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Shadowcrunch
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PostSubject: The Zone   Tue Aug 23, 2011 7:37 pm

So, Marked One... you say the Zone is too choppy for you, eh? Maybe the Bandits get the drop on you while your eyes stutter and flicker, yah?

Anyway, for those of you who have delved into the world of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.--Shadow of Chernobyl (the video game) and have gotten discouraged due to memory leak issues causing the textures to EAT NOM NOM NOM your memory and make the game j....e.....r.....k.... every step you take, I recently found an AWESOME mod pack that makes The Zone not only playable, but enjoyable! Imagine, the graphics actually being BETTER than the original game, and still not having to turn settings down! SWEET!!! Not 100% sure, but I think some of the video cutscenes are skipped, but they don't really progress the story. Hopefully the end cutcenes are there...I will let you know soon! Very Happy

Anyway, a link to the Mod! Stalker Complete 2009

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PostSubject: Re: The Zone   Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:41 pm

Correction from my previous post...I said the mod pack made the game playable and enjoyable. I should have said MORE enjoyable! Verdict still out on whether the videos are missing, but I'm hoping to learn more tomorrow. ANYWAY...for more fun information about "dee zhone" I give another link!

List of Artifacts

Good god I wish they would make a friggin pen and paper RPG for this! Yes, I know...when do we have the time? Well, thanks to Vassal and RPtools, I think I would have to make time for that, especially if I was skyping it up with a couple real eastern blockers...I could try to learn the accent! Cool Apparently the Finns were working on an RPG, and it was SUPPOSED to be translated into English, but no news since June...until then, fellow Stalkers, I will pay you handsome roubles for a genuine artifact from the Zone!

Oh, and if all goes well, soon I will be getting a paperback of the short novella that started it all, "Roadside Picnic," by...um...some Russian guy in the late 50's. Started reading it online and it's great so far! Who would think a Russian writer from the 50s would write something and have it sound (style-wise) so universal?! Really enjoying it so far. Keep in mind: book in the 50s, Mayak in the 60s, movie in the 70s, Chernobyl in the 80s, and then STALKER. Played the games, seen the movie, now to read the book! WOOHOOO!!!!

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PostSubject: Re: The Zone   Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:51 pm

The bad thing about checking this site from the Green bay worksite is that they have streaming anything disabled... so all i see is text and blackness.

With that said, I shall respond further because it'd be just plain silly.
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PostSubject: Re: The Zone   Sat Aug 27, 2011 1:10 am

Sooth: If you can't stream, how do you pee?!

Okay, an update on this mod. Still unsure about ALL the movies, but I found some of them. Okay, get this: the folks at "hey let's make a stalker mod," whoever the hell they might be, went for even more realism in the game (like a close quarters head shot will now result in a fatality!!!). You start the game with a sleeping bag! Oh, and it functions. I found some of the video in the form of dreams while sleeping, which is just frickin awesome! Unfortunately, one of the key videos triggered at a specific location did not fire up...maybe I did something wrong. Maybe I was supposed to use the sleeping bag there...don't know. Regardless, that video still wasn't super important, so I'm still hoping the ending videos will be there (kinda have to be).

Now, a more "whoa" update. I've seen a lot of stuff, memorable stuff, in games. Things that make you feel wowed and almost like you're really there. I've watched the sun come up over the ocean, through the clouds, from the top of the Anvil lighthouse. I've watched dark clouds roll over the beaches east of Seyda Neen, while listening to the plip plip of rain in the shallows. I've sat in horror as a Shivan destroyer came through a jump gate...a destroyer 3 times larger than anything we had on our side. I've ran through the Zone, my resolutions and many other features turned down to almost minimum, still ticking and jerking my way towards Reactor #4...and I was still awed by the peeling wallpaper and pure emptiness the Zone surrounded me with.

