Fallout2 Highest Skill Level in a reasonable game

Discussion in 'Fallout RPG Gameplay & Tech' started by laclongquan, Apr 6, 2020.

  1. laclongquan

    laclongquan Boned Hunter of Sister

    Jan 11, 2008
    Welcome, welcome you all to a list of Highest Skill Level in a reasonable Fallout 2 game. Obviously we can raise things to 300 if you want to, but a reasonable game dont need that high. So please, tell us, what you think about this list.
    Sort in order of importance
    Combat skills (Small gun, Big gun, energy gun, Unarmed, Melee, Throwing) = 60 (eyes hit penalty) + 95 (max) = 155%.
    --Specifically, for fighting Masticator you need Unarmed 167+ so you can bite his ear off.
    --Obviously in close combat sometimes you dont need that high level, but sometimes you meet some really really agile fighter, like the Masters in Chinatown's ring, or Masticator in New Reno heavyweight championship. And in ranged combat we have distance to think about. So 145 is a good reasonable threshold.
    --Mind you, Throwing is really really shit combat skill. I tried playing it, but you need serious messing with game resources to make it even halfway playable: cheat in around 100 flares for normal use, and possibly reduce grenades AP cost. You need a dedicated rebalance mod to make this one playable.

    Speech: 80% for Jack in NCR, but 75% in Vault City. As you can see we are going to need it high ASAP. Thus people normally drop a Tag on it. There's some perks and actions that raise +17 or +18, plus the mirror shades raise it some more.

    Sneak: 121%. Because there's characters' vision check whether you have Sneak over 120. If yes, their field of vision will be reduced, which is immensely useful in: sneaking through, sneak-steal, sneak-open, sneak-plant. The obvious use is (1) dropping live dynamite on characters like Metzger before open fire, (2) New Reno Arms where you sneak into basement for free upgrade, and (3) silent hit kills from behind. This one is pure point buy, and ASAP, so I deem a Tag is needed.

    First Aid: 91%, which is the highest percentage from reading books. You dont need to invest a point in it. And if we mess around with drugs to reduce Intelligence, thus reduce skill level, we can read more books to raise it even higher. But FA use up time to cure HP, the which can be done by stims and healing powders, so before finding Vault13 it's of limited use, in my personal opinion. After that, too little HP heal for the time to spend.
    ++ We can use First Aid in no-rest zone to advance time (to make drug bad effect come online) but this require no investment whatsoever.

    Doctor: 60%, and a Vault City perk add +5 (require Doctor 75, or shenanigan with difficulty slider), Living Anatomy perk add +10, and we has 75 need for success a check in VC computer. The check is only needed after we have a spare combat armor and 5.5k gold so we dont need to invest it right away. And doctorbag and the like wont help with their tool bonus in that check. Doctor skill only useful if you get crippled somewhere far from doctors, since you can just use stims and healing powder for normal HP loss.

    Science: 130% for Skynet's cybernetic brain. Luckily this is optional so you dont need to get that high if you cant spare the points. Double luckily this skill can be learnt by book reading, so you dont need to invest that many: book read to 91, drug abused then book read to around 120, and the rest by point buy.
    ++A cheapskate option is to change to Easy difficulty to scale from 110 to 130.

    Repair: 101 at least. The car rebuilt done by Smitty in The Den can be done by Chosen One at 101% (1% of success). Otherwise you can just read book to raise this skill to 91, use drug then read book to 118. The Super Tool Kit add a +2040% but that depend on whether the skill check use that tool bonus or not. The higher Repair is, the more you can heal Brainbot (but not K9).
    ++If you play RP or any mod that add EPA level, Repair 100 is minimum to bring down the forcefield on lowest level

    Lockpick: possibly 100% for the ammo room in Sierra Depot. Although that is optional. Generally I think a 60% plus advanced lockpick to get to 100 is enough. Pure point buy, ouch~
    ++Actually, it's possible to open these doors at lower skill level. I can open it at 40 with the epick mk2. It's more convenient when you can use hot key Reload to Use the item lockpick on the door instead of moving cursors by yourself which is the major reason restricting us pick it 66 times.

