DayZ: A Day in the Life of a Survivor

DayZ is a survival horror mod for tactical military shooter, ARMA II. Players are thrown into a 225km2 open-world filled with zombies and other players, fighting to survive and gather supplies. Recently I spoke a little about what DayZ is, and what it has accomplished so far. There’s a lot more to DayZ then meets the eye however, so I would like to take this chance to share a few situations which players can come across while travelling the zombie filled landscapes of DayZ.


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It’s a brutal world out there, survivors are riddled with fear and paranoia, which can result in some very tense encounters with other players. When you die, your loot is available for any passer by to claim for himself, this means bandits will not hesitate to put a bullet in your head if you look like you have something they need. Not everyone is a ruthless killer however, some players welcome friendly company and will be more than happy for you to join them. Friend or foe can be a very fine line in DayZ, and you can never truly understand people’s intentions. Let’s take a look at what happens when things go right, and friends are made.

Not everyone wants to be friends, some people will take no risk and shoot on sight. The brilliant thing about DayZ is the emergent gameplay that arises purely through a players actions, your choice of words and actions can cause a conversation to go one of many different ways. Let’s take a look at what happens when two groups of players are trying to assert their dominance, and what happens when neither wish to budge. Note: always send your least geared survivor to chat with other players, this eliminates the risk of losing great gear and team members.
So we’ve seen what happens when player encounters go both good and bad, but what about your team? In DayZ players don’t run around with a name above their head, it can often be quite difficult to find out a players name, meaning it’s very easy to mistake friend for foe. Let’s take a look at what happens when this clan splits off in to two groups, but forgets to communicate while doing so. Note: Always stay in touch with your friends, this happens A LOT.
All mistakes aside, not every player wants to come in contact with strangers. Some players prefer to just hide and watch, whether it be for a silent kill or just pure entertainment. The players in the video below decide to go for the latter, watching a player named Phillip go about his daily business. Part of the fun (for us at least) is that you can follow a player for over an hour before getting the perfect spot to take your shot. This isn’t one of those situations, but you can gain an idea for just how easy it is to go unnoticed by other players. PHILLIP!
Poor Phillip, however dying with only a small amount of loot is a much more appealing loss than what these following guys lose. Pandemic Legion, a clan in DayZ are rather well known for this little stunt in the video below. These bandits receive word of a vehicle travelling around from location to location, now keep in mind that vehicles are very hard to get, making them very valuable. Survivors can use different cars, trucks, and buses to load up supplies and take them back to their camp. With the added bonus of being able to travel the large map quickly, you also make yourself a huge target. Let’s find out what happens when a vehicle is up for grabs…
Not everyone wants to be a sniper, some like to be right down in the middle of the action. This can be risky, but the adrenaline rush can make it worth it. Players will venture in and out of various towns, buildings, and locations to find equipment, however you may not always be alone. A player can log in to an area or run in from another direction at any moment, which means stealth is everything. Below we see how utilizing stealth tactics saves a players life, even if his friends don’t survive. Note: Ghillie suits are not only good protection against zombies, but make you very hard for even a player to see properly, use them well.
There are so many different ways players can interact with each other and the world. There is one option which is extremely fun. For current DayZ players, you may already know I am talking about helicopters. This is the closest to what I would call end-game for DayZ, helicopters take a lot of fuel, are extremely hard to repair, and even more rare to find in the first place. Take a glimpse at this incident with a car, which showcases the benefits of having eyes in the sky.
If your mouth isn’t watering like crazy by now we would be a little surprised. DayZ offers emergent gameplay, true player emotions and interactions and about as close as a zombie “game” has ever come to providing a zombie apocalypse simulator. Because that’s practically what it is, it uses a realistic military shooter to create (at the best of its ability) a realistic zombie outbreak scenario. No where else have I ever experienced so much distrust and tension between players, not even in EVE, which is notorious for that type of thing. Stay tuned for more video compilations in the future, in the meantime, don’t forget to share your stories and videos with us!

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