Stalker Clear Sky - Is it worth it ?

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Good , Bad or Appaling - What do you think

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Absolutely Appalling
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What's Stalker Clear Sky ?
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Total votes : 5

Stalker Clear Sky - Is it worth it ?

Postby pastie » Mon Sep 15, 2008 1:12 pm

Having waited for this game to come out for months ( and pre-ordering it ) , I feel that it wasn't worth the wait as it is so full of bugs and CTD's .

Has anybody managed to play this without crashes ( either patched or unpatched ) , and managed to travel between Zones without having a CTD dependant on which portal was used ?
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former. - Albert Einstein

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Postby WR304 » Mon Sep 15, 2008 5:54 pm

The actual game is good but there are so many bugs in Stalker Clear Sky. :shock:

Using the newest patch 1.5.0.4 my brother completed the entire game with only two X-Ray error crashes. (His PC: E8500 CPU, 8800GTS 512mb graphics card, Windows XP SP3). There were a few annoying bugs but he was able to finish the game. The last level went a bit wrong as Strelok fell through the floor and got stuck. :?

I spent ages battling the game on patch 1.5.0.3 (My PC: E8500 CPU, 8800GTS 640mb graphics card, Windows XP SP3) but eventually had to give up when it just kept crashing over and over near the Freedom base. :( Patch 1.5.0.3 crashed loads on my brother's PC too, but re-installing Windows XP SP3 and the later patch magically got the game working.

For me, the latest patch 1.5.0.4 wasn't any better as after re-starting I was getting X-Ray errors just playing the first swamps level. It's a shame because I don't remember having many issues with Stalker Shadow of Chernobyl. :(

Image
Stalker Clear Sky Heading into Limansk

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Stalker Clear Sky near Chernobyl NPP

Saying that, it's still better than the other long awaited games that came out on the same day: Mercenaries 2 World in Flames on PC is rubbish. It looks like a PS2 game, the controls of the vehicles are awful, the enemy AI sucks and you can only play co-op through the EA servers by owning two copies of the game (no LAN co-op)... altogether it feels like an unfinished game. I regret buying that a lot more than Stalker Clear Sky. :(

Image
Mercenaries 2: World in Flames PC version

Spore is a bit better but having played through it once there's not much replay value in it. The first few stages are fun but tribal, civilisation and space get progressively less enjoyable. It's ok for a bit but involves a lot more grinding than you'd think.

Image
Spore Space Stage
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Postby pastie » Mon Sep 15, 2008 9:22 pm

Good to know someone has actually completed it :)

I played it with the 1.5.0.3 patch , and found that I could get as far as the Garbage , but when I tried to go to Dark Valley , I had 8 - 10 people just shooting madly at me and of course died very quickly.

But to get through to the Garbage I had to go an indirect route as I had so many X-Ray errors ( and multiple emissions :cry: ) it was permanently crashing.

When I played it with the 1.5.0.4 patch , I managed to get to the edge of Garbage , but had the same crashes in the same places as 1.5.0.3 :x

I might install XP SP3 and give it another go now I've got my 8800GT XT 512 :)
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former. - Albert Einstein

i5 750/Custom H20/GA-P55A-UD6/4Gb GSkill/5850@900/1200(HR-03GT/VRM-R3)/Corsair HX 850/LianLi A77B/Crucial M225 64Gb/640Gb WD Black/750Gb WD Black/W7 Ultimate x64
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Postby WR304 » Mon Sep 15, 2008 11:15 pm

Reading some threads about the game it seems that you're less likely to have issues using an ATI graphics card.

My PC using the same Nvidia 177.92 driver as my brother's was still unstable. It seems to be luck whether the game will run stably or not at the moment.

The game really needs a few more patches. Apparently some of the senior people at GSC Game World were fired for agreeing to release the game in such an untested state.

A lot of the problems seem to be to do with scripts and the side missions. Your best chance of completing it is to play through without joining any factions and basically only doing story missions. Over time your choice of side missions seems to make the game more unstable. When I tried to play it there was a really annoying bug with the "lucky detector" mission. Wolf at the rookie Stalker camp (where you started in the first game and trader Sidorovich is based) asked for his detector back which he'd dropped into an anomaly. If you failed the mission then my game was crashing immediately afterwards. :(

That's just one of many bugs. There are a few bits where you're relying on AI teammates to do something (patrol a street etc) and they refuse to. Reload needed. Don't even mention Forester. You need to speak with him to progress the story but there's a bug where he vanishes so you have to reload. :(

Did you get many corrupt savegames? That sucked. :(
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Postby pastie » Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:24 am

I had seen that about the ATi cards - for a game that puts it's recommended requirements as " ATi Radeon 2900 / 8800GT " it does strike as rather odd.

