can be lockpicked.
  • [26 Transfer Room] climb up the wooden chutes to get to the single large chunk of mithril. Use the machine on ground level to transfer it to [area 15], then use the crusher to get 4 chunks of mithril.

x

Arx Fatalis walkthrough level 7 - Ratmen, Labyrinth of the Lost Souls


Arx Fatalis - map level 7

OUR NOTES:
  • The Labyrinth is confusing because some areas close off when you open new paths to get toward [area 5]. Backtrack if you have to until you find new areas open.

Arx Fatalis walkthrough level 6 - Crypt level 3 (Shield of the Ancients), Sisters of Edurneum


Arx Fatalis - map level 6

Our Notes:
  • [11 Tomb with Shield of the Ancients] When you open the tomb, a lich spawns and starts moving to your location. If you wait too long to exit and engage it, it may reach [14 Lava Traps]. Even if you have kept the floorplates closed, it will fall in and die instantly. You can still loot the body but you get no XP because you did not deal the killing blow.
    • Pull the levers to close the portcullis before you open the tomb for the Shield of the Ancients. This way the lich may not be able to pathfind to you at all.
    • Alternatively, lure it to the portcullis and rush ahead to pull the lever. It is then safely behind and you can bombard it with the blast radius from Aam Yok Taar (fireball) until it is dead, if you are having a hard time killing it. Using Aam Yok Spacium to roast it indirectly from safely behind the bars does not seem to work.
  • [13 Secret Tomb] This area is accessible when you have solved the guardian's puzzle [area 10].
  • [31 Galleries]
    • The Kaom Rune can be picked up from the ground. You can just see it on the ledge -- approach slowly until your cursor changes to allow interaction and then pick it up.
    • The Rat-Man assassin that stalked you since you found out you were the Guardian ends up here and stays in this area. If you kill it while it is becoming invisible (backflip and shrink), the corpse may be invisible until you exit the area and re-enter. You might also not get its weapon (assassin dagger, which you can get elsewhere).
  • [35 Sisters Throneroom] If you try to give the queen Krahoz, she will ask the location of the Rebels.

Arx Fatalis walkthrough level 5 - Twin Traders, Hostile Trolls, Crypt level 2, Ylside Bunker, Akbaa


Arx Fatalis - map level 5

OUR NOTES
  • [24 Twin Traders]
    • Prices are inferior to those in Arx, so try not to buy or sell here. Buy the Stregum rune first so you can cast Mega Stregum Vitae (Bless) to increase your stats, thereby increasing Intuition to get better prices.
    • In Rinco's room, if you douse all the lights he does not re-light them, so you can look around and steal safely as long as you are not too close to him.
  • [20 Iserbius's Room] You can kill the Black Beast by raising the portcullis in the tank (click the handle on top of the tank) and then lowering it again on the creature.
  • [22 Akbaa] Defeating Akbaa was disappointingly easy for a mage using Life Drain (and potions to keep up Health and Mana). See video below -- SPOILER!
  • [25-30 Hostile Trolls] Trolls here are hostile if you do not have a Troll's Amulet. Since they contribute nothing to the plot and are hostile, you might as well NOT carry the amulet and kill all the trolls anyway. They all carry an amulet, so cache them somewhere.
  • [32 Water Goblins] One of the goblins sits and uses a Pole to roast a fish. When he puts down the Pole, if you pick it up and put it in your inventory, they become hostile. If you use a Rope on it to change it into a Fishing Rod, you can safely pick it up. If you kill the Goblin while it is using the Pole, it disappears.

