Rocket Done Rushing DayZ, Issues Massive Update

By Nathan Grayson on January 26th, 2013 at 11:00 am.

It's been a long, hard development cycle, but I think the end result's worth it. Behold: some of the greatest videogame grass of all time.

If I didn’t know any better, I’d say Rocket “Dean” Hall was rocketing through DayZ standalone‘s development in order to stop rabid fans from sinking overeager fangs into his heels. But now I do know better! Rocket explained in a recent (and completely massive) dev blog: “We don’t know [when it's coming out]. We’re going to take our time. I feel fantastic about the situation, more than ever I feel like we’re doing something really interesting with this development. Now is not the time to rush things, but we do need to ensure our pace is kept up.” He then proceeded to discuss all of the things – chief among them anti-cheat server technology, character customization, and the current closed test. Find out heaps more about the Z-est of days after the break.

NowadayZs, DayZ mod is nearly as overrun by cheaters as it is zombies, so stopping a repeat performance dead in its tracks is one of Rocket’s biggest priorities. But how? Well, MMOs aren’t perfect at it, but they are better than most. Naturally, then, DayZ’s taking a few pointers.

“Contrary to some who say DayZ will be releasing with no anti-hack mechanisms, one of the key things we are doing with development is entirely redeveloping how the engine works. I can’t stress enough just how fundamental this change is. DayZ’s game servers will function like servers in other MMO style games, that is the server will control the behavior and the sending of updates. No longer will your machine receive all the updates allowing their analysis by various cheats.”

As for character customization, Rocket and co are aiming to strike a good balance between practicality and social concerns. In all likelihood, you’ll start with rags, but various post-apocalyptic riches – new clothes, tattoos, markings on weapons, etc – will both evolve your character and allow you to identify with groups you might form or causes you might take up. Weapons will also be customizable from a usability standpoint, though  specifics are scarce at the moment. Rocket said magazines are up and running, but there’s plenty more on the way.

What about that “imminent” closed test, though? Well, there’s a test of sorts going on right now, but it’s probably not the one you’ve been waiting for. “We have begun our internal closed testing (yes!) and have been working with Valve to ensure our new server browser system is working (we utilize Steam for this purpose rather than Gamespy as for ArmA2). The Server/Client architecture needs to be fully implemented before we will begin our public testing.” However, he also added that “we have not initiated our closed test that includes external people yet (such as streamers).”

There’s also info about volumetric clouds (!!!), a comparison shot between DayZ standalone and ArmA II, and some snazzy new screenshots over on the DayZ blog. If you’re interested, you now have permission to peruse it. You didn’t before, and if you opted to anyway, I’m telling.

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37 Comments »

  1. SuperNashwanPower says:

    The small piece of me that enjoyed a tiny part of FarCry3 wants to run up and deactivate the alarms with that red post box. The one just behind the Angelina Jolie zombie who I must distract by throwing an adoptable orphan just beyond that car.

  2. Terragot says:

    Sounds like Rocket has great priorities. Glad they have put so much work into the prevention of hacking. Having to invest so much into a single session of Day Z means that this will ultimately live or die by how fair it is. For me the mod died overnight after being the victim to hacked players.

    Saying that, I don’t expect anything more than a colossus death match, the work required to encourage any sort of team play would mean evoking empathy between players. That’s an extremely hard thing to do with regards to something that imitates human behaviour. It’s dammed funny business when human beings place more empathy in a vacuum cleaner than they do with a humanoid-robotic face with all degrees of emotional expressions.

    • tossrStu says:

      Yeah but LOOK AT HIS LITTLE FACE http://www.henryvacs.co.uk/acatalog/Henry300Tools.jpg Who wouldn’t empathise with a hoover like that?

    • jellydonut says:

      The people who invoke ‘empathy’ seem to forget that this is a game. I’m not interested in cooperating with random strangers. Imagine if this game had no PVP element, it would have been fun for maybe a week, tops.

      Even those of you who don’t actively hunt other players are forced to admit that without the element of paranoia and constant risk, the excitement and tension in this game would be less than half what they are now.

      • sinister agent says:

        Imagine if this game had no PVP element, it would have been fun for maybe a week, tops.

        Yes, and without the realistic possibility of human interaction beyond everyone shooting everyone, the excitement and tension are non-existent, because you’re basically playing an extremely slow-paced deathmatch.

        People loved Day Z when that person you met was more likely to be friendly or just nod hello and wander past, and hostility was only a possibility, not the default stance. With everyone out to ruin everyone else’s day, interest has dropped sharply because there are a million other better shooters out there.

        • soapmak3r says:

          That’s why I stopped bothering with the mod…It’s a survival sim. I play for the survival, but it seems that I am one of the few.
          I sneak, I scavenge, I observe for the shadows/trees/bushes…Most people never know I am there, or that I could have shot them in the head quite easily if I’d wanted to…It’s that tension that I love. Wondering if I will have to engage with someone if they wander too close to where I am hiding, or if I should kill them…All the KoS nonsense took away from the game completely.

          The scavenging/surviving is the fun part, not the killing. I played for months and only killed a handful of bandits, after they either opened fire on me, or killed one of our groups without checking to see if they were alone…

          Of course, I was killed quite often…usually while I was in my backpack, or gutting an animal, and completely defenseless, or by a hacker…That sh*t gets old quickly.

      • Terragot says:

        I never said take the PVP out, I fully support it. I’d just like encouragement to communicate with players rather than the current binary state which is : see player, shoot, loot.

        Would be nice to have some dynamics added to the game such as a reason to parley, help, trade, betray, etc. But again, as it stands, the reward for shooting someone in the back immensely out ways attempting to communicate with a player.