Since installing this mod, and not having to turn anything down, I've seen some cool things. I still stutter, but it's so rare it barely bothers me at all. The other day I used my sleeping bag for the first time, and when I woke up it was raining...in Stalker. Not only that, there was lightning and thunder, and the clouds...wow. I was in a stalker camp, and some of the stalkers actually ran under cover. I walked outside, and I heard the sound of rain splatting in mud...went back inside the 'shanty' and heard the ping of rain on the corrugated steel above me. Watching the rain through a glassless window pane, for a few moments I actually felt that if I walked outside I would be wet and cold...wow.

Tonight. I was leaving a level, and I knew as soon as the new level loaded I would be in a firefight with bandits. 7 or 8 of them, and one of me. As I was heading towards the level border, night fell. Didn't want to do a long-range shootout with a flashlight, so I climbed on top of an old rusted hull of a bus, and used my sleeping bag. Well, right before that, from the safety of the bus, I noticed night was now much nightier, and much darker. The last light of day cast tree shadows back the way I had come. Slept for 3 hours (cuz I have no idea how long night lasts in this game). Woke up, and while turning to check for baddies, I noticed it was much brighter, kinda blueish, and the shadows were pointing the other way...WTF?! Look up, and there's a crescent moon through the tree branches, with dark clouds passing over and around it. I had to just stare for a while. Not even dawn over Anvil could compare. Slept for another 3 hours...woke up to a gentle rain, with the moon directly overhead, lighting the edges of concealing clouds. Again felt like I should climb into the bus to get out of the rain. Slept another 3 hours...dawn. Now what's wrong with my graphics...oh, nothing....an orange/pink haze was clinging to the ground....evaporating humidity lit with the first rays of sunshine. Whoa...

Yes, there's games with better graphics, but in overall scope of total immersion, I don't think I've ever played anything as intense as this game with this mod. I can't wait to get into the swamps around Yantar, or the empty husks of Pripyat. If you have this game, you need this mod.

Oh, and grenades have a bit more purpose now...like enemies will regularly throw them at you!!! Don't remember ever having grenades thrown at me before, and it really kinda bites now! Shocked

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PostSubject: Re: The Zone   Thu Sep 01, 2011 2:04 am

Okay, so I was thinking of something else, or had my mind elsewhere... I do in fact have many settings turned down even with this mod installed. I also however have many settings turned way up from where I used to have them, even on my desktop. The mod may not entirely save the day, but it sure helps...hell I have grass and moon now. Anyway, as we've recently found out, it's playable with the mod, enjoyably so, but it takes time and tweaking to get it where you want it. I still can't wait to try it when a newer system comes along, but for now, I'm happy with my graphics, and the fact that this mod takes away the actual 'endgame.' After completing the main quest, the mod lets you stay in the world, and the various stalker factions continue to migrate, taking territory back and forth from each other...kind of a persistent world. So, just to share my view, no pun intended...

Not a shot that really shows anything off, but then again you know it's a bad day when the stairs are glowing blue!

Like I said in a previous post, night is nightier. Nothing says utter darkness like seeing just a faint amount of detail because of distant light sources. Nice...although the screenshots look kinda crappy compared to in-game.

As stated, there's moon now! No, for some reason there wasn't moon before. There was night...can't remember if there were stars...but now there's moon and stars. Notice how the moon is casting shadows off the trees, and they are going in the right direction? YAY!

Really, who needs better graphics when it looks this good already?! Of course, this is all opinion, and my opinion could change in the future...

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PostSubject: Re: The Zone   Sat Sep 03, 2011 12:21 am

This just in...related and yet kind of not. I just recently re-obtained STALKER: Call of Pripyat, which is the second official stand-alone expansion to STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl. I tried my damnedest to play this game before, and suffered a serious random crashing to windows pretty much anytime anything exciting happened. I assumed it was graphics. With the discovery of the STALKER complete 2009 mod, I found a Call of Pripyat Complete mod, and hoped it would make the 3rd Zone a better place for me. Yes and no.

