The Companions So Far, v3.0 (Spoilers!)

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The Companions So Far, v3.0 (Spoilers!)

Post by SagaDC » May 23rd, 2014, 2:02 am

So, a new major update has come along, and with it a whole passel of new Companions. As of this update, there are twelve recruitable NPC Companions (although three of them rather blatantly use placeholder attributes). The existing companions were slightly altered, too, some for better and some for worse. Regardless, that means I might as well do another overview of our potential Ranger Recruits! I'll keep it shorter this time, since we're into the double-digits on Companions now.

Oh, and of course - THERE ARE SPOILERS AHEAD. So if you don't want to read spoilers about stuff from the first half of the game, including some minor notes from the "cliffhanger" that the beta ends on, then navigate away from this post.

Now, without further ado...

Angela Deth - The Training Wheels
CO 8 LK 1 AW 6 ST 4 SP 6 IQ 4 CH 2
Level 14 - AP 10 - Init 14 - Weight 93 - MAXCON 91
Skills: Assault Rifles 6, Blunt Weapons 4, Brute Force 5, Kiss Ass 3, Outdoorsman 2, Weaponsmithing 2
Equipment: Ace's Wrench, Canteen, Faded Letters, M1 Assault Rifle (with 40 rounds), Pain Relievers

General Notes: You know Angela by now. She's the super-powerful Level 14 Ranger you can recruit right outside the Ranger Citadel at the beginning of the game. She's really handy, but she also effectively acts as an XP-sink since she's scripted to leave your party automatically at about the one-third mark of the game. And with the "surprise" events that occur at the half-way mark, she may or may not be a character you can re-recruit later in the game. Only time will tell.

Pros: She's awesome. Solid stats: Great Coordination, Good Awareness and Speed, Decent Strength and IQ. 10 AP and 14 Initiative means she'll act quickly and with numerous attacks. Decently focused skills, with exceptional weapon training. Unique weapon (Ace's Wrench). Lots of unique dialogue and quest involvement. She's easy to access, because you literally meet her just minutes into the game.
Cons: She's temporary, and takes up one of your three CNPC slots, so you should probably dump her as soon as you've reached the CNPC limit. She disapproves of murder, and WILL leave your party if you're too aggressive or violent.

Final Rating: 8 / 10


Chisel - The Badass
CO 6 LK 3 AW 5 ST 4 SP 4 IQ 4 CH 2
Level 7 - AP 9 - Init 12 - Weight 93 - MAXCON 56
Skills: Assault Rifles 1, Brute Force 2, Handguns 2, Hard Ass 2, Perception 2, Submachine Guns 2, Weaponsmithing 2
Equipment: Canteen, Extra Strength Pain Relievers, PP-81 SMG (with 50 rounds)

General Notes: Chisel was better before he got his overhaul, but I've already lamented about that. He went through minimal changes in this update, although he did get a new gun (the PP-81, which is a Tier 2 SMG). Even with his lousy skill distribution, though, he's still pretty solid in combat - at least compared to a lot of the other poorly built CNPCs. He has minimal involvement with the story, but the latest patch has added a number of unique combat barks - so he has a bit more personality now.

Pros: Solid Stat distribution, with 9 AP and 12 Initiative ensuring that he'll go reasonably quickly. Potentially good with medium-to-long range, rapid-fire weapons such as the Assault Rifle or SMG (with appropriate leveling).
Cons: Poor Skill distribution (seriously, seven skills? Come on, guys...). A little hard to recruit, because you have to get the "optimal" solution to the RNC quest to get him.

Final Rating: 6 / 10


Corran Cain / Dan Q / Gary "NaC1" Wolf - The New Kids on the Block
CO 5 LK 2 AW 5 ST 7 SP 4 IQ 3 CH 2
Level 6 - AP 8 - Init 12 - Weight 129 - MAXCON 65
Skills: Bladed Weapons 3, Blunt Weapons 2, Brawling 1, Brute Force 3, Demolitions 3, Perception 1
Equipment: Hatchet (Dan Q starts with a .38 Revolver and no ammo, instead)

General Notes: These are the three new guys, who have painfully obvious "filler" stats - likely because you get them RIGHT before the end of the current beta content. They're all "choice-locked", with the resolution of the Titan quest determining which one offers to join you. I can only guess at what their final stats/skills might look like by the time they get an actual make-over, but based on their "Can I joinz you?" dialogue, it's fair to assume that they'll be loosely based on the following archetypes:

Corran Cain: A former Mad Monk (complete with the awesome profile pic) who touts being an expert with demolitions and the general hitting of things. The "filler" stats are likely his, since his dialogue implies that he blows things up and hits things with sharp stuff, like most of the other Mad Monks. He also claims he can make explosives if you can get him the supplies - so... possible source of additional Thermonuclear Grenades? Yes please!

