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July 2nd, 2010, 14:14
It's a good idea to end up with even number stats at level 20. One reason is that the best items you can get are +6 ones and that means you maximize the stat bonuses you receive at every even number increase.

I've found jump to be a good skill to pump up quite a bit. One reason is that we're not always in a group where a caster can give us +20 jump. In PuG's you only get jump from a caster when you're facing a really difficult jump. The others expect you to be quite agile and able to time your jumps properly.

I'm so old so I can sometimes make a wrong timing of a jump and fall down while all the others make it. That means the quest takes longer just because I messed up. In certain situations you can be killed from falling down (ending up in lava, a room full of monsters by yourself etc.). Some places you get ONE chance to make the jump or your can't get back there. Other jumps like the way to the golem in Tear of Dhakaan is quite challenging.

I collect items with +10 jump so I can switch it in when I get to an area I see I need to time my jumps. The problem is that the level restrictions for such items are 10+. I agree with Don that bumping jump up all the way is not necessary if you play in groups with a caster, but it's definitely convenient to have a decent jump.

Yesterday we noticed the danger of being knocked down. In the quest where we fought giants I was knocked down constantly since I had aggro. My balance is quite good so I got back on my feet quickly. I don't do damage when I'm on the ground and when the group needs me to kill the monsters quickly then we face a party wipe if I'm on the ground for too long.

The point is that most classes have only a few skills that are really necessary to pick every level. With int more than 8 and being a human you get a chance to bump another skill too. Which one you choose is a matter of taste.

Swimming is a skill that most people ignore, but I've been in a quest where I payed dearly for not having points in it. It was a mid level quest either in Gianthold or the Desert. We had to swim underwater to get to a certain new area to continue. The problem was that the water had a strong current. The speed you could swim against the current was dependent upon the level if the swimming skill. With no or low skill in swimming (I had negative due to armor) you could NOT swim against the current at all. Instead you were slowly dragged in the current's direction. That meant you could not get to the area you were supposed to unless you knew exactly which intersections to choose. To make matters worse the current direction ended in a huge fan with razor sharp blades that rotated fast. When you got there you were shredded to pieces in seconds. Then your soul stone is in a very dangerous area. If you eat a siberys cake to resurrect you just get sucked back into the fan. That happened to me and I was only saved by a guy with high swimming who got there and grabbed my soul stone to get me to the next area. Then I could resurrect.

I mention this to show you that which skills we're going to need for the future can change and there are skills we see as useless now that can be really important in the future.

I played a mid level quest yesterday in the desert where we had to free a lot of slaves. At one part we had to talk with some guards to the detention area and use our diplomacy or bluff skills. If we fail that one then we have a really tough fight ahead. Fortunately one guy had a decent bluff. I think we need a total of 20 or so.
The last part of Delara's Tomb (Thrall of the Necromancer) requires a bluff total of 5 I think to even get the quest. Usually a player has an item he lends to each player with a lower bluff skill. Those with high charisma will often quality without an item, but others might not.

Turbine has said that more battles with happen underwater in the future as well thus increasing the need for the swim skill. I expect Turbine to make tweaks so each class will have more need of their class skills. E. g. it's not normal that a cleric can ignore the heal skill completely. E. g. the enhancemen tradiant servant enhancements could have a requirement to the heal skill.
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