DayZ will leave early access next year

dayzeader

I’d forgotten all about DayZ, but being reminded of it’s existence brings the memories flooding back. That moment when I broke my legs, and my friend had to put me out of my misery and inadvertently became a bandit. That time when I was stranded, weaponless on a rooftop and the same friend arrived just in time to save me. The session where I was playing with Pip while she was streaming, and got taken hostage by two of her friends who convinced me they were random strangers.

The devs have written a status report, containing news both good and bad. The bad: the next major update isn’t coming until next year. The good: DayZ will come out of early access in 2018. Maybe then I’ll dive back in and try to get myself kidnapped again.

In the status report, after announcing that build 0.63 won’t be ready to go this year, lead producer Eugen Harton highlights some of the many, many features that are currently in the “broken internal version” of 0.63. The team insist that the build, which will take DayZ from its alpha stage into beta once it reaches the stable servers, isn’t ready for even the experimental servers – though it might might be frustrating to read that Eugen finds it “very hard to go back to 0.62” after playing the latest build.

I’ll leave you to go through the full list yourself, but highlights include new crafting, zombie types, map changes, diseases, and herding behaviour for animals. Ok, it might mainly be me who’s excited about herding behaviour for animals.

He adds that between the release of the build on the experimental and stable servers, they’ll also be adding vehicles, helicopters and base-building. That leads into another massive list of stuff that they’re planning to add during the beta, with more overhauls to everything from the movement system to modding tools.

Eugen then lists the features that won’t be coming until after version 1.0, and explains the reasoning behind that for each of them – which in every case is a variant of ‘this would take us too long and we want to focus on something else’. One feature that’s been entirely scrapped for the time being are animal companions, which was apparently just too ambitious.

In what might technically count as my games journalism debut, at the first ever Rezzed I asked Dean Hall when I’d get to run around DayZ with a dog by my side. ‘Soon’, he told me, with a thumbs up and a grin – in 2012.

It’s worth bearing in mind that this isn’t the first time Bohemia have talked about a release window for DayZ – the 2015 development roadmap had the final release pegged for the first half of 2016. Eugen says that they’ve committed to a 2018 release while “taking all of (their) previous scheduling mistakes into the account”, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if the date ends up slipping yet again.

28 Comments

  1. Belmakor says:

    I cant imagine anyone caring about this game anymore. It was an interesting novelty all those years ago. Now PUBG scratches that itch!

    • drfish says:

      Spoken as someone that doesn’t ‘get’ DayZ. Which is totally fine! I don’t ‘get’ PUBG. We may be the minority, but we still care. It’s just that PUBG and DayZ are nothing alike at all.

      I’m bummed that 0.63 is delayed again, but I’m not surprised and I’m not mad. Contrary to popular belief, the devs have kept us well-informed and as long as they don’t go silent, I’m happy.

      • FurryLippedSquid says:

        Oh dear, you’re an apologist.

        Keeping us “well informed” is utter bollocks. They’ve done nothing but spout about goals. They may as well talk about what they’d buy if they won the lottery.

    • woodsey says:

      I don’t know much about PUBG, but I’m 98% certain they’re different itches. At its conceptual worst (as in, when it is least living up to its concept), DayZ is a large-scale, slow-burn deathmatch; my understanding is that that is the entire point of PUBG to begin with.

      • Rindan says:

        I think DayZ’s “conceptual worst”, as you call it, is its reality for most. DayZ is a slow burn death match. The thrill of DayZ is sneaking up on someone taking them out. Or it is the thrill of being ambushed. Basically, DayZ is boredom punctuated with terror. The terror is so sweet because it contrasts with the more mundane non-scary survival stuff that lulls you into complacency.

        My pulse doesn’t go up during a normal FPS because it is all combat all of the time, and the violence and death lose their meaning. DayZ surrounds the violence and death with the mundane, so it startles you when it comes. The semi-permadeath nature of the game amps it up even more because the consequences for violence are very high. So, when the action comes, it is REALLY thrilling compared to what is feels like to blow some army dudes away in Call of Duty.

        PUBGs captures what makes DayZ interesting and condenses it down. Like DayZ, PUBGs is mostly the mundane. Most of the game is spent looting empty places. The circle forces conflict though, so as the game goes on the chances for violence increase. You KNOW violence will eventually happen, but you don’t know when, only that the odds go up as the game goes on. This is more than enough to make the violence startling. Also like DayZ, death is semi-permanent. When you die, that is it. Game over. As a result, you get the same tension you get in DayZ when you are fully equipped and thinking about how much you will lose if you die.

        The only thing PUBGs doesn’t distill out of DayZ is interaction with strangers. Everyone in PUBGs (other than your pair or squad, if playing those modes) is trying to kill you. In DayZ you can sometimes interact peacefully with folks, which is a thrill because peaceful and turn not peacefully really quickly.

