The DayZ Standalone alpha received another experimental update this week, adding in new features including persistent loot, improved textures, new gear, clothing and lastly a new 5 round magazine CR-527 carbine weapon. With fans of the game happy to see improvements being made and new features being included, the continued addition of new weapons over features such as the inclusion of vehicles or a better crafting system is beginning to worry players.
One of the biggest concerns voiced by the gaming community when the creation of the DayZ standalone was being devised, was to create some way of reducing player deaths, to implement some kind of new system where it would be more beneficial to keep opponents alive rather than immediately gunning them down. One of the biggest draws to games like DayZ, for most players is the survival element of the game, seeing how long you can last in this apocalyptic world facing not only hordes of zombies, but thirst, hunger and even picking up an infection due to drinking dirty water. All of these dangers however pale in comparison to the threat of another player.
DayZ standalone has come a long way compared to the original mod, with a whole host of new items now in-game, new character models, building designs, and even new locations on the map, it seems the one thing that hasn’t changed however are the players. In any server you are guaranteed to find players defaulting back to the role of bandit, going back to their usual stake out positions on top of roofs and hills, and sniping new players the moment they spawn in, for very little reason other than to troll people or just because they can.
It was this action of ‘senseless’ killing within the mod, that deterred people from playing, or caused people to play in a more cautious manner inevitably leading to them shooting on sight because that became the safest way to live, and the only way you could keep your character alive for more than a couple of days. With the killings beginning again, but this time in the standalone, it has already caused a stir within the community, and sees people again holding off playing the game until something is implemented that will stop these random killings from happening.
Currently there are only a handful of features within the game that semi-combat this problem, the main one being handcuffs. Handcuffs are generally easy to pick up in any city or large town, and can be used quickly to restrain someone in a dangerous situation. Many players have commented saying that they see the handcuffs as a safe way to hold someone up and to control situations in-game without having to resort to shooting.
The DayZ community continues to suggest ideas to rectify this problem, including an updated version of the Hero/Bandit reward system found within the DayZ Epoch mod, where players are rewarded with humanity points for doing good deeds and deducted points for bad deeds, which subsequently provides or restricts access to items in game, depending on the players level of humanity, ultimately providing an incentive to be good.
With the standalone continuing to grow in popularity and new players entering the game every day, I don’t see this period of random killing ending any time soon, especially as most new players never get the chance to fully explore, to learn how the game works and to find ways of staying away from the bandits. It is not all doom and gloom however, with many more of the older and experienced players crossing over to the standalone, we are seeing more and more ‘good’ players reaching out to the inexperienced along their travels, offering food, water and other items, as well as passing along useful pieces of advice like which areas of the map are generally safe and which areas are good for loot.
Through these helpful players there does now seem to be a sliver of hope arising from the standalone, but these good Samaritans can’t do it by themselves. It is clear now more than ever that the developers will have to make some big changes soon, to restore order back into the land of Chernarus; otherwise we’re likely to see the standalone go the same way as the original mod. We do have to remember that the game is still in early alpha and these changes could already be in the works. In the meantime we’ll just have to continue playing the way we choose, hopefully deciding to speak before shooting, and just try to survive for as long as we can.