Dan Q: If you think his name sounds like a pun, that's because it is. He's the post-apocalyptic equivalent of a comedian (groan), but he claims to have people skills. I'd guess his real stats/skills will involve Smart Ass and a decent Charisma, at the very least. He starts with a handgun, too, so I'm going to guess he'll have a few points in that (as opposed to melee like Corran Cain). He's also wearing 3d glasses and a faded plaid suit, so that's kind of fun.

Gary "NaC1" Wolf: This guy introduces himself as a "utility guy" and an expert hacker, so he'll probably get Computer and Tech skills (and possibly Bladed Weapons, because hurr hurr hurr puns). He's kind of a jerk, but I guess that gives him personality, and pretty much all of his dialogue insinuates that he's doing YOU a favor by joining up. He also seems to have a unique leather jacket and sunglasses appearance - possible inspiration from MacGyver?


Lexicanium - The [ERROR KILL KILL KILL KILL]
CO 4 LK 2 AW 5 ST 5 SP 3 IQ 8 CH 1
Level 8 - AP 9 - Init 11 - Weight 105 - MAXCON 64
Skills: Brawling 1, Computer Science 5, Handguns 1, Kiss Ass 1, Mechanical Repair 5
Equipment: Canteen, Lexcanium's Bionic Arm

General Notes: Oh man, I fell in love with this guy the instant I met him. Not because he's great, but because he's... unique. Have you ever wished that your Ranger squad had a disgruntled murder'borg with a dictionary plugged into his brain? Well now you can! And he's tons/megagrams/hundredweights of fun. He also has the distinction of being the first dedicated brawler character (kind of), since Scotchmo got turned into a bad movie reference. His skills are dedicated enough that he'll make a good mechanic/tech-guy if you can wait long enough to recruit him, and you can shore up his combat abilities pretty quickly since he has an astonishing 8 Intelligence (oof, if only it were a 9, right?). He even gets a unique item, in the form of his robo-arm, which does about 15 damage per cyber-punch (or 40+ on a crit!). Sadly, you don't get him until about the 40% mark of the game, and you can't really rush it because he's behind... like... fifty robots? Seriously, you have to really work hard to get this guy.

Pros: Decent stat line-up. Exceptional Intelligence. Well-focused skill distribution. Unique item. Decent Mule. Awesome in general.
Cons: Hard to get (40% into the game). Needs a few levels to shore up his combat skills (at least 2 levels, to get his Brawling and Handguns skills to 3 each). Not a lot of story involvement yet (but a lot of potential threads set up). Glitched fists in his inventory (I guess he kept his old fist, after it was replaced by a robo-fist?). No robot arm graphic on his character (minor, but come on!). They keep spelling his name differently (seriously, is it Lexcanium or Lexicanium?).

Final Rating: 7 / 10

Ralphy - The Rook
CO 4 LK 2 AW 4 ST 6 SP 4 IQ 4 CH 4
Level 5 - AP 8 - Init 11 - Weight 117 - MAXCON 56
Skills: Alarm Disarming 2, Blunt Weapons 3, Mechanical Repair 2, Perception 1, Toaster Repair 1
Equipment: Canteen, Extra Strength Pain Relievers, Pipe

General Notes: Not a lot of changes to Ralphy this time around, which is a relief since he's had major overhauls at least twice in the past. He gets a pipe this time, instead of his laughably glitchy crowbar/nightstick from the last Beta version. His skills are still kind of all over the place, but its worth noting that the new passive XP-bonus from Charisma makes him level up a little faster (Charisma 4). He also has some more story involvement now, both in RNC and (surprisingly) in Valley of Titan. He still kind of sucks at fighting, though, but at least he makes a good mule.

Pros: Good Strength. Decent Charisma makes for slightly faster leveling. Easy to recruit (just inside RNC). Hits hard in combat (if he can reach anyone). Ideal mule (117 Max Weight). Tied closely to at least one location.
Cons: Poor skill distribution (what else is new?). Too slow (AP 8, Init 11) to really contribute much in combat, especially for a melee character. Will now totally quit your party if you pick too many fights. Might cause you to get blown up in a certain scripted story event (lulz think fast!).

