DayZ Completes Its Million Mile Shamble Onto Early Access

By Nathan Grayson on December 17th, 2013 at 9:00 am.

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Earlyaccessmas, which is the sort of buzzword holiday title that I probably deserve to be crucified for. But honestly, between Starbound, Wasteland 2, Elite: Dangerous, Blackguards, Dungeon of the Endless, and now DayZ, this is getting ridiculous. We are figuratively getting our Christmas presents early during actual Christmas. Someone must have planned it this way. That is the only possible explanation. Or everyone was just trying to capitalize on the December Dead Zone, because you can’t spell capitalize without capitalism. Wait. Never mind, just go below for a trailer and foreboding words from the DayZ team.

You can finally jump into DayZ’s alpha via either Steam or Bohemia’s store. However, Rocket and co actually caution against it unless you’re ready to fend off an onslaught of both zombies and bugs.

“Be aware that our Early Access offer is a representation of our core pillars, and the framework we have created around them. It is a work in progress and therefore contains a variety of bugs. We strongly advise you not to buy and play the game at this stage unless you clearly understand what Early Access means and are interested in participating in the ongoing development cycle.”

Obviously, this standalone edition of DayZ will evolve significantly over the course of development, but that promise comes with a high chance of imbalances, game-breaking glitches, and server outages. Buyer beware and all that.

It’s $29.99 for the time being, which is by no means highway robbery, but again: probably don’t leap in expecting to have the time of your (un)life. All that said, are you going to give it a go? Or are 30 million other Early Access juggernauts getting your attention first?

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74 Comments »

  1. magogjack says:

    Well that made me sad…..

  2. Talon2000uk says:

    $29.99. Way to expensive for early access alpha. $19.99 is more the norm. Of course some games that are trying to build momentum are even cheaper.

    Also comparing the feature list of the stand alone to the original mod and even worse to some of its off shoots, this doesn’t look like great value to me. :(

    • UmmonTL says:

      It’s not great value but it’s obvious why they set the price so high. Compared to other early access titles, DayZ doesn’t need to build up momentum, it has that momentum right now. But it’s unclear wether this will last until they manage to actually finish it. The high cost of entry means they will mostly get the hardcore fans into early access and as long as they can please those fans they will have a dedicated userbase and even quite a bit of positive buzz.
      A lower cost of entry would probably get them more money right now but the people would be more likely to be disappointed and leave the game for good.

      • Ub3rs0ldat says:

        This is true, but didn’t he say it was going to be $10?

        • kyrieee says:

          He said he was hoping to price it at around €15, but that was in August of last year when they were still intending on releasing a repackaged version of the mod.

          • Swampdaddy says:

            “kyrieee says:

            He said he was hoping to price it at around €15, but that was in August of last year when they were still intending on releasing a repackaged version of the mod”

            Thing is though, it’s not a mod, it’s a stand alone game. Doesn’t require ARMA 2 or 3 to be run.

            So this isn’t actually that expensive. You’ll get the full game once it releases and you get to play up til it does, plus you get to provide feedback, which is always a good thing for the developers.

    • Sakai says:

      I don’t understand that attitude. You’re not paying 30$ for “early access alpha”. You’re paying 30$ for a _full game_ with a bonus of being able to play it early if you want to. And you get a discount. And some people still complaining? They want it even cheaper? I mean, talk about entitlement…

      • SkittleDiddler says:

        It’s not about entitlement. It’s about paying $30 for a very early alpha-stage game (not a “_full game_”) that likely won’t see completion until 2015. People are, in essence, being expected to dole out cash to playtest someone else’s product for an unspecified period of time. I guess if that floats your boat, feel free to have at it.

        The upside to buying it now is that the price is only going to increase as the project nears completion. Seeing as how DayZ Standalone is likely going to be just as much a buggy chunk of code on release day as it is today, maybe it’s advisable to grab it while the price is low.

        • rgb_astronaut says:

          2015? You surely meant early 2014!

        • drewski says:

          It’s more like a non-refundable very early pre-order with the option of being part of game testing.

          It’s not like anyone is being forced into it.

      • Smashbox says:

        Hear that, everyone? That topic is not fit for discussion because this person will call you entitled.

