DayZ Standalone – new stream and updates

By Teo Borconi – 11th December 2013
DayZ Standalone – new stream and updates

VGX wasn’t the only major event in gaming this weekend. Dean “Rocket” Hall, the developer of the popular DayZ mod for Arma 2 and the lead developer on the DayZ Standalone game has also been hard at work, and has blessed DayZ fans with a more than 3 hour long stream, showing off a lot of the changes that went into the game.

Of course, there’s a lot of information to absorb in 3 hours, and if you don’t have the patience to watch the entire stream (which is available on youtube), read on! We’ve taken the time to sum up all the major highlights of his stream, and will be discussing some features that will be going into the game, as well as some concerns we have with areas of the game.

First things first, Rocket speaks about taking actions while moving. This was a common and annoying aspect of the DayZ mod, and we’re glad to see it addressed. Previously, in the mod, whenever you were taking an action, such as swapping weapons or taking out your binoculars, your character was forced to stop and stand still while the animation was on-going. Which very often meant that you were becoming a sitting duck for those pesky Elektro campers and ended up with a Lee Enfield bullet in between your teeth. Now, Rocket mentioned that in the standalone, some actions will be possible while on the run, while others will not. This will reflect reality, so you shouldn’t expect to be drinking that can of coke while running, but equipping a weapon is something you’ll be able to do while moving.

Moving on, he speaks about the price of the game, something we’re all curious to know. While he doesn’t give us a specific amount, he does state that players grabbing the game off Steam during the early-acces (alpha release) period will benefit from a reduced price, and that once you pay for the game, you won’t have to pay for anything else again. That means no subscription, no dlc’s, no money for items, nothing. From previous statements made by Dean Hall, we also know that the price won’t be high. We estimate that the game will probably cost under $20, probably around the $15 mark. Keep in mind, this is speculation however, and nobody actually knows the exact price yet, and that quite possibly includes Dean himself.

Next on the list are the sounds of the game. With a new audio designer joining the team, the standalone will receive a sound rework. You’ll make different footstep noises based on the footwear you have equipped, based on the soil you’re walking on, and obviously, the fauna around you will be reflected in the audio effects as well. Speaking about fauna, hunting also gets pimped – so if you’re tired of eating rabbits, pigs and cows, you’ll be happy to hear you will be able to shoot down birds, hunt deer, sheep and even rats. Yum!

And now we’re really getting into the thick of it. We were very pleased to see a demonstration of the hand-to-hand combat system. While it’s still probably buggy as hell, and the animations aren’t on par with say, Mortal Kombat, it’s still great news to see that you can punch zombies in the face, knocking them down. Don’t expect the damage to be high, but at least you have something to fall back on as a fresh-spawn. And, while on the subject of melee combat, we’re going to bid a farewell to ranged arms acting as melee weapons too. The standalone will have actual melee weapons instead of guns with skin and limited range, like the mod currently has. A baseball bat will do damage based on where you hit with it, and you now have actual control over the swing. Oh, and the melee weapon arsenal is getting tweaked – expect baseball bats, crowbars, hatchets, knives and even a chainsaw later on.

Another important aspect discussed was the medical system. Zombies will have chances to infect you with various diseases, and a zombie that hits a player and then hits another player will have a chance to transfer a disease from one player to the next. Added to this, we know that there will be individual blood-types in the game, so the days of universal blood-bags are gone. You’ll have to find blood analyzing tools in the game to figure out what blood type you are (which will most likely change to a random one every time you respawn), and will be forced to use matching blood-bags. Also, you’ll be able to store your own blood in bags for later use (damaging yourself in the process). Lastly, there’s a minor spoiler in the stream, showing a Defibrillator-kit, which we’re not sure yet when we’ll have to use – and don’t you go saying “In case of a heart attack, dummy!”.

The last part of the stream covers Dean’s adventures in the reworked Cherno, which, let me tell you, is MASSIVE. From what I could make out from the stream, it’s at least 3 times as big as Cherno used to be in the mod, and is littered with concrete apartment buildings, most of which you can enter or climb up on. I can already foresee the multitude of sniper nests everywhere. I have to say, the initial plan was to add a few new buildings to Cherno (at least, that was the plan one year ago)…it’s safe to assume the devs got a little carried away, or don’t know the meaning of “little”. Still, we’re not complaining, the city finally looks like a city, and feels like one.

In the end, I wanted to take the time to mention some aspects regarding the weapons. We know that when the alpha will be released, apart from 8 or so melee weapons, very few weapons will be introduced at first. There will be a sidearm, and two rifles: the M4 and an older rifle similar to the Lee Enfield. While this seems to be very limited, the multitude of attachments and the new attachment system will more than make up for it. You’ll have plenty of combinations of these weapons, and you will be able to mount quite a few attachments on each weapon. Think along the lines of an M4A1 with a battery-run CCO scope (that actually breaks from damage), a bayonet and double mags (taped together with ducktape). Of course, it’s hard to give an exact list of all the attachments introduced, as Rocket seemed to be enjoying himself too much throughout the second half of his stream, and forgot to talk us through some of the aspects of the game. But, we can’t really blame him, can we?

All-in-all, the game seems to be evolving a lot with every passing week, and the general feel that we’re getting is that it’s moving away from the huge amounts of player-killing gameplay of the mod and focusing more on the survival aspect, which sounds great. Still, we’ve yet to see really threatening zombies, they still do seem to glitch a lot. Most experienced DayZ players agree that once you’ve learned the mechanics of the game, zombies become less of a threat, and I’m getting the same feel with the standalone. Let’s just hope that whatever they are working on will fix that.

Tune back for more information, as we’ll keep you updated on any developments regarding the DayZ standalone. It’s an ever-changing project, but I have a feeling the alpha release  is right around the corner. Lastly, take a look at this summary of Rocket’s latest stream, showing the major highlights and updates, as well as the entirely rebuilt area of Cherno.