Welcome to a brand new monthly segment here on Are We New At This called “This Month in Gaming”, where I will discuss why this is a great time to be a gamer, the games I was privileged enough to enjoy the month prior, and what I am currently playing.
October 2012 holds the dubious honor of being the first month since at least August 2004, when I did not play an MMO. Not a single one. I even sought public opinion on whether I should play Guild Wars 2 or The Secret World, which garnered a very large number of opinions. The Secret World won in the end, but for some strange reason, even though the installer sits in my downloads folder, I cannot quite bring myself to play it just yet. It is an odd feeling. I have this inkling to get my grubby paws on whatever MMO I can find and play it, just to satisfy the itch. But then I look at the list of everything else I was able to play and enjoy this month, and I realize that maybe this is a good thing!
First, just the list:
- Faster Than Light
- Of Orcs and Men
- The Walking Dead: Episode 4
- League of Legends
- The WarZ (alpha)
- ARMA II: Army of the Czech Republic
- Mark of the Ninja
- XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Aside from XCOM and Mark of the Ninja, I “finished” every other game on that list. To put a long story short, October 2012 was an amazing month for gaming, with some of the best, original and refreshing titles I have had the pleasure of playing in recent years. Check after the jump to see what rocked, almost rocked and flopped altogether!
The DayZ craze for me wore off almost as quickly as it engulfed me. There was a point when I played DayZ for 16 hours straight. At the end of those 16 hours, I had a character with damn near nothing, having recently spawned on the coast. Even then I couldn’t get enough.
I have not played DayZ in several weeks, and I haven’t thought much about it either. The reason is fairly simple. With the announcement of the standalone, and the obvious diverting of resources, including the mind of Dean Hall, into its development, DayZ has sort of died. There used to be patches in quick succession, tweaking with weapon ranges and accuracy, fiddling with items, adding new content, experimenting with new ideas. That core philosophy seems to have taken a back seat, as the team behind the mod is working hard to create alpha build of the standalone.
I suppose subconsciously I made the decision that I will just play the standalone version when it is out, instead of suffering through an alpha that the developers have little to no reason to invest in any longer. Are you still playing DayZ? How is Chenarus faring?
There is a new one. It’s called Nuclear Dawn. Its being developed by Best Way. It is set in a post-apocalyptic world. So what do we have so far?
- State of Decay
- Nuclear Dawn
- The Last of Us
- Metro 2034
Ah yes. This is beautiful. We have a ton of post-apocalyptic titles coming out in the next few months/quarters, and I couldn’t be happier. What a great time to be a fan of the Post Apocalyptic genre.
DayZ’s popularity is undeniable. From hundreds of thousands of YouTube videos to million and some change players running and gunning for their lives in the 225 square kilometers of the fictional state of Chenarussia, DayZ has taken the industry by storm. I would even go on to say it is the new MineCraft. It is novel. It is a lot of fun to play. It redefines open-ended. And it allows you to set a goal and follow it without any one telling you to do it.
However, this foray by Dean “Rocket” Hall into the post-apocalyptic zombie-survival genre also seems to have had the fringe benefit of snowballing this little niche. Promptly after the mod gaining immense popularity, came the WarZ reveal. The equally silly-named title claims to have little to do with DayZ, and the work on it so far seems to indicate that this may well be the case. My guess would be that they rushed the reveal, fearful that they might be pegged as copycats the longer the delayed the announcement. So after gilding the lily a little, some screenshots and a makeshift website was released. But then again, this is all conjecture on my part. The point is that I don’t think we would have heard of WarZ so quickly, if DayZ had not existed.
And now we have another contender entering the ring. State of Decay is an open-world zombie survival game that has vehicles, a ton of guns, vicious zombies and ridiculously over-the-top action. It actually sort of sounds like Undead Labs’ zombie MMo codenamed Class3, doesn’t it? Well that is because it is Class3. The MMO is no longer. This is what remains. Instead of trying to tell you how clunky the animation looks, or how good the world looks because of CryEngine, why don’t you just take a look yourself?
I was bored at work today, so I played around with the statistics on the DayZ page, and came up with the following. Enjoy!
Technically, the image above should suffice for the complete guide, but for the sake of thoroughness and the ire of brevity, let us also talk it to death.
To survive in the wilderness, you need food, water, fire and medicine. That’s it. If you have these four things (and associated combination of items), you will never need anything else.
