This is a small guide to Gothic 3 for people who don’t want to waste learning points on useless skills. Some general gameplay tips are also included.
I played the game with last official patch v1.12, some bugs I’m going to mention might be fixed in later community patches (v1.5 is the most recent). Also, I haven’t played as mage yet, so these hints probably won’t be much useful to you if you want to use magic a lot.
There are three basic classes in Gothic 3: fighter, archer and mage. I prefer the mix of fighter and archer. I haven’t yet played as mage so I can’t give you any tips on that yet. I recommend these skills for non-magic character (I don’t list their pre-requirements):
- Fighting: sword master, orc slayer, strong shield parry, regeneration
- Hunting: bow master, orc hunter
- Magic: none
- Smithing: forge ore weapons, prospector, sharpen blade
- Thieving: pick difficult locks, make excuses
- Alchemy: none
- Other: endurance of the wolf, resistance to cold, resistance to heat
- sneak on wild animals - you can just shoot them from distance or outrun them with a sword.
- forge pure ore weapons – don’t waste your time and learning points on this skill. You won’t be able to get any recipes for pure ore weapons. You can’t get much better weapon that self-forged and sharpened bastard sword. It’s just not worth the effort.
Note: You can learn this skill only from Hammer Clan’s smith and it involves a very flustrating quest where you gotta get approval from 3 other ore smelters in Nordmar, but two of them run out of villages in the meantime and you end up wandering around Nordmar and looking for them for hours (and after you finally find them, then you’ll find out the “pure ore” skill is actually worthless :)). Someone on forums suggested following tip for this quest: smiths walk out villages right after you get the quest. So quicksave, teleport to Fire Clan and follow its smith to find out its destination. Then quickload and follow the the smith of Wolf Clan.
Update: It's tricky to get pure ore recipes and weapons. There are special unnamed chests in the game containing rare items. The more of these chests you open, the rarer items you find, including pure ore recipes and weapons. As far as I can tell, there's no other way to get them.
IMHO it sucks, because how can you figure that out by yourself while playing the game?! You can't, unless you read the walkthrough. Best weapons should be available through quests, not by this random "system".
And then there's another question - is it worth it? As I've checked the weapon descriptions, best weapon has about 160 damage. Self-forged and sharpened bastard sword has 110 damage and it's quite easy to raise damage by increasing your strength, so I don't think that pure ore weapons are worth the trouble it takes to get them.
- pick impossible locks – while not really a useless skill, it’s better to put your points elsewhere. Chests with impossible locks are rare in the game and you can open them with „open locks“ scroll, just make sure you always have some in your inventory.
Update: If you decide to search for special unnamed chests containing rare items, this skill will be useful to you in the long run, because they all have impossible locks.
- pick pockets – not very effective unless you put half of your learning points into thieving skill. I learned to pick difficult pockets and it usually just annoyed me – you steal by choosing a option in dialogue, so dialogue window opens for persons who have nothing to say and it hinders you, you’re often caught and then you gotta quickload which hinders you even more, so I didn’t even bother stealing, except when clicking on "pickpocket" dialogue option by mistake, usually followed by quickload.
In few cases when you need to rob someone, there’s a workaround: whack him and then use “amnesia” spell scroll (when you cast it upon unconcious person, he/she forgets your crimes).
- Don’t put your learning points into alchemy, learn it from books instead, there’s a lot of them in the game. You actually don’t need to have high alchemy skill - you will mostly brew only health and endurance potions and you can do that from the start of the game.
- Don’t waste your time trying to learn how to make poisons and how to use them to poison your weapon or arrows. Make poison skill is bugged, you can’t learn it. You can learn how to poison weapon, but I wasn’t able to actually do it, when I finally got me some poison from trader in Mora Sul. I think it might be bugged as well. Finally, you can learn to poison arrows, but it’s not very practical skill because poisons are very hard to come by.