        Honestly, I think PUBGs eats DayZs lunch. Sure, DayZ still does stuff PUBGs doesn’t, but PUBGs grabs most of what makes DayZ great and condenses it down into something much more bite sized and focused.

        • woodsey says:

          I agree that DayZ is that way the majority of the time, and that it is part of what makes it interesting.

          But I feel like your point about the strangers – i.e. the possibility of a proper, entirely player-driven social dynamic – is actually part of my point about the different itches. DayZ can be more, even if it often isn’t.

          The mundanity that precedes violence in each is also a good example. Because PUBG is only about combat, that’s all its mundane bits are good for: wracking up the tension. And while they serve the same function in DayZ, they are also genuinely tranquil, because the game isn’t just (or rather, necessarily) about committing violence. It’s about being a survivalist. You can go and camp out in the woods and avoid everyone else as much as possible if you like.

          In terms of its mission statement, DayZ resembles a land-based EVE far more than it does PUBG. Despite their historical relationship and obvious overlap, they’re trying to do very different things.

          • Rindan says:

            I don’t entirely disagree. DayZ at its best is closer to Eve than it is to PUBGs. I just don’t think DayZ is very close to Eve all that often. I wish DayZ was more like Eve.

            Personally, I think “DayZ, but actually Eve” is going to be the sleeper hit. “High sec space” would be a mostly secure city and surroundings. “Low sec space” would be the wilderness where people can build their own towns and forts. Give it Eve like economics, just replace transports flying between space stations with horse drawn caravans or motor trucks driving between towns. Give it markets. If you want to trade between two towns in “low sec” wilderness, you might want to hire on a few guns. Give it pure FPS combat.

            I want it. Even DayZ but Eve would rock.

        • Silent_Thunder says:

          >My pulse doesn’t go up during a normal FPS because it is all combat all of the time, and the violence and death lose their meaning. DayZ surrounds the violence and death with the mundane, so it startles you when it comes.

          You’ve actually summed up why of all things R6S brings me so much enjoyment. Yeah it’s still a 3 min deathmatch, but the fact that it revolves around bursts of violence follwoed by nervous silence is what makes it so great. You just HEAR them all clambering above you, next to you on the other side of the wall, and it’s waiting for that other shoe to drop that raises your blood pressure.

  2. TeePee says:

    I feel bad for DayZ in some ways. Without it, we probably wouldn’t have arrived at destination PUBG as quickly as we did, and it basically founded an entire (albeit now slightly tiresome) genre of games for a while. Now, it’s pretty much used as a punchline – they screwed up the launch so, so badly, and I think it became apparent fairly rapidly that Dean Hall was probably a bit out of his depth.

    I remember the first time I played the mod though – sheer unadulterated adrenaline, even when almost nothing was happening.

    As for where it is now, here’s a (somewhat unfortunate in isolation, but it’s still largely in context) copypasta from the devblog that says quite a lot for me:

    “…and we will start looking into making the gameplay fun starting next year.”

    • JimDiGritz says:

      This 1000% TeePee.

      DayZ, a true First-To-Market pioneer who failed in exactly the same, glorious, way that Palm Pilot and Friendster did.

      RIP

  3. RichUncleSkeleton says:

    Exciting news for the 15 people who haven’t moved on to PUBG or Fortnite.

  4. Ephant says:

    DayZ could have been so much more than a full-loot deathmatch game… with some zombies.

  5. Artist says:

    DayZ? Is that a mod for Pubg?

  6. Stargazer86 says:

    I remember playing the mod back in the day with a friend of mine. There are a few specific instances that I can recall that made for a fantastic and memorable time among the more typical “running around seeing nothing and dodging zombies” portion of the game. In one, we both got sniper rifles and just sat up on one of the tallest buildings in Cherno just watching people come and go. We’d watch them die to zombies, watch them sneak around as they looted buildings, and if we saw someone being attacked we’d shoot and kill their attacker if possible. I recall a group of 4 people ganking some poor lone guy, so we opened fire and sought retribution upon each one of them.

    It was a different experience than PUBG or Fortnite. In many instances it was a lot more tense. Avoiding zombies could be harrowing. Heading into a city was a daunting and deadly prospect. Dealing with food, medicine, and water added new aspects to the gameplay. It was more than just a battleground shooter. Too bad they screwed up so badly that now they’re basically a forgotten joke.

  7. PanFaceSpoonFeet says:

    Pubgmeh. It’s an odd one fer me.. DayZ is a buggy, glitchy mess, unreliable, laggy… But also my favourite game.. 1000+ hours in.. pubg is not an alternative, it’s a different genre.

