First update for TK build 1-3-14, see full description for details.
The envisionment of TK is to bring you what was promised by GSC for STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl, instead of the gutted retail release we were left with. TK aims to cover every aspect imaginable from gameplay intended to genuinely scare the player, to graphics for the absolute best visual experience, cut mutants, absolute realism, optimisations, stability, and a complete game mechanics overhaul, all without breaking the story. The idea is to present the player with a complete retail experience for the purist that liked SoC but wished it was far more fleshed out. In no way what so ever does TK try to be like old beta or alpha builds of SoC, TK aims to enhance everything SoC already has - nothing more, nothing less.
Here we go, the beginning of the end news updates for the fabled final build. News updates from here on will be final build updates only. Ground Zero for LA is on the back burner for now.
Generally speaking the final build is coming on nicely, extremely stable and running smooth like melted butter. I'll try to avoid the less significant changes and just list the more major ones but rule of thumb; even stuff I don't mention has significant "under the hood" changes that don't stare you in the face but make for a significantly better experience.
So here we go, the changes so far;
- Implemented DS 1.2 Patch 2 (TK Edition)
- Totally unshackled mutant AI, "important" AI will still respect space restrictors to prevent breaking of quests / tasks. Unimportant AI is not afraid to roam, hunt, and chase your arse down to brutally maul / murder you :)
- All known remaining texture issues fixed as well as normal map fixes / enhancements
- Totally redone ambient sounds to make them fit better and be more dynamic. Ambient sounds will now change based on player location, time of day, and weather conditions.
- Where appropriate added panoramic skies with distant terrain detail, also fixed sky rotation errors and enhanced some weather flare effects.
- NPC AI improvements, they should no longer randomly aim their gun at the sky / ground. Also forced better weapon handling, if a NPC gets too close to effectively use his main weapon he will switch to his sidearm. NPC accuracy with all types of weapons have also been tightened but not unrealistically so. Poor weather / lighting should also effect NPC vision more now.
- Introduced a very cheap version of the phong reflection model to windows and some metal surfaces.
- Adjusted trader stocks, most traders will now only sell ammo for weapons they sell. Also fixed a few very minor trader list bugs.
- Added water displacement and generally totally overhauled water effects to look as good as they can in old musty X-Ray.
- Added the Controller model from LA hoping it will fix the vanilla SoC Controller animation CTD. No idea if it will actually fix the problem though.
- Highly optimised X-Ray resources. This has resulted in a smaller download, faster level loading, and reigned in memory usage which should also make X-Ray more stable and more friendly to systems with only 2GB RAM. On average XR3DA now uses 300-400MB less.
- Added proper faction relations and reputation bonuses, now depending on what task you do and who for you will be given a rep bonus and faction relations will be adjusted based on your actions. Eg; you do a task for Duty like nicking the military documents, you get a better relation with Duty but your relations with the military get worse. You can also gradually repair your bad relations with factions through acts of aid; such as helping a NPC belonging to that faction in a firefight or giving him a medkit if hes in need of one. The former can be difficult if you are already considered a enemy with a certain faction while the latter just is not possible if you are already a enemy of that faction, still working on the finer balancing points here.
- Fixed all known TK issues, addressed some minor vanilla issues and made some misc changes to other "under the hood" aspects such as adding ammo repacking so you no longer have to tediously take out a few bullets at a time from your reserves.
- Levels should now feel more "alive" and less static as I've extended the weather effects used.
Thats the main highlights, theres probably some other things I should mention but I'm going from memory. Theres 2-3 things left to do in order to call TK final build ready (including reinjecting blowouts) but the build likely won't get released the instant its ready as theres some things being discussed between me and meltac to really add the last bells and whistles X-Ray is capable of ;)
- Addressed inbalance at the bar. You can now attack rouge stalkers without fear of causing a alert. However, if you attack Duty with anything but silent kills (sniping from distance, silenced headshots etc) you will likely still cause a alert.
- Changed most bandit clothing so they don't all look "samey" and so its far less obvious they are bandits (admit it, the black jackets do kinda stick out like a sore thumb)
- Added showing of rewards to job descriptions, money only jobs will automatically be transferred via PDA which means you won't need to go back to the job giver in such cases :)
- Added a lot of texture variety to rookie stalkers and bandits, should stop the "twins" and "triplets" syndrome.