DayZ: Zombie survival

I took a vacation day the other day because I was exhausted.  I spent it at home not doing squat but playing video games (NBA 2k12, SWTOR).  About halfway through the day my friend Jeremiah alerted me to a new mod for Arma2 that is picking up steam called DayZ.  Long story short: this is the game I’ve been wanting someone to make for years.  It’s pure zombie survival.

First, the idea is to survive as long as you can.  You have to eat.  You have to drink.  This means you need to scavenge for supplies.  You can hunt and cook meat, but that not only requires matches/lighter, but it also means giving away your position.  Other players trying to survive will hunt other players to loot their stuff, so stealth is crucial.

The map is huge, which you can get by watching this clip.

And the super cool thing is there’s no duplicates.  It’s really just a huge landscape.  Very realistic.

Here’s the main factor: there’s perma death.  If you die, you lose everything and can spawn back after logging in, but you have virtually no gear.  This adds an element of fear to the game I’ve not seen elsewhere.  Surviving is important.  It’s the most important thing.  You freak out when you see another player, and they freak out when they see you.  You both typically draw your gun and, if nobody says “Friendly!” within a few seconds, bullets fly out of fear.

When you approach a new town, you’d best get on the global chat and say something like, “Hey, Zerowing approaching Cherno from the West.  FRIENDLY FRIENDLY FRIENDLY!”  It might help people not snipe you.  But many players will welcome the safety of groups, so you might even get a response from someone who is hunkered down in a grocery store or something offering up a place to lay low for a bit.  I’m finding, of course, that cities tend to be full of bandits.

Here’s the map of the area.  It’s actually hard to find out where you are.  You pretty much have to go by landmarks.

To give you some perspective, go to the bottom of the map.  The hike from Balota to Cherno is about a ten minute jaunt.  The map is freaking huge.  You generally spawn along the Southern coast, which means the towns along the Southern border are pretty populated.  This weekend I’m going to try and make my way North to scavenge buildings on the outskirts of towns.

You can also interact with the world.  If someone has bled out from a wound you can try and find a hospital to do a blood transfusion.  You can scavenge auto parts and repair vehicles.

The game also progresses in real time, which means night is a bitch.  You can’t see much.  You could light a flare, but zombies see that stuff (so do bandits).

The mod is in alpha so it’s a bit rough.  There are definitely some kinks to work out.  That being said, it’s amazing!  This will likely be my main game for a while.  I dropped $30 on Arma2 (and the Arrowhead expansion, which you need for the mod) and it was so worth it.  This weekend I’ll be on and will tweet my server and location.

If you see players flying the ADEMA (Alternative Department of Emergency Military Assistance) flag, that’s our group.  We’re friendly and will help.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Rodolfo Gomez

    Gonna troll the f&!# out of you. J/k It’s really cool. I play the mod myself with some of my friends. Didn’t know that you play this kind of game JT. For sure, just hook us up with your server info.

  • rikitiki

    Damn! Looking at the website for ARMA2 it doesn’t mention a MAC, only PCs. Is this gettable for a MAC anywhere? I’d love to play it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1698151270 John-Henry Beck

    You’re an evil tempter, JT.

  • Daytheist

    Here I promised myself to not spend any money on games for the foreseeable future.

  • stubby

    That game looks cool. My puter is terrible so I am waiting for Class 3 to get my open world zombie fix. It looks promising, especially for an Xbox Live game.

    http://undeadlabs.com/class3/

  • http://blagotube.onehourparkingshow.com/ Jeff Van Booven

    So, operational Militant Jehovah’s Witness JT then? A more annoying version of those highway robbery videos.

  • http://www.survivedayz.com Ryan

    It is a pretty great mod, and with the amount of attention it has received making it most definitely go to a standalone iteration of the game.

    Aside from the hackers right now (which was inevitable when it gets this popular) everything seems to be coming along pretty well and I am excited for what the game has in store in the future!


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