Lately I've been playing DayZ Epoch a lot, and it has got me ignoring my MMO subscriptions. Last week I posted about DayZ Epoch, but I didn't really explain what it is (resulting in an ignorant mod moving the post to the DayZ forum).
So, first of all, DayZ Epoch is not DayZ! They are two very different games overall. While DayZ is pretty much a survival shooter, DayZ Epoch is like a sandbox MMO, with features like home/base building and ownership, crafting from parts and raw materials, NPC traders, mining, hunting, dog taming, harvesting, and vehicle ownership and upgrading.
Best of all, you can play this game for only $6 total with no subscription! DayZ Epoch is a free mod that runs on the military simulator ARMA 2 Combined Operations, which is on sale right now for only $6.23 directly from the publisher here:
Even though I've never really played ARMA 2 (I intend to now after enjoying DayZ Epoch) you are actually getting two games in one, the actual ARMA 2 military sim game and the DayZ Epoch virtual world. Of course, there are many other game mods available like the original DayZ game, but I was not as impressed with that, and have not tried any others yet. Since Epoch alone has over 2,000 servers at this time, I'm guessing it's one of the most popular mods available too.
Now, the heart of DayZ Epoch is really the custom building construction. You can build or modify anything anywhere, except for a few small protected NPC trader camps. You can actually modify or improve even existing game buildings and towns, adding additional buildings, rooms, floors, and modifications on to them or you can build your very own custom base from scratch anywhere on the map. This is a feature that I have rarely seen in even the most ambitious of MMOs. Often building construction in MMOs is cookie-cutter with a limited number of pre-built buildings you can place, very limited construction locations, and they certainly never allow players to modify existing game structures. DayZ Epoch breaks all those standard MMO limitations and really opens up the world to player customization.
The ability to build bases allows players to seek protection, store their items, and have a place to call home. This completely changes the dynamic of the original DayZ shooter game. Vehicles can also be purchased and locked with a key in DayZ Epoch and are not only used for transportation but are a secondary form of storage.
Crafted Cinder Wall w/ Door
Here's a video I found the other day that does a pretty good job at giving you a glimpse of someone cautiously starting off new on a DayZ Epoch server and beginning custom construction on an existing game building to turn it into their own lockable base:
Time lapse construction of a simple wood base from scratch, from chopping down trees to finish
To make finding servers and installing and updating DayZ Epoch easy download DayZ Launcher:
Note: I am not affiliated with the producers of ARMA 2, Epoch Mod, nor DayZ Launcher in any way whatsoever. I don't even know the names of any of them. I'm just a player that discovered great value in this game and am excited to share it with others.