The year is 2054 and your old friend Sam has been murdered in Seattle. You’ve been hired to find the killers and bring them to justice, one way or another. Soon you’ll be embroiled in a mystery that expands from missing organs, an antagonistic detective and biker gangs all the way up to the dynastic control of one of the largest Megacorps.
In this mod, your character (either newly generated or imported) can receive the specific amount of Karma and Nuyen you desire, access your stash, eliminate any excess Karma/Nuyen if you wish, and shop at a variety of merchants for gear. Then you can enter the Arena, where numerous combat testing options are available. The vendors are very well-stocked with all levels of equipment, including all of the available guns modded with either smartlinks or silencers. They also carry a larger supply of grenades, medkits, and bound spirit fetishes than the normal merchants in game do. Combat drugs are for sale as well in large quantities. There is also a vendor who sells all of the weapons, cyberware, and outfits from the latest version of Tracker's Street Samurai Catalog pack.
You can save your newly set-up character for importing into other content by left-clicking on your character at any time that you are out of combat. This will also save your progress in the Arena, as the mod features a fully-functional save-anywhere system.
This is a work in progress, with more features to come. Many updates have been made since the initial version however, especially to the Arena.
The Testing Arena is fairly developed now, with many features and options, but it is still incomplete, with more planned changes coming. It will be upgraded soon to have solo and team deathmatch modes against custom-built tough NPC teams.
I may also update the entire mod eventually with real dialogue, setting, decorations, and other touches to make it interesting and immersive, but for now it's mostly built for function.
Updates prior to 1.8 can be found in the Change Notes on the Steam Workshop page for this mod, or in the Read Me file which can be found on the Shadowrun Returns Nexus page for this mod.
UPDATE 1.8 - Big update with some important changes to the functionality of the mod. The Training Room and Testing Arena are no longer two separate scenes, but both reside within one scene now, allowing the player to very quickly teleport back and forth between them with no loading screen. Saving is still possible at any time by left-clicking on the character (out of combat only).
Updated the Street Samurai Catalog vendor in the Training Room to the brand new, latest version of Tracker's data files (v3g). This means that alpha, beta, and delta grade cyberware is available, plus all of his recent fixes, as well as the large assortment of tiered armor in all of the available player outfit styles.
The Arena now has four selectable difficulty levels. It defaults to Easy now, with all of the encounters within being quite a bit weaker than they were previously, suitable for low-Karma characters. By talking to the Arena Master, the difficulty can be set to Moderate, Hard, or Insane, with a very large difference in challenge level between Easy and Insane. The encounters within the Arena can also now be reset at any time, at whatever difficulty level is desired.
In addition, the summoned ninja clones can be called in four different difficulty level versions as well. The option exists to clear out the normal encounters from the Arena when summoning whatever amount of ninjas the player wants to fight, or they can be left in. The ninjas do not have to be the same difficulty level as the rest of the Arena. Harlequin, if still alive, will still fight against the ninjas while they exist within the Arena. (For a hilarious show, set the Arena difficulty to Insane, then summon a ton of Easy ninjas into the center with Harlequin.)
Ghoul Frenzy mode, while improved for playability and fun, still only has one difficulty level.
If asked, the Arena Master can run an analysis of the player character and rate their readiness for combat with a numeric value from 0 to 5, and then recommend what difficulty level their score most likely suits them for. This does not merely check the character's total Karma spent, but looks at their combat-oriented skills and specializations, Body, Dodge, and base AP. Points in Decking, for example, contribute nothing in this context.
Of course, various character builds may end up to be stronger, or weaker, in actual practice than the Arena Master's recommendation would suggest. Also, all testing and assumptions of challenge level are based on the game difficulty setting of Very Hard. If playing on a lower setting, the recommended Arena difficulty level may seem easier than expected.
The save-anywhere system built into this mod will keep track of what difficulty level is current, as well as which enemies are still alive and which are dead, and what difficulty of ninjas and how many there are in the Arena at the time of saving.
UPDATE 1.82 - Added Tir Tairngire Ghosts, in four different difficulty levels, as an additional option for enemies to summon in whatever numbers you choose. These can be summoned alongside the ninjas previously available. However, a hard cap of 40 summoned enemies has been implemented, as the game performs poorly when trying to spawn or respawn more than that.
UPDATE 1.9 - Added two harder difficulty levels to the Ghoul Frenzy Mode event, and added a Goal to complete the event as well. Also cleaned up a few small problem bits of scripting that could cause issues with Ghoul Frenzy if running it more than once.
Improved the Tracker Street Samurai Catalog vendor by allowing the player to see store screens for only a specific category of his goods, including each grade of cyberware by itself, each type of weapon, and each tier of armored outfits.
Added giant bugs as another type of enemy that can be summoned in player-chosen numbers. All four types of insects are included, though they have been modified to no longer spawn an invincible pure spirit when they die. The four types of bugs are generated randomly in mixed groups of the size selected by the player. All four bug varieties have the same four difficulty level versions as the rest of the enemies in the Arena.
Also added the ability to summon random groups of enemies including all of the summoned foes thus far. So now the player can fight 10, 20, or 40 randomly-selected opponents including ninjas, Tir Ghosts, and all four types of bugs, again in any one of the four difficulty levels.
***** Take a look at my extensive guide to creating a save-anywhere system using the Editor *****