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Day Z: a realistic open-world zombie mod for Arma 2 with PvP and persistent death

Discussion in 'General Gaming' started by Ennui, May 14, 2012.

  1. Ennui

    Ennui Companion Cube

    So as far as I can tell, Day Z is pretty much the game that we've all been waiting for our entire lives.

    It's a mod for Arma 2: OA (or Combined Ops) and is in alpha, just having been released a few weeks ago ago... but it's exploded in popularity over the past weekend and for good reason it seems. The official site is http://www.dayzmod.com/ but it's down at the moment, presumably due to server overload.

    The server is an open world environment in a post-Soviet state, with an area of 225km (15km on each side). You spawn with a pistol and a handful of supplies, and your only goal is to survive by scavenging for gear. You require food and water to survive so you can't just hide somewhere, you have to keep moving to replenish your supplies or you will die. You are free to kill other players so be careful - many players roam in packs of bandits killing other survivors for their supplies. On top of that, there are fast zombies wandering around everywhere (especially in towns) which are drawn by noise.

    When you die, you are DEAD. You lose all your items and weapons and have to start over from scratch. New players spawn in the coastal area which is also prowled by bandits looking for easy kills. However if you log out without dying you will start in the same spot with the same supplies you had when you left, even if you join a different server (there are something like 10 servers, each a 64 player instance of the same huge map). The only thing that rolls over after death is your "humanity" score which is basically karma based on whether or not you are killing other players.

    I'm downloading it right now... looks incredible. For anyone looking for a more in depth idea of what the gameplay is like, check out this two-part RPS article about it (the second part is more interesting, so if you are pressed for time skip the first half):

    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/05/10/thank-you-for-the-dayz-part-zero/

    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/05/14/surviving-in-day-z-part-two/

    There is also a great Something Awful thread about Day Z which has mirrors for the download files as well as installation instructions for both Steam and non-Steam copies of Arma 2:

    http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3481582

    Needless to say, we need to get some HL2.ne--er, ValveTime.netters together and play. Take the fight to the bandits!

    edit: The mod's site is back up. The direct link to their file server is http://cdn.armafiles.info/ - to install just download all the rar's from that directory and extract them all to your Arma 2 Operation Arrowhead/addons/@dayz folder (you will have to create it - your Arma 2 folder is in steamapps/common if you have the Steam version) and put -nosplash -mod=@dayz in launch options or shortcut.
  2. Ennui

    Ennui Companion Cube

    No kidding. I couldn't believe my eyes when I read about it. If it's really that good it seems poised to explode into something huge in terms of popularity. I'll find out soon... didn't have Arma 2 installed so I'm waiting for it to redownload.
  3. Well since everyone apparently ignores the Arma and the screenshot threads (where we have literally made dozens of post about this mod):

    Yes, me and Veg and Sliv and Milly and Morgs and BH have been playing it. A lot.

    Hop in steamchat if you need help. I will answer any questions about strategy. I will even coach you on how to survive against and kill other players. Because you are all terrible.

    FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DON'T BUY THE STEAM VERSION OF A2/OA. GET IT FROM THE BIS STORE. IT WILL BE MUCH EASIER TO INSTALL PATCHES WITHOUT STEAM.

    https://store.bistudio.com/
  4. Vegeta897

    Vegeta897 The Freeman

    Me, Viper, Raziaar, Badhat, Morgs, Milly, and Sliver have been playing this for a couple weeks already. Ya'll should hang out in Steamchat more often to know what the community is playing!

    Like I said in the screenshots thread it's a really fun mod that brings out some of the best gameplay dynamics of Arma.

    Currently I'm a full on bandit toting an M14. Beware! Just kidding, I team up with any VT.netters.

    We use Mumble for comms within our group, we like being coordinated. We spent like 3 hours moving in and overwatching Starry Sobor, and killed 3 men during this 'siege'. And also lost one :(

    Yesterday's update made the zombies way more dangerous, which is good.


    Actually, there over 60 servers worldwide, most of them with max 40 or 50 players each. And as I type, there are about 1300 players online right now.


