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Everything We Know About S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl

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Everything We Know About S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl

The long-awaited sequel to the Stalker trilogy is finally a real thing that we can experience soon enough! With an official release date in the air set on the 28th of April 2022, we can finally mark our calendars and wait in anticipation of its release.

The game is currently available for preorder on Steam, so make sure to grab some OffGamers Steam Wallet Codes if you’re interested!

It was originally announced way back in 2010, but due to development hell, it will now be released in 2022. It was supposed to be released in 2012 but it was canceled and reannounced in 2018 as the version that we get to see today. We were granted this surprise from Microsoft’s E3 2021 showcase and we can’t wait to experience Stalker 2 to see what GSC Game World has in store for us.

Stalker Backstory

stalker backstory

For those who are unfamiliar with the Stalker franchise, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Note that we’re using Stalker instead of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. because it would save more time to type. The acronym actually stands for Scavengers, Trespassers, Adventurers, Loners, Killers, Explorers and Robbers which holds significance to the franchise as a whole.

The Stalker series takes place primarily around the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone with each game focusing on the different characters trying to survive after the nuclear reactor catastrophe.

Naturally, in a radioactive environment, all sorts of creatures from humans to animals will get mutated. But the main attraction to this radioactive world is the artifacts that were found. These artifacts are powerful enough to grant regenerative powers and radiation reduction and you will come across plenty of it along the way.

What Is It About?

Stalker about

Not much has been revealed about the game just yet, but here’s what we DO know. The gist of the game is similar to previous games where bounty hunters (including yourself) will adventure into the ‘Chernobyl Exclusion Zone’, lured by its mysteries and treasures. The zone itself is full of weird anomalies, dangerous creatures, and powerful artifacts for you to uncover.

You’ll venture deeper into Chernobyl and uncover something powerful in the middle of the zone that would pose a threat to everyone living in the area.

The story is non-linear, so each of your choices will have its own consequences. There are also multiple endings for you to uncover, so replayability is secured. By this, it naturally means that there are good endings and so-called ‘bad’ endings for you to uncover. We would just advise you to choose based on how you would feel in certain situations to get an ending true to yourself.

Preorder Details

Stalker 2 preorders

Even if the game is releasing next year, preorders are already open and are paired with some pretty cool preorder bonuses as noted below:

⦁ Extended campfire content
⦁ Exclusive weapon skin
⦁ Exclusive armor skin
⦁ An early bird multiplayer badge

Of course, there are also different editions that you could choose from such as the Deluxe Edition with in-game cosmetics and Ultimate Edition with story expansions and season pass. There’s also a Limited Edition and Collector’s Edition if you’re a superfan. Of course, these are all priced differently according to their respective editions.

Gameplay

Here’s the trailer for those who are interested:

Throughout the years we have gotten a few peeks at what would be the Stalker 2 gameplay, most recently being the trailer showcased at Microsoft’s E3 2021 showcase. From the trailer itself, we saw glimpses of gruesome battles and quiet moments by the campfire which would be your home base of operations. There’s even a scene where you’re in a swamp looking for an artifact as a monster gets sucked away by an anomaly.

The trailer also showed off the main character, Skiff picking and attaching weapons as well as firing them. The trailer is definitely action-packed, but let’s not forget the survival elements that the game is also known for. Your radiation meter, hunger and stamina need to be balanced for you to survive in the harsh world of Chernobyl.

In terms of world size, Stalker 2 is going to be one of the bigger open-world games out there for players to explore. This sets it apart from previous releases where exploration was limited. Let’s not forget that this game is mainly a first-person shooter game, apart from its open-world survival mechanics.

Here’s a trailer with commentary from the developers as well:

Visual and Technical Improvements

Stalker 2 visual

Of course, being a game that was planned for release about 11 years ago, we would expect the game to have some form of visual and technical improvements. This is especially true as the technology of today has advanced further than it had all those years ago.

As such, GSC has confirmed that there will be RTX support for Stalker 2 on the Xbox Series X/S as well as 4K resolution. For now, the game will be exclusive to the Xbox console (aside from its PC release), but we may see it get released for the PlayStation in the future so keep an eye out!

Should I Play The Other Stalker Games First?

Stalker 2 game should be played

If you want my advice, I would definitely recommend playing the other games first in order to get an understanding of what the game would be like. It does help to put things into perspective and you won’t be too left out when it comes to the game’s mechanics.

In fact, the game’s developers agree that you should try out the other games first as well as quoted from the GSC site, “Stalker 2 is a standalone project that can be enjoyed on its own. At the same time, we recommend completing the previous games for the maximum level of immersion.” So, take their advice!

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Lst Ark: Servers are shutting down today to allow more fans to play

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Lost Ark: Tier 1 Island Route

On February 11th the new MMORPG Lost Ark was released in its Free2Play version for all people who just want to try it. That’s a lot though, which is why the game is still struggling with server issues. That should change now.

Update 8:05 a.m.: The servers are now down.

When will the servers shut down? As announced by Amazon via the Lost Ark official website, the servers will go offline this morning, that is, on February 13, at 8 a.m. GMT.

The downtime affects all European servers equally and you will not be able to log into the game in the meantime.