Final Rating: 5 / 10


Rose - The Slow Decline
CO 6 LK 4 AW 6 ST 2 SP 4 IQ 4 CH 2
Level 3 - AP 8 - Init 13 - Weight 69 - MAXCON 28
Skills: Field Medic 2, Handguns 2, Surgeon 2

General Notes: When it came to choosing between Rose and Vulture's Cry, I always used to give the edge to Rose. Rose was more involved in the story, more interesting in general, and more likely to contribute to the party. This is... slowly changing, but because of slight improvements to Vulture's Cry, and (oddly) slight deprovements (not a word but whatever) to Rose. Rose is fast, and handy with a handgun - she's got that much going for her. She's also super-easy to recruit, assuming you're headed to Ag Center instead of Highpool, and she has a ton of involvement in the quest there (as well as the quest at Darwin Village). Unfortunately, she's also bad at... uh... being a scientist. She used to be a good potential primary medic, but that doesn't work anymore since the Skill Cap was introduced on Surgery (meaning she caps at 4). She also levels slower now, because of her low Charisma, and she's STILL missing 6 SP worth of skills (she has 12 invested, but she should have 18). Her unique weapon also gets a little worse with each pass, and ever since they gave it a shotgun-like "cone" attack, she's become distressingly prone to shooting your other rangers in the back. Or the front. Or just whenever and where ever possible. In fact, take the gun away from her immediately, and give her a revolver or something, seriously. Hopefully these are some issues that will get some attention in future iterations, but I'm not holding my breath.

Pros: Solid Coordination and Awareness. Good speed (Init 13). Decent secondary medic (kind of). Tied closely to several plot threads at multiple locations. Unique weapon (good and bad). Easy to recruit (just inside Ag Center).
Cons: Missing several SP worth of skills. Weak and fragile (Strength 2). Judgemental (quits if you murder people). Prone to shooting you and/or random bystanders, if you don't take her unique weapon way - and she WILL blame you if she accidentally clips a friendly bystander. Location-exclusive (Must save Ag Center).

Final Rating: 4 / 10


Scotchmo - The Meme
CO 4 LK 6 AW 4 ST 6 SP 4 IQ 2 CH 2
Level 6 - AP 8 - Init 11 - Weight 117 - MAXCON 62
Skills: Barter 2, Bladed Weapons 2, Safecracking 2, Shotguns 2, Smart Ass 2
Equipment: Canteen, Coach Gun (with 20 rounds)

General Notes: Grooooooan. Another update, and another version of Scotchmo. It almost makes me pine for the days when Scotchmo was the Hobo God, wading across the battlefield doling out death indiscriminately at the end of his deathblade. After his brief experimentation with Brawling in the last update, now he's decided to embrace his ridiculousness by officially becoming Hobo With a Shotgun. While the reference is atrocious, I'm actually a bit surprised to say that... well... it actually makes him a little better, at least from a utility standpoint. He's too slow to make a decent dedicated melee fighter, so the shotgun skills give him something to do on the turns where he can't actually reach anyone fast enough to also stab them to death. And he's still easy to recruit. And hilarious.

Pros: Good Luck and Strength. Ideal Mule. Easy to recruit. Hilarious. Tied closely to at least one location.
Cons: Poor skill distribution. Too slow (AP 8, Init 11) to be a decent melee fighter. Steals from you (slightly more annoying, now that you can actually do a bit of liquor trading). Dumb (2 Intelligence) and ugly (2 Charisma) makes for slower-than-average skill boosting. Embarrassing movie reference.

Final Rating: 5 / 10


Takayuki - The Mule
CO 5 LK 2 AW 5 ST 7 SP 4 IQ 3 CH 2
Level 6 - AP 8 - Init 12 - Weight 129 - MAXCON 129
Skills: Bladed Weapons 3, Blunt Weapons 2, Brawling 1, Brute Force 3, Demolitions 3, Perception 1
Equipment: Pickaxe

General Notes: Takayuki hasn't changed a bit since the last update, so my opinion on him stays pretty much unchanged. Lets be realistic here - if you have Takayuki in your party, its probably because you're using him as a mule. And he makes a decent mule, especially if you've got Forrestal's Badge (+1 Strength). As with both Ralphy and Scotchmo, he's a little too slow to really get much use as a melee fighter, but at least he's a LITTLE faster than they are (12 Init instead of 11, but still only 8 AP). And with the recent addition of Grip Tape as a weapon mod (-1 AP Cost per attack), he can actually get off a swing or two with more regularity. So you know what? My opinion HAS changed a little. It's just a shame that he's (currently) pretty dull and almost completely detached from the world around him, beyond his minimal involvement with the Leve L'upe Mine.

Pros: Strong! Passable melee combatant. Great Mule.
Cons: Questionable skill distribution. A bit hard to get to (need to be strong enough to complete Leve L'upe Mine). No personality (yet).

Final Rating: 6 / 10


Vipula - The Beauty and The Beast
CO 5 LK 2 AW 3 ST 4 SP 3 IQ 7 CH 4
Level 6 - AP 8 - Init 9 - Weight 93 - MAXCON 51
Skills: Barter 1, Computer Science 2, Energy Weapons 3, Field Medic 2, Mechanical Repair 3, Perception 2
Equipment: Canteen, Laser Repeater (with 40 rounds)

General Notes: VIpula has lost a bit of her allure, since she was first introduced just one version of the Beta ago - at least for me. Mostly because Lexicanium seems to be a bit better suited for the role that I saw Vipula filling (ie, dedicated "Tech-Guy/Girl"). Vipula is neat and interesting and unique, but she's also s-l-o-w as molasses in combat (AP 8, Init 9), with a questionable skill distribution. On the other hand, she's the only CNPC with an energy weapon focus (and, in the current beta, the only person WITH an energy weapon) so she's still somewhat unique. Her decent Charisma ensures a reasonable level-up rate, and her good Intelligence ensures some quick improvements to her skill focus (4 SP / Level).

