Yeah, the thing here is that the level cap has also been lowered by the mod. Int is also special in that it’s not retroactive (you don’t get skill points for previous level-ups if you raise it later), so there’s incentive to pump it at character creation to get more out of it.
Well, Str is important for melee characters, and is required for certain weapons. Perception and Luck are good for sneaky sniper characters. Agility is good for small guns users. Charisma isn’t as obviously useful, but up to 50% companion damage is fairly significant and it does help a bit with talking. Endurance is boring, but at least you don’t want to dump it completely on harder difficulties and New Vegas has the Survival skill where it factors in, so if you like the survival mechanics it has a niche.
So all of them have some use and in New Vegas there’s also a lot more input from stats and skills into conversations which means your choices let you roleplay more than in Bethesda’s Fallout games. I’m still coming round to the conclusion that the main problem with the stats is that derived skills matter much more than the stats themselves, and Int directly and significantly increases the amount of skill points you get (though it is less significant than in Fallout 3).
I still haven’t gotten round to playing it, so can’t say, really. It does look hard as nails though and much more demanding of reflexes than even DS3 and Bloodborne, so my instinct is that it’s not the one I’d recommend for a newcomer. On the other hand, if you’re really into the setting and like more action it might be more motivation to “git gud”.
Hehe, well on one path you quickly run into enemies that are literally unkillable, and at least dying at the graveyard isn’t a big deal and can be worth it for the things you find. I’ve always gone down the secret hole to get Petrus’ mace (I fell down there by accident on my first run) and cleared it out first thing in my later playthroughs, but that’s not recommended for a newcomer.
But yeah, the game isn’t that unreasonable. Find the path up.