Get out of here, Stalker! Just joking friends, come in and enjoy my constantly growing profile. This is the list of the games I play: S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series (favourite), Far Cry series (also one of my favourites), Crysis games (nice graphics), Assassin's Creed series (#1 games when it comes to atmosphere and history), GTA (especially San Andreas), Borderlands 1&2. Oh, and I'm addicted to World of Tanks right now... Feel free to comment my images!

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Hubris (Pt. 2)

loner85 Blog

Part 1 here:

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That leads us here to this point. Our gear was actually well-maintained, but there was still room for improvements, therefore we decided to visit "Thrush", the trader and Aydar, the local technician.

Thrush's inventory wasn't particularly big, but we bought some food and a good amount of medical supplies, mostly Med-Kits and Anti-Rads. Sure, some good ammo as well. We still didn't know where we would be headed next anyway, so we didn't particularly buy much here.
No, what we really did was using the services of the technician.

Everyone of us got his helmet upgraded to even support a night vision device, not a very fancy one, but it worked well. Everyone of us got an upgraded armor vest and Aydar even applied camouflage to our suits. Our weapons received thorough cleaning and we upgraded them to be even more reliable. We usually don't need these all fancy shooters with super high accuracy or ultra high rates of fire that probably fall apart after one magazine, no, we try to have the most well-balanced shooters focused on reliability. Of what use is the highest rate of fire if your weapon jams after 30 seconds of firing it?

We were absolutely happy with our latest purchases. We're now practically invisible in the lush springtime vegetation outside, our weapons would probably not fail even after 5000 shots and mutants, monsters or bandits (where's the difference anyway) would have a hard time damaging our armor. Generally speaking, that was the motivational boost we needed to continue on our journey through the zone.

When we arrived back at our HQ (well it was still the same small room upstairs but it also was our base of operations, our fortress) in the evening, we had a lively discussion about our next steps.
Yuri was convinced that a visit to the freedom guys would certainly be a cool idea, and we ALMOST did that thing since we heard the news that the freedomers apparently dealt with their mercenary problem, their paranoia likely having disappeared alongside the mercs. Interestingly, in the stories about their success there is always the mention of this old, scarred man that apparently helped them, the same grandpa that took down all the mutants in our factory's backyard.

But I was too busy to think about him any longer, as I suddenly saw a small building in the dried out lake Yantar on our zone map. I knew that this was the scientists' bunker and that they were researching the strange phenomenon in the factory complex near that lake.
"But isn't that too dangerous?", Ivan asked and I saw it in his face, he was feeling extremely uncomfortable with the idea to enter an area that other STALKERs and even mutants usually avoid. I could fully understand him and his concerns, but I also had the feeling that nothing could stop us right now.
Our armor was strong enough to stop bullets! Heck if that isn't a reason to explore largely undiscovered land! I saw Yuri slightly nodding in his chair. "Where is the fun if there's no risk!", he replied, and that was the end of the story. Ivan finally agreed with the words: "You win, I give up. Why having all that fancy gear if we'd just sit here anyway".
To further silence his security concerns I added that we'd go and ask around the factory tomorrow, to find out if the other Loners have useful information about Yantar and its inhabitants. I yawned.
With these words we finally found a bit of sleep in these rather troubled days.

To be continued...

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Hope you liked it! Leave a comment if you have an improvement or questions about the story!

Hubris (Pt. 1)

loner85 Blog 1 comment

Time for another blog post, this time a little story about a group we all know about but never quite seemed to...know.
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"Vlad!", somebody yelled.
The first thing that came to my mind was my head. It hurt so bad, and I felt completely wasted.
I tried to ignore the pain, even though I couldn't bear it anymore. I thought I was dying right know, lying somewhere in the grass and...

I opened my eyes. After a bright flash of light I saw...I saw the face of my good buddy Ivan. From that point on, it was obvious what must have happened.

