This is the last of the DayZ articles (for now). Regular blog posts resume next week. Today we're going to look at tips and strategies for staying alive.
|Once you've read this article, there's also:|
|How to install DayZ (with ArmA 2 Free, Operation Arrowhead or Combined Ops)|
|DayZ - How to get on a server|
|How to play|
|DayZ offline single player / practice / training / (not really) cheating|
This is displayed on the homepage of the DayZ mod. It's not kidding either. It was running a bit higher until the recent influx of new players. And people like me who've survived for much longer periods through out that average quite a bit. You really are going to die soon. So what can you do to improve your chances? Read on after the jump...
Don't shoot zombies unless you have to
|It took three of us to kill this many zombies and we ran out of ammo and two of us died|
Guns make noise. A lot of noise. There are silent weapons, but good luck finding them - they're usually only found in military buildings and those are a magnet for other players who won't hesitate to kill you thanks to the shiny loot. So you're mostly going to be shooting at zombies with noisy boomsticks. The noise will attract any other zombies in the area. It's rare that you'll fire and only have to kill one zombie. Plus the noises can be heard by other players. And if they hear you firing a lot, they'll maybe just reason that you're low on ammo and decide to kill you for your stuff.
Rare ammo is rare. If you've just got a Makarov pistol or a shotgun then it's not so very hard to find ammo. But if you've got anything better, then it's likely that you'll have a hard time finding more ammunition. Killing zombies doesn't really get you anything so is it worth emptying your hard-to-find MP5 at a bunch of zombies?
Zombies don't carry good loot. Most zombies don't have any loot on them at all and those that do tend to only have one thing and it tends to be rubbish like empty tin cans. So when you shoot a zombie all you do is lose ammunition.
|Thanks for killing all those zombies and... ooh is that a Lee Enfield rifle? Thanks for that too|
Shots tell everyone where you are. There are groups of bandits that go around just looking for players to kill so they can take their stuff. And nothing tells them where you are better than gunshots. If they only need to expend a single bullet to your head to get a tin of beans, they'll do it... like a Chinese policeman in a decreasingly funny simile.
Gunshots tell experienced players what gun you have and what kit you're carrying. I can tell from the sound of most shots what you're carrying. Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop - that's a Makarov. You've just started the game, have five clips containing six shots each, two bandages, two morphine phials, a box of painkillers, two tins of beans and a water bottle. You've only got four clips now and I'll be counting the shots until I walk in and slot you like a Chinese policeman at a.... no, uh an American soldier on... uh... sod the similes, I'm still going to kill you and rob your corpse. Why should I spend a tense half hour crawling through a hospital looking for morphine when I can just rob you like a Thai hooker with knockout drops on her nipples? Go simile!
|I might just have to shoot these two|
Don't stay on the coast
You'll initially spawn on the coastline, probably on the south coast. Lots of bandits will hide out near the coast just waiting for new players to appear so they can kill and rob them. Equally so, newly-spawned players tend to hang around on the coast, so you've a good chance of bumping into them. And they're probably trigger happy loons.
The two largest towns are on the coast (Cherno and Elektro as people call them). When you spawn, you're likely to be very near these places. They have several buildings in them that contain decent loot so they're a magnet for other players.
Head inland and you'll find smaller towns that are spread out a bit more. You've got a much better chance of being alone and there will be less zombies around.
Don't assume you can't be seen
Just because you've taken every precaution and the noise and vision meters are showing nothing that no one is watching you. In the pictures above, I was sitting on a cliff-top, quite far away watching a group of buildings for zombies and other players before I decided to go in. They were being very careful and looking around the whole time, but I could easily have shot one of them in the head with my sniper rifle and the other would have no idea from where the shot came. Even if they'd spotted me, I could see they had a shotgun and a Lee Enfield rifle, so I was way outside their effective range.
Look around before entering a town or building
|So there's one zombie in the road and another in the distance, so I reckon I'm good to do some shopping|
Some buildings (like fire stations, hospitals, military bases) have particularly good loot and they attract a lot of players looking to improve their inventories. So when you're going near those, it's really important to check around and make sure you're alone before sneaking in to loot.
I lied - you can outrun zombies
|Come back! They just want a hug|
The best way to outrun zombies is to run up a steep hill. It has to be steep enough to slow you to walking pace too, but you can then tack back and forth in a zigzag pattern to keep you running up the slope whilst the zombies shamble after you nice and slowly. You can use this time to turn and give them a lead overdose with comfort.
Only shambling zombies will run after you quickly, but monkeys (the crouched, hopping ones) and the crawlers will head in your direction too, so when you think you've resolved your zombie problem, it's worth taking the time to have another look. Those monkeys might be on their way still.
If you spot another survivor, it's maybe worth running towards them as you might just foist your zombie pursuers onto them. If they look friendly (or you know they are), then run in a wide circle around them (not too close) and they'll be able to shoot enough zombies that you can probably take care of the rest.
