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 Tweaking and customizing after install [NEVER MIND...]

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mahzra
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PostSubject: Tweaking and customizing after install [NEVER MIND...]   Tweaking and customizing after install [NEVER MIND...] Icon_minitimeThu 8 Oct 2020 - 16:43

EDIT: Questions answered, for the most part. Leaving the post here so people can chuckle at my naivety.

TLDR: the game guide was TL so I DR. I read some more of the game guide and there were many beautiful words of meaning. I have found the path. Many thanks to pchester, who should receive a knighthood for his efforts.

Also thanks to the team for commenting the .ltx files in English. I nearly cried. They're beautiful.

One note though. The comment on the cross_length value made me laugh at loud: "on but small." The default crosshair in this feels HUGE to me.  lol!

Original post:

Hi everyone.

I'm new to StalkerSoup. I've played, tweaked and customized a bunch of other Stalker mods, but they were all CoP based and I'm completely ignorant on the differences between CoP and SoC modding, never mind this huge intimidating beast that is StalkerSoup.

I've looked around the forum for information on tweaking the game, adding content, using plugins / addons, those kinds of things, but can't really find anything that answers my questions. My sincere apologies if I've just overlooked something totally obvious. So, to the questions.

Tweaking
There are some settings I usually tweak for every mod I play. The main one is the crosshairs size. In CoP the corresponding values are stored in gamedata/configs/system.ltx, in the hud_cursor section.

After install, there's no system.ltx in the configs folder. This is fine, it's in one of the .db files, right? But in which one?

1. Is there an overview of which database files contain which folders?
2. Which application do I need to use to unpack these database files?


That pretty much does it for tweaking.

Customizing
Like I said, StalkerSoup is gigantic. I would love to know what's actually in the soup. Is there a list of features, somewhere? I've seen the many game guide topics, but these seem to be focused on solving gameplay related problem, not so much documenting game features. There's also pchester's bloody awesome looking walkthrough guides, which I've briefly scrolled through, and this seems very informative indeed, but not quite what I'm looking for. I don't need someone to hold my hand, I just need someone to point the way.

3. Is there a gameplay manual that explains the game's rules, features and mechanics?

EDIT: Turns out I need to read awesome guides better.

And finally, a question on the customization options for StalkerSoup. I could not find a thread discussing mods,  addons, plugins or whatever you'd like to call them on this forum. It was a kind of surreal experience to be on a Stalker forum and not even find references to mods or addons.

I noticed there's a Plugin Manager in the Launcher's menus, but this is disabled. I assume it's a feature that's not implemented yet. But just to be sure:

4. How do plugins work?

I'm really enjoying the game, don't get me wrong. I don't even know what I'd want to change yet, other than my beloved crosshairs. It just feels like modding this mod is not something that is encouraged, which really confuses me. I must not be getting it.

Thanks in advance.

EDIT:
I am aware of the Modder's Script. It's great. It offers many options that most other games would require mods for. It's not what I'm looking for.


Last edited by Sword2012 on Fri 9 Oct 2020 - 3:06; edited 6 times in total (Reason for editing : Edited subject for clarity)
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Sword2012
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PostSubject: Re: Tweaking and customizing after install [NEVER MIND...]   Tweaking and customizing after install [NEVER MIND...] Icon_minitimeFri 9 Oct 2020 - 2:49

Hi mahzra

Thanks for your extensive and enthusiastic opening post. Here's hoping the following will help you...


Installation Guide

Containing many tips and tweaks gleaned from the forum:
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
-------------------------------------------------------------------

.db file contents:

DB0 = Core (config, scripts, spawns, ai, etc)
DB1 thru DB9 = levels
DBA thru DBB = meshes
DBC thru DBE = sounds (plug-ins start at .dbe1)
DBF thru DBI = textures (plug-ins start at .dbi1)
DBJ thru DBK = sky textures (plug-ins start at .dbk1)
DBL thru DBN = weapon textures (plug-ins start at .dbn1)
DBO thru DBQ = environment textures (plug-ins start at .dbq1)
DBR = inventory and weapon configs (plug-ins start at .dbr1)
DBS = text localization (replace with desired language package. Balkan from aleks1970 is the only available one at this time) Path = gamedata/config/text/eng
DBT = weather (plug-ins start at .dbt1)
DBU = trade and treasure (plug-ins start at .dbu1)
DBV = terminator and live updates (to be used by live-link)

-------------------------------------------------------------------

StalkerSoup features

Like adding total conversions to your current STALKER game? Then how about one total conversion naturally leading into another? And another? And another?
Interested? Then welcome to StalkerSoup...