    • MrEvilGuy says:

      Yeah I agree, pugb is meh. I guess people got tired of CoD mp and needed something new. Day-z on the other hand was a marvel of gaming, though I haven’t played it in years.

  8. mitrovarr says:

    I think it’s interesting how a game’s lifecycle can begin, peak, and end before it ever leaves early access.

    • Baines says:

      Not too surprising, for so many reasons.

      Early Access offers some measure of protection against criticism, and there is no time limit for how long you can be in it.

      If you are an idealistic developer, you might stay in Early Access because you fully intend to keep adding to your game as long as it is viable to continue to do so. If you are a skeezy developer, you might stay in Early Access for the protection, until you are ready to officially cut ties. In both cases, leaving Early Access is more the end of a game’s life than its launch.

      Mix into that the short life expectancy of the majority of online multiplayer titles, and you have games being killed off before they even launch. Mix in the iffy support of some developers, and you have games that never had a real chance of seeing true “completion”.

  9. hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

    I can’t stress enough that the 2018 date cited in the article is pure fantasy- we’ve been given no good evidence to suggest that DayZ is coming in the next year. There have been four updates in the last three years, two of which were minor. The devlog even says that they were confident of 2015 being the beta release date. If you go back and read those updates from late 2015 they’re suggesting things like helicopters will be implemented before the end of 2015, and it’s about to be the end of 2017 without any progress towards most of what was in those logs. What about that inspires confidence that DayZ will hit beta in the coming year?

    I hear people say things like “Ohh but they’re a small team working hard on a limited budget!” It’s true, compared to something like Rockstar or Activision they’ve got relatively little. But when I compare Bohemia to companies like Unknown Worlds which have made and released more than one game with a tenth of the personnel and even less than that budget-wise, I have to wonder what’s going on. Why does it seem like progress has completely ground to a halt on this game?

    • Paul says:

      Afaik they made the fateful decision to write new engine for DayZ from scratch including renderer, because they figured no amount of retooling would make Real Virtuality Arma engine fit the purpose as well as they wanted. And well, writing engines takes years. At least the current build is using it now, so I do expect they will make bigger strides from now on.

      And yeah, it is still very different than PubG. I am looking forward to 1.0 DayZ.

    • FurryLippedSquid says:

      Amen brother.

      Piss-poor management.

      • theirongiant says:

        It’s actually great management, they’ve used the breakout success of DayZ mod to get players to fund development of a brand new engine for Arma 4 and beyond. Great for Bohemia not so great for all the mugs who bought on the strength that they’d get the standalone version of DayZ they were told would be ready within a year.

  10. Cloak says:

    I wouldn’t hate so much on this game if the developers weren’t a bunch of pansies and their community weren’t a bunch of brain washed toxic zombies. They can’t even handle constructive criticism and just ban everyone that is not blowing them for every blog they release. If they’re coming out of EA next year might as well just release it now as it is. Which is trash.

    They’ve moved slower then a snail I doubt they’ll get any of the cool stuff they were promising back in 2015. Matter of fact remember the road map then? “Q4 2015 Beta version, expected price €34.99 / $43.99”.

    Here’s the whole list: link to dayztv.com

    Welp this game will just be another piece of junk in the pile of the Steaming pile of other crud on steam. Abandoned and written off cause their tired of trying to actually finish the game, and sucked every wallet dry. Time to move onto the next scam game right?

  11. Peppergomez says:

    does anyone care?

  12. woodsey says:

    Haven’t played it in a good while now, but I’ll forever defend DayZ against its naysayers. I haven’t played, watched, or read anything else that has had such a raw physical impact on me. Actual adrenaline has passed through my body and messed up my aim and decision making in this game.

    And the stories you get from it…

    I’ve spent hours raiding small towns with a random guy named Mao who spoke barely a word of English. Mounted missions in hostile cities to secure medicine for friends with (inevitably) broken limbs. Been handcuffed and mugged by bandits who politely spent 20 minutes looking for the key they accidentally dropped elsewhere in the town.

    Obviously the technical complaints are understandable, and some of their business practices (raising the price just before a sale and then dropping it back down during, I believe) are indefensible, but the game itself is something special.

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    cultiv8ed says:

    If I feel the need to wander aimlessly collecting rotten fruit and hats, complaining that my mouth tastes funny, I’ll give it another go.

  14. shaydeeadi says:

    Loved the game as a concept and played a fair bit of the mod. Haven’t touched it since about a couple months or so into Early Access, I found the hunger/thirst mechanics incredibly aggravating, coupled with how much of a complete sociopath everyone who played seemed to be and how I never found a single fucking usable item on the whole map… I’m going to wait until they finish it and give it a fair shake.

    I want to enjoy DayZ so very very much but the game makes it really hard.

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