Choosing and developing a character in TQ is not easy. Sometimes, what you read on that little fold-out sounds better than what happens in the game. Having now tried out all the masteries, I have a fair idea of what is good or not-so-good for each of them.
Keep in mind this is being written for the solo gamer, playing through on normal. Matters will be different if you’re going MP, where some group skills become important. I haven’t done MP, nor have I tried Epic/Legendary.
If you followed my Game In Progress for Oblivion, you know I cheated during the closing of the big gate segment. The time limit just got on my nerves. But it kept nagging at me, and I finally went back to do it the right way. If you need directions, here they are.
Enchanting items is not difficult, but there are some things to watch out for. Not every spell can be used. For instance, I was unpleasantly surprised to learn that Paralyze, one of my favorites from last game, is not allowed on weapons here.
This isn’t all that a long a game. It can seem that way because of all the herb-gathering you have to do. Also, you can become stuck if you don’t talk to everyone, or forget to tell someone something. I had a hard time for awhile in Act II because I forgot to talk to Baker after finding out the thief’s identity. BIG mistake there.
By the way, the herbs regenerate over time, but you never know which ones will be turning up, or where. Watersleep is easiest to find; just stroll along all the streams, the river in the swamp, the ponds (lakes?) and you’ll find some. Tears of Stone are found in the rocky areas across the bridge in the monastery area (upper and lower). The rest can turn up anywhere, even in town. So take your time and look everywhere.
I have included four screenshots, considerably lightened up, to show locations of the items that were most difficult for me to find.
Scratches is not a long game, but there is much to do, and the first thing to know is that you won’t be able to get into any of the outbuildings - garage, crypt, greenhouse, chapel - until Monday. So if you’ve consulted this walkthru about that, stop reading now or you may see more than you want to know.
Next, time passes in the game only after certain actions have been completed. My first time through, I blundered around the house and grounds for quite a while. Yet, the grandfather clock (the only reliable timepiece) still said 9 AM. It was only after I started doing things that time advanced. Also, no day will end until you’ve done everything required. So you can’t “run out of time” either.
I found the game to be rather dark on my monitor, and eventually moved the in-game gamma up to highest. It helped a lot during the day, although in some areas, and always at night, it was still difficult to see. Put the gamma setting at whatever is good for you.