    Outdoorsman: Unraised. We can read book to raise it to 91, messing with drugs to push it to 110+. But codes show that we only need up to 75% alongside with Tool bonus (motion sensor) for checks (max 95). Special Encounter require both LUCK and this skill. A Luck 1/2 character doesnt meet special encounters even with high skill level.
    ++ Deathclaws raiding Westin ranch. You can find the shortcut to V13 if your Outdoorsman is high enough which 90+ doesnt cut it. I am suggesting read book-->use drug then wait for bad effect to lower stat, thus lower skill ==> read book again.

    Barter: I leave this untouched. Barter is checked in various dialog, but that is mostly to make money or reduce cost. And since the complaint of most gamers is we are too rich by end game, i see no reason to raise it.
    ++ Even worse, in some check it use Speech skill or Charisma check to win the argument to lower price (Doc Andrews in VC courtyard...) So there's even less need to invest in it.

    Traps: Unraised. We mostly lose HP due to various traps, which we can heal with plentiful stims. No instant death trap at all. We do use dynamites and plastic explosives throughout the game, but the unraised traps skill wont prevent us doing that
    ++Shrub Mc Duck remind me about using Traps to assassinate Mr Bishop. Considering there's other ways to do him in like Super Stimpack and etc... I dont find investing 70~ points in Trap to off that oldster a REASONABLE method.
    +++On the other, if you play a long game, after 30 levels, 70 points is not that much of a wastage. So what the hell, go for it~

    Please, tell me if I miss something.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2020
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 2
  2. laclongquan

    laclongquan Boned Hunter of Sister

    Jan 11, 2008
    Lockpick: lower than 20 will have trouble with plenty of early doors and containers, like Vic's shack and DUnton's door. Quest implication is Lloyd's hiding place cant be opened. Lower than 40 will have big trouble with Vault City's Vault 2nd floor AND Valerie's many lockers.
  3. LanceVance

    LanceVance First time out of the vault

    Apr 25, 2020
    ''The Super Tool Kit add a +20%''

    Actually, it adds 40%. Other than that you are spot on, and I agree with you on just about everything.
  4. laclongquan

    laclongquan Boned Hunter of Sister

    Jan 11, 2008
    FIrst Aid and Doctor has one unique use is to advance time in rest-forbidden zones. FA advance 30 min and Doctor 60 min. Like, if you are inside VC's gates for less than legal reason and dont want to get kicked out for whatever reason, you can use 3FA and 3DR for a 4h30m time pass.

    Similar method is to use repair in certain zones, like SAD's robots. I havent time to figure it out properly, but by trying to repair robot or forcefield, sometimes it advance time unknowningly, no flashing black screen at all. Science doesnt seem to work in similar fashion.

    This usage is rare but quite irreplaceable. Say you have a Verti-Assault team on your ass around Gecko. You can talk them around BUT you want to kill them. So after persuading them, Use 2 Jet each and need to wait a little so they get afflicted by bad status. Normally you would have to wait in real time. But with FA/Doctor/Repair you can advance time quickly. Similar situations apply to friendly troops with advance weaponry that you want to rob them in random encounters.
    Last edited: May 11, 2020
  5. Brunzer

    Brunzer First time out of the vault

    Apr 9, 2010
    Bad advice. There aren't enough repair books in the game to raise your skill to 91%, let alone to 101% with the drugs exploit.
    You'd need to invest skillpoints in repair for a single skillcheck, the outcome of which can be obtained by other means. Those skillpoints are better spent elsewhere. Keep in mind that you want the car early, not by level 25 when you're swimming in skillpoints.
    Or you need to buy a ton of books, in which case you'd might as well just pay Smitty. Just barter some stuff with Smitty if you want the cash back.
  6. laclongquan

    laclongquan Boned Hunter of Sister

    Jan 11, 2008
    Point number 1: Mine is a possibility, not a recommendation. If any gamer is so skin-flint as to ignore paying Smitty 2k and wait until middle game to return here.... Who the hell am I to change their skinflintyness. To say nothing of accident when they have to kill Smitty and/or Skeeter (bad steal attempt and no quicksave)

    Point number 2: Car's repair check is the most visible usage anyone would care to know about. it is not, however, the only use for Repair. You can use repair on robots, like K9, to heal their HP instead of using stims. You can use repair on NPC robots to disable them (high repair plus Super Tool kit). It's pretty important to use with Evil Skynet who's lost his auto repair sequence.

