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Artifact Parameters are present in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Lost Alpha standalone mod but are configured in a more complex variety of combinations, especially between game versions.
They exist as specified properties of the Artifacts within a given 'gameworld'.
They operate within the game environment rendered by the Xray game engine (which generates the 'gameworld') by modifying a suite of physics parameters that the player has trivial access to and interacts with in order to enhance various resistances and strengths by equipping the various artifacts on the actor's belt.
While the physics parameters are in close alignment with those obtained from upgrading the various Armours available to the player, such upgrades are (obviously) a unidirectional evolution during the game and may never be reversed.
Consequently, since the player has up to eighteen belt slots available and around seventy potentially available artifacts to place there, the combination possibilities are enormous, as are the opportunities for misadventure (hunger-death while sleeping)
The flexibility of choice open to the player is daunting but may be simplified by tasking:
As such, a brief primer on their various effects is listed below.
There are some 20+ parameters but they can be conveniently divided into two sub-categories: "Passive" and "Active".
- Consists of just six defining characteristics:
- Pretty obvious.
- With 58 artifacts in v1.3003 and 66 in v1.4007, some form of distinguishing identity is required.
- The problems come when well established names suddenly change name, and/or established names are shifted to other artifacts (v1.4007)
- The reasons for this are quite unknown.
- The Lost Alpha Wiki has absolutely no control over this; we just document 'what is'.
- Also pretty obvious.
- It is the actual physical weight of the artifact.
- It has nothing to do with 'weight carry' mentioned below.
- Another obvious one.
- This is the Base Price coded into the game.
- It is not to be indicative of the Trading price that the player establishes with any of the Characters.
- Alluded to in the "inventory description" or the PDA "encyclopedia description" - which may be contradictory.
- Simply put it names the anomaly from which the artifact might spawn.
- This is of interest to other geeks and nerds.
- It is derived from the gamefiles and is the identity of the object "under the bonnet" of the game.
- That which is at the "backend" of the game, while the player sees the "frontend" on the board:
- (Example: the player hypothetically 'cheat-spawns' to inventory "af_dummy_glassbeads" - between v1.30013 and 1.4005 a Mama's Beads appears - from v1.4007 a "Brown Beads" appears. Same thing as far as the engine is concerned at the "backend", different properties seen by the player by virtue of the gafefile effects.
- The inventory icon for the artifact in question seen by the player.
- While this might seem hyper-trivial, various modpacks can re-skin the game in annoying manners. The PRM Modpack does this.
- There are sixteen of these used in Lost Alpha but only fifteen are useful to varying degrees for the player. The "hunger" parameter is more of a parasitic parameter that inconveniences and requires greater food intake.
- These fifteen parameters each have four associated "ranked" artifacts that provide progressively beneficial improvement of a given parameter.
- It should be stressed that any particular "quartet" may or may not birth from canonical anomalies which may be considered counter-intuitive by some players.
- Example #1 - "Rupture" protection artifacts:
- Example #2 - "Telepathy" protection artifacts:
- All Artifact Parameters have mnemonic iconography to assist the player in determining their uses.
- NOTE There are effectively two types of Health - namely "Health" and "Psi-health".
- The first is damaged by all hostile negatives except "telepathy". The second is only damaged by "telepathic" depredations (Controllers and Blowouts for the most part)
- Some artifact positively help the player to recover health points more quickly.
- In ascending order of potency these include Glass Ball ("Soul"), Doughboy (Kolobok), Firefly, Mercury ball and Hell.
- Some could take points away. Rare (pretty much confined to v1.4005)
- Some useful artifacts remove acquired radiation.
- In ascending order of potency these include Jellyfish, Ball of Twine (Knot), Bubble and Pupil.
- Many do not, and introduce radiation into the player's body instead. In v1.4007 this will be a large majority of the 66 artifacts.
- The Cake of v1.30013 to 1.4002 actually fed the player, quickly and with no need for the player to ever carry rations; just slip the Cake on the belt and seconds later they were 'topped off'.
- That was a bug though, and all "hunger" artifacts will now gradually starve the player in v1.4007.
- This negative condition is usually encountered as a penalty effect associated with artifacts that provide useful positive effects to the player's actor such as "bleed reduction", "health regeneration" or "stamina restore".
- In no particular order of potency these will therefore include: Glass Ball, Kolobok, Firefly, Mercury ball, Accumulator, Jewel, Snowflake, Electra (Discharge), Red beads, Eye, Flame and Gold beads.
- Due to this property's existence care should be taken and allowances made when the player's actor 'sleeps' while wearing these artifacts.
- Also known as "stamina restore". Self-explanatory, if the player runs around and runs out of 'wind' - artifacts with this property help it to recover faster than the actor's coded ability.
- In ascending order of potency these include Accumulator, Jewel, Snowflake and Electra (Discharge).
- Some artifacts deplete stamina. The Flame between v1.30013 and 1.4005 had this minor niggle. In v1.4007 it slowly starves the player ...
- Not to be confused with Health above.
- Not to be mixed up with Telepathy below.
- Specifically, helps the player recover "psi-health" (the grey bar in the HUD) during or after a telepathic attack.
- Since prevention is worth more than an ounce of cure, good Telepathy shielding will help preclude the need for "psi-health" restoration.
- In ascending order of potency these include Bagel (Horn), Stone Flower, Soul ("Heart") and Crystal.
