Standing alone is hard. Believe me, I know. As a newborn infant, it took me years before I was able to master the art without any parental assistance. Even now - as a young adult who lives inside of a house and can cook without burning it all down (some of the time) - I still occasionally go sailing end-over-end as though tripped by some malevolent practical joke ghost. That in mind, I can totally understand why DayZ's standalone version keeps slipping. Sometimes it's unavoidable. And so, due to online infrastructure issues, Dean "Rocket" Hall's expanded multiplayer survival sandbox is once again without a release date.
Once upon a time, the standalone was supposed to have already flipped the switch on open alpha by now, but no such luck. So then, what's the holdup this time? According to Hall, just one thing. One very, very crucial thing. See, online games don't really work without the online part. Hall explained to Joystiq:
"The awkward thing is the only thing we're waiting on is the core network architecture. That's the kind of thing only a few people can work on. It's very specialized. It's like, you can't throw more pilots at a plane. You put a thousand pilots in a plane it's not going to fly any faster."
And once that's ready at some indeterminate date? "Bam, it's go time," said Hall.
In the meantime, he noted that the extra lengthy wait might not be such a bad thing. He wants a small, dedicated community of hardcore survivalists - not a mindless mass of transient ne'er-do-wells. The plan is to attract a solid base first, then expand out into the zombo-fad-obsessed hordes.
And hey, speed is all well and good, but if the result is a sticky, half-chewed mess, then why even bother?
"The worst thing we could do would be to release too early. Flat out, that's the stupidest thing we could do. [The alpha launch] is going to be riddled with bugs, but the one thing I don't want it to be riddled with is terrible multiplayer, it's a multiplayer game."
So there you go. The wait continues.