The S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Epic: A Trip to the Zone and Back

     Over the past few days I have been toying around in Call of Pripyat, and this got me to thinking: Why haven't I done what I said I would do at the beginning of its release?  I would run through the entirety of the series consecutively.  I feel this grand journey to the hellish lands of the Zone needs documenting, so I plan on acting as your guide through these games.  You may ask, Why S.T.A.L.K.E.R.?  Well, because it will be my tedious crawl through a (mostly) unknown land that was truly one of my favorite open world experiences.

 Just meeting the Locals
    
       My plan is to begin at some point today with the first game: Shadow of Chernobyl.  After each play session I will post that section of my trip through the zone.  I will try to maintain a fairly regular schedule of at least one documented trip per week, through each game.  I will be using mods for all three games: The S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Complete mods.  I know Call of Pripyat has a "Wish Granter" and Teleport feature, however, these features will NOT be used.  In order to create a more natural experience each game must be completed through walking, or sprinting.  I've tried the teleport feature and it simply takes away from the overall experience.  Here's a link  describing the Mods that are used.  I highly recommend them if you're planning on your own trip through the zone.  I will say also, I have no plans thus far for a livestream type thing for this event, specifically because I'm not entirely sure how to do it.  This could be something I could add further on down the road, given the right help.
 
       Hopefully someone will pay attention to it, and even more hopefully, I actually finish this.  I think forcing myself to write the blog entries will help.  I will warn folk who may be interested that I'm currently working 30 hours a week and going to school, so my posts may be a bit sporadic.  That being said, I'm looking forward to assuming the role of your S.T.A.L.K.E.R. travel guide!
13 Comments
13 Comments
Posted by EarlessShrimp

     Over the past few days I have been toying around in Call of Pripyat, and this got me to thinking: Why haven't I done what I said I would do at the beginning of its release?  I would run through the entirety of the series consecutively.  I feel this grand journey to the hellish lands of the Zone needs documenting, so I plan on acting as your guide through these games.  You may ask, Why S.T.A.L.K.E.R.?  Well, because it will be my tedious crawl through a (mostly) unknown land that was truly one of my favorite open world experiences.

 Just meeting the Locals
    
       My plan is to begin at some point today with the first game: Shadow of Chernobyl.  After each play session I will post that section of my trip through the zone.  I will try to maintain a fairly regular schedule of at least one documented trip per week, through each game.  I will be using mods for all three games: The S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Complete mods.  I know Call of Pripyat has a "Wish Granter" and Teleport feature, however, these features will NOT be used.  In order to create a more natural experience each game must be completed through walking, or sprinting.  I've tried the teleport feature and it simply takes away from the overall experience.  Here's a link  describing the Mods that are used.  I highly recommend them if you're planning on your own trip through the zone.  I will say also, I have no plans thus far for a livestream type thing for this event, specifically because I'm not entirely sure how to do it.  This could be something I could add further on down the road, given the right help.
 
       Hopefully someone will pay attention to it, and even more hopefully, I actually finish this.  I think forcing myself to write the blog entries will help.  I will warn folk who may be interested that I'm currently working 30 hours a week and going to school, so my posts may be a bit sporadic.  That being said, I'm looking forward to assuming the role of your S.T.A.L.K.E.R. travel guide!
Posted by MrKlorox

I'm a big fan of this series and always enjoy reading about other people's experiences. I recommend taking a lot of screenshots and sprinkling them throughout. It's such a beautiful game, especially with the Complete mod, and it helps describe things for people who have never played it. Also, not tryin to encroach on your playstyle, but it's always more fun to read about near death retreats than a difficult encounter requiring a number of quick-loads. Good luck!

Posted by captain_max707

Good luck to you mate! I actually did something like this a while ago, for Clear Sky though. You could check it out, but it's probably not the best read. The posts are a little short. If I were to do something like this again, I'd make sure to really put time into each post.
 
