Post news RSS L.U.R.K. 1.1 - Prerelease Major Announcement

We're approaching our anticipated release of our latest public build of L.U.R.K., 1.1. I'd like to thank you all for waiting until now, and you'll be happy to learn that your patience will soon be rewarded within this month of June.

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We're approaching our anticipated release of our latest public build of L.U.R.K., 1.1. I'd like to
thank you all for waiting until now, and you'll be happy to learn that your patience will soon be rewarded within this month of June. We apologize for the confusion regarding release dates previously, but I can assure you with complete sincerity that there is no feasible reason why L.U.R.K. 1.1 will not make it's way to the public this month. In fact, I would even be comfortable with releasing as is currently, having played through up to the Sarcophogas without any outstanding errors personally.

However many of you have been envoloped by hype and hearsay and are unaware of most of what L.U.R.K. is actually about. The main page is somewhat disjointed when it comes to actually addressing this. I feel like simply listing features like 'better graphics', 'more weapons', 'stealth system' and whatnot is farily counterproductive to what we're trying to accomplish.

What we're all about

There are many mods for games like S.T.A.L.K.E.R., Oblivion, Grand Theft Auto and such that modify the existing game, but few endeavor to actually bring it into an actual direction that is guided with an overall perspective. You'll see many mods talking about adding weapons, improving graphics, changing sounds, adding minor entertaining features, but admittedly shallow in nature. This may sound pretentious coming from someone who makes mods himself, but it's a truth that would be hard to deny.

Individual minimods and feature additions are fun in moderation, but what happens when they amalgamate into a large culmination of modifications? What happens then? More often then not it ends in disaster. There is a likelihood that a global perspective is taken on the individual changes, but once things start to build and build, it becomes hard to see how the direction of the game goes somewhere you hadn't expected. If it happens without your knowledge then it more often then not isn't a positive one.

However egotistical it may seem coming from me, I only feel comfortable in saying it because I am as guilty of it then anyone. I was fully aware of the changes being made in the previous public builds, and effort was made to balance them into a natural ecosystem of changes corresponding with existing elements that would feel like positive additions, without taking away from the original direction.
That was my effort, and the more educated I've become in modding, and with the existing S.T.A.L.K.E.R. the way it is, I have become more educated in learning just how wrong this idea was. However only part of it. Obviously balance and direction is extremely important in endeavoring to make an overhaul of any kind, however the idea of taking it in the direction of the original was a mistake that I should have perceived.

The fact of the matter is, even the smallest of changes that can be perceived as an almost objective improvement from one perspective, seems like an issue or a poor shift in direction, or simply something they just do not like to others. Anyone with a grade-school education can tell you that people have varying perspective and opinions, but it was a gray area that I soon learned is much more gray then I had ever imagined.

One of the biggest obstacles I'd become aware of is simple familiarity. When a change is made to something that you identify with S.T.A.L.K.E.R., a game that most people think positively on if they are even educated about mods and the modding community, people will be taken out of a comfort zone that they had developed for the game, and more inclined to identify any issues that they should see with it. It's a little phenomena very in tone with one called 'Uncanny Valley', in which the closer an object becomes to reality, the more obnoxious simple errors become, simply because you start associating what you see with reality, and seeing an uneven stare at you in what you perceive in a video game is much less alarming then seeing the same thing in real life.

One of the most painstaking issues I've become much too familiar with is art design and graphics. It has driven me to the brink of insanity, having reports either favoring a certain graphical aspect immensely, or strongly opposing it. A most recent example is the introduction to High Dynamic Range, or more commonly referred to as HDR and even more negatively looked upon as 'bloom and blur'.

Now the first thought that comes to mind is this. Sure it's something that's very polarizing and contested, why not make it optional? Isn't it that simple? Well actually, it's not, for me or for you. When making a change as simple as that, it changes the way the environment looks obviously, and believe it or not, one of the major concerns I touched on previously was balance, and creating an ecosystem of changes that go hand in hand. In order to do that, I make many changes to accent these changes properly. Simply throwing HDR onto the pile doesn't work, objects will appear to bright and have a glow that doesn't naturally suit your eye's ability to adapt. I have to be meticulous to an autistic degree to suit things to a fashion I would deem suitable, and making decisions that would sacrifice those ideals are simply out of the question for me, because it would lead to complaints ranging from different builds that would have to be addressed respectively for to respect preferences that I may or may not share. It is just too complicated, and the idea of building many separate options for installation has simply been thrown out for me.

