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Monday, 11 June 2012

My Day Z Story

Today's post was written by Lex, a long-time online game partner of mine and a jolly good chum too. And let me tell you, you do not want to be in his gunsights...

I hear gunshots.  I think to myself “fuck”.  I’m in a terrible place and am horribly exposed.  The shots come closer and closer and then I see him, a lone gunman being chased by a horde of zombies.  All he can do is fire wildly into them hoping to take as many of them down as he can.  As I’m looking at him through my sniper rifles’ scope I can see that he’s bleeding massively.  This brave Survivor sees me and turns to run for his life.  I pull the trigger.

Long range execution.
A few weeks ago I’d have felt remorse at this killing.  I’d have been disgusted with myself for not helping him.  I’m not the person I was a few weeks ago.  Day Z has made me numb to the suffering of others.  As I have travelled mostly alone over this post-apocalyptic wasteland I’ve drawn the conclusion that I have to shoot first.  I call it prevenge.  I don’t even bother to loot his body for supplies.  I leave him there to rot and move on.

This is Day Z and this is my story.

Just over 2 weeks ago during a steam conversation with a friend he mentioned that he was reading about a new mod for Arma 2 called Day Z.  A couple of links to articles followed and my curiosity was aroused.  One quick trip to youtube confirmed everything I needed to know.  I had bought the game within an hour of first hearing about the mod.

Personally I was getting really tired of the mass-produced shit that the gaming industry kept telling itself and anyone who’d listen, was “epic”.  Generic shooters are ten to the dozen now.  The only innovation left in the gaming industry primarily comes from the actual gamers themselves and now their platform for expression is limited since publishers and developers realised that releasing Mod-Tools for these games will result in them not being able to sell crappy DLC’s at extortionate prices. 

So bored of this same crap and bored of being told how good it is (it’s only considered good because the market’s so poor), this mod was a welcome breath of fresh air.  It seems that it’s been a breath of fresh air to a lot of others as well.  Arma 2, a three year old game, topped the best seller list on steam within a few days of news of this mod taking flight and some developers actually say that ‘modding is a declining trend’.

I managed to install everything reasonably problem free, though it did take a few attempts and then I jumped straight into this bold new world.  I was in for a shock.

I think I managed to stay alive for around 5 minutes on my first life.  All I could think to myself was “finally a challenge!”  I threw myself into this mod and started to learn my way around.  Ever since then I have died.  I have died a lot.

Get used to seeing this.
It has to be said though, I’ve killed a lot.  Not at first, in fact I think it was a week or so into playing before I actually killed my first players.  I’d been killed a lot by others players but had generally ignored it as being their problem and tried to learn from any mistakes I’d made.  Then I came to the realisation that to survive means I’m going to have to kill.

The above video shows the first time I ever shot and killed a fellow survivor.  That was at the North West Airfield, a high traffic area as there is a lot of good equipment up there.  If they had left in a different direction I would not have shot them.  As it was they started to walk in my direction and I was not inclined to take any chances.

After I had done the deed I felt awful.  Thinking on about what I had actually done, those poor chaps could have been alive for weeks, avoiding confrontation as they went.  They could have been looking for others to team up with for all I knew.  I wasn’t willing to take the chance of them seeing and killing me. 

I stayed alive for a long time game wise.  At least 48 hours.  I was very well equipped and learning my way around the landscape choosing stealth over confrontation.  That all ended in a second.  I was caught searching another high traffic area.  Shot in the back of the head without ever knowing there was another player near me.

Good Job he's my friend!
Another life later and I had been alive for an even longer time and was much better equipped than I had been before.  I was an unseen survivor operating mainly at night who preferred to sit back and observe areas for a lot longer before going in.  I avoided high traffic areas for a long time.  Then I ran low on ammo.  Against my better judgement I went back to the NW airfield alone.

It had gone well at first, I’d been in and grabbed the ammo I needed and a few other supplies to keep me going.  Then I heard shooting.  A lone survivor was fighting a desperate battle against a huge amount of zombies.  He was pleading over the in-game chat for anyone in the area to help him.  The poor guy was low on blood and ammo and the wave of zombies was unrelenting.  I continued to watch him through my rifle scope.