    Point number 3: You havent visit enough shops to say what you said with authority. VC shops are one early source. SF Chinatown shop, the Tanker's shops are another source. you certainly can find enough and more than that for your repair reading.

    Point number 4: The most efficient repair book reading is to read at least 5 if not more at once. I typically wait until before SAD, or before NCR downtown, to do so. Which mean I have a lot.

    point number 5: To read effiently, you read them all at once in inventory, not read one then get out to check. After 60, it's time to use Psycho: 2 dose will reduce 6 point. A combo of Mentat(wait 24h) and Psycho can reduce to min Int. At that specific point, your repair should be reduced 20-24 point, and regain the high gain per book. This second (or third) phase can push your Repair to beyond 91 (After all the chem bad effect is over)
    Last edited: May 15, 2020
  7. Brunzer

    Brunzer First time out of the vault

    Apr 9, 2010
    Sure looks like a recommendation to me.
    True, but it is the only check that requires to raise it to such a high level. For everything else 60% or so is sufficient, which can be easilly gotten from free skill books.
    To say what exactly? I pointed out that there aren't enough repair books in the game unless you buy them. Buying enough books in Vault City requires some serious meta-gaming and the cost is higher than just paying Smitty.
    Really? I didn't know that. Is it because of how the numbers are rounded down once you exit the inventory?
    You wait untill you're 2/3 in the game before you buy the car? Sounds like bad advice to me.

    To summarise:
    Your advice consists of either investing points in repair, waiting for a very long time before you finally have read enough books to obtain the car or do some serious meta-gaming with re-entering VC untill you get the books you need and exploiting the drugsystem. There is no other use for a repair skill this high, in fact, if you just use the free books that are distributed in the game, the flow is almost perfect. For example: If you follow the standard path by going East, Klamath, Modoc, VC, Gecko and then head to New Reno (for an electronic lockpick and two pulse grenades) > Toxic caves, you'll have enough repair to fix the elevator in the toxic caves. You might even stop in the Den along the way to pick up your car ;-).

    Hell, if you're going to advocate investing in repair (either with skillpoints or by meta-gaming) for just 1 possible way to resolve a single quest, you might rethink discarding the traps skill.
    Each crime boss in New Reno has a special way to dispose of him. Traps offers the coolest way to dispose of Mr. Bishop. Is it necessary? No. You can kill the guy in many ways, but rigging his safe is his 'special option'.

    You start your topic with "Highest Skill Level in a reasonable Fallout 2 game". One niche uscase is arguably not reasonable especially if you have to go out of your way to obtain it.
    Last edited: May 15, 2020
  8. laclongquan

    laclongquan Boned Hunter of Sister

    Jan 11, 2008
    You are, I dont know, nitpicking and twisting the facts to support your agenda? Then redirect to other issue to hide your problems?

    I dont really want to play that kind of game with you, since you are not that interesting. Or important. I will state the facts

    1. There are enough and more than enough Repair books in the game. if you are so skinflinty as to not fork out your shekels to buy in VC shops, then later on SF shops, plus various other places... then I have nothing to say. Skinflintyness is a way of playing, who am I to say otherwise. It's like ironman method~

    2. VC shops and SF shops are restocking every few days. You can save from outside of the town zone, get in to check the shops'inventory, if not then reload and recheck. If you are inside that map, the inventories is refreshed and fixed already. The length of VC-Gecko make sure you should have enough time to check the shops every trip you make for the quests. VC generally clean up your money.

