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Lost Alpha Director's Cut 1.4007: Tejas Stalker Diary

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  14:22:19  3 February 2019
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Byte Me
Senior Resident
 

 
On forum: 10/08/2014
Messages: 455
While we're having a teeny winge...

Many moons ago, we all played SoC.

Now, despite the limitations of the engine and the faulty plot we all loved it because despite its shortcomings GSC had it just about right:

There was none of the 'realism' that bandaging or medkitting dropped you out of sprint, and that was pretty important if you were at the NPP making a dash for the Sarcophagus.

Similarly, the Vintar didn't shoot like a corkscrew and all you had to do was figure in a bit of ballistic drop.

Also, there were about five ways to 'field repair' your suit, but that didn't really matter much because there were useful suits dotted around the board.

Most side missions were worth the shoe leather. While SOME stashes were a bit naff, you sure as hell remembered where the GOOD ones were... and how to get the coords. The set-piece battles were good FUN (defend the barrier, Pripyat, the NPP and the MCC)

Compare that with this 'final' iteration of LA.

The side missions have been dire from v1.30013.

Instead of addressing this in a more enticing and stimulating manner (after all, you're going to be running at least FOUR TIMES as far as you did in SoC) the prevailing 'wisdom' seems to be "more of the same".

To my mind, this is nonsensically destructive, on the part of the devs, to the ethos of WHY people play a game. They play because the game sticks a hook in the player, a hook that pulls the player back to play again. Or even just to continue...

If the gameplay devolves to the point where you're spending 3 bandages to be rewarded with 2, then interest probably wanes. Don't get me wrong here, I like a difficult challenge but I'm not going to risk life and limb (and a LOT more than three bandages) running through Wild Territory to pick up some wanker's shotgun for 2000 Ru. I might do it if I'm a Bandit and previously cleared out half a dozen infestations with the knife, but SERIOUSLY? 2000 instead of a Battery?

Now, I know that everyone want's to "Kill Strelok" and that that is part of the 'joke' - I'm good with that, but if the going gets tough or repetitive, I'll look for alternatives:

https://stalker.fandom.com/wiki/Outside_Chernobyl/Walkthrough

NOT^^ a cheat. Just an exploit. Why waste ammo when you can run around flanking them?

As TS noted upthread, X16 can be inimical during "Follow your Dream" and you get shot at while 'in a labcoat' and just die. The head dev gave him an infoportion or a God-mode freebie to complete the level. It never was in LA, but in DC the problem returned.

My solution? Don't bother with god-mode and don't bother with Countryside, Lost Factory or X16. Just run into the Scorcher with the defective football helmet and switch the bugger off. In every version from 1.3003 to 1.4006 you should have 4mins30sec to do this before dropping deader than a kipper.

Astonishingly, in v1.4007, provided you're WEARING the 'dodgy hat' the timer just doesn't RUN AT ALL. Do not try this in the 'Black Suit' (you can't wear the hat too), but any non-scientist suit should be fine.

This is just wrong on so many levels:

The transition should be "closed for maintenance", "high radiation", "cave-in!!!" or any other dimbo reason, but never has been.
The timer should RUN ffs. If I'm so arrogant as to presume to chance this exploit, I should have skin in the game.

Nope. Turn it off, go "meet voronin". 46 Monolith lunatics just - vacate Radar...

(Just for the record, this^^ is non plotbreaking. I went back to X16 in Freeplay...)

@Brunzer
You might THINK that Maj Gribo OUGHT to give you the Purple Beads back as a reward, it's a nice 'closed circle' sort of SoC-type reward.

More likely he sends you on a suicide mission for three used bandages.

@PCDania
Without YOU telling me to "Go and stalk STALKER!" about 4+ years ago, I would never have found the Anomaly Clusters (nor posted 'Community Fixes' for those that were bugged in 1.3003 years ago)

It looks like the devs never appreciated this forum as a resource, or just passed on the feedback from so many bug reporters (S.C.A.R., Henry1491, TS,... dozens more)

This is everyone's loss.

