Right now, there are quite a few craftable robots, which can be used in indirect combat (for example, deploying a manhack as a weak character. It does work for you, and fits well with RP). I’ll try to implement some simple, craftable robots, which can be upgraded (a 4-wheeled robot which holds a MP5 and has a targeting system: supposing you have the gun, you can build the robot, assuming you have 4 motors, 4 wheels and other stuff I’ll mention). This way, characters which focus on INT and Electronics/Mechanics have a chance to survive.
To reinforce this, the Computers skill can be expanded, by making a working version of the laptop, where you can code stuff, if you have enough skill: you can create AI’s for your robots, the hacking system for the control laptop, or you can decompile the useless vanilla USB programs to raise your Computers skill (like reading from a book, but you’d need more INT for that).
Even more, you could “upload” your mind into a robot (assuming it has corresponding hardware and software to house it). Such pre-build robots could be found in Science Labs, and, if you have enough Computers, Electronics, First Aid skill and good INT (around 16), you could transfer your consciousness into a robot (think those like FO4 synths). You’d lose your physical traits (like Bad Knees, Smelly), keep the mental traits (like Pacifist, Schizophrenic), you’d be unable to feel pain (assuming your robot doesn’t have a pain module; you could try to disable some modules, at the risk of wrecking the robot), and your stats change (more or less STR (depending on the robot’s motors and servos), INT (you’ll end up with a “slower” mind if you have a 1 GHz CPU…), PER (you’ll have to adapt to the new body, but you’ll have (possibly) more advanced sensors) and DEX (maybe the robot’s systems can’t calibrate fine movements)). Building such a robot or a upload system could be impossible, so you’ll have to find them in Science Labs. You could cannibalize parts of the robots and fuse them together to build the best version you’d like, of course. The robot could have it’s own traits: Noisy Motors, Plated Armor, Night Vision etc. (which would work like bionics). You’d ask what would be the difference between this and bionics: You’d gain HP and stats through this procedure, and you’d be able to mount more advanced parts (like tracks, if you get bored of legs; become a tank bot!). You could even escape death, if you have a wireless module, which transfers your consciousness to another robot in case yours gets destroyed (extremely hard to code, I think). Of course, no physical burdens, like hunger, thirst etc.
I can implement the first part (with the MP5 bots; just JSON work, they’d have the Security Bots AI with some tweaks). The second part could be more tricky (I’ll try to make an “upload” class for “player.h”, which is called whenever you access the upload system. You lose all bionics, mutations, and the mentioned types of traits, you no longer suffer from physical effects like hunger, pain, diseases etc., and you gain the robot’s traits, dictated by it’s parts).
Please tell me what you think about these suggestions. Not lore-friendly at all (and not coder-friendly), but they could make INT-based characters actually viable.