    3. What you dont know is not what others dont know. A lot of what I said is known around here for at least a decade. So read more, Shrub Mc Duck.
    Last edited: May 16, 2020
  9. Brunzer

    Brunzer First time out of the vault

    Apr 9, 2010
    There are not. Only if you buy them, which makes your point about being a skinflint moot, since buying enough books at that point in the game costs more than paying Smitty.
    Like I said, metagaming and exploits.
    Oh come on princess. You made a topic about skill levels in a 'reasonable' playthrough and at the end your ask for people's feedback. I pointed out that your advice for repair is not in the realms of a reasonable playthrough. There's only one usecase, and that is when Smitty isn't able to fix the car for you, by aggro'ing him for example.
  10. laclongquan

    laclongquan Boned Hunter of Sister

    Jan 11, 2008
    If you have money to pay for repair books, you have money to pay for the car. Period. if you dont have money to pay for repair books, you STILL have enough money to pay for the car. the only way you cant pay for the car is a freak accident (or no quicksave) of you stealing Smitty (or Skeeter), or you click on the car and he get mad and turn hostile. In which case money or not you are still screwed. Which is why you are going to fix the car yourself.

    As for forking out shekels for Repair books, Repair still work on (Evil) Skynet and K9, so it's a worthwhile investment

    I wont bother respond on this question, since you are trying to win without something to win it.
  11. laclongquan

    laclongquan Boned Hunter of Sister

    Jan 11, 2008
    ON SAD's second floor doors lead to the maintainance elevators. Some source say it's 100 to open them.

    Actually, it's possible to open these doors at lower skill level. I can open it at 40 with a e-pick mk2. It's more convenient when you can use hot key Reload to Use the item lockpick on the door instead of moving cursors by yourself which is the major reason restricting us pick it 66 times.

    Requirement for these is sfall mod so that you can set party order, of most important is the Reload shortcut . it allow us to Use the item on that hand if it's not a gun. Thus we can leave the cursor on the door and R repeatedly thus pick the lock.

    The two lock reward 85xp after picking. My skill threshold is 43, and an e-pick m2.
  12. laclongquan

    laclongquan Boned Hunter of Sister

    Jan 11, 2008
    Navarro, the commander's locker that contain FOB. 37 with lockpickmk2 cant open it. reduce to normal diff, to increase to 47: nope. reduce to easy to 67: open it with 25xp... I dont get the configuration of this locker. if its threshold is 60+ (or 100+ if we calculate lockpick mk2), its xp should be more, like 85xp or something.
  13. PsychoSniper

    PsychoSniper So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Jun 27, 2003
    I once got my small guns skill up to 300 on a level99 playthru, and with the M72 you had 95% to hit at pretty much any range you could see barring complete darkness (and even then to an extent, albiet that may have involved perks).

    From what I remember, to be fair we're talking the better part of 20 years ago when I last did level 99 on a no party playthru, it was actually worth it due to the consistency of pretty much always hitting even at range.

    From what I remember I had that PC built with action boy and bonus movement maxed, so I could do a decent amount of pew pew or running, and falling back for a few turns then engaging at longer range can be very useful to negate the enemies ranged damage thru causing misses, plus stock FO2 (and most of the mods available back then) didnt give NPCs much if any extra ammo so especially with burst fire weapons (which suffered even more at range) you could potentially cause an attack to run totally out of ammunition.
  14. laclongquan

    laclongquan Boned Hunter of Sister

    Jan 11, 2008
    Farming xp for level99 is too much like work~ In a reasonable game with reasonable farming, I am thinking level 35 is a reasonable number to get.

