Oh, I'm light as a feather and slowly savouring my newly found love, Ardbeg 10. I wish it was as cheap as tea!
Thank you for the thorough explanation, I've understood all of your points clearly. The only thing I don't think I agree with is the 4% increase in CA animation speed at 150% attack speed. I mean, the numbers may prove me wrong but from my experience having played extensively with a Shadow Warrior and Frenzied Rampage I just can't see how the animation speed on that CA could be improved so little when it's executed all that faster. It could be placebo, granted, but the speed at which multiple hits are made when you cast a high-level FR with the 150% AS cap is just too different from the standard 100% AS. Maybe it has to do with the CA level and it has some sort of hidden formula underneath the hood, I couldn't say. But graphically and visually the difference is evident. To me at least. But like I said above, guy who listens to music vs audiophile you know?!
Taking the BFG+PS example once again, if I may, when the scenario is the same as with Frenzied Rampage (high CA level and high AS) the shooting is visually much faster than just a 4% increase. At least it "feels" that way. But I won't debate this to the ground.
According to the Wiki (yes I know it's not written in stone) you only need level 103 on a weapon skill to achieve the AS cap, and if you make that weapon skill a primary mastery and even leave it at 75 hard points then sure, it's pretty easy to achieve that value via +all skills and the likes of it to reach the cap before you even get your toon to level 100. And then you can climb all the way to 200. You can definitely hit the cap faster if you get extra bonuses from gear, so yes it caps really fast! And then you feel like there's no more progression, I can understand that. You call it poor design and implementation and I couldn't even try to begin to convince you otherwise. I just try to live with what the game has to offer really.
I began playing the game with version 2.0.2 or something, the vanilla Fallen Angel DVD. At some point in time I discovered the game patches and played extensively with 2.40. Then I tried 2.43 which was terribly unstable, and for years I was left at that. Then I bought Sacred 2 Gold and played a few more hundreds of hours. Then came CM 1.50, then CM 1.60. Nowadays I'm not playing it, but I've already tried EE too, so if you ask me what exactly was the original plan with Sacred 2... I mean, I couldn't really say given all the transformations (and nerfs) it endured. The game has been altered so much since its inception that it's hard for me to fault it for being this or that, so when I get to it I try to make the best out of it. It's like when people started twisting the game builds to have something that shouldn't really work but it actually did.
Maybe it's just the Ardbeg talking, or my romantic view of a game I've played for ten years, but I think the possibilities the game gives us are so many that no one will ever find a "perfect version" of it. Or a perfect build for that matter. Just their own I guess.
PS: I'm really sorry to keep misspelling your name at every turn Dmitriy, I don't know why but I just can't seem to spell it correctly from memory. Maybe I should start copy-pasting it (like I just did).