Something inside of me changed.  I felt compassion towards him and his plight.  I told him I was going to help him. 

So I started shooting the zombies from a distance giving him time to patch himself up and recover his composure.  The zombies quickly changed their attention to me and began massing upon me.  I dispatched them with a calm cold efficiency that this game has taught me to maintain at all times.  It was a slaughter.  When I had finished shooting I stood over around thirty corpses.  The un-dead had become plain-dead.

The player who I had saved then began begging me for help.  His blood levels had dropped right down and he was slipping in and out of consciousness.  I told him I didn’t want to go anywhere near him as I didn’t know or trust him.  He continued to beg for help, for me to save his life.

Random groups of survivors keep things interesting.
His begging was pitiful so I told him I would help him.  That he had to face into a corner of the wall of the building he was in like a naughty child would be told to in a school classroom.  After he did this I went in and gave him a blood transfusion. 

Thanking me again over chat, he continued to face the wall.  He hadn’t even seen me.  I typed “goodbye” and wished him luck over chat.  I turned to leave the area and as I did so he shot me in the back.

I don’t bear any grudges towards him.  That player taught me a valuable lesson.

Now I kill everyone who isn’t in Teamspeak with me on sight.

You can see more of Lex's handiwork on his YouTube channel.


  1. Cam (A.K.A TwistedEthernet)7 July 2012 at 05:57

    Damn dude.....gave me chills.

  2. "Magnificent... Can't believe how dang heartless that guy was. Hair-raising end! 5/5" -Rainhorse

  3. Man, this one was really great article, one of the best learning document that I have stumbled upon :)

  4. I have had a similar experience in my first tries at DayZ. I only played it yesterday for the first time and here's what happened...

    Death #1
    I spawned and was in the map for about five minutes. I was (stupidly) walking down a road and BOOM, I'm dead. I can only assume I was sniped.

    Death #2
    I was in the map for about 10 minutes when, while crouching in an open barn door, I was sniped again!

    Death #3
    I learned a lot from Deaths 1 and 2 and crawled around for about the next two hours avoiding zombies and trying to find supplies. I was able to get a hatchet and some other stuff like coke, a can of beans and some pistol and rifle ammo (but no gun). I was crawling out of a residential house and ran right into a hopper. I tore off running down the middle of the street (bad idea) and picked up a couple more zombies as I passed them. I had about five or six of them on my trail and had no idea what to do. I ran and ran and ran and then they started to catch up with me, I assume because I was weak from running so much. I started taking damage so I turned to fight them. I killed one but started taking more damage and tore off running again. I decided to try something and made a u-turn around a big bunch of bushes and hid behind them, which allowed me to successfully elude the zombies. I crawled away and, when I knew I was out of sight of them, got up to continue on when, once again, a bullet went through my head. Sniped again!

    Death #4
    By now I was super paranoid but still, due to lack of experience, went looking for supplies in Electro when I had nothing. I did manage to find a revolver and a bunch of other stuff and was feeling pretty good about myself as I looted to my heart's content. I went out on the roof of a building and fell off, breaking my leg. I went back up to where I feel off because there was something there I hadn't looted yet and was just going out on the balcony when I saw what could only be another player out of the corner of my eye. He was crouched at the opening to the balcony with a rifle in his hands. I had the revolver out and could have shot him as he had trouble moving his weapon around the door. But I hesitated thinking, "Wait, here is another player to team up with." Yet another dumb idea as he promptly shot me dead.

    That's about five or six hours of game play in one day. But that is all the lesson I am going to need about making friends in DayZ. From here on out it's shoot first and ask no questions.

    1. How anoying to be killed that much en start all over again. But then again, it's survivaling. Maybe it's handy to start playing on low crowded servers in reqruit mode. Then you can learn how to play en get your bearings.
      After that it's time to start hardcore :D


  5. Wow. This is the game I have been looking for.