Canned food sucks, though it is better than nothing. It gives you four times less blood than cooked meat (200 vs 800), and you will need to go into a building in or near a town in order to get it. If you can secure a hatchet (or woodpile), a skinning knife and a box of matches, always cook and eat meat from the wilderness. The following animals can be killed for corresponding amounts of meat:
- Cow – 8
- Sheep – 5
- Boar – 4
- Goat – 3
- Chicken – 1
- Rabbit – 1
Step 1: Unless you are certain no one is nearby, equip your hatchet (right click it in toolbelt and click remove from toolbelt), to silently kill the animal, or use a silenced weapon. Use your skinning knife to get the meat. You will need to pick up the meat as the next step, it will not automatically transfer to your inventory.
Step 2: You need wood. You can pick up woodpiles as loot. Or if you have a hatchet, you can chop up some wood. Wood can only be shopped from forests, which is dense foliage. You can’t walk up to any tree in s small cluster (or by itself) and expect it will yield wood. If the tree is not part of what the game thinks is a forest, you will get an error message instead of a woodpile.
Step 3: Once you have the wood and the meat, find a safe spot to build a fire since it can be seen from quite a distance. Right click the box of matches in your inventory and build a campfire. If you don’t have a woodpile, you will get an error message. Otherwise you will build a campfire directly underneath your character, so you may need to move to see it.
Step 4: Light it by interacting with the campfire via mousewheel. Place all uncooked meat in your main inventory (you can’t cook it is it is in your backpack). Cook the meat by interacting with the lit campfire via mousewheel. Your raw meat will transform into cooked meat in your inventory, you never have to actually take it out or anything. Put out the fire by interacting with it via mousewheel.
Step 5: Profit.
You should aim to have 2-4 cooked meats on you at all point. Try to get more stocked up if you have just one left. Don’t panic if your meter starts flashing and you have no food, it will be a while before you die from it. Get your shit together and figure it out.
Soda cans suck. They take up space in your inventory unnecessarily, when water requirements should ideally take up only one space in your inventory via a refillable canteen. Practically speaking, you should have 2-3 canteens filled at all times, and drink soda whenever you find it. But as a bare minimum, if you have a canteen, you can fill it from the dozens of fresh water sources on the map and never need to go into town looking for soda.
To fill water, step up to a water source (a fresh water pond or lake) and right click the canteen, then click fill water. You can also fill water from water sources in towns, but the idea of this guide is to never go back to civilization!
If you read “Food” above, you already have fire. Your temperature will drop at night and in the rain, if it gets too low, you will need to warm up. You can do that by applying a heatpack (unnecessary waste of space – but good if you are not sure if you are safe), or by sitting a while at a campfire you build.
The above graphic shows morphine and antibiotics. But there are also bandages, epi-pens, blood bags and painkillers.
Bandages fit in your secondary inventory, and you should always have two on you.
You only need an epi-pen to be used on others. Feel free to carry one in your main inventory to help someone, or for them to take it out of your backpack and help you if you get knocked unconscious, but it is not necessary as far as I am concerned.
You should always have at least 2-4 morphine auto-injectors in your inventory. Broken bones from zombies are rare, but they can happen. Broken bones from gunshots will kill you 90% of the time, so that is not a major concern.
If you get infected, you will cough frequently, constantly giving away your position. Antibiotics are EXTREMELY hard to come by, and very rarely spawn, so be careful. Since you get infected very rarely (I have never been), carrying one does not hurt.
Blood bags require help from another player and take up unnecessary space. You can keep one, if you fall below 3,000 health (implying you will randomly lose consciousness). But for me, easting a few cooked meats boosts me back up close to 12,000. If not, hunt down some more animals. Self-sufficiency is a blessed thing.
Finally, you can keep a set of painkillers on you, but aside from moderately affecting your first-person aim (and that too sparingly), it won’t kill you. It can be annoying though, so this one is really your call.
Hope this was useful people!
I came across two very cool videos today.
DayZ, Where Paranoia Can Kill You Faster Than a Bullet
One of them highlights paranoia and the sense of dread in DayZ, and how easy it is for things to go to shit in a heartbeat. A player infiltrates band of players and spends some time with them until they realize one of them is not who they say they are. Violence ensues, as they turn on each other in an attempt to oust the infiltrator with some very disastrous results. It is a fun video to watch.
This … is… Skyriiiiiiim!
In the second, a guy re-created all of the major battles from 300, but using the Skyrim Engine and Creation Kit. I thought it was a cool attempt, but the fight sequences in 300 were pretty epic in scope and design, and I personally feel that he falls just a little short. But you be the judge!