It also seems that playing in Vista effectively halves the frame rates from 60-80 fps to around 30fps - seems the CPU is only running on / as 1 core on a dual/triple/quad core :cry: This doesn't seem to affect the fps on XP though...
I noticed on the oblivion-lost.de that someone has come out with a " fix " for this problem http://board.oblivion-lost.de/showthread.php?t=14447 ( sorry in advance , but it's in German :oops: )

I had several corrupted saves - usually quick saves , and all at really unfortunate times - surrounded by 6 - 8 bandits or running from an emission........

On a better note , the Clear Sky support page is now a web feedback form instead of a £1.50 a minute telephone number.....

I liked the bug where you got 3 or 4 stalkers who would walk in to a sign and just stand there trying to continue - you could frag them and pinch all their kit without any problems :wink:

Excellent screen shots btw :)
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former. - Albert Einstein

i5 750/Custom H20/GA-P55A-UD6/4Gb GSkill/5850@900/1200(HR-03GT/VRM-R3)/Corsair HX 850/LianLi A77B/Crucial M225 64Gb/640Gb WD Black/750Gb WD Black/W7 Ultimate x64
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Postby WR304 » Tue Sep 16, 2008 8:02 pm

Have you tried un-installing the game, deleting the game configs (On Windows XP it's located at C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\STALKER-STCS) and then re-installing the game? It seems that you should only install patch 1.5.0.4 onto a clean install. :)

Previously, I'd just tried installing 1.5.0.4 over the existing game install which had been patched to 1.5.0.3 already.
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Postby pastie » Tue Sep 16, 2008 8:26 pm

I did uninstall and reinstall the game and then installed the 1.5.04 patch , but got my save games back on - now I know where they are , I'll put them to one side and start afresh ( AGAIN ) :x ( may be able to play them with the next patch :)....but I doubt it ..... :cry: )

Seems that the Clear Sky website has gone down yet again :roll:........

When it went down at the weekend , the new patch was released - wonder if we're going to get 1.5.05 soon ? :wink:
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former. - Albert Einstein

i5 750/Custom H20/GA-P55A-UD6/4Gb GSkill/5850@900/1200(HR-03GT/VRM-R3)/Corsair HX 850/LianLi A77B/Crucial M225 64Gb/640Gb WD Black/750Gb WD Black/W7 Ultimate x64
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Postby WR304 » Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:00 pm

Any new patch will probably break all your old save games again. :(

After re-installing the game and patching it I was able to play right through the entire swamp level with no crashes (3 hours approx). I've got past the Cordon with no major issues yet too. :)

None of my squad would help with the renegade HQ though. I ended up having to clear the entire renegade base on pistol by myself. :)
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Postby pastie » Thu Sep 18, 2008 3:37 pm

This game is now seriously annoying me :x

I did a clean reinstall of the game and the 1.5.04 patch but couldn't get out of the Swamps until I installed the travel mod - now I can't get out of Cordon into Garbage , or back to the Swamp :evil: :evil:

When I try to travel to Garbage from any of the outposts , the game autosaves and then I get a CTD - when I click on the autosave to load , it shows a picture of the swamps ( the first autosaved mission in the game ), but goes to the appropriate loading screen for where I want to travel to, starts to load and then crashes :twisted: I'm going to have to try and delete / remove the autosave and see if that will make any difference

WR304
When I tried to play it there was a really annoying bug with the "lucky detector" mission. Wolf at the rookie Stalker camp (where you started in the first game and trader Sidorovich is based) asked for his detector back which he'd dropped into an anomaly. If you failed the mission then my game was crashing immediately afterwards.


I got asked to do this mission by at least 5 different Stalkers around the Cordon - must be a " have to do " side mission ? I will have to give it a try before I try to travel out of Cordon again.

Up to now , I haven't come across any emissions ( apart from the first staged ones ) - 1.5.03 was seriously full of them :x

I did find one " good " bug - I was on the way to capture the Cordon / Garbage outpost when I came across a Stalker fighting off a Mutant horde - when I waded in to help and killed all the mutants ( after they had killed him ) , I searched his body for loot , got a goodly amount , and then his body disappeared with a loud noise , only to reappear a few yards away. When I looted him again , he had exactly the same items again :) - double the money at the trader :D

Have you used the backpack mod ? It's really useful :D
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former. - Albert Einstein

i5 750/Custom H20/GA-P55A-UD6/4Gb GSkill/5850@900/1200(HR-03GT/VRM-R3)/Corsair HX 850/LianLi A77B/Crucial M225 64Gb/640Gb WD Black/750Gb WD Black/W7 Ultimate x64
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Postby WR304 » Thu Sep 18, 2008 11:10 pm

Since re-installing the game it's actually been really stable. There hasn't been a single crash yet. I did lots of side missions in the Garbage and even the Loner faction war missions with no crashes. :shock:

The extra missions seem to advance in sequence. After you do the lucky detector mission you get several more similar ones to do too.

The fully upgraded Chaser 13 shotgun using the standard buckshot rounds is really good against snorks. I spent all of the last game trying (and failing) to shoot them with assault rifles but they die after one shot from the shotgun. :)
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Postby pastie » Fri Sep 19, 2008 4:58 pm

Well , the game is seriously annoying me still , but for a different reason...

