Full concept MODIFICATION of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat that touches every game aspect including textures, sfx, music, weapons, A.I., items, weather, mutants, difficulty and much much more!

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The feel of playing misery (Mods : MISERY : Forum : General subjects : The feel of playing misery) Locked
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Jun 4 2013, 3:45pm Anchor

Hi there!

I want to discuss a certain topic with you, and perhaps still take some influence before 2.0 is released. It's how the game feels like.

You try to make it harsh, difficult, unforgiving, miserable and so on, which is perfectly okay. But on the other hand, I read things like "every location will see some sort of life at some point", and immediately I am afraid you are going to plaster the maps with NPCs. I mean, even in 1.0 I thought there were still too many enemies around, and it's definitely not because of the little ammo you got. It's just for the feel. The Zone should indeed contain life, but it's still a dead landscape, and thus you should meet living creatures only from time to time, and most definitely you shouldn't be forced to constantly shoot or sneak your way over the map. I think a good part of exploring the zone should be just walking cautiously.

When I read that the Jupiter factory is going to be one of the most active spots on the map, I almost burst into tears. One of the greatest and best moments for me was exploring that goddamn facility, and apart from those few dogs at the beginning I couldn't find any sign of life. Since I didn't know what was to come, every second longer without enemy contact raised the tension for me. It was almost unbearable, and in difference to most parts of SoC and especially CS, I felt really afraid of the unknown. It really felt like exploring, and not like "here is a task, go and get/destroy something by shooting and sneaking your way through an underground lab". The same feeling came up when I searched the gas cans on the bridge or collected the radio parts in the cement factory. Latter was the best mission in all Stalker games ever and it was how I imagined being a Stalker would feel like - sneaking into a building, searching all shelfs and desks for useful stuff, dead, frightening silence with the constant context of possible danger, a bizarre surrounding (the anomaly plants hanging all around) and at the end an artifact you could find if you kept your eyes open. This is the real Zone! In my eyes, if a Stalker game is made, and it can be classified as shooter, it's a bad Stalker game! It's about survival and exploration, and shooting should only occur from time to time, if it is unavoidable, and no shootout should take longer than a few seconds.

Taking away that wonderfull lonelyness of many spots on the map means taking away the most unique atmosphere of all PC games ever made. I know the quote says "at some point", which means not all locations will always have some life, but I would be genuinely surprised if you guys were as mad as me to put those values on like three spots per map with perhaps five or six enemies on the entire map. Once the player is torn between knowing that he won't meet any enemies at all most of the time, and the knowledge of the fatality of not expecting an enemy encounter, the feeling is right. Most likely you won't meet anybody/anything. But since you know how dangerous it is to meet an enemy, and how lost you are if you are caught unprepared, that lonilyness means stress, not comfort. That stress origins from constant fear of dying eventually, and constant fear is what you should feel when you are in the Zone.

Of course that fear does not exist if the enemies are not deadly enough, and that's why I'd say that the player should die by pretty much anything on the first hit, except of perhaps pistols, Tushkanos, Blind Dogs or Fleshs. Everything else should be fast, deadly and vicious.

But as I am already on the topic of fewer but more critical firefights: I want to add that I always had an animosity towards western weapons in the Zone. Don't misunderstand me, I do agree that some of them, especially the most widespread ones like M16, FN FAL, G3, MP5 or perhaps M14 should find their way in the Zone. But the more "special force"-like a weapon seems, like the G36, F2000, Sig550, any "Commando"-version of a weapon (including fancy camouflage patterns), and the more fancy attachments like silencers, laser sights or night vision scopes it has, the less it fits into the zone. Yes, I don't even like the camouflage pattern, because there is no point in colouring your weapon unless you don't wear camouflage yourself. And only few Stalker do so.

