Delay Z: Rocket Explains Standalone’s 2012 Slippage

By Nathan Grayson on January 8th, 2013 at 5:00 pm.

Gray days like these are excellent for curling up inside with a good book, a warm beverage, and a shotgun.

It is 2013. If you’re still alive, congratulations (or sorry, I guess, depending on your perspective)! You made it. But while this techno-neo-cyber-space-face year is going quite swimmingly so far, there’s one thing missing from society’s collective vision of a utopian ultrafuture: DayZ‘s standalone version. It was supposed to come crawling out of the woodwork at the tail end of 2012, but Bohemia’s camp didn’t make a peep as we all made our annual holiday sacrifices to our respective Blood Gods, as per cataclysm-averting tradition. So then, what’s the deal? Why the delay? Rocket took to DayZ’s dev log to provide answers.

The short version is that Hall and co simply underestimated how much work it’d take to push DayZ out of ArmA II’s wobbly nest, but there is some good news: the wait’s nearly over. No, for real this time. Probably. Kinda.

“The plan from here is straightforward. We will be releasing a closed test imminently, during which approximately 500-1000 people will assist in ensuring our architecture is correctly functioning. This closed test will be focused purely on architecture, not the game design. Once we have confirmed fixes for issues arising from the closed test, we will then reschedule an internal date for our public release.”

But what exactly are you getting for your saint-like (well, insofar as Metallica’s “St. Anger” is a real saint, anyway) patience? Well, scavenging’s now done on an individual basis, and Rocket claims that “fundamentally” alters a number of DayZ’s core dynamics. “The new system opens the door for durability of items, disease tracking (cholera lingering on clothes a player wears…), batteries, addon components, and much more,” he explained. “If you shoot a player in the head to take his night vision, you will damage the night vision. The changes to this inventory system are huge.”

UI and art direction have also received major overhauls, with the former (and thankfully not the latter) taking major influence from Minecraft, of all things. Meanwhile, Chernarus is in the midst of a large-scale re-tooling, but progress is slow due to lead architect Ivan Buchta’s unfortunate imprisonment by Greek authorities.

So the wheels are still definitely in motion, but circumstance – that oh-so-prickly of roadblocks – isn’t making it easy. If nothing else, though, it’s good to see that Rocket and co are taking their time to get things right. I mean, it’s got to be tempting to try and cut off cheap imitators like The War Z before they can muscle in on DayZ’s groundbreaking territory, but Rocket’s doing an admirable job of staying the course.

In the meantime, is anyone still playing DayZ’s original version? Truth be told, I haven’t popped on in a while, but I’ve heard, er, less-than-great things. Hackers and griefers and such. So, has the gore-and-gut-strewn, hope-strangling zombie apocalypse taken a turn for the worse?

, , .

63 Comments »

Sponsored links by Taboola
  1. PeterWalgreens says:

    As excited as I am for Standalone Day Z being built slowly and carefully, the fact that mod Day Z is falling back into hackers and griefers hands does make me a bit upset. I can only really wish for more community updates, but even that probably would tax bohemia and the DayZ team more than they need now.

    • Grey Ganado says:

      Without hackers and griefers the mod would only be half as fun.

    • Premium User Badge

      Continuity says:

      “back into hackers and griefers hands” you mean to say there has been a time in the last several months when it hasn’t been in their hands?

    • WhiteZero says:

      Best way to avoid hackers is to find yourself a good private hive server and stick to it. Better yet a White Listed server.

  2. Ephant says:

    “it’s got to be tempting to try and cut off cheap imitators like The War Z before they can muscle in on DayZ’s groundbreaking territory”
    Because DayZ’s so original, right? It’s not like pretty much everything was already in or planned by other games and mods.

    • Carbonated Dan says:

      DayZ isn’t original because there were unreleased things which might have implemented some similar ideas?
      that’s a bizarre interpretation of originality

    • Post-Internet Syndrome says:

      The combination of elements IS original, even if the separate parts were readily available. No reason to be a hater.