@Tejas Stalker
Keep going!!!
  14:24:55  3 February 2019
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PCDania
The Dane
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 09/22/2007
 

Message edited by:
PCDania
02/03/2019 20:26:27
Messages: 1994

---QUOTATION---
I've noticed there are quite a huge amount of floating particles in this version of Lost Alpha. They are about the size of a hand or finger ( hard to tell ) and can only be seen from certain angles. In other words, they are not solid enough to be observed in place and circle around them. I see them often everywhere.
---END QUOTATION---


Just a guess. Fuzzy Burn particles? As I undestand you the wildlife is not restricted in the current version of LADC so maybe it somehow has an effect on those particles too?
  16:29:28  3 February 2019
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Brunzer
(Senior)
 
On forum: 02/13/2011
 

Message edited by:
Brunzer
02/03/2019 18:35:16
Messages: 97

---QUOTATION---
While we're having a teeny winge...
@Brunzer
You might THINK that Maj Gribo OUGHT to give you the Purple Beads back as a reward, it's a nice 'closed circle' sort of SoC-type reward.

More likely he sends you on a suicide mission for three used bandages.

---END QUOTATION---


I decided to load up a save I made before starting major Griboyedov’s questline. Turning over the ‘purple beads’ nets you 17,000 RU and 5 additional quests where you fetch artefacts for a monetary reward. The deal is presented as 15,000 for the artefact, plus the money for killing the dwarf and bringing back his gun. However, the reward message states 17,000 for turning everything in. But you get 4,500 RU when you only kill the Dwarf and return the gun. So the actual reward for the artefact is 12,500 RU.

The five missions are as follows:
1. Snowflake for 12,500 RU (he actually promises 15,000)
2. Fungus for 15,000 RU (Called Toadstool in 1.4007, guess they didn’t update his text)
3. Bubble for 12,500
4. Liver for 6,500 (Called Flesh Chunk in 1.4007)
5. Jewel for 6,500

Selling these 6 artefacts (purple beads included) to Deedee nets you 51,474 RU. The total money you get from the questline is 65,500 RU for a net profit of 14,026 RU. No rank nor reputation increase and no skillpoint awarded.

There you have it. The opportunity to sell a few artefacts above their normal value in exchange for parting with some of the most useful artefacts in the game. Definitely not worth the money.

See screenshots for details. https://imgur.com/a/1SaBvYs
  23:05:08  3 February 2019
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Brunzer
(Senior)
 
On forum: 02/13/2011
Messages: 97
about Major Gribo’s sidequest

Going by my previous post you might not believe this, but I really appreciate what they were trying to achieve with this quest. I’ll try to break it down

It starts of with a simple ‘kill mutant X’ assignment. You’re provided with a little backstory. It’s a dwarf who steals stuff from the military. To be more precise, the little bastard made off with their precious vodka and the prized honorary fort-12 of the commander. Not bad at all considering the writing for most sidequests in LA.

You are sent on your way with a main objective (kill the dwarf) and an optional objective (find the handgun). Unbeknown to the player there is a second optional objective: to find the purple beads artefact. This leads to no less than three (maybe four, need further confirmation) different ways to turn in the quest. With what boils down to three different reward tiers that also determine the subsequent quests you unlock.

1. You can kill the dwarf and hand over both the gun and tell the major about the artefact. This gives you the highest reward (17,000 RU) and enables two further questlines. One involves killing mutants and the other getting artefacts. The commander commends you for doing a great job and remarks that you’re obviously very trustworthy.
2. You can kill the dwarf and hand over the gun, but not the artefact. This nets you 4,500 RU and the killing mutants questline. The commander commends you for a job well done.
3. You can kill the dwarf and don’t handover the gun and the artefact. This nets you 2,000 RU and the commander scolds you and says something about how he should have send a professional (don’t rightly remember).