I regret to say that this realization, or rather prior to it has led to much wasted time, trying to appeal to everyone and only slowly watering down other aspects without realizing it, and following a loop of fixing one thing and breaking another, like a submarine that's pipes burst from pressure in a different location after each other area is patched.

So before you play L.U.R.K., before you come to my comments page and make a suggestion, or complain about a perceived issue, I want you to think about the direction that this project is taking, and how your perception may or may not correlate with what I agree with. As selfish as it may seem, I need to come at this from my perception of what S.T.A.L.K.E.R. should be, otherwise the game will become convoluted with concepts and systems that are shaped from many different perspectives that will ultimately clash and cause an amalgamation of shit that nobody would want to play.

So what exactly are the things that I strive to achieve? At this point it would be hard to articulate all the nuances of my perspective of what the zone should project on me. Using words to describe it is difficult because there are many different nuances to it that may or may not be consistent with the last, but to my defense are usually guided by logic that I at least feel secure.

You may be thinking that this article thus far has fully convinced you that playing L.U.R.K. means subscribing to my personal perception of the Zone, and as discomforting it may seem, you would be exactly right. However there's a certain security in that unwavering perception coming from one individual that you may not understand.

So why shouldn't I just play something else then, why not play something that almost fully subscribes to the original goal of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.? Well then I regret to inform you that you should forget about playing any mods in that case. Some would like you to think otherwise, but you're not getting the 'vanilla' experience from anything other then vanilla. Any change as subtle as it may seem is shifting it into realms deemed suitable by another individual, and not some omnipotent source of objective opinion.

It's quite simple really. How would you feel if you walked into the entrance of the Bar through the first building without hearing a resounding 'Get out of here S.T.A.L.K.E.R.'? Well to most people who have played the game consistently, it would feel strange and somewhat sad. Logically, it would seem weird and annoying to walk into a building and have a complete stranger tell you to 'get out', especially if the Duty outpost speakers were resounding it's desire to have fellow S.T.A.L.K.E.R.'s join the faction this man is with, and help them with missions.

However despite this, most people regard this as a charming aspect of the game, if only because of it's humor, at just how bad the English localization is at times. One of the nuances you'll see from me is retaining this aspect of the game, even if many would rather see it gone.
So what is the vanilla experience at it's core? Well that's up to you to decide. If you see any rhyme or reason to it that can be defined in a few paragraphs then I'd like to hear it, and you can view that as a sincere proposition, because I surely do not know.

I can tell you that GSC made this game, and that GSC worked on S.T.A.L.K.E.R. for over 5 years. Initially, it endeavored to be a linear shooter inspired by the Half-Life series from Valve. I'm sure most of you are aware that having followed this tangent would have killed much of what makes S.T.A.L.K.E.R. what it is today. However that isn't the first change in direction it took, hell it wasn't even in Chernobyl at the time, and if it was supposed to be, then I can assume that GSC learned much more about Geography within those 5 years. If you don't know what I'm talking about that you can view what would appear to be Aztec Pyramids depicted in their earliest videos.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, GSC's production can be likened to what I've experienced in these past couple years. Ideas that seem great on paper turn sour in execution, and much time is wasted in our own ignorance.

But what is S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl 1.0005 without anything extracted in it's gamedata directory? Is it what S.T.A.L.K.E.R. was intended to be? That would be a hard argument for anyone. GSC has proven with time that they themselves are learning how to design the game to suit their own perceptions of what it should be, and that is obviously harshened severely when you pay with your pocket for ill-conceived risky ideas, and end up having your development time by your publisher, in this case THQ, for wasting too much time and not having a product that they wish to see profit, rather then see you fulfill your dreams. It's a well known fact that Shadow of Chernobyl was released unfinished, and patches have done little to alleviate that, especially when they aren't monetized.

Time has only exaggerated these facts. With more time to work on the same engine they spent 5 years developing, the faction that was once known as a group of individuals seeking to expand the zone's scientific teachings to benefit society and technology, turned into a pile of weed smoking hippies who don't know their asses from their faces. Clear Sky was poorly received critically, and not without good reason. It is commonly perceived as a step back in the series, and some even believe it being perceived as a canon prequel to Shadow of Chernobyl has dealt irreparable damage to the series as a game built on story an atmosphere. The former being brittle before regardless.