I checked the game data and found the game_data was set to true / true instead of false / true - changing this to the right config. , raising the resolution to it's highest and doing a defrag on the drive meant that the game worked properly for the first time with no crashes so far... but I can't talk to the Freedom Commander at the northern outpost of Dark Valley ( He's not there !!!!! ), so every time I try to go through that way I get totally wasted by the fighters there - even though I have completed all the missions in Dark Valley and asked to join Freedom.....and am showing as green to everybody in Freedom apart from them :evil:

Maybe I should launch a sneak attack on them from Dark Valley itself and see if that makes any difference :roll:
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former. - Albert Einstein

i5 750/Custom H20/GA-P55A-UD6/4Gb GSkill/5850@900/1200(HR-03GT/VRM-R3)/Corsair HX 850/LianLi A77B/Crucial M225 64Gb/640Gb WD Black/750Gb WD Black/W7 Ultimate x64
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Postby WR304 » Sat Sep 20, 2008 12:22 am

Incredibly, I've still had no problems playing all the way up to the Red Forest level. :)

No crashes and only one small mission glitch that was noticeable.

After lots of side missions I've bought an exoskeleton (55,000 Roubles). The upgrades for it cost almost as much again. :shock: It's ridiculously good though as you can carry 100kilos of equipment, regenerate health, walk through most radiation/ anomalies and bullets seem to just bounce off. :)

The new graphics card has been working well too. It's mostly running at 50-60fps (maximum detail and enhanced lighting but at 1280x1024). The Fraps number below is low because it was recording a movie.

When it works this is such a good game. :)

Image
The reload animations look wicked. The SA80 looks best but I only had a M16 at the time

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The day-night transitions look good with the sun going behind clouds, god rays (in DX9!) etc
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Postby pastie » Sat Sep 20, 2008 9:16 am

Had a glitch with the Technician quest in Freedom , but managed to solve it with a mod :)

Image
Freedom at Sunset DX9 8800GT default settings


The backpack mod gives you 500kg carrying capacity :D

EDIT
Had to remove the second screenshot :cry:
Last edited by pastie on Mon Sep 22, 2008 5:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former. - Albert Einstein

i5 750/Custom H20/GA-P55A-UD6/4Gb GSkill/5850@900/1200(HR-03GT/VRM-R3)/Corsair HX 850/LianLi A77B/Crucial M225 64Gb/640Gb WD Black/750Gb WD Black/W7 Ultimate x64
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Postby WR304 » Sun Sep 21, 2008 11:11 pm

I've had a couple of crashes and one game breaking bug. :( You're supposed to follow this Stalker into a trap and fight your way out but it was crashing every time. I fixed it by just shooting the Stalker and continuing with the mission anyway.

There was a good one too where you have the option to ask Freedom for help to attack the military. I was in the Freedom faction, max happiness and the only dialogue option that appears is "I'm no friend of Freedom, I'll handle this myself." :?

I'm getting near the end of the game now. Here's a pic of my fully upgraded exoskeleton and equipment loadout before travelling to Limansk with Lebedev (The bridge to Limansk pic in my first post was from my brother's game). It took ages getting enough cash to upgrade that suit but it's worth it. You still need lots of small bandages though as when you start bleeding it never seems to stop.

Image
Upgraded exoskeleton and equipment.
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Postby WR304 » Mon Sep 22, 2008 10:21 pm

I finally finished it. :)

No more crashes and only one major bug: In Limansk you have to take out a sniper and then return to the commander. I went onto the hospital section instead and the mission indicator remained stuck on return to the commander. Of course that meant that a mission trigger didn't happen so I had to reload from way back and do most of Limansk again. :(

The whole end section is really linear. It's almost like two different games really. Once you get to Limansk it looks open but all the side streets are blocked with anomalies, barriers or radiation. You might as well be playing a Call of Duty 4 level from then on. :(

What's going on with the bleeding too. :shock: It never seems to stop. I was walking around leaving a massive blood trail most of the time late game. It was taking four small bandages to stop it. I think you need to make sure you keep the two "mama's beads" artifacts (located in the fires in the Junkyard in the Garbage). I sold them which was probably a mistake as they reduce bleeding. They put out radiation so you'd carry an anti-radiation artifact to cancel it out. (There's one right at the start of the game where the tutorial mission mentions artifacts. There's also one by the water at the Limansk bridge in the stash.)

The PK heavy machine gun is useless at anything more than a few metres away. I saved up the ammo for it all game and then when I needed it discovered it's really inaccurate.

The gun that is good is the Dragunov sniper rifle. Max out the upgrades on that and it's unstoppable - every shot is a headshot. 8) Just like in Stalker Shadow of Chernobyl you have to remember that it's still impossible to shoot the enemies when they're doing certain animations. Whenever they do that wounded lean forward move there's no point firing as the bullets don't harm them. The pause does give you time to line up the next shot though. :)
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