The Duty and Freedom NPCs go to the secondary level changer that's
past the northern section of the stadium. I will never understand why
GSC made the level changer at the southern entrance to the stadium
the primary with the PDA Map and prompts leading you there. There's
more action and artifacts in the stadium itself. Only if you ignore your
PDA prompts and use the west or east gates to slip into the stadium do
you get to fight the additional Monolith and see where the other NPCs go.
Those squads at Red Forrest seem to be there for the player to do missions for them, after that is done they all disappear and later on RF never gets populated again, besides Duty squad. It's like Red Forest gets cut out from rest of the zone.
I would like to see loners to try and hold areas there, not too much but at least the anomaly camp.
Also I've seen a lots of squads entering Pripyat. Loners, Freedom and Duty, but they can barely get pass the underground garage part of level.
When they enter Freedom takes left part of Pripyat to advance on and Duty takes right side. Without player cleaning up Pripyat of Monoliths and mutants stalkers will probably never advance because they die from anomalies in which they like to die on and on.
I had a Freedom squad to get all the way to Stadium, i think 1 only survived
True. But I suspect "normal" squads entering Red Forest from the outside don't have that limitation (except from the scripted Freedom squad from Army Warehouses). So far I've only seen Monolith make it alive through the forest, but I also recall seeing "capture and hold position" prompts during some faction war.
---QUOTATION--- The Red Forest in SoC & CS are both a dead end destination for Loners. ---END QUOTATION---
Don't they enter Pripyat in SoC? ISTR seeing squads that, but don't know if it was Loners specifically.
I haven't seen any indication of movement by any Faction going from
Red Forest to Garbage. Only the Player and mutants seem to use this.
The Red Forest in SoC & CS are both a dead end destination for Loners.
Tried clearing a path through Garbage for the stalkers, killing all Bandits, Duty and Freedom squads blocking the way to southern Army Warehouses. But the suicidal Stalkers in Red Forest still didn't go farther than Dark Yar. I also tried clearing the other way through the forest and directly into north-western AW, still no reaction.
Back to a save before the "Lower the bridge" mission!
What if the Dark Yar squad prevented the others from continuing into Garbage? I decided to test this by sending the Dark Yar squad on their mission to Devilish Encampment. And sure enough, the stalker squad in the southern forest moved into the now vacant Dark Yar, while the surviving ambusher moved from the merc camp to the southern forest camp. It seems these NPCs avoid each other's camps. But they didn't continue into Garbage, not even when the entrance was free from Bandits.
While I was roaming the forest it seems I accidentally started the Lower the bridge mission (even though I still haven't transmitted the coordinates, a known bug). I decided to keep playing and see what happened.
Once the bridge was lowered the mercs couldn't go to their usual camp (because the ambush survivor stands there), so they had to stay at the bridge, providing me with an extra guide.
When I went into the forest again the electro anomaly in the middle had spawned a new Battery artifact.