Stalker v.233-236 is outstanding!


bikingviking

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The tunings in the new version are amazing!

Most of all: the curing mechanism for animal skins + guts is perfect. This totally skews the scale of time, now you need to find ways to gather food + survive while those important parts are curing.

Animal AI is incredible. Hunting + tracking mechanics are really tight. Wolf AI particularly is outstanding.

The world has far less stuff, first aid, bullets, cloth. Now those harvested ingredients actually become useful!

This version is way more polished than most commercial games.

You should Story mode + release!

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Curing is a nice new thing, i agree. But otherwise its far from finished. Stalker is still way too easy. After 2 Weeks ingame, you are prepared for anything, you have the best clothes, multiple rifles, medicine for months and food....who needs to worry about food when 35000 calories just walk right to your door every few days (bears) which you only need to shoot once and conveniently wait inside until they bleed out.

What is the purpose of bears exactly? They dont stalk you, they just wander around ignoring everything. You just need to stay 30 meters away from them and your fine. Im sure they will have their place in the future, but at the moment they are nothing but gigantic calorie bombs.

Stalker is outstanding in the early phase (1-10 days) after that you are either dead or won the game.

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Haven't played much since the last major update, but I like what I have seen so far. The game is very polished, and the curing mechanic may serve to stretch things which happened too quickly before. But it mnay also be true that the game is still suffering from a tedious mid-game for those players who know the maps and mechanics very well. If the bullets have really been reduced for stalker, that would be a good thing. Bears are "calorie bombs "(love that expression), especially when harvestable near buildings. Presuming you can only hunt bears in the game with bullets (and not crafted bows), reducing bullets also reduces the number of calorie bombs.

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Curing is a nice new thing, i agree. But otherwise its far from finished. Stalker is still way too easy. After 2 Weeks ingame, you are prepared for anything, you have the best clothes, multiple rifles, medicine for months and food....who needs to worry about food when 35000 calories just walk right to your door every few days (bears) which you only need to shoot once and conveniently wait inside until they bleed out.

What is the purpose of bears exactly? They dont stalk you, they just wander around ignoring everything. You just need to stay 30 meters away from them and your fine. Im sure they will have their place in the future, but at the moment they are nothing but gigantic calorie bombs.

Stalker is outstanding in the early phase (1-10 days) after that you are either dead or won the game.

Decided to play more cautious on my latest playthrough, and yes, stalker does get too easy (in Pleasant Valley at least) after you get passed the first 5-10 days roughly. Now I'm sitting in the farmhouse, at 30 days survived, with the fridge, freezer and 3 cupboards packed full of food, an assortment of clothes, like 50 guts, 40ish rabbit pelts, 10 deer hide, etc etc etc... Still have tons of scrap metal too, and tools, along with 14 bullets left, and supplies to make bows and arrows. Just based on what I've accomplished by day 30, I can probably survive 200+ days without exploiting starvation, or traveling more then 50 feet from the farmhouse to catch rabbits and hunt deer. Just killed my first bear too, if they keep coming around the farmhouse, that'll just make life easy beyond belief. My biggest suggestion would be to keep rabbit, deer and bear spawns a fair distance from good base locations unless there are plenty of wolves that could make things difficult. Even then though, using wolves to catch deer is pretty easy too.

Think I'm gonna rush my current game for achievements I don't have, then start over on Mystery Lake making the lookout my base. Love the view, and hopefully it still makes players have to travel a fair amount for hunting.

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Thanks for following up guys. I should have pointed out that I spent my last game entirely in Mystery Lake. Got careless and killed by a series of wolves after ~15 days; I was never able to stockpile many supplies beyond a few animal skins.

Coastal Highway always had way too many supplies, and Pleasant Valley was too boring/easy because of that farmhouse + bear. So it sounds like these are still problems.

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Thanks for following up guys. I should have pointed out that I spent my last game entirely in Mystery Lake. Got careless and killed by a series of wolves after ~15 days; I was never able to stockpile many supplies beyond a few animal skins.

Coastal Highway always had way too many supplies, and Pleasant Valley was too boring/easy because of that farmhouse + bear. So it sounds like these are still problems.

Understandable, I myself just gave positive feedback yesterday as I hadn't played the game since shortly after Coastal Highway was released. Died in 2 games in under 6 days, so I thought the challenge was real. Turns out I was just careless on the Pleasant Valley map, and now that I've been more careful, it got easy fast. Mystery Lake is probably still the best map to play, it gives more desire/need to explore/travel often (unless wildlife spawns have changed since I last played it). Either way I still enjoy the game, I'll just force myself to play more risky.

