Ah, I Just Need To Share This Day Z Story…

By Jim Rossignol on June 8th, 2012 at 4:00 pm.


Day Z has a bit of a problem. I realise that by writing about it that I might make people realise that it’s possible, and therefore make the issue worse, but hey, I am sure Rocket is aware and will want to fix it. In the meantime, I had to laugh…

I’ve been having a run of bad luck in Day Z. My characters haven’t lasted long, or have got murdered in terrible fashion as soon as I picked up neat kit. So for the nth time I spawned back on the beach, and began my foraging. Having been through a couple of fire stations and a shop (usually good places for loot) all I had was an AK with a single clip of ammo, and a bit of food. Really, it wasn’t happening, and the cool things I needed to survive weren’t appearing. And it had begun to rain.

So there I was, outside one of the map’s larger cities, Elektrozavorsk, in the miserable weather, when I heard gunshots. Two bursts. It was an assault rifle firing across the valley. Not at me, but certainly at someone. Deciding to investigate, I headed in that direction. I kept to the woods, realising that I might be able to come up behind the combatants in the trees if – as I suspected – the sound was someone being ambushed on the hill that overlooked that power station. I ran for a few minutes without seeing anything, and then there they were: the bodies of two poorly-equipped survivors. Who ever had looted them hadn’t bothered with the crossbow and Lee Enfield rifle they were carrying. Why would they? They’d take some consumables and move on. Poor bastards. Someone with a proper military weapon – that assault rifle – had obviously caught them out in the open and gone for a quick kill.

I moved back up into the woods, looking around warily, before I spotted a lone figure. A lone figure carrying an M16 with under-slung grenade launcher. He had his back to me. He hadn’t seen me. He was almost certainly the culprit from the slayings I’d heard and then seen moments earlier. I tried to get closer to him to dispense some bandit justice of my own, but I lost sight of him. I searched around in the woods, panicking a bit. Perhaps he’d seen me and I was just lining up the shot. I walked backwards into the woods.

Eventually, annoyed, I stopped at a good clear point in the trees and peered from my hillside vantage point into the rain. If he’d continued on the line he’d appeared to be travelling in, I’d be able to see him from this view into the city. I scanned and scanned, and there there he was in the far distance, in the power station. I could see the entire complex from here, so it would likely be possible to set up an ambush as he left. I watched and waited. I saw him slowly emerge from the main building. He stopped for a moment. Was he looking at me? I couldn’t tell from this distance. He moved into one of the outlying, loot-bearing sheds. I’d easily be able to see which way he left when he’d finished looting that. Only he didn’t come out. I waited. One, two minutes. And nothing.

And I realised exactly what that fucker was doing. He’d logged off. Not only logged off, but logged off because he’d seen me. He was going to cheat. He was going to exploit Day Z’s awesome persistence feature to try to kill me unfairly: he was going to log onto another, different server, move to roughly my location on the map, and then log back in to this one. He was going to sidestep my tracking him by cheating. Basically teleporting on top of me by exploiting the game’s functionality.

I backed up the hill by about a hundred metres, giving myself the perfect vantage point on my former position. A moment later, he popped into existence just behind where I had been.

I hit the trigger. Watched him try to run.

That felt pretty good.

And even better when I picked up his top-end back pack, and the M16, and all that ammo, and blood packs, and a map, and a knife, and a compass, antibiotics, matches, hatchet…

Yes, cheaters and exploiters, you do spoil the game for everyone else. But sometimes you make the game, too, because it’s really quite satisfying to destroy you so completely.

So thanks for that. It was a memorable moment.

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246 Comments »

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  1. Premium User Badge

    Malibu Stacey says:

    That is just utterly awesome Jim.
    Thoroughly well played my good man. However now you make me want this game even more.

    • KastaRules says:

      Way to go!

      If you feel the need to cheat at games (be them virtual or not) it means you are pretty miserable. Get rid of that inferiority complex and try to not spoil the fun for everybody else!

      • enobayram says:

        Exactly, they have to realize that real people are putting real hours into games. You might be spoiling an hour of someone’s only 2 spare hours that week, that he chooses to relax over a nice game session.

        • John Connor says:

          Why don’t they just tie your persistence to one server or make it so you can only switch servers once per day?

          • fatchap says:

            what about if the server crashes or your mates login to another one and you want to join them or if you want to play three times in a day and your server is full?

            A time limit maybe a good option but twice in 24hrs seems to low, just need to be long enough to make this type of attack a pain about 20 minutes or so to return to the same server should be fine?

      • Snargelfargen says:

        Unfortunately most cheaters and griefers play that way simply because they find it fun, not because they have some sort of deep-seated psychological issue. The exploits will continue until it gets boring or is patched out.

        • KastaRules says:

          Griefers are the internet bullies and I believe many of these people actually do have some sort of psychological issue. Might not be deep-seated, but something must be wrong with the ones that persevere in their wicked actions.

          • Reality says:

            Actually, most studies have shown that bullies overall have no more psychological problems/insecurities than other people. Physical and verbal bullying is just a status heirarchy things – a way to climb the social ladder for those with few other options.

  2. Splynter says:

    Well done sir. Every time you write about Day Z you make me wish I had more time to actually play it.

    • Bonedwarf says:

      I bought Arma 2 CO for this and don’t see what all the fuss is about.

      Entire thing makes me want to go play STALKER if I’m quite honest.

      Reading that cheats are now wrecking it just confirms once again why I don’t bother with online.

      • Quarex says:

        For those of us who have already played through every S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game multiple times, this does a great job fitting the bill.

        Plus, I promise I also loathe online gaming, and yet Day Z has its hooks into me pretty deeply. It probably helps that I have only ever been killed by other players when AFK and not carrying anything useful, and that I also tend to log out at the first sight of another player (though not like this guy, more like “to pretend I am playing the game single-player,” ha).

