The ZRP FAQ

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STALKER-SoC Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the ZRP patch-mod


This section is intended to answer some common questions about the ZRP. Some myths are addressed as well. If your question is not ZRP-specific, try the Troubleshooting FAQ.


Quick Links

Deciding Why should I use the ZRP instead of vanilla?
How "vanilla" is the ZRP?
Installing
Merging
Configuring
What is the latest ZRP version?
What patch version do I need for the ZRP? How about Steam or GOG?
Will the ZRP work with the [NA|US|WW|CIS|Russian|Ukranian] version of the game?
Will the ZRP work with my [language|localization]?
What mods work with the ZRP?
Can I merge the ZRP with my overhaul mega-mod?

Can I use my existing saves with the ZRP?
How can I configure the ZRP?
How do I use the Modifier program?

How can I get the Modifier program to work?
What is TZIO?
Playing the game Does this mod change the game?
Does this mod change the gameplay?

Does this mod reduce the spawn rate?
Does the ZRP add content?
Does this mod make the game easier?
How can I make the game easier?
How can I make the game harder?

How do I fast-travel?
How do I heal NPCs who don't have a dialog option for a medkit?
What bugs are fixed?
Why are there still bugs?

Solving problems Finding help



Why should I use the ZRP instead of vanilla?


How "vanilla" is the ZRP?

The default ZRP configuration is quite vanilla. Many of the ZRP features are unintrusive, like the level-based autosaves. STALKER with ZRP is more what the developers wanted: Some features were in the game but they just didn't work. Yet some vanilla purists find the bugs charming -- they're "features". The ZRP can be configured to restore some if not most of these "features". (If you want all of these "features" it might be easier to just skip the ZRP.)



What is the latest ZRP version?

The latest version will always be the one shown first on the download page. As of the end of 2015, ZRP 1.07 R5 RC (for release candidate) is the most recent. The ZRP version is displayed on the main menu at the lower left corner when the ZRP is properly installed.

Be aware that pre-packaged archives found elsewhere may not have the latest version, or even a recent version. ZRP 1.07 XR2 was released in October 2010, more than five years ago.


What patch version do I need for the ZRP? How about Steam or GOG?

ZRP works with patch 1.0004, 1.0005 or 1.0006. See the Troubleshooting FAQ to determine what version you already have.

Steam and GOG downloadable versions are currently based on patch 1.0006. The latest ZRP works well with them.


Will the ZRP work with the [NA|US|WW|CIS|Russian|Ukranian] version of the game?

Yes. Some optional custom database files (gamedata.db*) will not directly work with the CIS/Russian/Ukrainian version, but their contents can be extracted to a new gamedata directory just before overwriting it with the ZRP gamedata.


Will the ZRP work with my [language|localization]?

It should. Running the ZRP with not-yet-supported languages will show some labels instead of text, and some messages (debug messages for example) will still be in English.

More language support is planned. If you want all the text in your language now, consider the older but still good STALKER Complete mod compiled by artistpavel. The mod has additional language support as a downloadable add-on.


What mods work with the ZRP?
Can I merge the ZRP with my overhaul mega-mod?

Small mods can work with the ZRP if there are no files in common; see the ZRP home page. Graphics (texture and shader) mods and weather mods should be relatively easy to merge.

Before you add any mod, read the ZRP documentation -- that mod or one that provides the same functionality (e.g., sleeping bag, weapon repair, weight mod, head-bob mod) may already be in the ZRP. See the Modifier page for more info.

Big mods cannot be easily merged with the ZRP. Some websites may claim otherwise but there is too much that is changed in the recent ZRP versions for this to be so. Many big mods already have their own bug fixes.

Some mods already have the ZRP as a base for their mod. Autumn Aurora 2 has most of the ZRP incorporated already. Storm Shadow's STALKER Rebalanced mod is also using the ZRP.

Some modders, notably MrSeyker and bamah, have created ZRP add-ons (with Modifier configuration support!) and ZRP compilations. These are linked on the Downloads section of the GSC forum or discussed in the ZRP thread at the Mod Discussion section of the same forum. See Finding help below.


Can I use my existing saves with the ZRP?

Yes, if your existing saves are pure vanilla or if they are based on prior versions of the ZRP mod. Just follow the mod installation instructions.


Can I use my existing ZRP saves in a vanilla game?

No. Alternatives: turn off all the ZRP features you don't like and keep playing, or just remove the mod and start a new game.


How can I get the Modifier program to work?

See gamedata\modcfg\ModifierHelp.txt. This is the same file that's displayed when you click the Help button in the Modifier window.


What is TZIO?

TZIO stands for "The Zone Is Open". It is a way to start the game anywhere, anywhen in the story. Or you can use it to skip ahead in the story. You can also use it to automatically complete earlier parts of the game that you skipped, parts needed for some of the different endings of the game.

You can even use it to begin in free play, skipping the plot entirely.

While in a game session (start a new game if you need to), press the Esc key to get to the main menu, then press T. For additional information, see gamedata\docs\TheZoneIsOpen.txt in the ZRP archive.



Does this mod change the game?

Yes, but in a logical vanilla-supporting way. A few examples: There are far fewer crashes and no show-stopping ones. There are no more broken quests. You can save in Pripyat and reload that save. NPCs don't spawn dead in campfires. NPCs know when they are being nibbled by tushkanos. Some of the autoquests have been converted into normal sidequests. The contents of newly-broken crates don't fall through the floor. You can stay in the Zone after the game ends.