        • Amun says:

          I always find it odd that people are so ready to jump down a someone’s throat if he makes even the smallest mention of value. It’s always the same bullshit about how producers are entitled to charge a ridiculous price, but consumers aren’t entitled to complain about it. >_>

          • Anubis says:

            That’s because people expect a company to lose out on heaps of money because they are giving you the opportunity to play a game during development. They aren’t taking anything away from you. I don’t understand the logic, don’t buy it then. If you don’t want to pay $30 to play the game during development plus get the full game when it’s finished then don’t buy it. You can even buy it now at $30 and play it when it’s finished, there goes your value. It’s simple, have to wait until the game is finished – $60. Get to play the game during development if I choose + I get the full game when it’s finished – $30. That’s not value?

    • Awesumo says:

      Pff. We should feel lucky that he didn’t decide to charge $100. Given the recent games that have done that for early access he would of had a legion of loyal supporters defending his pricing.
      $30 seems about right for this – the games certainly more of a known entity than brand new IP like Kerbel was.

      • Tacroy says:

        I don’t know, given how ridiculously unhelpful people can sometimes be when faced with am unfinished product, I think it’s totally reasonable to charge extra for the beta and even more for the alpha. If you really can’t wait, that’s what you pay for it; otherwise, you can wait for the full release.

    • cunningmunki says:

      C’mon, you’ve got to leave some wiggle room for the Steam Winter Sale!

    • Jexiah8bit says:

      I do not understand people that claim that current price of alpha entry is too high. Wasteland 2 is 59.99, hell the alpha entry to Elite is over 200 bucks. Even other, lesser known products that come with a decent level of content or material to test are charging around 25. The most important thing to remember here is you are paying for the privilege to test a game, not necessarily enjoy it yet. Your fun with the game is secondary at this point to the product’s development. You are actually giving your money to support a developer you want to see grow – and while some would argue that developers use the Early Access to take advantage of people who are too stupid or impatient to realize this, that is the consumer’s fault, not theirs.

      • Amun says:

        1.) This is a remake of an existing game.
        2.) Rocket seemed to imply it would be cheaper.
        3.) Rocket is totally inept at making a working game within a reasonable amount of time. =/

        • Mxyzptlk says:

          1. Mod never left Alpha
          2. He spoke of a minecraft pricing model, never of an actual price
          3. Well then do it yourself since you are clearly a better human being

    • Meh_hem says:

      Then don’t buy it, and move on…

      I think that “a lot of money” is a relevant term. To me it wasn’t, so I bought it and am enjoying it so far.

      It should only get better from here.

  3. snowgim says:

    Yoink!

  4. The Dark One says:

    If they’re upfront about the condition of the game, then I’m all for putting it in Early Access. If you’re dedicated enough to trawl through the game in an unfinished state and submit bug reports, then you’re doing every other gamer a favour.

  5. mechchimp says:

    From the Standalone DayZ Steam Store page:

    “We estimate that reaching Beta version with all key features present will take more than one year from current stage. All features and plans listed here are subject to change, we may add or remove features as seen fit during development process.”

    As much as Rocket and the guys are honest and open about the development cycle, I am a bit worried about the whole process. Let’s hope the huge cashload they’re getting from the Early Access will help them tighten the schedule.

    • Chaz says:

      Yep, end of 2014 seems like too far a long ways off, and even then it will still only be in beta, albeit feature complete. So are we talking early to mid 2015 for a final release? If so I think that’ll just be too late. The game is already losing ground and interest to games of a similar concept that are in development. By the time 2015 rolls by it’ll be old hat and very likely something bigger and better will have superseded it by that time.

      • Synesthesia says:

        way, way, way, too late. I just hope the kill on sighters get bored before so at least a bit of what made dayz good comes back for as little as it lasts.

      • Runs With Foxes says:

        I always like how internet people assume their own opinion speaks for everyone. DayZ has a big following and it’s the top seller on Steam right now. It’s also (like Minecraft but on a smaller scale) the kind of game that will keep on selling pretty steadily because it will stay in the limelight thanks to YouTube videos etc. It’ll be fine.

        • HadToLogin says:

          FYI: Just being Steam-Bestseller says nothing.

          Planetary Annihilation was Steam Bestseller while not even 100 people were playing it – so what, maybe 1000 people bought it and it was enough to be on top?