        • Mattressi says:

          If you don’t want to play with players, you should try the SP version. It’s not official and people on the Day Z forums seem to think it taboo or something (moderators deny its existence for some reason), but it’s basically just the Day Z mod converted to singleplayer. Plus it has a cheat mode and a few other extras. It’s here: http://kronzky.info/missions/arma/dayzsp/

  3. EPICTHEFAIL says:

    Third! Cool story bro. Screwing over a cheater is so very satisfying.

  4. Doomsayer says:

    And that, kids, is how you play The Game.

  5. Abbas says:

    Awesome. Simply Awesome.

  6. Yosharian says:

    Bahaha. Jim Rossignol, dispensing justice on hackers and cheaters everywhere. Are you available as a premium service at all? Perhaps the next time a cheater tries to kill me using ‘sploits, I can call for help using some kind of signal. You know, sort of like Batman.

  7. Linfosoma says:

    I have to say, I think it’s awesome that I know exactly where you were when you say “the hill that overlooked that power station”, that speaks volumes of the Arma II engine and the Chernarus map.

  8. Synesthesia says:

    Great story! Exploiters are becoming really anoying, arent they? I lost this week a character who had stayed 7 days alive, killed 800 zombies, and had gps, rangefinder, the works. Best part? 0 Murders. Some exploiter killed me in stary. Damn that place is HOT.

    I still cant peel myself away from the mod, though. The stories keep piling up. What do you think about the bandit skin removal? With my new character ive already killed 5, no consequences and such. I miss trust as a gameplay element.

    • fionny says:

      I love Stary, had some stand offs in there on DE4 where there was a camper bandit stalking the camp there. Was most fun killing him

    • Sardukar says:

      So three days ago I became a murderer.

      My friend Ross and I had come far on our second try as a team. The first ended ignominiously in a gully south of Green Mountain, ambushed and shot to death as we hit the dirt. Don’t hit the dirt – run! Lesson learned. Our friend Kane died earlier when he fired his 7.62 within a town. THAT was a lot of zombies. Other lesson learned: big gun, loud, loud noise. Sidearms in towns.

      The next day began for me with Ross having made a night run to the interior, only to get wounded after a nasty hit that stunned him long enough for the zed to take off a good chunk before eating a 9mm. For me, it meant 90 minutes hiking in with the blood packs Ross needed. Packs I’d extracted from a pulse-pounding insertion into Cherno and dodged three gunfights above my head to get.

      I’d finally made it to Novy Sobor where Ross was holed up badly wounded, navigating with barely remembered orienteering skills and no compass. I crawled into town, nearly sunset, hand cramped with fatigue, eyes drying from peering at distant treelines. I paused to down a Coke and get my bearings, looking past the zeds everywhere for the house he was laying in.

      “I got something. Gunshots. Gunshots!” Ross announced tersely.

      “Unprintable!” I swore. “Where?”

      “Dunno. Center of town…there! Damn, gone.”

      “Okay, hold one. Almost to you.”

      “Got it,” he replied.

      I ate dirt for the remaining 200 meters to the red-brick two story he was in, face in the weeds, head twisting about as I looked frantically for the shooter.

      “Sard.” “Yeah?” “Is that you with the shotgun? “No!” “He’s here. He’s looking right at me. Guns on each other.” “Almost there!”

      I crawled around the corner of the building and saw the other guy, Winchester up and aimed at my friend. He hadn’t seen me and I made it to within 5 meters of him, switched to my sidearm.

      “He hasn’t fired.” I said. “I know, I know,” Ross replied tensely. “Good thing, I’m so weak the recoil from my return fire would probably kill me. What do we do?”

      Three, nearly four hours in, almost two of it hiking to get to my wounded friend. After two weeks, Day Z had educated me somewhat about its players. He had no bandit skin, but those days were gone. He hadn’t fired but…What do we do indeed?

      I drew a bead on his left ear.

      [friendly. don’t shoot.]

      popped up in the chat log. I winced, blew out half my breath and gently pressed the mouse button.

      [friendly?]

      scrawled across my screen again.

      The first round took him low, left shoulder. Next went wide. Last sprayed red from his left temple. He slumped forwards.

      And then disappeared.

      “Where’d he go?! DC?” asked Ross.

      “Yeah, but he’s done. Two good hits, one a head hit. Ah, crap. Come on, let’s move in case he had friends. We need to get some of this blood into you.”

      “So he DCed to avoid us looting him?” “Yep. ”

      “Huh.”

      “I don’t blame him. He spent easily an hour getting here, didn’t shoot you when he could have and then died to some paranoid arsehole. Come on, we’re done here. Good luck next time, whoever you were.”

      Ross died the next night anyway, when he mistook someone else for me and didn’t fire.

      I’m still alive, hours from anyone else now, alone.

      Amazing game. I wish I hadn’t shot that poor bastard though, and I don’t blame him for his disconnect.

      So now I’m a murderer. I treated that guy just as if he was a bandit, skin or not, peaceful offer or not, because I couldn’t trust him.

      I wonder what I’ll do next time?

      • Mr. Mister says:

        Be shot on your right ear because someone doesn’t trust you.
        Mmmm… DCing to keep your loot away from your killers’ hands… sounds interesting.

  9. djbriandamage says:

    I love gonzo games journalism like this. Like The Hunger Games with TCP/IP.

    I wish wish wish we had more down-in-the-trenches articles like these!

  10. Radiant says:

    This is one of the issues with a lot of persistent online games once they get popular.

    Right now people are still playing the game pretty much as intended.
    But the more people that play the more the developer is going to have to manage the game to retain this.

    Pretty soon joining a large organised bandit group is going to be the only way to survive [Being a bandit is the easiest way to get loot with little to no repercussions.]
    Eventually it’s going to get like Eve where you need to be part of a troll horde to still play the game.

    • Jay says:

      Worst case scenario: All of this, and engine exploits become standard practice. Not only will you have to join a large group, but playing ‘in character’ without taking advantage of this stuff will be seen as naive or ‘noobish’ and get you kicked out, until the community becomes actively hostile to people playing the game as intended. Please don’t let this happen.