That should give you an idea. The ZRP change notes can tell you what's different.


Does this mod change the gameplay?

No, the default configuration doesn't change gameplay in the general sense. It doesn't change any of these: the plot, the weapon accuracy, the NPC toughness, or the secrets found (other than using more interesting English text). The only new weapon is a TOZ-34 to replace Hunter's "family heirloom" sawn-off with a real shotgun.

You can configure it to have a sleeping bag or keep stalkers from walking into anomalies or enable weapon and outfit repair guys. You can even add features and enhancements: more AI support, more tasks. But you have to make these changes yourself.

Remember: If you happen to disagree with some ZRP change, there are many options available to selectively restore the original vanilla behaviors. What's not to like?


Does this mod reduce the spawn rate?

No and yes; effectively no.

The vanilla respawn rate only works properly as long as you don't load a save or change levels (AKA a game session). ZRP behaves the same way as vanilla during this game session. But vanilla is broken because it doesn't remember the respawn time once you start a new game session by loading a save or going to another level. Vanilla then resets the spawners, activating them immediately. This leads to non-stop bandits attacking the vehicle graveyard and mutant mobs suddenly appearing out of nowhere. (If you like this behavior, see next paragraph.)

The RPM (Respawn Population Management) feature merely fixes the broken persistence of the spawners; your game now remembers the state of the respawners when you load a save or change levels. This fix will delay only the initial replacement respawns -- and even that can be configured to be faster than vanilla. Or RPM can even be configured to act exactly like vanilla.

In addition the ZRP actually increases the spawns because it fixes some spawners that were not working in vanilla.

This RPM fix has the added benefit of allowing more respawners to supply a particular smart terrain (a camp or territory). In vanilla, the rookie bandit spawners were at the top of the list and therefore almost always the suppliers for smart terrains where rookies were allowed. Now higher-ranking respawners will take their appropriate place in the replacement spawns.

This also means you can see more stalkers of higher ranks moving across levels like the Garbage to get to their new camps, even if there are no suitable camps on that level for them.


Does the ZRP add content?

Yes, while keeping the spirit of vanilla. For instance, Hunter's "hunting rifle" is a sawn-off shotgun in vanilla. (It will also be that if you start the ZRP with an existing save.) In new games with the ZRP, that "family heirloom" is a TOZ-34.

The ZRP also adds other content, all of which is optional, all of which extends vanilla:

Those are optional, enabled by default but you can turn them off.

Others are optional but not default; you have to explicitly enable them before they will add content to or otherwise change your game, including:


Does this mod make the game easier?

No, not out of the box it doesn't. It can actually make the game harder because spawn replacements can have higher ranks (see "Does this mod reduce the spawn rate?"). Bug fixes also contribute to a more difficult game: No NPCs spawning in fires means no more free loot or automatic completion of some quests, doing jobs for a faction no longer boosts your goodwill with that faction's enemies. Some exploits are removed: no more multiple secrets from the same body, no perfect weapons from wounded NPCs, no swapping weapons with NPCs to re-acquire a quest weapon. (You can re-add these exploits; see the Modifier's Vanilla configuration choices.) Also, late-game NPCs will reload with AP ammo.


How can I make the game easier?

Consider the Modifier options like the Actor configuration (tweak your health, damage, endurance and difficulty) and the First Person Shooter configuration (tweak your accuracy, NPC accuracy). You can reduce the replacement spawn rate with the RespawnerControl configuration.

If you are bothered by the so-called "bullet sponge" effect caused by the time_to_aim variable, see What You Know That Ain't So for ways to work around it, including an easy way to eliminate it altogether.


How can I make the game harder?

Examine the configuration options mentioned just above and use them to increase the difficulty, damage, etc. For example, you can increase the replacement spawn rate with the Modifier's RespawnerControl configuration.

You can enable NPC grenade throwing and other AI tweaks. You can add the MonoMartyrs to the game via their Modifier configuration.

You can increase the odds NPCs will hit you when they shoot with the "NPC accuracy, part 2" entry of the Modifier's First Person Shooter configuration. You can reduce the amount of ammo NPCs drop when they die via the same config. (This is highly recommended even if you don't enable the FPS option.)

You can remove the healing power of food and/or you can disable the bleeding reduction of medkits. See the Item Healing entries for the Tweaks configuration.

You can make NPCs tougher; see the gamedata\docs text files.


How do I fast-travel?

While in a game session, press Esc to return to the main menu, then press J (for "jump") to display the Intralevel Teleport dialog. You can add more destinations by copying a file, and you can create your own custom destinations. See the gamedata\docs\TheZoneIsOpen.txt file, Part 2, for details.


How do I heal NPCs who don't have a dialog option for a medkit?

Stand near the NPC and drop a medkit from your inventory. If it doesn't work the first time (because you just tried talking to him), pick up the medkit and drop it again. The HUD will tell you if the NPC was healed. Enemies may fake being injured after this, but if you go away and come back...

You can use this technique to heal NPCs that are "walking wounded" -- hurt but not enough to be on the ground moaning.


What bugs are fixed?

See Bugs In STALKER, and read the files that start with "ZRP_Changes" in the gamedata\docs\ subdirectory.


Why are there still bugs?

Fixing stuff is an ongoing process. See gamedata\docs\Known_Issues.txt.



Finding help

Have a ZRP question that is not answered here or in the gamedata\docs text files? If you can't find it with additional searching, consider asking it on the official ZRP forum thread.


Last page update: February 16, 2016
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