    Also please listen to viper and buy from the BIS store, if you want to support the developers of the game and have much easier mod and patch installation
    • -1 -1 x 1
  5. Raziaar

    Raziaar I Hate Custom Titles


    No... just no. That's like the overstatement of the year.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Vegeta897

    Vegeta897 The Freeman

    Like you would know, you've barely played.

    And it's certainly the closest a survival zombie FPS experience has come to being what we all wish for.
    • -1 -1 x 1
  7. BabyHeadCrab

    BabyHeadCrab The Freeman

    Care to elaborate? I mean, Ennui may be using a bit of hyperbole there but what are your major criticisms of DayZ? I'm on the fence on buying CO from the Bohemia store atm. This mod would/will push me over for sure.
  8. Ennui

    Ennui Companion Cube

    I say it only because I tend to trust the guys at RPS and their article is absolutely frothing at the mouth over how much they love Day Z and how much potential it has :p
  9. BabyHeadCrab

    BabyHeadCrab The Freeman

    It certainly has their Steam sales out of control. Which apparently is the total wrong approach to buying ArmA. But whatever.

    Grabbin' it from BI's website atm
  10. It's mostly a technical issue--the Steam version of OA treats the beta patch very strangely, and every mandatory update is multiple gigs (when really all that's being updated is ~200 megs). Explaining how to manage mods for this game is a huge headache for me and Veg and is much simplified if people just don't use the Steam version.
  11. Tollbooth Willie

    Tollbooth Willie The Freeman

    I don't know I mean the game I've been waiting for my entire life was described by Shens roughly nine goddamned years ago on hl2.net and it still hasn't come to fruition.
  12. Krynn72

    Krynn72 The Freeman

    The game I've been waiting for my entire life comes out in 11 days. Coincidentally, it uses the same engine as this.
  13. BabyHeadCrab

    BabyHeadCrab The Freeman

    Totally down with this now that Ennui made it cool. What else is good advice once I get all the mod/patching sorted out?

    Iron Front?
  14. Ennui

    Ennui Companion Cube

    I know exactly what you're referring to. It will come out someday.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. BabyHeadCrab

    BabyHeadCrab The Freeman

    is it an MMOFPSRTSTBSTPSRPGSIM?

    Hybrid thing?

    edit: ArmA II: Combined Operations is now the #2 top selling game on Steam. lol.
  16. Stigmata

    Stigmata The Freeman

    Mods are killing PC gaming.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  17. BabyHeadCrab

    BabyHeadCrab The Freeman

    are mods even trying?
  18. Krynn72

    Krynn72 The Freeman

    Yerp.
  19. Raziaar

    Raziaar I Hate Custom Titles


    Wait... if it was the game I was waiting for all my life, you'd think I would feel less blase about it, don't you think?

    Yeah... I think so.



    Well, after being hyped for weeks by Vegeta, I finally played it.

    After a good 6 or so total hours of playtime experience, my thoughts on it are basically this.

    Vehicles are way too rare. They could make them more common by quite a bit and still have them be plenty rare. Because of this, you're always going to be trekking on foot. And you're always going to be trekking for a good 20-30 minutes from the spawn if you want to meet up with any of the HL2.netters, since they are typically towards the top end of the map.

    Gear should be important, but it's so important and rare that it's the main emphasis. I've been told that some people we've killed had basically the equivalent of "weeks worth" of gear, that we've taken from them. They of course then start from scratch. Now I don't know about you, but I don't want to feel too attached to the items I have. The importance of gear is kind of like WoW(a game I've not really played so maybe it's a bad analogy). Yes, it gives importance to killing other people and looting items in buildings, but it also greatly reduces the desire for people to take some chances and have a little more risky fun.

    Because of the aforementioned gear problem, the gameplay seems to involve trekking a long distance to a place, perhaps going inside of it if it's a small town to loot the buildings, then trekking a long distance to some active "target city". The gameplay there(at least with our group, I don't know about others), involves everybody splitting up into strategic positions about 500-1000 meters from each other to watch certain vantage points and then waiting for signs of survivors or bandits and then engaging them from there. Oftentimes if a teammate dies, you'll secure that area for a good 20-40 minutes so they can trek back to their corpse and retrieve their items.