      • grundus says:

        You’d hope that once it’s out of alpha there will be a choice of servers. Given that some things are tied to servers (vehicles and tents) it kind of makes sense that players might settle on given servers. There should then be servers where playing the game as intended is encouraged and exploiting will get you banned, therefore anyone with vehicles and tents will adhere to the rules for fear of losing them. Maybe. Maybe I’m being naive.

        • Stevostin says:

          Tsss…. People. This winning tactic will not last, precisely because the counter is instant death. It’s not good. You can’t build anything once people knows about it, or even 10% people.

        • Bonedwarf says:

          I wish I had your optimism.

          I fully expect the mod to go down the toilet like so many other great things. It will be fleeting, and ruined by dicks from 4Chan and SA.

      • El_Emmental says:

        sadly, you’re 100% right on this one.

        Such thing happened with Red Orchestra 2, now if you don’t put the artillery on the enemy spawn (“LOLOL BASERAPE”), or camp the spawn exits, most of your teammates shout at you for being a noob/not helping your team.

        Their arguments ?
        – war is not fair, therefore video games about war should be unfair.
        – if you can technically do it, it is allowed, recommended and you should do it.
        – lol it’s the internet, everyone do what they want.
        – if you’re not happy, stop playing it / nobody’s forcing you to play this game.
        – L2P / get better at this game

        As one of the two tank, I got 60 kills (2nd best had 30 kills), shot the 2 other tanks fast enough so they couldn’t attack our infantry, however I refused to camp in the enemy spawn only exit, even if I could perfectly do that.
        We lost by a slight margin because the other tanks stayed in their spawn (so I couldn’t hit them) and were shooting at the infantry spawn exit of my team.

        My teammates barked at me for not shooting at the enemy infantry spawn exit. What was I supposed to do ? Exploit map flaws to win, or stay true to my values of respect and sportsmanship ?

    • jrod says:

      exploiting is one thing, but the fact that people are mostly murderous bastards is THE reason the game is so compelling and difficult. If everyone just worked together it would destroy the paranoia and tension. You wouldn’t get the surge of adrenaline when you hear shots fired from an unknown person in the distance. You wouldn’t have that feeling of being in a crosshair everytime you run across an empty field.

      That and hunting humans in DayZ is about the most fun I have EVER had in a game.

      • sinister agent says:

        This is the thing. I’ve actively avoided most people when I’ve played (which is probably the only reason I’ve never been killed yet, discounting the first go, where I bugged off a ladder to my death), precisely because it’s such a gamble. Gunshots make you simultaneously think “hurrah! Stuff happening!” and “oh crap… I’d better get out of here and find out what that is”.

        I can live with being killed though. What pisses me off in any game is when people cheat. Losing because you screwed up, or were a little unlucky, and/or someone got the better of you – I can live with that. But losing because some pathetic wanker has such a worthless life that they feel any achievement from winning through cheating… well, that’s just tedious.

    • KDR_11k says:

      I think the high lethality is what makes alliances so fragile. In an MMO you need a fight to kill someone and that takes a while, giving the larger team the advantage. But when one bullet is enough to kill then a single backstabber can kill multiple people before anyone knows what happened and any group that gets large enough can be infiltrated by a small group attempting to assassinate the rest.

  11. TsunamiWombat says:

    How dare you exploit his exploitation for your on exploitative exploits.

  12. KikiJiki says:

    Exploiting bastards bar our play…

    BUT THE WILL OF A ROSSIGNOL IS STRONGER

    • djbriandamage says:

      My barely-suppressed chortles transmogrified into a very unbecoming snort! Thanks for a huge laugh!

    • Premium User Badge

      Crimsoneer says:

      God, the fact that I took all of 2 seconds 2 realise where that’s from is probably a bad sign.

    • Koozer says:

      His voice gives me nightmares.

  13. Colej_uk says:

    The logging system is a bit of a problem for Day-Z as it can be manipulated like this. At least 70% of the fire fights I’ve been in end with people logging off after they hear shots/are wounded because they don’t want to loose their precious loot. Completely goes against the spirit of the game, and makes me angry.

    But it’s quite a tough problem to solve.

    The only solution I can think of is have the player character remain on the server for a bit after the player leaves. So if somebody logs out during a fire fight, the character remains for a minute or two. That would stop people from logging out during fire fights. So you would have to find a safe place to log out.

    Would be a pain for people who have connection problems etc, but I would probably argue for the ‘greater good’ in this case.

    • Premium User Badge

      Malibu Stacey says:

      That’s pretty much how EVE-Online handles it. You have a log off timer which if you’ve not been engaged in combat in the last few minutes is pretty short (30 seconds or so) but if you have it’s increased so you can’t simply log out & vanish after picking a fight. May have changed since I played a few years ago but it was pretty effective as the timer was extended if you were being attacked by someone when you log out IIRC.

      Also a lock out from the server you leave for a short period of time (e.g 5/10/15 minutes) would neatly sidestep this sort of exploit.

      • Jay says:

        Either of those would do the trick, I think.

      • KDR_11k says:

        I think a solution more fitting for the game is that when you hit quit the game generates an exit point for you a few hundred meters away. You can only exit safely when you use that point. If the point happens to spawn in an unreachable location or something you can ask for a different exit point every 30 secs or so. Allow other players to see and use that point too and you’ve got a gameplay mechanism right there.

      • elzaco says:

        Ultima Online solved this problem 15 years ago. Logging out in an unprotected area (anywhere other than an inn, a player owned home, or a campfire) left your player in the world, completely vulnerable, for a few minutes or so. Seems like Day Z could adopt a similar system. Use a tent or a bedroll to create a camp, which would take a few minutes. Then you could safely log out and disappear from the world. It’s a more realistic and fair solution than letting everyone safely disappear from the game world as soon as things get tough. At the least, require a cooling down period from swapping servers.

    • Apples says:

      Doesn’t the blood meter go down while logged out, like the hunger/thirst meters? That would make logging out a stupid thing to do after being wounded, at least. The problem with leaving people visible in the world after logging out is that they may be prey to someone who they didn’t even know was there, or zombies that spawn there, which I think would suck more than just having some people disappear during a fight. Even 30 seconds is enough to die in Day Z!