    • Moraven says:

      You would have thought the huge support they got when they announced standalone would have gotten any sense of game completion. DayZ sold a lot of copies of Arma at $20-$30.

  6. Murkus says:

    Although I love playing early access games (especially good co-op & multiplayer games) I can’t help but wonder what this trend will do to the success of pc gaming as a whole.

    If a large portion of the market buys these games in early access the actual release of the game might go relatively unnoticed and not receive the publicity it may eventually deserve. Games are are unjustly referred to as buggy and flawed due to the beta players reporting on a games playability and this can lead to misinformation of the quality of the game at release.

    Although I love the feeling of community that comes from beta playing a game (the feeling of contributing to the industry in my own little way) could this new trend damage the perceived quality of many of the new PC games by small developers?

    • frightlever says:

      Statistically, most PC gamers don’t get involved in early access games. A significant number may get involved in certain high profile early access games (like Minecraft). Overall the number of people involved is tiny compared to the number of PC gamers overall so it’ll have no effect on the industry. And have you already forgotten the numerous high profile train-wreck releases, like Sim City, in recent years? Early access would have done the industry nothing but good, as opposed to the massive pre-order crash and burn that went on.

      • Murkus says:

        Right you are sir…

        MORE EARLY ACCESS!!!!!

      • bstard says:

        Early access might be better as pre-ordering, but I rather have my bread not only kneaded but also baked.

    • kouru225 says:

      I completely agree. I have yet to see a review for Warframe now that it has reached its official release date.

  7. Core says:

    Too bad Valve refused to allow that trailer into Steam. It’s one of the best ones I have seen in ages, and really sets the mood for the game.

    • Dudeist says:

      I think, this trailer is sick and breaking too many rules, taboos. Killing handcuffed prisoners? So funny…. Yes, it;s what I waited for in standalone Dayz….

      Moreover. I’m definitely bandit in dayz, kos player etc. But shooting people like this is low and not acceptable for me even in stupid game.

      I would like to see finished and stable game istead of shameful trailer, but I see, Rocket undertook this known and worse way.

      • BAshment says:

        i would rather have game violence that is shocking then 10 more years of 80′s action film style romps.

  8. Mabswer says:

    Eh, this train wreck is going to be a PAss for me, Currently theres realy not much to play at all.
    Just KS DM doesn’t realy Float my boat.

    -no “Zeds”
    -Glitching trough Walls and floors,
    so basicly early Stage of the Mod. except back then there was Zeds..

    • SpecialSoup says:

      There are zombies in the game, just in reduced numbers.

      Likely for testing purposes and compensating for the lack of loot while they tune the system.

      Glitching through walls appears to be a problem that is not unique to dayz. A ton of weird arma quirks have been fixed in a standalone but god knows if this ever will be.

      • Mabswer says:

        Maybe Reduced, yea.. Dont know just all the Vids i’ve seen so far has been.. Zedless

        -and by glitching trough walls i meant No Wall Collision on Huts and firestations.
        Also no animation on Stairs seems to be now an issue as well…

        Well We just have to see and wait if this manup at some point and start being better than DayZ The Mod cause currently its barely above WarZ…Zing..

  9. ChainsawCharlie says:

    Nope. Way too expensive. Feel that I’ve paid for this once already when buying those two Arma 2 mods more than a year ago.

  10. GreatHackster says:

    So … did anyone else find the incredibly epic adventure music playing while a lady kneels down and shoots herself in the head weirdly hilarious? “THRILL as your character … uh … gives up and dies, I guess?”

    No? I’m a sick freak? Alright then.

    • ankh says:

      I burst out laughing when that happened.

    • chris1479 says:

      Actually I sat there wondering why her head appeared to be in an immaculate condition considering she’d just put a bullet through it. A real lack of detail there on Rocket’s part.

      But at the same time I thought it was kind of sickening. But I also kind of liked it from the perspective of what it could add to the game (hostage taking for example). So yeah – conflicted I guess would sum up my feelings on it.

  11. GamesInquirer says:

    If no servers show up for you, you need to click “internet” on the top left corner of the server browser. Yeah, it’s totally weird. Happy testing.

  12. strangeloup says:

    “We strongly advise you not to buy and play the game at this stage unless you clearly understand what Early Access means, but we are entirely aware that hundreds of you will buy it anyway and then bitch on the forums that it’s broken.”

