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Community Spotlight: DayZ -- A Mod Better than Many MMOs?

Posted by MikeB Sunday May 27 2012 at 4:32PM
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We're focusing on the thread "DayZ. A game mod better than all MMOs i've played in the last five years or so" by Params7. In the thread, Params7 brings an interesting zombie survival mod called DayZ to the attention of the community:

Basically its a mod for a military simulator, ARMA 2. Its a persistent world, with permadeath. You only start out with a can of beans, a handgun. No compass though you can find it. No radar and map but you can find compass and a piece of the map, which won't have your positions so you'll have to figure out where you are on the map.

Sounds pretty anti-casual, but it has by FAR, has the greatest potential for human interaction because you depend on each other so much. This one mod is better than the entire show of Walking Dead when it works right, though sadly its plagued by a host of server issues right now.


Some gameplay vids:

if you venture out alone at night and put a flare down this can easily happen to you as resources are VERY rare and people easily turn on each other.

Its build on concepts no dev today would have the guts to try, but after experiencing this game I'm convinced permadeath is the future of RPG's.

So, what ARE people saying about DayZ? Read on to find out!

Gibbonici sums up some of the most interesting aspects of the mod:

Yeah, I read about DayZ a couple of weeks ago and downloaded it to see if it was much cop. Well, like the OP, it's the best MMO experience I've had in as long as I remember, and its not even an MMO. In fact it's one of the best gaming experiences I've had probably ever.

It's the absolute antithesis of what MMOs have become and more closely matches the potential that MMOs had 10 or more years ago. A massive open world with several cities, dozens of towns and villages and vast forests all set across a huge landscape. There's no hand-holding here, anything goes. Some players group together to survive in the safety of numbers, others camp in the loot rich cities to kill and rob those who come to find the stuff they need, others lone-wolf it around the world trusting no-one and relying completely on themselves.

You need to eat and drink, you need ammo and weapons to survive, you need equipment like maps, compasses and hunting knives to give you an edge in survival, you need road flares for the oh so dark nights. You even need medicine and blood packs to alleviate the physical effects of being hurt. In future updates you'll need to keep dry and warm in the realistically modelled weather system and environment.

You have a very limited, very realistic inventory system that means that every bit of useful equipment you find presents you with a dilemma. Do you dump that extra clip for your rifle or do you leave that can of beans behind? Do you take that assault rifle and dump your shotgun even though you've only got a single clip of rifle ammo?

There's no XP, no progression beyond the equipment you have, there's no end-game, no instances, no raids, there's no party system, no binding, no fast travel, no quests, no storyline, no designated PvP areas. And death is permanent. It is incredibly lean and extremely mean.

The only certainty in DayZ is that you *will* die. How long that takes is up to you and what you are prepared to do to survive.

And it's all about survival.

It does give me some hope for the future of MMOs though. Despite the industry churning out WoW-clone after WoW-clone and more and more players drifting away from the ridiculous state of MMO affairs, DayZ, a mod for a 2 year old specialist game, has pushed Arma II:Combines Operations to the top of Steam bestsellers chart. There's a huge appetite for open-world, free-form games which DayZ proves. Even though it's still in alpha, and even though it can take an hour or more to get on a server that doesn't bug out before you get to play, the game is absurdly popular and becomes more so every day.

Playing it shows you just how fat and weak MMOs have become.

Worstluck feels DayZ is a better MMO experience than all the MMOs he's played over the last few years:

Been playing this pretty heavily non-stop for a bit now.  It's true, it's a better MMO experience than all the MMO's I have played in the last few years. 

It's amazingly tense at times, well most of the time.....It's just an insane gaming experience.  It really feels like you are trying to survive.  I love zombie games, L4D, Killing Floor, etc....but this is totally different ball game.  Over the last weekend I actually made it past day 0.  Unfotuantely at maybe the 26 hour mark I pressed the wrong button and fell two stories off a roof.  That only broke my legs.  The 25 zombies on ground level promptly chewed me up!

I hang out up North near Berezino most of the time and if you see me (Worstluck)... I am not friendly...don't take my stuff!

The spell DayZ seems to be casting over many gamers hasn't seem to have affected GTwander:

I think I found the problem;

You crazy folks out there are confusing an FPS MOD for an MMO. I'm not going to argue semantics about how many people fit on a server at once (50 atm), but this is simply a take on the ARMA franchise with zombies. It's not meant to be anything else, at least atm.

All the characters are stock ones from the main game itself - if you wanted to connect with them, you'd have to play the single player to even get who they are.

Ya'll need to drop the MMO-baggage at the door and see this game for what it really is... an FPS MOD, not some end-all zombie MMO. Jesus...

"It is what it is because it's what it was meant to be."

I've been reading about this mod for the last couple of weeks and have been attempting to resist the spell, mostly because I didn't own ARMA 2 and wasn't sure I wanted to drop $30 on a game just to play a mod that may very well be a fad. I couldn't relent for too long, however, as I ended up giving in and picking up the game (and DayZ) after a couple of friends (with apparently much less willpower) purchased ARMA 2 once I showed them a few videos.

