Tuesday, July 24, 2012

DayZ Tutorial, quick tips

The other day I finally got Arma 2 from the Steam Summer Sale and eagerly loaded up DayZ. Unfortunately it wasn't the easiest of tasks and put me in right state of fury! But the game turned out to be fun and I wanted to share some of the basics so people don't get discouraged and stop playing right out the gates.

Steam installation

The DayZ Steam installation was surprisingly easy, but it seems like there's a few spots people might make mistakes. So please follow these instructions carefully:
  1. Download Arma 2 and Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead.
    • NOTE: Arma 2: Combined Operations is simply the name of the expansion pack containing the two games. It just gives you the option to buy them separately or together.
  2. Run Arma 2 and Arma 2: Combined Operations.
    • When launching OA, it gives you multiple options, launch Combined Operations.
    • Also, don't bother configuring controls and settings, it does NOT appear to save them between games.
  3. Close each game and navigate to here. Click "Download v2.9.7pre" or whatever version it's on.
    • You can also use a mirror if necessary.
  4. Install the SIX Updater and launch it.
  5. Once it loads, click the big button on the left which says, "Install" or "Update". Let it run.
  6. If everything went smoothly, it should say "Verify" or appear complete in some way.
    • In the background it is updating/installing beta files and updating/installing DayZ mod files.
  7. You are now set to play.
    • NOTE: the server list takes awhile to load. Be patient if you are looking for a specific server.

Playing DayZ

There are a few key things to know about DayZ:
  1. LOADING: It may take a LONG time to load so be patient. If you think you've froze on a black screen that says "Loading", it is simply just taking a really long time. I almost think they did it on purpose to discourage people from dying...
  2. LOCATION: as the game finally loads up, quickly look at the bottom right corner for some text. This is your starting location. Remember what it is and look here. If that doesn't help, look for signs or determine the shape of the coast to find your location. Knowing where you are is essential if you're playing with friends.
  3. FIRST 10 MINUTES: When you get in for the first time, don't get discouraged about dying. I ran around like an idiot the first couple times not realizing how powerful zombies were. I also couldn't figure out how to use items or where I should go. All I will say is avoid coastal cities and head for the hills.
  4. USING ITEMS: when you press G to open your inventory, you'll be presented with a list of items and bag slots. To use say, a bandage, you would right click on it in the bag slot (NOT the list). Then left click on the dialog that slides open ("use bandage"). For weapons, you use the mouse scroll wheel to bring up item selections in the center of the screen, then press ENTER to select that weapon.
  5. DYING: When you die, you can't simply click respawn. You must abort, disconnect and reconnect. Why? I have no idea, it's dumb.
  6. LOOTING: the interface is terrible. When you see something to loot (a body or pile of shit), you press ENTER to open the menu. The numbers on the left are items you do NOT have. The numbers on the right are items you do have. Click the arrows to exchange items from left-to-right or right-to-left.
  7. FALL DAMAGE: if you fall and break your legs, call over your best mate and have him put a slug in your face. You can only fix broken legs if you visit a hospital (there are only 4 locations in the world). The alternative is you crawl on your stomach which would take ages.
That should get you going. It's a really fun game despite the flaws in interface and controls. My biggest tip through all this is BE PATIENT. Good luck and happy surviving!

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