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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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June 6, 2011 - 7:31 pm
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Kay, I too have lots of weapons, but I mostly use 3:  Assault TRs 301 or the Sniper TRs 301 (5.56x45mm ammo), Vintar BC Sniper (9x39mm ammo) or the GP37 Assault (5.56x45mm).

I settled on using these because the ammo is more available - either from traders, especially General Voronin in the Duty HQ in Bar or Scientist Sakharov in Yantar, and damage is high.  The problem with these weapons is that they seem to misfire regularly, and that's a problem when I'm under attack.  So I carry 2 at all times, of different types and ammo.  If one misfires I can quickly change to the other.  I make sure to unload and reload before I go where I think I may be in confused danger, and when I get a moment to pause and breath I unload and reload to delay any misfires in the field.

In Fallout I did the same thing you did.  But in that game, once you had the caps, it was easy to get the ammo.  In Stalker it isn't so easy.  But it is true that the further north you go, the bad guys are carrying more of the better guns and ammo. Traders are another story.

What tasks are you working on now, Kay?

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

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Spike
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June 6, 2011 - 7:39 pm
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Once again I'm going to have to replay a section of the game.  In shorthand, to avoid spoilers, I'll just say:

Met the guys.  Headed out.  Got attacked.  Me and one other survivor, and he spent 4 full real-time minutes against a wall, gun pointed at the roof of the building.  There was nobody up there as we'd killed them all.  He would not move to continue our trek.  So I went and did another task.  When I returned he was gone.  Now I either have to go it alone, in which case one part of this task wil be uncompletable, or I must reload an earlier save and start this task over again...and redo the task I did while I was waiting for the guy to move.

How did the Forest treat you, Scout?

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

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Helmut
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June 7, 2011 - 12:53 am
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Spike, I don't know what tasks you have in Pripyat (since I avoid quests like the plague) , but there is a point not actually very far in where you will go on alone anyway. There are sometimes monolith soldiers in the rooms along that avenue, not only on the rooftops so it might pay to try to hit some of the open windows with a grenade to see if that loosens things up.

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 7, 2011 - 2:09 am
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Helmut...I loaded my just-before-getting-to-Pripyat save and tried again.  This time 2 guys survived and we moved to the next location.  One of them got shot, and this time the sole survivor, the same guy who hugged a wall earlier, hugged a wall in this new location too, muttering in Ukranian or Russian when I'd try to get him to move out.  I decided to leave him and go it alone.  But as I left that area I got fired on, and damned if that didn't wake him up and he came to help me.  But he also got it in the end, and I was on my own, but I got credit for completing 3 tasks before he bit the dust.  I've now finished my retrieval task as well, and am on to what I think is my last Pripyat task - if I can survive long enough.  At the next check point I save and head back to Bar for restocking and rest.

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

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Spike
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June 7, 2011 - 3:04 am
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Dang!  It was almost nightfall in Pripyat.  There I was, the Marked One, looking forward to a hearty dinner and a good night's sleep.

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

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Steerpike
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June 7, 2011 - 10:08 am
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Spike, in case it's not too late to warn you: you cannot return to the rest of the Zone once you enter Pripyat. From that point on your path goes forward.

Do linger in the city. There are some cool quests. Also, Pripyat and the sections to follow are some of the best-designed shooter action I've ever seen.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Scout
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Spike said:

How did the Forest treat you, Scout?

Haven't even gone in yet. Something else always seems to come up. Hopefully tonight I can make some progress.

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Spike
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June 7, 2011 - 4:38 pm
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Steerpike said:

Spike, in case it's not too late to warn you: you cannot return to the rest of the Zone once you enter Pripyat. From that point on your path goes forward.

Do linger in the city. There are some cool quests. Also, Pripyat and the sections to follow are some of the best-designed shooter action I've ever seen.

As long as I don't go north into the stadium/arena entrance I can go back south.  I learned that the hard way, and I sure wasn't prepared.  Need ammo, food, meds, and repairs.  So I will do those before heading north again (I saved at a good spot).

Quests?  So far I haven't run into anyone that I can talk to.  Even the Duty guys had no "F" to talk option.  Certainly the Monolith aren't speaking to me.  I could hang around in Pripyat for a bit if there was a reason to.

I'm usually a wander-everywhere sort of player, but in this game, especially in the second half, it seemed better just to get on with the jobs at hand as quickly as possible.  Too bad.  This game is so well done and visually pleasing.  I hate missing so much of the territory out of fear.

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

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kaythomas
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June 8, 2011 - 12:00 am
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Spike said.....>>This game is so well done and visually pleasing.  I hate missing so much of the territory out of fear.<<

This is a fear game.  Not as much as System Shock 2 where I never, ever felt safe.   There are places I can go in this game and feel safe.   But when I am out and about,  I am always fearful.

Kay

Imagine life with no hypothetical situations. 