      • Ephant says:

        Well if every combination of elements IS original, then War Z is original too (note: I don’t even like War Z). And no, I’m hating. I’m just sick of “hurr first/only real zombie mod/game”. People even called Project Zomboid a rip off of DayZ. Whatever. I cant wait to play the standalone version of the deathmatch with zombies mo… pardon zombie survival mod DayZ.

        • Bloodloss says:

          So as one of your two examples, you’re listing a game that isn’t out yet with no multiplayer? And your one vaguely acceptable answer is a limited mission for Arma 2 developed not long before Day Z with not nearly as much emphasis on survival, with no need to drink or eat, weapons etc being far more common, and so on? Brilliant. Day Z is a pretty original game, I’m not sure what your agenda is.

      • Xerian says:

        No, no its not. Many other games have done so and are doing so, before the birth, or even thought of Day Z. Rocket luckily stumbled upon the concept whilst modding the engine, nothing more. (Come on, a survival-simulator to sell to militaries, and he just added shoddy zombies to it is all, and hes even said this himself. So get off yer high horse)

        • Wreckdum says:

          Clearly the game is original… Name another zombie game ever made that even compares to the depth of Day Z. Just one. I’ll wait…

          Or even a non-zombie survival game with the same scale and multiplayer… Once again. I’ll wait.

          • Ephant says:

            Which depth? The “depth” comes from Arma and the engine. Project Zomboid has “depth” but is smaller in scale and has no multiplayer (yet).

            Also Dynamic Zombie Sandbox (less eat/drink survival – more Arma elements) and many more maps(/mods) for Arma came before DayZ.

          • Terragot says:

            Depth of an idea doesn’t equate to that being the originality of such an idea. All you have to do is wade through indiedb to know that this concept (free roam, survival, zombie, pvp) has been around and is, quite frankly, every developers first game idea. Rocket simply picked the best engine and managed to reach release point.

            Because of the openness of the world in Arma 2, the game create unique scenarios, but the idea of the mod is by no mean original. Jim went through great lengths to sum this up; It’s not original, but god it’s finally here.

          • iucounu says:

            There’s unoriginal (which you could argue Day-Z, is if it’s just a novel combination of unoriginal elements – I mean, the brilliant FC3 is a mash-up of Just Cause 2 and Red Dead Redemption and no worse for it) and then there’s actual passing-off (which you could argue The War Z is attempting.)

          • rossasaur says:

            Frankly me and all my friends day-dreamed of a zombie survival mmo when we were 12. Sure DayZ isn’t an original concept or idea (although Rocket never claimed it to be). But DayZ is certainly the first game to bring this concept to the mainstream and has frankly pulled it off with aplomb.

    • luukdeman111 says:

      If you think DayZ isn’t original, than what the hell is?
      Of all the major releases last year, DayZ must be one of the most original/innovative…(alright, DayZ technically wasn’t a major release last year, but it will be next year)

  3. Terragot says:

    It’s great to hear Rocket’s having a good time on his dream project, but having left DayZ mod in the hacked state it was left in, I’m doubtful he’ll be able to fix the same issue in the stand alone. One I’ll want to try before I buy after falling for the hype of the mod (read : it wasn’t for me, that doesn’t mean it isnt’t for you).

    • sPOONz says:

      “I’m doubtful he’ll be able to fix the same issue in the stand alone”

      I think he will. DayZ Mod is a mod and was roughly mashed together so it was always vulnerable to hacking. DayZ standalone is being built from the ground up to prevent/limit that.

      • varangian says:

        Whilst hacking was part of the problem DayZ seemed to go off the rails because of the design decisions that were taken so I’d also be wary of investing in a standalone until I’ve good evidence that it’s fit for purpose. The removal of the bandit skin (and removing long distance talking also contributed) was what turned it into a deathmatch instead of a survival game and made it a griefer’s paradise. Now admittedly the bandit skin wasn’t realistic – whatever that means in the context of a game – but apart from some vague talk about giving bandits scowly faces (not implemented so far as I know and ridiculous anyway) without some mechanism to penalise such behaviour that was an inevitable outcome. Unless he’s sharpened his ideas up the standalone could easily go the same way.

  4. Parge says:

    I jumped on recently, and yes, plenty of hackers and griefers I’m afraid. It really effects a game like this too, where your life is so important and your items so irretrievable.

