Contrary to popular belief the common death in DayZ is not suffered to the dreaded brandit or zombie. Oh no. It is true; you will die often. Just not from circumstances which can be called “legitimate”. I can guarantee you that without a slither of a doubt that you will die nearly entirely to bugs, what might appear to be a hacker (or could be) and unfortunate other Real Virtuality 3 game engine issues.
In the past week of playing I’ve died zero times to what I would call a “fair death situation”. When it comes to a PvP death I’ve gotten the drop on the “enemy player” all but once. The one exception was when a player exploited the ability to disconnect and spawn back in to sneak in a kill. I’m very good at stalking players and getting the first shot but I’ve only successfully killed a player once.
I’m not going to thoroughly explain every situation that I’ve encountered but to be brief with one: I recently hid in a tent in Stary Sobor at night and waited for a player to either enter my tent or the one across from me while waiting prone. The player entered the tent across from me and I placed a head shot with the revolver. The bullet did not land because of a bug in Arma 2 which causes prone fired rounds to collide with ground terrain instead. This alerted the player to my presence bringing about my death. This is a very common occurrence which makes firing “around a corner” impossible in Arma 2 even though the feature exists: it does not work. Prone fire is a risky tactic.
Issues like these bring about an interesting point. The battle to survive in DayZ is very little about not being eaten alive or killed by bandits. It’s about learning the nuances of the issues in Arma 2 and DayZ and figuring out how to work around those issues. While I am a nerd and I get a certain kick out of such things; it defeats the purpose of the entire mod.
You will quickly realize that attempting to outrun a zombie is literally and metaphorically an “uphill battle”. Whether or not you survive attracting the attention of a zombie will depend on whether or not you can find a barn to run into and whether or not clunky controls (or lag due to the extremely horrible netcode in Arma 2) resulting in accidentally getting hit resulting in bleeding out profusely in the middle of nowhere trying to find a barn to run into: while also attracting 15 more zombies.
The ultimate goal in DayZ for most is not to survive. No one survives this mod. As of right now the average survival time is about 31 minutes. It’s to find the best gear that you can before you do die. For some it’s make as many players’ virtual lives hell as possible. What’s incredibly frustrating is that like clockwork you find a very useful item such as matches and then die to a bug or lag that results in a broken leg. That’s game over.
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve picked up morphine and then broken my leg leaving the room. Recently I picked up a FN FAL with 120 rounds (a powerful weapon) while literally out in the middle of nowhere and was killed within 20 minutes while moving through an open field. Like I said: like clockwork.
You never have morphine when you need it. Blood is basically a hit points system that is impossible to renew without finding matches plus an axe (or wood) plus an animal to kill for meat. Unless you’re lucky enough to find a blood pack (good luck) and a friend to transfuse it for you (good luck).
To be fair: yes Dayz is an alpha mod. But let’s be realistic here rather than extremely illogical. The issues that really break the mod are Arma 2 issues. Not DayZ issues. I just do not see Rocket (the developer) fixing these issues without some very hefty fixes to Arma 2. So don’t get your hopes up. Arma 3 is around the corner and I don’t see any productive fixes on the horizon. To be honest: I don’t have much hope for Arma 3 either. I want to love this game and I do for a lot of reasons but the issues far outweigh the fun.
To conclude my thoughts: DayZ is fun but equally as aggravating and at times infuriating. You will lose your gear. You will lose your head. Now go kill some zombies.