Arx Fatalis walkthrough level 4 - Great Sea, Crypt level 1, Serpent Pillar, Rebel Camp, Access to Ylside Bunker


Arx Fatalis - map level 4

Our Notes:
  • [7 Cult's Secret Room]
    • To rescue Shany, you must let one of the cultists open the secret door with the torch-lever; otherwise, she will always be dead by the time you enter. Her cries for help are scripted based on distance, so if you are having trouble letting the cultist open the door, just hang back until you hear the door opening, then charge in.
    • If a cultist is moving toward Shany at the altar, make sure you stop him first; sometimes they all turn to attack you, which makes it easier to just Aam Yok Taar the lot of them in one go.
    • If you are too slow, she will be sacrificed and transform into a demon. After the cultists are clear, you can sacrifice her yourself to summon a demon hostile to you.
    • You do not actually have to escort Shany back to her mother.
  • [9 Goblin Trap] If you can somehow get behind the chest, the goblins have dialogue where they charge out, but you do not actually encounter them until you open the chest.
  • [24 Food Corridors / Restricted Area]
    • Traps just sound an alarm.
    • Here and beyond, if you kill anyone quickly (before they pull the lever to sound the alarm or before anyone from the main camp notices) the rest of the Rebel Camp will not be alerted. In this way you can acquire Krahoz without making the main camp hostile. If you even just open the chest containing Krahoz (whether you take it or not) your quest log updates and a guard stands in front of the Rebel Leader's tent, making it impossible for you to get by and give her the Shield of the Ancients.
  • [30 Quartermaster] Buys and sells weapons, armour, food, and general goods.

Arx Fatalis walkthrough level 3 - Tutorial Area, Goblin City, Troll Mines


Arx Fatalis - map level 3

Our notes:
  • [6 Campfire] A bit later into the game, two hostile goblins are here fishing.
  • [17 Supply Room] The message when you try to lockpick is that it is too complicated and your Tools are damaged by 1 Durability unit. However, even at over 100 Technical skill it cannot be lockpicked -- you must use the key.
  • [20 Throne Room]
    • You can bring the Goblin King apple pies (double click on pie, then click on door). Therefore you can also spike the pies with wine first to cause him to exit the throne room.
    • You can spike the cakes that the cook makes by going to the kitchen and using Wine on the biggest piece of dough (right side on table).
    • You can lockpick the door and enter. This will not make the guards hostile.
  • [22 Treasure Room]  When you are near the door, you can see out the crack between the door and the wall. This way, you can check if the sentry has moved aside, allowing you to work on the chest directly in front of that door (where you would otherwise be spotted). If you douse the torch with spell Nhi Yok, you can stand in front of the door and look through the peephole for the guard; as long as you have hidden status (crouching person icon at lower left corner of the screen) the guard will not spot you.
  • [28 Reservation]
    • There are five unlit torches in the Reservation that will be lit once you are formally granted access by the King. To preserve their 20/20 durability and stackability in your inventory, you need to lockpick the door and get them first. After lockpicking you can enter without the guard becoming hostile from your trespass unless you are seen taking something.
    • Do not open the chest (whether you take the Troll Idol or not) before getting permission from the King to get access to this area. If you do, Atok will appear but either have the wrong dialogue cutscene (if you haven't spoken with him at [26 Goblin Sleeping Room]) or just stand there after killing the guard. The quest appears to still complete normally, however.
  • [37 Troll King Pog]
    • There is a shortcut to King Pog's throne room -- Once you enter the troll area [36], go left up the stone stairs. There will be a "window" with bars on the right at the top of the stairs. Jump onto that ledge outside the window, crouch, and walk between the bars. You can exit the same way.
    • Once you return the Idol to Pog, the strike is over and the main quest proceeds back at the Throneroom in Arx. However, various parts of the strike are not completely over. You must speak with Izak the Foreman (who appears at [29bis]) and King Alotar (in his throne room; he becomes a gem trader but with inferior prices compared to Tafiok). Until you have completed this step, Mining Shares you bought in Arx cannot be sold for more than you bought them.
    • After you give Pog the book on Finance, you must exit the area and re-enter it for there to be changes: The goblins become hostile and Pog becomes the new gem dealer. He gives good prices if you buy from him, lousy ones if you sell to him.
  • [42 two chests] The trolls here move away to mine once the Troll Strike is over, and you can then come here and steal from the chests without anyone seeing you.
  • [44 Troll Prisoner] If the trolls become your enemy, you can still clear the rubble blocking the human city of Arx and the human Outpost on level 1 by freeing this prisoner (if you speak with him a second time he tells you who has the key). If you return the Troll Idol to King Pog, this room becomes unlocked, the prisoner will have vanished, and you can then pickaxe the gem deposits on the walls.
  • [49 Kultar]
    • Although Kultar cannot apparently die during the fight with the Goblin Lord, you can kill him after. Whether you do or not will determine the dialogue you get when you meet him again later.
    • The Goblin Lord will turn to fight you if you hit it. If it cannot hit you (e.g., because you ran away) and Kultar hits it, its attention will turn back to Kultar. In this way you can quite safely engage it. But unless you land the killing blow, you do not get XP for the Goblin Lord.

