Welcome to DayZ: 1 Year 7 Months on
On December 16th 2013, Nearly a year and eight months ago DayZ (DayZ Standalone by it’s official name) hit the Steam platform. And sold 172 thousand copies within the first twenty four hours, 400,000 by the end of it’s first week and a full year and one month later it had sold over 3,000,000 copies.
Numbers alone make this look like one of the best selling trip A titles ever, However this is just not the case. DayZ could arguably the blight that is Early Access game selling / Development, And it’s reputation for such a thing isn’t a good one as many communities hit back hard against this Early Access pay and play framework, however I’m not going to get too hung up on that for now.
At launch DayZ was extremely limited, all they had pretty much done was port of the Chernarus map from Arma II, And transplanted some basic A.I and mechanics from Dean Halls original DayZ Mod for Arma II. And quickly got referred to as the running simulator with some pvp. And thats pretty much it, A large open world where you would spawn on the coast, head to the North West airfield, Die, Rinse and repeat. There was zero optimisations, rubber banding issues that would make even the heartiest of astronauts and seamen vomit from getting dizzy and suddenly seeing “You’re Dead” five minutes after a gun fight because the servers too that long to realise you had been killed.
This Wasn’t a good start ….
However over time patches started to be released adding new weapons, wearable items, beans, beans, beans, tomato, beans beans, beans, rotten tomato etc etc etc etc. DayZ started to win awards but something was still seriously lacking and that was overall development. yes it was fun to be running around like a mad man with an SKS around the NWAF (North West AirField), Cherno, Elektro etc but the maddening bugs like just dropping down dead, loosing ytour backpack cuse you walked through water, Zombies phase walking through walls got to a point where people had just had enough and started to walk away and it looked like DayZ would be stuck in it’s Early Access Alpha Phase forever.
Especially when SOE smashed the open world survival scene wide open with their premier title H1Z1.
The question is though …. Where does it stand now ?
THE MIDDLE ?
So a full year and nearly eight months later DayZ (At time of this review) Sits at just over the half way marker to Beta release. Early this year the DayZ devteam released a new roadmap. With Beta release sitting quite happily in Q4 2015, also along with a expected price of $43.99 .. but that’s another story. and I have to admit, it looks like they have finally put their heads together and came up with a reasonable timeline, which is drastically different to back when they said “We expect DayZ to go into beta inside eight months”, Shame they didn’t really think about it back then.
Here is the current Roadmap
- Basic Vehicles
- Advanced Loot Distribution
- New Renderer
- New Zombie A.I
- Basic stealth system (Zombies & Animals)
- Improved Cooking and Horticulture
- Advanced Anti-Hack System
- Advanced Vehicles (repair and modifications)
- Advanced Animals (Life cycle, Group Behaviour)
- Player Statistics
- New U.I
- Player Stamina
- Dynamic Events
- World Containers
- New Physics System
- Character Life Span + Soft Skills
- Animal Predators + Birds
- Aerial Transport
- Console Prototype
- Advanced Communications
- Animal Companions
- Steam Community Integrations (Achievements, Workshop etc)
- Construction (Base Building)
- beta Version, and that horrid expected price of $43.99
So, Having Seen the roadmap I decided to go back to DayZ after almost a year to see if it really had improved and to see if it was on it’s way to making the mark. And I was a little impressed but also a little unimpressed. Yeas allot has changed and allot has improved. Rendering is cleaner, Crisper, Plenty of polish, A.I seems to be working well, Zombies are harder, they don’t walk through walls, Can walk up stairs, new weapons, new crafting, Basic barricading (I.E being able to lock and unlock doors with lock picks), Updated physics, Herd mentality for animals etc etc etc.
However allot of the bad is still there, There is still plenty of optimisations to do, Rubber banding is still an issue, Things still vanish when placed on the ground and the list goes on and on.
However the updates are moderately released and deep so hopes are gradually growing for this title, and there is other news to consider. introduction of a single player campaign. At present, the game drops you into a shared online world in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. Survival of the fittest is the maxim of the day — other players are often more terrifying than the walking dead. While this is great for tension, it also makes the game increasingly difficult to get to grips with for newcomers. A solo mode — described by Hicks as also good for if your internet goes down — could help address this, giving newcomers the skills they need to scavenge and survive. It will also launch with a trio of vehicles to use, and more importantly the materials necessary to salvage them..
Yet this is no dumbing down exercise. Although “feature complete” DayZ will be more accessible, it will also offer a host of new features aimed at the more dedicated player. The solo mode will be fully moddable, and allow you to test out fan-made tweaks offline before trying to get them to work online. Bohemia will also “fully embrace” the Steam Workshop, encouraging players to make and share their own creations for the game, and deliver tools to allow users to host their own private servers and ultimately have “more control” over the game.
At least that’s the hope, But is it a hope that the player base is taking to heart ….. Not entirely.
Latest reports show that fewer than 9,000 concurrent players are now playing the game at peak times. Only three months ago that number stood at 30k, while at its peak it reached 45k. Rival online title Rust has grown from 9k concurrent peak users earlier this year to around 26k last month, while Daybreak’s H1Z1 has overcome many of its early problems to pass 1m sales and overtake DayZ’s numbers. Users have lamented the slow update schedule and claimed that even when they do arrive, new content has a habit of causing technical disruption to the existing game. One even went as far to say: “Unfortunately this is going to be the poster child for why you don’t listen to your community when it comes [to] releasing things too early.”
So it’s safe to say the community is hitting back against Bohemia, but they hope the closer it gets to Beta release the more people will return, So it’s going to be a while and if they want to hit their goal then DayZ will have to be in beta within 4 months. Do I think they can do it ? If I’m honest no, but I can say they are making great strides finally in the right direction and it’s now to a point where I’m happy to be back in Chernarus, Slaying Zombies, fending off bandits and happily munching beans in front of a fire with my trusty Mosin with high powered scope next to me should anyone want a spoon full of my beans.
If anything, Dn’y let this put you off DayZ, it’s had a rocky start but it’s finally heading in the right direction, and now is the perfect time to either get back into it or start fresh before the price gets hiked up by nearly $20. All I will say is, Give it a try and see how it goes.Welcome to EditPad.org – your online plain text editor. Enter or paste your text here. To download and save it, click on the button below.