"Too much off the good stuff, eh?", Ivan asked right away with a smirk on his face, and as I looked at all the empty bottles of vodka and beer around me I started to feel really nauseous. I immediately got up and ran into one corner of that building, well, what building is that even? Concrete everywhere, and in a few seconds a puddle of vomit as well.

"Damn, you really knocked yourself out last night, haha" Ivan laughed. I was just nodding silently. I wasn't even asking why he seemed completely alright, because our Ivan is really tough when it comes to drinking, he didn't even show any trace of a headache. I just asked him what we were celebrating.

"Look at that!" said Ivan as he pulled out a bag filled with a lot of rubles. I was still feeling sick but also, while looking at all these shiny coins and colorful bills, couldn't help but feel more and more happy.
Hell, I even put up the same big smirk as Ivan. "What did we get all this for?", I wondered.
He just began to smile even more, and as soon as he showed me a piece of dog meat that was lying on a table I remembered everything again.

We cleared out that big pseudo-dog lair in the tunnel to the north east in the area around the Agroprom Research Facility. Other STALKERs tried to wipe the lair out already - but failed, with horrible consequences. The bag of money was our reward from Orest, the leader of this factory complex.

As Yuri, my other friend and member of our team woke up one hour later, he was also completely hungover and, to my amusement, he basically asked the same questions as me.

A few hours later, it was already about afternoon, we cheered up even more as we walked out the door of our small room and were welcomed by several STALKERs that wanted to thank us for our good deed in the tunnel. "If it wouldn't have been for you, we would have had to leave this facility eventually. Those bloody monsters kept attacking our frontal barricades! Now we'd only need somebody to take care of these snorks and other creatures behind the train cars...-", one STALKER told us.

That exact moment we heard a loud noise coming from above us. Some STALKERs thought the bandits were attacking again and ran to the back of the facility, but we knew that couldn't be the case as there just were too few shots, and they kind of were louder than usual. In the same moment we also heard the sound of wounded animals, more specifically...snorks.
Several minutes of general confusion later, the shooting stopped and a satisfied old man climbed down the ladder that leads to the roof of the complex, with a Dragunov sniper rifle on his back. We immediately knew what just happened. One of the STALKERs went back up the ladder and checked the area behind the wagons with his binoculars, and unsurprisingly he told us that all the monsters have gone.

Me and my group had mixed feelings about it, we knew this just made the entire Agroprom area a lot safer, but this also meant we weren't the heros anymore. "Well", I said to my mates with a grin in my face, "at least we can now go back to normal and try to cure our damn hangover".

Said and done. That day, we didn't do much except trying to plan our next steps. Yes, you heard that right... In the Zone you always need to plan ahead. You need plan A, B, C up to Z. And after Plan Z you call it Plan 1, 2 and so on, it's just simple survival. You never wander into the zone without a plan, and the ones that do - we call them zombies.

When we arrived at our room again I got the zone map out of my backpack and unfolded it on that
wooden table, and the first thing we did was to share the reward. Everyone got his own fair share. We agreed to spend it the next day at the traders and possibly we would also visit the technician.

Our current gear wasn't bad - our group has been together since even before we went into the zone.