There are different lines for when you didn’t pick up the handgun at all, or when you did but kept it for yourself. In case of the latter, the commander gives no reward and tells you to pray that they’ll let you pass the checkpoint next time. Whether this has any consequence ingame is unknown to me.

Before accepting the quest the commander told me he doesn’t normally trusts stalkers but he could see I am a good person. Which made me wonder, did this quest actually check my reputation? I was at ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’ at that point. Would he not give that quest to stalkers with a bad rep, or maybe he’d offer different missions, assassinations for example?

It’s this kind of reactivity which I really dig in a computer game. Choice and consequence adds to replayability and having your own experience instead of sharing the exact same experience with everybody else. Although the above mission has its flaws, the framework for a great mission is definitely there. With a little polish and some tweaking it could’ve been a perfect little set of sidemissions.

Where they’ve dropped the ball, aside from doing zero proofreading, is with the rewards this mission provides. They’re asking you to give away the single most useful artefact in the game (speed is king, it allows you to outrun enemies and makes traversing the map a lot less tedious), in return for the most common commodity in the game: money. That’s a no-brainer. Not to mention the money offered is mere peanuts by this stage in the game. But to be honest, I wouldn’t give up something unique and useful for even a million rubbles.

What they should have done is providing the player with a tough choice. Give up the artefact, but you’ll get another awesome unique benefit in return. You lose one thing, you gain another. Give up some speed, gain a great weapon, suit, special ability or whatever. Which is in fact part of a broader problem in the game: the itemization. All the good gear s available from traders and every advancement in gear is tied with story progression.

Sid shouldn’t sell me veles detectors and Scat-9 armor just because I reached a certain point in the story. He should sell overpriced low level crap the whole game long. Because that’s who he is: a fat bastard who fleeces rookies for a living. Acquiring a veles detector should be a milestone event. Maybe through a series of quests for the scientists, maybe by doing some very dirty work for the bandits. Certain armor and weapons shouldn’t be sold at all, or only by certain traders after rising high enough in their respective factions rank. It makes no sense if the best gear is available from every trader once you’re far enough in the main storyline. It dulls the enjoyment of putting together your own set of gear.

The really good stuff should be obtained by doing missions, looting stashes and exploring every nook and cranny. That way the devs would reward those players that take the time to enjoy their handcrafted levels. That way they’d play to the strong suit of the Stalker series: being a scavenger who roams the zone and who does odd jobs here and there. ‘Cause lets be honest, no one plays LA for its story.
  00:09:53  4 February 2019
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DarkMinds
(Senior)
 
On forum: 03/26/2008
Messages: 69
Garbage artifacts

Is silver case loot hardcoded, or variable? Got 2 shells from a silver case located on the bridge support closest to bandit sniper. Originally found it after Prip UG was finished, loaded save from some time back, and was there also.
  08:02:49  4 February 2019
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Byte Me
Senior Resident
 

 
On forum: 10/08/2014
Messages: 455

---QUOTATION---
Garbage artifacts

Is silver case loot hardcoded, or variable? Got 2 shells from a silver case located on the bridge support closest to bandit sniper. Originally found it after Prip UG was finished, loaded save from some time back, and was there also.
---END QUOTATION---



If you mean the things inside 'destructible tins' 'ammo boxes' like the ones on the platform roof in Wild Territory, or the car wreck north of the Bridge Checkpoint in Cordon; then they're pretty exclusively hard coded into the game and have been since v1.30013.

