Character generating in Wasteland 2 requires you to design four rangers, from their stats and skills to their appearance. Some people enjoy perhaps using the randomize option and then build the characters however they feel. “The game is not that difficult,” they’ll say, and then go on to a rich, rewarding gaming experience.
That path is not for me.
I’d like to say the priority is min/maxing the stats and skills, but even that pales in comparison to the first and foremost challenge: what hair style?
Rookies rush in without thinking things through:
- Does this hair style look cool?
- Does it look like I’m trying too hard?
- Are my character choices reflective of my personal beliefs that would be embarrassing if anyone saw them?
There are other questions, but those are really the first that have come to mind.
The first level of Wasteland 2’s character generator is actually the stats and skills. It’s clearly starting with the easy part first. Here are some forum threads I consulted:
- Building a Better Ranger: Weapon Choice and Party Selection
- Building a Better Ranger: Melee Character Optimization
- Building a Better Ranger: Ranged Character Optimization
The things I took away from these threads was the following:
- Assault Rifles are the best ranged weapon.
- Brawling is the best melee skill.
- Coordination is a dump state. Either have 2 or 4 in it.
- In terms of priority: Combat Initiative > Action Points.
- You want to design your Action Point number to correspond with the weapon you plan on using that character (if a weapon requires 7 action points to be used to its fullest potential then that’s what you shoot for).
- Maxing out speed is generally a good idea.
- Pumping Awareness in game pumps your Combat Initiative.
- Luck doesn’t matter.
- Charisma doesn’t need to be above 3 on your Leader.
- For Intelligence: 1, 4, or 10 seem like the best combinations.
Of course you can do stuff differently, but I hate the feeling that my guys could have been better. I’m still trying to figure out how to get all of the -Ass skills (Smartass, Hardass, Kissass).
Ok, now that the irrelevant stuff is out of the way, we get to the real meat of the game: portrait, names, bio, age, appearance, etc.
Let’s start with character portrait. You can use any .png file or .jpg file that’s 256×256 by dropping it in the Custom Portraits folder. This means that you really need to comb the internet obsessively. I chose to go with the same art style, and to avoid photos, so pictures of Mad Max and Snake Plissken (while tempting) are out.
It took me a lot of shopping but I finally, and luckily, found a website that 256×256 portraits on their sites, and short descriptions (it was The Darkest Dungeon) site, so that solved both my desire for good portraits and in a style that matched (and I liked). I just plugged in the bio info from that site too. It only took me like twenty hours to finally work that all out.
Now clothing and appearance. I think I’ve got a new plan that I’m going to try out on my next restart: I’m going to go with the rags clothing option. Why? Because that way I’ll be forced to find clothing I find along the way to dress my characters, thus allowing them to organically look increasingly bizarre, as decided by the Random Number Generator. That just leaves their appearance.
I should have mentioned this before but all of this requires you to pick out a theme and stick to it. For this next run I was just going to run the default characters (2 men and 2 women) but in rags. They’ll look identical, but as the game progresses and I find more and more clothes, they’ll slowly diverge in a slow motion group fashion crime. I can’t tell you how excited I am.