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Shadow of Chernobyl on a Laptop ( 1.0006 )

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  22:40:00  17 February 2018
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Tejas Stalker
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On forum: 05/12/2007
Messages: 24940
Shadow of Chernobyl on a Laptop ( 1.0006 )

Modding my Game ( Part 1 )

I have wanted to talk about the Mods I am using with my 1.0006 version Game, but like always I have a habit of sidelining my written thoughts and instead actually spending my free time playing the Game. As I have mentioned before, I am doing many things different or for the first time in this play through. First time using a Gaming Laptop. First time using the 1.0006 version patch. First time using a digital download of any of the Stalker Games. First time using Windows 10 playing a Game. What is not a first time or even new, is Modding my Game. People that have known me a long time are probably aware I was Modding my Stalker Game before I even joined this Forum.

I was actually a member of another Forum when S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl came out in 2007. Several of my friends I had made on the other Forum had all bought it and were playing it together, talking about it, giving advice and dealing with it's unique characteristics. One major thing I didn't fully understand was the stamina/weight restrictions. I was used to Games that let you carry everything you wanted, which wasn't uncommon at the time since most Games didn't offer a huge amount of weapons or individual items you came across. Things you found, you used and they would deplenish or new weapons you would acquire, the old one lacking the needed ammo for, you would discard.

A simple Mod was shared, one that would allow the Player to carry a lot more weight. This solved the stamina problem. This solved the weight restriction problem. A Player could carry as many weapons as needed, as much ammo as needed, there was no need to drop anything or be lacking any new wonder I came across. Unknown to me at the time were other qualities of the Mod I didn't fully realize until my first Unmodded Game. This included the Mod giving me weapons that didn't wear out. Armors that did not degrade. Additionally I believe it included a huge amount of money, so much so there was no need to loot and sell items for profit. Everything I'm describing enabled a Player to have the ability to see and go where ever the Game prompted me with every possible ease of access.

To be continued...

TS
  00:05:07  18 February 2018
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Tejas Stalker
Official Stalker on Facebook
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 05/12/2007
 

Message edited by:
Tejas Stalker
02/18/2018 1:35:05
Messages: 24940
Shadow of Chernobyl on a Laptop ( 1.0006 )

Modding my Game ( Part 2 )

So after Modding my Game, making things easier, giving myself everything, removing the normal restrictions and hardship that are in place that make the Player struggle, strive for and earn items, tasks and accomplishments, I discovered the Unmodded Game. Another way of understanding what I mean is that simply GSC Game World had years and years through the development of SoC, to make decisions offering the best balance. Balance is when you give just enough to make things fun and thrilling but take away just enough to make your time and effort worthy of the challenge and experience.

I don't mean to stray from the initial intent of what I wanted to say, other than to simply point out through my experience I have always been a proponent of discovering the Game as the retail version was delivered rather than being of the mindset Modding was a requirement. Sadly people that push others to Mod the Game before they even know the difference, often never return and the heavily Modded Game is all they ever had known. Even my group of friends who Modded SoC in 2007, moved on to other Games since they made their Game so easy, there was no challenge or struggle worthy of repeating.

While every Modder would love for fellow Players to remain and enjoy additional Mods, that is not the average experience. New games come out every year, new challenges and experiences await. People move on. The so-called bug-fixes Mods pushed as necessary must use "fixes" only warp and transcend the vanilla experience, becoming the only one or two journeys through the Zone that these Players ever have. This is the opposite of what GSC Game World had wanted people to experience.

To be continued...

TS
  00:56:25  18 February 2018
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Tejas Stalker
Official Stalker on Facebook
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 05/12/2007
 

Message edited by:
Tejas Stalker
02/18/2018 1:08:29
Messages: 24940
Shadow of Chernobyl on a Laptop ( 1.0006 )

Modding my Game ( Part 3 )

My most recent prior Game of SoC, using the 1.0005 version, was one where I took the Unmodded Game to the extreme. I decided to linger as long as possible in various levels. I never bought a single item from Sidorovich or Barkeep. I only used weapons I found and I used all the early basic armors in constant need like going through a box of Kleenex. Not until I got to Yantar would I allow myself the purchase of the Chaser-13 shotgun to replace my worn ones. Not until I got the necessary 4 to 5 unique artifacts needed to neutralize all anomalies did I start repairing my armors and using just one. I never entered Pripyat until exactly one year later Game Time from my first day waking up as an amnesiac in the Cordon.

I mention all of this to understand I simply wasn't going to repeat the same in this new 1.0006 Game. In other words been there, done that. I wanted to play a fairly basic retail version Game with the exception that I wanted to enjoy some of the content or unique items in the Game that one simply could not do without Modding. We all know the huge differences between the first Game and the second and third ( Clear Sky & Call of Pripyat ) is the revision of artifact names, visuals and properties and the ability to do upgrades to weapons and armors. Most modern Stalker Mods allow the Player the ability to initiate weapon and armor upgrades and those that don't are considered old school so to speak.