  13. PoulWrist says:

    Steam needs a huge ass blinking sign and pop-ups galore shouting “THIS SHIT IS NOT COMPLETE AND IS IN FACT PROBABLY A BUGGY MESS WITH NO CONTENT! YOU ARE PAYING TO BE A TESTER! IS THIS REALLY WHAT YOU WANT TO BUY???” when buying a early access title. The forums are just full of spammy, whiny threads about “this game is incomplete and buggy and sucks” because people are too stupid to understand wtf “early access” actually means.

    • drewski says:

      To be fair, the DayZ game description on Steam is:

      “WARNING: THIS GAME IS EARLY ACCESS ALPHA. PLEASE DO NOT PURCHASE IT UNLESS YOU WANT TO ACTIVELY SUPPORT DEVELOPMENT OF THE GAME AND ARE PREPARED TO HANDLE WITH SERIOUS ISSUES AND POSSIBLE INTERRUPTIONS OF GAME FUNCTIONING.”

      I actually think most of the people complaining on the Steam forums are trolling DayZ fans.

      • bstard says:

        Steam shop and steam early access should be split into two sites imo. There’s only that far overcropping future sales can go.

    • HadToLogin says:

      Well, in this case, you’re paying to be tester, but also to not pay $40-50 after a year of testing (as Bohemia likes to sell early access cheaper then final product – Arma 3, Take on Mars).

  14. Ich Will says:

    We wish you an earlyaccessmas,
    We wish you an earlyaccessmas,
    We wish you an earlyaccessmas,
    And a disappointing new Year.
    You’ll ruin the game for you and your friends,
    We wish you an earlyaccessmas,
    And a disappointing new Year.

  15. S Jay says:

    I had so much fun with the mod that it seemed wrong not to buy it right away. :)

  16. Dudeist says:

    He said something about low price, like a $15, I saw yesterday $29.99, today I see on my steam $23.99…

    With nowdays prices of game around $/€ 50, even $30 is not bad price for game like this, but… Only when this game is finished and not buged. I do not care graphical glitches, but I’m worried from months about internet protocol and anti cheats system and how it work. In mmo like this, it is most important I think.

    Other story, I not played it yet, but people reporting, that very basic and well know problems are still not solving, like a zeds walls ghosting. Collisions and pathfinding are very basic things in making game, no matter is 2D or 3D and if this is still not solved – veeeery bad.

  17. Gothnak says:

    I do love the idea of DayZ, but i know i’d get shot by another player for no reason, lose whatever progress i’ve got, turn it off and never play it again. getting killed by a Zombie is fine, but by a player would be far too irritating.

    At some point someone will make a game i want to play with other people… (I don’t want to sit and do level design though, so Minecraft is out)

    • Razumen says:

      Exactly, if you play DayZ expecting a zombie game you’ll be dissapointed, it’s much more about player vs player and from what I can tell the standalone won’t change that.

      • HadToLogin says:

        +1

        It’s like realistic big-ass Quake arena, where you start with wimpy gun and need to find some awesome gun to start fragging others. And while doing this awesomely big-ass arena, someone notices it’s boring as hell as you meet someone else so rarely, so they added melee fighting bots.

        Zombie-survival experience? Maybe on private servers with friends.

  18. kyrieee says:

    I think the alpha is meant for the people who have been F5ing the DayZ subreddit for the last month. Rocket wanted a quiet release but he was never going to get one. It’s perfectly normal to not want to pay $30 for a barely functional alpha, no need to make a stink about it, it’s not for you.

    • iseemonkeys says:

      Little misleading when the repeatedly said he was going do the minecraft model and start cheap at alpha. I think this ship has long sailed for this game. It may of worked if he switched engines.

      • Jim Rossignol says:

        88k people logged in during the first 12 hours. That ship is doing ok.

        • Runs With Foxes says:

          172500 copies in the first 24 hours. Over $5 million.

      • HadToLogin says:

        Seeing how release can be prices as $60, or even $100, this is minecraft model with cheap alpha – you know, as in “cheaper then later releases”.

  19. Moraven says:

    So, anyone playing Rust? Far more interested in that after being promised DayZ beta 12 months ago.