      I believe if you have connection problems you ARE still in the world, at least for a while, because I once came across a guy standing stock still and unresponsive. So I stole all his ammo, of course.

      edit: the server lockout is a good idea but since you get booted from servers/lose connection so often it would be a pain in the ass. Maybe when it’s more stable.

      • Berzee says:

        “edit: the server lockout is a good idea but since you get booted from servers/lose connection so often it would be a pain in the ass. Maybe when it’s more stable.”

        True, but maybe you could do something like — the temporary lock out doesn’t happen unless your character has moved significantly far from where he logged out. (So people who get kicked can log right back in, but people who have swapped servers and gone on a jog, have to wait).

        Probably more difficult to implement than I realize. =P

      • Colej_uk says:

        Not sure if your character can die while logged out, but you can’t die of hunger/thirst. So most people can just bandage and heal up after logging back in again. (Maybe I’m wrong on this? Never logged out while bleeding before…)

        The cases of people tracking you or zombies spawning could definitely kill you after being logged out. Personally, it doesn’t bother me though, just put some thought into where you log out- make sure you aren’t being followed and log out where there are no zombies.

        A similar thing happens when you log in for a few seconds- it takes a few seconds to log in, for all the player knows they could have spawned in somebody’s field of view and then get shot instantly. It’s all part of the game really, sometimes it’s not fair. I don’t think it would be a huge deal to have this risk on log outs either.

      • mickygor says:

        Presumably logging out sends a disconnect signal whereas losing connection would just timeout. It shouldn’t be too difficult to differentiate.

        • realityflaw says:

          An alt+f4 or modem powercycle is indistinguishable from a legitimate disconnection.

      • sexyresults says:

        I was injured from a Zombie, but started to lag and couldn’t take a bandage out of my bag. So I aborted, restarted my router, came back and bandaged with no issues.

  14. fionny says:

    He is aware of the log of cheat, I never thought of the moving thing though, thats sly and wrong.

  15. Premium User Badge

    Revisor says:

    By publishing it to a wide audience the teleporting has become a part of the game. The game doesn’t play on one server, it plays in more universes and people can step in and step out of them. Of course teleporting is dangerous – you never know what you find in that other dimension you’re crossing.

    Awesome. :)

  16. Ginga121 says:

    I hate people who do that. There should be some sort of reporting system for people who do it. But then how do you know if they actually did it or not :(

    • Berzee says:

      Ach! You don’t need reporting systems in online game. You need to design online games where the basic functionality doesn’t allow things that are considered “cheating”.

      Back in EQ, I hear they would punish people who stood on top of rocks and shot stuff that couldn’t reach them. Rather than making it impossible to stand on top of rocks.

      If this is considered cheating, remove the persistence feature or tweak it so it can’t be quote-unquote abused. But don’t build a feature into the game and then try to punish people for using it “wrong”. Like you say, it’s impossible to really monitor all player behavior, but more to the point, there is no reason to punish people for using something that isn’t even a bug or a glitch but is *the way the game works*.

      If it isn’t meant to work that way, it needs to be fixed in the code and not by an eternally vigilant admin.

      Please note — I think it *is* lame to log off in the middle of a fight. But it’s lamer to make every player read a giant list of rules about when you are or are not “allowed” to click certain buttons — which is what tends to happen when this mentality of “bad form should be punished as though it were hacking” comes into play.

      I know you mean well =P but everyone should treat unexpected behavior the way that the Dishonored devs do — let it ride for a while, to see if it

      1) is actually awesome
      2) could be made awesome
      3) needs to be patched out

      Edit: tl;dr — actions that are considered ban-worthy in certain contexts should be programmed out of those contexts, rather than leaving them in and ramping up the bans

      Incidentally…it might be fun to see more non-sports games that still have in-game A.I. referees you can try to fool =P or who will try to catch you breaking actual in-game rules and give you in-game penalties.

      • Apples says:

        I don’t think that argument makes a lot of sense. This is not a “feature” of the game that they built in and expected to exist, it is an unintended side-effect of an important feature, and is not easily solved except by introducing “punishing” features like locking a player out of a server for a certain time. But presumably since these are code-level punishments rather than user-level punishments you find them acceptable?
        Moreover we have (real) games like chess or football where things are physically possible but not permitted. One CAN go around a football pitch kicking all the players in the shins, but you’ll get red carded for it. Saying “well they should make kicking people impossible” is nonsense because kicking is an important part of the game but it’s not meant to be used THAT way.

        You can’t just “remove persistence” because that is a huge part of the draw of the game and probably a big ol’ chunk of stuff that much of the rest of the code and gameplay considerations are predicated on. The exploit can’t just “be patched out” because it’s not a little bug in the code, it’s a consequence of the structure of the thing and needs to have thought put into how to place even more structures around it to make doing it unrewarding and unfruitful. The way you talk about programming with the complete assurance that one can just magically and easily patch things in or make very specific things impossible (and that the only reason that hasn’t been done is because the devs are somehow, I dunno, lazy) is ludicrous. How do you expect a piece of code to know that a player is cheating as opposed to genuinely logging out? If you think it should be made impossible please suggest a reasonable way to do so!

        • iainl says:

          I agree that removing persistence is not the answer. Maybe having persistence of equipment, but re-logging on a server you have been on in the last hour (to pick a random figure) puts you where you were last, rather than where you walked to on another?

        • Berzee says:

          “If you think it should be made impossible please suggest a reasonable way to do so!”

          I don’t think it should be made impossible. I think it should be allowed! I think it sounds like great fun.

          But that aside, I think there should never be buttons on the UI that can get you banned if you click them at the wrong time. It’s akin to making third-person view a possibility but then saying “OKAY GUYS PROMISE NOT TO USE THIS TO LOOK AROUND CORNERS ALRIGHT? PROMISE.”

          When it comes to things like this, if it’s too tricky to fix, I think it’s best to leave it in and simply admit that it’s a side effect of something cool. It’s not that I think the devs are lazy if they don’t fix it — it might be unfixable while keeping the cool feature — but I *really* think Banning should be reserved for actual hacking and not for creative use of perfectly valid in-game abilities that are available to everyone who has installed the program.

