For the Desert Rangers to gain in strength, and for the people to live well (or "live" at least), it is a good idea to take to your heart a handful of useful tips, useful for each fresh cadet that sets out to the post-apocalyptic plains of Arizona.
Wasteland 2 has been created in the convention of the classic Role Playing games with top-down, isometric view , which were extremely popular at the break of the century. If you have played those games, you know what they look like and what to expect of them. If not - search any possible corner, ransack any possible stash and first of all, talk to everyone that you meet. Pay attention to dialogues, take your time and check out everything, thoroughly. Do not follow the path of the storyline, from A to B. Take a detour and you will discover completely new places and completely new, expanded stories, which you would miss otherwise. Thanks to this, you will gain more experience that will make playing easier, in the long run, and thanks to which you will enjoy playing Wasteland 2 much more.
Also, as soon as possible, get in the habit of pressing the key that highlights everything that you can interact with (Z on the keyboard), otherwise you can miss a lot...
Also, do not worry if you cannot complete a quest, open a chest or defeat a group of opponents, at a given moment. The majority of problems of the wastes can be solved in any order you want. Therefore, if something seems problematic, level up a little, get better equipment and return then. It may then turn out that the difficult quest, or invincible opponents became a piece of cake.
Better to lose with a wise man...
Skills are the key to victory. To b able to complete all of the quests, your party should have as many skills as possible, at the highest level possible. How many points you will be able to distribute, depends on your Intelligence so, while creating the party, make sure that there are no thickheads on it! The basic skills that you should be developing, virtually from the very beginning, are Pick Lock, Safecracking, Computer Science, Perception, Field Medic, Surgeon, Smart Ass) and Hard Ass.
For a good start
Right after the beginning of the game, you find a shovel on the ground. Do not forget to collect it because you are going to need it. Out in the wastes, there are many heaps of soil that you can dig up, thanks to which you will find various lockers with gear. To use the shovel, add it to the quick bar, select it and click the spot that you want to start digging in It is easy to recognize those heaps of dirt. They highlight after you use Perception, or press the highlighting key. You can also dig graves up. If you want to, you can dig up the grave of the freshly-buried Ace! Do not expect Vargas and the other Rangers to wink at it, however...
Apart from that, after you use the Hard-Ass skill, during your conversation with the guard at the entrance to the Citadel, you can receive a special handgun-shotgun Mississippi Mule, with a really powerful kick to it.
Right after you start, you can also include Angela Deth in your party, who is staying close to the Citadel entrance. It is a decent reinforcement to each new party, both when it comes to offence and practical matters. She uses an assault rifle that she can put to a good use and, apart from that, she has excellent skills Brute Force and Kiss Ass.
Recycle to save the world!
Do not sell and, under no circumstances, throw away the weapons that you do not use. Learn Weaponsmithing and take them apart. Thanks to this, you will obtain modifications that you can mount onto the gear that you are using and, even if you do not do that, you will obtain junk parts, that you can sell for profit at the Ranger Citadel. However, the higher the weapon level, the lower the value of the scavenged parts. It is a good idea to disassemble the cheapest assault rifles or pistols, but it is more beneficial to sell energy hammers and axes intact.
A promoted worker is a good worker
In the game, health does not regenerate automatically. The wounded character remains wounded until healed. There is one exception though - progressing to the next experience level. If a character is heavily wounded, but his experience bar is nearly full, he will be able to make it in fight with one more pack of mutated badgers. Right after such a fight, use the radio and the news of promotion will make him so happy that he will be back to full health (healing level depends on the game difficulty level). It is a very good way to save up on first-aid kits.
Always vigilant and ready
Remember to reload the weapon on a regular basis, outside of combat and to make sure that the magazines are not empty. Just in case, check the weapon of each character and make sure that it is reloaded. Do this especially after a fight, where characters changed their firearm to a melee weapon, or one firearm to another. It is better to waste several seconds on making the final check than to find out, in combat, that you cannot fire a heavy weapon, because there only are two bullets left in your clip.
