S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Chernobyl
New Features Concept
By my lacking knowledge of modding in xray I'll try that these new features will appear ranking from less to more work required to implement them in this engine. Most of the features comes from the mindset of thinking about what
kind of economy and interactions would grow in a environment like The Zone, what would motivate the people who enter there? What I'd like to convey to the devs is a mindset more than suggestions, to start a train of thought, a
way of viewing the game that gives more ideas like these next I'm going to suggest so I hope Alun and the others catch my drift and come up with many more greater ideas in the future for Coc:
- The first and most urgent new feature, in my opinion, should be that, instead of working on making levels bigger like the new Dark Valley, with little work the devs could fuse two or more SoC era levels into one big level
like size or even bigger) that every pc nowadays should be able to handle with the new engine (even a potato pc). I remember other mods for CoP have done this (like fusing Rostok with Wild Territory).
- For the next feature I think about what would any stalker want when entering the Zone to make their fortune? To have the least problems (shootings) and the maximum profit (ease of mission management and ease of smuggling and
selling their found goods and artifacts).
Then why every stalker has a PDA and they only use it to check the map, encyclopedia and their ranking? Why not to use the PDA to contact a stalker or mission giver remotely? It should be the first thing people use their
PDAs and mobile phones anyways. The devs can add realism if they want restricting the gsm coverage only in certain places who have antennaes for local comms in the zone like the 300rads bar or faction HQs. And like mobile phones
stalkers offering a mission could send a mass sms to every stalker in their area of interest with what they want and the reward for a fee (more use for CoC's news network).
- Also the same way let's say Duty's Gen. Petrenko want you to kill a stalker from a faction you're allied with but you don't want the reputation hit. It would be easy to implement the feature of subcontracting someone of a
rival faction to kill the target for you, with the additional feature of haggling a price for the subcontract. Careful choosing of the subcontracted stalker would be required since if he fails his mission and he doesn't die
there's a possibility he tells the target who hired him hurting your reputation. So you must check the skill and reputation of the stalker you subcontract every time. Yes, reputation, a bad reputation could mean that there
could be a possibility that the people you hired contact the target instead of killing him and negotiates a price for revealing their employer. Would be cool to see a bounty hunt turned on you because the target paid more than
you to your thug. The price negotiation could be very interesting in that regard since you should measure all these factors in. Sometimes you have to pay less than what you're paid for a mission, sometimes more than what you're
paid, but you'd be more interested in raising the reputation with Duty or the faction that gave you the mission than earning RUs.
- Speaking of RUs I've never seen the meaning of using roubles in game, Ukraine uses Euros and you're lucky in game if you reach more than 1 million RUs before finishing the story. IIRC 64 RU is 1 € so you risk you neck several
times throughout the game, waste time hauling and selling goods, eating irradiated food, roasting your ass in anomalies and living in celibacy (maybe boning a Bloodsucker or two if you joined Freedom), no girls in The Zone yet
For what? 160k EU more or less?!? Geezus the exchange rate of RUs in the world of stalker must be very different from ours
- Another nice feature that would add more meaning to earning reputation with a faction is the restriction of high tier gear by their traders and/or more complex and profitable missions for them. Now the gear that faction traders
offer is random, sometimes they offer exos, another may only have basic gear so you only have to save and reload to get the equipment you want. I prefer a rep based trader inventory or if exos are offered, their chance of
appearing in inventory should be low and their price ridiculously high. Also offer the option of ordering gear of rival factions to traders allied with your rival faction for double or triple the normal price. For example a loner
ordering a Bulat Military armor to a Duty trader. The concept is thinking about what would most people living in the Zone would behave and think: "This is the jungle and I only help my brothers in faction, the most important
thing here is money and if you're not one of us you're a nobody and I'll rip you off all your money if I can".
