DayZ is a free survival horror sandbox mod for tactical military simulator, ArmA 2. Utilizing the popular map Chernarus, players have embarked on countless journeys through its hostile terrains - scavenging, slaying, surviving. It was inevitable that players would eventually want to see DayZ running on some of ArmA 2's other popular maps, and so some players set out to achieve just that. Several maps now support DayZ and are running on private servers.

While not officially supported by the DayZ development team, now that the standalone has been secured - Rocket seems to be okay with these maps, and private hives in general, as long as they try to stick to the original vision. I recently sat down to try out the new maps that have begun popping up on private servers, the first being DayZ Utes.

Situated Southeast of Chernarus, this 5x5 island (Chernarus is 14x10) is normally utilized for ArmA 2's Bootcamp - but makes for a perfect PvP focused DayZ map. Utes Features two towns named Kamenyy and Strelka, several crashed heli spawns, and a high traffic airfield in the center of the island. Taking only 10-15 minutes to run around the island, players can expect frequent conflict.

Fresh spawns will generally start somewhere along the coast, on one of the surrounding smaller islands, or in one of the fields on the outer rim of the map. Generally players rush straight to airfield, because that's where the guns and action are - you will often find unarmed players sprinting down the middle of the airstrip, then complaining when they get shot. As I mentioned before, conflict is frequent on Utes and players looking for the traditional survival experience should stick to the official mod or a more suitable map.

For those who want a break from the norm and seek something a little more "deathmatch" then Utes caters for your perfectly, Utes is all about quick action - not taking long to find a high powered weapon and some survivors to shoot at. The main goal of Utes is to see how long you can last in the most hostile 5km2 area you will ever come across. Those who rush straight to airfield with nothing on them don't tend to last long, smarter players will stalk the barracks and towns that lay on the outskirts of the airfield, stocking up before stealthily stalking their prey - knowing there's always someone just over the hill.

Being such a small island, resources are limited for the number of survivors on the server and players will often find themselves stuck without a gun. Sometimes this is from the amount of players looting spawns completely, or people like me who like to remove every gun from a spawn so that my victims have to look elsewhere. Additionally, there are generally one or two vehicles on the map - but with an extremely limited industrial spawn, it is extremely difficult to repair any vehicle that spawns. This battle for resources on the map makes things extremely tense, and keeps the feeling of a zombie apocalypse.

There are some things that I do feel need to be adjusted on the map, as it seems to be a pretty straight-forward port at the moment. There are some buildings that look like they are meant to be a barracks, but are unenterable at this current time. With a map this small, there is really no reason why every building on the map can't be enterable as there are only a small handful of buildings available on the map. It shouldn't be a difficult fix, let's hope we see it soon.

Also there are plenty of players and admins who declare you cannot shoot unarmed players, then will run straight down the middle of the airfield, sprinting in and out of buildings freely. Fair enough it's not nice to shoot a new spawn, but that's no reason to carelessly sprint across the map feeling invincible then cry when you finally get shot. I have also come across groups who have complained when I killed them and stole their weapons, and will make you feel like hitler for PvPing on a 5km2 map.

Overall the map provides an interesting playground for those seeking regular firefights, while further tormenting those who just want co-op zombie slaying. I am interested in seeing what this map can provide for clan wars, 1v1, 1v1v1, 2v2 - there's so many styles of events and tournaments that could be held on this map with a few modifications.

Ultimately I would like to see Utes become the DayZ Deathmatch & Competitive PvP map amongst the community, it gives those trigger happy bandits a place to blow off some steam, and the perfect showground for organized events. To play DayZ Utes, I recommend using DayZ Commander to keep the map up-to-date and to easily find servers to play on.