Wasteland 2 – Character Development: Skills

Skills determine the character’s proficiency in a given field, such as bartering or machine guns. Unlike attributes, this knowledge can be increased with each level of experience. Skills have been divided into three categories: General, Weapons and Knowledge. The skill may be passive or may need to be activated manually. Weapons are passive skills (handling weapons), activating knowledge (for example, opening a safe). General refers to both types.

General Skills

Animal Whisperer – the ability to tame wild (and not only) animals. Such animals will not attack, and in some cases may even join the team and fight on your side. While we can’t speak to the sheer amount of damage that animals do, they can serve as a good distraction for your enemies. Moreover, after taming an animal, the team member who did so will gain additional points in an animal-related skill (for example, +1 Charisma for taming a dog). This ability isn’t particularly useful, but it can sometimes help during certain quests, such as calming frightened cattle or retrieving a lost dog.

Barter – each point reduces the price of goods by 1%. This is a value shared by the entire party. In the very beginning this can be useful because you will most likely be running low on ammo, but it’s really not that important to be maxed out. Once the game enters a more advanced stage, money will no longer be an issue.

Brute Force – Allows you to break through blockades and severed walls. This is a useful skill, and it is recommended that one character have it, at about level 5. However, it does not have to be a member of the initial group. Immediately after starting the game, you will have the opportunity to include an NPC with a high level of skill in your group.

Smart Ass, Hard Ass, Kiss Ass are three separate skills that work in the same way. You can use them in conversations to get more information from the interlocutor or to find a new solution to a problem. It’s a good idea to reach at least level 3 in each of them.

Leadership – a character with this skill increases the chances of hitting a target for party members. It also reduces the chance of an NPC going out of control and making their own move. Start off by saying that the four rangers are the hard core of the group that you can always rely on. However, all extras have their own will and can run away when they are hurt, or decide they want to kill in their own way. A high level of leadership prevents this. You can ignore this in the beginning, but it’s a good idea to look into it later. The range of this skill is set by Charisma, so it’s good to develop it on a character who has a lot of points in this attribute.

Outdoorsman – allows you to avoid random fights when examining waste. And you will be attacked quite often. The upside is that you get extra experience and loot. The disadvantage is a waste of ammunition, first aid kits and, mainly, time for minor “fillers”. It is enough that only one of the party members has this skill.

Level 4 should give you the ability to avoid almost every random threat for most of the game.

Perception is the ability to notice interesting things, such as hidden passages in locations or chests with ammunition and shrines, when studying a map. If an element is usable, it will be highlighted. Thanks to Perception, you will often notice various useful tips related to the task that you are currently solving. Moreover, it may happen that you notice something interesting in the person you are talking to and you can ask about it. Sometimes you will find traps, for example, in some kind of safe. One of the team members should have around 4-5 points in this ability and that should be enough to make the gameplay easier. By playing the game, you will be able to score 10 points quickly.

Weaponsmithing is the ability to dismantle weapons to obtain modifications that can later be used in other weapons. In order to use the mod, you need to have the Weapon Manufacturing ability, so it’s best to develop it on no more than one character (but not on everyone, because if someone only uses heavy weapons and explosives, no mods are required). What’s more, even if you fail to get a weapon mod, you will get broken weapon parts that you can sell for good money in the Ranger Citadel, so you won’t lose anything. While you’re in Arizona, dismantle almost every weapon you know won’t be used.

Weapon Skills

Assault rifles are versatile and useful. Deals decent damage with decent penetration and range. Unfortunately, they use expensive ammo and a lot of AP. In addition, the character receives a negative hit bonus when enemies are too close. They have built-in fire mode selectors, allowing you to save on ammo or hit multiple enemies with a single explosion if they are standing in a straight line. This weapon must not be used by more than two Rangers. Ammo is the first reason and there are better alternatives at higher levels and others.

Bladed Weapons – Weak base damage but frequent critical hits. Nearly useless against armor. More alternate weapons when you run out of ammo.

Dumb Weapon – Very high critical damage even against thick armor. Works great as a short range weapon for someone with heavy gear.

Fighting is hand-to-hand combat. More curiosity, but sometimes you can find interesting weapons to carry over your first ones. Multiple attacks in one turn.

Energy weapons are ideal against armored enemies. The damage scales with armor, dealing a small amount of damage to unarmored targets. Moreover, he can neither block nor deal critical hits. Energy weapons are pretty rare and won’t be particularly useful in the early game, but in California when you’re facing huge 8 armor cannons, it’s very important to have a good energy damage dealer.