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Spike
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June 8, 2011 - 1:24 am
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kaythomas said:

Spike said.....>>This game is so well done and visually pleasing.  I hate missing so much of the territory out of fear.<<

This is a fear game.  Not as much as System Shock 2 where I never, ever felt safe.   There are places I can go in this game and feel safe.   But when I am out and about,  I am always fearful.

Kay

I felt safe in Sidorvich's little basement, in the Bar area, in Army Warehouses, and the mobile lab in Yantar.   Everywhere else was scary. 

Tonight I wandered around Pripyat for a bit, especially the west central area.  I found a Monolith HQ, I think.  The north side of that building complex had 16 guys in it.  I certainly couldn't take them out, so I wandered south of there.  Found a few artifacts, but that was about all.  It was dark by then, so I went back to Bar for restocking and repairs.  Maybe tomorrow I will wander around the east side of Pripyat for a bit before I head north again.  Maybe I'll be prepared for what I find, and maybe not.  But I can at least find out.

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

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Scout
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June 11, 2011 - 12:54 pm
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Finally went into the Red Forest last night with an armload of health and ammo. Made it up the road past the first tank after spending about 200 rounds and 5 or 6 med  kits fighting off Monolith soldiers. Also returned to Freedom base once with loot.

The night before I decided to take a walk in the Warehouse district of  STALKER. Interesting concept. Between the anomalies, the bloodsuckers and roving Mercs I was burning through supplies so I turned back. I did turn up enough artifacts and assault rifles to pay for the trip but it's a zero sum game exploring the map this way.

 

The combat AI is still working nicely. I'm getting to where I can almost predict movements and can act to cut them off. I'm getting hammered by grenades at this point, which tear up my armor pretty badly. Have already gone through both repair kits.

Hope to get into see Mr. Brain Scorcher tonight.

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Steerpike
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June 15, 2011 - 9:03 am
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The Brain Scorcher is a great mission. Have fun!

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Helmut
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June 22, 2011 - 4:35 am
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I'm not seeing any motion here. Have you all got bogged down in the approach to the sarcophagus? Are you all stranded in Pripyat? I can help. email:

helmut@hi-im-in-pripyat-need-some-armour-and-weapon-advice-not-so-much-love-and-dating-and-I-dont-know-who-to-turnto.com

If it's spiritual strength you're after, I can help: email:

helmut@these-snorky-bastards-are-getting-me-down-and-this-ammo-thing-is-pissing-me-off-and-I-dont-want-to-play-this-stupid-game-anymore.com

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

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Scout
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June 22, 2011 - 12:29 pm
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I did turn off the Brain Scorcher but had 0 ammo upon completing the task. Having the fast travel function I just zoomed back to the Warehouse. I know I was supposed to wade out knee deep in blood and guts and fight my way back like a good little Stalker but screw that. I'm going to load back up and return and spill said body parts at my leisure.

This fast travel function was an odd choice to include in the Complete mod as half the quests seem to be about fighting your way out of areas you've just fought you way into. It seems to break the game a little but as much as I like shooting Monolith guys I do weary of it after a while. Right, I know...don't use fast travel. Right.

I haven't gone into Pripyat yet as the Brain Scorcher depleted my reserves so it off to farm the Red Forest for a spell.  Thanks for the offer for spiritual guidance Helmut but the Marked One has no soul left to save. However, if you have a surplus of sausages and hand grenades, I'd be interested.

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Spike
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June 22, 2011 - 1:31 pm
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Helmut said:

If it's spiritual strength you're after, I can help: email:

helmut@these-snorky-bastards-are-getting-me-down-and-this-ammo-thing-is-pissing-me-off-and-I-dont-want-to-play-this-stupid-game-anymore.com

This is kinda where I'm at.  I haven't played in 2 weeks.  At first it was one real-world thing after another.  Or  "too tired tonight", or "it's too late to start playing."  Then I realized that I didn't care if I finished the game or not.  I exited Pripyat to the north in the same condition that Scout exited the Scorcher lab - depleted.  I went back to Bar to restock and rest up - love the fast travel, and don't feel guilty about it.  I sold/traded a bunch of stuff to anyone who had something I needed.  Rested, repaired and resupplied, I saved, exited the game for the night, and haven't been back since.

I will play at least a bit more of it, but the game just kind of lost me, and I don't know why.  Maybe I got tired of the constant battle for survival.  Yes, I  know, that's what you get with shooters and RPG's.  In any case, that's where I am.

I wonder how Kay is getting on.

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

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Helmut
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June 22, 2011 - 7:21 pm
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Spike, you got out of the Brain Scorcher area, so you can get to the sarcophagus. By now, pretty much, using the Vintar in single shot mode aiming for headshots is the only way to go barring a really close range encounter. Either there's something wrong with the collision detection, or there is armor at play, but using a normal GP-37 on automatic mode or some such thing is out of the question. The  recoil is too much and/or the armor too good on the advanced soldiers. This way, you'll start to accumulate ammo as you'll start to pick up more than it takes to get through the Monolith guys.

