It's been an eventful few days for DayZ. The mod is constantly being tweaked and improved, so we'll be doing one of these posts every week to keep you up to date. The 1.7.1 patch went live on June 17 and made some significant changes – not all of which were well received by the community. But since the game is at the alpha testing stage, new features aren't necessarily permanent. “I do the hotfixes until the build is where I wanted it to be,” says lead developer Rocket on the official DayZ forums . “Then we test it. If we like it, we keep it, if not, we revert. That's how it has worked and that is why we are here."
The 1.7.1 patch has made starting a new character much tougher, and has made the learning curve for new players even steeper. Here are some of the most significant changes.
– The starting loadout has changed dramatically. Newly spawned characters now only get a bandage, a flashlight, and a box of painkillers – no weapon.
– Infected can no longer see through walls, but they hit harder, can see further, and have an extended attack range. They're a whole lot more dangerous.
– But to balance it out, you can now lose them. This doesn't work perfectly, but we have managed to shake our pursuers off by sprinting through a building and out the other side. If you get spotted and don't have a weapon, your only option is to flee.
– If you move your crosshair over a character and they have low humanity, you'll hear a heartbeat. The faster the heartbeat, the more people they've killed. This replaces the bandit skin.
The 1.7.1 patch also broke a few things, so two hotfixes have since been released – one of which adds something we've all been waiting for...
– Melee combat! Crowbars and hatchets can now be used to fight off infected. They're no match for a gun, but work relatively well. You can see it in action here .
– You can now choose the gender of your character when you spawn. This is purely a visual thing, and doesn't affect the gameplay in any way.
– There was a problem with food and drink spawning, and suddenly they became the rarest loot drops in the game. This has been sorted out now. The bean wars are over.
Rocket has made it clear that disconnecting to avoid death is considered cheating, and will be patched out in future versions of the game. “I don't know why, but people are assuming that I think this is part of the game. It's not. Meta gaming is explicitly allowed, i.e. infiltrating teamspeak servers and groups, etc. But disconnecting to avoid death is an exploit.”
If you spawn in a forest or field full of prone players, DON'T kill or loot from anyone. This is the debug forest , or debug hill , and spawning there usually means one of your files is out of date. “I'm here to address the issue with people killing other players when they join in the debug forest,” says DayZ team member Tonic. “This whole thing has gotten out of control so we're going to start enforcing bans for all that are caught killing there.”
Some players are calling out for a reset of the DayZ master servers (where player profiles and inventories are stored) whenever a major update goes live, so that veteran players and newbies get to experience the changes at the same level. The argument is that long life players with NVGs and powerful weapons won't realise just how difficult the game has become for newbies now that the starting kit has been nerfed and the zombies are stronger.
Rocket has responded to requests from server owners that they should be able to kick players to make room for their clanmates. “Originally we trialed allowing servers to kick out players who had either donated money or were clan members of the owner to allow space for someone else,” he says on the official forums. “But abuse of this became RAMPANT. If we let server owners do this, what is stopping them from kicking someone who just killed them? What is to stop them kicking people for arbitrary reasons?"
If you've played DayZ for any length of time, you'll know all about the dreaded 'waiting for server response' message. This guy made a song out of it to cheer everyone up while waiting for an especially slow server to load. Bravo, sir.
Here's a clever way to get into the hospital. Toss a tin can at the window to lure any nearby zombies, then hurl a grenade into the group to take them all out AND break the glass. Don't log out inside the hospital, though: you can't break the glass from the inside.
This round-up of the new features in the 188.8.131.52 hotfix takes a turn for the dramatic when another player kills the guy making the video – with a pistol that he just gave him as a gift. Dick move.
Bugs are a frequent source of amusement in DayZ. In this video, it's literally raining zombies. The quirks of the Arma engine mean the game may never be fully polished and optimised.
And finally, here's an incredible, and incredibly cruel, video of Destiny and his buddies luring some other players into a sniper's line of fire. TRUST NO ONE.
One more thing: the PCGamer DayZ server is ALIVE!
The PC Gamer DayZ server is now up! It's based in London and is probably full of mostly nice people. Maybe. Here are the details:
Multiplay :: UK #27 (1.7.1/93825) [VET][GMT+1] dayzmod.com hosted by PCGamer.com 184.108.40.206:2402