If you’ve been reading forum postings at Steam or possibly the Deus Ex Wiki you’ve seen a few of my tidbits here and there. After two weeks of trying to get a feel for the game, I finally finished the first boss battle and have moved on through Hengsha and Montreal and am now back in Detroit. Along the way, I’ve picked up a few things that seem worth passing on and this is probably as good of a place as any to do it. I don’t think any of this is earth-shattering new stuff and is probably available from other sources, but a long weekend is as good a time as any to take a break from gaming, maintenance, and other daily life things and put it down on “paper”.
Mega-Credits: there are two weapons dealers available to you in Detroit. One is in the gas station near the L.I.M.B. clinic and the other is in a third-floor apartment near the basketball court. If you’re playing a “Ghost” walkthrough, this won’t be too helpful since you won’t be collecting many weapons except for those that are laying around. But for the rest, almost every opponent (except Barrett and most civilians) will drop weapons when you take them down. If you pick up those weapons and already have one of the same kind in your inventory, you’ll get some ammo. If you don’t and have space, then the weapon will be added to your inventory. If you’re doing a combat-oriented playthrough you might need that ammo, but most players probably don’t.
Those weapons are worth some creds, folks: anywhere from 750 for a Shotgun, down to 120 or so for a 10mm. Rather than picking up the weapon, leave them until later and sell them. It will involve a lot of running back and forth and it does kind of break story immersion, but you’ll never be hurting for credits if you do. I’d recommend stashing one of each type of weapon at your apartment, but the rest are for selling. Granted, there are some areas where you do not have access to a dealer and you don’t have any other choice than to pick up the 10mm pistol and get one crummy round of ammo, but for those areas where you can, do so.
The ammo is also worth credits, but I’ve noticed that it’s a diminishing returns situation. The more ammo you sell, the lower the price goes. You could always stash it, I suppose, but if it’s for a weapon that you don’t plan on using much, even 5 credits is more than you had before.
Derelict Row Ballers: Detective Alexander will have a “Cloak and Daggers” quest for you if you talk to her (she’ll call you by name as you pass her, so she’s kind of hard to miss). Part of the quest involves finding a weapons stash in their territory, but you need to find it without being spotted. If you’re not good at sneaking or lack the patience, you’ll blow that part of her quest pretty quickly. However, the “being spotted” trigger is only operational while that quest is running. If you simply wander into Derelict Row and take out the Ballers BEFORE talking to her, then getting to the weapons stash will simply be a matter of going there and clicking on it because there won’t be anyone left to see you. OK, it’s not proper role-playing, but it works and is worth an extra 500 XPs for the “Ghost”.
Earning Achievements: there are mutually exclusive achievements for many of the side quests. For example, you cannot both keep Megan’s bracelet and give it to her mother; you cannot both accept O’Malley’s bribe and arrest him. The solution is called a saved game. Save your game before completing a side quest. Take one choice to get the achievement, then reload, take the other and keep rolling. Alternatively, you could play through the game again and simply take the other choices, but my memory being the shoddy thing that it is, I’d probably overlook something and spend the rest of the decade trying to remember where it was that I dropped the ball.
Get All of Those XPs (Part I): for those who do not want to spend Praxis points on upgrading your hacking skills, you’re missing out on a boatload of XPs. For example, at Milwaukee Junction you’ll have to pass through a room that has about 10 desktop computers in it. They’re all level 1 security, so they’re hackable even by those who do not upgrade. Most of the passwords are on pocket secretaries in opponent inventories or laying around elsewhere, but why bother? After clearing the room (I assume you’re not playing Ghost-style), just hack them all for an extra 250 or so XPs. The same goes in Montreal, but those are all Level 2 and Level 3 hacks and worth more XPs. Hack those wall panels. Hack those safes. If it’s electronic, hack it. I don’t have any hard numbers to back it up, but it takes 20,000 XP to take your hacking up to Level 5, but I’d bet that there are more than that many XPs available through hacking so it’s a long-run win.
Get All of Those XPs (Part II): explore everything. Go everywhere that you can go. There are air ducts, ladders, boxes to stack and climb, you name it. You get XPs for finding most of these routes and hidden locations. Don’t leave them unclaimed. Nothing says that you have to do it immediately, but after clearing an area, go explore before moving to the next.
I’ve Got a Name: talk to everyone. There are a lot of NPCs out there. Most are generic names, like “Civilian,” “Police Officer,” or “Punk” and they probably don’t have much in the way of useful information. But people with names almost always have something useful. Talk to them. For example, Leticia is digging around in a trashcan on a corner. For the cost of four Beers (you don’t have to give them all at once), she’ll give you an access code. For the some credits she’ll give you other information. But you won’t get it if you don’t talk to her and pay attention to the dialogue options.
Quick-Save Often: I do not know if this is available on the consoles, but <F5> is the default hotkey for a quick-save on the PC. Use it. Don’t rely on it exclusively (I believe the PC supports 99 regular save slots), but use it often. I use it frequently when I’m trying something that is likely to backfire on me. Again, it’s not strict role-playing, but it WILL save your bacon often enough to make it worth your while.
Hack FTW: in addition to my previous comments about hacking, I stumbled on a little useful tidbit in the hacking mini-game. Those little diagnostic subroutines work just like nodes and can be captured. When you capture them, the hack is complete and you get all of the goodies stashed in data stores, whether you captured them or not. So in those situations where you can get to it easily, capture them. I’m still working on getting a complete verify on the goodies part, but completing the hack is definitely the case.