When exploring a new location, have the character with the highest perception level go first. If they spot a trap, have the sapper move in. Move the ranger to the back and allow the expert to do his work, so in case of an accident, losses are as low as possible. If you spot any enemies, retreat and get the rest of the party. Check all of the chests with perception first, and disarm the trap, or the alarm, before you open it. If the lock breaks, fix it and try opening it again. Examine the area ahead of you slowly and carefully and, most importantly of all, watch your step. Mines explode instantaneously after you step on them, therefore one character is enough to deal damage to the entire party.
While fighting, try to take advantage of the weapon's spread and of the opponent's positioning. If there are several opponents in a row, change firing mode and target the one at the very end and there is a chance of wounding the rest, at the same time. Also, take advantage of landform features. Take positions on hills and behind all rips in the ground, canyons and all natural formations that it is impossible to get over. It is especially useful in the case of fighting animals that will first have to walk around the party and find a way.
A scattered group is the best group
A party that is tightly herded together is an easier target for grenades. While shooting at an opponent, you can easily wound your party members, especially if you are firing a heavy weapon, or machine weapons. Party members cannot walk through each other, therefore they can get stuck in narrow passages. In each fight, try to scatter the party, which prevents them from shooting each other's back and from blocking narrow passageways. As a herd of a party, it is easier to walk into a minefield and other traps.
You do not know where to go or what to do? Don't panic and open your log, where all of the interesting facts, about the individual quests, are taken down.
Look around carefully
Every location is full of crates, safes and hidden stashes, which you can find thanks to sufficiently high perception level. You can find them anywhere, both at the roadside and at the end of a dead end. For that reason, it is a good idea to have your perception active at all times and examine each element of the location. This also goes for the hidden shrines. Although the majority of them may look identical, some select ones house hidden, often trapped, crates in which you can find valuable items.
Save game reasonably
This is for various reasons, mainly because the number of available slots, although high, is limited. You do not learn how many of them there are, up until you have used them all up. If you exceed the limit, the older entries will simply not appear in the game, therefore do not be surprised if you cannot find them anywhere. The saves that exceeded the limit are stored in an appropriate folder. You simply need to delete, or displace, some of the newer entries to be able to load the older ones.
Always shoot first
In a situation, in which you realize that things will soon get heated here, position your people and select the sniper to shoot at the possibly best target. There is quite a chance of wounding the opponent severely, or even kill him. One opponent killed before the fight may not change much but still, makes things easier.
The advanced version of the tactic assumes using two snipers, who fire at exactly same moment. The problem is that they need to be facing the opponent and the opponent should be standing still, or move slowly. Otherwise, there is a chance of one of the sniper shooting before the other one, who is still trying to lock on the opponent.. Still, it is a good idea to try it, because two direct shots is a 100% guarantee of death, of majority of opponents. In the worst case, you hit the opponent only once, which is still a good thing.
Be a moderate hoarder
In the game, you can obtain many valuable items, such as explosives, books that increase the level of your skills or rare boosters. Many of them are worth keeping, but only up to a certain moment. If you see that a fighting gets too difficult for you, robots or animals have too many health points and in your equipment, you can find thirty grenades, use up your supplies. You will decrease the weight of your backpack, this way, and make combat easier. Do not worry if you had to use a valuable rocket or a big first-aid kit. You will still have plenty of opportunities of getting or buying a new one.
Good is relative to the viewpoint
Quests in Wasteland 2 can be completed in various ways. You can always decide that, from your standpoint, the Jedi are the bad ones. In technical terms, wiping out both of the warring factions also results in peace. Be independent and act your own way. In fact, there is a counterbalance for each faction: you can side with one or try to unify them. If you are blessed with the skill to convince (Charisma), you can solve many of the issues without even firing one bullet.
You can also do it the other way around and kill out all of the innocent that, as a member of the Desert Rangers you swore to protect. If you keep doing that for long enough, the Desert Rangers will finally discard you from the organization and start to hunt you down. What is interesting, you will then be able to ally yourself with another faction that is also enemy towards the Rangers and you can attempt to destroy them, to get a completely different, full and official game ending.