We've met back in the army days, and right after we finished our service in 2008, we heard about the immense treasures the zone contained. We three then bought some army-style camouflage jackets and even got ourselves pistols, machetes and one flashlight, and along with a good portion of food and drink we began our journey. Through some old army comrades and a small amount of money we were able to enter without any big troubles.
Yea, one could even say that we were probably the most well-prepared rookies to ever enter the zone back then. Heck, we even knew a bit about the dangers of the zone, due to some "a friend of a friend of mine told me..."-stories. Of course that didn't help much when our first group of "dogs" attacked us.
After arriving in the Cordon, we were greeted by some other STALKERs near the rookie village. They gave us the advice to visit a man called "Sidorovich", who turned out to be the local trader and he equipped us with the most basic zone-specific gear. PDAs for everyone, ammo, med kits and even one old detector, more than we could ever hope for.
Our moment of pure happiness about the gear was then kind of destroyed when he said that we are now supposed to work for him since he didn't give us all this gear for free. We tried to make the most righteous decision and instead of running away with all the gear, further into the unknown, we did a couple of unpaid jobs for him...and then we were free to do whatever we wanted and even earned the respect of the old man.
We then proceeded to work for the leader of the rookie camp, a man called "Wolf". I never personally liked him but we all respected him, and he paid well. After only one year in the Zone we already had pretty good gear; we carried AKs, a sidearm, our machetes, and even upgraded our jackets to suit the zone's conditions better. Compared to the equipment of the veterans out there it was still nothing though.
After the first winter we continued our journey deeper into the zone, to a place called "northern farmstead", still in the Cordon area. There, we met Father Valerian and other organized neutral STALKERs. They accepted us rather quickly and we became official members of the organized loner faction - what an honor, and to this day I am still member of that faction. At the end of 2010, I already carried am AK-74 with a PSO scope and several other modifications, my friend Yuri a "Vintorez" sniper rifle, and Ivan had a SPAS-12 shotgun along with some modifications to the gun barrel to shoot more accurately. He also carried an MP-5 and no regular sidearm, to be more effective at higher range. We all wore special versions of the self-made sunrise suit, and everyone of us had gas masks. We were ready for combat and for anomalies alike, and continued our journey to Agroprom after we fought alongside the other STALKERs against the bandit scums.

That's how it all started, yea...

To be continued.

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Okay, that's it for today, I hope you liked the story so far :)

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: The Factions Pt. 2

loner85 Blog 5 comments


The freedomers are one of the big organized factions in the Zone, they have one main base and a loose hierarchy. They don't have military ranks, but different specializations, like one being a trained sniper, one being a defender with heavier armor and powerful close-to-mid distance weapons like fast-firing assault rifles (M-16 derivative LR-300 being one of it), and all-rounders (ranking from experienced to experts, while the latter wears lightened Exoskeletons and balanced weaponry). There also are scouts, recognizable by their rather light armor and light weaponry (MP-5).
They are not your typical hippie, as they can be very strictly structurized and organized at war operations (guerilla tactics are common here, as well as big-front combat), but if in peace times they also relax (light drugs are common here), and many additionally do scientific research to further study the zone and its miracles.

AIMS: Primary aim of the freedom faction is to open the zone to everybody on this world.
As long as the dutiers are still in the Zone, these have a priority, as they will be shot on sight.
Basically, they have an anarchy-like philosophy and hate any government deeply. To mark a territory as used by freedom they use the "Anarchy Symbol", as seen in the Dark Valley base.
They push to the center of the zone mostly because they want to be there before the dutiers arrive, and to find out more about the Zone.

BASE: Their main base is in a former military fortification, the Army Warehouses (south of the Radar and north of the Wild Territory). A freedom squad led by mercenary Scar wiped out the remains of the military soldiers that were left there and captured it, using it as their new base of operations. After claiming that new base, they abandoned their old one in Dark Valley.
The HQ is one of the most heavily defended areas in the entire game, just like the duty base in the Wild Territory, impenetrable by anything but explosives, which you can find only rarely...and those who try to invade are getting shot by the snipers located everywhere scattered across the base area.

GEAR: As above-mentioned, they tend to have good gear right from the start. The worst gear a freedomer can carry is a light suit combined with a rather underperforming MP (though these guys have different tactical usage anyway, they are more used as fast reconaissance units).
The regular freedom soldier wears a camouflaged, up-armored and anomaly-specialized sunrise suit, an AKS-74 (based on experience they also use the LR-300 and many other NATO-weapons as well) and better anomaly gear (improved detectors for example).
A common sniper uses the same suit as a regular soldier (or even a camouflaged Berill-suit, but only few legends carry that one) and the legendary SVD (legends use the not-so-legendary SVU, which basically is the new bullpup configuration of the SV Dragunov). Dammit, so much "legendary" in one sentence. That's legendary.