What's clear to me is this mod (even in such an early stage) has struck a chord with many gamers who have apparently been itching for something like this for quite awhile. Despite the game's unforgiving design and clear-as-day Alpha state, people in the press and on many a game forum are just going absolutely bonkers over DayZ. A number of users in this thread likened the game to the Lord of the Flies, and I've brought up such comparisons myself when talking to other friends about the game. I also like to think of the game as kind of a quasi-MMO The Walking Dead. Sure, the world of The Walking Dead may be infested with zombies, but they're mostly the backdrop against what is really a story about humanity and what people do to survive.

Of course, some people just want to be jerks. And that's how my own experience with DayZ started. Not 15 seconds after I first came into the world did someone nearby unload some hot lead into my back, killing me instantly.

A fitting welcome, I suppose.

In any case, if you aren't too familiar with the game, I would encourage all of you to check out this video series called The Days Ahead. Though I warn you, you'll probably have a hard time resisting the urge to pick up ARMA 2 for the mod afterwards!

If you're a fan of  DayZ and feel it would be fitting to find its way on our Game List here at (it does have many MMO qualities, though it is not strictly an MMO, nor is it even a standalone game!) please head on over to the poll thread I've put up. Likewise, if you don't want it on our list, make your voice heard as well!

I'm looking to gauge interest before approaching the team about listing it, so please let us know how you'd feel about this.

fenistil writes:

Yeah DayZ is fun, not for everyone of course - but no game is for everyone and that's what some mmorpg devs forgotten.


Anyway while DayZ is great I have one request:

- Make some mmorpg that has some of DayZ features ( freedom, lack of heavy structuring and tunneling, certain degree of realism, etc <-- just make them bit more less hardcore) add seamless persistant world non-instanced not-zoned like in DayZ 


add community build tools. (crafting, housing, trading, hobbies, social things like danging or playing instruments, etc)

Just be creative.



More Vritual World.

Not in all mmropg's, not even in most of them.

Just in some.


And not only in low-prduction value indie or old titles...

Sun May 27 2012 6:37PM Report
WhySoShort writes:

Just goes to show that everyone has their own idea of what an MMORPG should be like - and most of those ideas have nothing to do with the game being massively multiplayer, online, or an rpg.

Sun May 27 2012 7:56PM Report
shantideva writes:

The days ahead.



Sun May 27 2012 8:20PM Report
jtcgs writes: This reminds me of the Persistant World mod for Mount and Blade Warband...amazing how much love some people can have for a game for it to drive them to create a mod...thats better than the main game itself. Sun May 27 2012 9:22PM Report
spookydom writes:

I want this so badly. I have been wondering why ARMA II has been on the Steam best seller list for so long. That's why then. Really can't aford it at the moment. Why do my stupid freinds have to get married? Also, do you think it's apropriate to go to a weding shirtless because you spent money on a game? It is hot over here and I am very buff. Plus I really belive I could make a contribution on killing zombies. So really it's not just for me if I bought it, it's for everybody. ;)

Mon May 28 2012 4:11AM Report
Woopin writes:

You know what is funny DayZ could be classed more of an MMO than most MMO's on here. It has lots of Role players from the servers I have seen. More Roleplay than I have seen in a while of playing MMO's also the persistant servers, yeah only 50 to 65 per server sometimes less but all the servers are connected to one server making this a lobby based MMO ? Look at lobby based games listed on here that hold 8 people they are classed as MMO's I would say DayZ beats about 50% of MMO's listen on here for what classes a game as an MMO.

Mon May 28 2012 9:25AM Report
Jupsto writes:

kind of hoping they will make it a stand alone game with arma 3 engine, which is not impossible because the creator is a dev for amra 3. This could mean a more mmo-like server setup; more players, easier log in and server communities; I would pay monthly for that definitely and not for any other current mmo.

Mon May 28 2012 10:59AM Report
Jupsto writes:

@ woopin I agree technically day z has more roleplaying than mmos. although would be better without global chat.

Mon May 28 2012 11:00AM Report
StrangeEyes writes:

Im playing it with a friend for last 2 weeks everyday and i still love it.

Only server problems annoy me its not going smooth and some game bugs but its alpha so can't comeplain much.

If you want freedom hardcore sandbox in huge OPEN world buy DAYZ its worth 30 €

Mon May 28 2012 4:35PM Report
StrangeEyes writes:

I mean Arma II plus expasion arrowhead on steam and dl DAYZ MOD

Mon May 28 2012 4:36PM Report
Uhwop writes: I could see a F2P mmo like this, with a cash shop designed around a kind of ingame scanvenger economy. Seed the world with items through the cash shop, that would eventually allow the players to try and build a society. That is if they could keep from killing each other long enough to do so. I was tempted to get ARMA 2 just to check out the mod myself, when I first came across the original thread. You guys need to do more spotlights like this. Mon May 28 2012 9:09PM Report
StrangeEyes writes:

Yesterday me and a friend went up north to the huge airbase with alot hangars and it felt alot like mmo we explored for maybe 6 hours a huge area and still have not seen alot. We HUNT for food seek little lakes for water and made campfire to cook our food. We explored alot of towns we pve alot of zombies and battle a few with other players.

All of this in a huge open world it felt alot like a MMO running through forest, farmlands and village or little towns scavenging and i loved it.

Sun Jun 03 2012 1:18AM Report writes:
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