I'm disappointed your first experience was so poor. Sounds like several things were working against you:
On my way north at the start I very early got into Sykes' place without even knowing where I was so possibly this is explained at Gridley's
Yes, if you don't go to Gridley's first, things won't necessarily make sense. I think the objectives say to go there first, but there's no way to force a player to do so. I had hoped that players would be looking for "Galloway Road" and would also assume that a place with armed guards was not likely the right spot.
Humiliate objective checked off just by opening a door and I had no idea why.
There are four places that can satisfy that objective. You found the least obvious one, arguably, though I hoped the skulls, bars and dung were enough to make the new Objective make sense.
BTW the route I took from the start was over a wall then placed a plank and climbed it and got over a wall
Cool, I didn't know if anyone would be able to manage that route.
Never did find the attic even though I searched and searched and in the end notarget, noclipped everywhere around and above the ceiling looking for a trapdoor or ladder or something but nothing.
No, searching in Sykes' room is correct. There's only so many things to examine in there.
However it was not possible to drop the body in the privy because there was no room. At some point when the body had fallen on the floor it suddenly checked of the objective. Later I saw his body down in the pit. Puzzling.
There is enough room to drop him in there, though you might have to adjust yourself a bit. No idea how he could fall on the floor and then wind up in the pit.
I didn't know I was Corbin until I read Sykes' log. Even then I only guessed because I knew the name was a possible protaganist. Maybe it was mentioned in the briefing and I missed it.
It's in the conversation at Gridley's. But it's not a big deal if the player doesn't realize it.
Pipkin's ring objective won't check off so I cannot finish. I reloaded an earlier gamesave and got the rign again but the same problem.
I suspect this might be because you didn't go to Gridley's. This came up once during beta-testing but I could never reproduce it.