    • shagohad says:

      the hacking as I understand it is so easy beacause ARMA 2 is meant to run scripts (to make the MilSim part more fun). Apparently with DayZ standalone these issues will be fixed as they have a new engine.

      Im just happy to see rocket posting something interesting rather than massaging his ego like hie did in his first post on the tumblr….

      • Xerian says:

        Yeeeeeaaaah no. They’re still using the Arma 2 engine, which is sad considering they could’ve used the engine from Arma 3, which is better in any and all ways.
        Alas, we’ll see what happens to the game. I’m not expecting too much though, and am not really sure if I want to pay for it or not.

    • Curry the Great says:

      We’ve got an unofficial rockpapershotgun server running cause we were tired of hackers and silly admins. Filter for rock paper zombie. We’ve got a whitelist running since yesterday and it seems to keep hackers at bay so far, and we’re in the 97th percentile of all dayZ servers when it comes to server population.

      Check it out!
      http://rockpaperzombie.freeforums.org/server-info-rules-t5.html

      • Bullfrog says:

        Awesome, whitelisted servers are pretty much the only refuge left for proper players now, I may well pop in to get shot in the face later in the week.

      • Deadly Habit says:

        I’ve actually played on this server and it was one of the better ones I can remember in recent times (besides people crying when I shot them after responding to their “I’m friendly” with “I’m not”), shame my ping is pretty meh since I’m in the states.

        • Premium User Badge

          Harlander says:

          Crying seems a pretty fair response to being shot to me. Other acceptable reactions might be choking, or saying “My god, my god, why have you forsaken me”

    • theirongiant says:

      Private hives with active admins do a good job of keeping hacking to a minimum. People folk to the best servers so the busiest ones should be the safest, no guarantees though but I haven’t had many issues since I started avoiding public hive servers.

  5. Synesthesia says:

    It’s gone astronomically downhill. It is now a simple glorified deathmatch. There is absolutely no way in hell to approach a player and interacti with it in a non shooty way, without getting shot on sight. A complete waste. No way to distinguish violent players (which is now pretty much everyone). A sad mess.

    • shagohad says:

      if you are looking for a bit of a different atmosphere check out this mod server

      http://forums.dayzredux.com/, its a bit of set up but has a good community and some cool features, the EU server is a little hectic but the US1 is lots of fun, there is also a Mumble you can hop on there and meet peopl

    • RDG says:

      Sad mess? Maybe. An accurate portrayal of human survival? Definitely. People tend to become insanely distrusting of others after the first or second time they get shot, and rightly so. In a real apocalypse, it is the assholes who survive to populate the earth, as that is the way of nature.

      If you, however, prefer to play without meeting assholes or hackers, you could also simply do what we do, we join servers with only one person playing. The odds of meeting that single player are very small, and even then we outnumber him to the point where we have no need to show aggression. The downside of this is that the game gets pretty boring fast.

      • luukdeman111 says:

        The big problem is that DayZ is in a lot of ways hyperrealistic in the sense that everything you’d do in a real life apocalypse mostly works in dayz too. But there’s absolutely zero morality in the game. Killing someone doesn’t really make you feel bad… at all.

        A real life apocalypse wouldn’t turn into a deathmatch because people will still have some morals, you wouldn’t kill someone because he has 2 cans of coke with him, you know what i mean?

        I don’t know if this problem is solvable…. I’m afraid not, but that basically ruins the dayz experience for me a bit..

      • Apolloin says:

        Actually, no. Whilst hyper-ruthless sociopaths usually have a field day in the brief transition period, generally they get shunted aside by larger groups who are working together in REAL survival situations, because team-work is a force multiplier that shares the burden of survival out and allows people to specialise and therefore bring economies of scale to bear on survival problems.

        Of course, when the world is populated with respawning tools and food and those same sociopaths respawn instead of just rotting when they die, things get thrown out of whack a bit.

  6. brotherthree says:

    I was very disappointed about them missing the date…

    I watched the 30 minute developers forum Q&A where Rocket emphatically stated that bar hell or high water there would HAVE to be something released by the end of December. End of Story.