I prefer having more Russian weapons, more old weapons (certain no HK417 or SCAR or XM-8 and whatnot), and most of them either either being in a bad condition, or, if kept well, still having traces of heavy usage and the constant influences of the Zone on the weapon. You know, you create a mod where it is difficult to find something proper to eat and drink or to find more than 3 bullets on an enemy, but the weapons you can find in the Zone could make a lot of special force units envious about the weapons you can find. I know all those explanations, with mercenaries and so on. But it just doesn't fit the style. Especially since I think the used ammunition already determines the popularity of a weapon. There is no use in running around with an FN F2000 in Ukraine, when 5.45x39 or 7.62x39 is much more widespread than 5.56x45. Same thing concerning the 40mm grenades.

I wouldn't write such a long text if I didn't think that I have a point (on the other hand: who doesn't?), and I see you guys are basically heading into the same direction like I would, and those few aspects are the only difference. So I thought I'd just write this wall of text to perhaps give you some food for thought, as perhaps you could agree with me. (And perhaps not) I just think that shooting-orgies and special force like weaponry don't belong into a mod which is basically about a harsh and miserable environment.

Greetings from Germany and thanks for reading!
Joker

Jun 4 2013, 5:41pm Anchor

I agree with you in most points excep for this one
Of course that fear does not exist if the enemies are not deadly enough, and that's why I'd say that the player should die by pretty much anything on the first hit, except of perhaps pistols, Tushkanos, Blind Dogs or Fleshs. Everything else should be fast, deadly and vicious.

But yes, it feels like you are adding a ton of npc to maps and that could make things boring. One of the most amazing things to do in stalker is to travel with a lot of rain hoping you'll see some distant fireplace to rest there with some stalkers, always looking your back in case of mutants or bandits, that is the "thing" that stalker games have, but with this it just feels like you will be like walking arround and everytime you see somewhere you will see a lot of stalkers killing bandits or a massive squad of mercenaries and that just kills the atmosphere of the game. Also, i feel the same about the weapons as you. The camouflaged weapons remind me more of cod than stalker and i still feel that there should be more "farmer" weapons like the hunting rifle or the mosin nagant.

I'll try all when it comes out after all, all of this are predictions maybe it will not be like this. Sorry for my english

Edited by: The_Spy1451

Jun 5 2013, 4:09am Anchor

Just want to say that I fully agree with both of you.

Jun 5 2013, 2:01pm Anchor

I don't believe they are going to increase population in itself, but will certainly allow the AI to travel to places that it wouldn't in vanilla or simply would only do it on extremely rare occasions, also those travelers will be mostly restricted by class (we are talking about the center of the zone, stalker there know better than to run around carelessly). So if you're concerned about ruining the sense of fear and loneliness, remember that things will be less predictable now, so as much as you will find yourself in a conflict that you didn't saw coming you also won't find your stalker buddies sitting by the same fire every night to be your beacon of hope.

Edited by: Astyr

Jun 5 2013, 7:05pm Anchor

Yes, as Astyr said, i dont think that they will increase the population of the game, but just allow them to go to new places. However, i disagree with you in regards to making the zone a lonley and empty place because the maps are too small, so if you were to decrease the population of the game, it would be too empty and lifeless. I do think that misery should have a more desolate feel, but the small map size makes this impossible. As for the jupitor plant, i am glad that it will see life, because after 5 playthroughs, i know exactly what to expect when going there, so the fact that the location is empty does not make it feel tense for me, and so i have no reaseon to return their after completing the missions. Dont get me wrong, the first time i did the jupitor plant and cement factory missions i did enjoy the way they felt, but after having done them 5 times they are starting to get a bit stale.

As for making everything more dangerous, i somewhat agree. The zone should be more dangerous, but in such a way that forces you to be constantly alert and make careful decisions. If everything kills you instantly that would just remove the whole aspect of health managment from the game.

As for the weapons, i almost totally agree. Basic, 'low tech' weapons should be the most numerous, and high end western weapons should only be available from high level mercs and nimble.

Jun 5 2013, 9:48pm Anchor

I almost completely agree with OP, but to answer superprion, you know how you fix that? small maps that are either overcrowded or too boring and empty?