Now it may seem that most of what I say is negative, and you might come out thinking I don't like the core aspects of S.T.A.L.K.E.R., and if you did then I can say that you are most definitely wrong. The beauty of the point being made initially in this article, is that S.T.A.L.K.E.R., albeit it's issues, numerous in number that may never be fixed on X-Ray 1.0 or any of it's future iterations, is a unique, charming, atmospheric, and often breathtaking game that's strength's manage to overcome it's weaknesses if you just practice a little patience and effort.

Enough about vanilla S.T.A.L.K.E.R. though, part of it's charm seems to be rooted in it's mystery, and I can say that I played it leaving mystified in ways that weren't always good. At the end of the day, it became my focus to abandon any baggage from other perspectives and false sense of responsibility to build S.T.A.L.K.E.R. into what I think it should be, and as I said before, I will try and articulate it to the best of my capabilities.

The most obvious of which being atmosphere and immersion. Luckily for most, my core perspective on what makes S.T.A.L.K.E.R. a great title is a common one that most would find hard to argue. Doubtless it may be that immersion is often sacrificed in favor of structure, balance, and simple enforced limitations, atmosphere to me is the most important aspect of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. that makes it a little more then just a first person shooter.

While my perception of what should the desired destination with any path taken, the right path is what frequently discerns me from you, or you from him, or him from GSC. If it feels like I'm hammering this point, then if you paid a visit to my suggestion forum then it would be obvious that nothing short of a wrecking ball would impress this point well enough to the community.

When something is added, changed or even removed from the game, I want you to be assured that it's being met entirely with deliberate action guided by a global perspective based on a clear goal. Time has only improved that perception, and it will continue to evolve until I get fed up and find sanctuary away from this shit.

It's become obvious to me that any change that is made will be subject to discrimination and criticism, and given the history of overhaul mods I can't be encouraged to blame you. That's why I feel it's important today to try and cover most every aspect of what we do and why we do it. If there's a single aspect of the game that we haven't added, changed, removed, or redone ourselves then it would probably be easier to list those instead of what I'm about to list now. God only knows what all has changed since the two years I had endeavored to build the game up by myself with no intention of publicizing my work, along with all the gracious help I've received from my generous team who believe in my vision and support me in their free time. However I will try my best.

Disclaimer: L.U.R.K. 1.1 has minimal to no resemblance to the latest public release, 1.0552. I can assure you that if you didn't see the word L.U.R.K. appear on the main menu then you'd have to be psychic to perceive the similarities.

I will also try my best to describe any changes to existing elements, and the subsequent logic and reasoning behind them if it isn't already obvious.

Let's begin

Entire weapons arsenal overhauled to reflect actual weapon parameters.Certain allowances were made to support balance and circumstances that often pit you against multiple hostiles, which include damages that will require several assault rifle rounds to a heavily armored target that would normally incapacitate them from impact. This change heavily contrasts the weak bullets, wide bullet cones, and limited recoil of the vanilla weapons. Most people perceived that standard vanilla ballistics model as unsatisfying, unimmersive, and frustrating. This time around you'll see accurate weapons with heavy recoil, and intense damage feedback.

Completely overhauled animations system for all weapons and 3D HUD items.This includes all 80 unique weapon models that will be present in the public release of L.U.R.K. 1.1. This system also enables hand meshes from Clear Sky to replace the blocky hands from Shadow of Chernobyl default. Animations are hard to describe, so reserve your amazement for the actual build.

Many weapons added to the existing Vanilla Arsenal.This includes many logical additions, like the AK47, SKS, and other common weapons that should be considered commonplace from a realism perspective. Some weapons you might see would seem unlikely to appear in current Chernobyl, but we took creative license to pepper in weapons that could feasibly appear, let alone in the future that Shadow of Chernobyl takes place in. More ammunition calibers added as well as more interesting variants that serve functions in different circumstances, such as higher effectiveness against mutants, with a damage tradeoff for armored targets as an example.

All NPC (Non Player Controlled) character equipment loadouts rebuilt to accent these changes. Weapons in terms of quality logically appear to improve in a linear fashion as you progress through the game. In a logical fashion. Weapons do possess tradeoff's more frequently then blatant linear improvements you'll see in vanilla, however the player is encouraged to switch weapons consistently, as the commonplace caliber will shift depending on your location, and logically your weapon of choice should reflect them respectively, as your weapon of choice may not become practical over time. Choice and preference will play a role in choosing a weapon of said caliber, as most weapons will represent benefits and weaknesses when compared to other weapons.

