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Faction Wars: My thoughts

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  22:21:02  7 June 2017
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Tejas Stalker
Official Stalker on Facebook


On forum: 05/12/2007
Messages: 28281
Faction Wars: My thoughts

I thought I would move this here after originally placing this on the SRP
thread when discussing the Faction Wars and my experiences with it.

* * * * *

Faction Wars ( Part 1 )

I can't speak for the SRP but I do have a lot of experience with the Faction
Wars and that alone is the reason why I hate the 1.5.10 Patch over all the
previous versions was the huge change to the Faction Wars. As I've probably
mentioned before, the major change was the timing and intensity. Prior to the
1.5.10 Patch, the Agroprom level was static ( action within but no action going
from level to level ) until the Player completed the Agroprom Underground.

Upon coming out and returning to the Duty Leader, the Player was suddenly
faced with massive movement of the entire Duty Faction going to war. If the
Player had blinders on ( i.e. my PDA says I should be going to Yantar next )
then the Player could potentially miss the entire Faction Wars which I assume is
the #1 reason the timing and sequence of events were changed in the 1.5.10 Patch.

This is why the Faction Wars starts with a squeak and not a bang in 1.5.10.
Instead of the mass movement of an entire Faction in 1.5.08 and earlier,
where you saw 100 to 200 Duty moving east and into Garbage, you get
the 1.5.10 trickle. A few squads move out prior to the Player going in the
Agroprom Underground. The Player now has the obvious choice to go with
them to experience the Faction Wars and not be pulled in two directions
as before: Do I see and experience the Faction Wars or do I go to Yantar?

Not to get too far off subject but there was a version ( 1.5.04 I think )
where the Loners were stuck in a suicide loop going to Yantar. The level
changer in the west corner north of the small lake had Loners leaving and
going to Yantar, where they would cycle back in a loop coming from Yantar
and back to the Agroprom through the other level changer to the east where
they would immediately go west again. The problem was there was an
anomaly they would walk right into above the ravine where most would
get shredded. Added to that was, just beyond the level changer for the
Player, where the other NPCs continued to walk was a spot of intense
radiation. You could literally see the NPCs walking to Yantar just suddenly
drop. The fallen bodies would pile up and you could be looking at 100+ dead.

So, getting back to the Faction Wars, we get the great trickle in 1.5.10 that
I have no idea if the SRP changes or alter this. Prior to the 1.5.10, I would
immediately postpone all the Yantar events ( that generally don't take place
until the Player first gets there ) and follow Duty into Garbage. However I
learned that I should take on the Pseudogiant on the hill in the Agroprom
between the two level changers otherwise I would miss that event. At the
same time, my other incentive is that I would stick like glue to any Dutyer
carrying a PKM ( RP-74 ) so that I could immediately grab it for my own use.
Whether I got it in the Agroprom or not until later in Garbage during the
Faction Wars, is how I ALWAYS got a PKM and had it fully upgraded by
Duty prior to going on to Yantar. Later, once I finally got to Yantar would
I buy massive amounts of PKM ammo from Sakharov before going to the
Yantar missions. Taking on all the Yantar Zombies with a PKM is a pure
joy and why I never use the unsatisfactory Vintar for the Lefty mission.

In explaining movement in the Faction Wars, the way they work from what I
have seen in my experience, is that no Faction will leave a position and go
to an empty position or an enemy occupied position UNLESS there are two
squad leaders at their present position. In other words, one to stay and
one to go to the next location. You cannot expect them to move forward
if they do not have the manpower or resources to do so. Only if more new
squads arrive and are able to pass by the occupied position or switch places
do you have forward movement. For this reason, the trickle effect of the
1.5.10 Patch, while spreading out the Faction Wars ( allowing the Player
to participate in it more ) has actually had the opposite effect of gimping
or diluting the Faction Wars. With the 1.5.08 and before, the sheer number
of ALL the Factions ( Duty, Freedom and Loners ) pouring into Garbage to
face the outnumbered Bandits, produced more satisfactory and dynamic
actions of real warfare, real battles for taking positions, real conflict to give
credence to the Faction Wars. The 1.5.10...not so much. Weak Faction Wars.
Weak understaffed and under strength in movements. Stalemate, stalemate
and more stalemate. Want to fix this in my opinion? Base the SRP on using
the 1.5.08 Patch. Doing so you should see dramatic improvements in the
Faction Wars. Just because GSC Game World had gimped the Faction Wars
doesn't mean that you have to also. This is all just my opinion of course.

Here's a good example of the Faction Wars prior to 1.5.10 when as the
Player, I was friendly with all of the Factions and did not help any of them
advance or take positions. B = Bandits, D = Duty, F = Freedom & L= Loners:

Bonus points if you can explain the one location with an enemy hostile red dot.