          —–

          “Moreover we have (real) games like chess or football where things are physically possible but not permitted.”

          But when we turn them into computer games, we remove those things. Chess games tend not to let you pour orange juice all over the board or try to move your opponent’s king when he isn’t looking. Sports games might let you commit fouls but that’s because those have been worked into the game and avoiding them or sneaking them in is sort of a skill in itself. Referees exist in real life (or computer games that simulate real life games) because you can’t patch real life, and are practical because a sports match is a well-contained, non-persistent world.

          • Sidion says:

            Sadly this seems to be the common train of thought amongst the larger audience.

            “Don’t ban people for abusing a feature! You shouldn’t have put the buttons to log out in game if you didn’t want them to be used!”

            Firstly, I think the logic is flawed, because realistically the mod never put in the log in/log out system. Sure they decided on persistence which I don’t think anyone truly thinks was a bad idea, but if you’re arguing that this is a ‘good’ side-effect… Well I have to say poo poo on you sir.

            I go back to Halo 2 for Xbox. How many people used the old “Unplug the modem and plug it back in while hosting so that you can run around for a few moments and get free kills.”? It’d been done to me so many times I decided to simply sell off my copy and find a new game. Should the people doing it not have been banned or punished for doing it? Are you saying that because Bungie failed to think of every single thing a malevolent player would do to abuse their system, you have to just accept it as, “Cost of how things are.”?

            That’s the sort of logic that the people who abuse these exploits function on. They’re you’re spawn campers/disconnecters/rage quitters/aimbot using/cheaters.

            To act like they’re just finding creative ways to win within the system is just naive. They’re abusing flaws, destroying community, and forcing the devs to do fixes instead of create content.

          • Berzee says:

            “They’re you’re spawn campers”

            I don’t know if you missed it, but Jim was actually the one camping a small shed with a single exit, in the article. =P Also, it’s weird to me that you lump spawn camping in with aimbots. Standing in certain places on the map does not seem categorically similar to replacing yourself with an infallible killing machine.

            The Halo 2 example has very little to do with this. Differences:

            1) The Halo 2 trick is interrupting network traffic so that the game stops functioning as intended — deliberately causing a glitch. In the case of the Day Z trick, the game is not breaking in any way except design-wise.

            2) The Halo 2 trick gives an unfair advantage to one person. No one in Day Z is at a disadvantage except surprise-wise, and the same tactic is available to everyone.

            3) The Halo 2 trick is actually an advantage. The Day Z trick required (in the article) SEVERAL MINUTES to execute and depended on Jim remaining absolutely stationary.

            Now — I do actually think that doing the log out trick in Day Z would ruin some of the fun if encountered very often, and is kind of lame. And yet I don’t think it should be punished.

            As long as there were a giant red flashing notice that everyone will see, saying it was against the rules, I’d be kind of okay with it being treated like cheating. But without a blatant warning, I’d just feel that I’m playing a game where I might get banned if someone finds out that I’ve got my FOV set higher than they think is fair.

          • derbefrier says:

            oh please people dont need a big red sign to tell them this will get them banned. common sense should be good enough for that and every admin i have ever encountered will give warnings if the rules are not made readily available(they do want people to play on their servers you know) this is a non issue your trying to create to perpetuate this idea exploiting in games is okay that silly reasoning may work when you preaching to the choir but not here. you said it yourself if used excessively it could ruin it for other players but you still support being able to do just because you can? that’s ridiculous and and its very selfish you would choose to give yourself a clear unfair advantage over another rather than promoting good sportsmanship and fair play.
            these are the types of players that ruin online gaming for the majority of other players and I applaud server admins for not putting up with this crap. the kind of reasoning you use “well everyone else can do it so its okay!” is just another tell that your not thinking of anyone’s experience other than your own because you know damn well not everyone is going to use it or is even aware of it.,giving you an unfair advantage because the mechanic was not designed to be abused in that way. Believe it or not most people dont jump into games looking for exploits to give them an advantage. most player are just looking for some good clean fun and people like you are the reason that’s getting harder and harder to find in an online game.

          • Berzee says:

            derbefrier — I didn’t say I would do it. I said people who do it shouldn’t be banned; but I doubt I would bother doing it myself.

            In actual fact I’m the kind of games-player who deliberately enjoys using underpowered techniques to see if I can be effective with them. I prefer getting infrequent-but-humiliating kills, instead of maximizing my KDR.

            (When I said it sounds like great fun, I meant it sounds like fun if everyone was doing it against each other, or if people were trying to use it against me. I don’t think it would be an effective “cheat” at all except against very unaware campers, but you probably think that campers should be banned too?)

          • Droopy The Dog says:

            That’s where I’m confused, having a game where everyone is playing guessing games with teleportation powers and having DayZ as it is now are mutually exclusive, and to me DayZ as it is now sounds like way more fun in the long run.

            And yes it would be effective, maybe not in killing someone like they tried to jim but a huge contribution to success in DayZ is positioning yourself well, remaining undetected and tracking your target. If anyone can disappear and reappear around the area at will then that entire skillset is useless, and it starts removing consequences from getting yourself in a bad position, replacing a consequence laden skillbased system with a game of dumb luck is a definite downgrade.

            I agree a report function wouldn’t work well in this case, but if moderation of some kind was used banning doesn’t need to be the only punishment available, character death should be a pretty effective deterrent anyway. It doesn’t even have to be completely arbitrary insta-death, if someone’s detected trying to exploit the system in that way, a huge pack of zombies spawns surrounding them next time they log in, hillarity ensues. Hell, you could probably automate that since “swap server -> move -> swap back -> player kill” is such an incredibly specific circumstance, you’re never going to get a false positive.

            If the system is triggered, then give a player a pop-up explaining why so they know not to do it in the future. Then everyone else doesn’t have to read a big book of do’s and don’ts before they start.