Arx Fatalis walkthrough level 2 - Goblin Prison, Troll Sculptor, Crystal Caves, Ice Dragon Cave, Temple of Akbaa


Arx Fatalis - map level 2

Our Notes:
  • [3 Kultar's Cell] If you do not free Kultar prior to jumping down the chute, he does not appear to help you with the Goblin Lord at [level 3 area 49]. When you then return to the Goblin Prison, he no longer be there, having apparently escaped and killed another Goblin.
  • [4 Goblin Prison junction]
    • A hostile Goblin Lord appears here much later (after Sister Chinkashh teaches you Mega Spacium?)
  • [6 Polsius's Cell] Polsius can be made to sign the Goblin Authorization Papers before he is released from his cell, but he won't give them back until you release him. You will also not get the dialogue cutscene with him at the Yellow Tulip [level 1 area 41] later.
  • [12 Goblin Guardpost]
    • The Goblin Lord who controls the portcullis at the goblin prison upper level says he can do instead with a "little present" if you have neither a gem dealer's license nor the goblin authorization. This is 300 gold per document you haven't given to him; to give him gold, click on the pouch icon on the lower right side and then use the gold on the Goblin Lord. The gold remains in his inventory so you can kill him and get it back later.
    • You can also provoke the guards from your side of the portcullis by hitting the closest one with Aam Yok Spacium or the blast from Aam Yok Taar or by drawing pursuing goblins into their line of sight. The Goblin Lord will then open the portcullis to reach you. Whenever you re-enter this area the portcullis resets to closed position and a Goblin Lord has to open it; if they are dead, you can double-click to open the portcullis from either side.
  • [13 Guard Post Manager Office]
    • Secret button is a brick near the cupboard on the right side.
    • A hostile Goblin Lord appears here much later (after Sister Chinkashh teaches you Mega Spacium?)
  • [16 Cavern] The rat here occasionally respawns, sometimes without any Uncooked Ribs.
  • [19 Ice Dragon]
    • You can get (useless) dialogue from the Ice Dragon regarding being tasked by Queen Florence [level 7 area 9].
    • Killing the dragon gets you 800 XP and Dragon Bones but nothing much else of interest. It is very easy to kill:
      • Get ready with Dispel Field and Fireball. Fire off the fireball then run to the entrance and cast Dispel Field to get out. The dragon cannot follow. It can come up the ramp a bit but you can simply retreat. Only its Paralyze spell can hold you but you are out of reach anyway.
      • Safely in the tunnel you can wait for your mana to recover and prepare more Fireballs. Just keep using Fireball until it dies.
    • To steal the eggs, use the Telekinesis spell Spacium Communicatum.
  • [28 Lever #3] You can enter a wrong code and pull the lever to open a secret door, behind which is a hostile golem. Lead that golem to [26b] to stand on the pressure plate, then destroy it to keep it there. This saves you from having to use a Golem Heart. You still need to enter the correct combination and pull the lever in order to trigger the bridge to the Meteor room. 
  • [37 Meteor Chamber]
    • Life Drain (Vitae Movis) seems to be a good way to kill the Demon.
    • After you destroy the Meteor with Krahoz and Zohark, you can give them to Alia.
      • Give one of them to get a creepy cutscene with Alia.
      • Give both to get back the Shield of the Ancients.
  • [38 Crystal Caves]
  • [45 Corpse with Backpack] If you pick up this backpack before the one in the Castle of Arx, you can get a second extra page of inventory (total 3).

