Hello, everyone! I know, it's rare to see news! But that only means we are busy (and lazy). I thought I would give a quick news update as we near the inevitable release and so that you don't go bored out of your mind checking back here. The mod is in an overall good state. Ironing out final kinks with the task system, minor issues and even implemented a few tiny new features:
There is now a randomizer button in the main faction selection menu. This randomizes the player's name, faction and loadout: Epicstalker.com
I developed a new tool, called xrTradeEditor. It's a lua script and you can find it in the mod section of this forum. It was made for CoC but it will work with any CoP mod if the ini is configured properly. But it allowed me to quickly redo and adjust and balance the economy by altering the price conditions of all traders. Trade exploits no longer exist because the script found and appended all the missing item sections and It's a bit harder to gain money by selling junk.
Helicopters have been nerfed and there is now a game option to disable the helicopter engine sounds. They now have less accuracy, take more damage from normal fire_wound type damage and no longer engage enemies more then 300m. This should make them more enjoyable to engage and allow them to continue to serve their purpose which is strengthening the military and monolith factions. Helicopters are intended to create risk and suspense in some locations to force the player to make a conscious decision to either engage, avoid these areas or approach during nightfall/heavy weather.
The custom created level by our beloved Borovos, Trucks Cemetery, has been fully implemented with A-Life. It awaits some final tweaks and polish! See the preview, below:
Oh! I almost forgot. Open X-Ray engine has a new feature implemented by CoC project member AxelDominator. This feature allows you to set any consumable to use item condition. It is now possible to create consumables with infinite uses, multi-usages or equipment like weapons to not have a condition bar at all. A good example usage is pill items that allow more then a single use:
While in trade menu with a stalker, you are able to right-click on an item and select "donate" to trade an item at no cost to the stalker. This can be useful to get rid of unwanted gear or to give companions equipment:
Through an optional engine feature by setting slot_persistent = false in system.ltx for a slot, You can now enable a new feature. With this feature you can equip different knives, binoculars or grenades via the context menu! Equipped item will be highlighted in your inventory. No new slots have been added. This means you can easily switch grenade types, too.
Don't worry, these new changes/features barely took any time to develop and is not holding back progress towards release since I have much more free time then Bangalore who does most of the Level Editor work and manages the final full build and installer.
Questions and Answers
Q: Will you be releasing the SDK assets?
A: Yes, this is planned. This will even include Borovos's Truck Cemetery level.
Q: Will you continue to develop and support the mod after release?
A: Bugfixes, definitely. New addons and features? Not so sure yet. Some of us want to either break or retire from Stalker modding. Support, advice and expertise on Open X-Ray and the Call of Chernobyl mod will still be provided on the official forums at www.epicstalker.com regardless if we decide to stop or not. There is a slight possibility we may put together a new team, like MDT did post Misery 2.0 development, that would continue to work on the mod in our stead (If enough people are interested).
Q: If the mod leaked why not release it now or go to an open beta?
A: My opinion is that open betas are very disorganized. We do have a very good dedicated testing team that follows a specific guideline, knows how to fill out issues and reports and knows exactly what is expected of them in these reports. Having dozens and dozens of misplaced reports on several community forums or false reports due to mod merges will only make developing the mod more chaotic. Our development team is very small, too small to manage such a task.