    My only experiences with death so far has been the complete inability to visually designate what group you belong to. Everybody looks mostly the same if they're survivor, and mostly the same if they're a bandit. The first time I've died, I was near what I thought to be a friendly Sliver, because his last known location to me was right there about 10 minutes prior. It turned out it was somebody completely different. I had the total drop on them but didn't know it because I thought it was Sliver. There was no need for me to feel to do a "handshake" that we do, because we had previously established where our positions were, and I wasn't really aware when they changed. I don't know if that person was logged out and then logged in and was right there, or moved there... or what.

    The second time I died was when I was running west of the airfield to log out. I knew vegeta was out there somewhere(I thought more southwest from me) watching the southwest approach. I was coming from directly east out west to a copse of trees I figured looked perfect to log out in. As soon as I got to the trees, I heard vegeta say over mumble, "Break", and I felt really uneasy at that moment and turned to look at a tree with a rabbit beneath it and yelled "no, no no" as I was lit up by vegeta. He didn't know it was me and was completely surprised at my arrival, and I had no idea he was in that group of trees. Again, a case of no easy way to tell what group somebody belongs to(like an armband or a special colored hat or something else).



    Mostly for me though, it's just boredom. Yeah, the few times we've had action have been pretty exciting, but it was immediately followed by a few hours of boredom either running back, or waiting in an area for somebody else to return and retrieve their precious items.


    Those are just my honest opinions. I know the people who have been playing it for weeks will probably roast me over them, but that's just how I feel. I can't seem to get into the game as much as they can. I don't know why that deserves berating.


    EDIT: I haven't spent much time in a town trying to clear it since the latest update of more zombies, but before it seemed very possible to walk around looting with mostly impunity from zombies, merely being a nuisance. The game seems to instead be player vs player based.
  20. ríomhaire

    ríomhaire Moderator Staff Member

    I wish I had money. And free time. And a decent internet connection. And a decent PC.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  21. 15357

    15357 Companion Cube

    Sounds good on paper, but I wonder if communication between players would be good enough; I mean, unless you're playing with a couple of friends, the best option upon meeting another survivor is to shoot him from afar (or silently sneak away) since there seems to be no incentive to keeping them alive. Of course, this is probably the point of the game.
  22. Krynn72

    Krynn72 The Freeman

    My experiences thus far have consisted of 90% walking around, 5% doing anything useful, and 5% looking at a map on the internet trying to figure out where I am. In the three hours I played last night I encountered no survivors, ran from one town to the next, unable to go inside the town because there were just too many zombies. I couldn't gather any gear because of this, and ultimately what I came out of the game with was one can of sardines to make up for the two cans of beans I ate, and three less makarov mags. Right when I was about to finally find the hl2.netters, I came back from the bathroom and found they had all left the server to find a more active one so they could do more pvp stuff.

    The first time I played a couple weeks ago was pretty cool though. I met up with a group and we were clearing out towns looking for stuff. Then two of them killed us all, and now I get the feeling that everybody is just hostile to each other by default, since it seems like its probably the easiest way to get gear, rather than finding it in zombie infested cities.
  23. Vegeta897

    Vegeta897 The Freeman

    It can take some time to get your bearings. My MO upon spawn is usually to loot any good buildings I happen to be near (as long as it isn't Cherno or Elektro) and immediately head north, and loot any barns or guard towers I see along the way. With the current zombie spawn rate you have to be cautious if you want to go into any towns, but it is possible. Eventually, you can figure out where you are and then meet up with the group. I was pretty disoriented when I first started playing (and I knew Chernarus somewhat) but now I've developed quite a familiarity with the layout and certain locations.

    As for player hostility, there actually is a surprising amount of friendly travelers. As long as you don't have a bandit skin, there's a chance they won't bother you. Of course, direct voice chat is still unreliable, so this makes tensions higher. Hopefully they can get it fixed so that communication is quicker and smoother.

    Besides, PvP is really fun, and you already have friends (us) to hang out with. Meeting up seriously doesn't take as long as your experience has lead you to believe, you're just in a beginner's phase.