Pistols are short-range weapons, for example for a Medic. Despite his appearance, such a doctor can quickly cause havoc among enemy forces, bringing down individual units with one or two shots. They use cheap ammo and have low cost shots. Their biggest drawback is their low armor penetration. After a while, you’ll run into miniguns that require .45 ammo and change your mind about pistols – they have a decent armor penetration value and a very high firing cost. A Medic equipped with such a thing, as well as a regular pistol for unarmed purposes, will be dangerous to everyone.

Heavy weapons are the biggest toys, like grenade launchers and heavy machine guns. Very high damage, often AoE. Their disadvantages are high AP cost and additional vulnerability to melee damage. A character with such a weapon must have something for melee in the other hand. It is good to quickly start investing in who will be armed with such weapons, since the battles will depend mainly on them. In the beginning, the hardest thing is to have enough ammo, because machine guns will use it very quickly. It’s best to prepare a team member with a lot of AP and the Destruction skill who will use pistols at the beginning and switch to heavy weapons when there is a solid rifle and a lot of ammo. When using AoE weapons (rocket launchers, grenade launchers) don’t forget to switch to free aim mode (click on the weapon icon and choose the place you want to hit instead of choosing the enemy) to hit as many enemies as you can at the same time not harm anyone on your team. Remember not to give any Heavy Weapons to NPCs who join you. You never know when they might oppose your orders, and you don’t want a missile to land in the middle of your forces.

Shotguns are short range weapons. It can hit multiple enemies at once, which is useful, but it can sometimes injure your team members (don’t forget to switch to a free target). This ability is best developed with only one member of the team, since shotguns are not very practical, especially in later parts of the game. It can serve as an alternate weapon for someone with a sniper rifle or machine gun, as well as, thanks to the AoE damage, for quickly opening doors and as a tool to “disarm” mines (shoot the minefield in free target mode to detonate some of the mines).

Sniper Rifles – Huge damage and long range. In exchange for a high cost of AP and ammo, as well as low damage to nearby targets. A good sniper is capable of taking down the enemy from afar, so there should be room for one in every game. However, it is important that he has an alternative weapon that he can use well, such as a shotgun. The sniper should be the one who starts the fight because of the long distance. Then the opponents must first run up to your characters.

Submachine guns – they use cheap ammo, but they burn it out very quickly and do mediocre damage. Short range and low penetration are also said to be disadvantages.

Skills Knowledge

Remove the alarm – many safes or gates are protected by an alarm (you will know this from the nearby sirens). This skill is worth developing if you plan on occasionally relying on stealth tactics rather than open combat. Even if you don’t, Alarm Disarming will be useful for opening some doors in the game. Put some points into this skill, but don’t spend it when you have more important abilities to develop.

Computer science is computer hacking. One of the basic skills that is worth developing from the very beginning. In doing so, you can get additional information, open computer-controlled locks, and repair damaged systems.

Demolition – Ability to use throwable weapons such as grenades and defuse bombs. Grenades are rare and you will be hoarding them for special occasions. Disarming is useful, for example, for crossing a minefield or disarming a trap. A useful item, but not a priority.

Field Medic – allows you to use healing items. It should develop in one character as quickly as possible. They will then heal the entire party. In a nutshell – the higher the level of this skill, the better the ability of the first-aid kit to heal and, thanks to which you will save on them. A character without this skill can only use mild painkillers.

Pick Lock is another “must have”. You open the door, behind which you open lockers with treasures inside.

Mechanical repair – the ability to repair various equipment in the waste. Useful mainly in certain quests, such as repairing a drinking water well. Useful, but you can do without it.

Safecracking – opening safes. The more safes you open, the more valuable things. You only need to watch out for possible bombs in castles (run a Perception check before you start hacking).

Surgeon – Heals injuries to squad members and NPCs. Very important! The optimal situation is one in which there are two party members with this skill – one at a high level (at best, one with a field medic plus, for example, two pistols and nothing else), and the second with at least 1 -2 points, to perform the operation on a full-time medic, if necessary.

Toaster Repair – The developers of Wasteland 2, of course, added something peculiar to the game. Generally speaking, this strange thing… opens several toasters. You will find them in the game world. Sometimes there won’t be anything interesting inside, but sometimes you can find some unique items that you can donate to the museum in the Ranger Citadel or some NPCs in exchange for a reward (like weapons or unusual food that increases stats temporarily). Toasters aren’t very common, but you shouldn’t leave anyone unopened, so one of your team members should develop this skill.


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