When you spend a good chunk of your life on happy pills, it can be difficult to adjust to living without them. This is especially true in the city of Wellington Wells, where those who don’t take their aforementioned happy pills are either chased out of city to starve to death or violently subdued. Still, chin up; life may seem rough off of your Joy, but it could always be worse. Probably. Here’s five tips for We Happy Few to keep you off your Joy and out of the gutter.
1. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
Times may be hard, but that’s no excuse to neglect your health. Hunger, thirst, and exhaustion gradually deplete while you’re out in the world. If these stats go into the red, you’ll become hungry, dehydrated, or tired, respectively. Being in these states won’t kill you, but you will incur heavy stat penalties like reduced stamina, increased conspicuousness, or higher damage, to name a few. Play it safe and have a snack and a swig of water every now and then. It’s good to be in good health, not just to stave off penalties, but also to gain stat bonuses for being fed, hydrated, and rested.
2. MIND YOUR STICKY FINGERS
Obviously, people don’t appreciate it when you take their stuff. But the nice thing about trying to survive in a city full of drug-heads is that they aren’t particularly attentive to their possessions. As long as nobody is watching you, you pretty much have carte blanche to steal anything that isn’t nailed down. In fact, you should steal anything and everything, because once you’ve obtained some crafting recipes, you’ll want to have that miscellaneous junk handy to make tools and chemicals. You should also grab any weapons enemies drop, since it never hurts to have a back-up if your current one breaks. If your coffers ever become a bit too full, swing by the nearest safe house and drop your stuff off in the pneumatic storage. The nice thing about the pneumo is that any crafting ingredients stored in it can be used from anywhere in the world, even if you’re nowhere near a safe house.
3. BE ONE WITH NATURE
When society falls short, nature can often provide in its stead. The Garden District of the city, while not exactly livable, is teeming with natural plant life that can tide your needs over in a pinch. Look for blue and yellow bushes for berries, and red bushes for Rose of Gilead. You’ll especially want to nab as many of those as possible, as Rose of Gilead is used to make healing items. The garden can even provide some interim weapons like branches and rocks, which can be combined to make an ersatz hammer (once you have the blueprint for it).
4. HAPPINESS IS (NOT) A CHOICE
Your starting place, the Garden District, is populated by Wastrels, who have notably low standards of living. Wastrels usually won’t bother you, provided you don’t attack them, don’t take their stuff (while they’re looking), and aren’t wearing a nice suit. That really irritates them. In Wellington Wells proper, however, the rules are a little different. First and foremost, everyone expects you to be on your Joy ‘round the clock. It’s not particularly difficult to fake happiness towards the regular folk; say hi now and then, don’t stare, and don’t run and crawl all over the place and they’ll be content. Higher-level NPCs like Criers, Bobbies, and Doctors, however, can smell the bad vibes coming off you, and will slowly start to become suspicious if you’re off your Joy. In that event, find the nearest Joy Booth and pop a pill to shake them off your trail. Bear in mind, though, this won’t work if you’re already in active combat. An important addendum: Joy is to be consumed in moderated doses. Take another pill while you’re already under the effects, and you’ll overdose, suffering stat penalties and increased suspicion for a time. If your Joy meter empties, you’ll go into withdrawal, and become more conspicuous until you come down. Most importantly, pay attention to the outline around the Joy meter. When you take enough Joy doses, you’ll suffer an episode of memory loss and, again, be penalized. Be strategic with your medication.
5. ENJOY THE NEIGHBORHOOD
Main quests have no time limits, so feel free to explore the city. You’ll uncover plenty of side quests to complete for rewards (though bear in mind that some of these do have time limits), and if you run low on supplies, you can break into someone’s house and loot it, preferably after incapacitating all of its occupants. Just remember that Wellington Wells does have a nocturnal curfew, and if the Bobbies catch you out and about, they’ll be upset, to say the least. Oh, and if you ever need to return to the Garden District for some quick botany, all safe houses are linked via a fast travel tunnel system. You just have to unlock the door first.