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"How does it work" Part 2: Character Skills

Page history last edited by Little Alien 11 years, 2 months ago

The second part of the series will be much shorter. It focuses on the different character traits that most (if not all) characters in the game possess.

The first time most of us encounter traits is during our I.M.P merc creation process. In 1.13, we can choose any skills we want from a list. Up to two skills can be chosen, and that's the limit for all characters. If we choose only one, we get an "expert level" trait, which is usually (but not always!) twice as good as a regular trait.

Each character in the game has at least one trait. For hired mercenaries, we can see their traits in our laptop's "Personnel" window. These traits give the character a certain "Edge" over other characters.

Traits never change and can never be learned. They can't be lost either. What you see is what you get.

The following list shows all possible traits, and the effect they have on gameplay. Unfortunately, some of these effects had to be "generalized" because the actual functions that handle them are very very complex. Some effects are different based on the situation, so the end result may vary.

Effects marked with (2) are two-level effects. If we have "expert" level in the trait, the effect is always TWICE as strong.

Effects marked with (1) are one-level effects. "Expert" level in the trait confers no extra bonus. Some traits, therefore, like "Camouflage", should never be taken at "Expert" level.

Please note that the THIEF trait is UNUSED IN THE GAME. Do not select that trait for your IMP, as it gives you no advantages!

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Lockpicking

 

  • Increases chance to pick regular (non-electronic) locks. (2)

Note that most locks in the first half of the campaign are "normal" locks. The lockpicking trait remains useful later, but opening electronic locks may prove a hinderance in the later game.

Hand-to-hand

 

  • Increases hand-to-hand attack damage by 45%. (2)
  • Increased chance to hit in Hand-to-Hand and blunt-weapon attacks by 15% (2)
  • Increases chance to dodge Hand-to-Hand or Blunt-Weapon attacks by 15%, if you're not armed with a knife. (2)

Hand-to-hand is less accurate than Martial Arts, but allows greater damage per hit. Overall, it seems the Martial Arts skill is much better...

Electronics

 

  • Without this skill, repairing electronic devices takes twice as long. (1)
  • Same goes for repairing the Robot. (1)
  • Without this skill, picking electronic lockpicks is twice as hard. (1)
  • Without this skill, attaching remote detonators to explosives is twice as hard. (1)
  • Without this skill, planting remote-detonated explosives is 25% harder. (1)
  • Without this skill, disabling electronic traps is 25% harder. (1)
  • Without this skill, attaching some electronic items to other items is twice as hard. (1)

The electronics trait becomes very useful in the later game, when there are many electronic devices to handle, and more electronic locks to keep. It would be nice if we could tell which locks are elecronic, but at the moment we just can't.

Night-Ops

 

  • Reduces time required for sleep, as well as the speed at which the character loses fatigue. (2)
  • Increases vision range at night by 1. (2)
  • Increases hearing range by 2 at night, and by 1 at any other conditions. (2)
  • Increases chance to get an interrupt during nighttime. (2)

Night-Ops is perhaps one of the most useful traits in the game. Even if you don't like fighting in nighttime, sometimes you don't really get a choice. A night-ops merc can really make a difference.

Throwing

 

  • Increases throwing range by 12%. (2)
  • Increases CTH with thrown weapons by 12%. (2)

Teaching

 

  • Increases speed of training militia and other mercs by a certain amount (you can set that amount in Options.INI). (2)

Heavy Weapons

 

  • Increases base Chance-to-Hit with Rocket Launchers by 15%. (2)
  • Increases CTH with launched grenades and other high-angle launchers by 15%. (2)

Auto Weapons

 

  • Reduces chance to fire "unwanted" extra bullets in auto mode.(2)
  • Reduces Auto/Burst penalty for each Auto/Burst bullet, by 50%. Also works with launched-grenade bursts. (2)

Stealthy

 

  • Decreases noise created by moving about. (*)

Thief

 

  • THIS TRAIT IS UNUSED! It gives no bonuses to anything, not even to stealing...

Martial Arts

 

  • Reduces time required for sleep, as well as the speed at which the character loses fatigue. (2)
  • Increases damage in hand-to-hand and blunt-weapon combat by 30%. (2)
  • Increases chance-to-hit in hand-to-hand and blunt-weapon combat by 30% (2)
  • Increases chance to dodge knife attack by 10%, if you're also armed with a knife. (2)
  • Increases chance to dodge knife attack by 15%, if you're not armed with a knife. (2)
  • Increases chance to dodge Hand-to-Hand or Blunt-Weapon attacks by 30%, if you're not armed with a knife. (2)
  • Please note: Martial artists do NOT get a damage bonus from Brass Knuckles or other blunt weapons!

