DayZ just added a new rifle, a new air base, and what the heck, a whole new damn sky

Survivor types digging a hole on a hill
(Image credit: Bohemia Interactive)

Videogames can sometimes feel like the Ship of Theseus paradox: if you slowly replace every single part of a ship over time, is it even the same ship anymore? The question perplexed philosopher Thomas Hobbes who talked for a very long time before concluding, and I'm heavily paraphrasing here: "Sorta!"

DayZ has been in development for over a decade at this point, and it's hard to think of something about it that hasn't been replaced, tweaked, altered, or changed in that time. Even after its 1.0 launch back in 2018, Bohemia Interactive continues to update the multiplayer survival shooter, and as of today I've begun to wonder if the dev team is simply running out of things to replace. 

Case in point: in DayZ update 1.23 the survival game got a whole new damn sky. 

The update arrived today after a trial run on the experimental branch, and adds a new gun, the .308 DMR (Dedicated Marksman Rifle, a throwback to the ArmA 2 DayZ mod), a completely overhauled Vybor Air Base (the NWAF for those in the know), and yes, a whole new damn sky. Let's start there, because frankly the idea of a game getting a sky replacement is just kind of amusing to me.

"Clouds are generally a lot more defined now, and the transition between day and night is smoother than ever before," says Bohemia Interactive. "We even developed a custom sky setup for Chernarus and Livonia so now they feel different from each other. We truly hope these changes will help make you feel more immersed in the environment."

The updated NWAF has a revamped layout and "pays homage to the legacy iteration of this iconic airfield" while providing the "high-risk, high-reward atmosphere that awaits you at this renowned location." Sounds great. I have a lot of not-so-fond memories of dying there. 

I can't say I'm a fan of another change included in the update, which is called spawn grouping. Freshly spawned players will now typically begin in the same general area as each other instead of at completely random areas along the coast. To me, that's a nightmare. When I spawn in DayZ, I don't want to see another player for at least a week. Only when I'm fully geared do I want to play DayZ like a multiplayer shooter. Let me scrounge and scurry on my lonesome for a few days before I make contact, willya?

You can read more about DayZ update 1.23 on Steam, and you can take a look at the whole new damn sky in the dev highlights video below starting at 6:14:

Christopher Livingston
Senior Editor

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.