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Kay and Spike play S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Gulp!
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Spike
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May 30, 2011 - 2:06 pm
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Went to Yantar yesterday.  Told to go to Lab x16.  With protection on head, I made my way in.  Got the special vest for Lukash along with some other goodies, then made my way down to the lab.  But…

…I had to load an earlier save.  First, I felt bad about leaving so much loot behind when I could use it, or the cash from trading it.  I was so close to my load limit that I couldn't take stuff I found downstairs.  Then I realized that I was in the wrong area of the basement for what I needed to do.  Died.  So going back to an earlier save made sense for a few reasons.  I've taken one load of loot out, and will take another tonight.  It also occurred to me that I really should have started exploring the building from top to bottom.  Just because the main job is in the basement is no reason to think that I might not find good stuff upstairs.

I hate timed puzzles/tasks. 

Those damned Snorks!  Zombies are a piece of cake compared to them.

"…you just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake."

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Spike
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May 31, 2011 - 8:03 pm
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Got through Lab X16.  So glad that's done.  Now it's off to Cordon to meet someone or another.

I'm not claustrophobic, but a sewer full of Snorks is no fun at all.  And the Controller in the last room of the lab was way nastier than the one in the Agroprom tunnels.

"…you just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake."

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Scout
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May 31, 2011 - 9:00 pm
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I lucked out with the controller in Lab X16. I first saw it and ducked back around the corner, then rushed it as it turned its back on me. I passed it and it turned again so I took it out with a headshot, easy peasy.  I need to sell off some of my stashs to load up on bandages and medkits. I've come dangerously close to running out of healing and ammo lately. I wonder if I can get back into Yantar. I saw the military coming in as I left.

 

I also had another  uncurable radiation event where I once again had to reload. I have a feeling there is something simple I'm not getting about this. Is it yellow medkits only that flush existing radiation? I don't think I've had any either time this has happened. The regular radiation packs don't do crap when this happens except lower the yellow bar for a nano-second before it starts to climb again.

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Spike
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May 31, 2011 - 9:52 pm
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Scout:  I've died from radiation a couple of times (so glad I save often), although nothing like as often as you have.  Noticed that I had a high rad level, and I hit the hot key for the medkits and thought that I'd healed myself....only to die a few seconds later.  Then I realized that even with the medkit, and I've got orange, yellow and blue ones, I still had to use the anti-rad injection stuff to live.

But I do suspect that your game has some kind of glitch.  How frustrating to have to uninstall and reinstall.  You're fully patched, aren't you?

Controller:  I was in such a hurry to get out of there that I got decided to kill him with 2 grenades after he zapped me with his mind-control, or whatever he has.  I didn't want to get too close, and I didn't notice if he turned his back on me.

"…you just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake."

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Spike
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June 1, 2011 - 3:11 am
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Oh boy!  Got access to the Duty HQ in Bar.  They've got the 9x39 ammo for the good sniper rifles.  That stuff is hard to come by from traders, and little is to be found on bodies - dead or alive.

Onward.  (There should be a smiley for fear and/or dread.)

"…you just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake."

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Steerpike
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June 1, 2011 - 12:42 pm
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Ah, 9x39 ammo is gold. I believe that's what the Vintar takes, and the Vintar is perhaps the best weapon ever in the universe.

Scout, I apologize if this question is stupid: any chance you have an artifact equipped that's radiating you this way? Equipping those things without equipping others to offset the radiation they emit will kill you pretty quick, and it will constantly build in the way you describe.

I've been out of the STALKER loop on account of Witcher 2, but I'll pop back soon!

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Spike
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June 1, 2011 - 2:56 pm
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Great.  Just great.  Now I have to go back into the Ag tunnels to talk to Doctor.  At least this time I have better equipment.  But those damned Bloodsuckers!  Maybe I'll go in via the Military entrance.  At least that way I can avoid Bloodsuckers and at worst have to grenade the Controller.

I feel very differently while playing Stalker than I did playing F3.  In Stalker I am always aware of my need for food and ammo.  Always watching my rad level.   And my guns so often misfire when I most need them.  I often play with a feeling of dread and fear - heart beats fast, hands sweat.  In F3 I got to the point where survival wasn't hard.  I'd just go to a Trader (and there were so many of them in F3) to get what I needed.

"…you just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake."

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Steerpike
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June 1, 2011 - 6:38 pm
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Spike et al, the "Go find Doc" quest is the mysterious-doesn't-always-show-up one to which I was referring earlier. Go forth in the knowledge that you aren't missing anything now.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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kaythomas
Somewhere in the frozen tundra
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June 1, 2011 - 7:03 pm
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I am way back from all of you but still playing.   Making progress?  Well I do stuff when I play.   Mostly die.  But make a bit of progress now and then.  I am now up against the wall that I have to go into really terrible places to move on. I am sitting in the bar in Bar thinking about it.  Maybe tomorrow.

Anyone else notice that Germany has now decided to phase out all of its nuclear plants by 2022?  