  22:22:00  7 June 2017
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Tejas Stalker
Official Stalker on Facebook


On forum: 05/12/2007
Messages: 28281
Faction Wars: My thoughts

Faction Wars ( Part 2 )

The other aspect to the Faction Wars that I wanted to discuss and one
that few people give much thought to, has to do with Faction War goals.
Basically this can be divided into two distinct outlooks. As Clear Sky has
re-playability designed into it, allowing the Player ( who is a Mercenary )
to join various Factions and lead them to glory a.k.a. territorial gain, that
is the most kinetic or Player induced directional leadership. In other words
if you prod or order the squad leaders at specific locations to take on any
other positions, you can force them to do what they don't do on their own.
Also, the Player can on his own accord wipe out enemy positions, making
them vacant for squad leaders of the same Faction or neutral or friendly
Factions to gain territory by that means. This an entirely different aspect
of the Game where direct actions can accelerate gains in the Faction Wars.

Faction War Mods may enhance this experience, as most were initially made
due to people being unhappy with the slow movement of the Faction Wars
without understanding why, what all the various patches changed over time
and with the false belief that all Factions should equally seek more territory
based on the quantity of new positions and not the quality of new positions.

Simply put, without the Player's involvement ( staying a Mercenary and
NOT joining any Faction after leaving the Marshes ) and letting all the
various Factions do their own thing reveals an entirely different Faction
Wars than most people realize. Most people do not sit back and let it be
as scripted, nor do they understand that each Faction has it's individual
goals that are ALL different. Once you take the time to focus on what each
Factions wants or is trying to gain, can you fully appreciate what the true
intent of the Faction Wars was about. The Player joining ANY Faction and
changing the basic premise of Faction goals immediately alters all of this.

Garbage is the center of the Faction Wars. While some action can take
place in the Agroprom, Dark Valley and even the farthest edges in the
Cordon and the Army Warehouses, the Faction Wars really boils down
to control of Garbage. To understand each Faction's goals is to focus on
their primary objective. The Bandits have the easiest of all the objectives
to understand. If they control Garbage, then they control the Zone. If
they occupy Garbage then they can control the passage of loot, supplies
and any other material going to the various Factions. What is funny is
that NONE of the other Factions have the primary objective to take the
Garbage level from them. However each of the other Factions need the
Garbage level territory to meet their primary objective. Confused yet?

I made an altered or enhanced map of my previous post to illustrate:

The Duty Faction's primary goal is to block or isolate the Freedom Faction
to the Dark Valley. Not invade the Dark Valley. Not destroy the Freedom
Faction. Containment. If Duty holds the two level changers going to the
Dark Valley from Garbage, then they win. If Freedom cannot escape, they
are neutralized. This is why Duty enters Garbage and makes more of an
eastward push than to fight or take all the Bandit positions. Duty wants to
control the Garbage entrance from the Agroprom but will be content to
bypass the Bandits as much as possible in their goal to stop Freedom.

The Freedom Faction and Loner Faction ( called Stalker Faction in Clear Sky
and Call of Pripyat but I habitually call them the original name ) both have
similar primary objectives that are very narrow and require less territory.
The Freedom Faction wants out of the Dark Valley. They want the northern
access point by the Flea Market and they want to control the Garbage
Checkpoint going to the Army Warehouses. Why? We all know the answer
from the first game. In Shadow of Chernobyl, Freedom has moved to the
Army Warehouses and controls all access going north at the Barrier. Not to
stop others from going north but to maintain open access for all which is
the opposite of Duty who wants to limit and control access. Freedom and
Duty are diametrically opposed. This is why the Freedom Faction has little
interest in the overall Faction Wars or taking on the Bandits other than the
access points they need to gain a clear, unobstructed path going to the AW.

The Loners are quite ineffective. They can barely get out of the Cordon
unless the Player helps. Players can easily be tricked into attacking the
Cordon Bandits or joining the Loner Faction especially since the Player
in SoC was one in the same. Most Players do not realize until too late
that ONLY the Bandit Repair Tech can upgrade both 3rd tiers of the SEVA
suit and the Bandit Repair Tech, Trader and Bartender all disappear if
the Player attacks the Bandit Faction main base in Garbage. I always
wait until the Loners control the level changer on the other side in Garbage
so that I never get robbed, never create hostile Bandits or create negative
points. For the same reason I never approach the Vehicle Junkyard a.k.a.
Loner POW camp, until I have made the Bandit Faction friendly to prevent
those Bandits at that location going hostile. However it is important to
mention this because without the Player helping take the Vehicle Junkyard
their Faction meets a stalemate in southern Garbage. Knowing that the
Loner Faction's primary objective in Garbage is NOT to take all the Bandit
positions or defeat them but to simply gain access to the Agroprom. The
Loners have another base there with a Leader, Trader & Repair Tech. All
the Loners really care about in Garbage is gaining control of one or two
of the level changers in Garbage going west to the Agroprom. That's it.
As simple as Freedom's similar primary objective to just control passage.

