THE BIGGER PICTURE
Pressure to complete this project has understandably been mounting. The success of our friends at Team Epic with their Call of Chernobyl (CoC) project inspires us and only increases our drive to complete 2.2 and then progress to porting onto CoC’s platform.
When CoC was released, we considered switching our efforts to finishing 2.2 on CoC. Would it take longer to finish new features and make them work on CoC (while it was still evolving) or finish 2.2 and then port it over? The team judged 2.2 to be so close to completion that allowing CoC to mature and work out any kinks before moving over would be best. The significant metamorphosis of CoC in the interim strongly validated that decision. Building a mod of our size upon an ever-changing platform would have been too Miserable even for MDT.
The project was essentially closed to new ideas/features and work has concentrated on optimizing and completing the core features as soon as possible. We consolidated both the MDT and Test Lab Teams removing those inactive too long and inviting several new test lab members and translators into the fold. Behind the scenes, our friend composer Frank Gustafson, has completed all-new ambient music scores for the mod.
I'm sitting here waiting for Call of Pripyat (CoP) to download from Steam again … at least the 43rd time since our last major test package was assembled in August. You see, many if not most new patches require a new game. We don’t want you to need any of those patches, so we test and fix and test …. So the first thing we can verify is that a new game will be required for Misery 2.2. See, all the bad news out of the way right off. Now on to the good stuff … Please forgive me if you have already read some of this before. Since it has been a while since a ‘formal news update’ I will be as inclusive as possible.
CHANGES AND UPDATES
We have fixed more vanilla CoP bugs and 2.0 bugs than I can probably remember. While it is always possible some new bug will be introduced with the plethora of new features, I can unequivocally state this will be the most stable and bug free version to date. Two huge things that stick out come to mind: Hermann no longer squirms away constantly when you try to talk to him and trade. Strelok should no longer run ahead and then back and forth during the finale.
Fixes have been implemented to work around corpses getting removed from the game before you come upon them. The recon squad in Pripyat that has the Kindergarten explosives, the poor stalker Flint left dying in the marsh, Even Noah and Lassie are much more likely to live to the end of the game or at least past their usefulness. The Zone is a very dangerous place, nothing is ever certain. Checks have been introduced to prevent some crashes when you do some things GSC never expected you to do. OK, so it’s less broken than ever before … You really want to know about the new features …
I’m bound to forget some stuff, but I will do my best. Tents – you can now choose a nice out of the way location and build yourself a tent for those nice nights between emissions out under the stars listening to the frogs, crickets, birds … wait frogs don’t growl like that … better check my mine field A good home security system is never wasted. That Flint bastard is still out there and all those other unsavory characters too.
The tents are realistically fragile. Bumping into them the wrong way or trying to shield yourself from bullets will most certainly destroy them. But, they provide more protection than using just a mylar blanket or sleeping bag from fallout. Different combinations of materials provide varying levels of protection, benefit from sleep, etc. A small marker will appear on your PDA if you lose your tent. The camouflage tarp can make that a reality … No, you can’t survive an emission in one yet. A whole new sleep UI accompanies the new sleep mechanics.
All those little things like grooming kits, swiss army knives and the like now have purposes. With the exception of bad ammo, I can’t honestly think of any useless items. Some need to be sharpened and there are many ways to do that. There are specialized tool kits to help you salvage parts from helmets, outfits, electronics, and of course weapons. These provide the best results, and are the most heavy/expensive. There are many ways to skin a bloodsucker as Trapper says … lots of suitable durable tools and less durable makeshift items can be used. You’ll need to discover for yourself exactly what breaks what down. Some of the toughest items need the toughest tools and so on.
So, you just put some arrogant bastards out of their Misery and you have all this loot. How are you going to hump it all back to a trader ??? Whip out your tool of choice and start breaking all that stuff down into useful parts & other bits someone will give you a few Rubles for if you want to haul it back. Lightening your load, you can use some of the spare parts to fix your gear up on the spot, save them for later, or sell them for a tidy profit. Using the right tools you might extract a perfectly good helmet from that outfit you no longer need or come upon. The Zone is still dangerous, make sure nothing can sneak up on you while you’re going through your loot. If you don’t want some of your leftover bits, be a responsible Stalker and stuff them in a nearby corpse to keep the Zone clean.
Did you ever wish you had a better melee weapon, something to keep those pesky zombies at arms length? Their breath is pretty bad … how about this shiny new AXE. Now that is a nicely satisfying meaty thud if I ever heard one Several other new weapons have made their way into the Zone. I won’t name them all, but the venerable Radom Vis pistol is in there, a new Ghillied SVD we lovingly call Fluffy is out there too.
