DayZ is a survival horror sandbox mod for modern-day military shooter, ARMA II. Creator of DayZ, Dean Hall, works for Bohemia Interactive who are responsible for ARMA II. Much like games such as CounterStrike, DayZ comes internally as a pet project for employees of the game development studio. It shows that developers still love making games, even if they aren’t being paid for it, and they can make mods which rival the best of them. DayZ has grown massively in popularity, causing ARMA II to top the leaderboards on steam as a most popular purchase. It’s not often that players purchase a game just to play a mod, but this is the case with Dean’s new baby.
DayZ: We Don’t Need No Water, Let the DayZ Servers Burn!
Set in an open world, travel across a post-soviet state which covers a massive 225km2. Hit by an unknown infection which has wiped out most of the world’s population, you are one of the few who have survived this chaotic event. Now all that is left is to search this new wasteland, fighting for your life against the infected inhabitants of the area. Travel solo or team up with friends as you choose your own path through this brutal landscape. Be careful who you trust however, as fear and paranoia can drive people to do unexpected things.
This is DayZ, this is your story. That’s exactly how Dean pitches his new mod to players, and is exactly what players can expect. Players will find themselves gathering supplies, building a camp deep within the forest and trying to fight off endless waves of zombies and untrustworthy players. So is this an MMO? Well, not really, and that makes it a little strange for us to be covering a non-MMO, but as with other titles, it’s close enough for us to make an exception. DayZ runs on servers much like other shooters, except your location, progress, items and camp are persistent no matter which server you play on. This makes this title somewhat of an MMO, and is also an interesting approach.
You might be surprised to learn that DayZ was originally only intended to handle 100 concurrent users from two persistent servers. That’s 200 players at any given time, which brings us to my next interesting fact. DayZ currently has over 641,000 unique players, with a total record of 26,865 concurrent players, a record which was announced on the DayZ twitter just the other day. With so many players, Dean Hall encountered a few issues along the way. His servers had to be migrated six times, due to five servers overheating and literally burning out.
The servers now have gotten to a point where they crash with every update, and that’s with 1000 servers live, they just can’t keep up with the demand of the players. Not surprising when you see so many people now snatching up ARMA II on steam extremely cheap. After the success of DayZ so far, Dean Hall has stated that he would love to see DayZ become a standalone, free to play sandbox. With the rate at which players are joining, servers burning out, and ARMA II purchases going through the roof, I doubt it will be long before Bohemia Interactive sets out to bring this title to its audience as its own, fully fledged game. If you haven’t played DayZ yet, don’t put it off! How long can you survive? The average player’s life expectancy at time of writing is only 35 minutes.
Visit the official DayZ mod site to find out more!