          • Berzee says:

            Well — since the devs seem to be more sensible than you lot, they’re supposedly patching it out like I said, instead of leaving it hanging around like some kind of arbitrarily forbidden fruit. =P

  17. MordeaniisChaos says:

    This is why the servers should be independent. First of all, it’ll solve the issue of the MISERABLE server problems even legitimate players have to deal with, and it’ll stop this kind of crap. Just let people run their own servers, save the stuff there, etc.

    • sinister agent says:

      I’m sure that’s an option they’re considering, but it’s way too early to do that. It makes a lot more sense to retain full control of everything as long as they game’s still in development – especially this early on.

  18. libdab says:

    OK, I admit it, I’ve used this cheat … but never to ambush anyone, just to get out of impossible situations (e.g. a flock of attacking zeds). My bad. :-)

  19. Paul says:

    Hahaha so much awesome metagameplay in this. Fantastic fuckover Jim!

  20. hamish says:

    i sort of used the same mechanic, inadvertently, was just leaving a castle (zug?) and met 2 survivors, entering, i start to retreat backwards(while facing them) into the trees, once they were out of view i start running but have to cap 2 zombies chasing me with my winny.

    so i get to a clearing and one of them shoots me with a cz550, thinking im dead he goes to loot my corpse, and there’s me knowing im not dead, merely unconscious, unload a full m1911 clip into him, (just to be sure) and he or his friend shoot me again, dead.

    i see the death screen so i disconnect and re-enter the server, hoping i can get back to my corpse and salvages any gear they left, to my amazement i spawn at the top of the castle, with all my gear, i creep down to where my corpse should be as fast as i can and see 2 bodies, i don’t know what happened, one had an AK and the other a CZ550, did i kill both of them, or did his friend kill him by mistake, there was no time to figure this out, i looted as fast as i could, then made my escape.

  21. Soon says:

    New metagame. He logged off to move there, so I shall move here. But. He knows I know he logged off, so he’ll actually move there, so I’ll move here. But, if he knows I know he knows…

    • Jimbo says:

      This was my thought. Next time it happens I can imagine them both being miles away from the original ambush position from trying to out guess each other.

  22. GT3000 says:

    Note to self: Find enemy, move back to reasonable vantage point behind them. Ruin their day.

  23. Papageno says:

    Awesome story. Well done!

  24. wodin says:

    Good work!!

  25. Kuze says:

    Exactly the reason I stopped playing, no one wanted a fair fight (logging to survive) and logging to cheat.

    Its a fun concept and it was fun for awhile but cheaters have ruined it………..

  26. Berzee says:

    Indeed,
    A zombie game played across mutiple planes of existence?
    Maybe a zombie game I’d actually like
    indeed.

    (I hope they weave this beautiful new mechanic into the game more deeply or else just leave it be, rather than taking it out because it’s shifty =P I don’t play DayZ because I just really don’t love zombies that much, but this post almost makes me want to ^_^)

    • Vinraith says:

      Anyone less experienced at this kind of game than Jim would not have recognized what was going on and been able to react to it, they simply would have had their game experience ruined by someone abusing the game.

      Honestly, this kind of crap is why I avoid large scale competitive multiplayer like the plague. Day Z looks interesting, but this further reinforces the idea other people can suck the fun out of anything.

      • Berzee says:

        I still think it’s cool =P
        and I think that something is not bad or abusive just because it is counterintuitive or surprises newbies. I maintain that this is not an abuse of the game or even an unfair tactic! He was logged out for *minutes* — anything could have (and did!) happen while he was logged out. The only person that this kind of tactic could be reliably useful against is a person who is camping a shed door, as in the article. Against anyone on the move or whom you were actually fighting, why would you try? You’d be as likely to get ambushed as to ambush.

        For running away it would be much more useful and irritating to your pursuers of course. But things that allow you to unfairly run away are not quite so bad as things that give you unfair kills — and it sounds like the logout issues are being fixed so that it won’t be an issue anymore anyway.

        • Vinraith says:

          Well, I think it’s obviously abusive, and deeply anti-immersive. It’s using the mechanics of the network client to circumvent the mechanics of the game and give yourself a magical ability, in a game with no magic. Worst of all, it’s broadly indicative of a community that’s more interested in “winning” than playing the game. Games are fun, it’s a shame people want so very much to ruin them for others.

          • sinister agent says:

            I agree. Any game where you have to stop playing so you can muck about with servers and other accounts etc. is not a game as far as I’m concerned. That there are people who defend this kind of crap is as good a reason to badmouth online games as any I’ve come across.

  27. Bakuraptor says:

    Perhaps one solution would be for your character to remain in the game for 10 seconds or some other arbitrary period before logging off? That’d make sure that people can’t panic quit in the middle of a fight or in the midst of a swarm of zombies, and it would sort of also send a message in the spirit of the game of the need to be in a safe place before logging off/sleeping/whatever the lore says about what happens when you log off.

    • Berzee says:

      Yep, and broadcasting a message in the nearby area that says “… is logging off!” would let anyone who’d been carefully stalking you know that now it’s time to charge in and dispatch you before you get away.

  28. Rinimand says:

    As I read this and got near the end, I though “Aw, damn, I hate those cheating guys”. When i read how simply you dealt with it, I got a shiver: “Yeah! You rock man!”

  29. nandio says:

    Well done!

    Rocket said that disconnecting to avoid death will be easily fixed in a future patch. I don’t know how you could prevent the incident described in the article though.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      The game tracks what is and isn’t woodland, so perhaps saying that you have to be in woodland to log out would help. Woodland is never far away, and it would stop people just vanishing inside a building.

      • Berzee says:

        That’s a pretty good idea. Someplace vast enough that no one can camp the logoff spots, but near enough as to not be inconvenient.

      • Cooper says:

        Recent patches log how often someone disconnects then immediately connects.W hich sould weed out those who Alt+F4 to escape death. This ambushing is another problem.

        The easiest solution is to stop people from re-connecting to any server they leave for 30 minutes. If someone disconnects to join another server, fine. but they should not be able to return to the one they left for a certain period.