UPGRADES TO SOUNDS AND ANIMATIONS
We have some new looks, animations and sounds. There would have been more, but some of the stuff out there just doesn’t play well with all our other stuff and needed to go. Most of the iron sights zoom is greatly diminished. There are some weapons which just didn’t look right at near zero iron sights zoom and some final adjustments will be made. However, if the label says it is a 4X scope, it will magnify bare eye vision exactly 4X regardless of your chosen FOV.
Descriptions have been fine tuned to eliminate as many inconsistencies as possible. Many have been wonderfully embellished, some trimmed to fit the visible UI window better. We expect to provide translations at or near release into Russian, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish and Japanese.
Outfits have been given plenty of love too. No new outfits this release, but they have been reworked and rebalanced. Some gained and some lost belt slots, some previous upgrades which engine limitations made less effective (some helmet upgrades in particular) have been tweaked so they now provide a stamina improvement. The Ghillie has been completely reworked. It will never be the best choice for CQC or anomaly exploration, but it now has significant Psy protections, an integrated and upgradeable helmet, new materials providing better heat resistance and is much more versatile. It will take more damage from bullets/explosions than a combat outfit and from exposure to locations much better suited to ecological suits because it is not intended for those purposes. Upgrades can be pricey, but you can turn the finest sneeki breeki suit into something that will keep you alive through more brushes with stray head shots (up to class IV protection for the head) and accidentally getting too close to the flames.
This brings us to the whole subject of camouflage/stealth. Outfits and some weapons have their own camouflage ratings for both day and night. Shiny stuff gets you noticed, dull stuff less so. The system is dynamic in that changing your AI switch_distance up and down scales the camouflage effect accordingly. If you extend your distance to 400 meters vs. the default 300 so you can see them 400 meters away they will notice you from further away. If your rig is a little dated, or you are using your laptop and reduce your distance for performance, the opponents vision is likewise reduced. You’ll have to figure out just how close you can get on your own Running, jumping, wandering about with your head lamp beaming away will get you noticed. Now your outfit choices, upgrades, etc. need to consider the tasks you intend to do at night with your nighttime rating in mind. Once you have given away your presence, camouflage goes out the window. The initial reaction time benefits you gain when NPC’s do their first double take disappear when NPC’s are alerted. Make sure you get them with that first shot.
There are new mutants … remember those creepy semi-transparent zombies from the tunnels in lost Alpha? The ones that didn’t seem to stay dead? Yeah, they have wandered into the CoP maps giving low visibility a whole new level of scary. Did I mention the directional indicator on your PDA burnt out? You can still see where you are on the map, but your only means of identifying the direction you are facing is what you can see. Fog used to just be wet and cool and improve your performance, now your housemates may hear you whimper a little when it rolls in on a night mission. What was that sound ?!?! Gigants have been tweaked making their attacks much less likely to cause crashes. Mutants, in general, will now find more ways to get at you. You won’t be safe everywhere you thought you were before.
ABSOLUTE NATURE 4
Last, for now, Cromm has graciously allowed us to include Absolute Nature 4 in our release. Only the Misery theme will be included with the release package, but you can choose any of the other themes and different grass height and draw distance options or even a different look for each map by downloading the whole AN4 package. Some of the troublesome tree models from the past are fixed improving performance in those locales. Choosing the right combination of options will be important. More flora means more shadows and stuff to draw. This can tax some systems.
Some things will be harder and some easier. Choosing the right item for the job, time of day, etc. will remain paramount. I feel the balance, which is still subject to final adjustments, is quite good. There is more Alife and until you make a choice tilting the balance, there will be more likelihood initially to find neutral Mercs and bandits about.
A WORD ABOUT RELEASE
There may be a brief warning and some proper pre-release videos just before release. Maybe just enough time to make an excuse to hang out a night with your buddy who has the really fast internet If that’s not an option, don’t use up all your data allowance downloading cute cat videos. They will ill prepare you for Misery’s cats and woe unto you when 2.2 finally drops if you aren’t prepared Misery is what inspired many of us to originally enter the modding scene. The thought of abandoning this project is abhorrent to us and we will not rest until it is completed. Please trust that we will persevere and bring you the Miserable experience you deserve as soon as the Zone allows. Until then, keep the faith and I will see you in the Zone …
Lately, we have downscaled our promotion and teasing of the upcoming version because we understand the prolonged release of MISERY 2.2 feels unbearable and provocative to many followers.
On behalf of our beloved coder and the rest of the team we thank you for your understanding and patience. We will turn the ache of waiting into true MISERY soon enough.
If you prefer to have these news and updates from MDT sent to your email directly, you are welcome to send us a simple email at firstname.lastname@example.org with 'subscribe' as the headline. You will have an auto-reply from us and no further actions will be required from that point. You can unsubscribe any time you want.
Thanks again and kind regards
Roger B. aka jasper34
MISERY mod PR Manager
Misery Development Ltd.
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