- Brew permanent potions – not a very useful skill. You brew them from king sorrel and certain plants with permanent effects. These plants raise your attributes by themselves, permanent potions just double their effect (for example: dragonroot raises strength by 1 point, potion made from it raises strength by 2 points). Problem is that you won’t find many king's sorrel plants in the game, so you can brew only a few permanent potions. Just eat permanent effect plants instead of making potions from them.
Update: There are about 50 king's sorrels to be found so if you search for them you will easily earn more points then you use to learn Permanent potion skill. Thanks for the tip, Percy.
- Brew transformation potions – this might come in handy, but I prefer druid stones, which you can use over and over again, while transformation potion can be used only once. My favorite beast to transform into is snapper, which is very fast and has high endurance, so it’s convenient for running long distances. You can get snapper druid stone from druid in camp south of Geldern.
- Resistance to weakness – you won’t need it at all.
- Resistance to poison – you will rarely need it, get some antitode potions instead (and if you don’t have them, just keep drinking drink healing potions, poison will subside after a while).
Other skills I didn’t mention are in between essential and useless category – I didn’t found them especially useful, but they’re not a waste of learning points either.
- If you equip shield, you get armor bonus. (You don’t have to actually use it.)
- Most effective fighter equipment is bastard sword (self-forged, sharpened and blessed) and paladin shield (because of the armor bonus) – you can get both without too much hassle. There are better weapons than bastard sword, but you can finish the game thrice in time it would take you to get them, so they aren’t simply worth it.
- When you fight with companions, watch the distance – you can easily whack them by accident and then they might turn against you. However, they are very useful as a shield - usually they can’t die, so put them in the „first line“ as a primary target for enemy attack and whack enemies from behind or shoot them from distance.
- You can make a lot of money by forging and selling weapons, especially bastard swords, which you can sell for 4800 gold coins (probably more if you can haggle). It’s also good to have prospector skill, because then you get twice as much ore from ore veins. Learn it as soon as possible so you have more ore at your disposal.
- If you want to get somewhere far away, there’s a lot of enemies in your way and you’re too inexperienced to beat them, just run through them and jump like crazy while you’re at it. You can outrun most of your opponents. It’s good to learn endurance of the wolf skill and have some endurance potions ready, because you can’t run if you have no endurance points left.
- If you want to be an archer, I recommend you to learn to handle bows and ignore crossbow skills. Only advantage of crossbow is its dependence on strength attribute, which is higher than your dexterity if you’re a fighter. But bows also deal good amount of damage and are faster - speed matters a lot in long-range combat, you can shoot a few arrows, then run back a shoot some more. With crossbow you usually have only one shot, because it takes a long time to fire a bolt.
- Spellcasters are the most dangerous opponents in the game, especially if they are among group of fighters. Here’s how to beat them: learn resistance to heat and cold. Increase both by amulets, rings and armor. When you spot a spellcaster, make sure your endurance is at maximum and run to them. Jump, dodge and hide behind obstructions to avoid their spells. Once you reach them, they’re easy to beat in close combat with series of quick attacks, just keep whacking them.
If you encounter group of two or three spellcasters, try to separate them from each other. Lure them into wilderness, where monsters keep them busy. Get some companion which will act as a shield.
- Archers and crossbowmen, are not as dangerous as spellcasters, but they still pose a big threat, especially if there’s a small group of them when you‘re conquering a camp or liberating a town.
Firstly beat archers, then warriors - you want to avoid situation when you’re surrounded by fighters and archers shoot at you from distance. If you run close to archers and start swinging sword, they usually stop using bows and draw close-range weapons instead, which is cool because you don’t have to worry about them anymore.
- You can get one of the best helmets early in the game: First paladin’s helmet. It’s in Geldern, in the shamans’ house, on the table. Just steal it, it’s easy.
- Fancy a good shield? How about a paladin shield, the best shield in the game? Easiest way how to get one is to take it from renegade paladin Kurt at the pass to Varant – just be prepared to fight a lot of bandits before you get to him.