DayZ – Played It, Love It, Here Are Some Things You Should Know!
DayZ – Played It, Love It, Here Are Some Things You Should Know!

Posted by In Gaming

Forget Guild Wars 2, Forget Diablo 3, Forever Whatever Call of Duty 9000908 is coming out…
The best game of 2012 so far isn’t even a standalone title!

Welcome to DayZ, where hours of your life will be consumed avoiding Zombies, scavenging for supplies, getting lost, shooting other players in the face and above all .. dying repeatedly!

That’s right DayZ, the amazing game I mentioned last week, I finally got to play, and here’s what I think so far.

Our first major outing took place last night, where I, along with Volaric spent about a 2 hours straight attempting to play the game.
When I say ‘attempting’ I mean dealing with the rather poorly done ArmA II lobby system, the constant “Loading Screen” crashes, the “Receiving Data….” screen  hang ups, and more.  We found every single reason to prove this is a true Alpha Test.

But, before long we noticed a pattern, there were tons of servers that had listed different ArmA II client versions than what we were apparently using.   Outside of installing the game from Steam and locating an incredibly handy Mod Patcher / Installer (Go Here), I didn’t think much more other than, run the game…  Well, let me save you a few hours of time…

 

HOW TO INSTALL THE ARMA II BETA CLIENT WITH STEAM SUPPORT –
This alone will save you countless amounts of frustration while trying to connect to a game server.  One thing we learned the beta client is BACKWARDS COMPATIBLE, meaning you can join any server that requires the live version or any previous beta patch.   This is huge as right now, there are about a half dozen different versions of this beta and many servers have requirements all over the builds.

Step 1:  Get the latest ARMA II Beta Patch and be able to connect to every server!  As of writing is build #93825
Download It From Here   ArmA II Beta Patches

Step 2:  Unzip the beta installer and run the program within as Administrator.  (Right Click, Run As Administrator)

Now we get complicated…

Step 3:  Navigate to C:Program Files (x86)Steamsteamappscommonarma 2 operation arrowhead 

Step 4:   Rename ArmA2OA.exe   to  ArmA2OA_Orig.exe

Step 5:   Navigate to  Expansionbeta  folder then copy the ArmA2OA.exe  and past in the directory of the original EXE file.

Almost Done!

Step 6:  Launch Steam and go to your game Libary, right click on ARMA 2: Operation Arrowhead, and click Properties.

Step 7:   In Properties, Click Launch Options and add “-beta=Expansionbeta;ExpansionbetaExpansion;CA;@DayZ -nosplash -skipintro”  make sure it is without the quotes.

Step 8:  SUCCESS!  Now click “PLAY” on  ARMA 2: Operation Arrowhead like normal and enjoy!

 

Installing the latest beta patch made a massive difference in not only our ability to connect to servers but in the games stability as well so it is definitely worth the time to complete the above steps to have the best game experience.

So with our frustrations out of the way now that we could connect to a server, we were met with a different problem.  It being about 9:00pm CST at the time, every US based game server was dark.    DayZ operates in REAL TIME.  What this means, if you look out your window and you dont’ see daylight, there is none to be had in the game world either.

This posed a problem to us as we were brand new to the game, having the added disadvantage of basically playing with your eyes closed didn’t seem like all that much fun.

Solution:  OFF TO AN EU / AUSSIE server!

We settled in on a nice server, full of players ready to take on the world!

Next problem …

“Where the hell am I?”  – Something else to know about DayZ, the map… is MASSIVE.  Not only that, but there’s no in-game map, at least not for a new player, so getting your bearings can be a little troublesome at first.   After you’ve died a few times, places become familiar.   For instance, you will ALWAYS spawn somewhere near the coats.   So depending on where, you can generally locate the sun proportional to which side the ocean is on and you’ll get a good idea of which direction to go to return to where you most recently met your demise.

I won’t go into as many details about what we did while in the game as I know Volaric is putting together all the footage we took of our first adventures.

I can say this:  I have never had so much fun with a game!

Some quick initial impressions:

Pros:

  • Huge World Map, we spent HOURS running along the coast between 3 towns and still haven’t seen everything there is to see in just that small area (we’re talking maybe a span of 2km sq)  – the total game map is supposedly 250km sq!!!
  • If you’ve got the computing power, this game is gorgeous!  Crank up the settings!
  • Suspenseful,  edge of your seat style play!  You never know what’s around the next corner be it human or otherwise!
  • PvP – I can not stress this enough, in today’s gaming world where PvP has been watered down to cater to the e-sport and ‘QQ’ crowd of sissy gamers, REAL PvP with consequence has been kicked to the curb.  Not since original Ultima Online have I experienced the rush of fighting somebody else with everything on the line!   In this game, when you engage another player, make that decision to fire a shot at that zombie, or take off sprinting through an open field, you better be damn sure you’re going to succeed, because dying here isn’t a “Respawn At The Nearest Waypoint” and try again situation, this is … “Oh shit!  I just lost 6+ hours of gameplay, all my gear, all my equipment!”And best of all, when you get killed by another player, if it was by surprise, you never even saw it coming nor do you know who it was!  There’s no kill cams and no announcements as to who shoots who!   It is as intense as it can possibly get, and makes making friendships and or enemies an important aspect of the game!  I LOVE IT!

Cons: 

  • Controls.  Quite simply.  They suck.   After awhile, you get used to them, but the initial shock of HOW THE HELL DO I…?  is pretty daunting.   I don’t play many FPS on PC these days, so maybe this control scheme is something common, but for me, and those I play with, it was pretty damn clunky.
  • The equipment interface.   Quite honestly, is sucks.  Again, part of the ArmA default and not a failing of DayZ itself, but something that, much like the controls, you get used to after awhile, but you just wish it was some how simpler to manage.
  •  ArmA II Lobby system.  Why can’t I make a list of favorite servers?  Really?
  •  AI – It’s pretty bad.  I know this is an Alpha version of the game, so it is certainly something that the developers would be correcting in the future.
  • General Glitchy-ness…  Zombies killing you through cement walls: CHECK.   Randomly dying for inexplicable reasons:  CHECK.   Humping a ladder backwards and getting stuck in a wall as a result:   CHECK.    These types of things are to be expected, but annoying when they happen nonetheless.
  • Some people in the player-base we’ve encountered so far.   And this goes back to the PvP item above.  I think most of ‘Today’s Gamers’ just don’t get the concept of PVP with Consequence.Here’s an example:   Guy comes into my building, up the stairs and immediately opens fire on me after I proclaim “Friendly”.   No worries, I’m quick on the draw and his tiny little brain is now a new wall covering in my hallway.   Within about 3 minutes after I kill him, I get greeted in chat with a massive amount of hatred.   “Oh really? You shot first, you failed!”   yet, have no fear, he’ll sit in chat for 20 minutes to threaten you, your family, your neighbor’s dog, and even bring into question your sexual preference..It’s a game folks, a brutal one at that. If rejection and failure for bad decisions really makes you lash out in such ways, I can only imagine how successful you’ve been in life thus far!All the while, I did thank my new friend for the extra supplies..  I was running low on food!

 

So that’s it for now.  All I know is, I want to play more!    Lots more!

 

In the next few days, Volaric should have some of the footage we took from our first play session cut up and hosted.

Catch is first on his YouTube Channel and look forward to more updates here as we progress along to cause havoc is DayZ!


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