A custom 56-level all.spawn, incorporating the original conversion and storyline of Narodnaya Solyanka (People's Soup) with the Large Zone Mod, Arsenal Mod, and AMK/DMX enhancements, is the base for a unique leveling-up system that continues the storyline over many more levels

The result of nearly ten years of coding to merge all these mods with additional content, the complete game has a dedicated worldwide team of testers, ongoing English translation from the original Russian (steve2000, pchester, kd6dm, sjohnson, Sword2012), further translation to other languages, and regular updates (TecnoBacon, aleks1970)

The game has benefited from a major refit before going Alpha, providing a more substantial and robust gameplay experience than ever before. Level 0 (the base game) and Level-up 1 'The Collector' are fully working, while Level-ups 2 'Desolation' and 3 'Reclamation' are partially complete and working within the game, with new level-ups to be provided via downloadable content in the future

Containing over 230,000 objects, the 12Gb download unpacks a game weighing in at just over 19Gb, and covers a legion of quests over every map from Shadow of Chernobyl, Clear Sky, Call of Pripyat, and many new areas, creating several hundred hours of freeform gameplay

Now with a dedicated Installer/Auto-updater (Author: aleks1970), the new game content includes:
Over 250 weapons - from fists, knives, katana, and night-vision crossbow, to computerized sniper rifles, grenade launchers, heavy machine guns, and anti-tank weapons...
(Authors: Zenobian Mod, Arsenal Mod, Simbion Mod, TIREX, giAdolf, Aahz, jgar, Alwen, eNdimiOn, ZEN, Kolyny, Death, Sm0kE, Sin!, Zeka1996, Korneev, Kirag) (Authors’ models: Aahz, Gosuke, Bender, Purke62, Bak and others)
(Weapon and artefact stats rationalisation: GlowWormToo)


  • 28 types of mutant, including female zombies, wild cats, cockroaches, rats, and giant spiders (Authors: Wawka, kalinin11)
  • 53 maps plus with 3 more being developed for future DLC
  • Over 4,000 NPCs, including unique female Stalker models
  • 16 independent factions
  • 20 types of anomaly
  • 45 types of artefact
  • 8 models of detector - the top-end ones accurately depict locations of artefacts and anomalies on the player’s map
  • Numerous drivable vehicles, including specially imported models…


  • Extensive faction-dependent choice of upgradable body armor. Upgrades include 8 types of night vision
  • AMK artefact cooking / recipes - now with an electronic Artefact Transmutator (Basis: Refresh. Kordinalnaya modifications: Sapsan and others)
  • Corpses now become carrion, effectively disappearing from maps over time (Authors: Shadowman, Sapsan)
  • Major improvements to functionality and icons in the Inventory (Authors: Rusya, stalker69, aleks1970, and others)
  • Improved trading across the entire Zone, with mobile traders making periodic ‘flying’ visits
  • Traders now sell smoke grenades, and some traders run a unique lottery...
  • Change your reputation to a faction, and literally buy your way out of trouble...
  • Earnable ‘shortcut trails’, enabling fast and safe passage between maps
  • ‘Hell Hour’ – the night-time phenomenon of sustained massed Zombie attacks (Author: Spot-shooter)
  • Professional weapon upgrades from the technicians at the back of the Bar (Author: Ray)
  • Purchasable Bioradar for the HUD, displaying every nearby lifeform (Authors: xStream, BAC9-FLCL, tolusha, Z-Vertoz, Nekt, Rusya)


  • Upgradable real-time 'Predator detection' for the minimap, customizable to your favourite mutants…
  • Personal mp3 player, with custom music flash drives from in-game traders
  • The Wish Granter is now a random portal to treasures unknown…
  • Blowouts and ‘Hell Hour’ become weaker the further you are from the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), the source of the emissions
  • The types of mutant, artefact, and anomaly you encounter are affected by where you are in the Zone, and your distance from the NPP
  • Improved AI for NPC behaviour and their use of weapons (Author: xStream)
  • Improved NPC faces, which appear accurately in new storyline videos

Included and adapted mods include:

  • 'Terrorizm Demo v0.2 Mod' adds explosives with detonators, unexploded land mines across the Zone, and a combined teleport/mine detector (Author: 4ufak)
  • 'Intellectual Marauder Mod 1.5.1' allows the looting of body armor from corpses (Author: DEXXX)
  • 'Arena Extension Mod' enables playing and betting against multiple human and mutant opponents (Authors: kstn, IG-2007. Adaptation: Wawka, Kto)
  • Optional increase in difficulty with experience (Author: Sapsan)
  • 'Embryos' to spawn mutants, and 'Capsules' to create anomalies anywhere. Guaranteed to break the ice at parties! (Sources - Simbion Mod)
  • 'Repair Kit Mod' for body armor and weapons (Author: DEXXX), the masterly maintenance mod that paved the way for its recent replacement...
  • 'Repair Kit Revamped Mod' to strip down unwanted weapons and armor for spares, to repair your gear (Author: barak1001. Recoded: aleks1970)
  • ‘Half Life’-style gravity gun, and 'Doom 3' style Soul Cube... (Authors: Malandrinus, Kirag)
  • Improved sounds for all weapons (Author: MulleR)
  • New silencers and optics (Arsenal Mod)
  • All fires create smoke (OGSE Mod)
  • 'RagDoll Mod' (Author: LexMalin)
  • GPS tagging for stashes and locations (Author: idler)
  • Looting of bank accounts from corpses (Author: Babuin 119)
  • Locks to prevent theft from stashes - Yes, NPCs now nick your stuff... (Author: Ferrari314)
  • 'Linspiro Addon v1.1 Mod' lets you buy info on stashes from friendly NPCs (Author: Linspiro)
  • 'Nocturne Mod 1.0' adds new dreams (Authors: Khorn, malandrinus, nemnogonado)
  • Variety of HUDs with dynamic effects (Authors: ABC Mod, Redux Mod, Vergas, zayaz)
  • 'Doc Viewer' makes photos and documents readable on your HUD (Author: 7.9)

Other features include:

  • The Game Launcher (Author:TecnoBacon) provides graphics options, FOV adjustment, automatic log cleaning, savegame management, 'cheats', and launch options. No more adding command lines to your shortcut!
  • A personalised Modders’ Script (text file) allows you to fine tune every aspect of the game to your preference
  • Selectable graphics options include DX9, DX11, and SweetFX DX11
  • Shader options are now made easy with a simple text file
  • New Advanced Options Menu available in-game
  • In-game Spawn Menu allows the instant creation of any item, weapon, mutant, or even anomaly…
  • In-game Teleportation Menu allows judicious fast travel between maps
  • In-game Infoportion Menu allows the automatic completion of a task or event - just in case you're really, really stuck...
  • Game support guides, walkthroughs, directories, and documentation (Authors: pchester, KoRn0509, Plesskyn, kd6dm, Sword2012)

The game is spread over several freeplayable levels:
Level 0 - The highly upgraded Narodnaya Solyanka mod, which now leads into…
Level 1 - ‘The Collector’ (Author: TecnoBacon), an original storyline with a new chain of quests (Author: dAVROs). This level also incorporates the ZEP (Zone Expansion Project), the Gold Bars quest, and The Hunt (created exclusively for StalkerSoup by DKZ). It includes new maps, characters, and an unusual generator which brings about…
Level 2 - ‘Desolation’ (Author: TecnoBacon) - the onset of the Storm, the continuation of the hunt, and a search for coded anomalous gold bars, until…
Level 3 - ‘Reclamation’ (Author: TecnoBacon) - the radiation storm recedes, mutants repopulate the Zone, and the race to the centre, for every faction, begins. You’ll be extremely grateful that other Stalkers have your back…
Levels 4-10 (Author: TecnoBacon and possibly others) are ongoing works in progress, but will become available as DLC


Further works in progress include:

  • A 64 bit X-Ray engine supporting 16Gb RAM
  • In-game networking using the game’s SMS messaging system
  • Improvements to the geometry of new levels and mini-maps
  • Further weapon rebalancing and effectiveness
  • Continuous repair and optimization of the X-Ray engine, including the removal of rogue original code and memory hogs (the source of most CTD’s), making the game more stable with every new patch...


Last edited by Sword2012 on Sat 10 Oct 2020 - 8:34; edited 2 times in total
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mahzra
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PostSubject: Re: Tweaking and customizing after install [NEVER MIND...]   Tweaking and customizing after install [NEVER MIND...] Icon_minitimeFri 9 Oct 2020 - 21:09

Thanks a lot for your reply, Sword. This is the info I was looking for. I suspect I'll be playing this for years to come. The first few years being spent learning to play the game.