  20. iseemonkeys says:

    Regardless if you think the price is high or not he did repeatedly say it would not be and that it would do the minecraft model by starting with very low price and add increase for each update. The prize was going be 10$ and I need find his quotes on this. Sorry but this game is not worth 30 considering how little it has changed since the dayz mod. I wish he would of just switched too another engine but he must of been paid to stay this one.

  21. Bfox says:

    Hope this trailer isn’t misleading and there is a shootyourself button, would be real handy for getting a better spawnpoint ;)

  22. Shodex says:

    Why is RPS ignoring Neo Scavenger? D: Easily one of the better early access games on Steam.
    Since when was Fallout 1 & 2 + Roguelike not something RPS likes?

    • Adam Smith says:

      I covered it way back when it first made a public appearance sometime in 2012. Rest assured, I’ve been keeping my eyes on it and am playing it AT THIS VERY MOMENT. Report soon.

      • dontnormally says:

        THEN WHO IS TYPING THIS COMMENT?

        Oh god, they’ve got him…

  23. neonordnance says:

    COULD SOMEONE IN THE SEA OF IDIOTS AND WHINGERS ACTUALLY COMMENT WHETHER THIS IS PLAYABLE OR NOT?

    Good lord, I’ve never seen so much whining in one place. No one is holding a gun to your head to buy this. It’s a very early development version of the game, and thus not suitable for people who enjoy complaining anyway. And guess what– if you don’t want to buy it, that’s great for you. You’re not making your e-peen any bigger by going on the internet to boldly declare that you aren’t going to spend “your hard-earned money” on something. I see dozens of games every day that I don’t plan on buying, and I don’t immediately find a relevant post on my favorite blog so I can go tell the world.

    WELL I GUESS SAINTS ROW 4 IS STILL FIFTY BUCKS SO NO SALE.

    WELL I GUESS CALL OF DUTY GHOSTS IS A MEDIOCRE EFFORT NOT GOING TO BUY IT.

    I CAN’T BELIEVE THEY KEEP PUTTING OUT SPORTS GAMES. I NEVER BUY A SPORTS GAME. HOW COULD THERE POSSIBLY BE GAMES MADE THAT DON’T DIRECTLY APPEAL TO SMALL MINDED IDIOTS SUCH AS MYSELF. TIME TO GO ONLINE AND START A PETITION, BECAUSE THAT’S THE MOST PRODUCTIVE THING TO DO WITH MY TIME.

    • AngelTear says:

      Your rudeness needs no comment.

      However, people usually say they’re not going to buy it if they were/would be interested to buy it in the first place, but were disappointed by something that made them change their mind.

  24. DestroyYourEgo says:

    Hackers and Camp Bears… and Hacker Camp Bears! Thanks, but after the DayZ mod, and World War Z (erm, sorry, “Infestation: Survivor Stories”), I’m kinda bitter to the whole “online apocalypse”. Although I love the parallel between “people doing whatever the fuck they want in the end of the world” and “people doing whatever the fuck they want in a video game about the end of the world”.

    Maybe after it’s Official release, and I can trudge through discussions/forums without seeing the word “hacker” in any kind of context, I’ll give it a shot. Until then, State of Decay all the way!

  25. Bone says:

    No problems with hackers so far, but the bugs and server lag that can occasionally plague the inventory interactions are your worst enemies. Also hunger, thirst, energy (stamina), blood and health crave for more consumable items than you can find in any one place, and the messages are misleading and too frequent. “I’m feeling dizzy” etc.”
    It’s not a terrible alpha start. I love the new object-based item system and customisation and there’s already more different items than in the mod. Zombies are a real concern though, if they’re able to eventually get them right…

  26. ptoxiq says:

    Awful trailer music. Shows minimal appreciation of how music could be used in this trailer. I’m continually frustrated by low standard of game music set by the industry in general. Over time, across the industry, what I’ve seen is stupendous increase in graphics quality, followed by playability. Meanwhile, I have seen little to no increase in quality of music.

    Will update this post with suggestions for trailer music more fitting the potential quality of this game. – snobbyaudiosnob

  27. ChrisMidget says:

    I have friends who got the early access straight away and they say it is loads of fun and has cool details, like being able to use your shirt for bandages or the items in your back pack can break if it gets shot or you fall off a building. While I will wait a little bit before buying I think it looks/sounds cool.