How long will they stay offline? The maintenance work is planned for about 3 hours. So if all goes well, you’ll be able to return to the world of Arkesia at 11 a.m.

We’ll keep you up to date in the live ticker when the servers return and if there will be any delays again.

Lost Ark’s last scheduled server maintenance was scheduled for 4 hours, but ended up lasting over 10 hours, leading to some negative reviews on Steam.

Why are the servers going down? Since Lost Ark was released, the new MMORPG has been struggling with long queues and server problems. At the prime time on February 12, more than 1.3 million people played the action game at the same time.

This also meant that some servers had to be completely closed to new players. Especially the server Asta, on which many German players gather, is affected by long queues.

Sometimes the fans have to wait up to 6 hours just to log in. Incidentally, this only works if you already have a character on the Asta server. New players were completely denied access until the evening hours of February 12th.

To address this situation, Amazon is working with Smilegate to increase server capacity. At this point, however, they are not telling us exactly how this is supposed to work.

Are the queues gone then? No, probably not. In the blog post, the publishers emphasize that they only want to create the basic framework for further updates and more server capacities during the downtime.

We, therefore, do not assume that you will be able to continue gambling directly at 11 a.m. without queues, even if that would be desirable.

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Lost Ark: An exact time when the servers will go online

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Lost Ark: Tier 2 Island Route

Today at 6 p.m. the Lost Ark servers should (re)open to all players after the scheduled maintenance. But nothing will come of the official Lost Ark Launch! The launch is delayed due to “deployment issues”.

An exact time when the servers will go online again has not yet been announced. “We hope that this problem will be fixed in a few hours,” the announcement simply says.

We’ll keep you posted on updates here!

Unfortunately, the launch has been delayed due to deployment issues. We hope this will be fixed in a few hours.

Your patience is appreciated and we will update you soon.

Restart Lost Ark Client

We have received important information from the Community Team. Waiting in the server screen doesn’t seem to help. The server list does not appear there automatically. So a reboot is required.

Waiting at the server screen won’t help, as it will require a fresh launch of the client as far as I’m aware.

You can read our guide for Lost Ark here.

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New pioneer package with server change in Lost Ark

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Lost Ark guide: List of runes and their effects

Lost Ark has been better received than many thought. Even Amazon did not expect this rush. And so there were long queues on some servers, as was the case with New World. Since a real server change is not possible, many players simply created a new character on a new server. However, some of these players have already redeemed their pioneer package on the first server and thus used it up unnecessarily.

As Amazon has now announced, we will get an additional set of exclusive items on the new server. These items are bound to the character and thus cannot be traded. They can soon be redeemed on every new server.

During the Head Start period for Lost Ark, a massive number of heroes arrived in Arkesia. While we are thrilled to have so many players joining us, we also recognize that this has brought about large queues on our more popular servers, leading to a less than ideal experience for these players.

In an effort to improve the player experience for those who have faced queues, we will be taking several steps to put preventative measures in place ahead of our full launch tomorrow morning, in addition to addressing some of the outstanding issues surrounding Founder’s Pack claims.

Founder’s Pack Redemptions

Players have let us know one of the reasons they are reluctant to switch to lower population servers is because many of them have already redeemed their Founder’s Packs on another server. To help combat this and make exploring new servers a more reasonable choice, we will be granting ALL Founder’s Pack purchasers that redeem their pack by 12 PM PT (8 PM UTC) on Monday, February 14th with an extra set of the exclusive items from the Founder’s Pack they redeemed (e.g., the Founder’s Exclusive Pet and Founder’s Title from the Bronze pack; see full list below) as well as some additional Royal Crystals for Silver, Gold, and Platinum Pack purchasers. These items will not be tradeable, and will be delivered to a player’s Product Inventory so they can be claimed on a new server. Your original Founder’s Pack will not be affected by this, and will remain on the initial server where you redeemed it (or in your Product Inventory, if you have not yet redeemed it).

We are currently working to get these item grants ready to go, and will update players when they are ready to claim — these will be claimable on any new server you choose, so in the meantime we encourage you to find a perfect server to call home.

Bronze Pack
Founder’s Title*
Founder’s Exclusive Pet (Untradeable)

Silver Pack
150 Royal Crystals
Founder’s Title*
Founder’s Exclusive Pet (Untradeable)

Gold Pack
500 Royal Crystals
Founder’s Title*
Founder’s Exclusive Pet (Untradeable)
Northern Lawmaker Skin (Untradeable)

Platinum Pack
1,000 Royal Crystals
Founder’s Title*
Founder’s Exclusive Pet (Untradeable)
Northern Lawmaker Skin (Untradeable)
Founder’s Platinum Skin (Untradeable)
Founder’s Exclusive Mount (Untradeable)
Platinum Welcome Crate (Untradeable)

Founder’s Exclusive Wallpaper*
Founder’s Exclusive Structure
Legendary Rapport Gift Selection Chest
Launch Limited Card Pack
*If the Founder’s Title or Founder’s Exclusive Wallpaper are used on the same Roster where a pack has already been redeemed, you will not be able to use these items.

Please note that this is a one-time grant, and we do not have plans to continue to make additional grants of items available to players in the future. For example, there will be Starter Packs available for purchase at full launch tomorrow (more details to come), and we highly recommend only redeeming them once you settle into your permanent home server.

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