Now that you see that each of the listed Faction's goals have little to do
with controlling every single Garbage position and absolutely nothing to
do with extending things beyond Garbage. Any Dutyer entering the Dark
Valley or Freedomer entering the Agroprom ( without the Player's help )
is destined to failure, likewise Bandits retaking some points in the Cordon
or the Loners controlling anything other than the Flea market is a doomed
endeavor. The Flea Market is the lone exception to the Loner's objectives.
If you really put things in perspective, the Flea Market is a mini-microcosm
of Rostok in SoC and is the closest thing the Player has to a central location.

What does all this mean? It depends on what you want out of the Faction
Wars. Want to join a Faction and lead it to glory by artificial goals and
objectives? More power to you whether by using the base game or Mods.
Want to stay true to the storyline? A Mercenary in the pursuit of Strelok
and Gang should NOT join ANY Faction and would be neutral and/or friendly
to Loners, Bandits, Duty, Freedom and Clear Sky so that they could travel
unaccosted and use every Faction Trader & Repair Tech in their end goal
of stopping Strelok, Fang & Ghost. The Faction Wars are a great story idea
and can offer many variable outcomes and re-playability. Understanding
the true purpose of the Faction Wars makes their shortcomings and faults
easier to accept when you see the primary objectives vary per each Faction.

  23:46:51  15 June 2017
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Three Mile Island
Senior Resident

On forum: 11/04/2008
Messages: 3261
Can you run the game with patch 1.5.08 on Windows 10? The original disc version doesn't run on Windows 10, and I recall Steam and GOG only offers 1.5.10.

Regarding the Faction Wars, it's my understanding that the C-Consciousness induced increased aggression in the Zone's inhabitants to prevent Strelok from reaching the Center, so maybe one shouldn't expect too much strategic planning from the various faction leaders. (At the same time C-Con's desire to stop Strelok is contradicted by its use of the Wish Granter as a decoy. Can't remember if anyone explained this in the Fang thread, or if it's simply a plot hole.)
  10:21:23  16 June 2017
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Tejas Stalker
Official Stalker on Facebook


On forum: 05/12/2007

Message edited by:
Tejas Stalker
06/16/2017 10:25:01
Messages: 28281
Faction Wars: My thoughts

Three Mile Island~

I don't know. I don't have Windows 10. I've had it mentioned to
me there are problems with the original DVD versions and Windows 10
but I'm not sure of the specifics so I don't have accurate info to give you.

The C-Consciousness may have induced increased aggression in the Zone's
inhabitants to prevent Strelok from reaching the Center, but according to
the Clear Sky Faction, it was the presence of Strelok's group's actions that
were producing more emissions that the side effect of that was increased
mutants agitation. I don't think the C-Consciousness had the ability to
track individuals in the southern Zone because if so they could have hired
a hit squad. Like Clear Sky, they could use sources providing information
of where Strelok's group was seen but it was after the fact and not timely
by the time they were informed. It was a cat and mouse Game with Scar
as the cat working for Clear Sky. Otherwise if the C-Consciousness knew
when and where Strelok would show up, the never would have mistaken
him for an ordinary Stalker, tattooed and brainwashed him to kill himself.

  15:39:56  16 June 2017
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Three Mile Island
Senior Resident

On forum: 11/04/2008
Messages: 3261
I tried installing CS on Win10 from disc last night. First I got a message saying my GTX 1060 card was unsupported and my Win10 was an unknown OS. I proceeded with the installation anyway, but when I tried to run the game I got some message about Tages (the DRM) not working. I also got a prompt to insert the DVD (which was already there). The latter sometimes happened on my old PC too, and was usually fixed by trying again, but this time retrying didn't work (admittedly I just tried one more time).

Maybe one could install 1.5.10 from GOG and then downgrade it to 1.5.08 somehow?
  19:34:41  16 June 2017
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Tejas Stalker
Official Stalker on Facebook


On forum: 05/12/2007
Messages: 28281
Faction Wars: My thoughts

I've heard there are ways to go back or to work with previous patches
on digital downloads but I've never had to do it or confirm that it's true.

  11:16:37  2 August 2017
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Senior Resident

On forum: 06/23/2009
Messages: 1175
GOG supposedly allows that but I never tried it since i play CS with SRP always these days.
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