From the perspective of many, the story of DayZ is already successful. Mod turned standalone, the game has taken a huge step in the right direction, and now has a true foundation of its own upon which to rest. The fan base has shown just how interested they are in the game, and how badly they want to play a finished version. The bug reports are pouring into the feedback section of your site, with an extraordinary number of people working together to play test all kinds of scenarios. With that said, I'd like to address some principal talking points, and showcase my own concerns with the game moving forward. As you read on please know that I understand the game is still in a very, very early stage of development, and that some of the things I will discuss are being actively researched and improved.Player Interactions At An All Time High
One of the most beautiful things about the standalone is the amount of player interaction and player dynamics that already occurs in each playthrough. The variety of gear makes each player feel distinct, and I can only see this feature getting better and better as more items are added to the game. Player models are truly stunning to look at.Source: GrayzorGR, Redditor
The added social interactions combined with the various player interactions make for some very dynamic situations. Detaining and robbing fellow players has been revamped, and the ability to handcuff people has brought out new breeds of survivors. Some free their victims after stripping them of all their worldly possessions, or maybe just a can or two of food. Others leave their victim stranded, handcuffed without the keys.So what's the problem?
Well, the thing I draw issue with is when, at the end of the interaction, the player is simply killed by the assailant. It's an extension of the Kill On Sight mentality that has absolutely plagued this game since its creation. In its current state, the game offers no deterrents from simply offing another player in the middle of a city centre, in broad daylight.
Now you're probably thinking to yourself "Oh great, another person complaining about PvP," but this isn't actually a complaint against PvP. I think the player versus player combat is excellent, and a thrilling aspect of the game. Truth be told, I also draw no issues with killing players on sight. If that's how a player wishes to play then he or she should be free to make that call, but every action in DayZ should have a proper reaction of sorts.Bring Back The Dinner Bell, And Make It Loud
Zombies, man. I would like to see the Z in DayZ stand for something truly awful. I know that the zombie mechanics are really a never ending work in progress, and probably a real source of headache for the development team. However, I think it would be great if they were something that all players feared. No matter how geared up the player finds him or herself, zombies should always be a primary threat. Popping off in a city centre should spell almost certain doom for all but the most coordinated of fireteams, causing zombies from the areas around the city to swarm in on the source of the noise. Stealth should be the key to surviving in cities, where the density of zombies is overwhelming, and looting should be rewarding, but done with a light foot and a keen eye for one's surroundings.Source: 'Zombie Horde' by Blinded-Artist, deviantART
Dispatching single zombies should still be fairly easy, but large groups should give players real pause. Hordes of zombies should roam the hillsides, mauling anyone that gets in their way, dynamically changing the routes that players must use to traverse Chernarus, and any future maps. I believe that by making zombies a truly undying threat in the world of DayZ, players will be focused more so on their own survival, and less likely to negatively engage others - unless pushed to the extreme. PvP should be something that is done out of necessity, not because a player is bored. Only the most villainous of players will continue to slaughter their fellow humans in a world filled by something much worse than those fellow humans.
Aside from the aforementioned roaming zombie hordes, PvP interactions outside of cities, and in more remote towns and military bases will be unaffected by the increased threat from zombies. The wilderness is an unknown place, and the threat of bandits should remain real when there is no longer the deterrent of masses of zombies. Let me reiterate at this time that I know zombies are a work in progress, and that updates are planned for the upcoming months, but I really think that making zombies a focal point would balance the game in an untold number of ways.My Hopes And Fears
Like many others, I simply fear that DayZ will spiral downwards into 'DeathmatchZ'. It saddens me to watch people streaming the game --- so called 'top' players -- that already treat it like one big death match where they just have to find their guns first. Tens of thousands of people watch these streams daily, and it affects their perspective of the game. I don't think this was what was envisioned for the game, and I doubt it will retain much interest from gamers if it remains as such.
My hopes are that a year from now the game will be truly great. I want it to be able to live up to its labelled genres of Horror and Survival, and continue to be something unique that stands out from the masses. I want it to be challenging, engaging and in no way a game for those that would give up easily. I want DayZ's story to be a successful one, because I'm not convinced it is yet.
Thank you for reading.