Arx Fatalis walkthrough level 1 - Yellow Tulip Tavern, Human Outpost, City of Arx, Palace


Arx Fatalis - map level 1

Our Notes:
  • [4bis Tafiok's Room]
    • You can rob Tafiok's chest while he is in his home and he does not react.
    • He stays here from the time you report the outpost attack to King Lunshire, until you return the Troll Idol to the Troll King Pog AND report back to King Lunshire.
    • Prior to you returning the Troll Idol, you can use Uncut Gems and Gem Dealer Licenses on him, and he pays 180 gold for each.
    • While he is here, his shop is locked, so that is the only time you can lockpick that door for XP.
      • It is very hard even at Skill 85. If you don't have enough lockpicking skill, you can try lockpicking your way down into the Crypt, and from there exit to [level 5] and the traders there to buy the Stregum Rune necessary for Bless (Mega Stregum Vitae).
      • Each time you re-enter this area, the door locks and you can pick it again for XP. Since it is so hard, you are unlikely to realistically get that many attempts unless you simply reload to avoid Durability loss on your Tools.
  • [5 Maria's General Store] After Shany is rescued, returning her and opening the door to the shop starts a cutscene dialogue. Despite what Maria says, the reward from the shopkeeper is 2 potions given during the cutscene. You cannot take anything from her store inventory for free.
  • [7bis] You do not actually need the book to trigger the cultists at the rendezvous point.
  • [9 Smithy]
    • The smith does not appear until report the outpost attack to King Lunshire. This is your opportunity to lockpick the door, but at this early stage of the game you will have to invest heavily in the skill to do so (even at 60 skill, it is "too complicated" and you have no chance at all). See note at [4bis] about how to try to get around this.
    • There are three unfinished swords. You can finish crafting them and take them or sell them to the smith. Put them on the forge, use the bellows to heat them up, then use a blacksmith hammer on them while they are glowing orange-hot.
    • Try to stack items and use space in the store chests efficiently as you may sell a lot of items before the store resets its inventory and clears out all the items you sold.
    • Intuition has no effect on repair price when you use an item on Miguel to have him repair it.
  • [10 Bank]
    • Prior to ending the Troll Strike, you can buy Mining Shares here at a reduced price. Once you have ended the strike by reporting it to Goblin King Alotar, you can sell them at a greatly increased price, BUT you must sell them back to the chest they were initially stored in.
    • Even if the Banker is not in the Bank, you cannot rob the store inventory chests -- opening them starts the buy/sell interface. If the Banker is not there, however, you are still trespassing and city guards will try to kill you.
    • If you are standing inside the enclosed vault area (left side with two trapped chests), you are typically not visible to anyone outside of that area. So you can pick up gold from the table and loot the chests without needing to be invisible.
  • [13 Arx Castle Main Hall] As part of the main quest, you will be met by Sister Chinkashh who gives you Mega Spacium runes and teaches you that spell to activate the teleporters -- but only if you haven't already activated any of the portals.
  • [19 Research Lab] Prior to receiving the quest to investigate Falan's death, you can lockpick into the lab and speak with Felnor (and after the cutscene, the chests in that room unlock; they cannot be picked). Felnor gives partial dialog related to the quest but the quest itself does not appear to be broken by doing this.
  • [36 Crypt] At a relatively low Skill you can lockpick your way in early and get the Shield of the Ancients, which has no requirements to wield and is indestructible.
  • [39 Drawbridge, 49 Ortiern] Both these guards will die once you have the Gem Dealer's License from Ortiern and you leave the outpost for the first time. You could kill them first for XP. Trying to heal them with a potion apparently makes no difference.
  • [41 "Yellow Tulip" Adventurer Inn]
    • Enoill is the one-eyed man you are looking for as part of a side quest.
      • To complete the side quest you need to buy him a beer from the innkeeper downstairs. If he disappears but you can still hear him shouting at the innkeeper for beer, just put the beer on the table in front of him anyway. The beer should vanish, indicating that he drank it. The quest continues normally.
      • The wall on his left has the first hint for Oliver's quest.
    • The wheel of fortune gambler at the inn leaves after you win twice, no matter the amount. You can reload-to-win a maximum of 600 gold by placing all three tokens on the same number, and spin / reload until that number wins twice.Since you will shortly get so much money in the game (as long as you diligently pick up every weapon and armor and sell it), it is pointless to really waste your time doing this.
    • The innkeeper has a key to the metal door leading to the cult area. You can thereby gain access to this area quite early, but will probably make the inn hostile to you unless you pickpocket it from her. You cannot lockpick the door.
    • There is a Ylsid right behind the metal door that requires a password.
      • He cannot be lured out with spell damage thereby tricked into opening the door for you. You can use this to your advantage by casting Aam Yok Spacium from the outside and burn him to death behind the door for an easy 500xp (although he CAN chop you from behind the door if you stand too close).
      • If you want to gain entry the "normal" way with the password, you must not kill the Ylside so as there would then be no one to talk to or open the door for you. Once inside and down the stairs, a level 1 character strong in magic (70+) can clear all the priests quite easily with Magic Missile or Fireball, both available by the time you exit the Goblin Prison.
      • If you give the password, the Ylsid does not attack you. When you enter [level 2 area 37 Meteor Chamber], the Ylsid disappears.
  • [51 Fisherman's House] Has a hoe which you cannot pick up. No pickaxe.
  • [53 Collapsed Tunnel] A rat can respawn here.