Pros: Good Intelligence. Decent Charisma. Conceptually unique. Comes with a good Energy Weapon (Laser Repeater).
Cons: Questionable skill distribution. S-L-O-O-O-O-O-W. Not really easy to recruit (must have Radiation Suits). Not a lot of involvement with the story or locations (yet). Avatar and profile pic look nothing like each other (yet).

Final Rating: 4 / 10


Vulture's Cry - The Face
CO 4 LK 2 AW 6 ST 2 SP 6 IQ 2 CH 6
Level 3 - AP 7 - Init 14 - Weight 69 - MAXCON 28
Skills: Animal Whisperer 2, Brute Force 1, Field Medic 2, Kiss Ass 2, Outdoorsman 2, Perception 1, Sniper Rifles 2
Equipment: None, still.

General Notes: I've thrown a lot of hate at Vulture's Cry in the past, but I have to admit that she's improving with each new iteration. Not by much, but enough that it's worth mentioning. Her stats actually didn't change a bit in the new update, but she still got a notable improvement in the form of the new passive XP-boost from Charisma. With her exceptional 6 in Charisma, she actually levels up almost 50% faster than the average ranger (who's likely to have Charisma as a dump stat). Unfortunately, this is still balanced out by her poor Intelligence (2 SP / Level), but... eh. She has a decent amount of new dialogue now, too, as well as a unique set of combat barks to make her more interesting. I've learned to appreciate her as a fast (init 14) but fragile (Strength 2) sniper, who acts as my group's primary "face" (Animal Whisperer, Kiss Ass, maybe Barter if I don't feel like putting it on anyone else). She's still a mess, but she has her uses.

Pros: Good Charisma (6). Good speed (Init 14). Some interesting dialogue. Pretty easy to recruit. Levels quickly. Could be a solid "Face" character, if and when Charisma becomes a contributing factor to certain skills.
Cons: Awful skill distribution (still). No starting equipment (still). Choice-exclusive (must save Highpool). Exceptionally weak and fragile (Strength 2). Pretty dumb (Intelligence 2). Bad AP (7, barely enough to fire her sniper rifle).

Final Rating: 4 / 10
Last edited by SagaDC on May 23rd, 2014, 3:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Companions So Far, v3.0 (Spoilers!)

Post by Onholyservicebound » May 23rd, 2014, 7:18 am

Very nice, care to direct me to where I can get Lexicanium?

Also, what's the meme that Scotchmo has apparently degenerated into?

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Re: The Companions So Far, v3.0 (Spoilers!)

Post by SagaDC » May 23rd, 2014, 12:13 pm

Onholyservicebound wrote:Very nice, care to direct me to where I can get Lexicanium?
You can find Lexicanium in Damonta, where he's being held prisoner in a large airplane hanger. Beware, for its a pretty tough fight (and pretty close to the end of the Beta), but if you can dispatch his captors then he'll readily offer to join up.
Onholyservicebound wrote:Also, what's the meme that Scotchmo has apparently degenerated into?
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1640459/

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Re: The Companions So Far, v3.0 (Spoilers!)

Post by frozyx » May 23rd, 2014, 2:02 pm

Good overview.

I just made a quick analysis regarding the NPCs attributes, which are by far the main assets of said NPCs - skills are fairly dynamic and can be alloted and developed as you want and need during the NPCs existance.

The analysis is based on the number of 'wasted' attribute pts. I still distinguish between 'fully' wasted and 'semi' wasted pts:

- Fully wasted: An uneven number of CO (except 1) and any pts above INT 1, 3, 6, 9 w/out reaching the next treshold (i.e. INT 8 means 2 fully wasted attribute pts).

Wasted CO and INT simply do nothing. Well, to be fair CO still adds 1% ranged hit, but its VERY marginal.

- Semi: Uneven numbers of SPD and STR (except 1); Every pt of the sum of STR+SPD+INT above 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24, 28 w/out reaching the next treshold (i.e. a sum of 14 would be 2 semi-wasted pts)

SPD and STR should optimally be even (for the next level of Initiative and CON/lvl), but they still add sth at uneven pts (Evade, Run Speed, Melee Dmg Bonus, Carry Weight), so i consider them only semi-wasted. The sum of STR+SPD+INT should be 4, 8, 12 etc. b/c thats the treshold for another pts of AP. Which is obv very helpful. So a sum of 14 is also a waste of 2 pts in STR/SPD/INT, but only semi b/c you get sth from the individual bonus.