Fight tips: Don't dare to fight them alone from a distance and unprepared, as their sharpshooters can annihilate you pretty easily from distances of 200m+. If encountering a single squad, attack quick and always with good cover. Heavy armor is recommended.

Main opponents are the dutiers due to their completely different philosophies. Player relation is neutral, and if joining duty, it obviously get's hostile.


The duty faction. Encountering even one of them can be your certain death if you don't watch out. They are always on alert, have heavier armors than you and use heavy-hitting weapons.
Sadly they don't know too much about the zone, as basically all members are former soldiers serving at one of the military outpost and the borders of the zone, and they wish to destroy the zone, which isn't possible by any means. All of the members hate zone deeply and view themselves as kind of "the last defense line of humanity against the Zone". That's somehow true, their equipment is specialized in mutant killing and fighting other (human) opponents.
Their structure is similar to the russian/ukrainian military with the same ranks.
It isn't uncommon that Loners are getting their a**es saved by duty squads.

AIMS: They want to destroy the Zone and anything that lives within, that's their reason to push towards the center of the Zone.

BASE: Their main base is on shared territory with the Loners, on the Eastern side of the Wild Territory, also called "The Bar", because the 100 Rads Bar is basically the one thing Loners risk their life for in the Garbitch area. Many players are misleaded by the information that the entire Bar is controlled by dutiers, which is untrue; only a relatively small part belongs to the dutiers themselves. Because of their hero-like protection they are more than accepted in the Loner side of the Bar though.
The actual base is a nice little place coming close to the atmosphere of the Bar, warm lighting welcomes members (and only members or close allies) to the underground the base is located in. They also have a trader.

GEAR: Unlike the freedom, the dutiers don't use camouflage at all, instead, they WANT to be seen, thats why their suit colors are black and - red.
The gear is consisting of russian AK's and their derivatives, like the AN-94 and the PK-MG. These weapons are heavier than their freedom counterparts, making them unsuitable for ambushing. Another fact that makes ambushing hard is the non-existant camouflage and their heavy armor, even at lower tiers. The squad is very vulnerable to ambush (guerilla tactics) because of this.

The main suit is a heavily up-armored Sunrise suit specialized in carrying much fighting gear and ammos, but no protection to anomalies. The soldier belonging to the suit wields an AKS-74 or AK-SU.

The veteran suit is a Bulat-like suit, having similar super-heavy armor capable to withstand assault rifles. The soldier carrying it uses an AN-94, an improved version of the AK-74.

The expert variant appears more often than freedom experts, and they wear the feared exo-suit with even improved armor (taking away all of its usefullness in anomalies) along with the also very feared PKM, an MG that fires hard-hitting 7,62mm bullets. It basically is your death at any ranges up to 100m.

Fight tips: The only option on how to reliably take on a duty squad is the long-distance fighting. The duty weapons may be in better condition than yours, but the AK-accuracy is still poor, so you definitely can snipe 5 dutiers in 10 seconds if they also have no cover as well. Time your attack, that is very important and one of the reasons why Freedom uses guerilla tactics while engaging Duty.

Ambush is also an option, but only if you wear a heavy freedom suit and use a fast-firing gun (preferably the G36 at 80-100 m). And if they have concentrated fire on you, you are dead.

Their main opponents are the freedomers, same reason as above.

To be continued, next two factions will be more unknown and operate mostly in the background...

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: The Factions Pt. 1

loner85 Blog 4 comments

Hey, fellow STALKERs, it's the loner85 again!

This time I wanted to do a little tutorial about Factions in the game and their members, focusing on their various strenghts and weaknesses (I'll take SoC as base for all what I write here, because CS is too early and CoP only plays in the center of the Zone).

