[Grindstone_82] Could you elaborate on why you decided to cut out crossbows in Book II? I'm asking because I've always been a fan of those. I know the "realistic" reload times would be tedious, but IMO that's not relevant. It should simply be like a bow that does more damage, but gets fractured faster (since you have wear 'n' tear in Book II), maybe it should also be harder to repair. After all, with only one action per round and one character, fighting can seem pretty slow to you anyways >)
Also, is there the possibility that you will allow for a party of two characters in Book III? That would greatly enhance character creation even more. Imagine the possibilities; like an uber-char and a useless mule with all the support skills, or a pure fighter and a pure mage; and could a Virtuous Paladin and a Nefarious Rogue even work together at all? Just a thought (wish).
One final question about replay value; in Book I, it seems anyone can do anything. Thieves pick locks, mages unlock them via spells, fighters just smash them. There wasn't a single chest in the game IIRC my fighter couldn't smash. There wasn't a single trap he couldn't just walk through. I'm guessing from the interviews you've given that Book II will play out a little differently though.
- I explain our take on crossbows in this old thread from 2007.
- Book III will finish the trilogy as a single-player, single-character game. We have at least two other games already cooking deep in the labs, and they will feature party-based play.
- As for characters doing anything…yeah, we made it that way for a reason. In all my time playing cRPGs, I never understood why some locked doors were completely impassible due to not having the key, yet I was carrying a massive axe that could split the door wide open with a single blow if only the game allowed me to. For Eschalon, I wanted the player to really feel like anything is possible if you put the effort in. Now in Book II, tasks like this will be more challenging. Heavy doors will take more effort to break through, locks will be tougher to pick, etc. This will require a greater amount of focus on your character's skills to be successful. But still, how you play the game is up to you.