Are you the hunter or the hunted? The DayZ Mod development team has released a new version (opens in new tab) of proposed changes and fixes to the zombie survival simulator and is seeking input from the community about anything that has been left out. The community changelog for the next update is a fascinating look at how the game has evolved since I first landed on Chernarus almost a year ago.
The preliminary list includes updates to the Arma 2 mod's melee system, the kind of loot that spawns at various crash sites within the game, and the mechanics of alerting and aggravating the undead. While much has been said and written about the strange and alienating universe of PvP interaction within DayZ, the menacing dance of death that a player engages in with the game's zombie population has always intrigued me. So much of my initial reaction to this mod focused on the terror of permadeath at the hands of a zombie on a low-population server where I was unlikely to get any help. It was almost always up to me to survive and I usually didn't make it for long.
Still, the mod's official game stats (opens in new tab) tell me the player base has hiked nearly 3.8 billion kilometers through DayZ's apocalyptic landscape. In a way these changelogs are a record of our own nightmares, courtesy of the development team.
And with the alpha release of the DayZ Standalone title not set to happen until June at the earliest , the DayZ Mod remains a uniquely relevant—and frightening—online sandbox for survival-horror fans.