Now using these rules, i get the following results:

Angela:
4 INT -> 1 Fully wasted pt
STR+SPD+INT=14 -> 2 semi-wasted pts
Total: 1+2*0.5 = 2 wasted Pts
Effective attribute pts: 31-2 = 29

Chisel: 1 wasted / 27 effective pts

Corrain et al: 2.5 / 25.5

Lexicanium: 3 / 25

Ralphy: 2 / 26

Rose: 2 / 26

Scotchmo: 1 / 27

Takayuki: 2,5 / 25,5

Vipula: 3.5 / 24.5

Vultures Cry: 2 / 26


Note that i didnt rate Luck or Charisma, as both stats give effects/stats that are not under tresholds.
You can also always debate about the value of certain attributes in comparison to others. Its debatable if 6 pts in Luck is really worth it (see Scothmo). But you cant mathematically consider them wasted imo.

Those numbers suggest that Chisel and Scotchmo are the 'best' built NPCs with regards to their effective attribute pts. Aside Angela who starts with 3 more pts though!

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Re: The Companions So Far, v3.0 (Spoilers!)

Post by Demendred » May 23rd, 2014, 5:18 pm

Pretty awesome, really appreciate what you have done here. I too miss the days of the mighty hobo god Scotchmo, but knew that one day it would go away. I'm glad I got to play with that mega god while I could. Good times.
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Re: The Companions So Far, v3.0 (Spoilers!)

Post by Drool » May 23rd, 2014, 9:18 pm

SagaDC wrote:Vulture's Cry - The Face
CO 4 LK 2 AW 6 ST 2 SP 6 IQ 2 CH 6
Level 3 - AP 7 - Init 14 - Weight 69 - MAXCON 28
Skills: Animal Whisperer 2, Brute Force 1, Field Medic 2, Kiss Ass 2, Outdoorsman 2, Perception 1, Sniper Rifles 2
Sigh.

I already have a glass cannon: my sniper. And my sniper's a much deadlier (but more fragile) glass cannon, too. And I think my current one has Animal Whisper, too. Sigh.

I so want to like Vulture's Cry. Maybe I just like underdogs, but I really wish she wasn't so poorly built. I mean, she's supposed to be a trader, right? Why doesn't she have barter? Drop Brute Force, drop Perception, and give her 2 points in Barter. Then at least she'd only have 6 skills instead of 7.

And let us find her damn equipment.
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Re: The Companions So Far, v3.0 (Spoilers!)

Post by ClashFan » May 26th, 2014, 6:10 pm

Drool wrote:
SagaDC wrote:Vulture's Cry - The Face
CO 4 LK 2 AW 6 ST 2 SP 6 IQ 2 CH 6
Level 3 - AP 7 - Init 14 - Weight 69 - MAXCON 28
Skills: Animal Whisperer 2, Brute Force 1, Field Medic 2, Kiss Ass 2, Outdoorsman 2, Perception 1, Sniper Rifles 2
Sigh.

I already have a glass cannon: my sniper. And my sniper's a much deadlier (but more fragile) glass cannon, too. And I think my current one has Animal Whisper, too. Sigh.

I so want to like Vulture's Cry. Maybe I just like underdogs, but I really wish she wasn't so poorly built. I mean, she's supposed to be a trader, right? Why doesn't she have barter? Drop Brute Force, drop Perception, and give her 2 points in Barter. Then at least she'd only have 6 skills instead of 7.

And let us find her damn equipment.
I much prefer Vulture's Cry over Rose. I Centercoded suggested changes for VC some time ago to make her not only more useful but also fit her back story better. In the meantime, I simply save and exit as soon as I get her and open an xml editor to fix her.

I take 2 points from her Speed and add 1 to INT (so that she can get 3 skill points per level) and 1 to Coordination, though I may change that to just shifting 1 point to INT and leaving speed at 5 so that she can move a tad faster on the battlefield.

Then, get rid of Brute Force (1), Sniper (2), and cut Field Medic in half (1). Add Blades at level 2 (she's from a native tribe), Barter at 1, and boost Outdoorsman to 3.

Now, she's a scout!

As she develops, I make her my primary user of Outdoorsman. Also Kiss Ass and Barter b/c of her Charisma. Take her Blades on up. Sometimes I give her a couple of levels of SMG or shotgun. Get a grip on her bladed weapon to reduce its AP need to 2. She gets the best one in the party.

She's cute; I fancy that she's my main character's romantic interest, though I would like to be able to use a custom portrait for her like we can for the main characters. From the get-go she's my main character's personal body guard...she'll gut anyone who messes with him.
8-)

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Re: The Companions So Far, v3.0 (Spoilers!)