Arx Fatalis - Walkthrough Index and General Tips

Arx Fatalis is available DRM-free and with Risk Free Guarantee from Good Old Games. We are playing version Arx Libertatis 1.1.2.

Walkthrough Index
Arx Fatalis has a basically linear main quest and each stage is easy to follow, unless you deliberately deviate from it. Therefore, our walkthrough will only touch on things you may not have considered doing. For more mundane information, try Aldernon NL's 3-part Arx Fatalis guide on Steam, including level maps and a list of spell rune locations.
  • Level 1 - Yellow Tulip Tavern, Human Outpost, City of Arx, Human Palace
  • Level 2 - Goblin Prison, Troll Sculptor, Crystal Caves, Ice Dragon Cave, Temple of Akbaa
  • Level 3 - Tutorial Area, Goblin City, Troll Mines
  • Level 4 - Great Sea, Crypt level 1, Serpent Pillar, Rebel Camp, Access to Ylside Bunker and Akbaa
  • Level 5 - Twin Traders, Hostile Trolls, Crypt level 2, Ylside Bunker and Akbaa
  • Level 6 - Crypt level 3 (Shield of the Ancients), Sisters of Edurneum
  • Level 7 - Ratmen, Labyrinth of Lost Souls
  • Level 8 - Dwarven Forge, Helm of King Poxellis

