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.