Post feature RSS Walk in the Dark pt 3

In this series, I share my personal screenshots and accounts of my gameplay inside of the only Server hosting ArmStalker during development. This is a closed, white listed access server, conducted completely in the Russian Language... I am the only player who does not understand Russian language, and this is my story - highlighted with other descriptions of gameplay for the readers here to better get a feel for what ArmStalker will truly be like.

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Walk in the Dark part 3

Written By Uncle Boom / Screenshots by Uncle Boom from inside the testing server
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After being left on the road in good health with wishes of luck from the would-be bandit - I set off along the road again, to the north traveling past an old soviet statue. I started to limp, with the ACE "walking wounded" animation, due to my now severe bleeding and level of blood loss. The radiation had still done me in, even with my gasmask.... I died on the road and respawned... back inside the tunnel.

I was discouraged, and I could tangibly feel the hopelessness brought in the somber Stalker music that hums through from the server... Some original tracks, and some Mooze, helping to mix the emotions and really give you the sense that ArmStalker Team is saying "You are lost here, it is terribly difficult, and you are going to die over and over. - But you are here to play - right? ... so play..." ... I know in my mind that - if I spoke Russian and joined this mod like others - I would be so steeped in details of how to play and where to go, when I see players there would be so many more options for me.... but I can't - so I must take a more passive role... and in the zone - being passive means being killed. Or worse.

I set out again, the same way I had all these other times... But this time, things were different. I traveled through the rookie village, this time bold, sure that I would see no one. I traveled through the quiet street, up through the gate, up to the road... Turning north and running right through the Bridge, up past the last checkpoint before the garbage, and I crested the hill...

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It was at that point, that I crossed paths with a Stalker coming into the Cordon along the same road! He had normal Loner gear, no backpack, just a slash bandolier, with a Hunting Shotgun on his back... I casually asked him in English if "This is the way North" and pointed... He muttered some very ethnic sounding response, and I took this as my sign to - quickly and politely - continue North. I did so - and wasted no time about it, because I am an experienced Arma player. Proximity to players is dangerous at all times, trust is paramount, yet, rare. Players here agree to strict rules - but they also understand these rules much much better than I do... I am always at a disadvantage with this.

The Stalker ran up behind me, this time with his Hunting Shotgun pointed at me, and started telling me to keep going North. My heart sank. But - I was still excited - and totally willing to cooperate just to experience what playing in the server was like. I pressed F8 and put my hands on my head, then did what he asked without much dispute. I was hoping not to be killed and dumped in a ditch, but mentally, I was prepared for such a reality. It was surprising that he was a Loner, who approached another Loner with a gun - threatening to shoot... But I tossed this up as something I would need more time to understand. Was this against RP rules? Trying to read the rules through a translator - or looking them up individually - has been very difficult. Most notably are the rules surrounding "gop stops"... a bastardization of the Russian term for stick up robbery.

This guy marched me north, right up to the depot in the garbage, right up to the wall outside....

He told me to stop.

Great. The Bandit base. ......... Now I was getting a little depressed. They would kill me for fun, and back to the tunnel I would go, with this - player here who was not about to let other loners travel past him unmolested, and then the bandits, whose base at the Depot in the garbage is easily within view of the road North.... I was frustrated at the thought of this situation. I kneeled with my elbows against the wall, and tried talking with my captor.

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He was a rude player, only saying swear words back to me, even when I got frustrated enough to try some Russian with him... Trying to ask his name, that sort of stuff. He wouldn't let me leave, and I was kept this way for 30 minutes... Eventually I had just decided not to talk to this dude anymore and just lay there on the ground in the prone. He starts repeating a word I don't understand, and then - he shoots me in the back with his shotgun. I fall unconscious immediately. ........ How is this "Stalker"? - I am thinking to myself.... I mean... I am a HUGE fan of the project, and every small development from the players or developers I am rabid to dissect and understand best I can.... But I NEVER expected this. This is against everything ArmStalker has been about for me, a mod like this - where players WONT kill eachother at random - for existing - just to laugh at someone's ragdoll for 30 seconds before it disappears NO - THIS is NOT ArmStalker!.....

I wake up...... Terrific. Now, I'm bleeding, and I can't run. I decide to just walk into the bandit base, hoping some Russian guy with the ability to play the game, who has money, gear, and a sense of direction in the server - to run up and shoot me dead - as quickly as he can. ... Of course I am not that lucky. No one is in the bandit base... I walk up to the large red, disheveled warehouse and sit down outside, my screen pulsing with blood effects to alert me to the fact that I'm bleeding, but I have no bandages, I have nothing..... I have nothing, and I was just taken prisoner and shot, by another Loner just like me, for no reason. ..... GUESS who comes back.... The Stalker who shot me.

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At this time I am fed up... Fed up... and I more than once hit esc and watched the 60 second log out timer count all the way down... I was so mad at this player, but I did not want to violate RP rules. If there is anything I know - it is that in the WORST moments of Arma 3 Role Play - things can turn completely around - and you can meet people that you will be glad to call friends.... perhaps one day. This guy kept talking to me, and now, I didn't care. I was telling him to shoot me. over and over, interspersed with small insults fitting of a man who already shot me once. The guy sees that I am injured, and starts to bandage me. I laugh at how pathetic it all is. He did not have to hold me up, or shoot me, and after all of this - he is trying to keep me playing. As his prisoner? ... I was in disbelief again at the condition of the game for me at this point, and I was CONVINCED that this could not be within the Rules of the server...