    Then nothing happens. No statements, nada… Why didn’t they let us know a month ago they were way behind schedule?

    This turn of events is a huge eye opener for me. At the time they knew the 2 ARMA devs were locked up, they knew what they had ahead of them, and made a huge promise they could not keep.

    Unprofessional, and now everything Rocket says about Day-Z will have the obligatory asterisks next to it.

    I’m not impatient, i don’t need the game now, in fact its not even a huge blip on my radar at the moment… But when the head of a project comes out and underlines a release date multiple times, and it doesn’t happen (and isn’t even mentioned) it says something about whats going on behind the scenes.

    • Xerian says:

      You do realise the two main guys behind one of the biggest changes, the map, are in a fucking prison, right? Get your head out of your arse and stop your tantrum, friend.
      And a small edit: its like this with a ton of games, pretty much any and all games, especially with small teams behind them. These things happend.

      • brotherthree says:

        Tantrum? I have a right to my opinion especially in a well written fashion.

        You must be a fanboy, so Ill immediately assume nothing I say will soak in, but for the less impaired I will explain:

        If you promise something, explicitly come out and say no matter what, with the wording Rocket used, and FAIL to have anything on or around that date, you lose credibility.

        Period.

        • GepardenK says:

          Look this happens all the time. Rocket is very talented and seems to be a cool guy, but he is also young and new in this lead dev role. I cant even count the number of times guys like him have promised a date only for it to get delayed. This is normal in the industry and you should never believe someone that says they can make a date 100%. They mean well but damn theyre only human.

          Check out the DayZ standalone blog. Lots of stuff there to get hyped about and you also get some development updates. Makes the wait much more fun.
          Hell, check out the double fine Adventure! documentary if you have the means. Last episode showed the horrors of delays from a devs perspective

    • sweetjer says:

      Also rocket definitely addresses the potential release date slip in the November post. Since it’s january now I think that means you’re silly and wrong.

  7. Tei says:

    UI stuff, architecture changes and perfomance changes are not small fish.

    I played the mod, and I don’t understand the appeal, but hope this people luck with this.

  8. Bullfrog says:

    DayZ is unfortunately not playable for most due to hackers and scripters, the new maps made it the situation better for a short time but cheaters spread through most of them fairly quickly. Once you discover that the majority of people you come across in the North of the map all have NV, thermal weapons and 50cal rifles you quickly come to the conclusion that something fishy is going on. I’ve now moved onto Wasteland (a custom mission for Arma2: OA rather than a full on mod) and I must say it’s very enjoyable. It’s pretty much the same as ‘endgame’ DayZ or at least what it turned into for us which was well armed squads taking each other on over rare gear or just contesting high traffic areas for the fun of it. Given that the environment of Chernarus was never really much of an enemy the most enjoyment came from taking on experienced, well geared players who’d moved North away from the coastal areas populated by fresh spawns and, sadly, a number of players who thought it was a fair idea to prey on them with high powered weaponry.

  9. Masterpwny says:

    Being suddenly teleported along with everyone else onto an exposed field whilst a hacker with an LMG opened fire on us was certainly adrenaline-inducing, if not realistic. As Rocket said the RV engine assumes a lot of good will on the user’s part. Cannot wait for a more secure version.

    • WhiteZero says:

      I actually managed to escape one of these situations. Was amazing!

  10. Curry the Great says:

    I think most really depends on whether they manage to make the zombies less dodgy and the players less clunky. I’d really dig it if they’d go for a slow zombie horde as opposed to the glitchy laggy zombie runners they have now.

    • GepardenK says:

      According to dev updates the movement is changed and is not arma2 sluggish anymore (I think they use the same system as arma 3 which is also not sluggish). The zombies does not zig zag and have a lot more precice movement, but they still run I think.

