So, here is what I have planned for the full v1.0 release. Its not my full list of things to do which is just lines of things and ideas, but rather a description of some of the stuff grouped together and explained.
No, I'm not including the full Atmosfear mod, just the emissions from it, incase anyone was wondering. However, the overall look and feel of the mod will be different from the intermediate versions. Ambient sounds will be re-added from SoC, and multiple weather cycles will be added to the vanilla ones. So now you can look forward to wandering through the Zone blanketed in thick fog, or taking shelter in a run down building somewhere whilst there is a torrential downpour underway.
This will mainly include:
- Ambient sounds: Levels will have more ambient sounds playing in them, with 2 or 3 possible tracks for a given time of day. The level music for SoC will be restored, along with the unused music in both SoC and CS, once I know what levels will suit it best.
- Dynamic weather: This will be expanded by at least 5 new dynamic weather sequences, including fog and torrential rain.
- Revamped Emissions: I'm including Cromm Curac's excellent Atmosphere emission visuals from Atmosfear 1.2 for Clear Sky in this mod. I'm also tossing around having two types of emissions: Radioactive and Psionic. At the moment its just the standard emission scheme.
The general gameplay of the mod will be getting an overhaul. A general gripe of mine with Clear Sky is that it is generally too safe, unless you go an join a faction, or randomly start shooting. v1.0 will fix this by removing some of the safe areas and large camps. Also, some of the hostile factions will have much more of a presence in the Zone, and in more maps, and a stronger presence on maps they already exist on. Anomalies and Anomaly fields will also be changed as well. The desire behind this is to try and recreate some of the atmosphere that SoC had via gameplay and atmospheric changes, so it is no longer an easy stroll from one camp to another, but rather a unnerving walk from one safe zone to another, with mutants, hostile Stalkers and anomalies potentially plaguing your path.
This will mainly include:
- Moved and new Anomalies: Some new anomalies will be added to levels randomly, and existing ones and clusters may be given an overhaul in one form or another. Several new anomaly types may also surface in the Zone.
- Factions: Factions will mainly stay to their respective areas, however, some Factions will move about the Zone, pursuing their own agenda, while others will remain within their territory, defending it from threats from inside and outside their borders, and potentially internal conflict, some of which the player may get caught up in.
- Stalkers and AI: There will be multiple adjustments made to Stalkers, and the AI for them. Stalkers will react differently, with some factions being more effective at combat, others being more aware of their surroundings than others. However, they have all undergone several fixes and adjustments, including the correction of armour and resistances, making them much more fragile in combat.
- NPC and mutant variation: There will be a wide variety in the appearance of NPC's, and to a lesser extent, mutants. This should give make each Stalker more unique when combined with a randomized weapon loadout scheme, making them seem less like mass produced generic NPC's, and more like a unique character. Some unused mutant skins will be applied to existing mutants, and several new species of mutants will be introduced as well.
- Economy: Economy will be getting an overhaul. Some items will be easy to come by, and not be worth much, while others will be more difficult to obtain, and worth almost their weight in artifacts. Depending on the faction or Stalker, some items might have more appeal to them than other, so finding the right buyer for something may take a while. And with Traders and mechanics lesser in number, if any are present at all on the current level, will mean more careful management of your supplies, including stocking up on extras if need be.
- CoP Style Medicals: This feature will be hanging around. I've fallen into anomalies in vanilla, and have been able to spam medkits to save myself, but I haven't been able to do that as often with this feature. I also tend to take cover more during firefights, since I can no longer spam medkits to insta heal damage. Radiation poisoning is also much more serious. The earlier antirads are administered, the less damage you will take, as they now take time to work. The same is true for Vodka.
Weapons and Suits
Weapons are a core component of any Stalker mod. Some mods add new ones, others change their characteristics to be more realistic, while some do both. I'll be adding new weapons, and doing a few characteristic tweaks, which mainly include more realistic bullet behaviour ie not disappearing after 10 meters, and restoring the grenade launch speeds for underbarrel grenade launchers from SoC. A few new weapons are planned/implemented into the mod, and can be found on NPC's and in trader inventories, but for the users who aren't really interested in new weapons, there will be a toggle-able option to enable or disable added weapons spawning for NPC's. I haven't found a way to dynamically remove them from trader inventories yet, however.