General Tips and Notes
Character Build / Attributes / Skills
  • Strength, Intelligence, Dexterity, and Constitution can all go over 23, and Skills can exceed 100 (although they may not necessarily benefit you more at a score of over 100).
  • Plan to reach only character level 9.
  • Do not raise utility skills to 100. Instead, raise them and then use Bless to bring them up the rest of the way.
    • You can equip gear with requirement you do not meet by casting Bless to meet those requirements. You will not automatically un-equip them when the Bless expires.
    • Your (Magic Skill/10, rounded) is basically your effective magic level, not your character level.
    • Bless has a maximum bonus of +10, which you will get at Magic Skill 90+. A +10 bonus provides +20 to most skills and +25 to Object Knowledge (out of 70-75 needed for the game).
    • You can Bless yourself and then store an Autocast Bless that is based on your currently improved stats. Cancel the current Bless and use the Autocast one to access the improved Bless.
      • Because you can do this, you really only need your Magic skill to 90+ AFTER Bless. It is fairly easy to acquire two Rings of Casting for +20% Magic, so your final Magic Skill only needs to be 64 (+20% from rings = 76, +16 from resulting Bless = 92).
    • To cast Bless you require Mega Stregum Vitae. The hardest to get is Stregum. To get it early, lockpick into the Crypt in Arx and use the secret passages to get to the caves where you can buy it from the Twin Traders.
    • You will only really have trouble in the Dwarf mines on floor 8 where magic is not allowed, but a Technical Skill of around 70+ should allow you to lockpick anything that can be lockpicked.
  • Technical Skill
    • You get XP for picking locks and disarming traps with A Set of Tools instead of using a key or spell. Some doors re-lock every time you enter the area, such as Tafiok's shop while he is at home, and the kitchen in the human castle at Arx when the cook is not in.
    • You will know if a key is necessary if the feedback from the character is that it is impossible; in almost all cases your lockpicks will not lose Durability.
      • [Level 3 Area 1] is an exception -- despite the audio message, you must use the key. Even at a Technical skill of 110 you cannot lockpick it.
    • You need about a skill of 90 to easily handle most locks, even in some early game areas like the city of Arx. 95+ for the human castle -- so ultimately you will want to aim for 100 to get maximum XP.
  • Object Knowledge - Repairing
    • You always lose Durability on items you repair unless your Object Knowledge is 100+ AND you are wielding a Blacksmith Hammer.
Magic
  • When you pre-cast a spell, your current magic skill is recorded. So, if you cast a Bless before pre-casting a spell, that recorded spell will be cast as if you had the Bless effect even when the Bless effect is no longer on you.
  • The fastest way to get early overwhelming firepower is Magic and Aam Yok Taar. If you focus on the Magic skill, you can basically one-shot almost anything with the Fireball spell.
  • Invisibility (Nhi Vista)
    • You can cast spells, including attack spells, while invisible (Nhi Vista) and remain invisible. It is not foolproof against being detected, however, as you still make noise walking.
    • You can use it to trespass areas and even open/close doors while invisible. In this way you can easily avoid detection by guards and resulting hostility, even if you just use it briefly to enter/exit the restricted area. Opening/closing a door to a restricted area will not trigger hostility, so you can lockpick open a door, then use Nhi Vista to enter and shut the door (thereby blocking the line of sight of guards).
  • Lightning Strike Aam Folgora Taar hits everything it contacts. While the spell is active, you can turn and "spray" the attack like a water hose.
  • Runes of Guardian (purple glowing traps on the floor) can be triggered by creatures other than yourself.
    • Use a Summon (e.g., Raise Dead) near it and walk away before the summon actually appears and triggers the trap, making it explode. Then because typically your summon is hostile to you unless you have a control spell, cancel the summon spell to banish your creature.
Miscellaneous Notes
  • Any blade weapon (and, strangely enough, a Blacksmith Hammer that can be wielded as a weapon) can unmake a Fishing Rod or cut A Piece of Wood into Stakes (which stack in inventory, unlike sticks).
    • Note that you need at least 2 Piece of Wood to repair floor levers in the Crypt (and typically a Piece of Wood will be nearby), so don't immediately convert all of them.
    • If you click on the Piece of Wood while it is in inventory, you get two Stakes instead of just one.
  • A Fishing Rod sells for as much as a Rope, so you might as well sell the deconstructed Pole and Rope separately.
  • Many areas eventually respawn some vermin like Rats and Spiders. Other areas may spawn enemies based on your quest / sidequest progress for tasks in that area. Quantity is typically very little, maybe 1-2 scattered over the area. 
  • Containers and Stacking
    • You can stack more than 10 units of an item in a container. First, put in a stack of 9 or less. Then, put in a stack of any size and let the interface automatically place it (e.g., by dragging the stack over an item of another type in the container). The interface will select a stack of the same type of item that is not yet at maximum (10) and add to it, even if the new total will be over 10.
    • You can sometimes get a stack of more than 10 units of an item by getting it from a container that already has such a stack. Use the "get all" button at the lower left of the container inventory window.
  • Oliver’s Treasure Hunt locations:
    • note #1 - level 1 room 42 Tavern upstairs, to the left of Enoill
    • note #2 - level 4 room 8, one of two chests
    • note #3 - level 3 room 42
    • note #4 - level 3 room 4, need Reveal spell
    • note #5 - level 6 room 30, need shovel
    • note #6 - level 8 room 11, need Levitate (Mega Spacium Movis)
    • note #7 - level 3 room 50, south-eastern most point, need shovel; attempt to equip your shovel as a weapon to "use it" and the key will appear
    • treasure - level 4 room 8, other chest
  • An interesting alternate "walkthrough" is this Arx Fatalis speed-run video where the player basically shortcuts most of the game and ignores most of the quests, and therefore has to do a lot of things in an alternate way.