What did I want? I wanted to enjoy something I had never forgotten with my experience with Dez0wave's ground-breaking "Priboi Story" Mod. A Mod so influential, most of the ideas and concepts ended up used by GSC Game World in their last installment "Call of Pripyat". What I liked the most was being able to use unique weapons. The unique weapons of SoC are a one-of-a-kind items usually found on unique NPCs ( those with a single name ) but are sadly often recovered worn out and unusable due to excessive jamming and unreliability. I wanted a Mod that would let me enjoy and use these as much as I wanted. That would require repair of some kind.

To be continued...

TS
  15:52:03  18 February 2018
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Tejas Stalker
Official Stalker on Facebook
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 05/12/2007
 

Message edited by:
Tejas Stalker
02/20/2018 11:01:37
Messages: 24940
Shadow of Chernobyl on a Laptop ( 1.0006 )

Modding my Game ( Part 4 )

How to find a basic weapon repair Mod? Google of course. Whereas I expected to be taken to ModDB, instead the first 3 hits took me to nexusmods.com where the first entry was Axe's Repair Mod. This Mod required you to go to Sidorovich or Barkeep and you will be charged half the cost of the weapon/armor to repair it. No thanks. I wasn't looking for something I had to travel to specific people. I wanted something with the simplicity of Team Epic's brilliant Mod "Call of Chernobyl" where the Player could carry them with him and place about as needed.

The second choice was something called Repair Mod (Rus Eng Ger) (1.22) that was more of the same. The third choice was called Repair Kit (1.1) which looking at it now seems to be the same tool kit icon used by Team Epic. However I think I also searched ModDB at the same time after not liking the first choices on Google and I came across one called
Repair Kits Revamped that sounded good until I read that it required you to gather, transport and salvage used weapons and armors for parts. Nope. Nope. Nope. Still looking for something less tedious.

I tried a few more searches in various directions. One mentioned the ZRP. No, I'm not looking for a complex Mod that mindless people suggest thinking it's only for bug-fixes. The huge irony being it has actually created more bugs than it ever fixed in it's 10+ years of its never-ending, savant autism journey of endless tweaking. It's like the fidget spinner of Stalker Mods. I wanted something simple and basic that still gave me the vanilla experience. The ZRP has never been about the vanilla experience, despite people wrongly believing that using it that they were still having it.

To be continued...

TS
  16:08:05  18 February 2018
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Tejas Stalker
Official Stalker on Facebook
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 05/12/2007
 

Message edited by:
Tejas Stalker
02/18/2018 16:10:39
Messages: 24940
Shadow of Chernobyl on a Laptop ( 1.0006 )

Modding my Game ( Part 5 )

One thing I wanted to mention is that I had actually gotten a week or so into my Game totally Unmodded before I had given this more thought and decided I wanted weapon repair. No doubt after getting the Major's pistol at the Cordon bridge and thinking more about the unique weapons. I'm sure at one time when GSC considered having weapon repair by Screw or others, this would have enabled the Player to use the unique weapons. Probably for balance and hardship, that was dropped but the unique weapons remained like collectibles.

Now I was looking at a lot of different things, reading various people's opinions on this and that and somehow came across some Trader Mod where I thought the Trader would sell more items including repair kits. I downloaded it and gave it a glance and quickly realized I had made a mistake. Yes, the Traders opened up more things to sell but not repair kits. I also noticed all these unwanted changes like the menu screen music changing and suddenly I couldn't sell a Flesh part to an NPC that I could earlier. Crap. Another classic case of it doing too many "extra" things I didn't ask for and it didn't advertise in the main description.

I kept looking and then came back to the Repair Kits Revamped and noticed reading over the previous versions there was something called Repair Kits Revamped 1.03 and as it said "This is a bug fix update as well as a temporary change in functionality. I've removed salvage weapons from the mod. The current implementation required you to carry around more weight than feasible for the mod to be useful. I will be hopefully releasing version 1.04 in the near future which will add salvage back in and solve the issue of weight." This might be it. An earlier version without the unwanted salvage weapon requirement.

To be continued...

TS
  05:46:55  19 February 2018
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Tejas Stalker
Official Stalker on Facebook
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 05/12/2007
 

Message edited by:
Tejas Stalker
02/19/2018 5:50:17
Messages: 24940
Shadow of Chernobyl on a Laptop ( 1.0006 )

Modding my Game ( Part 6 )

I installed the Mod "Repair Kits Revamped 1.03"
http://www.moddb.com/mods/repair-kits-revamped/downloads/repair-kits-revamped-103

It was exactly what I wanted. The ability to buy semi-available portable tool kits from the Traders ( Sidorovich & Barkeep so far ) or find them from looting the dead. No hauling about used weapons. No salvaging parts from looted weapons or armors. It's very simple, they're way more inexpensive than I imagined ( or really liked ) and they're easy to use. Less than 50% life left in a gun or armor seems to require two repair kits. The image is of a small red tool box like you buy at Sears.

