As with most things in life, I had a plan for my next DayZ article. Then Life Happened, and I ended up playing for around four hours with some friends, and came up with a different take on my ideas. Keep in mind, these strategies aren’t actually my own, but instead my analyses of someone else’s intelligent choices.
DayZ is the purest, most devastating survival simulator ever conceived. It will teach you some actual means to survive, in or out of a zombie apocalypse. More than that, it teaches you pragmatism, caution, and most importantly, humility.
A little background
In short, a buddy of mine found a tent. No small feat in its own right, but this was better. The tent was set up in the north, surrounded by possible downed chopper sites, and fully stocked with more weapons than one survivor could carry. The three of us surmised that this player had a vehicle of some kind, stashed somewhere else, and when he knew there weren’t too many players on the server, drove around collecting the best loot he could find.
Here’s a quick rundown of what we found, from what I remember.
Weapons/ammo: An M4A1 with three mags, FN Fal with four mags, a PP-19 Bizon SD with two mags, an AKS-74u with eight mags, two extra M107 mags, and a single Draganov mag.
Items: a map, watch, two hunting knives, two water bottles, matches, a watch, a compass, a morphine injector, an epi-pen, and a number of sodas and various canned goods
It’s a good haul, but we were curious as to whether this was his only such stash. We concluded it was not, which leads me to the real meat of the article.
Never rely on one backup
In a survival situation of any severity, you should never have only one option in anything you do. Your plans should consist of multiple contingencies, all in the name of continued survival and rescue. The difference DayZ offers is the complete lack of any hope for rescue. As many of you know, DayZ is a game about death and your ability to recover from it.
The tent we found tells me that its owner most likely has multiple caches of such items on multiple servers that, in the inevitable event of his demise, he is not nearly as helpless as most of us. What surprises me most about this discovery is not the amount of loot stored in this one location, because there are other and better such locations undoubtedly belonging to this player.
Instead, I’m struck by its location near the center of the map. Situated north of Green Mountain, it is no mean feat getting almost anywhere of value and returning alive with gear in toe. At the same time, this player avoids the deathtrap of the far north while maintaining a fairly straight shot to the airfield and some of the best weapons and supplies on the map. Not to mention that he only needs to walk, not necessarily ride, about ten minutes in any direction to potentially find three or four unique helicopter crashes.
Options are key
Because DayZ is a survival simulator where death is always right behind you, one thing you never want to be is backed into a corner. Now, remember that there are a lot of corners in DayZ, and you’ll be in a lot of them, but there should always be a route in and out of them. While this tent certainly provides multiple options when it comes to the collection and hoarding of valuable loot, it’s also a trap.For me and my friends in particular.
DayZ offers no way to know who robbed you or when, or if the burglars set any traps. But once you know someone’s found your nest, it’s a simple matter of patience and psychology to know that they’ll be back. And I know if you have the capability to collect such stash, you have the will, means, and intent to punish those who’ve wronged you. Then, with your meddlers dead, your secret is supposedly safe and you have a number of new loot piles to go through.
The reverse is also true, of course, as there are no bots in DayZ besides the zombies, so just like in a real massive survival situation, who survives is determined by the one willing to do what is absolutely necessary.