    You do have to have some level of patience to enjoy this game. If it were all action, the tension and realism would be gone. No matter where you are, there's always the chance you'll run into a random survivor or bandit, and this keeps me focused. There's a lot of opportunity for tactical movement and positioning once you're geared up and with friends. Viper Lev and I are currently just moving from place to place and setting up multi-angled overwatch on certain locations that we expect travelers to pass through. We're actually in the south right now, so it should be easy for those who died in our group to meet back up.
    • -1 -1 x 1
  24. Krynn72

    Krynn72 The Freeman

    I should point out that I'm not turned off to the game. My post was more a tale about how slow the game can be to get into. To add on to it, I also found that I had wandered off to the edge of the map completely by accident. After a few minutes of staring into the blank, lifeless expanse of terrain geometry, I turned around and wandered aimlessly through endless woodland. I found some wild animals (who I ate) and eventually ballsed up enough to go into a small village with a couple zombies. After shooting one I found myself cornered by some walls fending myself off alone from like 10 zombies sprinting at me. As soon as I got myself out of that predicament I wandered into another village and got ate.

    So it wasn't like it was completely boring, I still had plenty of fun. Its just a lot of alone time if you're not directly coordinating with people. Any ARMA based game is going to be slow paced, and I just dont want people to buy into the game thinking its going to be something you can pop into for an hour and get a full experience.
  25. Unfocused

    Unfocused Companion Cube

    I downloaded and played the game yesterday. At first I spend like 2 hours trying to join anything, but was stuck at "waiting for server response" (well I didn't stare at the screen for 2 hours, I alt-tabbed and checked every few minutes). I gave up and tried a few hours later and managed to join without much problems then.

    I enjoyed it so far. I spawned and snuck around for a bit, found an Enfield which I didn't even fire, because I found a Winchester with ammo in a barn soon after. Finally, after around half an hour since I started playing, some zombie heard me running around the barn, so I had to kill it and a few others that came running.

    Without a compass or at least a watch to tell me where I'm going I proceeded where I assumed was west (since the sun looked like it was moving in that direction and it seemed pretty late in the day). As I was approaching some village, I heard zombies in the bushes around me and that's when shit hit the fan. I started running through the village, gathering more zombies along the way, looking for an open building where I could put myself in a corner and have only 90 degrees to worry about, instead of 360. I didn't notice one so I started running into the woods with probably over a dozen zombies on my back. Some of them stopped pursuing me and, looking over my shoulder, I saw them amassing somewhere else (perhaps another survivor?). I killed the other 5 or so (one ran away :?), took some painkillers, and bandaged myself to stop the bleeding

    With around ~4k blood left and my vision blurry and pulsating I started walking along some road in the woods, hoping to get somewhere safe. 2 minutes later two zombies jumped out of nowhere and managed to hurt me causing me to bleed again. I killed them but shortly after bled to death in some outpost in the woods, having stuffed myself with beans, desperately trying to cling to life.

    BUT! Life gave me a second chance, because as I logged out and then back in, after seeing the "you died" screen, it was as if I went back in time by 5 minutes (server didn't save my progress?). There I was, standing on the road in the woods, a minute before I was attacked by those two zombies. Vision pulsating once again, I ate those beans (again) to stabilize it and went looking for supplies. In the confusion I backtracked and found myself in the village I ran away from. I failed at sneaking around and attracted a zombie which ran up close to me and then started walking in my direction. I shot it three times with the Winchester at point blank range, and it just kept walking (lag again?). Other zombies heard the shots, so once again I had to escape, fearing the lag more than the zombies. Made my way to the barn I were previously at and, standing on top of the stairs, killed all the zombies that followed (around 17 of them from what I counted). Fortunately this time one shot per zombie was enough (though it a second for them to realize that they've been shot).