However there were some unwanted changes too. Like many Modders who want to give you one thing, the desire to make additional changes at the same time is too difficult to contain. This Modder decided that being able to carry weights past 49.9 kg up to 60 kg ( Unmodded Game ) made the game too easy so it was changed if you hit 50.0 kg you were immobilized. So the first thing I did was go back in and restore the weight restrictions to the original settings.

Then I was back to the trade restrictions problems. The Flesh part I could sell before to any NPC was now red-listed which is how the game displays forbidden to sell item with the shaded item now in red when the trade dialogue window is brought up. That was a problem for me. I never understood why NPCs were walking around with 5,000 rubles and all I could sell them were food or bandages. By the 3rd Game, Call of Pripyat, GSC got the formula right where you could sell to NPCs just about anything. That is what I wanted to implement but it looks like in order to do that, I had to actually understand the language in the files to edit it.

To be continued...

TS
  06:32:33  19 February 2018
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Tejas Stalker
Official Stalker on Facebook
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 05/12/2007
 

Message edited by:
Tejas Stalker
02/19/2018 6:42:58
Messages: 24940
Shadow of Chernobyl on a Laptop ( 1.0006 )

Modding my Game ( Part 7 )

What I didn't fully realize yet was that I had new additional files from two different Mods. The Repair Kits Mod and the Trader Mod. In addition to the annoying change to the music, Sidorovich was now selling items I was used to not seeing so soon and having the struggle to earn them. The immediate problem was not what I could buy but what I could sell. SoC makes you haul all the weapons to a Trader. How much more convenient I thought if I could sell weapons or more items out in the field like I've done in other Mods. Call of Pripyat allowed you to do this too but they were restricted by needing to have a high level of being in top condition.

So again I used Google to help point me in the right direction to understand these files. I came across three very helpful links to explain things that I'm sharing here:

Editing trader files
http://sdk.stalker-game.com/en/index.php?title=Editing_trader_files

How do I edit what Sidrovich, or any trader, sells?
https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/boards/540331-stalker-shadow-of-chernobyl/44686768

Edit Trader Files
https://gamebanana.com/tuts/7043

* * * * *

It's easy to understand this. What the Trader sells:

[trader_generic_buy] What the trader buys from you, for how much

And at first this seemed easy to understand:

[supplies_start] What the trader has to offer

However that has additional language for before & after specific events.

Then the third step was this:

[trader_start_sell] What the trader sells

Which means selling is in two stages. What is offered and what is sold. Confused yet? I had to read all three links several times to get into the gist of this. Basically I came away with realizing that both the second and third listing must be in perfect alignment. If it's offered, it must be sold. If it is sold, it must be offered. It's beyond me to try and figure out why this method was created. I simply had to do as it wanted. A mistake on my part in editing the files would result in it not working or worse, a visit from my friend bug-trap. It was destiny we would soon meet.

To be continued...

TS
  07:25:35  19 February 2018
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Tejas Stalker
Official Stalker on Facebook
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 05/12/2007
 

Message edited by:
Tejas Stalker
02/19/2018 7:36:21
Messages: 24940
Shadow of Chernobyl on a Laptop ( 1.0006 )

Modding my Game ( Part 8 )

At this point it would really bog things down to try to explain exactly all the steps I did in editing. Better if I try to keep this going with describing the basics of what I did and what went right or wrong. I found the files that had all the Traders involved but there was also one not with a Trader's name but was just general trading file. That's the one I used to be able to buy & sell items to regular NPCs. The one table has to do with how often an item may come up and the other is the ratio of what it sells for. I made it to where I could sell most anything but the unique weapons and all the armors.

This took care of my immediate selling mutant parts problems. I got emboldened to try adjusting things with Sidorovich. While I knew I could get an AK or Abakan fairly early in the Game, the thing I didn't like the most was thinking I would have to wait all the way to getting to Yantar for a decent shotgun. Really? Doing the Agroprom Underground and X-18 with a sawn-off shotgun? That thought wasn't really very appealing. If I'm going to Mod a few things, the thing I wanted the most was a decent shotgun. So I successfully added the Chaser-13 to Sid's inventory and was able to buy one. One is all I needed with repair kits.

