2) To finish a map with the monk takes so much longer and again feels slow. Not really sure how thats workable though. Hes a cumbersome character.
The Monk is quite possibly the most extreme character class in the game, with extraordinary powers counter-balanced by extraordinary weaknesses. I'd say he's the hardest class to use effectively, but one of the most powerful in the hands of someone who puts in the effort to master him. Anything you can do to boost your base attack is going to be critical; prepare the fine sword, play as an orc, worship Taurog, it all adds up.
3) The difficulty of the challenge quests and the explorers guild is ridiculous. While i like a bit of intellect in games, too much just feels like its work. It might be alright for people with an engineering degree but i've finished one explorers guild quest.
I find the progression of challenges to be quite nice, with bronze ranging from really easy to moderately challenging, silver ranging from moderately challenge to quite difficult, and gold ranging from quite difficult to insane. You'll have all the items unlocked if you complete silver, which is quite reasonable overall. Of course, I do
happen to have an engineering degree, so take that for what you will
Now, the puzzles at the explorer's guild I'll agree can be quite a nasty bit of work. Many of them are very
fussy, and seem designed to challenge the veterans and masters. The gnome and halfling introduction puzzles are the worst offenders, since they're gateways for the top-end Soul Orb and Venom Ward items. No kingdom should be without those two lovelies.
Do you have similar problems with the god puzzles? Those have hints in them.
I find most of the hints are way
too obscure and not very helpful at all, personally.