35 kilogram weight limit is now enforced and will not be supported through optional packs. Weight limits encourage shifting different weapons, as hording ammunition becomes less practical when your equipment loadout is limited. Not only does this choice more coincidentally coincide with a realistic weight limit that would enable you a mobile person, but it also encourages planning before venturing on missions, and encourages variety and scavenging.

Every aspect pertaining to user interface overhauled. This includes pure aesthetic changes, such as complete remake of all user interface resources such as talk panel, trade panel, inventory, displayed text fonts, main menu, PDA, and much more, but convenience information such as color coded weapon icons corresponding to their respective caliber, color coded statistical information detailing the specifics of each weapon, abandoning the vague algorithm based bar graphs that used to represent a weapon's value, and much more that I don't have the time to detail.

Right Click and Select 'View Image' to see enlarged version

All aspects pertaining to AI redone. This may require a little insight of what AI was like prior to our intervention, but all you need to know is that NPC's could hear you from 50 feet away based on footsteps, and simply equipping your weapon. NPC's could see you in all sorts of lighting circumstances, whether it be pitch black or the peak of the sunrise (hardly relevant because it never really got dark), and AI couldn't hit you if you were even slowly strafing thanks to small player hitboxes, and large dispersion cones as well as hit probability factors.

AI now has a dynamic perception of light, sound is realistically tweaked so that running footsteps from 10 feet away will alert them to hostile presence (give or take depending on circumstances), NPC's can sink rounds into you even in a full sprint (moderated based on difficulty), NPC's will engage you in combat from farther away rather then stupidly sidestrafing until you're into their range (Given if you're detected), NPC's will vary their weapon behaviors based on proximity, NPC's will fire their weapons in your their last perceived location of you based on time detected even if you aren't visible at the time, and so much more I can't be bothered to explain. Note that from a relative opinion, sneaking is much much more refined and logical now, but more difficult.

Dynamic HUD (Heads Up Display) system. This means all aspects pertaining to the on screen main game interface are visible on demand, supporting a clean interface, a realistic engaging system that will notify you with a more natural, less artificial feeling the old cluttered HUD with useless indicators such as current stance. Blood will accumulate and become more visible as you take damage. A dark haze appears as you lose stamina, Etc.. Removing the old bar system for health does seem staggering, but it's a change that's easy to get used to.

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Restructured Medical System. This system is similar to those who have played Call of Pripyat. When a medkit or other consumables are applied, a sound is queued, and the effects of the consumable are gradual rather then instantaneous. However this system is different, because your weapon is automatically dequipped and re-equipped from it's usage, and the gradual effect takes more time, developing the medical system into a real gameplay component, where circumstances have to be considered before being used, rather then a system that automatically enables you more health.

Completely Redone Graphical System. This entails an innumerable amount of changes and additions that would almost warrant it's own section, however will be briefly covered for convenience sake. These changes include High Dynamic Range, Screen Space Ambient Occlusion, Post Processing Effects, Shadow Jitter, Depth of Field, rebuilt grass vegetation renderer, texture replacements, skybox replacements, etc.. However the real beauty does not rely on the system alone, rather how it enabled us to artistically design the game into a more appealing and atmospheric design. These changes include an innovative system of swapping renderer configurations on a level by level basis to suit the level to a better degree. An example would be shifting your level of eye focus to light to make artificial light sources have a distinguishable glow in underground areas.

Overhauled use of Resources, including weather overhaul. All lighting and global aspects pertaining to visual appearance have been completely redone. Most changes have strongly appealed to the concept of realism, but many allowances were made to provide similarities to the original Shadow of Chernobyl without sacrificing quality, and to direct it more into the surreal dramatic colors depicted verbally in the book that was partially responsible for inspiring the game, 'Roadside Picnic'. To those of you who are curious, the technical aspects of L.U.R.K. 1.1 surpass that of any iteration of Shadow of Chernobyl by a long shot, and arguably compete and win in some aspects against the later editions officially built by GSC, running games like Clear Sky and Call of Pripyat.

Right Click and Select 'View Image' to see enlarged version

A more in depth analysis would yield much more text then necessary for an article lengthy article, but I can elaborate further in the future if curiosity demands it.