      Also the inventory system and the way you pick up items is completely new (apparently inspred by minecraft? whatever that means). They actually rewrote the whole thing from ground up with useability and flow in mind, so it at least sounds very good on paper

  11. eartsidi says:

    until I saw the receipt which had said $4256, I be certain …that…my father in law was like actualie erning money in their spare time on their computer.. there uncle started doing this for only twenty three months and just repaid the morgage on there villa and bought a great new Aston Martin DB5. read more at, http://www.Cloud65.com

  12. Snoken says:

    I have not stopped playing the game because of the foul behavior of a certain group of silly scripters but it’s true that after the game became popular and it became obvious that hacking would not be a problem Chernarus just turned into a very unpleasant place to be (standard gear Coyote backpack M4A1 CCO SD and AS50, let the grieving begin). Even with anti-hacking tools and admins on servers that regularly kick or ban people for doing suspicious stuff has not really helped in improving the game’s popularity or the way honest players would enjoy DayZ over the last couple of months.

    I guess if you would play Chernarus now you should be relatively safe. I noticed also that all the new maps that come out and become well populated overnight tend to attract a wave of those retarded scriptkiddies for a short period of time. I have been enjoying Taviana.eu for a couple of weeks now and I only died to a hacker once, another option would be to join a private server where you need to be whitelisted or just join servers that have only about 15-20 players on them and server-restarts every couple of hours (very helpful for a smooth gaming experience).

    DayZ still keeps me busy and the main reason why I still love it so much is because it’s not just one of those standard repetitive casual games like Battleduty Close Quarters Premium Elite and all of the other boring games of their kind . You have to admit that all of these turned to crap when the casual console players started dominating the modern gaming world. I miss the good old BF2 modern warfare times. (ô.Ô)

  13. Numerical says:

    I played this last night after having shelved it for a few months. Still has terrible zombie animations, pretty much the same zombie over and over, the inventory system is too convoluted and in general the animations are just bad all around. i understand it’s still technically alpha but with all the hype around it (and the promise of it’s own standalone game) I expected this to have gotten a bit farther along. Seems like it has a long way to go, and that’s if they understand all these things need work.

    Great idea for a game, just needs to be much more fluid and realistic imo.

    • Snoken says:

      It’s a bit hard for them to take care of the old DayZ, revamp the old thing to make a DayZ standalone and work on ArmA3 at the same time. I have a feeling that the Bohemia crew is in way over their heads atm anyway. Cut them some slack the zombie/player animations and inventory system should be fine in the standalone since their main focus lies in these according to their latest statements about the game mechanics that they’ve been working on.

    • Shooop says:

      Rocket has given up working on the DayZ alpha – which is what you played. He’s working only on the full retail release now.

      Whether or not that’ll go anywhere given his “Who cares if someone abuses the system?” attitude is anyone’s guess.

      • GepardenK says:

        Yes, featurewise the dayzmod is not in development anymore and have not been for months. Everything new wil end up in standalone. Stuff like sluggish zombies and movement is already fixed according to dev updates and that goes for the inventory too. Hopefully we will see a very polished game on release, worth paying for IMO

        • Mad Hamish says:

          The development of the mod had been turned over to the community. The last update was in November I think and 1.7.5 is on it’s way.

          So it’s still going.

    • SavageTech says:

      “We’re making a standalone version.” != “We’re gonna fix the old version too.” Tuning up the original mod might get them some good PR among existing fans, but that’s about the only good thing it would do. They need to give some incentive for existing players to upgrade to the standalone edition; a slew of fixes for the worst problems of the original is one good way to do that. Why would they work on developing all these new features just to give them away for free to users of the mod? Where do you think their development budget is coming from, the Space Pope?

  14. Dozer says:

    That Bohemia guy is still in a Greek jail? Come on, Greece, you have no money, it’s expensive to keep prisoners, let the guy go…

  15. CallMeSarge says:

    Has anyone tried the wasteland mission for ArmA II? its great. Think Day Z, minus the zombies, add a currency and objective system, sprinkle over bigger guns, and finally stir in a few tanks and light armored vehicles, and bake for 30 minutes. The three competing teams (Bluefor, opfor, Independent) makes it more intresting, the base building mechanic is ace, and of course, what mod is complete without community drama over who ripped of whose source code once the original developer stopped updating.

    Anyway, Wasteland is the reason I no longer play DayZ. There is a video here if you are interested: Wasteland with WmD

  16. grnr says:

    I would love to be getting some DayZ time in, but SECUROM won’t let me install arma 2 OA because I’ve run out of installs. Thanks, DRM!