I guess at this point I was pleased with my accomplishment. I decided to go further. The next thing I wanted was a PSO-1 scope. As I was editing the two areas of what is offered and what is sold, trying to get them just right...it didn't work. I went back in and looked over everything and tried again. While I was there I tried to add other things. I wanted more regular grenades and also the type used with the grenade launchers on guns. This didn't work either and soon, to make a longer story short, I got inescapable bug-trap crashes at game launch. All was fubar.

To be continued...

TS
  09:09:29  19 February 2018
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Tejas Stalker
Official Stalker on Facebook
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 05/12/2007
 

Message edited by:
Tejas Stalker
02/19/2018 9:16:47
Messages: 24940
Shadow of Chernobyl on a Laptop ( 1.0006 )

Modding my Game ( Part 9 )

I attempted to go back in to the files I was editing and look for my mistake. Was it something that was not in both groups of offering and selling that were not exactly the same? Was it a comma, semi-colon or other key that I messed up on? I spent a couple of hours trying to undue my unknown error. Eventually I realized the only way out of this was to simply remove the Mods and start over. I removed all the files and reviewed the contents of just the "Repair Kits Revamped 1.03" and added it again, this time not having two Mods mixed in together.

Looks like the music changing was actually in the Trader Mod so that was good but again I had the weight carrying reduction I had to overcome. No problem. That was easy. Luckily a manual save I had made, a few before my last editing session went bonkers, loaded without crashing. This meant I got to keep the Chaser-13 so I was happy. Sidorovich was back to all his limited normal Unmodded inventory. I was also back to not being able to trade with others. When I looked in the "Repair Kits Revamped 1.03" files, I did not see the general trade with other NPCs files. I also did not see all the other Trader files like I did before. I think it was only Sid, Barkeep and maybe Sakharov. I went back to the Trader Mod ( I'll try to get the name later since I'm writing this on my PC and it's on my Laptop ) and found it is where that file originated.

That worked out for me since I didn't have it in the "Repair Kits Revamped 1.03" Mod. So my mistake and experience of combining two Mods actually allowed me to have a file I really wanted by happy accident. I went back and added this single file and made my adjustments to it so I could trade again like I was in Call of Pripyat or the Call of Chernobyl Mod. I was happy. So I had a big load of guns to sell and I was up at the Cordon level changer with some other Loners. I sold an NPC several AKs and pistols and made some money, being satisfied that I didn't have to haul them all the way to Sidorovich. Immediately after closing the trading dialogue, the NPC I just sold them to, dropped them on the ground like he was vomiting them. What? That never happened to any other items I was selling to NPCs. Then I quickly realized NPCs could only carry ONE pistol and ONE rifle/shotgun at a time. This ruined my entire idea of selling loot on the fly.

To be continued...

TS
  04:15:15  20 February 2018
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Tejas Stalker
Official Stalker on Facebook
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 05/12/2007
 

Message edited by:
Tejas Stalker
02/20/2018 4:16:23
Messages: 24940
Shadow of Chernobyl on a Laptop ( 1.0006 )

Modding my Game ( Part 10 )

I looked on my Laptop to find the name of the other Mod I had installed. It's called "Hal's Traders Overhauled" and I got it from ModDB. http://www.moddb.com/mods/hals-traders-overhauled/downloads/hals-traders-overhauled-pure

I believe I used the wonky ModDB search engine results which explains how I ended up with it and misunderstood what it all does. It's too brief description says "This is version 1.4, it makes the games prices and sell values more like they usually are but traders are still unique in some areas. If you want the same old stalker experience but with my unique traders, download this file. Note: This does NOT make the game harder, it just doesn't make it easier like the LITE edition does." As I mentioned before, the Modder that made this felt compelled to change the Music since you can't possibly have better Trader inventory without an unwanted change to that. It was this Mod that had the beneficial "Trader_generic" file that I used to expand trading with other NPCs.

Now if you're an experienced Modder who does this type of thing more often then of course you know easier ways to access this or that. However I'm just here to explain my experience and how I ended up where I have. I didn't want to take the time to figure out how to get NPCs to carry all the excess guns I was trying to sell them. That was not my primary focus. I wanted to get back to playing my Game. I got the repair kits I wanted. I could take them with me and use them on the go.

I immediately felt the downside to this choice. Before getting the repair kits, I'm in the Cordon wearing my 2nd or 3rd armor I had collected, a Bandit jacket. My movements and tactics were one where I felt every hit of every bullet. I was strategic and cautious in my actions. I went out of my way to be careful and to try to take the least amount as damage as possible to my limited resources. All that changed in my mindset after getting armor & weapon repair. Sure, I could pretend that I didn't have it and attempt to go back to the way I was before, but you can't fool yourself forever. This was the price I paid for Modding my Game. I guess a more specific Mod to only work on guns and not armors would solve that but I wanted to get back to my Game.

TS
 
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