Nightvision is a more integral part of gameplay. There is now a hard cap on visible range of nightvision of 50 feet in front of you in order to counterbalance engaging enemies from beyond reasonable proximity of enemies who can't perceive you as well at night. The balance as well as the realism aspect of L.U.R.K. 1.1 in tandem with key advantages such as stealth and nightvision will be key in your success in combat. As engaging multiple targets in open firefights is not a recommended strategy anymore, unless you want to become more acquainted with your F5 key. This is very fucking important because if you try to play L.U.R.K. 1.1 the same way you played vanilla Shadow of Chernobyl then you will get your ass handed to you on a silver fucking platter. During the day it is recommended to be behind cover at range whenever possible, while at night making use of nightvision and stealth is imperative. You will no longer start with a leather jacket, and will instead inherit a mercenary suit with basic nightvision from the get go to moderate the balance changes. You will also receive an unscoped SKS rifle at the beginning of the game to moderate the difficulty of the first mission in broad daylight with a patiently idle group of loners who might possibly receive an anal excavation from boars if you don't hurry your ass over there in good time. Many aesthetic changes pertaining to Nightvision as well to make it more appealing, as it will be in use alot. Noise loop removed because it was fucking annoying.

All quest rewards, trader economy, unique item locations, stash contents and every aspect of loot completely redone. All changes will place a new level of emphasis on traders, and the Bar will act as a hub that is extremely important to revisit for armor repairs and restocking supplies and medicals. The Bar will be your home away from home. You will go there to sleep so that night can settle before venturing into the red forest for stealth purposes, you will go there to fix your battered suit, you will need it because proper planning is more important then ever before. Sleeping bags are removed from the game, and you can no longer decide the parameters of your battles at your own convenience. Returning to the bar, Sid's bunker, Freedom Base, or the Ecologists Bunker is required to sleep, as well as a small fee and food for your growing hunger from sleeping.

With that said, we don't wish for people to perceive journeying back to the bar as a chore.

The new Arena System will force you to finish the vanilla Arena Missions by default, but afterwards a new system will be implemented, in which Arnie, the showman for the Arena will return to the bar for drinks until a designated time in the evening in which he will notify you over the newsfeed that the new restructured arena will begin shortly, which will allow you to not only fight in battles with loadouts of your choosing against opponents which will include mutants of your choosing, based on a few randomly generated selections, but you can also spectate and bet on opponents from the bleachers, and watch chaos unfold as varying adversaries fight against each other in the arena.

Every NPC's armor (as well as your own), loot drops, accuracy parameters, mutant capability, spawn frequency, and much more is completely redone to best accent the changes to the structured system of balance regarding ballistics and health statistics. Difficulties all scaled to maintain a similar gameplay structure with lightened requirements.

Defaulted system to disable combat properties from Artifacts. New system will shift focus on artifacts to be entirely in line with a logical plot focused reason that will play a large role in the refurnished economy, that will be grounded on the logic that you exist on the zone partially to profit off of collecting artifacts from selling them to ecologists who research their scientific properties, rather then attaching them to your belt to give you arbitrary unbalanced combat advantaged. One of the few options that will remain optional because of the imminent slobbering rage that would ensue from leaving it unoptional.

Random blowouts will not be present. This is a design choice that I have avidly stood by for ages. They are wrong for too many reasons to articulate and including them optionally is counterproductive to the philosophy I have described in the first few paragraphs. That is all, no discussion. I have them as functional compatible code but refuse to provide any official support for it in L.U.R.K. 1.1. I also will ask you to redirect your attention to previous articles illustrating my issues with random blowouts if you wish for a more elaborate understanding of why I refuse to support them. That is the last bit of discussion I will offer regarding them.

Refinished vegetation with new concepts for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. like fading mipmaps on grass sprites to blend with ground textures at cutoff, entirely new sprites derived from Crysis with a less bushy standoutish appearance, with a more natural grass feel. Grass doesn't vibrate and such. Color maps overhauled to look less blotchy, and give a more consistent look to the world.

Right Click and Select 'View Image' to see enlarged version

Overhauled optimization system, included a completely recoded prefetching system that reduces in game stuttering to a significant degree. Rehandling all requested prefetched data to be loaded in advance that would lead to stuttering. Prefetching will also require a fraction of the time to load prior to loading a new level. Loading times are much shorter, and enthusiast level graphics options are available for those who need the bleeding edge, but standard options will yield similar performance to what you've seen in 1.0552 with tremendous visual improvement. We have also brought down the archive to 1.20gb uncompressed, which with the last quick compress, I managed to get to 500mb.

Sound overhaul pertaining primarily to but not limited to weapons, ambient audio, and guitar music. Every weapon has a more beefy tuned firing noise that creates a presence that was otherwise weak previously. Guitar Music mostly derived from Call of Pripyat's great tunes, and more Ambient Audio from MooZe.

