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Well I decided to play this while I waited for Version 1.2 of Avernum 3 to come out, judging by the bug/balance reports and Jeff's comments it seems I may avoid some of the problems people have encountered, and I always like to wait a while anyways to read strategies etc. I decided to play a Tinkermage on Hard, and used mostly the Blademaster and Mage for my game play as my party. -I probably should have tried and played other types during my play, as it wasn't till the end I used a few others and enjoyed trying new styles with Shaman, Shadowwalker and a second Tinkermage. -Turrets are a bit underpowered as discussed in the forums compared with a razordisk flinging Tinkermage with high Dexterity and the overpowered Charge Weapons ability. However I liked the level 6+Snare Turret that slows enemies and the Level 6 Blessing Pylon that has a heal-they are quite handy and can serve as a taunt to some enemies. -Blademaster (and melee in general) is disappointing (as discussed in forums), and really the best use of the Blademaster is as a buffer (Battle Frenzy) and a Tank absorbing damage and taunting. Really disappointing as a weapons user. -Mages are a great idea-however 1 HUGE problem is Area of Effect. On hard mode (and rightly so) most of your spells damage your own party beside the mobs. This makes sense to me as a game player, but that difference changes your whole strategy, build priorities etc. The problem is not getting into position really-it's being surrounded by mobs, which happens virtually every fight taking away much of your spell usage. I wound up using single target spells much of the time. -I probably should have rebuiklt my Blademaster and mage I guess to focus on single target and buffs etc while letting the Missile/Ranged people do most of the damage. -I didn't hoard my wands I used them with my Blademaster as he usually was close enough to do area of effects with the least amount of setup. -I SHOULD have really hoarded rejuvenation, healing etc potions for the final battle. I should have had enough to distribute to all my party members in final battle -I SHOULD have distributed my equipment to all NPC's more regularly as they needed the equipment in the end, but I found I was lacking in funds at the end and sold a lot of stuff I shouldn't. -Once vendors were bought out, I didn't ever see them restock, so the potions became rare and precious at the end, I wish I could have crafted some. -I wish I could have replaced runestones on equipment as I used the early ones on good gear and wished I had waited till I found better runestones (the ones that improve stats and evasion etc). Why couldn't hey be removed/replaced? -I had a few battles were I had to go down to normal setting, even though I felt if I had perhaps min/maxed better or used a different party maybe I didn't have to step down. -I wound up cheating twice: For more money and the final battle. -regarding the final battle: Goddam impossible for an idiot like me I guess. I tried on Hard for hours, then tried on Normal and ALMOST made it, and after finishing the game by letting Redbeard win which was a lousy ending, I went back and cheated my way to victory out of sheer exhaustion that I couldn't beat him. A much better ending story. I have read many players having not so much trouble with this and am embarrassed that I couldn't do it. Clones, multiple enemies with 2-3 turns every turn I wound up fighting a battle of how long I could stay healed and with bad armor for some of the NPC's it was a drag. Just too hard for me. Not very satisfying.... -It was the final battle where I had all my loyal Hands that I noticed that other classes were fun to play-too little too late-lesson learned. -I love this game but balancing is an issue for me. Not fun to just play ranged classes to win, and I am bummed that I couldn't finish it. I wish there was a Normal mode with NPC area damage or something like that. MORE THOUGHTS 2/28/18 -Was at the gym and still thinking about the Melee Blademaster-I would just fiorget about adding to Strength as I don't believe I ever landed a killing blow with him even with a strong 2 hander. I would focus on Challenge, Buffs and Battle Frenzy and forget about him doing damage. You just gotta use Ranged weapons -It's too bad that Melee is so weak-I'm also playing Divinity 2 and 2 handers can actually kill things if you add to their strength stat enough -2 Tinkermages with the OP Charge Weapons, a Shadowstalker or Blademaster just for buffing and meat shield and maybe a magic user who is much m,ore effective in Normal mode than Hard mode