Just before all the questions start, sure, my main source is the STALKER Wiki:

But my personal experiences will also play a role. I'll also try to give one or two tips on how to approach a faction's outpost if hostile.

Let's start with the two most widespread and common factions, which of course would be the neutral 'Loners' and hostile 'Bandits'.

The common neutral Loner is likely belonging to a small group of other loners, because it is too dangerous to go alone. They share their loot and the money they get from the traders. The common neutral Loner doesn't have military background, and if they have, they are still far from "trained". Yet they make up for that with knowledge of the zone, and many loner groups have a legendary reputation.

AIMS: They only want to make profit, but in a way that doesn't disturb the zone and themselves. So no real loner is killing for profit alone, there is always a reason, otherwise we'd call them "mercenaries".
The Clear Sky faction is perhaps one of the friendliest to the loners, due to their more peaceful attitude, although they don't meet often in the Swamps.

BASES: Scattered around the Zone, the Loner groups are more found in small encampments made by themselves, which they use as base of all their travels through the zone. There are not many big loner bases in the Zone, more notably is the Rookie Village in the Cordon, where the beginners meet and make their first steps into the zone. Second, and the perhaps most important base is the 100 Rads Bar in the Wild Territory.

Rookies: Normal jacket/ Makarov pistol, sawn-off shotgun
Experienced: Sunrise Suit/ AKS-74, AK-SU (sometimes better weapons, in the Agroprom area in CS they also wield VSS or LR-300's)
Veterans: SEVA protective suit/ various guns ranging from AK-SU to AS Val
Experts: Exoskeleton/ VSS, AS Val, SPAS-12, FN-2000 Bullpup

Main opponents are Bandits. Their relation to the players is neutral in all three games, so expect neither bullets nor kisses while approaching them.

Fight tips: None, get out of here...dude.
If you are bad enough to get your own faction hostile to you...

They represent the criminal side of the Zone. Nothing much to say about them, name is self-explaining. Yet they can be found in surprising places, like dangerous undergrounds and such.

AIMS: They only want to make profit...well, similar to the Loners, but in a way that is far more brutal and they tend to murder Loners just for their gear and sometimes only out of pure fun. Basically they also represent the closest a human being can get to a mutant.

BASES: They also tend to be in groups, but in larger ones than the loners so these are always outnumbered. The biggest group of Bandits resides in the Dark Valley, in that old factory the freedomers once have used as base for their operations.
With this base, the bandits also gained the control over the Garbage area, turning the latter into "Garbitch".

Rookie: Bandit Jacket/ Makarov pistol, sawn-off shotgun, in rare cases even MP-5s
Experienced-Master: Trench coats (black or brown), every kind of gun ranging from AKs to LR-300s

Their main opponents are the Loners. The relation to the player is actually hostile, but in CS it's more like "orange". You can join them, but upon approaching the first outpost in the Garbage area they will rob you. In CoP they are neutral and you can talk to them.

Fight Tips: Use a fast-firing gun, in the earlier story an MP-5 always suffices, as Bandits are (lacking armor) soft targets. Also, you should wear some armor, light one already would do the trick (Merc suit or Sunrise Suit are already enough, simple jacket isn't sadly, always try to get a good suit right from the start).
Also vulnerable to long-range attacks. You should avoid very close distances though if no armor available, as they have powerful sawed-off shotguns as well.

The next two are real factions now. Guess which? :D

To be continued!

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Modding - Understanding the modding system

loner85 Blog

Hello, it's me again :D Many "new" STALKER gamers are maybe wondering how the modding system in STALKER actually works and how it differs to other game modding.

First, you unpack the default main database, which is stored in the gamedata.db0 - .dbc files in the main directory of the game, to make every data visible. If you want to alter something in these extracted files, you have to make a gamedata folder in the main directory and put every altered file in that folder to make the game use it in the way you changed them. So, basically, the gamedata is NOT the whole game itself, it JUST contains the modded files.
Deleting for example the "characters_voice" folder in "scenario" will make the game use the default dialogues again.