Refunctioned actor interaction. This pertains to everything including slower, more realistic movement speed, actual animated stance transitions rather then instantaneous clipping from duck to stand, inertia system for smoothing recoil camera jerking, as well as a more atmospheric system for death sequences that will retain first person perspective upon death, fade your screen to black, and play a theme following your death. Reloading after death will fade you screen back in.

There is so much more that I couldn't even begin to cover, I'm very proud to say that there isn't a single thing that I've listed that isn't finished. We're doing touch up runs, and letting testers play, but we've already had multiple testers run through without anything gamestopping, and we'll be without a doubt within June for a timely release. Thank you all for you support.

.Clash - - 451 comments

:/ Holden you ****ing *******. You leave us here, waiting for an SOC mod, and then when you finally release it, you release it for STALKER IV. Like, seriously? You seriously think we'll believe that SOC can look that ****ing good, with it's super-epic 3D icons, ultra-sexy weapon animations and mega-cool dymanic HUDs. Yea, right.


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BRKNnode - - 92 comments


Oh shut up.... trolling idiot. Your Mad is showing.

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holdenmcclure Author
holdenmcclure - - 215 comments

He's joking brohammer

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random-hero - - 25 comments

Die you ******* piece of crap! Don't write that to holden!

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robotfiend - - 28 comments

Cool announcement bro!

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Rahu_X - - 121 comments

I really like the additions and stuffs listed here. But I'm sad that you decided to throw out the blowout system you were showing off and made just for 1.1. Oh well. Gives me a reason to try to make a blowout mod compatible with this...

And what other articles are you talking about concerning blowouts? I don't see any.

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cunamo - - 40 comments

damn too bad about those blowouts they would have added a nice feel to the game. anyway i really like that you made the weight limit non optional,
because i really like the gameplay element that 35 kilo limit adds but i always took more because it can be annoying but cooler that i have to actually watch my ammo and salvage. So i don't care if it's occasionally annoying if it adds more atmosphere to the game i'm all for it. really to bad about those blowouts especially if they could have killed you if you didn't find shelter, do i take the road with a lot of shelter and enemies or do i go trough the open field with no enemies but if there's a blowout i'll be very f*cked :P

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Mars_3K - - 729 comments

Lack of blowouts is such an infinitesimally small price to pay for a mod this godly.

Thankyou Holden. The debt is significant.

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McRutter - - 6 comments

Oh god, paragraphs and paragraphs of Holden-speak.
How the hell will my sanity cope?

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strokes762 - - 15 comments

Then learn to read.

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Tyen901 - - 61 comments

That was a very good read, it was nice to hear your explanation of the mod and your reasons for your changes in a clear and concise way.

I am very much looking forward to the mod's release, and am eager to head back into the Zone.

Thank you to your team and for the work you and they have done on this mod. It looks like this will be the mod I will look back on and return to when I want to play Shadow of Chernobyl again in the future.

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cjone2 - - 49 comments

awesome look forward to trying this out

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Un_dead - - 189 comments

Very good introduction (or entire essay) to the prerelease of the mod. Thanks for that... Personally, I didn't like the idea of blowouts, but its sad to see it go. You people look like you know what your doing when it comes to balancing, and I absolutely cannot wait to play this mod. Unfortunately, I'm going on holiday, so i wont be at my gaming pc... :( Ehh, its a break... Anyway, I cannae wait for it to be released... Keep it up, and good luck !

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Bolognius_Maximus - - 619 comments

Holy **** I cannot believe I just read through that whole article! So here's my opinion so far: I did not know you were against random blowouts and to tell you the truth I like the way you are thinking it makes sense! In some mods you have to run for your life every half hour. It becomes tedious at the least.
And then I like the direction you are going, it's nice to see how a mod 'grows' and morphs into something which makes sense, where lots of thought went into it. Where a lot of hard decisions were made to keep the mod true to its goal.
So I wish you good luck and also congratulations! This is going almost past a professional level.

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OMON - - 113 comments

This is absolutely amazing work. Time to blow the dust of my copy of STALKER and give it a whirl.

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Bubbinska - - 29 comments

I don't like the look of that low-stamina indicator. Why not use a double-vision filter? Other than that, looks good.

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ciastoludek - - 165 comments

This looks like the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. everyone was waiting for ;)

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Eegah - - 139 comments

Nice new interfaces and HUD, I like the visual cues, much more instant feedback. Are they going to be compatible with older aspect ratios like 4:3 though? It won't affect me, but some may be.

