The Zone of Alienation mod is an adaptation of the renowned AMK mod. It is built on top of a specialized variant of AMK that uses a magazine system. From this premise, it has expanded to aim to include the following:

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As many of you know, the scientific anomaly detector is effectively useless, since it uses the mini map, which ZoA doesn't actually use. I've thought of remedying this situation by getting rid of it altogether, because I have an entirely new idea on how to handle detectors, read below.

Posted by FatalFunnel on Jan 25th, 2012

After removing the effectively worthless scientific anomaly detector, I plan on re-using it for a different purpose. I will elaborate on this in the next paragraph, and yes, I plan on making artifacts invisible.

Now, the way that Clear Sky and Call of Pripyat handle detectors is that anomaly detectors and artifact detectors are one in the same. I don't like this idea, and I don't like how they are tiered either, in such a system there is one "best" detector that can detect anything, making the other detectors completely worthless. The system I would like to implement into Zone of Alienation is entirely different from this.

What I propose, is a fairly simple premise. Anomaly detectors, and artifact detectors are two separate pieces of equipment. And I will go into why I am making them that way. You see, an anomaly detector isn't that complicated compared to an artifact detector. It picks up signals of anomalous activity, but it looks for any signal of anomalous activity. In other words, it is not fine-tuned for anything, it just detects things that are abnormal. Anomaly detectors are fairly cheap and there is really only one type that is needed.

Now artifact detectors on the other hand, are a much higher quality piece of equipment. Anomaly detectors look for these generalized signals that indicate anomalous activity, but artifact detectors are specifically calibrated to pick up on certain frequencies of these signals, ones that only certain types of artifacts produce, and they have to do it while canceling out the noise and interference that the anomalies put off.

The way I plan on adding artifact detectors is that I'd like to add 3-4 different types. Sid will give you one in the beginning of the game in his bunker, but the catch is, it is one of several in the game.

I also do not plan on making the detectors tiered in nature, there will be no endgame detector. You will have to use each of them to find different artifacts. I plan on dividing artifacts into "families" that put out similar frequencies that fall in the ranges of some detectors, some of these will be lower artifacts, some of them will be higher. The only way to find artifacts will be to equip its respective detector to your belt, and there will be 3-4 detectors in total, which will mean you may have to juggle them with artifacts on your belt and do some backtracking to find the ones you could not detect earlier.

Each detector looks for a separate signal band. Some artifacts when transmutated will end up with a higher/lower signal band which may render them undetectable to the old detector.

And also, all detectors will be auditory in nature and put out a different sound.

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Kirschix Jan 27 2012 says:

I am sorry to say that, but this doesn't sound like a fun idea. Running up and down four times the same path with a differnt tool wouldn't make a good feature, in my opinion at least. Well it would also depend on the range of it. If it just detects the next five meters and you have to run around the map like 300 times would be too short.
The most fun part (for me) in Stalker were the Artifacts. "Oh did I just see something sparkle in the corner of my eyes?" Hopefully its a new and better Artifact! *rushes to that position* and boom, straight into an anomaly ^^
I never finished Clear Sky because of this, I just lost the fun of it in the first levels already. I like exploring, but that is a bit too much...

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FatalFunnel Author
FatalFunnel Jan 27 2012 says:

It's something that's largely still on the table at the moment and may never even be fully implemented.

What I'm trying to do is have the player go in blind and figure out which detector detects what like a real stalker would have to do. It's that ignorance and trial and error pioneering spirit that I'm trying to capture here.

It might become tedious for someone who already knows it, but for someone playing with this new system for the first time it will be about the experience. In addition to this, it makes the economy harsher, and in a way that isn't just changing prices like many modders do.

You can read the scientific backround I'm using for this system here.

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N3uR0m4nT3 Jan 27 2012 says:

I feel the only purpose of detectors, as in CS and COP, is preventing the player from getting high level artifacts too early, thus enforcing a smoother progression. I don't like this for various reasons, the first being that it takes freedom away from the player. Progression is already enforced in CoP, the hub world is pretty linear. If you find yourself wandering into the military warehouses with a sawn off shotgun as primary and a leather jacket... You're probably cheating.

So, I wouldn't really make artifacts invisible by default. The pioneering spirit you mention is best expressed through trying to make that jump to climb that roof, just to see what is on top of it. But not because you already know an artifact is lying there. For this reason it should be up to the player to choose whether he needs a detector or not, and detectors shouldn't be mandatory to find artifacts.

If you want, you could just remove some of the visual cues from artifacts. When it looks just like a brown rock that doesn't float or glow the necessity for a detector becomes apparent.

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FatalFunnel Author
FatalFunnel Jan 27 2012 says:

I guess for now I could experiment with turning the lights off for artifacts.

Other things I might do that may upset people is eliminating nightvision from 80-90% of suits, but this would only be if I managed to accomplish something special in regards to nightvision that would warrant that.

I might elaborate on this later.

+1 vote   reply to comment
N3uR0m4nT3 Jan 27 2012 says:

Isn't there somewhere a mod which allows you to wear helmets and stuff? Wearable NV goggles would be sweet.

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FatalFunnel Author
FatalFunnel Jan 28 2012 replied:

Actually, what I was thinking of doing is adding NV scopes for weapons. I know of a mod that already does this for SoC, but I plan on getting the proper models for them into the game and to work with the Arsenal/LURK weapons. I can already draw the reticles for them.

The problem with this, however, is where to put this sort of scope in the game. If I put one at agroprom, then there's no need for a PSO-1, if I put one after agroprom, then it more or less forces people to either get the docs without nightvision, or during the day without having to sneak in. And if I put a suit with NV in that area, well, that would be better for people than an NV scope.

I may add 2 generations of NV scopes as well.

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