This says a lot about how terrible what happened in Japan really is.   And Japan it not that large. This is going to be devestating for them.  At times I have thought how could they have gone through Hiroshima and Nagasaki and built all these nuclear plants without adequate oversight? 

But that is a stupid question.  

What is the difference between a rat and a human?   You put a rat into a maze with a prize at the end and let it find the prize and then you do it again and shock it one or two times as it tries to get to the prize and the rat stops.  It has figured out that when something doesn't work,  one should stop doing it.   

You do the same thing with humans and humans don't stop.  Humans do the same dumb things over and over and over again despite the outcomes.  They think "this time it will work". Think about it.   This is true of me and maybe of you.  

What can we conclude?  Well  (as a former rat runner) I have known for a long time that rats are a lot brighter than humans.

Kay

Imagine life with no hypothetical situations. 

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Spike
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June 1, 2011 - 9:42 pm
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kaythomas said:

I am way back from all of you but still playing.   Making progress?  Well I do stuff when I play.   Mostly die.  But make a bit of progress now and then.  I am now up against the wall that I have to go into really terrible places to move on. I am sitting in the bar in Bar thinking about it.  Maybe tomorrow.

I did the same thing, Kay.  Bar was a nice safe refuge. I could walk the streets, venture into buildings, find stashes, sleep and trade without being attacked once.  Now....getting past the dogs at the entrance was tough, but I found a way to get into Bar without passing the dogs.  Fast travel is the answer.  When I fast travel to Bar, I immediately fast travel again to the opening to Wild Territory, which is inside the Bar city limits.  I don't move forward to actually enter/load Wild Territory.  When I get to that spot I just turn around and walk to the Bar. 

Having gotten to Bar, you've accomplished one of the tough ones:  the Agroprom tunnels.  Good for you.  The next 2 major tasks, labs X18 and X16 will be at least as tough, but maybe not for you.  After you finish X18 the scientist that gives you jobs will offer you very, very favorable trade terms.  Much better than anyone else.  It will be worth it to go back there to buy or trade stuff you've collected.  And his inventory is better too.

@Steerpike:  Well, he'll either be there or not.  I'll go check.  Maybe he'll have info I want; maybe he'll have something good to trade for.

"…you just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake."

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Steerpike
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June 1, 2011 - 10:14 pm
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I don't know, Kay – not about the rats being smarter thing, that I agree with totally. But the problems in Japan and the kneejerk reactions around the globe display to me not a recognition that something is dangerous but a depressing misapprehension about nuclear power. Years ago I had the opportunity to do some reporting on the subject and became pretty well-informed… what I learned has decidedly affected my lefty liberal environmentalist views. I understand the concern associated with nuclear power, but in my view there are two sides…

  • If you build something, then apply a 9.0 earthquake immediately followed by a 30 foot tidal wave, it's going to break. This is not a matter of bad construction but of overwhelming force.
  • Chernobyl is a terrible barometer for the risks of nuclear power. Many things went wrong that night in 1986, but even if they hadn't, CNPP was never a safe power plant. It was based on a reactor design that was known to be flawed and had only the most primitive protections and failsafes. What's happening at Fukushima is an entirely different animal – Chernobyl was a steam explosion followed by an exposed, uncontrollable fire. Fukushima is a core overheat. Those are wildly different events with wildly different consequences.

I think nuclear power gets a bad rap. Sure, it can be dangerous, but why does no one fear the coal-fired power plants in their neighborhoods? There is no such thing as clean or safe coal; even the most modern plants produce millions of tons of mercury, arsenic, dioxin, NOx, cadmium, chromium, and other such toxins. A single coal plant's mean toxic release over 30 years grossly exceeds the total toxic release of a Chernobyl-level event. And like a reactor meltdown, a coal plant can render an entire region unsuitable for habitation.

In my book nuclear power is clean, safe, and efficient; the smartest thing we could do is switch over to it completely, with the 50-year objective of converting the entire world to the only truly safe and clean power source (solar). If the investment currently made in bad power were repurposed to ensuring that nuclear power's risks are controlled, we might never see catastrophes like this.

End rant! Back to STALKER!

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Toger
Somewhere, out there...
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June 2, 2011 - 11:03 am
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um... why does Steerpike's post have 3 different fonts/sizes? He's conducting an eye test on the unsuspecting for what are sure to be nefarious purposes, isn't he?

Powered by PMS ™

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Steerpike
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June 2, 2011 - 11:18 am
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It's a secret!

And also it's because I still have to do a little CSS work to make everything match.

EDIT: and then I fixed it because I'm awesome.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Spike
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June 2, 2011 - 2:32 pm
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What the heck???

I decided to postpone my trip back into the tunnels and complete some chores.  Like finding some stashes, shopping, etc.  Then I went to Army Warehouses to complete a "Protect the Borders" job.  Damned if the Freedom guys not only didn't want my help, they wanted to kill me.  Then I realized that the problem must be that eventhough I didn't join Duty when I got access to their Bar base, I did accept a job from Petrenko to "Destroy the Stalker from Freedom".  I had previously taken a job to get a gun from Chef in the Warehouses.  Before I headed out to do that I realized that this job was now red in my PDA instead of the green it was before talking to Petrenko.  So somehow Freedom must have learned that I was doing jobs for Duty, and became my enemy.

