Day one.

Woke up and went through the usual motions with the objective of trying to do as much knifework with my sprite on Master difficulty (the last 6 games have been as a Veteran) as is possible, on the basis that you don't need 10,000 rounds of 9x39mm SP-6 to get through the game.

So here's the outline strategy plan:

  1. Run the Flesh to the edge of their gulag and knife 'em in the tender spots. Do something similar with the Boar pack and try not to get too mauled in the process. After all, bandages are not a penny for ten...
  2. Use the "Flesh cutscene" to see if I can scare up any Artifact Spawns...
  3. Rescue 'Numble' and score some Poltergeist's brains in the process..
  4. See a rookie Mil about an Sniper rifle SVDm-2 and stash it in the Sin House for use on Garbage(Lost Alpha) later on while 'negotiating' for the release of Fox...
  5. Pop over to the Trade Route Tunnel and peel Zombies off - one at a time, run them through the Springboards (using the knife if they start to wander off plan) to spawn some decent artifacts.

OK so far? What could go wrong?...

Ss owner 08-03-17 14-36-30 (la01 escape)

In the event, not much ... and plenty.. here's why:

  1. The flesh were OK as I ran in, did a bit of circling, (the Proverb hid under a tree immobile for some inexplicable reason!) and a facefull of knife certainly put them into defense mode (prior to death)
We moved on...
  1. The boar were a bit more of a team effort, with 'Proverb' flanking and strafing with that bloody Vintar BC while dumbass muggins is waiting for frontal charges that can be trepanned with a whack or two.
  • The herd contains eight on Master level (which is ok) - I get credited with 5 kills (that's ok too)

I confess to needing to do a couple of reloads at Old Factory and using the PMm throughout (one reload was because I walked under a damned Burnt Fuzz and got seriously blooded)

  1. The Bridge Checkpoint was too easy this time - rookie sniper wheels round at 10 feet and tries to drill me. Misses, obviously and gets two 9x18 through the forehead. Stashed the Sniper rifle SVDm-2 in the Sin House as planned...
  1. Rescuing Nimble was without incident, except - the Poltergeist squad "came up empty".

And this is the rub. Without one tradeable high end body part, you're left trading food and drink items. It gets tedious... So money is going to be 'tight' in the early part of this game.

  1. But the Trade route tunnel came up trumps. An hour's (real-time) work gained TWO Cakes and THREE Springs... apart from the odd Stone Blood and Meat Chunk from a few flesh that tried to invade.

Tried to do a runner to Garbage but Sid bitched some tripe about "lazy, lazy stalker" - failed the Black ops mission, so I thought it expedient to keep options open and reload to do his crappy mission before night fell proper. On to day two ..:

..Day three... At which point I suddenly tumble to the slight inconvenience that my PDA is handicapping me by NOT noting how many other stalkers PDAs are "in the vacinity" of ME as a number in my minimap... nothing serious happening here, of course, just the whole subdimension of the game where you make use of semi-knowledge of how many adversaries populate your area of operation, IS OUT OF THE GAME. To be sure, opponents still briefly 'flash' as red markers in the minimap, but let's face it - big deal. (If this is a feature of playing in Master mode - then actually, I quite like it in a manner that adds a challenge; but if it comes about from repeated reloads which will happen for a host of ordinary reasons (crossing levels, reloading presaves, reloading to restart the game, reloading bc you effed up and level-changed with NV on.., or maybe just played a game fork to test the game in the interests of the wiki (knowing that it has already been exhaustively tested by the Dez0wave team and that such matters are sheerly for curiosity value..), or perhaps just bc it did a 777 CTD) then the engine stability is questionable imho.

IT DOESN'T MATTER A DAMN! I'm still playing, warts and all..

..Day four...

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