STALKER modding differs in some ways to "normal" modding. In normal modding you alter the game files itself, so a loss or a f*cked-up file would be game-breaking. In STALKER modding, you create an altered "copy" of the desired file which the game uses then, and if that "copy" gets deleted, the game will use the default "normal" data.

It's very complicated to understand, but very simple to remember once you got through it :D

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl database unpacker:

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky AND Call of Pripyat database unpacker:

If you have any further questions or want to correct something, just use the comments section!



Misery 2.0 - Survive!

loner85 Blog 19 comments

Hey, guys, loner here.
I'd like to say a few things to this new mod, yea, you may know it: Misery 2.0. It finally happened!
But many people are not even getting past the first mutant pack welcoming them to the Zone. So I, as a zone veteran, will give you rookies some tips for how to survive in this Misery.


Pistol ammo: Used for pistols, machine pistols and submachine guns. Little to not armor-penetrating, the benefit is the high hit impulse at armored targets.
Provides good damage against little to non-armored targets like mutants and bandits as well as rookie STALKERs.
Not effective against armored targets, only to keep them at a distance.

Rifle ammo: Used for hunting rifles (12x76mm variant), assault rifles, carbines and sniper rifles. Medium to high armor penetration.

Shotgun ammo: Used for shotguns...that was easy, right? Superior to pistol ammo in close-quarter. That again means that buckshot is most effective against mutants...or some dumbass bandits. Not armor-penetrating at all, but nice to keep enemies at a distance and/or hurting them. ONLY for close range, you can forget everything above 30m.
Special tip: Carry at least ONE gun with you which uses pistol bullets (or buckshot), as a secondary weapon against all un-armored surprise. As a primary weapon you should use a rifle-bullet using gun for armored targets.


Always keep an eye on your surroundings, make use of everything you can find. Place stashes intelligently if you know you might have to flee fast, or if you have too much mutant parts to sell.
GOLDEN RULE: If it's hostile, you kill it. Be it a loner, be it a mutant. If you can't avoid it, you eiter flee or fight, depending on your current state of ammo.
Special tip: Start the game as a sniper. You will need the scope and the long-range tactics, and the overall balanced stats.


As above mentioned, an important element is placing stashes on the right spots. For example, if you want to approach enemy territory, then you'd better make a stash where you put in some medical items and a shotgun/pistol. If you flee then (what you WILL do), you just collect the goods you stashed and continue your way back to your main base.
Very important is the use of weapons in a fight: If you are going to fight in buildings it is more recommended to use a fast-firing carbine or SMG than a sniper rifle. If you are fighting on longer ranges a sniper rifle (semi-automatic) is recommended. If you are just strolling around (that you actually shouldn't do, you should have an objective) a pistol/sniper combo is recommended (bolt-action sniper, more reliable than others and you won't need to fire fast and much if you spot your target early).

Loner over and out,


PS: Stop whining, b*tches. Misery 2.0 is hardcore, get used to it. With a little common sense you get through this misery!

Crysis 3

loner85 Blog

Finally got Crysis 3, so I will write a little sp review :)

The first minutes of the game were kinda...laggy, so I reduced the graphical options to "high". Unlike Crysis 2, you have more options to play with, providing an more individual setting perfectly fitting your rig. After that, I could start the real game. First impression: The CryEngine 3 is doing perfect work, lightning and atmosphere are very impressive. After that I realised that Crysis is now more about stealth actions, sneaking past enemies. So, after spending the first minutes mostly in the stealth mode, I got in the first real combat: I got detected. In the fight I had to quickly get used to the weapon handling, which is a bit unbalanced. Well, after these thrilling first five minutes of the game, all I can say: Outstanding graphics, more personal settings, impressive atmosphere (not that post-apocalyptic like in S.T.A.L.K.E.R. but almost comparable) and a unbalanced weapon handling as a con.

Rating: 8.5/10

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