They've fixed the Gauss gun! On original release, this thing was wildly inaccurate. I spent a whole pile of time wandering around Pripyat looking for one only to toss it aside in disgust after I tried it. Not any more. While ammo is short early on, it can be worth having for long range shots with zero drop, which is the problem with the Vintar. At this stage however, the weight and limited ammo don't make it worth the loss in endurance unless you have some really troubling targets.

 

I was going to write a large spoiler for the area north of Pripyat, but you should be able to make it with the following notes. I advise going light and being able to run from trouble. Get rid of everything but a machine gun and sniper rifle and don't carry too much ammo or other stuff. With a couple endurance boosters you'll be able to run almost everywhere. The area is full of Monolith and Military fighting it out and with the correct timing, you can let them whittle the other side down and keep themselves busy while you run past. You can make it through the entire area only killing 3 or four Monolith soldiers. It might take some rehearsal but the problem is primarily navigation versus combat.

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

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Scout
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June 22, 2011 - 8:27 pm
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Good to know about the GP37. I've been using it solely up to this point.  I also read in some guides where the author recommends the Tunder with the grenade launcher under, sniper over. I've had a couple of endurance boosters equipped for a while now. I can run with a full load and yeah, I've learned to love running in this game. Not sure if I've ran into any advanced Monolith guys yet. Like I say, I fast traveled out of there after switching off the Brain Scorcher. I do have a Vintar stored back at the Freedom base. I've never really thought it was that much more effective though. Are there different models?  

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kaythomas
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Spike said...>>I wonder how Kay is getting on.<<

Kay is way back. I rarely play more than an hour and a half a day and many days I don't play at all.  And I die quite often. So many days that I play, I am just dying and redoing stuff.   I am now in the underground Lab 18 in the Dark Valley trying to get the documents that someone wants. So I am so far back that you may not be able to remember the place I am at. 

My reactions to this game are  mixed.  I continue to be intrigued but mostly unsatisfied.  The main activity of this game is killing.  And constant killing is not the thing I do best.  Nore do I find it that interesting.

 

But as you said Spike about constant killing >> Yes, I  know, that's what you get with shooters and RPG's.<<

And I have to disagree with that.   What I feel I am lacking here is all the other things one gets in RPGs.   I love building a character and making decisions about how to go/what qualities to develop.  And leveling up is such a motivating thing. And  I love the conversations one can have with other characters. All the conversations aren't the same. And that keeps it interesting.  And I love that all quests are not based on killing and there are multiple ways to solve some quests. And there are more varied thing to do and places to go. 

I suspect I will not finish this game.  But I would like to get a bit further and see more places before I throw in the towel.   And whether or not I finish,  I am glad I am giving this game a look.   As I said there are many aspects of Stalker that do intrigue me. 

So that's where I am right now in the game and my reactions to the game.

Kay  

Imagine life with no hypothetical situations. 

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Scout
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June 23, 2011 - 3:15 am
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Kay, you very succinctly describe the feelings I have playing this game.  Ah feelings. Those feelings. This game feels all stick and no carrot and yet I think about it more than any game I've played in a while. Mabye because Steerpike has reviewed this sucker inside and out and sideways but this game haunts me in a ways I didn't expect.  It's kinda like how I felt with System Shock 2 but… more  Russian. With disco guitar. 

STALKER does not try to appeal to my aspirational instincts, my desire to improve my lot as human being on this globe. No, instead I am sent, knowing nothing, into hell.

 

EDIT: But I very much intend to finish it. If it kills me. Twenty times.

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Jakkar
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STALKER will strengthen you. Don't worry about how brutally it will abuse you - worry instead about how you'll ever enjoy another games when you're through with it. I have become exceedingly hard to satisfy.

You all remind me how little of STALKER I really played. I am an anti-completionist, I wilfully avoid excessive risks and leave much of a given RPG untouched for the sake of realism and replayability, rather than obsessively scrape it clean of every optional quest. It makes the world feel a lot richer and more mysterious when I remain conscious of areas to my left and right I've never explored. This kind of discipline I've only gained in recent years, and it has drastically enhanced my experiences since.

Consequently, there's a lot of STALKER waiting for me back there.. The only thing stopping me (.. apart from not having a computer that can run it, of course) is the cruel awareness that I will -never- manage to assemble such a perfect collection of mods as were custom assembled and tuned for me by a friend, the first time I played it. It will never be as good, as intense, as realistic or challenging as it was the first time. I cannot play STALKER without the ever-present risk of being one-shot killed by anything I encounter, struggling with blood-oozing wounds and constant hunger, the need to sleep and the fear of the dreams I may have. I love those dreams..

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