While you can make it through Bound by Flame without the need to learn some of the more advanced techniques, battles are much easier when you have access to all of your abilities. Many of the more difficult abilities in the game are simply a matter of learning proper timing. Even novice players should be able to get down all of these techniques with a little practice and repetition. If you still have trouble, there are ways to improve your skills, such as learning the best order to skill up your character.
The parry ability allows you to deflect an attack, temporarily stunning an enemy and allowing you to score a guaranteed counterattack. You can deflect a number of attacks in the game, but you won’t be able to deflect everything. To keep it simple, assume that you can’t parry most heavy-hitting attacks. However, you can parry projectile attacks and even ranged magic attacks with proper timing.
In order to successfully parry an attack, you must execute the parry as late as possible during the attack animation. You basically want to press your assigned parry button just before the attack hits your character. If you time the parry correctly, the combat slows down briefly, signaling it’s time to input your counterattack.
You take a risk every time you attempt a parry, but as you level up your character and add points to the parry skill tree, you can reduce the risk and increase the number of opportunities you have to parry. At the beginning of the game, you can only parry attacks in front of your character. However, as you level up and utilize the skill tree, you can learn to parry attacks from the side and even behind your character.
Riposte is essentially a parry that is used from the Ranger Stance and acts as a well-timed dodge. Just like with a parry, if you dodge at the last possible moment before an attack hits you, your character performs a riposte. If you successfully time your riposte, the game will slow down briefly allowing you to execute up to two counterattacks.
While the timing of a riposte is virtually identical to that of a parry, there’s far less risk involved. If you press your assigned dodge button too early, you’ll still dodge and more than likely avoid the coming attack. There’s no delay after a dodge like there is when you attempt a parry, so the danger of getting hit if you miss is far less.
Stealth is only available in the Ranger Stance, and it allows you to sneak up on an enemy and attack them for huge damage. Your movement is considerably slower when using stealth, but the payoff is more than worth the movement speed. As you improve your stealth ability through the skill tree, you can increase your movement speed to make it even more useful.
It’s rare to come across only a single enemy in Bound by Flame, which makes stealth extremely useful. Because of the big damage inflicted when you attack while in stealth, you can quickly finish off the first enemy you attack, lowering the number of total enemies you need to deal with. You can always run in swinging your weapon about with no regard for stealth, but battles are much easier when you use a stealth attack to severely damage the first enemy.
Every time you level up, you gain points that can be used in your skill trees. There’s a skill tree for each attack stance in the game that allows you to greatly improve the techniques and abilities used in these stances. We’ll have a detailed breakdown of each skill tree in the very near future, but in general terms, you should upgrade the skills that you find yourself using the most. You can max out more than one skill, so don’t worry about putting points into a skill that you later find to be less useful. It’s important to use your points every time you level up as the improved skills make combat considerably easier.
Feats are similar to the skill trees but offer broader improvements to your character. For example, you may earn more experience for each enemy killed or add points to your total health reserves. Much like with the skill trees, it’s extremely important to use feat points every time you level up to improve your character.
It’s best to start with the feats that will help you most. For example, if you are dying or close to dying every single battle, you should increase your total health. However, if combat isn’t a big issue for you, increase the experience you gain from each enemy so you can level up faster and add more points to feats and the skill trees.