During the mission design there was always a point that drives me nuts: Rewards! A new mission is nice, good idea, easy to build in, but what is about...
Enjoy the total freedom in the zone. Decide what you will do and when. The zone has changed one more time after the disappearance of Degtarev on completing his task. Again a big emission came up and brought changes with it. Areas which were not accessible during the time of the story of clear sky, are now again open. A few areas got locked, but many more areas are now open on the map. The NPP can't be visited again, the monolith are blocking all roads to their base. Same goes for the way through the hospital.
You can spend your time with working for yourself as a free stalker or make some raids with the bandits. Go to duty and set the world free from the zone or maybe you would like to fight with freedom against the duty faction or go to the great swamps and search for clear sky. Explore the zone and maybe you find some interesting things that you can sell to the barman in the '100 Rads' bar or the scientists in yantar.
Zone of the homeless will have many features, which are rare, were never completed, or are just unique. The goal is the have a good time in the zone without any story limitations and running from one trigger to the next one. You won't have to rush through every area or have any boring side quests. ZOTH will have totally new created quests for every location you will find. There will be stories to be told. You won't just get a quest with a single sentence, there will be always something behind it.
NPC enemies won't be anymore bullet eating monsters. All damages were reworked, same goes for the weapons and the ability to shoot for every NPC. A rookie will not be good with any weapon and if you ever ran into a master stalker with a nice scope on his weapon you should better stay in cover. He will shoot very precise and if he is using his scope on the weapon he got a quite high chance for a deadly headshot. Mutants on the other will take more damage then just a simple shotgun hit for a boar for example. They will also have different variants like their looking or adjustments on the movement speed, damage zones, or health.
The look of ZOTH will be focused on the look of Shadow of Chernobyl. Many textures were polished since the last years through a lot of mods, so they are quite good looking 'vanilla' textures. Combined with the old vegetation, some sounds and features, ZOTH gives a nice SoC feeling. Some very crappy textures are replaced like the forestwall texture for example. Some trees will have better looking branches and leaves and some rock and stone textures were reworked but they all fit into the picture.
The sound design of ZOTH is quite a journey. Of course even the sound should give back some of the good old SoC feeling, but there are a lot of sounds which are quite bad. Starting at weapon sounds we cross ambient sounds and end up at the music. Several location will have their very own ambient. Forests will sound like forests. You can hear many different birds, wood cracking, movement in the bushes and many more quite fitting sounds. If I'm correct, almost every weapon sound is replaced. They all sound nice and clear. The music in the stalker series has always been almost perfect. But to give ZOTH its own kind of 'acoustic feeling' I've decided to change some tracks here and there.
For the kind of folks who like statistic and numbers this is a list of things that are ingame at this moment:
ZOTH is a two man project so you can imagine that its a lot of work we have to do and its the really good reason why we can't say when it will be finished. But we will keep you guys updated and do our best to get this mod ready. :)
Für die deutschen Stalker unter euch, kann ich noch unseren Entwicklungsthread empfehlen!
Hier gibt es des Öfteren neuer Bilder, Ideen und auch Anfragen an die Community.
And some explanation for our English speaking stalkers:
The link above points to our dev thread in a german forum.
It contains several more screenshots/videos, ideas and so on.
Even id you not able to understand everything there, it might give you an idea where this mod leads and what is maybe be planed.
In vanilla CS the respawn was mostly triggered by certain points on the story-line the respawn of smart terrains is quite strange and most of the time not present. And the behavior from mutant in smart terrains is totally useless. They will follow the actor within a range and if they are to far away of their home, they will return to the smart terrain. Combined you have stupid mutants and a empty zone quite fast.
After weeks of 'meditating' about this problems finally an idea showed up^^ First testings were successful now we need to polish it a bit. So how does it work?
We place spawn-points in a level, the amount of them is bound to the landscape and its size. For every level the will be a table of possible mutants. The script will choose randomly which mutant will spawn on one of the random spawn-points.
This means you will never be able to foretold that at this point in level xyz there will be some dogs. Almost every mutant spawn, which is not triggered by a mission will by totally random. Of course do we choose them wisely for every level. Throwing about three strong chimeras in the starting area won't be that much fun for the most players^^
With this idea I like to get rid of the 'routine' we all got for each stalker part, or mod. In the second play through most of us will have an idea, where to go first, or what awaits us here and there. With this random spawns you will never be able to know which enemy lurks around the next corner.
And again: Another feature which is quite unique for CS. :)
When we finished the tests I will try to make a video for demonstrating the random madness. :D
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