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Many thanks to Valentine Yeltyshev for sending us this new Q&A!!!!
1. Can we expect to see new uses for artifacts in CS thats not present in SOC? There will be no fundamentally new ways of using artifacts in Clear Sky. Artifact properties will be used the same way â€” by putting them into slots. However, parameters and properties of artifacts have been significantly revamped to make their use more clear and intuitive. We reduced the number of harmful effects from artifacts, but one should still remember that artifacts are creations of the Zone, and most of them are radioactive, which, as is commonly known, has negative impact on the human being. 2. Will we be able to mark the ingame map with our own annotated markers? No, markers will be set automatically while you are passing the game. 3. By the end-game the experienced player in SoC could amass a huge arsenal of weapons and ammunition. But there was scant opportunity to use them due to the lack of large scale enemy encounters and tougher vehicle-driving opponents. What have the team done to remedy this problem in Clear Sky? Unlike the first game, in Clear Sky it will be quite an expense to collect an arsenal of really good weapons. Of course, you can simply pick up weapons from dead enemies, but it will rarely be useful and valuable. The player will have a chance to pick his favourite weapon and pass the whole game with it. As you make more money, you will be able to perform various upgrades in a direction you like. Also, remember about the faction war. If you choose to, you will be able to take part in serious squabbles, and then your primary concern would be to have enough ammunition. 4. Will the Chernobyl NPP be fully explorable, or will it still contain radiation hotspots and teleportation bubbles to restrict and funnel players movement through the plant? Events of Clear Sky occur a year before Strelok's famous trip. There is much more radiation at the NPP, which will significantly limit movement through the station. Also, the heart of the Zone will contain a great number of anomalies. 5. What other fps titles, either currently in development or from the past, do the team admire? Is there anything from other titles that the team has drawn inspiration from, or is the Zone alone your only guiding light? This is a difficult question. We do not think there is an FPS that is the standard for the genre. We consider some very high quality games, such as COD4 from the latest, or Deus Ex from the ancient, although this one can probably not be considered a pure FPS. We try to recreate our own vision of an FPS, therefore we are very careful about borrowing any elements from other games. Every game, new and old, gives us new ideas and new food for thought. Out of the latest games we enjoyed Mass Effect and Witcher the most.
1. Beyond the faction minigames that have been mentioned, what differences between the factions will there be beyond the visual ones ? Will there be differences in squad compositions and tactics ? Besides the mini-games, factions in Clear Sky will differ in armament. Each faction prefers its own kind of weapons and armour, depending on budget and internal politics. Combat tactics are also different. For instance, bandits prefer to attack at night, while the military at day. 2. As a FPS franchise, Stalker deserves to last as long as the Halo's and Half-Life's of this world. But is episodic content the answer? Haven't Valve stated that they're not going to do any more HL episodes in response to fans' demands that they'd rather see the dev team plough their efforts into full-scale releases? Valve has its own path. We have ours. Our goal is to create a truly live workd, so that players would be able to live in the Stalker universe. There, like in real life, something new must happen all the time. Also, we have a few ideas that cannot be implemented in one game. 3. Many regard Stalker as a survivalist FPS, in that the player has to watch their food intake, monitor their radiation levels etc. But one of the major components of a survivalists game i.e stealth, seemed to be curiously absent in Stalker. For example, whilst it was possible to sneak up on enemies, maintaining a zero reading on both noise and visibility bars, said enemy would often turn-around at the last second as if equipped with a magical six sense, thereby making it very difficult, if not impossible, to execute a stealth kill with the knife. Can we expect to see any overt stealth dynamics incorporated into Clear Sky, or are things going to remain the same? Stealth has remained on the same level. 4. Are NPC's able to by Hired and able to Travel with Player? No, the player is a loner in the Zone, though able to join a faction, join it in attacks, and help it win the war. We also added a system of interaction with NPCs, where the player can go into missions with them. 5. Strelok's PDA tracked his rankings against his fellow stalkers and recorded his kills, both mutant and human. Will the player's PDA in Clear Sky record similar information, and if so, what work is being done to overhaul the ranking system so that it has a greater impact on gameplay? (e.g Achievements, Unlockables?) Yes, the PDA will keep track of the player's actions, and also of his participation in the faction war, which is fairly important.
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