With atmosphere and appearance. You dont need to truly make the map one way or a another, make the map's population balanced, but make them feel empty, dead and abandoned.

There are many ways to do this, but the first one that comes to my mind is fog, great fog implementation can make a huge difference.

You know the zone has many dangers that might kill you, but the tension is in that they arent so easy to see and to detect.

When Joker86(OP) was exploring those buildings he loved so much, he loved them not because at the end there was no one, but because at first it seemed like there was no one, suspense comes before horror, regardless if there is any horror at the end or not. When i look at stalker's great and awards winning atmosphere, the first problem that comes to my mind is that you can just see almost anything you want very very far away with your binoculars, or even without them, but do you remember how Silent Hill was?

I'd like to ask any members of the modding team for this amazing mod reading this to seriously consider including a vast and deep fog to this game, if its possible of course, or let me know of a mod that does this please.

And about the weapons, i also think there should be a vast majority of eastern weaponry, one of the great things of setting a game in a not so traditional enviroment is to take advantage of things you usually dont see in games, id like stalker to have guns that are native to the area and that arent seen in other games, but if im going to find the same things i pretty much find in any other shooter, whats the point, it looses originality.

Realism is great but only in some parts, just cause in the real world you have a ton of beautiful sunny days doesnt mean stalker should have them.

Edited by: RedrickSchuhart

Jun 6 2013, 8:17am Anchor
superprion wrote:Yes, as Astyr said, i dont think that they will increase the population of the game, but just allow them to go to new places. However, i disagree with you in regards to making the zone a lonley and empty place because the maps are too small, so if you were to decrease the population of the game, it would be too empty and lifeless.

Actually I think the smaller the map, the less NPCs in total you can place on it. You just have to keep the relation of area and NPCs. So if you want like 3 NPCs per 2500m², you can place 3 on a 2500m² map or 12 on a 1km² map.

And since we have only a few small maps, there is only little space left for NPCs. You can already see from one interesting location to another, it's not like they were seperated by a lot of woods, hills or meadows, which means the map itself already is somewhat crowded. Now if you fill even only every second of these locations with one creature or more, the Zone would be really crowded (like it is right now, after mine criterion).

I hope that the devs implemented a system which actually took out most of the vanilla spawns, and only added a small chance of new spawns all around the map, with a system of checking the overall spawns on the map, and implementing something like a global spawn rate modifier, which becomes lower the more NPCs you have on the map. And I do hope the spawn rate is lowered considerably, I hate it when I visit a location, clear it, and half a day later it's already inhabited again.

I agree that fog could help, but I wouldn't want fog all the time. Rain could be an alternative, but that's already all I can think of. The only other alternative which comes to my mind (apart from actually reducing the view distance, which would make the game look far worse) would be to place more bushes and scrub, so that the game loos more like in that Zombie trailer at the sawmill. You get the impression like it would be a swampy area covered by bushes, but when you visit it, nothing changed compared to vanilla.

_______________________________

Okay, I just started the game after some time again. My savegame placed me next to the Bridge with the convoy at Zaton. I saw:

- A pack of boars under the Bridge
- One group of dead loners on the opposite riverbank to the camp
- One group of living loners next to them
- One group of bandits fighting those loners
- Another group of bandits approaching from Noah's ark
- A single pseudodog running around the fighters
- A pack of Pseudodog at the Containers above Noah's ark
- Two boars and two fleshs a bit into the swamps next to Noah's ark

Don't tell me 2.0 will be this way.

Edited by: Joker86

Jun 8 2013, 1:33pm Anchor
Joker86 wrote:
superprion wrote:Yes, as Astyr said, i dont think that they will increase the population of the game, but just allow them to go to new places. However, i disagree with you in regards to making the zone a lonley and empty place because the maps are too small, so if you were to decrease the population of the game, it would be too empty and lifeless.

Actually I think the smaller the map, the less NPCs in total you can place on it. You just have to keep the relation of area and NPCs. So if you want like 3 NPCs per 2500m², you can place 3 on a 2500m² map or 12 on a 1km² map.

