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First impressions?

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  07:56:11  1 May 2014
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boredgunner
КОКАИНУМ!
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 09/20/2009
 

Message edited by:
boredgunner
05/01/2014 8:03:24
Messages: 990

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You seem to be really against exploring, unless they reward you with stockpiles of ammunition and/or weaponry. So you want this along with smaller, more straightforward maps and more objective markers... somehow it should be marked on Marked One's PDA exactly where he can find Bandit jackets? By the way, Duty HQ will be marked on your PDA if you talk to Sgt. Kitsenko and ask him about it.

The open level design and level of exploration is great, much better than all the previous games. The only thing I can complain about is that there isn't enough AI spawned on most of the maps, especially mutants, so I agree with you on this. Rostok Factory especially is just devoid of life save for scripted Bloodsuckers, and the scripted Duty and Ecologists. A-Life needs to be more alive, I recommend looking at Oblivion Lost for inspiration in this regard. The random patrols and explorers in that mod, and how far stalkers would wander the Zone, and how unpredictable spawns were is perfect in OL. It would be nice to see NPCs loot, hunt for artifacts, and heal downed allies too.

More side quests would help encourage and reward exploration more, though I believe there are more after finishing the story, and considering that this was made for free, I won't ask for more side quests. But I'd like future updates to address A-Life and the emptiness of levels. It would also be nice if emissions changed anomaly spawns like in Oblivion Lost and like in established S.T.A.L.K.E.R. lore.


---QUOTATION---
First impressions?

Alas, I currently don't have a computer to run Lost Alpha. How does it look?

The Cordon is nice, The Garbage is awesome, I love ShoC but this just blew up all my expectations, didn't even know that Stalker can look and feel like this.

I was a little bit disappointed that Agroprom looks exactly the same as original
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You need to look more closely. Agroprom wasn't scratch made, but they added so much detail to it so that it doesn't feel like empty video game maps like the other games. The factory is full of leftover rusted equipment you'd expect to see in an old factory, and actual furniture and proof that some stalkers have made their home there in the past. Same for the HQ, not to mention the swamp area is very different. Let's not forget Agroprom Underground is integrated into the map and no longer has a loading screen, and it's very different than the originals + way more detailed too. But not everyone appreciates attention to detail I suppose.

Also, Agroprom had the same layout in Build 1935 compared to SoC/CS. It wasn't one of the drastically shrunken down and changed maps, like Cordon, Garbage, Dark Valley, etc. It just had Agroprom Underground integrated into the map; Lost Alpha did this and added tons of more detail too.

Of course, I'd like to see more active A-Life here and everywhere else. More mutant spawns, more mutant hunting, more military patrols, etc. Not enough snorks or bloodsuckers.
  06:56:49  1 May 2014
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MSH-Hitman
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On forum: 03/31/2007
 

Message edited by:
MSH-Hitman
05/01/2014 6:58:18
Messages: 704
Delving deeper into the game, there's a ton I like, but probably should hit some criticisms too as that is what makes a better game. I'm not talking about obvious bugs here, those'll get fixed eventually.

As much as I love some of the new maps, it feels like there's a real lack of direction when you really need it. I appreciate having so much to explore, I feel like I'm just wandering around in circles, but it seems that I'm either missing where I should be going. A good example is Rostok. I must've explored half of the wrong side of that place before coming across the Duty HQ with the gas and realized that was where I needed to be. Sure, I would've got there eventually, but so much time was wasted.

Same for needing the bandit suit, I must've wandered that area east of the base looking for the dead bandits and simply never found them. I could see their bodies on the map, but I couldn't find anyway to get to them.

It also feels like there's very little reward for exploring places. I've found little stockpiles for sure, but painkillers and sausage is not a reward in any way lol The only times I seem to get anything of value, are from stashes, of which you can only get those when they've been unlocked, which negates exploring. I'm sure there's stuff out there, but it's either so ridiculously hidden that you'll waste the quickly burning batteries just looking for them, or you'll never find them cause they are impossible to see. I've basically started to just hold F whenever I'm running around buildings so that I can have the names pop up automatically because so often things just seems so hard to see.