    In which case you can invest tagged shooting skill up to 200 if you really feel like it, though you damn well better raise perception up for efficiency. With BG you have vindicator minigun (caseless ammo), with Energy you have gatling lazer... That should cut down any target standing within 20 tiles in one or two burst.
    Note on Traps:
    Traps on 76 is for asking Leslie Bishop how to assassinate Mr Bishops. But to set the trap you only need 40. Weeeeeird~
    To change the combination lock require Repair, and I dont know how much because at the time mine is 107 without super tool kit.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2020
  15. PsychoSniper

    PsychoSniper So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Jun 27, 2003
    I did it over summer vacation and part of a school year, a good chunk of it was going up and down the coast from arroyo to san fran fishing for enclave patrols, deathclaws, and most of all encounter maps where you hear nlises from a cave, fire geckos were really good for exp.
  16. adipe

    adipe First time out of the vault

    Dec 29, 2013
    either ~300 energy weapons in order to be able to score high damage aimed shots at long range in the late game... or small guns maybe lowered from ~300 after taking the Tag! perk and then boosting other skills. when you Tag! you can take back points from the boosted skill.

    this is all about meta gaming. the most efficient and risk free route would be to get the tag! perk mid-late game after spending almost all your skill points (except for the minimal investment into sneak and lockpick/speech) into energy weapons (or small guns) in order to ensure you get high damage at medium range without corpses blocking your way or carrying heavy weapons and lots of ammo.

    being able to aim is very useful so fast shot does not pay well except you are going the big guns route and then you would not need maxing skills. hunting random encounters is more risky if you don't go the sneak route picking one target each time.

    so, apart from the very well known hth route of spending skill points on untagged unarmed so you perk it later (main use would be the hth evade perk) there's also the option of having the tag perk on small guns or on energy weapons after boosting either small guns with books and drugs (raising skill when under withdrawal) or the energy weapons with drugs withdrawal only. you can also retract from the perked skill points (as it can even get over 300) to boost other skills this way.

    you can further boost energy in reno and with those 10 cat's paw books right before you take the perk.

    this route works best while boosting first sneak to 121 by spending only 43 skill points (53 with no drugs). that is 33 to get it to 101 and 10 more points using drugs to lower the cost.
    when you have 121 sneak you are no longer afraid of random encounters and you can fight large crowds. that means having no party as this sneak thing does not work otherwise. end combat using sneak if the target does not die in the first turn. take the loot, sell, buy drugs, books, ammo, power armor...

    the long iron man route would have ST 3 PE 8 EN 10 CH 2 IN 6 AG 10 LK 8.
    traits: Gifted (for obvious reasons: stats) and Good Natured (less obvious).
    (strength 3 as you will avoid fights until you get the power armor which is before you take the Tag! perk)

    having maxed endurance is useful as the risk of being knocked out knocked down etc. depends on EN and LK being rolled.
    having LK at 8 and then boosted to 10 is useful for that reason too, not only for the sniper perk which never lets you hit without crits, even with unaimed shots. so, having EN and LK eventually both 10 means you eliminate the risk of being crippled, knocked out/down. taking the lifegiver perk is no longer needed.

    but if you don't already know the game but play in order to save/reload after each combat failure then you don't need to min-max and resort to the tag! perk.

    so, only an unarmed or SG or EW route is worth playing maxing the skill... using the Tag! perk. that being an ironman game played on the highest difficulty (skill penalties and combat penalties).

    there's also a quite different way to get several hundreds of skill points into skills that are useful, provided you save about 135 skill points from being spent right away into them useful skills: spending those 135 into one skill that can be raised by books - science being the best because it could be temporarily lowered to -16 (having both hard difficulty and Gifted trait) by having intelligence 1 right before using all the books you can find and buy.

    boost the science skill using books you can buy from vendors. if you get to san fran and are able to hunt for gangs having ~121 sneak and some minimal investment into a combat skill that you can further later boost... you raise the science skill using books after lowering intelligence using drugs. further you raise the science skill further spending those ~135 skill points into it.

    after the science skill is raised to 127 (91+36) using books (supposing intelligence would be 10 for the skill to be 127);
    +9+50+75 skill points to get it to 186 (150+36);
    if your Int stat is 6 or 7 and not 10 then right before you take the perk tag you make sure it is boosted to 10 with a pair of mentats;
    right after you take the Tag! perk you do not exit the character window but keep pressing the "-" key until the science is lowered all the way back. spend all those hundreds of points harvested into different skills and maybe keep a maximum of 99 available skill points before exiting the character window. because otherwise it would not keep more than 99. and remember to spend them before leveling up as you lose everything above 99 if not spent but kept and forgotten about.

    to get 10+/20+ books used while having lowered stats available for all those books you have to use them from the inventory as the stats are kept low from the drugs until you exit the inventory window.

    and by the way, to get agility lowered by 9 you have to be addicted to mentats (-2) and use a few buffouts but not all at once for the withdrawal to kick in... in stages.