- For the smuggling of goods and artifacts the next idea is that the first enterpreneurs like Sidorovich would set up a bank for stalkers after making their first fortune. What kind of bank? Well is a little different from normal
banks. This one would be composed of a common vault for each stalker that could be accessed from any faction HQ with (unnoficial) ties to Sidorovich and since money corrupts, that means everyone except (maybe Monolith), although
there must be some way they supply themselves. If their only resource would be the equipment converted stalkers had before joining the Monolith ranks and the weapons and goods stolen in raids, Monolith would be a very weak
The concept of a hidden hand supplying and profiting from the conflict between Monolith and the rest of the factions would be a pretty interesting one in terms of the game's lore. Could be that Sidorovich is not as honest as it
seems? Could that be a local bandit Kingpin that is more powerful and well connected than it seems?
A vault per se that can be accessed from any HQ seems cheaty so how can you access items you stored in Cordon from Jupiter for example? Here comes the next feature.
- Courier service. One need that every stalker has and that would make the weight management more meaningful is the careful planning of your equipment and the distance you have to travel to recover your precious SVD since you are
going to enter Limansk or any wide open area and want to change your loadout to a sniper. But you have to travel all the way back to Cordon, what a pain in the ass. Sidorovich, as the witty weasel he is, has seen a profit
potential from this need and subcontract stalkers to act as couriers and bodyguards. Let say you order your SVD by PDA from a nearby HQ, then Sidorovich would ask how many escorts you would want for your courier (or couriers
depending on the amount of cargo) and then he would give the cost of the insurance in terms of the value of the cargo and the total cost of hiring the courier and the escorts, plus old Sido's fee.
Why an insurance and bodyguards? Well a courier is a juicy target and Bandit or Monolith would be glad to take that cargo for themselves (even a corrupt groups of stalkers who see an opportunity). From time to time you would see
a detachment of courier mercs or loners who are in the process of making a delivery so the option of raiding them would be yours to make after considering the reputation hit.
- The devs could even expand on the reputation bit and make harder and more expensive to access these kind of services (vault and courier) the more your reputation worsen even barring you from using it if your rep is bad enough
having to resort to access your goods the old way. Again a overhaul of the written dialogues to reflect how people treat you in general based on your reputation would add a lot on top of barring a low rep player from using all
these services that makes stalkers' lives easier.
It would add a lot of meaning to building your rep to really punish a bad one, for example not being able to repair, buy or sell goods and having to resort to scavenged goods and repairing with kits found in stashes. Imagine
having to store a good gun somewhere waiting to find a stashed kit to repair it and having to resort to a decent scavenged AK meanwhile. Imo this is a feature hardcore players would enjoy.
- A personal vault. The option of buying your own room for displaying your collection of weapons, armor, supplies, artifacts and mutant trophies. Not as complex as Skyrim's Hearthfire but a room could be used and tweaked like the
one on the back of the 300rads bar. I guess the same as the frozen mutant actors were spawned in the Agroprom Military's Zoo, human actors with a blank texture can be spawned as mannequins to display your armors and weapons. I
don't know if with artifacts would be possible but I've seen in other mods that they can be permanently spawned near anomalies so maybe it would be possible to freeze them in a display case of some sort.
- This next one would add a purpose imo for having tons of money, not only for buying every item the game has to offer. When you reach a money threshold Sido and Barman would start to treat you differently and offering you the
option of entering in profitable smuggling operations. For example, having to put 500k in a pool several biz partners to help bribe the Military in order to transport a shipment of artifacts from the bowels of CNPP to the Cordon
Military outpost or the Yantar or Jupiter Ecolog bunker. The type of mission and location would be randomly generated and varying in investment and profit depending on difficulty. In this particular example you would be required
to escort a detachment of couriers transporting the goods and you would be harrased by Monolith or enemy factions depending on your location. You could hire more escort to help you before and along the way, if you find allies
that is, all for a fee. The final profit would be affected by how many couriers died while on their way and a cool final for the mission could be watching a helo land on top of the Ecolog bunker but I doubt it can be possible in
xray. The option for this feature are enormous as the variety of missions possible, but a careful balance of the economy of those mission would be neccesary. It could end in disaster and making a huge dent in your savings or
making you double them if the mission is rare and difficult enough. The fact here and with the last features is making the economy more meaningful and giving a purpose for saving money and more late game variety. What I enjoy of
stalker is the progression of the economy, starting with a rusty pistol and working your way up to the best gear but after you achieve that the game gets dull and repetitive so these features I'm trying to avoid that and give
players a purpose beside aquiring gear.