Well, I've played quite a bit and what character you select for the game makes a huge difference. Basically, there are characters and skills that are completely overpowering, so if you choose those, you won't be in fear of your life very much, and the game becomes quite a bit less interesting.
Even though I'm not a "newbie", I reformatted with my new upgrade this week, and I'll be reinstalling this one tonight and starting from scratch. I'll be going with a Seraphim I think.
Here's my opinions on the characters, and a few of the skills:Gladiator
: This character was surprisingly fun. I assumed that because he had fewer skills, he'd be less fun. But the reality is that most of his skills are useful, unlike some of the other characters which either have overpowered or useless skills (stay away from Throwing Blades -- it is cool, but annoying to have to pick up the blades after you throw them, and you'll lose several). For fun, try a knuckles-only Gladiator. This character will rapidly build to a point where you are too tough for most everything. Still, I like playing a Gladiator, and my highest level character was a Gladiator.Seraphim
: Somewhat difficult to play, but perhaps more rewarding because of it. The Seraphim is perhaps my favorite character -- magic and melee is just cool. Plus, I enjoy playing girls in all my RPGs, a personal preference.Vampiress
: The most overpowered of the characters. If you want to breeze through the game, get a Vampiress. It pretty much doesn't matter what vampire skills you pick, you don't need any of them. Between the life leech from all the skills you'll socket, and the "blood lust" where you do more damage each time you continuously hit someone, she kills most things awfully quickly. If you are concerned about the game being too hard, try a Vampiress or Gladiator (Wood Elves and Dark Elves are overpowered as well, but only if you choose the right skills.)Dark Elf
: I like the Dark Elf a lot, just because dual-wielding is cool, and so is poison damage. He has a lot of fun skills, but a lot of vastly overpowered ones, too. Take my word for it, you'll enjoy the game a lot more if you stay away from any skill that "stuns" the enemy (Battle Fog, I'm looking at you). These have been nerfed in 1.7 to only be effective on a level basis, meaning bosses will in theory be immune to being stunned. But really I don't enjoy wailing on monsters that can't fight back. The other big problem with stunning skills is you never know if they are going to work or not any more.Wood Elf
: Wood elves are fun, but can get overpowered quickly if you choose the skill where the arrows split, and
use that skill combined with another arrow skill at the same time. The game allows you to do this, so a Seeking Arrow along with the multiple arrows skill (forgive me for not remembering the name) will shoot off several Seeking Arrows at the same time
. You can do this with most arrow skills, including Spider Arrows, etc. I think it is overpowered, but your mileage may vary.Battle Mage
: A very fun class, and one of the most versatile. At the same time, though, battle mages can be built into vastly different types of fighters, but then actually playing the game you will only typically use a very few skills. So they can get repetitive, if you don't take this into consideration as you are building your character.
Some tips: (minor spoiler from the first 30 minutes of the game)
There is an optional quest in the beginning town to kill a wolf, this quest gives you a pretty good reward of two skills usually. Save before getting your reward at the end of the quest, then try out the skills that you get. If they aren't fun, try some more. This is a good way to start out with at least a couple of skills that you are sure you are going to like, instead of building up a skill for 5 or 6 times, and then realizing that you hate it. Expect that sort of thing to happen anyway, though (end spoiler)
You'll get more skills dropped by enemies if you have actually used fewer of them already. So a Battlemage who picks up and immediately learns every skill he finds will start having a hard time finding new skills in the game. One of the biggest annoyances in the game, in my opinion, because it encourages you not
to use your skills.
Socket! Don't forget to socket, it works better than learning the skills in order to level up a skill, because recharge times are lower.
Don't raise a skill too high! Some skills, like Attack, have had their recharge times increased quite a bit in this version. It is better to keep the recharge times low in most cases, than to have a slightly higher damage modifier. This of course depends greatly on what kind of skill it is, but a Battlemage that can cast a really wimpy fireball 10 times is sometimes in better shape than a Battlemage who can cast a tough fireball once (and then misses).
Experiment. Start over if your guy sucks, usually if your character is starting to stink, you can't do much to change it. Trade skills and get the ones you want. Save, try out a skill, and then reload if it isn't good. (Yeah, I know it's "cheating", but I enjoy the game a lot more by doing this, as I haven't had to start over as often because not as many of my characters are bad.)