Rostok in particular feels lacking too. It's so big and empty other than the bloodsuckers that only spawn with the mission. I think the only other thing I saw there were two boars. It's freaking awesomely designed, it's bigger, packed in with houses and the factory area itself, but I found nothing in there at all.

It's at least compact, Darkscape though, I'm already dreading running through Darkscape cause it's big, I have no fueled car anymore and I'm gonna delve into that stupid, ridiculously long mine shaft again just to talk to Veles lol That mine shaft should've been cut by 2/3rds. Just part of the railway tunnel, a tunnel or two, and that's it. It seems like the idea was that since they had the space, they should use it, but I feel like the design idea should've been for essentially quality over quantity. That's another map that feels pretty damn empty. The one side has a few military guys strewn about, the other has a few mutants, but so much of the rest is just EMPTY. I wasn't finding loot or any sort of danger.

Simply put, more needs to be added into most of the maps I've visited. Garbage could use more than just than one group of spawning dogs, Rostok needs some zombies and mutants or something, Darkscape could use bandits dotting the lake side and abandoned boat area, stuff like this would make the experience more engaging. I'm sure there's loot to find in these empty places somewhere, I'm just getting to the point where I feel like I can't be bothered to find loot if there's nothing to keep my going, especially when I'm finding nothing good when I try to search everywhere.

Keep up the great work, I still have tons of time to spend into it, just had to put out what felt the game needed more of and to better direct people in quests.
  20:24:45  30 April 2014
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su27
(Senior)
 
On forum: 09/29/2008
Messages: 52

---QUOTATION---
First impressions?

Alas, I currently don't have a computer to run Lost Alpha. How does it look?
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The Cordon is nice, The Garbage is awesome, I love ShoC but this just blew up all my expectations, didn't even know that Stalker can look and feel like this.

I was a little bit disappointed that Agroprom looks exactly the same as original
  20:20:35  30 April 2014
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iloveSHOC
Senior Resident
 

 
On forum: 02/03/2010
Messages: 747
Same here sleepless night's mostly just exploring the levels and doing silly things.
  20:18:04  30 April 2014
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Vikingstalker
The Zones Blacksmith
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On forum: 11/26/2009
Messages: 4537
Hehe, I was up till 5am too this morning. Slept a few hrs, went to uni, bought new beer and now will be spending the next night on it
  20:12:55  30 April 2014
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boredgunner
КОКАИНУМ!
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On forum: 09/20/2009
Messages: 990
I'm getting like no sleep thanks to Lost Alpha, instead I stay up very late playing it. I know someone who stays up until 5 AM - 6 AM playing it. When I do sleep, I have very weird and creepy dreams, usually about the Zone or some scenario that's clearly inspired by it.

Thanks a lot guys. I'll be a zombified stalker in no time.
  10:38:33  30 April 2014
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Tejas Stalker
Official Stalker on Facebook
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On forum: 05/12/2007
Messages: 28292
First impressions?

spoiltvictorianchild~

Nice write up.

TS
  09:57:59  30 April 2014
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spoiltvictorianchild
(Novice)
 
On forum: 04/30/2014
 

Message edited by:
spoiltvictorianchild
04/30/2014 13:40:07
Messages: 11
my Lost Alpha impressions so far

(i just found out i'm Strelok in the game, i'm still in DeadCity going back to DarkDolina)

the game is really great so far, and shows so much potential. this game is GIGANTIC and extremely ambitious, and an incredible framework has been made here. the content you guys have made has blown me away, the story is creative and, besides a few rare mistranslations, it is very well written. the levels are universally great so far. this is probably going to be my favorite game of the year. dezowave should be extremely proud of what's been accomplished so far, but i think there's some very important fine-tuning (beyond bugfixes) to be done.