        I’ve suggested on the DayZ forums before that login locations should be outside of buildings. Snipers server-hop on town rooftops, disappearing as soon as a newbie points even just a makarov at them to appear magically on the rooftop on another server. If they were plonked on the gorund, this might stop.

      • theleif says:

        Wouldn’t a log off timer as others have noted (say 5 min) solve this problem? You usually want to log off at a secure place anyway, so unless you are very unlucky it should be fine for most players.

  30. db1331 says:

    There is no better feeling in a MP game than to give some hacker/exploiter his just desserts. I hope that kid was mad as hell.

    • Berzee says:

      *clicks Log Out button*

      *is haxxor?*

      • db1331 says:

        No, that would fall under the “exploiter” portion of “hacker/exploiter.”

        • Berzee says:

          *clicks Log Out button*

          *’sploitz!?*

          still sounds okay. =)

          • Vander says:

            No, it is more:

            Log off

            log in in another server

            move to be in a better position without any risk of being detected/fired upon

            reconnect on the first server.

            But well, reading your previous messages, you are exactly this type of player. The ones who make me avoid most MP games. Disgusting.

          • Berzee says:

            Thinking a lame trick shouldn’t be bannable =/= Wanting to make the lame trick part of my repertoire

            The way banning is approached greatly impacts the feeling of any server or MMO-like game, and its culture. When people do things ***within the confines of the game and the basic actions that they are offered*** and _still_ get banned, it tends to foster a fear of exploration and ingenuity, and a belief that Anything That Surprises Me Must Be Evil.

            Like I said — I prefer that banning be saved for hackers, and/or that when a valid game action suddenly becomes illegal for any reason, it gets called out SUPER CLEARLY as being so. Even for cases like this where you might think it’s obvious.

    • xp194 says:

      I hope beyond hope that he pitched his keyboard through his monitor in a fit of rage after this. :-D

  31. Ultra-Humanite says:

    Well done.

  32. mbp says:

    I salute you Jim on behalf of all victims of cheats and scammers. Well played sir. Well played.

  33. Tim James says:

    If you’re having a run of bad luck, get out of the hot spots. I haven’t encountered any exploiters and griefers because I’ve been running around the map by myself.

    There seem to be multiple games to play in DayZ. The PVP deathmatch loot chase in the hot spots. The coordinated teamplay with your friends. Then there’s how I play the mod: a lonely stealth survival game out in the woods. I barely ever see anyone, but the tension is palpable each time I find a barn, a lone tent, or sneak into a barely-visited supermarket or church.

    You can still get killed without warning, but try it if you’re frustrated by PVP in the cities, or feeling left out of all the great stories of friends working together.

  34. Evil Betty says:

    Perhaps have that once you create a character on one server you also cannot switch servers? Will that work in conjunction with the EVE-style log off mechanic?

  35. Nallen says:

    Beating people at games via superior intellect. It’s something Jim was born to do :)

    • Quinnbeast says:

      Either that or he has fallen victim to log-off traps in Perp and Eve a little too often to fall for it the 43rd time ;)

      – Funnel

      • Jim Rossignol says:

        I don’t think I’ve ever been got in a login trap in those games, actually.

        • Quinnbeast says:

          Very sorry Sire, very sorry!

          In all serious though, cracking article. I’m just jealous that I wouldn’t have thought to try that.

  36. Ysellian says:

    How I wish my friends had decent pc’s.

  37. sneetch says:

    Dayz does seem to be devolving into deathmatch, people kill for fun rather than any other reason, attempts at communication have almost completely stopped on the servers I play on.

    If he was the one who killed those two survivors then he either killed them in self-defence or (more likely) he killed them for sport as they more than likely had nothing he needed. The whole “hey, it’s survival you have stuff I need so I must kill you” argument doesn’t really hold up when food and water is scattered liberally throughout the towns and – once you have a knife, a hatchet and some matches – you can survive in the wild far better than off the beans and water carried by starter survivors.

    Also, it was probably Dimension Door he used rather than Teleport. It’s more accurate.

  38. Milky1985 says:

    I like it when cheaters get owned, shame that sort of play is in the game tho :( WIll remmeber the trick just in case, if someone starts taring at you, back off and hide for a bit, see if they appear :P

    Another example i found great of a cheater getting own in SC2 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Knt1mpHVu0g, i laughed at this one, has map hacks but still the por beats him :D

  39. SteamySashimi says:

    Cool story!

    Unfortunately the game is so buggy for me (20+ minute loading times and being kicked to server select while loading) I’ve only been able to play exactly once.(I died quickly, got disconnected and havn’t been able to play since.)

    Might stop trying until its out of alpha. Shame, it sounds like its right up my alley.

  40. jonfitt says:

    I’ve stopped playing DayZ, not for this reason exactly (although cheaters are a problem) but general frustration with it.
    .
    One reason is I’ve died so many times just after the “got something better than a Makarov” stage, and I’ve got tired of the slog from the beach to try and find a building with anything in. If you don’t start near Electo it’s a long way to anything decent.
    If you start down by Kamenka you’ve got a long slog to anything at all, you can trek and hope one of the deer stands has something, or go all the way to Balota airstrip to find anything.
    It was fun when no one knew what they would find, but now everyone knows where the good stuff will be and where there is absolutely nothing at all, and most of the map is nothing at all. Not even worth pausing to look. Which takes any fun out of scavenging.
    .
    Then there’s the deathmatch. Initially it was an exciting experiment of “who will band together and who will prey on people”, now everyone has just worked out that the best reward just comes from shoot-on-sight. Teaming up with a stranger is a risk, and the reward is potentially being able to gank someone later. Shooting someone when you get the drop on them has a more reliable payoff.
    This probably stems from the map and zombies being a well known quantity. People know that they can prey on someone safely if they do it right, and they don’t need anyone.

    • Tim James says:

      “All the way to Balota?” It’s two towns over. If you think that’s far, play a different game.

      You seem unable to decide whether you want “good” items or want to survive. You don’t need full survival gear and an assault rifle to enjoy DayZ. Any shotgun or rifle you find in a barn is fine. Go explore outside the hot spots. There are plenty of supermarkets and churches. You do need to run for a while to get there.