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joshvaliant - - 147 comments

Is duty and freedom joinable? and can i tell their men to follow me a t will if i join them?

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Daishi2442 - - 112 comments

Holy ****, way to write a novel, holden! I think you've been spending too much time in /hr/.

Just want to thank you and your team for all the work they've done getting this incredible mod put together for us. I like how you put your fist down on the featurelist and only included things that you think will help the mod.

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Jashin - - 169 comments

lotsa good changes

but I don't like the ugly hud, texture work on the new weapons seem to vary. small compare to the overall scope, but I'll wait and see.

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mr.bacon - - 15 comments

WAIT, what? blowouts are gone? WTF man?

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ShadowFear - - 864 comments

This makes me wanna yell at every STALKER Complete 2009 fan "WHERE IS YOUR GOD NOW!?". GAWD DAMN this looks good.

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mr.bacon - - 15 comments

Are blowouts rly gone? Or did you guys just think blowouts were gone?
"There is so much more that I couldn't even begin to cover"
Maybe blowouts are one of thoese things?

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angrysasquatch - - 29 comments

Bit of constructive criticism in your writing piece:

Trim down the first bit, say what you need to say and get it over with. If you had spelling and grammar like the rest of the internet I would've just not read it. (the last part is a compliment btw)
It's very professional, and then out of nowhere a couple ***** get thrown in. It's like a doctor swearing while talking about some disease to some colleagues, it just comes out of nowhere. Either swear and be personal, or don't and be professional. Trying to be both just throws me off.

As for the game, I hope you keep some health bars in the menus, I personally would never heal myself if I thought I was maybe wasting the top part of a medkit. Players are going to need to figure out what "redness" corresponds to what amount of health, since that's what they're used to. I could also see it making that time where you drag your half-dead *** out the end of a level with no medkits that much more aggravating if it's not done right.

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Hendar23 - - 250 comments

Looks great, but it ironic I avoided playing the original L.U.R.K. release and waited months and months...because I wanted the random blowouts implemented.

He has made is clear its not up for discussion...but, man, It's just not the Zone without blowouts!

So disappointed about that, but it looks like a great mod anyway.

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Oilman - - 61 comments

I'm sorta dissapointed in the turn you took regarding the options that you said in the chat were huge and varied - but I sorta expected it to come.

Will be looking forward to the mod regardless, but honestly, it's never a good idea to lose discussion on any topic entirely.

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holdenmcclure Author
holdenmcclure - - 215 comments

Well to be fair, there will be ***** and giggles things like the Sin City style appearance.

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Oilman - - 61 comments

Okay, well, that's pretty cool, and I would've thought you would leave that stuff in, you're not the kind to remove ***** and giggles stuff, especially stuff that is so obviously not intended to be serious - gotta give you cred for that.

The thing that sorta baffles me though is why you're not releasing Blowouts (And yes, I know you've probably got more frustrated incoherent emails about this than video game reviewers get when they give some "super deep" game a bad score) when you've already created the content. I would understand avoiding a feature that you're not interested in as that would only take up precious time and resources, for example, getting your coders to balance Izloms back into the game (Or at least, I hope to high hell you're not interested in that), but now that you've actually finished the coding and graphics required for making a feature, that was amazingly lacking until you pretty much got it spot on as far as graphics and sound are concerned, complete.

It just doesn't seem to do you justice, really, since you really shouldn't be ashamed for creating it or distributing it - even if it's not in your taste, which I know there is no hope of changing (Probably a good thing, so we don't see stuff like Izloms).

Anyway. I love what you've done with the HUD for the record, and, out of curiosity, I was wondering at what point those big screen effects take place - that is, how low on health you have to be before you get the whole screen covered with blood. Although, I'll probably find that out when you release.

Good luck with the last couple of days, and I hope us butthurt blowout fanboys don't get you too angry!

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Oilman - - 61 comments

By the way - this was originally going to be a reply to Hendar23's comment "...but, man, It's just not the Zone without blowouts!", and I was planning to defend your decision, by saying that blowouts are not a part of STALKER and were only added as a side feature in Oblivion Lost. But then I got to thinking what STALKER really is, and what it was meant to be - and just as you said that "GET OUT OF HERE STALKER" is part of the idea of STALKER, so too is the blowout ingrained into the collective STALKER mind - the "Blowout soon, fellow Stalker!" comic comes to mind.

