You don’t need to max out any school to unlock all of the abilities and many of them synergise well anyway so you’re not necessarily even giving up any damage multipliers by spreading some points around. It’s a choice you make, not something the game foists on you.
Even in the case of specific elemental schools it can definitely be worth sacrificing 5-10% damage multiplier in your main school to pick up key abilities that give you utility or synergies.
For example, 2 points in Huntsman will let you pick up First Aid and Tactical Retreat, both useful for a wide variety of builds and the high ground advantage works for any ranged damage, not just bows and crossbows.
1 point in Scoundrel nets you Adrenaline and access to The Pawn talent. Another point can get you Cloak and Dagger. Crit multiplier and movement speed work for most builds.
1 point in Warfare gets you Battering Ram, Battle Stomp and the Executioner talent. 2 points gets you Phoenix Dive which works for everyone and Whirlwind which is amazing for dagger builds (it scales with Finesse with daggers and can backstab multiple enemies) and can even be powerful for staff-wielding mages (it will deal elemental damage corresponding to the weapon and scale with INT). The physical damage multiplier will work with any physical abilities and it’s arguably the best place to spend spare points for any physical damage dealer.
Pyro has powerful low tier buffs, Aero has Evasion and teleports, Hydro has useful heals and cleanses; every school has some stuff that’s useful and not situational for any or a wide variety of builds and you either have to give up nothing or very little to dip into it. There’s also the Polymorph tree that’s entirely dedicated to giving lots of utility skills to virtually any build.
Heck, you’re likely to get enough random points in various schools just from gear that you can diversify a lot towards the end of the game.
And that’s without going deeper into the various schools, or the option to play Lone Wolf where you have skill and attribute points coming out of your ears.
And let’s be honest here, I have a lot of love for Baldur’s Gate and PoE, but it’s optimal to buff up, blow all your biggest nukes the moment combat starts and then focus in on whatever survives in the vast majority of encounters. Very rarely is there any need to employ any complicated or creative tactics once you’ve figured out something that works.
Nor are those games even very good at letting you be creative with their huge array of spells (which only magic classes have access to, others are far more pedestrian); it’s almost all reacting to static circumstances. In DOS2 I can load up a chest with a ton of goods and fight by dropping it on the heads of my enemies, or knock them into lava for a cheap laugh. That’s a lot more in the spirit of PnP RPGs.
I never said everyone should do all of these, that would be absurd. It’s a long list of options that are there for you and you can choose to use any, all or none of them in whatever combination you want. Point being the action points don’t have to be as limiting as you suggested.
As for information to the players, yeah the game won’t walk you through every mechanic but there are descriptions and numbers for all skills and talents and limitless free respecs at any time so nothing stops you from trying out whatever combination of stats, skills and talents you want. The game even lets you change your racial abilities with a hat and past act 1 you can make entirely new characters from scratch.
I’m not sure what Finesse has to do with any of this and if more mobility or whatever would have made your other characters more fun then why didn’t you give more mobility skills to your other characters? The game wouldn’t have stopped you.
They’re near useless for damage, but we were talking about crowd control and there are several grenade types that work just fine for that throughout the entire game.
Okay I looked this up just in case I was misremembering. How is this not an area of effect skill that can hit multiple enemies? Or this, or this? And why is creating oil a problem?
This is extreme hyperbole.
I’ve played the game through 2½ times on classic and tactician difficulties and never took that talent on any character so it’s definitely not necessary at all. I do agree that the armour system is garbage and does much more harm than good to the game though.
I agree it’s a bit clunky having to drag the portraits around at times but it does work. As for the party running through traps, you can destroy most traps from range or unchain one character, walk them through hazards and then teleport the rest of the group through with the pyramids. In some cases you can throw a pyramid over it all and teleport the whole party to that. Easy peasy.
Randomly running into traps also only happens outside of combat and there are only two or three places in the whole game where it’s likely to kill anyone (shitty armour system killing mechanics again).
So first of all that only happens if they’re hit by those effects which definitely doesn’t happen every fight. You can douse fire and melt ice. Steam and smoke can be very useful for area denial and line of sight. Cursed surfaces are more of a bother because they take too much work to get rid of and I don’t think they add anything fun to the game (I played with a free Bless mod in my second go because curse mechanics are just a chore).