Saturday, August 11, 2012

Why I Love and Hate DayZ

That little clip is from a little adventure my buddy, Wamdoodle, and I had this past Saturday. It was an exciting time, we were on top of the world. Then our world came crashing down around us. But our story starts a little bit earlier, it's one of luck, chance, and a lot of schadenfreude (look it  up!). So much of DayZ relies on a lucky event, a singular moment where the winds of fate shift in your favor. All this is a nice pretty way to say; DayZ is awesome for a minute then grinds you underfoot the next.

About two days after I shot my introduction film (Watch it here.) I happened across a helicopter crash. For those who don't play the game, these are random appearing phenomena throughout the 255 km2 continent of Chernarus. Beside a load of zombies, they also contain a lot of military gear, and is the only place to find some of the rarest gear. This particular crash happened to have one of the rarest weapons in the game, the L85A2 AWS. It's an assault rifle with a 4x/8x zoom scope capable of nightvision and thermal. Needless to say, it's awesome!

4x with Thermal
8x with Night Vision
Fast forward another couple days and I find myself trudging about, looking for more helicopter crashes with my snazzy new rifle. All of the sudden, I see another survivor running across an open field being chased by zombies. I fear he's seen me, so I scramble behind a tree to hide, peering around the trunk of it. Nope, he's just firing off a few rounds at the zombies chasing him. As he starts to run again, I take my shot and miss. For whatever reason, he decides to drop prone in the grass. This might normally make it difficult for me to see him, had I not been carrying the L85. With the thermal scope and 4x zoom, I have no problem killing him with a single headshot. I wait to see if any of his buddies come to the rescue, having seen his clan tag in the chat scroll announcing his death.

No buddies come running, so I move in to see what kind of gear the guy was carrying. JACKPOT! He's carrying night vision goggles (very rare), another rare assault rifle (M4A1 Holo), a rangefinder (very rare), and a GPS (very rare). To top it all off, he's even got a bigger backpack for me to carry all this new stuff in! About this time, the DayZ paranoia sets in and I find a nice quiet forest to log off in until I can play at the same time as my buddies. I plan to spread some of the loot around so that if one of us dies, we all still have some of the cool gadgets, I even get the chance to tell them what I lucked into finding. Then came Saturday.

M4A1 Holo w/ M203 Grenade Launcher
I log on and find out that Wamdoodle has found a pickup truck and he's nearly fixed it up. Vehicles have two main purposes in DayZ, transportation (no duh) and storage. Because of the limited inventory space of players, vehicles and tents are safe places to store additional weapons, ammo, food, and other supplies so that you're not literally carrying EVERYTHING you own. Should you die, you can run back to a vehicle  that you've (hopefully) hidden and recover some of the gear you stashed. So I make the run over to him, help finish up some more repairs, fuel it up, and we go looking for the last thing we need: engine parts.

Using a map and GPS, we plot out a few locations to check for these last engine parts. And this is where it all starts to go downhill. Visiting a tiny little town that had two industrial buildings with the chance for the engine parts we need, we begin to encounter a little server lag. In a small village like this, we would expect to find maybe 15-20 zombies. We shoot a couple, attracting more, but we've got enough firepower to handle this, but then more spawn, and more, and more! Something's wrong, there's no building to duck into and hide, so we make a run for the truck 500 meters away. Along the way, Wamdoodle and I shoot zombies away from each other, and he worries that he's shot me, but no, I've taken no damage and I'm not bleeding. No harm, no foul. Then just as we're getting close to the truck, I fall over dead and Wamdoodle has been 'awarded' a murder on his kill counter.

500m between Zombie death and freedom.
Okay, this is bad, but it's recoverable, we've got a truck! While I get my bearings back on the coast, Wamdoodle collects all the important gear off my dead body, running it back to the truck. I start a mad sprint towards our last location, he mounts up in the truck and heads to me. We're good, this is going to be okay, he's apologizing for shooting me, I'm blaming the server's lag. We get close to each other, arranging to meet in a little town; Nadezhdino (go ahead, try pronouncing it). As I'm getting close, he begins to shout expletives that I won't repeat here... and I hear an explosion to the east. He's hit something, and the unrepaired engine couldn't take it. The truck has exploded, he's been thrown free of the vehicle, carrying on the basic of essentials, the rest were in the truck. The truck that is now on fire. "I'm so sorry, man," he tells me. "It's okay, it's DayZ," I say.

It's true, this is what DayZ does to you. It makes you fight to survive, you luck into some gear, then right when you think things are going well for you, somebody shoots you while you're fleeing zombies in a field or your truck explodes in a fiery inferno. This little event forced me to take a several hour break, during which I performed numerous fatalities in Mortal Kombat, and then, I went back to DayZ. Yeah, it's an abusive relationship, but I love DayZ.

Do you have any of your own DayZ stories? Similar experiences with other video games? Spill the beans (haha, DayZ pun) in the comments below!


Cody Kraatz said...

still feel bad about blowing up that truck. I barely nudge a bush for crying out loud!

Lonrem said...

Must have been more than a nudge, I hit a tree after all. :P