    (...later edit)
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2020
  17. adipe

    adipe First time out of the vault

    Dec 29, 2013
    another example, if you care to have a diplosniper which is to delay investing into the small guns skill until taking the Tag! perk for speech and then gets to navarro at level 12-15.
    this example does not take drugs or books into boosting a skill to be tagged with the perk later on but only the +18 bonuses to speech which you can find in Reno and the town next to it.

    special: 3+8+10+2+8+10+6
    starting speech: -10 (hard difficulty)
    (gifted, sex appeal, sneak, small guns, and whatever else skill you prefer, lockpick/doctor etc.)

    in the temple of trials you don't need to get into the final fight (it would be boring/risky), just use sneak and steal. if you get caught you can try again after you end combat getting far enough with sneak on.

    from level 3 you will have 22 speech skill. just don't rush taking out metzger until you get the other quests of Lara. at level 4 you can do all quests (38 speech) involving Lara and Metzger and then you take Metzger out.

    invest 110+50 skill points at levels 2-12 to have speech 125 while still untagged, get the bonuses (+3+5+10) and then speech will get to 296 when taking the Tag! perk; decrease it and invest those ~400 skill points elsewhere and then leave the speech skill at 143 from which it was kicked temporarily to 296 by the Tag! perk. you get to have the speech skill at a higher level than usual and have very strong chances even for the EC squad to engage in the fight with the final boss, usually you have to spend at least 40 skill points into an already tagged speech skill to get it up to 120. and then you get a difference of 240 skill points from the Tag! perk and all it adds up to a 300 skill points benefit (240+40). you can have the tagged small guns to 200 while only reading a few books and still be left with 50 skill points to boost the lockpick and/or doctor skill. all this at level 12...

    until you get to level 12 (midway) you could choose to invest the other 16 points in whatever else might suit you (160+16) or, if you don't care except to reap the maximum benefits of the Tag! perk then you can invest 15 more points. all this without using drugs.

    it's just an example, you can also invest in sneak from early on to escape random encounters more safely but sneak is only necessary if either you don't have high outdoorsman or you are going south of reno with no caravan. caravan can be taken for a safe journey to NCR where you get further XP/levels. so it's quite easy and safe to get to even more than level 12 while investing only in the speech skill and do all the simple peaceful quests in the towns.

    having maxed endurance and agility means you can get away from encounters safely after getting level 6 (bonus move). you might leave sulik at the den after you fight metzger with him which is very easy to do after you buy 16 jets and give each slaver one dose and metzger 2 doses and then wait for 10 minutes for them to be incapacitated. this will get you a nice loot (including a psycho) and lotsa xp points. the only other fights would be those early unarmed fights to get smiley out of the toxic caves and fighting the scorpions and rats in klamath. all the jets you need can be bought quite cheap after you visit the den the second time - going back to klamath after you loot the armor and everything else from the guy who sells what children steal.

    navarro can be quite easily be done with if you have more than 120 sneak to escape patrols and the high speech skill to get the password. if you want to kill and loot everyone there then all you need is a high sneak, a sniper rifle or a BB LE gun, the better criticals perk and a high enough small guns skill.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2020
  18. adipe

    adipe First time out of the vault

    Dec 29, 2013
    155 small guns skill is not high enough. you need to aim in night conditions and there's also armor class in the way.
    i'd say you would need at least 200 for small guns and even more for energy weapons which would work best with aimed shots too.

    155 small guns would be enough only for the starting scoped hunting rifle and even then, not at long range; at night you would need to take chances if you can't retreat behind walls if the target does not drop dead (better criticals) in the first sneak attack.