Knifing

 

  • Increases chance to cause instant death to a target, when using throwing knives and the target can't see the thrower. (2)
  • Increases chance to hit with knife attacks by 30%. (2)
  • Increases chance to dodge knife attack by 30%, if you're also armed with a knife. (2)
  • Increases chance to dodge knife attack by 10%, if you're not armed with a knife. (2)
  • Increases chance to dodge Hand-to-Hand and Blunt-Weapon attacks by 15%, if you're also armed with a knife. (2)

Professional Sniper

 

  • Increases maximum CTH bonus possible with extra aiming by 10 points. The maximum regards the total bonus possible, which is usually achieved only after several right clicks. (2)
  • Reduces "effective" range to target when calculating CTH, regardless of the weapon used! (2)

A great skill to have. Even if you don't use a sniper scope, reducing effective range to target ensures better CTH in many situations.

Camouflage

 

  • Gives 100% Woodland Camo, permanently. (1)

Camouflage skill is excellent, because you don't have to find/buy camouflage kits, or wear obstructive camouflage equipment (like Ghillie suits). Remember that you only need ONE LEVEL of camouflage to get the full effect, so choose a second skill alongside it.

Ambidextrous

 

  • Without this skill, you get a -20% penalty to CTH when firing two one-handed weapons. (1)

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Character Attitude and Personality Traits

Characters can also have different traits that distinguish them in terms of behaviour. Some of these traits are good to have, but most are pretty negative.

These traits only come in one level. You can't be "more" or "less" endowed in a personality trait

NORMAL

 

  • No changes, except when rolling some random merc dialogue. No effect on the game.

FRIENDLY

 

  • No effect as far as I can discern from the code... How unfortunate.

LONER

 

  • No effect as far as I can discern from the code... How unfortunate.

OPTIMIST

 

  • When morale goes up, the Optimist will have it go up by one extra point.
  • When morale goes down, the Optimist will have it go down by one less point (that's a good thing).

PESSIMIST

 

  • When morale goes up, the Pessimist will gain one point less than he should.
  • When morale goes down, the Pessimist will lose one extra point of morale. Not a good thing.

AGGRESSIVE

 

  • When morale goes up, the Optimist will have it go up by one extra point.
  • When morale goes down due to running away from a battle, it will have TWICE as negative an impact on the Aggressive. That's very bad.
  • Aggressives are a bit harder to suppress (with Suppression Fire) than other mercs.

ARROGANT

 

  • No effect as far as I can discern from the code... How unfortunate.

BIG_SHOT

 

  • No effect as far as I can discern from the code... How unfortunate.

ASSHOLE

 

  • No effect as far as I can discern from the code... How unfortunate.

COWARD

 

  • When morale goes down, the Coward will suffer two extra points of morale loss. Very bad.
  • When morale goes down due to running away from a battle, Cowards do not lose morale at all! They are perfectly fine with running away!

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NO_PERSONALITYTRAIT

 

  • No effect as far as I can discern from the code.

HEAT_INTOLERANT

 

  • Aside from uttering the occasional annoyance with the heat, it appears that this personality trait is not used anywhere else in the game. There IS a function that's supposed to check whether the merc is too hot, and the game apparently does track a climactic temperature across all sectors (changing throughout the game, wouldn't you know it!). Unfortunately, the check isn't called anywhere else in the code, so there is no real effect for the Heat_Intolerant trait... \:\(

NERVOUS

 

  • Increased chance for the character to die while on another assignment.
  • If the character's morale is less than 50 (stable), and is alone in a squad or has no other squad member within a 10-tile distance, he is likely to suffer a Phobic Episode, leading to a maximum of -20 morale hit!

CLAUSTROPHOBIC

 

  • If underground, the Claustrophobe's Experience Level is considered to be one level lower!
  • If underground, the Claustrophobe has 10% less AP per turn than he would normally have.
  • If underground, the Claustrophobe has a certain chance to get a Phobic Episode, resulting in anywhere up to -20 morale loss!

NONSWIMMER

 

  • The Non-Swimmer loses 5 times as much stamina, when in Deep Water tiles.

FEAR_OF_INSECTS

 

  • If the Insectophobe can see an insect, his total APs available per turn are decreased by 10%!
  • If the Insectophobe can see an insest, he has a certain chance to get a Phobic Episode, resulting in anywhere up to -20 morale loss!

FORGETFUL

 

  • Increased chance for the character to die while on another assignment.
  • We all know Dimitri... The character can suddenly forget where they were going. If in turn-based mode, the character loses anywhere between 1 AP and ALL his APs. Apparently, once this happens, the character can freely move up to 200 tiles before he's eligible for another attack of amnesia.

PSYCHO

 

  • Increased chance for the character to die while on another assignment.
  • When firing in single-shot mode, the character is liable to switch to Burst mode, if the gun can burst at all. Adding extra aiming APs will reduce the chance of that happening.
  • When firing in Auto-fire mode, the character is more likely to add extra bullets to the burst. Higher marksmanship helps offset this.
  • Psychos get +15 free to-hit bonus with any attack (both Guns and Melee)!

 

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