    To be continued today, I suppose.
  26. ríomhaire

    ríomhaire Moderator Staff Member

    ARAM II is now one of the top sellers on Steam due to this mod. Bohemia should start paying them!
  27. Stigmata

    Stigmata The Freeman

    Bohemia should hire them and adopt a more freeform and individualistic management style :V
  28. morgs

    morgs The Freeman

    I'm missing Dayz :(
    • Like Like x 1
  29. Bad^Hat

    Bad^Hat The Freeman

    It can be fun but the amount of walking is aggravating, as is not being able to identify your friends. There should be some kind of allegiance system, not just for identification but so they can add in penalties for killing your allies. Otherwise it's just chaos, which is fun for the person causing it but not anyone else.
  30. Vegeta897

    Vegeta897 The Freeman

    Well this is where coordination is important.
    Why's that? I mean yeah it sucks when you die but if you're playing smart then you usually died for a good reason and can respect that. Also, the dangers in the game are what makes the environment exciting.

    I guess there's no point in trying to explain this though. Either these parts of the game appeal to you or they don't. For me, I think all the things like the huge map that's hard to navigate, travel time, player hostility, stretches of dullness, and most other aspects all work together to create an experience that's not only totally unique but challenging, fun, and rewarding.
    • -1 -1 x 1
  31. Gargantou

    Gargantou Companion Cube

    Re-installing ARMA2 + OA to give this a try, will play solo for now.
  32. Raziaar

    Raziaar I Hate Custom Titles

    It's also vastly unrealistic. Coordination... communication that a friendly is in a particular spot, isn't the only thing that would prevent a friendly from shooting another friendly up close. They would recognize who their friendly was.

    And when you're mostly playing with everybody in a bush somewhere, even somebody completely different in the general area also in a bush would be mistaken to be that friendly.
  33. Bad^Hat

    Bad^Hat The Freeman

    We already have several in-game examples of this not being sufficient in some scenarios. I'd much rather it be immediately apparent who my allies are than have to shout over everyone else in Mumble just so I know which generic hatted person is friendly and which, in all probability, is going to shoot my face off. It goes beyond just not being able to tell one person apart from another as well - I very nearly got shot after I PKed someone and one of you found me suddenly changed to the bandit skin (your character changes to a hooded model if your humanity sinks below a certain level - that's the current penalty for player killing).

    I'm not saying coordination doesn't work most of the time, but it's still not ideal.
    I get that, I was talking specifically about someone who was friendly to you just shooting you in the back after you've been working together and taking all your hard-earned stuff, as in Krynn's example. I'm all for tension, but being constantly suspicious of your party isn't a fun way to play when you probably won't be able to prevent your death anyway - it's ridiculously easy to kill someone at close range if they aren't anticipating it in Arma. Come on, this isn't TTT.

    Man I always make these downer posts when people start talking about Arma. The thing that should be noted is that I'm still playing it (not as much as I'd like to lately) despite some frustrations. It's too much fun when everyone is cooperating and things aren't going totally shit-wise.
  34. BabyHeadCrab

    BabyHeadCrab The Freeman

    For some reason I can't get ArmA 2 playable on my rig satisfyingly. Do I just have to get used to poor performance? I use:

    C2Q 6600 @ 2.4ghz, 8GB DDR2 (generic), AMD 5800HD, Asus P5N w/latest Bios update

    All drivers up to date.

    Is the game just supposed to run at ~30fps on year and a half old rigs? Didn't this come out when the Core series was Intel's flagship and the 5xxx was hot shit?

    I think I'm just too spoiled by arcade'y games. BUT, BF3 looks astounding and handles 64 players with more post-processing (yuck, I know) like butter. Nowhere NEAR as big though.

    There may be an element of bugginess or me not understanding something here.
  35. Krynn72

    Krynn72 The Freeman

    Nope, thats just how ARMA2 runs. Its got a lot more shit going on behind the scenes than BF3 does. I just turn post processing off completely, and keep my view distance at ~4000 with all other settings to a "medium-high" level. I get about 30-40fps in most situations, and this is on a rig about 6 months old. i5 Processor at 3.4ghz, Geforce 560ti, 16 jiggamahbytes of ram, loading off a 15000 rpm drive, etc.
  36. Vegeta897

    Vegeta897 The Freeman

    That CPU is kind of weak. Please post a screenshot of your video settings menu so I can be sure you don't have anything silly in it.

    Also I'm not sure if you've been testing your game specifically in DayZ, but your performance should be better in it because the max viewdistance is quite low and the dynamic weather usually puts the fog at even lower distance.