Post by SagaDC » May 26th, 2014, 7:07 pm

Honestly, I have no problems with Vulture's Cry from a thematic standpoint. She's actually pretty interesting, especially now that she has her personality and combat barks programmed in. But her stats are just... mediocre. In her defense, though, Rose's stats are pretty mediocre, too. It's just an unfortunate trend with most of the CNPCs in general. The system is pretty unforgiving, which makes the poor character-build decisions on a lot of these CNPCs all the more obvious.

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Re: The Companions So Far, v3.0 (Spoilers!)

Post by ClashFan » May 28th, 2014, 10:43 am

SagaDC wrote:Honestly, I have no problems with Vulture's Cry from a thematic standpoint. She's actually pretty interesting, especially now that she has her personality and combat barks programmed in. But her stats are just... mediocre. In her defense, though, Rose's stats are pretty mediocre, too. It's just an unfortunate trend with most of the CNPCs in general. The system is pretty unforgiving, which makes the poor character-build decisions on a lot of these CNPCs all the more obvious.
I just have a hard time seeing how a "dumb track star" (low intelligence but good speed) from a primitive tribe 1. has significant experience with sniper rifles and 2. gets sent to go make contact with others and do some trading. What?

Surely she'd be more likely to have developed a close combat skill and barter? Thus, a knife-wielding scout with some trading experience.

At any rate, I love the fact that we can easily tweak the NPCs with an xml editor.
:)

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Re: The Companions So Far, v3.0 (Spoilers!)

Post by SagaDC » May 28th, 2014, 11:44 am

ClashFan wrote:I just have a hard time seeing how a "dumb track star" (low intelligence but good speed) from a primitive tribe 1. has significant experience with sniper rifles and 2. gets sent to go make contact with others and do some trading. What?
Well really, in her defense, she wasn't traveling solo. She was traveling with a group of other native americans, presumably including some who were specifically intended to act as the groups "guard" or "armed escort" much like any other caravan. As I've rationalized before, though, I think the devs had THREE concepts in mind when they built her: Merchant, Native American Survivalist, and Scout - and then they tried to make her all three.

The problem with this is that Wasteland 2 uses a very restrictive character development system. You can't spread your points around too much, or you quickly go from being a reasonably well-balanced to an almost literal drag on the rest of the party. In her particular case, she's only a level 3 character, which limits her even further when it comes to how far you can spread her out.

I mean, we can assume that she has a 6 in Charisma because they wanted her to be a merchant - but then they didn't have enough points left over to give her any ranks in Barter. We can assume that they gave her the 4 in Coordination and the 6 in Speed because they wanted her to be a quick sniper, but then they didn't have enough Attribute points left to actually give her a reasonable amount of AP (in fact, if they had made her Coordination even a SINGLE POINT lower, then she wouldn't physically be capable of firing a sniper rifle faster than once every two rounds). Then they gave her five other skills to try to represent the Survivalist/Scout aspects of the character, but they didn't have enough Attribute Points left to give her higher than a 2 Intelligence - which essentially makes her a "Jack of All Trades" who isn't actually smart enough to use all of the skills they saddled her with. You are essentially forced to pick two or three, and only focus her on those skills.

really, though, I do agree that the XML Editor can help to fix these problems (and, to be perfectly honest, I used an editor to tweak her a bit in my recent playthrough just so I could stomach having her in my party) - but there's no denying that its essentially cheating. The player shouldn't have to feel that they need to cheat just to make a CNPC worth using. And the Devs have even hinted that, once the game goes live, the Save Files will no longer be editable with a standard XML editor - so then what? She'll go from being a character you might recruit if you don't mind tweaking her stats, to a character who no one will bother using unless they just happen to really, really like Native American archetypes. :/

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Re: The Companions So Far, v3.0 (Spoilers!)

Post by ClashFan » May 29th, 2014, 9:02 am

SagaDC wrote:
ClashFan wrote:I just have a hard time seeing how a "dumb track star" (low intelligence but good speed) from a primitive tribe 1. has significant experience with sniper rifles and 2. gets sent to go make contact with others and do some trading. What?
The problem with this is that Wasteland 2 uses a very restrictive character development system. You can't spread your points around too much, or you quickly go from being a reasonably well-balanced to an almost literal drag on the rest of the party. In her particular case, she's only a level 3 character, which limits her even further when it comes to how far you can spread her out.