      • jonfitt says:

        Balota not that far, but my problem is that it’s predictable, and the first place worth stopping to look at to try and find any kind of weapon. The loot around the few non-key buildings on the entire map is almost non-existant and extremely rarely interesting.
        I would love to explore outside the hotspots, and I spent a long time doing so, but I’ve realised from the maps that are available, that there isn’t much out there to find. There are just swathes of cool terrain and villages that have nothing to speak of in them, they’re just zombie spots so you just walk around them.
        Surviving is not difficult, but has become uninteresting so to provide interest and climb the loot ladder I head to the few hot spots, but I’m tired of starting that over.
        .
        If more people teamed up and built vehicles it would be good, but that doesn’t seem to happen. Looking at the stats most people are just scrabbling through their 20 minutes of life over and over.
        That started off cool and edgy, but IMHO became a chore.

        • Kuze says:

          Nail on the head there, the amount of towns I snuck round that were not hot spots trying to find loot and got nothing was infuriating. The reason there are hot spots as it were as theres nothing else worth finding anywhere else!

          Still there just needs some tweaks here and there and it can be awesome.

          To solve the lack of car building etc why not make it if you die by zombie/PK/whatever and you have no murders or player kills you spawn with better weapons and this “buff” is progressive?

  41. S Jay says:

    Great stuff. Those damn cheaters are really annoying.

  42. mr.ioes says:

    Great story! I nearly sweat ;)

  43. Winged Nazgul says:

    That’s some Matrix shiznit right there.

  44. Yargh says:

    Someone give this man a medal, many medals, a whole multiverse of medals!

  45. hjd_uk says:

    I recerntly lost a good character i had spent hours and hours slowly crawing around in the dark with, one burst of fire from an unknown location, my bones broken, my blood gone, I quickly bled out and died.

    It was a collegue who was “on my side” but wasnt using chat / VOIP and thought i was a bandit – didnt even ask if was friendly or not etc – it could of been bandits but because it was an accident it makes the futile death bit more poignent.

    Ive taken what i want fomr this – I recognise the time sink and theyre are other games to play.

    Its enjoyable but, yeah, all those hours crawling about, just gone – and, yes, thats exactly what the game is about (im not complaining).

    So im treating this as PERMA-permadeath and I don’t think ill play again with any kind of attachment to a character – which means ill probably too just start messing around plugging noobs and exploting glitches.

    • Tim James says:

      It’s best to embrace permadeath early. Don’t treat it like a Diablo style loot chase. It’s just going to end in tears when you die. Enjoy the journey more than the gear. That’s what the game is about to me. Besides, there’s absolutely no endgame so don’t feel like you have to grind for more conveniences.

      • Inglourious Badger says:

        Agreed. In one of favourite games I lost all but 1000 blood within the first half an hour before I had any good loot. The sensible part of me said just restart but I shot myself full of morphine and carried on alone, my vision black and white and blurry, unable to run 30 yards without keeling over and watching an egg timer before I could stand up again. I never made it to the hospital I was aiming for but god it was fun/disorientating trying. It was about another hour before a barn-ful of zeds got me

        • buzzmong says:

          I had a similar blood loss experience after getting munched on.

          Turned out to be hilarious as I regrouped with a friend a short while later and took the lead during a serious bumhole clenching night time prowl for some fat lewts only to have him bursting out with laughter over TS every time my character keeled over, often at rather unexpected or inopportune times.

    • hjd_uk says:

      Yeah, it was the fact that i spend 90% of that characters existance clinging to life, crawling around in the dark (for better cover), with a couple of thousand blood, with constantly b&w vision and periodically passing out, that the inglorious and sudden end was so deflating. I then realised that every life was essentially going to be the same.

    • Vivi says:

      I agree.

      As odd as it sounds, the game has too many guns, seeing as how the goal is to survive rather than kill everything that moves. Take out all of the military rifles, leaving just pistols, a few shotguns and a scoped hunting rifle or two. Then replace everything you removed will a much more varied list of survival equipment. Then balance out the spawn rates of loot so that it is much more efficient to search towns for items rather than hunting players. I mean, no box of matches should be harder to find than quite a few (very good) guns. And no one should have so many bullets that they can waste them in hopes of finding what they want on the corpses of fifteen guys they killed.

  46. jhng says:

    This reminds that I really have to give Day Z a go (despite the presence of … others …). Exploitative or not, that is an awesome level of emergent gameplay.

    I was thinking how cool a parallel worlds shooter would be when reading Iain Banks’ Transition last year — and, lo, it has, quite literally, emerged.

  47. woodsey says:

    I can’t understand people like that – I know the feeling of having acquired enough gear that you actually become nervous about doing anything because you’ll lose it, but then that’s also the attraction of the game in the first place. I know for others it’s more about getting into the sadistic side, but doing that is just cheap.

    And you mentioning the two dead bodies reminded me of a character I’d spawned a week or two ago, woke up on the shoreline with three dead survivor bodies all around me. It was freaky to say the least, but still, a man needs his beans, and once I’d grabbed those I ran for a long old time.

    • Premium User Badge

      JB says:

      My very first time in the game, I spawned within sight of 3 corpses. Didn’t fill me with confidence, I can tell you.

  48. TooNu says:

    Great story jim :) that must have been a great moment.

  49. Inglourious Badger says:

    But it takes half an hour to find a server that lets you connect, and then the odds of returning to the same previous server and it still have room AND let you connect is infintessimal! The joy of being on a functioning one would stop me attempting this cheat. Cool story though. And a truly awesome mod. I’m in love, thanks for introducing us Jim.

  50. Premium User Badge

    phuzz says:

    This reminded me immediately of the ‘jumping between worlds’ bit in Charlie Stross’s Merchant Prince books, where in certain people can hop between different realities.
    Mind you, in the books jumping leaves you with a god awful headache, and can lead to brain damage if you do it too often without resting, which isn’t really the sort of thing that could be patched in…