I am in the first lesson only, but I am noticing an inconsistent display of accented letters. Sometimes eto is accented, something not; and there is no option to enter them. Are they there simply to help me pronounce it?
I have zero knowledge of cyrllic, so I have not tried that option as of yet.
Yes they are used only once in the course as far as I know. They indicate where is the stress in the word. And they are never used outside of some textbooks.
That makes sense. For the now, I am approaching my dabbling with Russian from a conversational aspect. I don't think I have the mental time to try and learn Cyrillic with everything else going on.
I know it probably seems like a headache at first, but Cyrillic is not as hard as you might imagine, and even in the short term/for conversational use, Cyrillic will give you a better handle on the language than the rather inconsistent (and sometimes even misleading) transliteration on Duo.
Obviously, it's up to you, but the relatively small outlay of effort to learn Cyrillic is a really, really good investment of time when it comes to Russian.
One of my first introductory to Russian was listening to 30 episodes of "Russian made Easy."
You'll be able to have a good grasp of basic conversation and grammar without really ever hearing the word "case." I like this approach as this is closer to how people learn their native language. We learn to speak first before ever opening a grammar book.