This surprises me.  I've joined no faction.  Early on I got a job from Skull to kill the sniper in the tower in the Warehouses.  I did.  That wasn't enough to make an enemy of Freedom.  But apparently taking Petrenko's job was.

I may just go back and replay from a point before where I accepted Petrenko's offer.  My other option is to kill all the Freedom guys at the Warehouses and loot their armory.  Or let things stand as they are and avoid Freedom where I can.

"…you just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake."

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Steerpike
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June 2, 2011 - 4:43 pm
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Now, really the two factions are supposed to look the other way if you happen to do odd jobs. And really, if the A-Life is working and you kill a Freedom guy where no one saw it, then nobody from Duty would know. But this is STALKER and STALKER is a... it has some rough edges.

Spike's problem can be especially troublesome if you help out Freedom too early. Rostok is Duty's stronghold, and it's a royal pain in the arse to get to the bar with everybody in town shooting at you.

The factions are still deeply annoying in Clear Sky and Call of Pripyat, but at least they're a little better behaved when it comes to not trying to kill you just because you helped one of their enemies cross the street.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Helmut
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June 2, 2011 - 5:42 pm
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Coming out of X16 the first time must have nicked someone from Duty in cleaning up on the way out. Imagine my surprise when I get to the checkpoint and everyone is shooting. This was back in the day before S.T.A.L.K.R. save discipline was fully developed so I had to redo the entire swamp area.  I think it's easier to be neutral going north of the Army warehouses.

My Dark Souls single player sensibilities are protected by a +10 GfWL Firewall of Ineptitude

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Spike
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June 2, 2011 - 6:26 pm
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Helmut said:

Coming out of X16 the first time must have nicked someone from Duty in cleaning up on the way out.

That might be my problem.  I really can't remember if I killed any Freedom guys or not when I left X16.  All I remember are the damned dozen or so Snorks in the sewer.

Then again maybe it is as Steerpike says...rough edges.

"…you just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake."

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Scout
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June 2, 2011 - 9:25 pm
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Spike, talk to the barkeep. I think, for a price, he can fix your problem with Freedom.

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Spike
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June 3, 2011 - 2:46 am
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Scout said:

Spike, talk to the barkeep. I think, for a price, he can fix your problem with Freedom.

Thanks Scout.  I went back hours and hours of saves to find one where Freedom wasn't mad at me, but that would have meant more replay than I wanted to do.  I think your tip will save me, but in my tiredness I screwed it up the first time, then quit for the night.  I went to Barkeep and told him I wanted to revert to being neutral.  That cost me either 40,000RU or 60,000RU.  Then I told him I was having a problem with Freedom.  Cost me either the 40,000RU or the 60,000RU.  The reason I did both is that after buying neutrality, the Chef job was still red in my PDA, so I thought that nothing had changed.  After my second outlay of mucho money I went to the Warehouses and the guys at the gate showed green, not yellow, meaning my "fix my problem with Freedom" request made me a member of Freedom, and they didn't shoot at me.  And at this point my PDA is still red for that job, but I think this isn't going to be a problem.

So, what I need to do tomorrow is to buy my neutrality again without asking for help with Freedom.  This will save me either 40 or 60K RU. 

I didn't want to lose access to the Warehouses, and I didn't want to get shot at while trying to make my way into Red Forest.  Plus it's good to have an extra source for jobs and trading although the Scientist in Yantar is my favorite cheap trader now.

I still can't figure out how I officially became a member of Duty (green, not yellow).  I've tried hard to be neutral.  Either the boo-boo is mine, or there is a glitch.  I'm thinking glitch because once my PDA went "red", I started having CTDs near the Warehouses.  Whatever.  Thanks again Scout.

"…you just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake."

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Steerpike
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June 3, 2011 - 9:19 am
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I may be mistaken about this, Spike, but "green" just means friendly, not faction-aligned. A green STALKER is someone whose trust and friendship you've earned; he won't squeal if you accidentally point a gun at him, will be more likely to exchange useful info, will tag along with you sometimes if he has nothing else to do, and will come to your aid if he sees you in danger.

To my knowledge actually joining either faction requires a bit more of a production: talk to the leader, ask to join, get told how awesome the faction is and how the other one is a big loser-face, do a quest, then get in. As a member you get a discount from the faction merchant, and he may also have special stuff to sell from time to time. When you're inducted you also get a special gun and suit of armor unique to each faction, so if you haven't gotten those I think you're just friendly with both.

Without spoiling anything, I can reveal that being a faction member (either faction) can result in an easier time late in the game, but not to such a degree that you should join if you don't want to. Your alliance with factions is among the things the Wish Granter can take into account when determining your ending. Beyond that there's not really any point.

Clear Sky is the one where the factions really enter into the equation. 75% of that game is devoted to playing the factions off each other, and there are more factions to join or deal with as well: Freedom and Duty, and also Independent Stalkers, Monolith, the Bandits, and the Clear Sky organization itself.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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