About this time, a Bandit appeared, running out from the Warehouse there in front of us. He was wearing a black balaclava and those tactical goggles we always see in Arma, along with a slash bandolier, blue track pants, and a rather fully featured AK of some sort in this hands. He was silent as he ran up and kneeled with us, his weapon lowered...After a short time, He opened his inventory, dropped a bandage, and immediately shot a round into the air... ...I took it as a demand for me to bandage myself... Cursing, I stood up and applied the bandage...

At that point the Bandit's voice clearly said in plain English, "Can you hear me?"...

"Yeah - " I said shocked... I remembered the Tushkan, even a rat could be an Admin, or a Kurator, or - even an old friend I met a year ago on the Public Warzone server... "Follow Me" the bandit said, and the 3 of us casually walked into the busted, broken down Warehouse in the center of the Depot.

"What is your name?" the Bandit asked me. "Shasta" - I said. This was a name I had chosen somewhat at random when writting my application, trying to choose a name with familiar Russian sounds... In practice it is surprisingly hard for them to pronounce...

"Ok, so I have one question, How the hell did you get into this server?"

I took a second and introduced myself, sending a link to my approved RP Application, and an article written by one of the developers about me, sharing the arrival of the First American to join the ArmStalker WarZone server. I then started to tear up, as I told him that I had been following the project for almost a year, and I had been wanting to see this server myself - that I was this community's biggest fan. All of this is true, but the emotion surprised me... I got control of myself quickly, chalking it up to a relief of stress from the Hour of hostage RP I was obliged to perform.... In truth, at that moment I was so happy, all of the effort had paid off, I had someone who I could talk to - who was able to communicate with me about the server, and maybe to help me come away with new knowledge that I can share...

"I see..." he said "My name is Penguin, and you are very lucky... Very few people here understand English..." ... The other stalker was there too, and he shared in our Greeting, with my fumbled "Приятно Познокомиться" .... I pressed F4 to gesture a Thumbs Up to both of them, and got laughs from each in return. "Well, let me tell a bit about what's going on here... and I can give you a job to work off this equipment I am about to give you..."


He sent me this map in teamspeak, and explained the rules of the Green Zone. Stalkers cannot kill each other there, though the bandits are allowed to rob people there as well...In order to leave, you must have basic gear, a weapon beyond a simple sawnoff shotty, Gasmask, bandages, backpack.... Somewhat intense and arbitrary rules, considering the WIP nature of the mission, and the prohibitive prices in the stores... The yellow zone has special rules, and the Red Zone is apparently a PvP area for everyone, Kill On Sight is legal there... The Monolith operate up in the North a well, they are the pure PvP faction, with cheap prices in their vendors and the ability to place respawn beacons so that they can get into the fight again quickly. ... He never explained Loner on Loner violence, or any details beyond these... and to be honest I was so tired of that old situation that I forgot those questions myself - and just went along with them in an effort to now truely see the game as it is meant to be played...

The Other Stalker, my would be killer and captor, was there as well - having moved off while we were waiting, sitting by the fire, probably away from the keyboard. I snapped this screen of him.

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Penguin returned, Dropping a knapsack, slash bandolier, Radio, APS pistol with 2 magazines, 2 cans of Консерва, two flaggons of water, and a GP5 gasmask. He explained that he needed to visit Freedom, to retrieve some Item....

"We can go the short way, which is very dangerous.... we will probably die.... Or.... we can go the long way, which.... we will also probably die...."

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Join the three of us as we hike to the freedom base, through the NEW Toxic Fog, meeting other stalkers and bandits there once we arrive!

More in Part 4 - Thanks for Reading! Stay Tuned Everyone!


Why does it look as though the brightness has been cranked up to the max?

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LLIacTa Author

What do you mean? ... in my screenshots? ... Have you played a lot of Arma 3? .... how did you like the story lol .... I've already seen a bit of this on moddb showing it's head .... people and their very exacting standards on things like textures and lighting... First off, I play on my PC. When you play Arma on yours, you will set it up differently. My settings are not maxed, I try to strike a blend of performance and looks. Second, Brightness is set in the options, so if you play - you can tune it how you like. Third, if people start nit-picking about arma, textures and lighting, no one is ever going to be happy with this mod - and I don't think Arma players/modders would be the ones nit-picking those details for good reason. If anyone is concerned about the look of the game - they should play some Arma 3 on their PC and get a feel for how it looks, because I don't think that any Arma players will be concerned with it.

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LLIacTa Author

Some screens in arma might really inspire some graphics junkies... but Arma at it's core is a game like no other, and the game play - the way it works - that is what makes it awesome. The rage is very real among people with amazing PCs that cannot get steady 40fps in Arma 3, there is so much going on that affects the performance. So, with that in mind, everyone's game will be a bit different and perfectionists should DEFINITELY stay clear of Arma 3...

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It just looks like his shadows are turned off which he probably did for better performance.

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LLIacTa Author

Yeah my shadows are set to low. You save a lot of frames that way.

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You found a friendly Russian on a Russian RP server?! My time playing FO2 Online makes this hard to believe hehe

Jokes aside it's cool to finally get some English speaking perspective on this mod. I really think this mod has the potential to be something really great, the team seems as dedicated as any I've seen in the Stalker community and I believe the A3 engine is capable of giving us all the MP Stalker experience that we've all been hankering after for a long, long time.

I look forward to your next update and thanks for taking the abuse for us!

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LLIacTa Author

That's exactly what the team are hoping to give us, and Thank You for the kind words about my story here! I will keep making these posts, and in the next coming chapters I get to see a LOT more of the players and the server... Stay Tuned!!

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