I picked up DayZ
in the Steam sale and have enjoyed it to date. I've mostly been playing it with somebody else, who convinced me to buy it. The basic premise of the game is that you are dumped in a ridiculously large map (for scale
, it has an area of 225 square km) that represents some part of Russia and have nothing but the clothes that you're wearing, a torch and a battery. Humanity has mostly been wiped out by a virus or something and the world is mostly populated by zombies. They're around the place, but they're not all that common. Your only goal is to survive. Scavenge whatever you can, get food, get water, fight off the zombies and the other players and live for as long as possible.
I decided to document my first week of experiments with the game here. Warning: what follows is overly dramatic, switches between tenses without warning and is probably pretentious in parts.Subject #1
The test subject to see how the game worked. I spawned near a road, saw a tiny village a little way on and had a little wander up to there while working out how you move quickly.
Oh. A zombie. Well I guess I'll just punch you then. I'll punch you again, I suppose, and again and again. Why aren't you dying? Oh, you've died. That's nice. I'll just carry on walking. No, wait, it turns out I can kill you by punching. What do you mean I'm bleeding? Ah dang. GO AWAY GO AWAY LEAVE ME ALONE. Well now I'm unconscious, because the screen is black and the text says so. Screw this, I'm going to go and read what I'm actually supposed to do.Subject #2
By this time, I'd done a little bit of reading and had entered the game with my colleague. After the initial exchanges ('Where are you?' 'Erm...I'm on a hill near a crashed boat and a lighthouse') things were going pretty well. I got myself to the nearby town, got some pretty snazzy materials, a gun with some ammo and had built myself a nice little safe room while I waited for my associate to catch up. I sat cross legged on the floor and left some sardines in front of me as a peace offering and a sign that I was the right person. After an hour of solid running, he arrived. We charged straight for the nearest city, known colloquially as Elektro, since neither of us is particularly good at deciphering the Cyrillic alphabet.
Things proceeded well. We fended off some zombie attacks and ransacked a police station. We then ransacked the local school and arrived on the roof. I saw that there was a slightly lower roof next door with what appeared to be some interesting loot. No problem, I'll just jump down there.
Oh, I'm dead. Apparently falling damage is a big thing.Subject #3
That's ridiculous, it must have been something else. I know, I'll climb up this little wooden scout tower here and jump off it.
Oh, my leg is broken.
Well, better climb back up and jump off again to finish the job.Subject #4
I spawned right next to the illustrious city of Bepe3nho (yes, I'm really going to spell it like that - it makes me smile). This is one of the biggest cities in the game and a fairly big deal, so I agreed to rendezvous with my compadre and started to prod around to see what I could find in this haven. I was just in the upper floor of a house when I looked out of the window to see two people attacking a zombie with baseball bats. I decided it was best to stay out of their way, so hid for a moment before leaving the house.
Naturally, I walked right into the two of them. I put my hands up, as if to say "Hello, good fellows! I have clearly just spawned and have no possessions save for the trousers I came in and am looking forward to hasten away and explore the sights without any trouble and so it's alright by you I'd like to leave now." They stared at me as I left. I got a few yards clear and started to sprint. They didn't like that and sprinted after me. With no idea of where I was going, I got myself cornered behind a church and was beaten to death with baseball bats.Subject #5
This was an even briefer life. I spawned in Bepe3nho again, in the industrial district this time. I was set upon by zombies and ran up a couple of ladders so that they couldn't get to me. I was then shot by a sniper and died.Subject #6
By this point, I'd learned to stay away from Bepe3nho. I just stuck to raiding small town police stations. This didn't last for very long. After resuming a session that I had finished in a police station, a man just walked in and shot me in the face with a shotgun.Subject #7
This subject lasted for a few days. I was back on the strategy of dealing with police stations in small towns on near-empty servers. Things were going pretty well. I'd got guns and ammunition, tons of pockets and all the rice I could want. I carefully trecked across the wasteland, making sure I wasn't observed and didn't encounter any enemies. Then I reached yet another small town police station and had a clever idea. I would be one of those server hoppers. I would leave the game in a police station after raiding it and then join a new server, which would spawn me in the same place but with fresh loot. I did that a few times and it worked pretty well for me. Then I loaded a new server and found myself a bulletproof jacket. Sweet.
Wait a minute, did I just hear a breath?
Guns don't go bang in this game, they seem to make a single cracking noise. That was it. Several days of survival ended by a man who was doing the same thing as me and whose face I never saw.Subject #8
My most recent subject. This one was again done while in communication with my fellow survivor. Due to an issue with drivers or something, we were conducting all communications over the phone. We pretty quickly worked out where we were and since we were on a server with only one other person, decided to converge on the North-East airstrip. This is where all the best weapons apparently are. I got within a few hundred yards of the front entrance and hid in a nearby house, watching the place intently while I waited for the rendezvous. I should add here that I'd got my best gear yet by this point, so I was feeling fairly defensive. This was how the conversation went:
"Right, I can just see the airstrip now - yeah, there's a big building and a load of hangars behind it"
"Oh, you're on the North side of it, I'm on the South side by the main entrance. Can you wait there? I'll run over to you"
At this point, I ran into some nearby woods and ran parallel to the airstrip, so as to avoid being spotted if the one other person on the server was in there and on the prowl.
"Right, I'm going on."
"What, I'm nearly there, can you just wait a second?"
"Nah, it's cool, I'm in here. Ooh, a purple backpack."
"I'm dead, I'm dead."
"fork, fork, fork"
At this point, I just turned away from the airstrip and sprinted into the woods. I think I spent an hour sprinting blindly in any direction that could be described as 'not the airstrip'. It was like hearing a hostage getting executed over the phone. It was haunting.
Man, I love this game.