I shall check that location in the future if I can ever get the damn game to reinstall properly. It might be an addition for v1.4007.
  13:45:12  4 February 2019
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Byte Me
Senior Resident
 

 
On forum: 10/08/2014
Messages: 455
Presence confirmed in v1.4005


---QUOTATION---
Garbage artifacts

Is silver case loot hardcoded, or variable? Got 2 shells from a silver case located on the bridge support closest to bandit sniper. Originally found it after Prip UG was finished, loaded save from some time back, and was there also.
---END QUOTATION---



Since I can't get 1.4007 to play nice (grrrr..), I did the next worst thing and reinstalled 1.4005. And decompressed an archive of savegames (I only played 1.4005 once - too miserable and REALLY stingy for my tastes)

On loading the save just after looting the Bandit Sniper, I had a look and there are TWO tins on that crossbeam. If you stand in the road and look up, it's the one that you can see. If you run up the inner embankment of the bridge you can just see it behind the SECOND tin that is unseen from the road. The sniper AKMS only needs one shot to send the required tin to the roadway. It's probably best not to shoot from the road as the tin might break and leave the Shells on the crossmember. From the road it's just a pick up job. The other tin is empty.

If you ever get a wiki account you'll get a hattip for that discovery as it looks to have been on the board since 1.30013. I'll test for presence with 1.4002 later as I just happen to have an idle 1.4002 setup.

Good catch...
  19:34:37  4 February 2019
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Brunzer
(Senior)
 
On forum: 02/13/2011
Messages: 97

---QUOTATION---
Garbage artifacts

Is silver case loot hardcoded, or variable? Got 2 shells from a silver case located on the bridge support closest to bandit sniper. Originally found it after Prip UG was finished, loaded save from some time back, and was there also.

If you mean the things inside 'destructible tins' 'ammo boxes' like the ones on the platform roof in Wild Territory, or the car wreck north of the Bridge Checkpoint in Cordon; then they're pretty exclusively hard coded into the game and have been since v1.30013.

I shall check that location in the future if I can ever get the damn game to reinstall properly. It might be an addition for v1.4007.
---END QUOTATION---


Can confirm. In my game there also were two springs in that box. Nice find, that's some serious loot in the early stages of the game.
  03:46:11  5 February 2019
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DarkMinds
(Senior)
 
On forum: 03/26/2008
Messages: 69

---QUOTATION---
Presence confirmed in v1.4005

Garbage artifacts

Is silver case loot hardcoded, or variable? Got 2 shells from a silver case located on the bridge support closest to bandit sniper. Originally found it after Prip UG was finished, loaded save from some time back, and was there also.

Since I can't get 1.4007 to play nice (grrrr..), I did the next worst thing and reinstalled 1.4005. And decompressed an archive of savegames (I only played 1.4005 once - too miserable and REALLY stingy for my tastes)

On loading the save just after looting the Bandit Sniper, I had a look and there are TWO tins on that crossbeam. If you stand in the road and look up, it's the one that you can see. If you run up the inner embankment of the bridge you can just see it behind the SECOND tin that is unseen from the road. The sniper AKMS only needs one shot to send the required tin to the roadway. It's probably best not to shoot from the road as the tin might break and leave the Shells on the crossmember. From the road it's just a pick up job. The other tin is empty.

If you ever get a wiki account you'll get a hattip for that discovery as it looks to have been on the board since 1.30013. I'll test for presence with 1.4002 later as I just happen to have an idle 1.4002 setup.

Good catch...
---END QUOTATION---



That's the spot...

My 1.4007 isn't all that nice itself, sometimes once stutters hit, or just A stutter, if I get a flash of sound just after one, it's going partially to desktop where I have to task manager kill it all.. No rhyme nor reason for it, just have to take a different direction than the last time on reload, or get away from level changer as fast as possible if it's associated with one.
  03:57:59  5 February 2019
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DarkMinds
(Senior)
 
On forum: 03/26/2008
Messages: 69
One other thing, in 07, Going back out from DeeDee, military were shooting hostile, so the whole hermit/half code/midget thief thing never happened. Only thing I can recollect that may have triggered that is climbing into the military outpost in yantar from the underground, and then walking past the guard out on the road where he went hostile...
 
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