Suits - another key part in the Stalkers gear. All of the standard suits will be available, however their availability for some will have changed, while multiple new suits have also been implemented from both CoP and SoC, and even some from the old builds of the game (pre SoC).
- About a dozen new weapons have been implemented or have plans to be implemented. This includes the Eliminator Shotgun from CoP, Gosuke's M1891 rifle and GP100 revolver, along with several other weapons from various weapon packs and mods that add new weapons. New calibres are also planned, including 7.62x39mm and 7.62x51mm.
- Some weapons have had their properties tweaked, and bullets disappearing after a short distance has also been disabled. Rifle grenades and RPG rockets also have increased launch speeds, or their SoC speeds restored, so now they are a much more effective weapon against enemies.
- About a dozen suits have been added, covering nearly all possible base NPC suit visuals. If you see a NPC with a certain suit, chances are you can find or buy one somewhere. They all also have unique characteristics that suit them, both in providing protection to the player, and resisting damage they take over time. Some are designed for anomaly exploration in highly anomalous areas, others are designed for combat, while others opt for a middle ground. Some just allow you to carry even more weight than normal.
Levels - as you've seen, and possibly known, I've been wanting to add several SoC levels for a while, mainly the Bar and Wild Territory. With working DX10 mode at long last, I have been able to start making some headway on this, and can test that everything works in DX10 without having to ask for people to test, and upload 100MB+ archives containing the levels every time I want something major tested.
So, anyway, here is what levels I'm looking at adding.
- Bar(SoC): This level will be returning from SoC more or less the same, but rather more as a neutral Stalker camp. The Arena and 100 Rads will be open for business, and members of most factions can be found here, including Freedom and Duty, and possibly non shooting members of the Military and Mercenaries (haven't decided). It will not be a Duty Stronghold, like in SoC.
- Wild Territory(SoC): If I'm adding the Bar, I have to add the Wild Territory, since they are right next to each other on the PDA, and adding one without the other doesn't make sense. It will serve the same role as in SoC - an abandoned, desolate factory grounds and railyard, with mutants and other enemies lurking around, not to mention anomalies to be avoided and artifacts to be collected.
- Agroprom Underground(SoC): This will be replacing the underground in Clear Sky, with appropriate access points for it. Like SoC, it will be dark, lurking with secrets and dangers around every corner, and some rather unhappy, nasty, and cruel inhabitants. Oh, and Stalkers might be occasionally found down their as well, although they might end up mistaking you for a mutant...
Considering (Still deciding whether or not to add these to the mod):
- Darkscape(Build 2571): This level is quite large, and consists of two parts: A winding canyon to the north, and a large, open area partially covered by forest to the south. Located south of the Dark Valley, and east of the Cordon, it is quite a gloomy place. Mutants roam the forest, and very few Stalkers choose to come here. Anomalies are present in a few areas, along with artifacts. Its just finding them in this massive area that is a problem.
- Dead City (Build 2571): A secret city located between Yantar and Limansk, it is quite tricky to get here, and some consider it to be a legend, a myth. Long abandoned, it has fallen into disrepair, and is now only inhabited by mutants and the ghosts of times gone by. The rumours of supply stockpiles untouched since the 1986 explosion, and the mountains of artifacts formed since 2006 still encourages a few souls to try and find the road to it.
This will be all of the playable levels atm:
- Dark Valley
- Military Warehouses
- Red Forest
- Rostok Bar (from SoC)
- Wild Territory (from SoC)
- Agroprom Underground (From SoC, replacing Clear Sky's version)
Limansk, Hospital, and the NPP will not be playable levels. I've tried to enable Limansk, but a large amount of complete lockups on the level requiring the 3 finger salute (Ctrl + Alt + Delete) and the Windows Task Manager to fix means that it won't be playable. So Limansk, and by default, all of the levels behind it will not be playable. Besides, the Hospital's terrain layout makes going backwards at certain points impossible.
Also, in order of fairness, you will still be able to travel to different levels normally - you can still go Garbage -> Military Warehouses without having to go via the Bar if you don't want to.
And I think that's all I want to ramble on about/reveal for now. Feel free to comment on this, or suggest ideas over in the v1.0 suggestion forum. More stuff will be revealed in video's and screenshots from time to time.