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.
Zs, 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.