But, man. That's kind of overwhelming. I see why there's no real mention of mods for this package. It already contains all mods ever!

... except for crosshair options. Maybe an idea to add some presets to the Modder's Script? I don't know how other people feel about the current default crosshair, but I had to find out how to change it. I suppose most people don't use crosshairs.

I'll post the values for my favorite crosshair presets in the game improvement suggestions section.

Also, and I don't mean any offense by this, but the way you edited the thread's title cracked me up. One of the things I noticed about StalkerSoup's dialogues is the over-use of ellipses...

And then you, the administrator of this forum...

Edits my thread's title...

To make sure it contains the minimally required number of ellipses....

That...

... is some funny shit.

Thanks again!
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Sword2012
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Sword2012

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PostSubject: Re: Tweaking and customizing after install [NEVER MIND...]   Tweaking and customizing after install [NEVER MIND...] Icon_minitimeFri 9 Oct 2020 - 22:06

I'm sorry, but that title was just begging for an ellipsis to make its context less... ambiguous...

Personally, I think that ellipses add a touch of suspense, poignancy, and thoughtfulness to the lines, because you'll find that it's that type of game, especially as most of the development team are in their 50's, 60's and 70's...  Very Happy

But another reason for their extensive use is to denote which text lines have acually been completed, as opposed to the utter, machine-translated, gobbledegook which was inherited and merged from most of the incorporated mods...

After five years of working on 5Mb of text, spread over 155 files, the first draft is about 80% completed. Maybe, when we get to the third draft, some of those ellipses could be removed...

But hey, unlike Marvel comics, at least every line of dialogue doesn't end with a series of exclamation marks!!!
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TrueB
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TrueB

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PostSubject: Re: Tweaking and customizing after install [NEVER MIND...]   Tweaking and customizing after install [NEVER MIND...] Icon_minitimeSun 11 Oct 2020 - 11:30

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Thanks a lot for your reply, Sword. This is the info I was looking for. I suspect I'll be playing this for years to come. The first few years being spent learning to play the game.

But, man. That's kind of overwhelming. I see why there's no real mention of mods for this package. It already contains all mods ever!

... except for crosshair options. Maybe an idea to add some presets to the Modder's Script? I don't know how other people feel about the current default crosshair, but I had to find out how to change it. I suppose most people don't use crosshairs.

I'll post the values for my favorite crosshair presets in the game improvement suggestions section.

Also, and I don't mean any offense by this, but the way you edited the thread's title cracked me up. One of the things I noticed about StalkerSoup's dialogues is the over-use of ellipses...

And then you, the administrator of this forum...

Edits my thread's title...

To make sure it contains the minimally required number of ellipses....

That...

... is some funny shit.

Thanks again!

Hi Mahzra, if you like tweaking etc, you might enjoy contacting TecnoBacon and Alex1970 to see if they can use your help with anything. Do you have modding experience? Any help is always appreciated.
The use of crosshairs is found in Options. Depending on how far you are into the game, the quality of crosshairs changes. Click on black line for spoiler detail:
Spoiler:
 
In my opinion, to get to see what is available to "tweak" etc, I recommend reading through pchester's excellent Game Guides. He also provides a series of helpful plans,of areas, not on main map. Stalkersoup (originally so named for using,a soup of mods) tends to be linear as can be seen from the Game Guides. After a first playthrough of eg Level 0, more lateral play is possible on missions that add to life in the Zone, without affecting the main storyline.
Good Hunting.
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mahzra
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PostSubject: Re: Tweaking and customizing after install [NEVER MIND...]   Tweaking and customizing after install [NEVER MIND...] Icon_minitimeSun 11 Oct 2020 - 17:17

Hi, B.

Thanks for your reply. Pchester's game guides are a really valuable source of information, particularly the appendices. I'd dismissed them initially thinking they were just your run of the mill GameFAQ walkthroughs. I know. FOR SHAME. Pchester did a brilliant job.

I'll play the game for a while and make some decent progression. So far I'm really enjoying it. It's very different from other Stalker mods I've played.

I've read that level 0 is pretty immense. How long on average does it take to play through? 20-30 hours or so?
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Sword2012
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Sword2012

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PostSubject: Re: Tweaking and customizing after install [NEVER MIND...]   Tweaking and customizing after install [NEVER MIND...] Icon_minitimeFri 16 Oct 2020 - 23:52

I believe it's more like 200+ hours, if you don't rush... Twisted Evil
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