Anyway, I hope you enjoy your trip to the Zone! Shadow of Chernobyl is my favorite game, so you'll have at least one reader :D 

Posted by EarlessShrimp
@MrKlorox: Thanks for the tips!  Actually, your near death retreat remark reminds me: I'm not sure what difficulty I should play!  I've never been terribly good so I'm thinking possibly simply on Stalker level.  If you have suggestions, though, I would be happy to hear you out!
Posted by MrKlorox
@EarlessShrimp: There was this picture blog from some dude who had never played Stalker before attempting a permadeath run in Call of Pripyat, and that was a great premise that he stopped doing after a few entries. He of course played on the easiest difficulty, and there were a few near death experiences as he fumbled around and learned the mechanics. But since you sound pretty experienced, I say start it off at a higher difficulty and use every resource you can. It's a game about survival in extreme environments after all. 
 
I guess It also depends on how you're going to play. Are you going to try and kill every bandit you see and pick up every artifact in every anomaly? Then you might wanna knock it down a notch. And vice versa if you're just laying waste to everybody with nary a scratch. 
 
Finally, play it like it's your first time through instead of systematically going through the story and trying to remember when each mutant's gonna appear. That's just for your own fun.
Posted by AdzPearson

I'm definitely interested. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. seems like one of those games that I'd find fun if I ever got round to it. In fact, I'm pretty sure I used to have a copy from somewhere (long gone now, though). I'll be sure to check out your posts about it.

Posted by EarlessShrimp
@captain_max707: Well thanks! That really inspires hope in this whole experience! 
 
@MrKlorox: Alright I think I'll step it up from Stalker, and luckily it's been a while since I've last played the first two so it will feel like the first time going through.  Permadeath might be an option, I'll have to think about that one!
Edited by MrKlorox
@EarlessShrimp: Heh, I meant higher than the standard difficulty. I hear Master's a bastard. But if you think you can still have fun with it, power to you.
 
edit: wait, is Veteran before or after Stalker difficulty. I done forgetted.
edit2: I just remembered from modding the game a while back, I think the difficulty of SoC strictly determinesaccurate all shots are and how much damage is given (both you and the enemy are more deadly on higher difficulties). The Complete mod might have tweaked what the difficulties do now though. Just a thought.
Posted by EarlessShrimp
@MrKlorox: I might just roll on veteran difficulty.  From what I'm reading Master is going to be a lot of re-loading save games(no resistances at all aside from your armor, little ammo, bullet sponge enemies...), that way I will have some basic resistances but not too much.  Plus I think using the complete mods will help a little with getting me ammo and such. 
Posted by Hitchenson

@EarlessShrimp: Enemies aren't bullet sponges on master, they take more damage per shot along with you. Master really is the only way to play Stalker games, so I'd suggest rolling that. Complete makes the games a ton easier anyway, so it really wouldn't be too bad.

Then you want to merge AMK with some graphics mods for the next playthrough and experience some true Stalker. I'd say don't use Complete, but for some crazy reason people think it's a great mod.

Posted by EarlessShrimp
@Hitchenson: might you be able to shoot me link for the graphical mods? I noticed that on pripyat the complete mod seemed to make things easier, but it was the only thing I could find. Any extra mods/info would be greatly appreciated!
Posted by AhmadMetallic
@EarlessShrimp: Good luck to you! Beating this game last year was my personal achievement of 2011, I enjoyed it so much I didn't want it to end. It fascinates me that some men are able to create such experiences, it's outstanding. 
Looking forward to your blogs. Remember, the best STALKER experience is the one that comes naturally. 
 
I love this guy's (@MrKlorox:) passion for the game, and this guy (@Hitchenson:) knows his stalker mods all too well. Look at them screens!
Posted by EarlessShrimp

@AhmadMetallic: I published my first one today, I was pretty pleased with what I've done so far. I agree about the whole experience of STALKER, the guys who did these games produced an entire world that can easily be missed, it's like fallout... only more awesome(wait... did I just say that?!)