1: i was sure you mean that its not unlocked from the start? should have checked seemed strange... assuming things will only cause trouble.
2: i am not a "win on madness rogue-like pro" i took fire cause it seem like doing more damage than lightning, a can be unlocked instantly, unlike stone. my new shaloren brawler however is waiting for the stone.
3: i know most of the basics, but i am still not very experienced with this game. so far i have only won once, with a sun paladin ghoul (which seemed kind of op). and as for other races i cant seem to find a good use for their talents.
shaloren however has a bonus to speed AND to crits, aswell as scales with dex or magic.
7: i agree. but does augmented mobility give you a T-K slot? no skill in that tree interac't with it, so i don't think it would.
if i take FEM i may make a use of a reshape with a TK wielded weapon... more hits and crits...
You really want to use stone. I know it feels bad to wait, I know it seems like the other ones should at least be in striking distance etc, but they aren't. Stone is worlds better for multiple reasons.
Here is what you do, make sure your character can "see" zigur by starting you character with no mana bar when you zone out to main map the first time. Goto Zigur and buy a mindblast torque.
The mindblast torque will be enough to get you to level 10 on Normal or Nightmare. Unlock Stone, then start cruising for some monster bruising.
Its true that this makes the first 10 levels kind of Meh as you don't even use magic combat, but its worth it. Really it is.
In the end the mindblast torque is like having had flame or lightning in that it gives you a magic-ish beam attack and you don't need to waste a cat point to get it and you don't need to have those lines vastly worse magic combat triggered spells.