I recently offered my 2 cents regarding the current experience offered by Dean Hall's and Bohemia Interactive's DayZ but today I want to talk about the upcoming features, or rather the lack of. As far as alpha products go DayZ has had an incredibly successful time since joining Steam last month, celebrating over 400,000 sales and 40,000 concurrent players, but what lays in wait for those exploring the deadly world of Chernarus?
As with all new titles players are eager to see what's in store and even more-so in a title as highly anticipated as DayZ and Dean "Rocket" Hall continues his close relations with the community he helped build as he highlights the near future of DayZ.
The original announcement for DayZ Standalone was made on August 12th 2012, giving developers over a year to work on the game before its eventual alpha release - and true to the gaming community, the longer we wait the more we want. The standalone version of DayZ has been built using a modified version of the ARMA II engine, so much of the traditional legwork involved in developing a new title was in place, to some extent at least. As such players expected many of the previously discussed features to be available early, only to be disappointed by a lack of practically everything.
Zombies are practically extinct, loot spawns are very similar in many ways to the original DayZ, server hopping is still rampant and most of the features from the mod have yet to be introduced. Of course, much of this is to be expected in an alpha release but it's only now that players have been shown what's in store.
The majority of upcoming additions and improvements surround the MMO-esque architecture and server-side changes, not exactly the kind of things players are eager to sample - regardless of their vital importance as foundations for new features.
So in terms of new content and features, what have we got to look forward to over the next few months? Well in short, cooking and hunting. Currently many items in the game are totally useless, such as the tools and items associated with cooking and hunting, but it does place some of the tools in-game ready for when these features launch.
But what does this mean for new and old DayZ players alike? Well in short, nothing. Players will still spend hours exploring and gathering loot before running out of activities outside of hunting down other players. Exactly the same experience available in the mod and the same as what we're experiencing at the moment. Instead of searching empty houses and cupboards, we'll be hunting animals and cooking in the lesser populated areas.
For DayZ to become anything more than a glorified PvP gankfest, players need the ability to protect what they own. Whether that be through different storage methods, personal constructions or other systems. It has already been mentioned that such features will be making an appearance but we've got months to wait until we get working zombies, deer to shoot and working cookers. Not exactly what long-term fans were hoping for.