While I'm on thinking of spawns though, does wildlife respawn more often now? I remember when hunting used to make me travel often because I wiped out deer populations, but now it seems they respawn after just a few days.

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Decided to play more cautious on my latest playthrough, and yes, stalker does get too easy (in Pleasant Valley at least) after you get passed the first 5-10 days roughly. Now I'm sitting in the farmhouse, at 30 days survived, with the fridge, freezer and 3 cupboards packed full of food, an assortment of clothes, like 50 guts, 40ish rabbit pelts, 10 deer hide, etc etc etc... Still have tons of scrap metal too, and tools, along with 14 bullets left, and supplies to make bows and arrows. Just based on what I've accomplished by day 30, I can probably survive 200+ days without exploiting starvation, or traveling more then 50 feet from the farmhouse to catch rabbits and hunt deer. Just killed my first bear too, if they keep coming around the farmhouse, that'll just make life easy beyond belief. My biggest suggestion would be to keep rabbit, deer and bear spawns a fair distance from good base locations unless there are plenty of wolves that could make things difficult. Even then though, using wolves to catch deer is pretty easy too.

Think I'm gonna rush my current game for achievements I don't have, then start over on Mystery Lake making the lookout my base. Love the view, and hopefully it still makes players have to travel a fair amount for hunting.

Alright I can confirm this. I tried another playthrough in v.236, this time in Pleasant Valley, and it's still way too easy. Lots of equipment and food and supplies everywhere. Within a couple of in-game days I was kicking my feet up in the Farmhouse and getting fat.

Can you follow up once you've tried a game in Mystery Lake? I'm curious what your experience will be like there.

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I will try! I suspect it will be a bit harder due to less loot in general. Once you are set (best clothes, rifle, bow, looted all locations) the first thing you will run out (aprox. day 50) will be cloth.

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Decided to play more cautious on my latest playthrough, and yes, stalker does get too easy (in Pleasant Valley at least) after you get passed the first 5-10 days roughly. Now I'm sitting in the farmhouse, at 30 days survived, with the fridge, freezer and 3 cupboards packed full of food, an assortment of clothes, like 50 guts, 40ish rabbit pelts, 10 deer hide, etc etc etc... Still have tons of scrap metal too, and tools, along with 14 bullets left, and supplies to make bows and arrows. Just based on what I've accomplished by day 30, I can probably survive 200+ days without exploiting starvation, or traveling more then 50 feet from the farmhouse to catch rabbits and hunt deer. Just killed my first bear too, if they keep coming around the farmhouse, that'll just make life easy beyond belief. My biggest suggestion would be to keep rabbit, deer and bear spawns a fair distance from good base locations unless there are plenty of wolves that could make things difficult. Even then though, using wolves to catch deer is pretty easy too.

Think I'm gonna rush my current game for achievements I don't have, then start over on Mystery Lake making the lookout my base. Love the view, and hopefully it still makes players have to travel a fair amount for hunting.

Alright I can confirm this. I tried another playthrough in v.236, this time in Pleasant Valley, and it's still way too easy. Lots of equipment and food and supplies everywhere. Within a couple of in-game days I was kicking my feet up in the Farmhouse and getting fat.

Can you follow up once you've tried a game in Mystery Lake? I'm curious what your experience will be like there.

Yah, I just left Pleasant Valley, over 100 days survived, still had 14 rifle rounds and 13 arrows, so was getting bored of how easy it is. Trying to get the Waste Not Want Not and Happy Harvester achievements then I'll start a new game in ML. Should have feedback later today or tomorrow at the latest. Likely only need 5 more deer and a few plants.

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Thanks for all of the feedback, guys. Stalker is something I read about quite a bit, so it's always good to hear what people are thinking.

What would really help me is this: If you could add/remove/tweak one thing in Stalker to make it more challenging, what would it be?

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What would really help me is this: If you could add/remove/tweak one thing in Stalker to make it more challenging, what would it be?

For me, three changes would improve my Stalker experience significantly (in order of importance):

1. Give bears a MUCH longer respawn timer. At least 100 days, possibly even more. If you want to keep the short respawn timers, you could alternatively change the bear's spawn points so that they cannot be shot from buildings or fishing huts any more. For experienced players, the current bears make it possible to completely neglect the need to care about your food supplies. That spoils a whole lot of fun for me at the moment.

