Quests were completed, kobolds were slain, and the party marches on.
We are really rolling on our quests having dipped a bit into the WoW technique bucket of obtaining and completing multiple quests in a single area. That really hastened our progress and leveling in last night's session. We were still unable to complete the Pesky Pirates quest. It exhibits the same behavior as before. The quest marker is on the cave until we enter it. At that time, it relocates further to the southwest. Upon leaving the cave, the marker is on the cave again. We have cleared out the cave twice and have not found the map to which the quest refers. I will now resort to and FAQ to see if this is a problematic quest or if, in fact, we are problematic players (or perhaps both).
I have begun to really tap into the power of my Inquisitor. A combat art allowing me to both drain the life from an enemy and force it's post-mortem apparition to fight alongside me coupled with one that creates a ghastly copy of myself have turned me into a one-man army (albeit on a small scale)! My wife is a bit timid to initiate much melee combat in spite of her characters aforementioned heartiness relative to my own. This leaves me taking up much of the tanking slack on my own which gives my health bar much woe. Having the extra help really, er... helps!
At Jakob187's suggestion, I have further explored the combat arts combos and the expertise system which allows the player to refine each combat art along one of two different paths resulting in a much more powerful art at the end. I'm impressed with the way this game maintains depth while providing systems that simplify the mechanics that create said depth. Both of these systems foster a more strategic brand of combat than could have existed in their absence, but both seem tailored to work well on gaming consoles which do not have the luxury of a 104-key keyboard at their disposal. The combo system has me carefully examining which combat arts are complementary and pairing those together. If only the combos allowed for buffs to be included but those must be used individually. As for what I call the "expertise system" (I'm unsure it has an official name.), this allows for a more granular version of character customization. Each combat arte has two paths, but only one or the other can be unlocked. I will draw comparisons to WoW as it is the game with which I have experience that is most similar: whereas WoW's skill trees not only enhance existing skills but add new ones, Sacred 2 realizes that it should focus fully on the character's existing repertoire of 15 combat arts as buttons are at a premium.
Also at Jakob187's behest (and against my better judgment ;), I have brought with me to work today the Sacred 2 manual (in case I happen upon any downtime throughout the day). I tend to feel that manuals are relics of a bygone era in which video games were unable to tell and show the player how to play. I use most manuals nowadays as reference. In other words, I have already gone through the tutorial, but I have forgotten some detail it contained. Let's take a look at the manual! Better still, in a game like this one where you have lots of different skills, I would like the manual to have descriptions of each skills and the modification paths. I have skimmed the manual but haven't yet given it the love and devotion it deserves. Today is its lucky day!
That previous paragraph throws me into a digression. I remember the good ol' days when manuals were thick and lovingly crafted in full-color. Now, color manuals are few and far between. In fact, you're lucky if you get more than five black-and-white pages in a manual. I guess that is an unpleasant side-effect of the obsolescence of manuals due to the rise of in-game tutorials I have been complaining that this game doesn't really have. But, I want to have my cake and eat it too! I guess the real question that came out of that last paragraph is this: How the hell do you end a parenthetical with a smiley?
Update: I found a forum thread at teamxbox.com that addresses my issue with the Pesky Pirates quest. Tonight, I may try to find and finish the Fishing Stores quest which the original poster says completing corrects the map waypoint.