The old crone at the village tells you that their well needs fixing? Try using Mechanical Repair. The Shepherd tells you that his cattle is uneasy? Use Animal Whisperer on the cows. The doctor at the hospital has his hands full of work with suffering patients? Put the gloves on and use Surgeon. You can even use Brute Force on a cow, to knock it down, if you are not in the mood! Such elements will not be included in your log so, be creative and search for opportunities to showcase your skills.
This also goes for hacking robots and taming animals in combat. You only need sufficiently high level of a skill, for seizing a piece of machinery, or taming the most dangerous of beasts to be a apiece of cake. Of course, after the fight, they will be automatically destroyed, killed or will simply run away, but before that, they will be of much help. Especially if they are packing energy weapons or have a high level of CON. Also, you can hack and tame before the battle, e.g. Turrets turned the other way, or big frogs. The bottom line is that you cannot be spotted in the act.
Also, remember that you can use skills as much as you want to, or up until a critical failure - it is better not to take the risk if the chance of success is lower than 35%. Get more experience and return to the same location later on.. Or be a sissy, save the game, before using the skill an, in the case of critical failures load it again and try until you succeed. You can do the same, while looting crates. Contents of the majority of them are random, so you can reload the game and try again, if you realize that the crate is empty.
If you cannot enter from the front - try at the back
In practical terms, there is one major flaw to every well-guarded fortress - the back entrance. Sometimes, it is enough to break the fence to gain access to completely unguarded caves that take you straight into the enemy HQ. Search for such solutions! To destroy obstacles, you can use Brute Force, melee weapons (approach the gate and attack) or a grenade.
Handle explosives carefully
This is not only because you can wound an ally with one, but also because of crates. Safes can be opened with dynamite, but a crate will be destroyed this way. Instead of ammo, or scrap metal, all you find will be some planks. Apart from that, a grenade can wound a party member, if ill-aimed, for example an animal.
The majority of gadgets that you find increase a skill level, for as long as you keep it. Thanks to this, you can obtain a Kick Ass or Hard Ass point that you have been lacking, thanks to which you can resolve a predicament in an amicable way; a Safecracking point, without which you cannot open a lock, or a sapper point, thanks to which you will be able to clear a big minefield with ease. Other gadgets allow you to carry more water, more equipment, or they can increase your chances of a critical hit. Therefore, it is a good idea to collect gadgets that affect your skills or offer other bonuses, even if they lower your attributes at the same time. You never know what may come in handy.
There also is a nifty trick, in connection with gadgets. The game cannot tell the difference, whether you have obtained level 10 of a skill, thanks to points, biiks or gadgets. Therefore, if you find a gadget that raises one, or two skills by a point, you can ignore developing it to the maximum level and use the gadget instead. Thanks to this, you will save up 8 skill points, i.e. as many as 4 levels for a character with intelligence level 4. You can save up even more, if you manage to get a book that provides you with a permanent +1 to the selected skill. In such a case, you can develop a skill for points, up to level 8, use a book to raise it to 9, and use the gadget to boost it to 10. This is a good strategy, especially that gadgets can be replaced at any moment, even in combat. Therefore, there is no problem in replacing non combat-related gadgets with combat-related ones, right before or during the first turn of the fight. What can cause problems, though, is gadgets that raise skills, but lower attributes. A -1 penalty is little, but it may mean several CON points lost during an attack or, even worse, a worse position in the queue. Apart from that, you actually need to remember to replace gadgets, which may prove difficult, with a group of seven characters of varying skills. The last downside is that gadgets do not allow you to purchase skills and attributes. To be able to access them, you need to raise your skill level using skill points, and not gadgets.
Also, there are gadgets that provide you with a +2 bonus, but they are rare. It is better not to hope to find one, while planning how to develop your character.
Accept a pet
With the animal whisperer, you can increase the party in size by including animals. Animals cannot be controlled, but its presence in itself raises the level of the caretaker's attributes. For this reason, it is a good idea to take interest in animals that you encounter. Of course, a corps of wasteland police is going to look strange, if accompanied by a goat, cow and an oversized rat, but the benefits that this brings should alleviate that. Apart from that, you can use animals in combat as an additional pool of CON, as a shield against enemy fire or a barricade that stands in the way.