And since we have only a few small maps, there is only little space left for NPCs. You can already see from one interesting location to another, it's not like they were seperated by a lot of woods, hills or meadows, which means the map itself already is somewhat crowded. Now if you fill even only every second of these locations with one creature or more, the Zone would be really crowded (like it is right now, after mine criterion).

I hope that the devs implemented a system which actually took out most of the vanilla spawns, and only added a small chance of new spawns all around the map, with a system of checking the overall spawns on the map, and implementing something like a global spawn rate modifier, which becomes lower the more NPCs you have on the map. And I do hope the spawn rate is lowered considerably, I hate it when I visit a location, clear it, and half a day later it's already inhabited again.

I agree that fog could help, but I wouldn't want fog all the time. Rain could be an alternative, but that's already all I can think of. The only other alternative which comes to my mind (apart from actually reducing the view distance, which would make the game look far worse) would be to place more bushes and scrub, so that the game loos more like in that Zombie trailer at the sawmill. You get the impression like it would be a swampy area covered by bushes, but when you visit it, nothing changed compared to vanilla.

_______________________________

Okay, I just started the game after some time again. My savegame placed me next to the Bridge with the convoy at Zaton. I saw:

- A pack of boars under the Bridge
- One group of dead loners on the opposite riverbank to the camp
- One group of living loners next to them
- One group of bandits fighting those loners
- Another group of bandits approaching from Noah's ark
- A single pseudodog running around the fighters
- A pack of Pseudodog at the Containers above Noah's ark
- Two boars and two fleshs a bit into the swamps next to Noah's ark

Don't tell me 2.0 will be this way.



I hope they fix it, the worst part is at 6AM when you get out of skadosvk because all the bandits and loners usually come out at that time so they just start shooting everyone as soon as they get 30m away from skadosvk

Jun 8 2013, 1:55pm Anchor
The_Spy1451 wrote:
I hope they fix it, the worst part is at 6AM when you get out of skadosvk because all the bandits and loners usually come out at that time so they just start shooting everyone as soon as they get 30m away from skadosvk

Yes, that's true. Those shootouts sometimes last until the noon. And the area around the Skadovsk is always plastered with corpses of Stalkers and Mutants. Safe spot? Yeah, my ass :P

How about dividing Zaton into two areas? The Bandits hold the south and the West, the Loners the other half. And they leave the ship to differend sides, using a fix path, and only when they have neough distance to the Skadovsk, this "guidance path" ends, and the NPCs start walking to locations by their default behaviour. That way they would encounter each other anywhere, and it would become as random as required.

Jun 10 2013, 2:37pm Anchor

To defend the devs on the weapon camo, they are also be adding Camo clothes with the armory mod. With both camo it would not seem as bad. I still hope that the zone still contains mostly unmodded weapons though. I think its funny that I have found four XM8s on freedom soldiers in Pripyat and one in Zaton. I think that only mercs and the rare lucky stalker that looted a merc to have a "Special Ops" Weapon.
I totally agree with the crowded areas. I think it would be better if they at least replaced a few stalker spawns with a spawn for the rats (maybe altered ones with a more dangerous behavior pattern). I guess the final fix for that would be in 3.0 when they hopefully add a few (mostly empty) "woods hills and meadows" between the current places. It seems like a decent task considering what the LA team has done. But then again, I have 0 experience modding maps.

Edited by: qwerty2316

Jun 10 2013, 3:18pm Anchor

Yeah, actually I never understood why GSC themselves gave Freedom western armament. I probably know the intention, to have their armament differ from that of that of the other factions (especially the 9x39mm-focused Duty), but I don't see any explanation why some Greenpeace junkies should have a constant supply of .223 and according weapons. I wouldn't mind seeing the equiment of at least the Freedom stalkers being "Russianized", I can somehow live with the Monolith having partially western guns, as they are very mysterious and seem to enjoy a certain degree of exterior support, be it the government or some secret groups (e.g. mighty companies or whatever).

Mercenaries having western weapons is perfectly okay though.

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