(See e.g. this post of mine: viewtopic.php?f=59&t=5495&start=40)

2. Decrease the amount of items that can be found. If you search the maps thoroughly, you'll atm most likely find several knifes/hatchets/rifles per map. I would be very happy if you couldn't find more than e.g. two items of each kind per map. Clothes, bedrolls, rifle rounds etc. should also be rarer. A bigger item scarcity would make Stalker runs shorter and thus decrease the mid-game length. Early and late game (which are most fun for me) would cover more of the overall playing time then.

3. Change the current weather patterns. Make the weather more realistic (it shouldn't change from sunny warm day to blizzard within 2 seconds), but also more enduring. A blizzard lasting two or three days would be awesome.

These blizzards should, however, always be announced by a cloudy sky & heavy wind for a few hours. Sudden fogs are fine in my opinion - some element of surprise should remain for gameplay reasons.^^

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How challenging we're talking about? Current balance? Remove all work benches from all maps except the abandoned mine. And don't stop there, just... I'll write my usual 2000 words on stalker next :roll:

Yep. You have one thing to change about the way it is now. I know that's not much, but prioritizing helps me get a good idea of what people really want!

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My first caveat is that I don't play at Stalker difficulty yet, so I don't know if I get to vote. However, if I do, this would be my suggestion: Change how wildlife works.

Drastically reduce the amount of wildlife on the map, making deer really scarce, and wolves fairly scarce, and traveling in 2-3's. Bias the wolf spawns closer to anywhere the player spends more than one consecutive night. Reduce bears to 1 per map, and keep them in remote locations. Finally, add a fairly large radius for deer and bear kills which will attract wolf-packs in the area within 1-2 hours of a fresh kill. Reduce rabbit spawns to 1-2 rabbit dens per map, in remote areas. Rabbit dens have a number of rabbits spawned proportional to their population. Reduce this too much, and the rabbit's population collapses for a significant period of time (2-3 months). Also, make trapping rabbits much more difficult, requiring accurate placement of snares along their runs.

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Thanks for all of the feedback, guys. Stalker is something I read about quite a bit, so it's always good to hear what people are thinking.

What would really help me is this: If you could add/remove/tweak one thing in Stalker to make it more challenging, what would it be?

It's hard to choose just one thing, lol. If I was going to suggest one thing over others though, it would be tweaking wildlife spawns. Right now the one major flaw I see is in Pleasant Valley at the farmhouse. A bear spawns right outside the house, allowing players to shoot it, close the patio door and just watch it bleed out. In addition, you can go out either door from the kitchen, and find rabbit and deer spawns a mere minute walk away. So between the two, a player could live at that location for ages. I feel that in order to get food, we should need to travel a bit, and risk encounters with wolves if we're not careful.

If you care to read any other suggestions, some ideas would be.

-Fir and Cedar Wood foraged outdoors needs to be cured for 24-48 hours before burnable (or perhaps reduce odds of starting fire if it's not cured)

-Indoor temperature is colder requiring fires to be lit unless wearing the best of clothing.

-Carcasses not harvested in one go may end up having wolves feeding on them when you return.

-Random chance for arrows to break on impact. The bow is challenging to use at first, but once you get the hand of it, hunting is a breeze, even if you sometimes have to track wounded prey.

Can you follow up once you've tried a game in Mystery Lake? I'm curious what your experience will be like there.

At 8 days in ML now, I know it's not that far in but... I think I can give a fair opinion. Starting off is much harder on ML, which is nice, and the wildlife spawns are great, I'm having to reroute constantly when trying to head somewhere. Clothes are the part I'm having the biggest difficulty with, I have barely anything to collect cloth from, so staying on the map long without making clothes from pelts/hides is not gonna work well. Scrap metal is also difficult to come by too, but I've got a few items I won't need, so I can harvest them. Granted I haven't hit up the dam yet, and with it being expanded quite a bit with a transition zone, it'll probably be a gold mine for loot. I've already got a few deer hide, guts and wolf furs curing, and found the secret bunker on my first day, lol. So I'm pretty good on supplies, along with some meat. Still think that it'll get easier, but at least the sheer amount of wolves and their placement will make things more difficult. I'll either end up wasting ammo, or risk getting caught in storms taking long routes for tasks. My conclusion, wish every map was more like ML.

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Thanks! I'm always curious to read more, of course! I love hearing what you guys think. I was curious (still am, obviously) to see how much you guys would agree with each other or share the same ideas.

I understand the desire to sort of "rehome" some of the wildlife, but as far as actual quantity goes, I believe some of the reasoning for the amount in Pleasant Valley is thanks to the area being devoid of too many man-made structures. Since the map sort of forces you to hunt at some point, there has to be a way to balance that. This, in my mind, is done more for the long-term survivors as the other food resources will eventually be depleted. In my mind, Pleasant Valley was always the last place to go after you've spent time surviving and exploring Mystery Lake and the Coastal Highway...Sort of a place to retire.

