DayZ Standalone update: improved lighting, anti-hack measures, and closed testing

Dean "Rocket" Hall has posted another development update on the status of the DayZ Standalone release, and by the sound of things, the team have been busy. "This is the first update when I have sat down and thought 'where do I start?' There has been so much going on with the development this month that it is hard to fit it all in a post here."

Fit it in he has, though, and the resulting post contains information on everything from volumetric clouds to diseased clothing. There's also a giant comparison shot of the game's new lighting system. "The result is pretty striking when combined with some of the other improvements we have made in the engine," Hall writes. "These improvements make the world really come to life, improving the visuals overall."

Rocket also talks about the game's new server architecture, assuring that the game will have some anti-hacking mechanics on launch. "DayZ's game servers will function like servers in other MMO style games, that is the server will control the behavior and the sending of updates. No longer will your machine receive all the updates allowing their analysis by various cheats." The team are also experimenting with spawning all zombies and loot at the start of a server's initialisation.

There's a new clothing system, allowing you to put on and drop clothes of various durability. Clothes can also carry disease. In addition, the team are beginning to focus on a character customisation system. "The obvious starting point for us is to allow players to select the gender and race of their character. Beyond this, allowing ways for your character to become your own are key for us; from getting tattoo's to finding unique clothing items, trying to deal with your own health aliments, etc..."

Rocket confirms that an internal closed test has begun, but stresses that the server architecture needs to be finalised before any public testing takes place. "[We] have been working with Valve to ensure our new server browser system is working (we utilize Steam for this purpose rather than Gamespy as for ArmA2)."

Despite the progress, Rocket isn't yet prepared to make a guess at DayZ Standalone's release date. "We don't know. We're going to take our time. I feel fantastic about the situation, more than ever I feel like we're doing something really interesting with this development. Now is not the time to rush things, but we do need to ensure our pace is kept up."

There are some new screenshots, embedded below. You can see the rest, and read the full details of the massive update, here .

Phil Savage

Phil has been writing for PC Gamer for nearly a decade, starting out as a freelance writer covering everything from free games to MMOs. He eventually joined full-time as a news writer, before moving to the magazine to review immersive sims, RPGs and Hitman games. Now he leads PC Gamer's UK team, but still sometimes finds the time to write about his ongoing obsessions with Destiny 2, GTA Online and Apex Legends. When he's not levelling up battle passes, he's checking out the latest tactics game or dipping back into Guild Wars 2. He's largely responsible for the whole Tub Geralt thing, but still isn't sorry.