1. my biggest complaint (besides the bugs) is that the maps are too empty. i think all of the maps need way more mutants, stalkers, and loot. there's so much running, and so few enemies to encounter. i haven't seen any stalkers wandering the zone at all so far, almost all of them are sitting in circles with eachother, or standing in place. there's a couple Duty patrolling the Bar area, and a couple Military in Cordon, but that's all i can remember. i want at least some stalkers to wander aimlessly, encountering enemies or mutants. they did this in vanilla SoC even. i don't think the lonely feeling will be lost by having some stalkers wander, it just makes it more interesting.

2. besides a few dogs and boars near the entrance and the 3 bloodsuckers related to the quest, Rostok Factory is completely enemy-less, so it has no tension even though it's supposed to be a creepy map. even vanilla Cordon has more random bloodsuckers. also, there's nothing to discover inside the empty houses either. that map could be made more interesting with some respawning bloodsuckers or equally hard enemies around the map, and some ammo or something put inside the houses.

3. the car is a GREAT feature, though the trunk of the one free Niva in the game so far fell off so now i can't refuel it, and trunks don't exist on the jeep in Darkscape. maybe make trunks on Nivas impossible to fall off? up to you.

4. i LOVE the military dude with the RPG in Darkscape, that initial car chase ending at the mines is fantastic and reminds of the more open levels of Half-Life 2. very cool. but i also think more vehicles should be put in Darkscape, and spread apart. it's too big and open without one, it makes running through it boring. it also could use more mutants, a very occasional blind dog isn't very scary. i really like the Mercenary base though, the guy with the binoculars is a nice touch.

5. if possible, i hope the enemy AI is fine-tuned as well. some other people have mentioned shooting Sin and them not shooting back. that's not too bad, but if it could be fixed it would be nice. i also was able to kill the entire Bandit base 1-by-1 with my loud Obakan, and none of them knew they were even being shot at even though normal enemies would easily hear it, and their friends were dying. in vanilla Stalker, if you shot inside an enemy base, nearly everyone heard it and started looking for you. i hope this is fixable, if not it's only a minor thing anyway.

6. there are a couple unnecessary invisible walls, a good example is this: http://i.imgur.com/lhjhtGQ.jpg
the entrance to the bar is a long run down to the left, but i wanted to make a shortcut by jumping up on those pipes and jumping over the wall, which would save about 2 minutes of needless boring running with no enemies. i can jump clear over that solid wall, but there's an invisible wall above it that stops me for no reason. generally i think the only invisible walls should be ones that stop the game from breaking, or the player getting stuck, such as the ones surrounding the outside of a level. it's disappointing when you think you can do something, and SHOULD, but you're stopped by a pointless invisible wall.

7. the flashlight is a great new mechanic, and i don't think the battery time needs changing at all. it's a perfect feature that adds tension to maps like x18. your work on x18 is wonderful by the way, the whistling ghost scared me so much, as well as the hallway of lights that turned off. this type of content is as great as any full commercial game, and i appreciate all the hours of effort that went into it.

8. DarkDolina is fantastic. i believe it's based on the original Yantar? but you guys have filled it really well. one of my favorite levels so far, and the mission in DeadCity blew me away yet again. this game is so professional, but it's got so much more freedom than anything else.

TLDR; awe-insipiring work so far, GOTY. add more stalkers, and ones that wander the level. add more vehicles and loot. fine-tune AI, fix unneeded invisible walls. after that, this game would be the best STALKER game ever, free or paid for. i really don't want to understate how much you delivered here, it really does capture the dream game stalker was supposed to be. fantastic work guys, but please don't give up just yet.
  07:38:36  29 April 2014
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Tejas Stalker
Official Stalker on Facebook
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 05/12/2007
Messages: 28292
First impressions?

I have no idea. Apparently a major change was done to that scenario.

TS
  07:34:23  29 April 2014
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MSH-Hitman
Senior Resident
 

 
On forum: 03/31/2007
Messages: 704
Thanks, Tejas. That secret message really needs to be made better cause it's really hard to figure out when you know what it is supposed to be lol
 
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