Anyway, it's all worth considering. Getting involved in discussions like this is one of my favourite things - You may not see a post from me in every single thread, but I promise I read all of them! Keep it coming!

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What would really help me is this: If you could add/remove/tweak one thing in Stalker to make it more challenging, what would it be?

Rifles should only be found in bunkers.

*All other things which were suggested above i also agree on. But if you really want a great challenge with one simple change, there it is.

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Thanks! I'm always curious to read more, of course! I love hearing what you guys think. I was curious (still am, obviously) to see how much you guys would agree with each other or share the same ideas.

I understand the desire to sort of "rehome" some of the wildlife, but as far as actual quantity goes, I believe some of the reasoning for the amount in Pleasant Valley is thanks to the area being devoid of too many man-made structures. Since the map sort of forces you to hunt at some point, there has to be a way to balance that. This, in my mind, is done more for the long-term survivors as the other food resources will eventually be depleted. In my mind, Pleasant Valley was always the last place to go after you've spent time surviving and exploring Mystery Lake and the Coastal Highway...Sort of a place to retire.

Anyway, it's all worth considering. Getting involved in discussions like this is one of my favourite things - You may not see a post from me in every single thread, but I promise I read all of them! Keep it coming!

What I'm thinking more or less isn't to reduce wildlife, in fact more would be great, I'm thinking of placement for each kind. If for instance the bear wasn't out front of the house often, and instead wolves were closer, it would add some threat when hunting deer and collecting rabbits. You could still have the bear in the general area, but the wolves are the bigger threat, so having them closer makes things more challenging. Personally I don't find wolves to be overly challenging, but they're a great nuisance for the player, making it harder to manage ammo/arrows, maintain clothing and so on. With the fact that wolves also provide the least amount of meat, it makes players think more strategically when dealing with them because they don't want to waste hunting supplies on so little. Well... That's all just my opinion at least, I likely expect the game to be a lot more challenging then most people would want, but that's because I love that struggle of constantly doing better then the time before.

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Thanks for all of the feedback, guys. Stalker is something I read about quite a bit, so it's always good to hear what people are thinking.

What would really help me is this: If you could add/remove/tweak one thing in Stalker to make it more challenging, what would it be?

I'll suggest two things :)

1. Stalker should have much shorter days, longer nights.

2. Storms that last for days.

I think that without any other adjustments, these two changes would make the Stalker world a lot more dangerous and exciting.

I want more running blindly through storms, searching desperately for food, minutes from starving to death. Less stuffing lockers full of supplies and getting fat on an endless supply of bear meat.

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Thanks for all of the feedback, guys. Stalker is something I read about quite a bit, so it's always good to hear what people are thinking.

What would really help me is this: If you could add/remove/tweak one thing in Stalker to make it more challenging, what would it be?

First priority: Animal spawns, respawns and harvesting rewards. You can't do one without doing the others.

Animal Spawns Numbers - There are just to darn many of them: deer, wolves, rabbit and bears are in springtime like numbers. Thin them down. It would make hunting more in line with fishing. However, we will need some spore to help find them: tracks and skat would be a good start. Also, we can hear the wolves howl and bark. You should add the bugle of deer every now and again. I think this is a bit more, but it circles the drain of the problem.

Animal Spawn Locations - Cut down the locations of where they spawn and where they roam. For instance, the bears are roaming far and wide looking for food. They should be sleeping. I would put them in a cave and napping until a player wanders in and wakes them up. Then have them come out charging and then wander for a day or two, then go back to bed. If a player had to move into a cave, shoot the bear and then run out the risk vs reward would be better. Also, I would change the AI to treat half of all bears as mamma bears. Even go so far as to put a pair of cubs in their den. You think a bear would just leave you alone then? Quietly meander and follow you. Uh, nope. It would either run you down and kill you OR run after you a bit and then return to the cave. Completely remove the bears spawning and roaming anywhere near civilization. I think it is apt the deer are in the field near the farm with all the baled hay and so the wolves are going to come out to hunt. Wolves are normally dawn/dusk hunters while deer move in the day and bed down at night. Splitting the times would greatly reduce the running a deer into a wolf method for easy harvests. I might put a gimmie deer near the farm for a first kill but after that I would have them in seclusion. Where players have to stalk to find them. You come over a rise and see the deer. You notice the wind is wrong, so you go back down and skirt around, looking to get closer and a better shot.