Trust no one
|You know, now that we're alone and I'm behind you, I'm thinking that I quite like that gun you've got...|
A group of three players encountered another survivor. He called out "Friendly" and they all lowered their guns. After a brief chat, they decided to take this new guy along with them - safety in numbers, right? Well it all went swimmingly and they headed off to raid an airfield together. There was some excellent loot to be had and with four in their party, they killed all the zombies and ran around helping themselves to some of the best gear they'd seen.I can also tell you a story that happened to me:
When they emerged from a particularly large building, there was a group of bandits waiting for them and they shot all the survivors dead and looted their corpses. Shot them all dead apart from one. Yeah, that friend they'd picked up along the way was part of the group of bandits. He'd been talking to his bandit chums on Skype the whole time telling them where they were. Having had the base cleared of zombies and all the loot gathered in one place, the bandits stepped in and did what bandits do. The "friend" didn't do any of the shooting, allowing him to keep his non-bandit survivor skin and dupe some more innocents. Ooh, nasty.
I was on the outskirts of a town when a bit of shooting went on near me. Suddenly there were zombies everywhere, running towards the sound of the gunfire. Unfortunately I happened to be between the zeds and the shooting so they found me an easier target. I took to my heels and ran out into the empty fields surrounding the town. There were no steep hills nearby and a glance over my shoulder showed about thirty zombies in pursuit. Suddenly in the middle of a field, a guy stood up and started shooting at the zombies behind me. I ran in a wide circle around him as he took out zombie after zombie. Three other unseen people started firing at the zombies too. Pretty soon there were only a couple of zeds after me, so I turned and dealt with them.It may seem unfair or even unjust, but other players can spell the end of you much more easily than any zombie. To many, you're just a walking loot pile. There are a great many friendly players out there, but you're better off teaming up with people you already know. You'll probably be able to trust them a little more.
As soon as the shooting was over and the zombies went back to being dead, I turned to thank my saviour and his friends only to find them all pointing guns at me. "Place all your gear on the ground and step away." they said. Ouch. I turned and ran, zigzagging across the field. Shots hit the ground all around me and one hit me causing a fountain of blood to burst from my neck, but I made it to the treeline and kept running until my blood loss was becoming serious. A quick bandage and I was on my way, a little wiser than before.
Dead zombies = other people nearby
|My friends and I did this, but if you find a pile of bodies like this and you didn't do it, watch out!|
Discretion is the better part of valour
|I'm sure I'll be fine|
Dying isn't the end of the world
|Meeting yourself is always an awkward experience|
If you know where you died and you know where you've respawned, it might be worth paying a visit to your corpse and robbing it. If a player killed you, there's a good chance they stripped your body of everything worthwhile, but if it was a zombie and there weren't any players around to witness your demise, your prostate form may lie unsullied.
As I was halfway through this article, I managed to get myself killed when a zombie glitched through a doorway and his first hit knocked me unconscious. I bled out and died. I respawned about three kilometres from where I ate the zombie sandwich and I realised that the journey there would be quite easy. So I ran and ran and ran and found my body. That's me in the picture above. I got all my kit back. Phew.
Two pairs of eyes are always better than one. When raiding buildings, I remain outside to provide covering fire for my chum. He goes in and grabs as much useful stuff as possible and I keep an eye out for zombies and other players. If he needs to run out the door whilst being chased, I'll be able to take out most of his pursuers before he catches up with my position, greatly increasing our odds of survival.
If you're using blood packs (obtainable from hospitals), you need another player to administer them to you. Better to have a friend along than have to approach a stranger for help.
But to zombies, team is just an anagram of meat so don't go thinking you're invincible just because there's a couple of you.
Live off the land
|If it's good enough for Asterix...|
Stalk an animal and shoot it to take it down.
Once you've killed the animal, stand over it and use your hunting knife to gut it. Once you've done that, you'll be able to loot the corpse. Depending on the size of the animal, you'll have anywhere between one and eight units of raw meat to collect.
Build a fireplace (right click on matches in your inventory) and then light it (right click on matches again) and you'll see a small fire on the ground. Not everywhere is suitable for building fires, but relatively flat ground will pretty much always work. You can light fires inside buildings, but this sometimes cause glitches. When looking at the fire, there will be a choice in the context / square brackets / mousewheel menu to cook the meat. This transforms the raw meat into cooked meat which you can then eat in the normal manner.
Note: Cooked meat recovers 800 blood versus the 200 you get from canned food.
Water bottles can be re-filled by standing on the edge of ponds (new feature, may be a bit buggy) or beside water pumps and wells. They can no longer be filled in the sea.
Don't write blog articles telling other people how to play better
You don't want to be telling potential opponents how to... oh, bugger.