At first, I play through misery, which ended horribly with me uninstalling it. Now, after I have finished vanilla, I have taken on misery again. This is a few pointers for people who find themselves struggling.
First and foremost, get patch 2 for misery. Original misery is essentially an obesity simulator with horrible food items and bad stamina loss.
The first thing you want to do right after you spawn in is head to the boiler anomaly. Skirt around the edges until you find a couple of stalkers. One will go down and the other will ask you for help. Agree and he'll give you a medkit. Now, this may sound evil, but it is for survival. Take out your knife and shank the stalker. Since his friend his down, he won't be able to do anything about it. Loot the guy, then walk up to his downed friend and finish him off. Loot him and you should find a Bear detector and a fireball artifact that should net you some cash.
Now, head to the dredge station. Go up the stairs and jump across to the other side, duck under the pipe and climb up the ladder. Inside, you should find the steering wheel artifact. Drop down on the other side and leave the boat, and you should find a stalker asking for the artifact. Say you don't have it, and pop an antirad as you probably have some radiation on you. Talk to the stalker again and give him the artifact, and he will start running towards Skadovsk. Now follow him until he is far away enough from his 2 buddies, then off him with your pistol.
Grab the steering wheel and head to Skadovsk. Inside, you should be able to pick up free food and medical items. Now sell the steering wheel and the fireball to Beard, which should net you at least 3.7k. It is not necessary, but I suggest ordering a pistol from Nimble, and you should use that pistol for the rest of the game. I wanted the custom Deagle, but got the USP custom instead, and I didn't mind as those are both great pistols. An unmoddrd USP custom should off a pseudodog in 3 shots.
Do not do the bloodsucker quest until you are sure that you will leave Zaton for good, as you do not want the doctor to die. Leave it last. Now, if you play an assaulted, sell the AK-105. You won't be needing it anymore. Head to the dredge station and on a speedboat, there should be a stash containing an AKM, which is an absolute beast. It kills unarmored bandits in one body shot, although ammo is a problem as the 7.62 costs over 1k per 30 rounds, so always go with single shot. The iron sight is good, but never use a scope with the AKM- it is way too inaccurate scoped.
Head over to the burnt farmstead cave, and drop down onto the main chamber. There may be an easy artifact you can grab there. However, the main prize is the dead body inside the cave, which contains an upgraded sunrise body suit- something to replace your crappy military overcoat. Note that there are chemical anomalies in the cave and two comets.
Now, you should probably be set to wander the world of Misery. I will not tell you what to do, as you should go enjoy your own special adventure. If you really need help, I may post more.
Some general pointers:
-Stalkers and other non-merchants, especially people who are friendly to you, will buy grenades at a higher price than merchants would. Note that unlike merchant, they do not have unlimited money.
-In a firefight, if you loot a body and his friend is still alive, he will turn hostile. Finish off the group before you start looting. If there is only one bandit left, you might consider taking out your knife and stabbing him in the back.
-Backpedalling should keep you safe from fleshes and in some cases, dogs. Dodge the attack and 2 slices should kill the flesh.
-If possible, sneak up behind an enemy using crouch walk and knife them. Bullets are a luxury, and wasting ammo is not a good idea in misery
-Zombie takes a headshot to kill, and nothing else. Don't mess with them unless you have to, and when you do, I suggest bringing a good sniper rifle to deal with them from long range.
-Carry weight is limited, so plan ahead. Know the quest you're doing and choose your gear according to your needs e.g. You may want to bring a long range weapon if you are assaulting a camp, and a shotgun to deal with bloodsuckers.
-Bloodsuckers are best fought in swamps, as you can see them coming from the water rippling due to their footsteps while cloaked.
-Mutants like Rats and Fleshes will not attack while alone. If a mutant retreats, let them run. They do not drop anything, and chasing them down would be a waste of time and ammo.
-Radiation is deadly in Misery
-The AN-94 makes a surprisingly good long range weapon. Put a scope on it and snipe with it if you can't afford sniper rifles or have no need to. The 5.45 Warsaw pact rounds are pretty common an cheaper than sniper rifle rounds, so the AN-94 could be used as an economical alternative for sniper rifles. I do not recommend it against zombies, however, as they are not as accurate. (although I have never tried it on zombies). The waste processing plant should be able to be cleared with relative ease with a scoped AN-94 with enough rounds and patience.
-Although this mod increases difficulty, the run up and stab strategy is still effective agains burers.
-For some reason, the AKM deals more damage than the Groza, although the item stats say otherwise. AKM ammo is more expensive, however.
-All (or at least almost all) reward money is halved in this mod.
-Unload all the weapons you find, drop anything with less than 90% durability unless you are going to use it yourself
-Try to sleep only at night. However, if you need to sleep at day, the local merchant should be able to sell you a sleeping pill for 200 a piece.
-Stock up on food, and do not buy bread. The Tuna is much better even though they are only marginally more expensive.
-Some stashes are removed in this Mod (i.e. Black Kite stash in Iron Forest anomaly office) and new ones are added (the Black Kite stash is replaced with a PPsH)
And lastly- secret weapon stash locations (credit to http://pastebin.com/PMfyChrD )
The secret weapons of Misery:
FAR-15: In the room where you help the bandits deal with the mercs, insid the third of the furnaces towards the opposite end.
PPSH 41: Iron forest, inside a small building in the south west corner
Obrez: Very well hidden, on top of stage in a crack in Izumrudnove
OC-33: On one of the mercs in waste processing
Green Dragon: Bridge east of cement factory, its wedged under the bridge towards the south.
M4A1: Right by Streloks stash in Jupiter plant, on the back of the yellow digger.
Kar 98k: Outside of Jupiter plant by Concrete bath, facing south. Go over the hill and turn left by the bandit camp, when you come to water, turn left. The Kar98k is on top of that rubble pile.
G43: Volkhav AA complex, behind a piece of scrap metal by the back window, NPC's will take this so you might have to look around.
FN FAL: Train tunnel north east of Kopachy, inside the room with the tesla anomoly.
UMP 45: South western part of Kopachy, in a small shelter.
No secret weapons in Pripyat, surprsingly.
I cannot find the M16a1 or the XM8, I checked every secret stash so the only option is that it's in X8 or testing workshop in some open location, or on a NPC.
Late edit: The AKM stash is at the Dock Cranes, not the Dredge Station