Animal Respawns - Bears respawn WAY to fast. I think the term calorie bomb is spot on. Push the respawn timer to at least a few months. Maybe the deer and wolf timers are ok. I just can't tell because there are so darn many of them.

Animal Calorie Loads - The amount of meat on the animals and the caloric load of the meat needs to be increased. An average adult wolf weighs about 80 pounds, while a grey wolf can pack on 110 pounds. It is safe to say more than 10 to 12 lbs of meat is to be had. A white tail dear usually weighs in around 100 pounds with bucks able to pushing over 150. Mature bucks over 400 pounds have been recorded in the extremes of their living ranges away from human contact. A brown bear can easily tip the scales at 1000 pounds. Deer meat averages 500 to 750 cal per pound. Bear meat 730 to 1100 calories per pound. Rabbits are about 600 calories per pound of meat. I cant find the calorie load for wolf.

If we were to make their numbers spawn less, then the balancing of the calorie load would even things out. We still have to find them, kill them, dress them and haul that meat back to base.

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What I'm thinking more or less isn't to reduce wildlife, in fact more would be great, I'm thinking of placement for each kind. If for instance the bear wasn't out front of the house often, and instead wolves were closer, it would add some threat when hunting deer and collecting rabbits. You could still have the bear in the general area, but the wolves are the bigger threat, so having them closer makes things more challenging. Personally I don't find wolves to be overly challenging, but they're a great nuisance for the player, making it harder to manage ammo/arrows, maintain clothing and so on. With the fact that wolves also provide the least amount of meat, it makes players think more strategically when dealing with them because they don't want to waste hunting supplies on so little. Well... That's all just my opinion at least, I likely expect the game to be a lot more challenging then most people would want, but that's because I love that struggle of constantly doing better then the time before.

I must disagree.

1. There is too much wildlife already. Infact, the hunting (seeking your prey) aspect comes way to short already.

2. More wolves for more annoyance? I dont think thats a good solution. I agree wolves are more an annoyance than a threat, but that doesnt really want me to have even more of them in my way. Wolves should be a rare encounter, as with bears, but then should *really* be a threat. Like, a pack of wolves attack simultanously or something.

3. If you want the game to be more challenging im on your side for sure. What comes to your mind? What do you think of removing rifle spawns and only make them available in bunkers?

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What I'm thinking more or less isn't to reduce wildlife, in fact more would be great, I'm thinking of placement for each kind. If for instance the bear wasn't out front of the house often, and instead wolves were closer, it would add some threat when hunting deer and collecting rabbits. You could still have the bear in the general area, but the wolves are the bigger threat, so having them closer makes things more challenging. Personally I don't find wolves to be overly challenging, but they're a great nuisance for the player, making it harder to manage ammo/arrows, maintain clothing and so on. With the fact that wolves also provide the least amount of meat, it makes players think more strategically when dealing with them because they don't want to waste hunting supplies on so little. Well... That's all just my opinion at least, I likely expect the game to be a lot more challenging then most people would want, but that's because I love that struggle of constantly doing better then the time before.

I must disagree.

1. There is too much wildlife already. Infact, the hunting (seeking your prey) aspect comes way to short already.

2. More wolves for more annoyance? I dont think thats a good solution. I agree wolves are more an annoyance than a threat, but that doesnt really want me to have even more of them in my way. Wolves should be a rare encounter, as with bears, but then should *really* be a threat. Like, a pack of wolves attack simultanously or something.

3. If you want the game to be more challenging im on your side for sure. What comes to your mind? What do you think of removing rifle spawns and only make them available in bunkers?

The Pleasant Valley map feels pretty empty at a lot of areas when compared to Mystery Lake I find. That's the only map I'm talking about at this time. There are several routes you can always walk free of encounters with wolves for example. I can travel the entire map without a single encounter, and I'm new playing the map.

Removing the rifle sounds like a good idea, but that all comes down to the player. A lot of my hunting I do using flares, torches, or simply a knife or a hatchet. I'll scout locations, and charge deer so they run scared in the direction of wolves, then I'll scare off the wolf, or fight it if I have no other choice, because I always walk away the winner. The most making the rifle more rare, or ammo more rare would do is cost me a few extra bandages.

Edit: If wolves were made more dangerous, then I think rarer rifles would be better. If they were more dangerous, I also wouldn't mind them being encountered less.

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-Fir and Cedar Wood foraged outdoors needs to be cured for 24-48 hours before burnable

+1

-Indoor temperature is colder requiring fires to be lit unless wearing the best of clothing.

Indoor temperature = outside temperature minus windchill.

If I had to pick one I'd choose the latter, obviously.

Pilgrim and Voyageur too not just Stalker.

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