- A few artifacts are coded to 'drive the wearer insane' (see "Supernova".
- Straightforward, reduces player bleedout.
- In ascending order of potency these include Red beads, Eye, Flame and Gold beads.
- The Compass also has the bleed control of a Red beads although this comes with other penalties.
- Some artifacts may have this annoying acceleration of bleeding in their property set (usually confined to the v1.4002 - 1.4005 releases)
- A declarative that allows additional mass to be carried if worn by the player.
- Only seriously implemented from v1.4002.
- Often mildly buggy before v1.4007.
- In ascending order of potency these include Bouquet (Hedgehog), Crescent (Chert), Soother and Mama's Beads (Brown Beads)
- Not observed. Yet.
- Reduces the wearer's susceptiblity to thermally hot locations.
- In ascending order of potency these include Quartz, Fireball, Spine and Pellicle.
- Some artifacts may have a negative coefficient in this respect.
- Reduces the player's attrition in gravitational or shockwave encounters.
- In ascending order of potency these include Wrenched, Ivory, Battery and Spring.
- Has rare negative possibilities.
- Bottom line: exploration or exploitation of Whirligig, Springboard and Vortex anomalies becomes easier - or not.
- Acts to counter the insta-death encountered in Electro anomalies.
- In ascending order of potency these include Sparkler, Twinkle, Flash and White Sun (Lightning)
- Some artifacts may inhibit this sort of exploration.
- Prevents damage from ALL forms of mutant attack (with the minor exceptions of Poltergeists (some "impact" damage from debris) and Pyrogeists (where "burn" protection is the major concern)
- Arguably the most important parameter for the player to enhance during combat across the Zone.
- In ascending order of potency these include Slime, Crystal Thorn, Night Star and Fungus (Toadstool)
- There are probably rocks that work against the player.
- Similar to the Psi-Health - Telepathy dichotomy above.
- Just as prevention was worth more than an ounce of cure there, preventing radiation from poisoning the player is the more desirable situation.
- Such rocks operate sequentially with the player's suit to stop radiation from entering the actor's body.
- In ascending order of potency these include Thorn, Devil's guts (Giblets), Urchin ("Sea Urchin") and Shell.
- Some of course, do the opposite.
- (See Psi-Health above)
- Provides additional resistance to "telepathic" attack.
- Reduces the rate that the player loses "psi-health".
- In ascending order of potency these include Cake (Crystal Flower), Slug, Moonlight and Green beads.
- Some of course, may do the opposite.
- Adds resistance to harsh chemical and similarly toxic areas.
- Aids in the exploration of Gas, Grabber and Witches' Jelly anomalies for instance.
- In ascending order of potency these include Rock (Stone Bile), Liver (Flesh Chunk), Mica and Blue beads.
- Probably. Use discretion.
- Since every player wants to explore minefields on a routine basis, there are mitigating artifacts just for them.
- In ascending order of potency these include Stone Blood, Meat Chunk, Cupcake (Sphere) and Chestnut.
- Possibly. It's a big Zone.
- Well, protects against bullets obviously (but not grenades and ogives as they are of the "explosion" delivering vector type)
- Also referred to as "firearms" internally, this is arguably the second most important parameter that the player might wish to enhance during the game.
- In ascending order of potency these include Droplets, Gravi, Cuttlefish and Goldfish.
- Makes the player even more susceptible to gunshot damage if worn (seen between v1.30013 and 1.4005)
Notes and Observations
- What becomes more obvious from v1.4007, is that damage-free transit through many of the various Anomalies is now feasible if the player wears artifacts that provide 100+% parameter enhancement against various negative effects of these anomalies.
- This also extends to combat by two paths since the game engine treats many negative combat effects as being equivalent to negative Artifact Parameters.
- The player equips 100+% of "rupture protection" (five Night Stars for simplicity) and picks a fight with a huge pack of mutants in Countryside:
- Possible outcome #1:
- After much banging and stabbing the mutants lie dead and the player is completely unharmed by the encounter.
- Since the Artifact Parameters may generally be mixed and matched provided suitable radiation warding is available more complex strategies are possible:
- Same place, same monster mutant pack, but the player equips 100+% of "rupture protection" and 100+% of "impact protection" (five Battery artifacts for simplicity)
- Possible outcome #2:
- The player staggers into a nearby Vortex cluster and all of the mutants follow and explode spectacularly. No ammunition is expended. The player takes no damage from either the mutants or the cluster (despite more theatrical grunting)
- Since the parameters generally extend further and work in conjunction with the similar protections given by the player's Armour, lower limits may be derived for the lowest required protection for 'survivable transit', but here the effects are more subtle because the power of the Anomaly involved will also be a factor. The following examples involve a 'strong' anomaly variant.
- Example #1
- The player sports a ruggedly upgraded SSP-100M suit and wanders over to the "Cordon Swamp" to stand within the (typically lethal) Grabber anomaly using only the suit's inherent "chemburn" capability (around 60%)
- The player dies instantly.
- Example #2
- Same scenario as above, but the player wears 100+% "chemburn" protection (five Micas).
- There is some theatrical grunting from the player's actor but no damage ensues and to all intents and purposes the player could 'eat, drink and sleep' there.
- Example #3
- Similar to #2 but with three Micas and a Blue beads for 89% protection.
- The player takes no apparent damage...
- "Suit-repair" as seen in SoC is still out of bounds.
- "Health repair" also seems clunky in v1.4007.