Blowouts are a part of the zone as much as anomalies or guitars - they serve as the leveller, which bring loners, dutiers, freedom and bandits alike together in a short spurt of comradeship. And that fear of the zone, the feeling of death being around the corner, and that desperate brotherhood, are precicely the things that make STALKER into the game it is. Look at those who praise STALKER - rarely do they praise the graphics, hell, they rarely praise the gameplay. It is the atmosphere and feel that they admire, and blowouts fit into that amazingly well.

Perhaps, as far as this mod is concerned, the ultimate vanilla experience is more important than the ultimate STALKER experience. But I still think that any feature that is so integral to the zone - such as the blowout - sould not be dismissed so easily.

tl;dr: i am 12 and wat is no blowout

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CommunistCake - - 152 comments

On another forum, he explained that there are going to be no blowouts becasue it caused a lot of scripting errors in NPCs, and the maps wasn't built for blowouts, so In some places, like the Red Forest, it would be impossible to hide from the blowouts.

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.Clash - - 451 comments

...Nuclear Snow? :D

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Noise - - 4 comments

******* awesome, really looking forward to release.

"redirect your attention to previous articles illustrating my issues with random blowouts if you wish for a more elaborate understanding of why I refuse to support them", where can I find these articles?

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giohas - - 1 comments

I've got to say I disagree with going the strawberry jam route on health indicator, but as a whole it looks really good.

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strokes762 - - 15 comments

Well, 15 days till the release. If its not by the end of June like you promised, the server will be overloaded with angry comments and moddb will blame you and take the mod and your account down for ever.
Oh ans stop bitchin about the red and yellow on the screen. Its more realistic than before right? Rad sickness makes you "feel yellow." kinda makes sense right? and blood in eyes, alot of other games do that and I don't hear complaints about those games.

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Oilman - - 61 comments

Rad sickness makes you 'feel yellow'?

Nobody complains about jam on the screen?

Brosef, I like the new HUD visuals, but what are you on about

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frosty-theaussie - - 843 comments


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ryeguy146 - - 38 comments

Sooo... there'll be blowouts, right?

Hahaahaaa. Sounds amazing, Holden. Though I loved running from an imminent blowout, I'm sure that other dangers will have me running instead.

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striker121 - - 80 comments

Holy crap, before even finishing this wall of epic (And well broken up) test, I've just got to say, EVERY GODDAMN developer needs to make something akin to this, atleast the second half. The first half though, I totally get what you mean, if not from personally modding experience still from just playing the mods. Honestly though, I really believe this is actually closer to the overall vision of "vanilla" then what Stalker Complete has done, and I mean that as the greatest compliment that I can possibly give this mod.

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striker121 - - 80 comments

Also, I forgot to mention something. I recommend adding an IR spotlight for the nightvision. Makes it a bit more realistic. In real life if your using night vision and you turn on ACTIVE mode, meaning you turn on IR spotlights to light up much farther distances instead of relying on close range ambient IR, anyone ELSE wearing night vision would see you like you had a freaking giant glowing spotlight on your head...oh wait YOU DO! :). Just think it would be a great way to STILL have good night vision if your avoiding say mutants at night and want to see far, but ALSO lets you silently raid bases at night. Neither being unbalanced. I'd imagine it would work as an extension of the light based detection system you said you implemented. (Hope all that made sense, 6 hours straight of written tests makes me stop thinking correctly) OH, and to my last comment, I meant in line with what I think vanilla should have been, EXCEPT for the blowouts, that just sucks. Always thought that system really made some of the other ones.

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Cpt.Steel - - 148 comments

The weight limit is good. I was playing with it even though it was optional. All I was able to have in my inventory was a rifle with 200 ammo, 10 medkits, 15 bandages, 5 antirads and two artifacts.

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joshvaliant - - 147 comments

Is duty and freedom joinable? and can i tell their men to follow me at will if i join them?

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Sixers2329 - - 42 comments

That was quite the read =p

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italk1337 - - 15 comments

Hmm... No blowouts...
I sense a **** load of flames coming up..

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striker121 - - 80 comments

Well blowouts really kind of made the later games feel epic. That said, I totally know what he means about it screwing with AI, it never really seemed to fit well in any of the mods that added it. Also, he never said NO blowouts, he specifically said only SCRIPTED BLOWOUTS, meaning for the plot etc, so it should still be there atleast occasionally for the story, BUT NOT RANDOMLY!

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