I don’t recall the area name, would say chances are you’ve got it right. BTW I lost the entire progress for that location, so my new best friend’s name is F5.
Ultimately the enemy I was having trouble with was a Primal Lurker; the original encounter went side-ways from the get-go (I was half-asleep); on a replay, I lasted way more, but ultimately, with the party I have, I should be putting in a lot more effort, setting up the fight in advance and that just seems not worth it, as you note. I could have avoided death, if I had not been playing on automatic pilot, still I would consider that encounter somewhat of a difficulty spike.
Eventually, I sneaked around, got some XP change for discovering a location I don’t seem to be able to do anything with ATM, and moved on.
When I said discouraged, I was referring to a general feeling; the game’s kicked off as a very typical fantasy affair; there’s a downpour of names, and references to events I can’t possibly know anything about, which feels a touch confusing and overwhelming.
The mechanics seem convoluted enough: just to create the character, without simply clicking on the first thing that seemed appealing, but reading and trying to understand and memorize what the various things did, took me close to an hour.
I ended up adding Durance to my party, and he comes with a veritable laundry list of spells, which is weird in most RPGs for low level characters (then again, John mentions that he reached level 11 by the end of the game, so…), and kind of made me GAHHH, regret the decision.
The plot devices and situations so far are pretty much contrived: leave the screen for 5 minutes and predictably go back to find everyone’s dead, stumble on some fantastical shit that, instead of making the PC dead, turns it into the Inevitable Savior of the World; then it’s Depression Central, with a Curse and a Tyrannical, Ruthless Leader, and running errands.
The writing does come alive from time to time, though, so it’s just about the game not actively mistreating me, long enough for me to become more familiar with everything.
Mind, my understanding is I could just disregard side quests and tasks, and probably even kill most people in sight instead of helping them, however, I’m trying to role play this with a touch of realism, rather than act as the prototypical opportunistic, sociopathic RPG dick, while steering clear of the goody two-shoes archetype.
Length is a concern, indeed. The last game I played of roughly this type was Avadon. I had a good time for the most part, however the last 20 hours out of about 60, the grind was getting to me.
Complexity is another; in a game like this, combat is for me one of the possible ways to interact with the game, but I’d place a higher priority on exploring, getting to know and relate to the various characters, making difficult choices, while unraveling the many threads that run through this world.
I expect combat to add variety to the mix, and offer an extra option to resolve situations, but at this stage I’m not interested in mastering the mechanical aspects of it: I’d be perfectly OK with it adding some spice, without being overwhelming or overly involved.