10 Tips for Playing Kingdom of Amalur: Reckoning

em>Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is out today, and with some playtime estimates in the 300-hour range, you’ll want to start out on the right footing.  Here are a handful of tips and tricks to welcome you to your new aRPG home.
10 tips for playing kindoms of amalur: reckoning, reckoning tips

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is out today, and with some playtime estimates in the 300-hour range, you’ll want to start out on the right footing.  Here are a handful of tips and tricks to welcome you to your new aRPG home.

Tip #1 - Play to Your Platform

  • If you’re playing on console, install the game – Otherwise load times are going to wreck your Reckoning experience. You can install Reckoning on Xbox 360 via the Dashboard. On the PlayStation 3, follow the prompts the first time you play the game.
  • If you’re playing on PC, consider using an Xbox-style Controller – Reckoning was clearly designed with console controls in mind and simply plays better using a gamepad in everything from combat to menu navigation.

Whatever your platform, remember to leave a trail of save games with this or any RPG. Though we haven't heard of any problems in Reckoning, a corrupted file dozens of hours into the game can really ruin your experience.

Tip #2- Don’t Sweat Character Creation

I built my character out thinking that I would play a rogue-ish role, picking the piratey Verani and the crit-enhancing god of death Belen as my deity. Hours in I decided to play a pure Sorceror spec, and have felt in no way gimped. Much more important than class considerations to pick a persona that’s easy on the eyes.

Tip #3 - Remember to Move, Block, and Dodge

Reckoning is more Arkham than Skyrim in that if you stand still as you attack, you’re likely to take far more damage than you should. And that means burning through potions, which are especially precious early in the game.

10 tips for playing kingdoms of amalur: reckoning, reckoning tips
Reckoning rewards skillful players without catering exclusively to the hardcore.

Tip #4 - Save On Potions: Train Alchemy

One point is enough to give you a decent chance to harvest components as you venture around the world, and three points will all but ensure you can gather anything in Dalentarth. If you’re a fiend for healing potions, you’ll want to pay particular attention to Black Cohosh and Embereye. But don’t make more potions than you really need: components weigh nothing, but potions take up inventory space you’ll need during longer dungeon crawls.

Tip #5 - Get your Stash ASAP

Having a place to put partial set gear and equipment you want to save for respecs is key to inventory management. Your first house is available very early in the game, but you’ll have to complete quests to get it.  At the risk of offering a slight spoiler, make the Web Wood quest arc around Canneroc a priority.

Tip #6 - Master Your Moves

Even if you invest heavily in Arcane or Weapons Mastery, the combos are few in number and simple enough for just about anyone to master. Be effective with your weapons and you’ll never have to lean entirely on your mana-draining skills.

10 tips for playing kingdoms of amalur: reckoning, reckoning tips
Dalentarth gives you a pretty picture of the fantasy world you're fighting for.

Tip #7 - Become a Shriner

Shrines offer you great buffs that last a very short time (around 4 minutes), but since these buffs stack, you should never leave a shrine unclicked. Here’s the benefits conferred by the first tier of shrines:
  • Death’s Touch (Altar of Belen) – 15% chance to steal 20 health per hit, 15% chance to steal 20 mana per hit
  • Ynadon’s Justice: +5% chance to critical hit, +25% critical hit damage
  • Thyrdon’s Charge: +20% damage
  • Ethene’s Wisdom: +20% experience bonus, +15% status effect duration
  • Mitharu’s Protection: +0.5 health regeneration per second
  • Lyria’s Blessing: -25% mana costs

Tip #8 - Go Deep into a Few Skills...

...rather than thinly spreading points into a number of skills. Reason being: you can buy the first three points in various skills from the basic trainers found around the world for around 15k gold a piece (not chump change, but affordable in your mid-teen levels) Note we’re talking non-combat skills (blacksmithing, persuasion, etc.), not destinies and ability trees (might, sorcery, finesse).

Here’s a partial list of basic trainers around Dalentarth and Ysa. (Note that you won’t be able to enter Ysa until you complete the Nyralim portion of the main quest.):
  • Alchemy – Ysa (main area)
  • Blacksmithing – Shieldring Keep, Ysa (United Merchant Delegation)
  • Detect Hidden – Gorhart (inn), Ysa (Embassy)
  • Dispelling – Ysa (Trellis)
  • Mercantile – Star Camp
  • Persuasion – House of Ballads
  • Sagecraft – Ysa (Delving Hall)
  • Stealth – Star Camp

One exception to the Deep rather than Wide rule is Detect Hidden. One point in Detect Hidden will find you loads of hidden caches, treasures in hollow logs and rock piles, plus a sizable amount of gold you’d be pressed to come across otherwise.

Also, if you have to pick between Lockpicking and Dispelling, train Dispelling. Not only is click puzzling your way through Dispelling wards the harder of the two minigames, exploding wards can really mess up your character. Plus, Prismere Lockpicks will get you past any lock, and if you’re the sort that can’t leave a chest unopened (and apparently you are), chances are you’ll build up a decent supply of these.

Tip #9 - Be Aware of Must-Buy Items

Some items, like Purification Potions (which remove diseases) and Backpacks (which expand inventory by 10), have made my must-buy list. As long as I can afford them, I’ll always empty out a merchant of these items when I can find them. Your must-buy list might vary based on your skill investments.

10 tips for playing kingdoms of amalur: reckoning, reckoning tips
Chakrams are deadly and stylish, but take some aRPG dexterity to wield effectively.

Tip #10 - Match Your Weapons to Your Playstyle

Mid-range weapons like Chakrams get a ton of style points, but you have to be good with moving and dodging to stay close enough to hit, but far enough away to avoid getting really smacked by enemies. Those with sleepy fingers might want to stick to melee weapons, metal armor, and kite shields. But, again, no matter what your kit, remember to block and dodge!

Bonus Tip - Last But Not Least...

Slow down and enjoy the journey! I’m less than a third of the way through the game 25 hours in. But my most fun so far has been the House of Ballads faction quest arc – something I would have easily skipped had I been speeding my way through the main story.

Given the fluidity of classes and roles in the game and the sheer amount of content, replayability isn’t a consideration and Reckoning is starting to feel like a hobby rather than just a game. Given that we're a month away from Mass Effect 3's release date, there's no reason not to take your time and enjoy the well-told story.

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