Yes, the graphics are improved, and the realism has been upped quite a bit (as real as one can get when science fiction crosses the boundaries of reality and catastrophe). No, I still crash like a bad helicopter. I even made sure to set my graphics exactly where I have them in STALKER. Sigh... So I jumped online and scoured the webs for the whys of it. Here is what I learned: the same memory leak that made the first two games almost unplayable unless tweaked just right, were somehow amplified when they upped damn near everything for the third game. They made the map areas larger, with more anomalies, artifacts, creatures, and NPCs...plus the addition of better directional sound, increased texture sizes, higher polygon models, ETC. Because of all this STUFF, this game will kick your RAM's ass HARD...and due to the original leak, it's only a matter of play time before there's a crash.

Now, there are people who don't have this problem, and I tracked the apparent whys of that also. In the forums, when these stalkers were asked how they did it, they explained they didn't know, and would then drop their system specs. Everyone having a problem was running Windows XP through Vista, and everyone not having issues was running Windows 7. But wait...a few with 7 had some issues...ah, they had the regular 32-bit home edition. One guy went from XP Pro to 7 Ultimate 64-bit, and his crashes went away completely. He stated he hasn't had a crash since, even if he turns his settings up too high for his PC to handle the game. I of course have no idea why this is, but perhaps 7 ultimate 64-bit has some way of handling large amounts of loose memory better than previous Windows...only thing I can think of. Just a little Zone FYI.

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PostSubject: Re: The Zone   Sun Sep 04, 2011 9:52 pm

And that's why I stick to consul games. I don't have to worry about upgrades or if I have enough memory. I grew tired of having to pass a good game by because what I had were marginally passable, especially if I had to turn off shading.

The last new PC game I bought was, oh... Dawn of War: aww hell, can't think of the name. The third one, with the Tau, Necron, and Eldar forces. I have Prey; perhaps I should see if that'll run on the newer desktop.

I know, this is a S.T.A.L.K.E.R. thread, but I just had to add to the whole graphics issue.

Carry on with your scavenging, tresspassing, adventuring, loning (?), killing, exploring, robbing.
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PostSubject: Re: The Zone   Sun Sep 25, 2011 6:29 pm

Another non-S.T.A.L.K.E.R. computer game related post. But a S.T.A.L.K.E.R. related post it is.

Huh?

Just got Roadside Picnic from the library this past Friday. Started reading it last night. I am at a point in the story where something is starting to happen, so I'll let you know more later, but all in all not a bad read.
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PostSubject: Re: The Zone   Sun Sep 25, 2011 10:38 pm

It is a good read! I would love to tell you how far I am, but mine is a PDF version I found and as such the page numbers aren't quite the same. I too am at a point where...well...something did happen...there's a ton of something should happen...little under tones of stuff about to happen, and who knows yet if the stuff about to will be anything like something that should. Soooo not giving any spoilers on this. To think one could find sci-fi this good from behind the Iron Curtain! It's just screwed up enough, and the writing style feels like it's a foreigner telling us an old adventure of his. Me likes so far! (will probably speed things up after I finish the paperback of the last Frank Herbert Dune book...sigh....I hate reading books on the PC...

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PostSubject: Re: The Zone   Mon Sep 26, 2011 3:16 pm

If it helps, I'm just after the part where they get back from the Zone (to get a full empty), and the doctor has just died.
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PostSubject: Re: The Zone   Mon Sep 26, 2011 7:43 pm

Heh...yeah I'm a few past that. Just barely though. Cuz it's a PDF I dread opening it, instead kicking back with my current paperback. But when I do open it I just can't stop. I said before and I'll say again: neat how sci-fi from actual communist Russia can be so damn entertaining and so well written. Would love to know the language and read it in the traditional to see how much was lost in translation. Would also like to know if I'm reading one of the versions that underwent extreme censoring by the party.

Half tempted to go to books and fire up a thread about what is going on with the setting. Just the whole idea of how the Zone(s) came to be, and why 'Roadside Picnic' was chosen for the title. Wouldn't really be any spoilers in that description, and might draw more interest.

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