I mean, we can assume that she has a 6 in Charisma because they wanted her to be a merchant - but then they didn't have enough points left over to give her any ranks in Barter. We can assume that they gave her the 4 in Coordination and the 6 in Speed because they wanted her to be a quick sniper, but then they didn't have enough Attribute points left to actually give her a reasonable amount of AP (in fact, if they had made her Coordination even a SINGLE POINT lower, then she wouldn't physically be capable of firing a sniper rifle faster than once every two rounds). Then they gave her five other skills to try to represent the Survivalist/Scout aspects of the character, but they didn't have enough Attribute Points left to give her higher than a 2 Intelligence - which essentially makes her a "Jack of All Trades" who isn't actually smart enough to use all of the skills they saddled her with. You are essentially forced to pick two or three, and only focus her on those skills.

really, though, I do agree that the XML Editor can help to fix these problems (and, to be perfectly honest, I used an editor to tweak her a bit in my recent playthrough just so I could stomach having her in my party) - but there's no denying that its essentially cheating. The player shouldn't have to feel that they need to cheat just to make a CNPC worth using. And the Devs have even hinted that, once the game goes live, the Save Files will no longer be editable with a standard XML editor - so then what? She'll go from being a character you might recruit if you don't mind tweaking her stats, to a character who no one will bother using unless they just happen to really, really like Native American archetypes. :/
I really hope they do continue to allow the game to be edited. Otherwise, we have to wait for the inevitable character editor to come out.

Also, to me, just redistributing points is not "cheating." Yeah, that might just be semantics. I'd say that boosting a character to be overly powerful is cheating. I guess everyone has their own line on that one.

I still think that some of this comes to the silly 28 point builds in the game. I've already Centercoded all my suggestions on builds and NPC's. I'm still holding out hope that they'll make some changes to the overly restrictive way that PC's and NPC's are built, and even how "Poor", "Average" and "Good" stats are defined.

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Re: The Companions So Far, v3.0 (Spoilers!)

Post by Onholyservicebound » May 30th, 2014, 4:40 am

I have no problem with vulture's cry using sniper rifles, her int score doesn't really tie into it in my opinion. It's like complaining that Boone in NV should be using a club because he's too stupid to use sniper rifles, her awareness is probably why she focused in that, as for being in a native tribe, doesn't mean much either, she herself said they aren't actually "noble savages" and that it was just an act, they probably have the same access to weapons as anyone else. And hell, natives were great sharpshooters, and even in western days took full advantage of looted rifles.

I'm fine with her stats, but I do think that we should get a little more stat points for characters so they don't all have to be uber min-maxed, I get the point, but I would like 3-4 more at the least. And yeah I would prefer they added more points than changing the score names. Although in canyon of titan there's apparently someone who does cybernetic implants, right now they don't do it for rangers, would be cool to get access to that.

Or better yet get a few extra attribute points to give to your rangers at the halfway point of the game, like, big promotion that gives stat boost.

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Re: The Companions So Far, v3.0 (Spoilers!)

Post by SagaDC » May 30th, 2014, 5:07 am

Onholyservicebound wrote:I have no problem with vulture's cry using sniper rifles, her int score doesn't really tie into it in my opinion.
Personally, my only real issue with her using the Sniper Rifle as her weapon of choice is the fact that she barely has enough AP to actually use it. Until she gets her hands on a Bullpup Sniper Rifle (Tier 3), she has to use ALL of her AP just to fire her sniper rifle once, meaning that as long as she's firing she can't actually move or crouch or take any other actions - and if her gun jams, she's essentially locked out of combat for two full rounds (one round "wasting" AP because of the jam, and another because it takes 7 more AP to clear the jam). This is slightly mitigated once you get the Bullpup, because that sniper rifle only costs 6AP to fire instead of 7.

I'd feel a lot better if she had either 8AP OR if she used a slightly more economical firearm as her weapon of choice, so she could both attack and maneuver at least a little bit in the same turn.
Onholyservicebound wrote:Although in canyon of titan there's apparently someone who does cybernetic implants, right now they don't do it for rangers, would be cool to get access to that.
Sadly, this appears to be little more than a tease. You get a lot of clues leading up to it (since you run into about four or five people with cybernetic prosthetics), but Doctor Ardullah's only real purpose seems to be giving the player a skill book (+1 Computer Science, I think). Beyond that, I sincerely doubt he'll ever offer the players any cybernetic services - especially because every ending for the Titan quest line essentially renders him inaccessible.

But, then again, the players will be dealing with the Synthetic Cult soon enough, once they get to California. Maybe they'll finally get access to some cybernetics once they're over there...

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Re: The Companions So Far, v3.0 (Spoilers!)

Post by ClashFan » May 30th, 2014, 9:28 pm

Onholyservicebound wrote:I have no problem with vulture's cry using sniper rifles, her int score doesn't really tie into it in my opinion. It's like complaining that Boone in NV should be using a club because he's too stupid to use sniper rifles, her awareness is probably why she focused in that, as for being in a native tribe, doesn't mean much either, she herself said they aren't actually "noble savages" and that it was just an act, they probably have the same access to weapons as anyone else. And hell, natives were great sharpshooters, and even in western days took full advantage of looted rifles.