        Without some form of empathetic thought pushed in the game, we’re stuck with everyone slaughtering everyone else, and not even giving it a second thought. I must emphasis that I understand what I’m asking of the game is a nigh on impossible task, but I’d at least like some more exploration into solutions such as the bandit system.

        EDIT : Sinister agent get’s at what I was implying, as do most who played the mod, I’d assume.

      • fish99 says:

        I actually totally disagree with you. The idea of co-operating to survive a zombie apocalypse is genuinely interesting to me. The idea of slow clunky deathmatch on a big map, while a few zombies run around, isn’t interesting to me, at all.

        The zombies need to be a much bigger threat to bring that about though. It’s why Project Zomboid is such a tense experience, it’s genuinely hard to survive and you always feel under threat. DayZ needs a lot more depth as well. Instead of the player built underground bases (or in addition to them), they should be letting you barricade doors in the existing buildings. They should probably have separate servers with and without PVP as well.

      • Rindan says:

        Don’t get me wrong, I like the PvP element. I just don’t like the death match feel. I want neutral ground, if nothing else. If I could have anything, it would be some place like Barter Town from Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. I want a place to build alliances, talk, taunt, trade, etc. After we do the peaceful thing we can then go our separate ways into the zombie infested wilderness and murder each other indiscriminately.

        It would also be nice if you could throw up a white flag, and while the white flag is up your hands are empty of weapons. Make it take a little time to raise a weapon from the white flag ‘weapon’, and I think you could do a lot to foster a little interaction. You would be able to signal people peaceful intent at a distance, and have a few seconds warning if someone is going to break said peaceful intent to go for your own gun or find cover. This is no safety against their friend with a sniper rifle hiding in the trees, but it I think it would make chance encounters far more intense and interesting.

        Right now, to really have fun, you really have to coordinate outside of the game with some folks. Day Z is awesome when you have a crew. I just wish that the game could facilitate “finding a crew” in the game world better. Keep the PvP, but give me a little more interaction with my fellows humans than simply putting a bullet in their head, and make peaceful interactions a little easier. It is far more intense to have a face to face talk and back away slowly, with maybe one person suddenly reaching for a gun, then it is to get a bullet in the back of the head and never see where it came from. Interaction is interesting and risky. Day Z could use more of it.

  3. Alfius says:

    Quick plug for the unofficial RPS community DayZ mod server. They use a private hive and a whitelist to keep the hackers out. It’s called Rock Paper Zombie and the website with instructions for getting on the whitelist can be found at rpz-hive.tk

    See you in Cherno :-)

    • Col Sanders says:

      Did not know about this thank you! I will apply later today :D

    • Askeladd says:

      You mean there’s a way to play DayZ without getting killed before your character is even loaded into the game?

    • Homercleese says:

      Yep, the Rock Paper Zombie server has resuscitated my interest in DayZ. Friendly enough people, although there’s still plenty of shooty shooty bang bang (nearly killed twice today). Vehicles are actually findable and not hoarded by clans and untouchable. Gonna take my lovely shiny new UAZ on an friendventure tomorrow.

      Providing it hasn’t been swiped.

  4. realkruste says:

    I’m eager to see how the experience of encountering other players will evolve.

  5. DaftPunk says:

    Never played DayZ but really want to get this when it comes out,looks and sounds fantastic. Its kinda similar to STALKER games if you ask me khehehe :D

  6. Low Life says:

    For quite some time I thought his name was Dean Rocket-Hall, because people (in podcasts and stuff) kept addressing him by both his full name and the handle. This is probably the first time I’ve read/heard him being addressed as Rocket.

  7. Clavus says:

    This is what the clouds in Day Z will look like: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yceE17SRJPY

  8. tentacle says:

    Not one word on the ONE big problem with DayZ (and all ArmA games since the first Flashpoint): the wonkier than willy wonka controls. It’s the ONE thing that has kept them off the top-10-games-of-all-time list.

    I still have dreams about OFP and what it could have been (and could one day be).

    • sinister agent says:

      I’d imagine that’s one reason for going stand-alone. Without Arma attached, the developers won’t feel the need to include 300 separate key combinations to help each member of your squad tie their shoelaces, so it can be designed for human use instead.

    • jellydonut says:

      There was word about that in the *previous* update. I recommend reading all the devblog posts if you haven’t, previously.

    • shagohad says:

      some things are sooo good though

      like free-dead-look

      other shooters feel so claustrophobic without it

    • fish99 says:

      Rocket has said they’re redoing the UI to be more user friendly, so I guess they’ll be doing the same thing for the movement/shooting controls.

    • Blush Response says:

      In the recent interview on Shannon’s twitch channel, he mentioned fixing this. He said a lot of the clunkiness comes from ArmA forcing long transition animations on everything.

  9. SuperNashwanPower says:

    So is the hacking really bad then? I heard people were flying around in jets and driving tanks after people ‘unlocked’ the Arma-ry

  10. niyagamu says:

    If you think Chad`s story is good,, last month my uncle’s girlfriend basically got a cheque for $6355 working twenty hours a week from there apartment and the’re friend’s aunt`s neighbour has been doing this for six months and actually earned more than $6355 part-time On there laptop. the advice available on this page… http://www.Cloud65.com

  11. K1eaner says:

    I ‘m not surprised if the dev’s are waiting for the completion of the new engine that Bohemia is making for ArmA 3, then release DayZ, I’d rather prefer it like that, that way I get a much more better experience of DayZ and not a scronny one from an old engine. Most updates do complement and are in comparison with with ArmA 3 updates are….oh well, I suppose time will tell.

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