    But we never party with randomers :p That's why we have eachother. But I wouldn't guess that a situation like that is too common. And even if it does happen, it can be quite hilarious (guy stealing the party bus for example and running over one of the group members as he escaped)

    As it would be in real life? I don't really see the problem. You have us to group with, and there are a lot of survivors out there that have no mal-intention.
    When people start betraying you like this then I'll think your claim is valid, but merely stating that it is possible and easy to do is not really a valid complaint.
    • -1 -1 x 1
  37. Krynn72

    Krynn72 The Freeman

    Vegeta, just so you know, I plan on betraying you at some point and taking all your stuff.


    TENSION.
  38. Vegeta897

    Vegeta897 The Freeman

    My cronies will kill you.

    You ain't getting my Mtn Dew.
    • -1 -1 x 1
  39. Krynn72

    Krynn72 The Freeman

    Your cronies are in on it. I paid them in cans of beans.
  40. Ennui

    Ennui Companion Cube

    I've played quite a bit and I'm loving it.

    It's not perfect of course, and it can be frustratingly unforgiving, but I like that aspect of it. The general bugginess and glitchyness of it is what really irritates me but even that isn't so bad really. Being low on health and ammo and watching your meager food supplies dwindle as you creep through the forest near a town wondering if its worth the risk to sneak in and look for loot is a fantastically unique and exciting gameplay experience. The game sort of reminds me of Minecraft, except that instead of in a personal fantasy land you are in hell, trying to collect things and not get dead in the process.

    I have played probably 8 or 10 hours of it in the past few days (this stupid mod made me stay up all night on a weekday and turned me into a zombie at work all day) and I've had quite a few different experiences having died at least half a dozen times.

    I've only been killed by bandits once... was sniped outside Balota, never saw who did it. Other than that most of it was being devoured by zombies after screwing up while sneaking around. I don't mind the PKing though, I think it makes the game MUCH more interesting. A few times I've found another friendly player and we've traveled together. Always a funny situation when 2 lone survivors encounter one another.

    I was looting in Cherno yesterday and was tiptoeing around the bottom floor of a shop picking up some stuff when I heard someone running around upstairs... I froze, since I knew he didn't hear me, and waited. After about 20 seconds he came down and about died of shock when he saw me crouched in the corner with my gun pointed at him. He and I stared each other down for a good 30 seconds with our pistols pointed straight at each other's heads in a total post-apocalypse survival moment before we trusted each other enough to start moving around a bit. We stuck together for about half an hour and looted a bunch of nice stuff before he alerted a zombie by accident and killed it with his Lee Enfield... in the middle of Cherno... and we died screaming about 5 minutes later after being chased by a horde of about 40 zombies who heard the insanely loud shot.

    I spent several hours with a different guy last night. We dicked around Solnichniy for a while and ended up getting ourselves killed by some zombies since we were desperate for supplies, but both respawned close enough to meet up at Cap Golova between Cherno and Elektro and decided to head northwest to the castle Zub south of Vyshnoye which I've heard is a pretty interesting place to check out. We headed through Progorodky, avoided some flares in the town (nobody responded to our hailing and we didn't want to get bandit'd) and cut north across the mountains west of Pusta to the Mogilevka road.

    The server crashed and I called it a night, but I am currently in the west side of Mogilevka about to make the final short trek over to Zub to check it out.

    I would love to team up with you guys sometime soon. I have work during the week which makes me pretty busy but I'm dying to get the real group experience since I've mostly been going it alone.

    Night time is unbelievably harrowing. It's just pitch black. I figured out the settings to make night playable (high gamma/brightness and hdr) but still, very eerie and tense in general. Last night it was pouring rain too which really made it scary to move anywhere since visibility was practically zero.

    My only real gripes are that 1) I dont' recognize which buildings are and aren't lootable from a distance yet, so I often waste a whole stress-filled hour sneaking around a small town full of zombies without getting anything useful and 2) zombies NEVER STOP RUNNING and if you have a large-ish group after you you are basically just screwed. It would be nice to have some slim chance of hiding, or something you can do to save yourself in these situations. I don't think it would compromise the brutal realism of the game to make it slightly more forgiving in this aspect.

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