I'm fine with her stats, but I do think that we should get a little more stat points for characters so they don't all have to be uber min-maxed, I get the point, but I would like 3-4 more at the least. And yeah I would prefer they added more points than changing the score names. Although in canyon of titan there's apparently someone who does cybernetic implants, right now they don't do it for rangers, would be cool to get access to that.

Or better yet get a few extra attribute points to give to your rangers at the halfway point of the game, like, big promotion that gives stat boost.
I've long advocated more attribute points for characters to avoid min-maxxing. That usually brings out silly accusations of trying to create "godlike" characters from others, however.

I've used an xml editor to create 32 point builds for my characters. Even with that, 3/4 have a 1 for Charisma and Luck in order to get decent levels of other stats, so I am minning but not maxxing.

But, at least I can have everyone with a decent Speed of 4 now. None of them are even close to godlike status.... My leader character has 9 INT but is 4-5 at everything else except a Luck of 1.

Looks like the 28 point build for PCs and NPCs will remain the standard. The interface does allow for attribute points to gained by the characters like skill points, so mabye gaining an occasional stat point to distribute will be implemented eventually. Why not one point for every 5-6 levels gained?

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Re: The Companions So Far, v3.0 (Spoilers!)

Post by Onholyservicebound » May 31st, 2014, 5:23 am

I think 35 is the golden number, less than in Fallout but more than we have now. God character is relative to the game, the game is still being balanced so changing it now doesn't mean we'll suddenly have a super easy game. 32 is also good, was there a kickstarter goal for mod tools? Maybe it can be done in the future.

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Re: The Companions So Far, v3.0 (Spoilers!)

Post by ClashFan » May 31st, 2014, 1:28 pm

Onholyservicebound wrote:I think 35 is the golden number, less than in Fallout but more than we have now. God character is relative to the game, the game is still being balanced so changing it now doesn't mean we'll suddenly have a super easy game. 32 is also good, was there a kickstarter goal for mod tools? Maybe it can be done in the future.
35 would be fine, too, but they've been tweaking all the NPC's with 28 point builds (except Angela Deth) for some time now. So, it looks like that might be it. Now, if they let characters gain an Attribute point for each X # of levels ups (say, each 5 levels or so), then characters could grow up into 30+ attribute points, and that would be okay, too.

I do like 35 because it is dead center in 7 attributes with a max of 70 total points. The way the game defines Attributes still makes that an "Average" overall character in talent.

Be sure to send your suggestion to Centercode. I suggested several ideas months ago.

For NPC skills, I wish they'd leave characters with about 4 skill points unused so that, when we get each, we can then tweak them right off to fit the party better.

UPDATE:

Okay, just got Vipula for the first time. Sadly, by this time (my characters are all level 15-18, including Takayuki) she's just not worth keeping. By this time in the game, you already have someone who is your "tech" person. Her only value right now is the energy weapon she has. And, as stated earlier, her initiative and action points make her look a bit weak in combat, esp. when I've already got a leader/tech character.

So, I'm going to recruit her, take her stuff, then dismiss her to the Ranger Center so that I can get Chisel back. Sad, because her bio suggests a possibly very interesting character to have.

Perhaps drop one point each from INT, Luck, and Strength and put them into Awareness/Coordination to boost her AP and initiative? I think her value could be as a 1st or 2nd energy weapons character. Thus she could be a combat boost to the party, even coming in a bit later as she does. I'd dump Chisel for her then.

Hopefully they do something to fix her.


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Re: The Companions So Far, v3.0 (Spoilers!)

Post by SagaDC » June 1st, 2014, 9:48 pm

Oh man, did they actually make those three recruitable? And here I've just been ignoring them, because I thought they were literally just filler NPCs. :P

I'll definitely have to take a look later tonight, though, and I'll update my list accordingly. :)

EDIT - Aaah, I see. They're only recruitable if you've lost actual members of your team (ie, one of the four you create when starting the game). I never noticed that, because I always take pains to keep my rangers alive.

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Re: The Companions So Far, v3.0 (Spoilers!)

Post by Crosmando » June 1st, 2014, 10:14 pm

Faran Brygo's daughter ran away from home?
Matthias did nothing wrong!

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Re: The Companions So Far, v3.0 (Spoilers!)

Post by Stuurminator » June 1st, 2014, 10:18 pm

SagaDC wrote:
Oh man, did they actually make those three recruitable? And here I've just been ignoring them, because I thought they were literally just filler NPCs. :P

I'll definitely have to take a look later tonight, though, and I'll update my list accordingly. :)

EDIT - Aaah, I see. They're only recruitable if you've lost actual members of your team (ie, one of the four you create when starting the game). I never noticed that, because I always take pains to keep my rangers alive.
No kidding? Huh, I was just experimenting with a solo run.

I guess they do say that from the get-go, though. "Hey, can I join if one of you guys die?"

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