I loved the idea of jumping off the top of the rock on Sentinel Isle where you get the Mother wyvern egg, If you jump at the right place you can land on a long high ridge that is very difficult to access otherwise, and traversing that ridge gives you access to more than one extra treasure chest.
I liked the idea that it isn't all that easy to get to the boat in a tree (in Sentinel Isle). You CAN access it as a dragon after going to the (exterior) Battle Tower shrine, but you cannot become a dragon there, as it is too cramped. You have to try jumping up in various places until you can get to a higher place where you can leap and change form.
On a more bang your head against the wall note. In Orobas fjords I fiddled around with the levers and buttons lift, in the cave with the three different-coloured books. I couldn't seem to get to the place where you first get the books. I tried for ages combining buttons and levers, but couldn't go up in the lift. The solution (which took an embarrassing long time to find) was not to keep trying to go up, but to go down, then down again........doh
One understanding that took too long to sink in, was to buy gear with good enchantments on it, even if I didn't want the gear itself. Considering that you can end up with (for example) +100 ordinary damage AND +100 magic damage enchantments on a weapon (if you have those enchantments learned by your enchanter), that makes quite a difference. If you are lucky enough to have a weapon with three enchantment slots, a high level 'Butcher' enchantment (increases your critical chance) would make a good third choice. Eventually I cottoned on to moving good enchantments to my best gear, while under-utilising the use of charms (due to once they are put on gear, they cannot be moved/upgraded). Again it took too long to realise that, I can be slow sometimes.
If there was one other thing it took a while to realise, it was that there are several skills that are worth investing just one point in (with extra points only giving very small increases). I would add that most of the skills I put a heavier investment in, went into those skills that cannot be accessed to begin with, ones requiring a minimum level to start investing in (in my case skills like Thousand Strikes and Bleed), so I spent a while with skill points unused, saving them up.
Save scumming treasure. Yes you can do it. I mostly went for whatever was in the chest first time around, but if there was a creature part in the chest, I always reloaded until I got a good one. I spent a long time reloading at Lovis's final chest for a 'fresh' quality dragon elf head (Mage ability with L9 fireball and Magic Blast).
My current creature (I am nowL24) also has a perfect torso, clean-cut legs and clean arms. Some chests will never (it seems)
give you body parts above a certain level, while others, like the chest that appears in Broken valley after you have found the three levers scattered around there, can give the best quality body parts.
A lot of the stuff I commented on fitted less into the 'neat stuff' category and more into the 'took a while to realise' one.
PS since it is not far to Dec 25, I'll add