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If you missed it, go back to part 1 for character creation.
One rule for navigating the Wasteland is to stay out of the Wasteland. Stick to the greener areas of the map. The nuclear war left some dangerous areas, and you can pick up a fatal dose of radiation poisoning if you’re not careful.
Your first missions are to investigate Highpool, the Agricultural Centre, and the Rail Nomads. These can all be reached by hugging the hills, except the nomads.
Here’s a version of the map with my annotations to help
When venturing away from settlements, always ensure each character in your party has a canteen. Without one, the Wasteland will take its toll very quickly. New Rangers always start with a canteen. Keep additional canteens from deleted Rangers to ensure your NPCs always have one.
The map has a few hidden areas which are only revealed when you reach certain stages of the game. Otherwise some notable areas are:
Highpool – located immediately West of Ranger Centre
Agricultural centre – West of Highpool, it has a large radar dish.
Rail Nomads, a bit North of Ranger Centre, out in the hot desert
Guardian Citadel: this place lies in between the Agricultural Centre and the Rail Nomads, but don’t mess with these guys until much later in the game.
Abandoned Mine: venture inside and you’ll see why it was abandoned.
Quartz: The first town you’ll visit
Needles: The next town and considerably more challenging than Quartz
Las Vegas: The biggest city in the game and home to many surprises.
Darwin Village: located far to the east, and surrounded by deadly radiation, the best way to reach Darwin Village is the long way, entering via a mountain pass to its north.
If everyone in your part is wearing a Rad Suit, feel free to take the direct route north from Ranger Centre.
Savage Village: if you like exploring, wander South and West until you reached this walled settlement.
Sleeper Base and Base Cochise: These aren’t revealed until you get further into the game’s story. We’ll get to them later.
Waking the Wasteland is safe enough, in the sense that while you can still be attacked (and you will be), the enemies don’t scale. Wander near a mid or late game area, the the denizens of the wasteland are no more dangerous than when walking between Highpool and the Agricultural Centre.
In part 3 I will cover some tips on party management before we get started on the first leg of the adventure in Highpool in part 4.
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