One of the highlights of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is the robust character customization. You can play a stealthy thief, a powerful warrior, a cunning mage, or nearly unlimited combinations of the above. This customization potential applies to skills as well as combat abilities. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning has nine skills that your character can learn and eventually master. Each skill grants different benefits and abilities to your character and each alters the way you play the game.
Alchemy – The usefulness of alchemy is almost entirely dependent on your play style. If you tend to hoard single use items and only save them for the most critical fights, alchemy is not for you. If you prefer to use single use items more freely, then you should put points into this skill rapidly. Every point in alchemy makes you more likely to gather potion creation resources from plants and ranks 3 and 5 allow you to make more powerful potions. This is one of the few skills that give you combat benefits and it can also boost your potential in other skills. If you are willing to put in the time, it is a great skill to focus on.
Blacksmithing – Without this skill you will be entirely dependent on found items and bought items to outfit your character. While you can beat the game relying on those types of equipment, it is much easier to customize your character if you can craft your own equipment. Most characters should learn at least 4 ranks of this skill, simply to be able to craft items with up to four components. Additional ranks are only particularly useful if you focus on crafting. Rank 7, in particular, is only really useful if you also have many ranks of Sagecrafting.
Detect Hidden – This skill increases the amount of treasure you earn considerably. With this skill you find hidden treasure piles, get additional coin from many enemies, can find secret door, and can eventually salvage traps for components. The final rank of this skill is actually the least useful because it can be mimicked by a strategy guide, but every other rank is universally helpful. Anytime you don’t have a better place to put a skill rank, you should up this skill.
Dispelling – You basically have two choices for this skill: ignore it and pass up a lot of treasure or focus on it. Dabbling in Dispelling is not particularly useful because the incremental benefits will fall behind as you get further in the game. Rank 4 is just useful enough that almost every character should learn it, but anything beyond that really requires that you focus in it. If you aren’t focusing, you will simply be getting cursed or blown up by lots of chests.
Lockpicking – Lockpicking is the distant cousin of Dispelling. Chests that aren’t warded are usually locked. Lockpicking actually isn’t that hard even without the skill, but you will go through lockpicks at a very rapid pace without and may find yourself without any in long dungeons. This is a skill that it worth dabbling in just to avoid that problem. You should only focus on it if you are really bad at the lockpicking mini-game.
Mercantile – Rank 3, and to a lesser degree rank 6, of this skill is very useful because it allows you to trash items in a dungeon and still get some benefit. Bag space is limited in this game and this will give you a small reward when you are eventually forced to trash items to make room for new loot. Also, if you choose not to put ranks in Blacksmithing, you basically need this skill, because you will be selling most of your items to merchants and this will greatly increase the money you earn from those sales.
Persuasion – This skill is another skill that you should focus on or ignore. Persuasion permits you to take different story paths at various points in the game and often earns you valuable items in the process. Unless the skill is maxed out, you will usually fail at it, so dabbling isn’t particularly useful. Also, if you intend to steal a lot and haven’t put points in Stealth, Persuasion will help you cut your losses when you inevitably get caught.
Sagecrafting – This skill is the last of the crafting skills in the game. Unlike Alchemy or Blacksmithing, you do not craft directly usable items with this skill. Instead you craft gems, which can be slotted into some equipment in order to boost that equipment. Good gems are very rare in this game, so it is very helpful to be able to craft your own. This is a useful skill to either focus or dabble in. If you choose to dabble, you should get at least 3 ranks and may want to consider getting as many as 6 ranks. If you focus, you should probably also learn rank 7 of Blacksmithing in order to maximize the benefits of this skill.
Stealth – This skill is critical if you intend to do a lot of pick pocketing or stealing, unless you don’t mind getting caught. At around 5-7 ranks in this skill you can regularly steal items while in full view of witnesses. At 10 ranks you can often pick pocket people who have line of sight to you, assuming you are quick enough about it. It can also help you in combat, but enemies will be aware of you or not entirely dependent on where you are standing, rather than your stealth skill.