A loose collection of information you may wish to know ahead of time.
NPCs will steal from you like absolute bastards. Sect members will steal from you. Friends will steal from you. Everybody is a thief. It can get patently absurd when five people in a row try to steal the same item.
They steal martial manuals or spirit stones from you, the latter is not an issue.
The former however includes manuals you are trying to study right now.
If you are being threatened, check the enemy’s cultivation level. If it’s the same as yours, you should win. If higher, due to the increasing ascension bonuses, you will likely not. Reload. If you run from the fight, you still lose the item.
You can prevent all of this by storing all your manuals in your cave at the end of the month. If you are studying something and it’s not done at the end of the month, teleport back, store it in the cave, and only then trigger the new month. This is tedious, I know, and I rather wish this system didn’t exist.
Buy teleportation talismans. Always have some handy. One set is enough, since you can just warp to other towns with money. Similarly, always upgrade your mounts and equipped ring when you break through.
Just go through the first area relatively quickly, items like the books that increase Specializations start at 5 points in the first region, but give 10 in the second. You don’t need alchemy in the first, so you can basically grind the points at twice the speed by going to the second region quickly.
You can and should savescum breakthrough fates (unless on Chaos), item drops if you’re hunting the special metal for artifacts/specific breakthrough items.
Always save before making pills/artifacts since they can randomly fail.
Mood/Health/Energy can give you a debuff if they drop too low, so rest/use hobby items to top them up (for mood, monster drops/buy in town) occasionally. They’re pretty superfluous as systems.
The first four difficulties only change the amount of grinding required, Chaos difficulty prevents you from rerolling breakthrough fates. You can use the rare mushroom drop from the mushroom man to get a second set of fates though.
For whatever reason, a lot of hitboxes in this game are rectangles. You should avoid doing that. In this game it means that some attacks can only be reliably dodged by walking left/right or up/down. You can also attack enemies better from above when they use circular attacks.
The tavern boosts are quite powerful, and you can get one for each drink. Check the wiki to see what’s available. You should probably get fully drunk before any major boss later on.
Damage works as Attack-EnemyDefense, divided by resistances with some math, multiplied with skill damage. This means that you must have a high enough attack to meaningful deal damage, that resistance values are much stronger than they appear and that the skill damage value is actually a multiplier. The attack boost pill actually counts double in its strength in the formula.
Due to the above, you should always upgrade all skills after a breakthrough to the new tier. The base attack bonuses overpowers almost everything. It’s really only the movement technique where this matters less. A red skill is roughly comparable to a grey/blue skill of the next tier, it’s that extreme.
Crits compare crit value – crit defense to determine the chance of a crit (it’s not that high), and then applies crit damage bonus % – crit defense %. Due to how things scale, defense lags behind and crits become increasingly dangerous as you go through the game. Lategame enemies can crit for 5 times damage, just as warning.
Your spirit roots don’t just enable you to learn skills, they also give you a chance to greatly reduce damage from an incoming attack, based on how high your roots are. Unfortunately, the spirit fruit grind is outright stupid so I would just suggest Cheat Engine here to be honest.
Your main source of spirit fruits are sects. You can either befriend a sect to get okay prices or join one. They give up to twelve fruits each year, and if you look at the values, you may realize just how stupid this gets, since you would need to befriend all sects and clear them out for quite a number of years. For multiple regions.
For the random events, they usually have specific outcomes depending on your choice. Do X, get a spirit fruit, or money, etc. You will probably remember most after a while and after trying a few options. The scholar inquiring about love can give you skill fruits by the way.
You will probably see the fortune teller NPC a lot, don’t bother. The outcomes aren’t worth it.
Making money is most easily done by auctioning ascension materials, as well as red or orange skill books from bosses. More in the town section. Sadly, you will only be informed of zone boss spawns in the area you are in, kinda wish you could always see them.
Running depends on your travel speed (mounts boost this) and the enemy count. One enemy makes it easiest, so if you accidentally run into something too powerful, try to run immediately before it summons adds.
You should resolve quests by being kind, helpful and willing to talk before fighting. This usually gets you the best results.
If you want to test something, you can export and import your saves to create duplicate save files.