Best long-term build
Recent post by Asthepanda2iscool2 mentioned Botany as good "long term" skill. It just happened that few days ago i finally settled with exact "best long term" build of my own - and it does not include Botany. I'll share it here, with reasons for each skill explained.
Please correct me if i'm wrong somewhere, i'll be glad to learn. :)
The build is: Strong + Ranged + Athletics + Metabolism (slow) + Tracking + Myopia.
It might look strange, but it's really the best "long term", as far as i can tell, because of the following:
1. Strong is quite required, because
Furthermore, Strong also is a tool of its own when looting, increasing chances to find loot, which is not much useful at the start for the fact it decreases safety too much "after crowbar", but is quite useful end-game after eye augmentation (which gives night vision, which increases safety much). Should be good for all the low-loot-chance crumbling buildings and ruined towers together with a crowbar, which are plenty many scavenging locations everywhere. This makes the Strong the skill which both increases Philip's ability to carry more loot - and in the same time gives him ability to _find_ more loot.
It also gives +30% morale to the player character, and combined with end-game legendary reputations (Elusive and Unstoppable), this becomes serious deterrent for many weakier creatures, i believe.
Next, it comes with an excellent "create obstacle" combat move, which is one excellent opener for when fight begins with the enemy being melee range, and sometimes when fighting 2+ enemies, too.
+50% to melee attack is one great thing to have for emergency, if overrun and unable to retreat, for sure.
Finally, i suspect that Strong has one "undocumented" feature: it makes ranged attacks with Sling much deadlier on average. My non-strong ranged characters were not scoring "one 3xpebbles throw = one kill", but Strong + Ranged character made 3 such kills out of ~10 fights. If the same increase of "maximum lethality" of projectiles is also the case for the bow, then Strong is definitely most cheap skill in the game in its long-term usefulness, despite the fact it costs more skill points than any other skill! :) Even if not - Sling is actually the least-space-taken ranged weapon, and it remains useful even end-game to fight all the weakier enemies. With ammo aplenty and free everywhere, and with serious damage bonus from end-game Unstoppable, "Strong + Sling" will always remain a viable option.
Plus, one can always disasseble "low durability left" Sling and then craft it back from very same components, returning it back to 100% state - this is certainly quite a glitch, but on other hand, "new" matherials to craft "another" sling are so common that this glitch is mere minor convinience.
2. Ranged is a must have, because
Even better, it gives +5% defense. Permanent and in all combat situations. Once again, this stucks with end-game Elusive and Unstoppable bonuses, this reducing damage taken in any combat.
And, of course, it identifies bullets. Bullets are one of most effective "loot for sell" items, - expensive, taking little space, and relatively common in forest shacks. They have considerable weight when in big numbers, but that's not a worry because of Strong! :)
If to compare cost of bullets found during "average trip for loot" to cost of (identified) pills (with Medic), or to cost of found data files (with Hacking), i feel bullets end up nearly on par, or even slightly more expensive. Longer end-game trips "for loot" may each end up giving few thousands $ from bullets alone. And it's good to have such an "easy extra profit" source even end-game - one has to pay Parkade bills with something, hehe. :)
Thus, for only 4 skill points, we get big-time booster to efficiency of safest method of combat, extra safety from defense bonus, and a source of income. Compare that to any other 4-points skill, and you'll realize why Ranged is indeed a must-have for any "long term" game.
3. Athletics is another "must have" for more than one reason - namely,
The usual "easy way" Melee skill comes with mighty +20% defense and +30% morale, and allows for easy getting of "Unstoppable", however, Athletics gives even better end-game benefits, in my opinion. Namely:
Athletics is one skill point cheaper than Melee, plus it gives half of Melee's defense and morable bonuses (+10% defense and +15% morable), plus it allows to sprint away in combat - which is quite special life-safer in some combat situations. But most importantly, Athletics also gives -50% fatique modifier. This thing allows for much longer fights of attrition - if need be, Philip will be able to run/sprint away for dozens turns, shooting now and then as he builds enough distance, without getting tired fast. Indeed, playing non-athletic character end-game is quite painful to me once i got used to endurance Athletics gives. It's just THAT good!
And, of course, we don't exactly "need" Melee for its primary combat bonus, since we have Ranged as our primary combat skill.
This leaves us with just 3 more points (assuming Myopia) to spare. I found that best skill to get with those points is metabolism (slow), because
In the same time, healing penalty is indeed small. Small cuts still heal within durability of just one 100% clean rag, and even "severe burns" from trial of fire in Saginaw are healed in about ~3 days of sleep + rest/heal. Furthermore, there is a pill in the game which (for duration of its effect) allows to get normal metabolism despite having this skill - which can be used whenever faster healing is desired.
This is how Metabolism (slow) ends up being better long-term than any other 3-or-lower-skill-points skill: it's always active, it works without any player intervention, it saves you lots of micro-management, and it keeps Philip going with "green" status bars for lots more time, thus preventing negative impacts worse-than-green food/water statuses would bring.
With just one skill point left, the choice is between Tracking and Electrician. Rather obvious choice, in my opinion -
And the Myopia is one obvious choice for a "long-term" build - Haggerty's clinic eye surgery cost "long term" is certainly insignificant. Personally, i very much enjoy the most basic (1000$) operation very 1st time i reach DMC with a typical character of mine (i usually don't "hurry" to DMC and when i arrive i usually have that much worth of loot).
I hope this post will significantly help in deciding what's good and what's not good when creating "most potent for a very long game" character - which is one thing many players try to do, based on various posts i've read on this forum and elsewhere.
... our lifestyles, mores, institutions, patterns of interaction, values, and expectations are shaped by a cultural heritage that was formed in a time when carrying capacity exceeded the human load. (c) William R. Catton, Jr