This is a pretty common balancing method in CRPGs that keeps you using lower level abilities at lower levels. While the cost keeps going up, you also get more points at higher levels. Ultimately the trade off is powerful hyperspecialization vs weaker generalist. Consider looking at character building guides if this makes you nervous, as it does take some getting used to. Retreat isn’t very viable and is a costly punishment for not saving often. You’re almost always better off reloading and reassessing the encounter. Correct. Think slow Baldur’s Gate-style resource management. If a zone is too taxing you may be out of your league and might want to reassess your supplies and equipment and your usual tactics, maybe change up your recruits, possibly start chatting up NPCs looking for side quests. Uh, that one’s probably a remnant of it originally being a mouse and keyboard game so I have no advice there.