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cw8: Very nice, I'm wondering about the skills too since my medic character has 9 intel and Rose has 10 which makes them pretty easy to max out skills quite early on.
My advice would be to make sure all the skills your specializing in are at least 9-10 (9 the lowest) by the time you enter California, because all the skill checks in LA are very high/difficult. It's too late if you get to LA and only then get around to putting in a few points, by then it's too late. Even having a skill at 6-7 by the time you get to LA is too late in some cases.
I'm emulating Angie's skills on one of my other characters who only have 3 intel but I hope to reach her skills closely enough which means I'm pumping Outdoorsman skill and Rifles on him.
Good idea, I kept putting off getting Outdoorsman on another character even though I knew Angie would eventually leave my party, and it really screwed me over once I got to California because the random encounters need almost maxed out Outdoorsman to get a 100% to avoid fighting, so I had to keep fighting constantly (which quickly exhausted all my med packs).
Hope that I don't have to ramp the difficulty down to Ranger from SJ once I reach LA seeing how you described it.
How do you mean? I'm playing on Ranger and difficulty is quite intense, even for someone who knows how the mechanics work. I can only imagine SJ would be crazy.

Just try to get to a shop as quickly as possible to buy new guns and armour, because the stuff you bring from Arizona is obsolete as soon as you get there. Also make sure you only leave Arizona (in the chopper) once you have a lot of scrap, because everything in CA/LA is super expensive.
Doesn't stripping all your characters off their armour help with the energy weapons? Else I'm gonna have a fun time in Damonta again later like in beta.
Yeah it obviously does, but the thing is the devs were obviously clever about this and there's never any fights I've got into where enemies are purely using Energy Weapons, the closest I've got was a CotC random encounter where 3 were using Pulse rifles and the rest melee weapons, so even then it wasn't worth taking it off because I still wanted protection against the melee guy's attacks.
So, without major spoilers, how's the writing, C&C and quests like in LA? Better than Arizona?
The writing is just as good or better I guess (I've never not liked the writing in the game so far), honestly I've only done a few quests as I have just been focusing on finding better gear and surviving so far. I think I'll be ready to go into Rodia (the first big town) today.
Ah, this really sounds great. Power armor and pulse rifles ♥
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Crosmando: Good idea, I kept putting off getting Outdoorsman on another character even though I knew Angie would eventually leave my party, and it really screwed me over once I got to California because the random encounters need almost maxed out Outdoorsman to get a 100% to avoid fighting, so I had to keep fighting constantly (which quickly exhausted all my med packs).
The problem is my party member that is emulating her is kinda weak, kinda built him wrong in character creation. While Angie has 10AP, he has only 8AP so that M16 only fires once not twice like what Angie can do, also his initiative is shit as compared to Angie.


Hope that I don't have to ramp the difficulty down to Ranger from SJ once I reach LA seeing how you described it.
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Crosmando: How do you mean? I'm playing on Ranger and difficulty is quite intense, even for someone who knows how the mechanics work. I can only imagine SJ would be crazy.
I just spent near 2 hours trying to win the Rail Thieves fight in Rail Nomad's Camp. That 2nd camp fight on SJ was a low wall obstacle back in beta, now it's even worse. I had to reload a few times to win that fight in beta on SJ, just yesterday I spent near 2 hours and only "won" with the help of the Provost who died in that fight. Once the enemy riflemen take cover, you know you're in trouble since they can 1-2 hit kill you even behind cover while you can't hit them when they're in cover. Luckily the rest of the camps are manageable.
Since Damonta gave me trouble in beta on SJ, I'm imagining it's gonna be hell in this final build. Hope I can clear Arizona at least on SJ, might have to down the difficulty to Ranger if LA is much harder but will only do so if it gets frustratingly difficult.

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Crosmando: The writing is just as good or better I guess (I've never not liked the writing in the game so far), honestly I've only done a few quests as I have just been focusing on finding better gear and surviving so far. I think I'll be ready to go into Rodia (the first big town) today.
Cool I guess, will wait for your feedback.