Note: I’ll talk about the DayZ-is-now-a-game topic next time. Right now I want to get this down.
This article is something of an addendum to my last one talking about tents and what’s in them. I want to discuss how to properly use camping tents for defense and offense. DayZ is a game based ultimately on outwitting both the zombie AI and other players. Hanging around Cherno, waiting for some guy in a ghillie to go into a church so you can get his suit is one option. There are many others.
The Tent Trap
This is by no means a new idea, and I’m sure it’s been better executed by better strategists than me. However, I think it bears a larger audience, one which may not have played DayZ. The idea is simple: make the tent a lure for experienced players. When you find a tent somewhere, your first thought should be where to put it and what to put in. And in the next section I’ll talk about that in detail. As I usually do, I want to help you outwit the guys with the good sh*t, using psychology.
Option 1 (Tent Alone): One of the things to remember is how rare a tent really is. Finding a full camp of them is like finding a lost pirate’s treasure. Finding just one’s not much less impressive. The good players instinctively consider all tents as containing some real choice loot, or at least a couple things worth swiping. This is your advantage, and their death.
In short: once you have a tent and some spare loot of moderate to almost-high quality, you’ll need to use it as bait. Set the tent a medium distance from the high traffic areas. It should be close enough that you can restock it fairly regularly, but far enough away to fool people into thinking you’re trying to hide it. Know the average player count on your chosen server, and wait for it to fill about half way, or as much as you’re comfortable PvP wise. Fill the tent with all the stuff you like but don’t necessarily want, and wait. If you’ve done your job right, you’ll get a bite in a relatively short time. You’ll need a little luck as far as players go, but if you’re smart about which targets to engage, the rewards will outweigh the efforts tenfold.
Option 2 (Live bait): This one takes a friend, and a gracious one at that. Set up the tent as above, but place a survivor with it. It can be you or your buddy, but in either case, they should go AFK. If they have a ghillie on, so much the better. More on that in a moment.
Again, patience is a must here, but DayZ is nothing if not an exercise of the limits of people’s patience. The fact that you have a survivor at the site, however, heavily weighs the odds in your favor. Curiosity is one of the most powerful of our mind’s quirks, and while someone near the tent will draw in the bandits, it will set them on edge. More so if you put down a fire (or even a road flare), to attract attention at night. You’ll probably see your prey circling the site, looking with night vision and thermal for you. You must remain completely calm regardless of whether or not you think they see you. If they start shooting warning shots, steel your nerves and slowly creep away.
Rather than being put off, they’ll likely think you were also a scavenger, waiting for them. Similarly, they’ll assume there’s something good in the tent. The idea of a trap will occur to them, and your hope is that they discard it. If you can bring your friend back to the world at this point, do so, and have him feed you info about the enemy’s actions. If they start searching the tent, and you know they have things you want, it’s time to strike. You should have a sniper of some king, and your friend some kind of assault weapon. Take out the lookouts from range while he deals with the guy checking the tent. Things go your way, you’ve not only got some cool stuff, but additional bait for the hook.
Keeping the real tent safe
I’ll admit that much of DayZ relies on luck, and my strategies here are no different. But you need to minimize the possibility of failure as much as possible. So when you find a tent, you need a safe place to put it. The question becomes, where? Should it be so secure that you know it won’t be raided, or in such a position that restocking it after an inevitable death becomes less of an issue? While I can’t answer that question for you, I can tell you a couple of things to consider when looking at possible locations.
The top stuff: When you absolutely must protect something, like antibiotics or a Camo SVD, your tent should be as far from civilization as you can manage. The forests west of Kamenka are a good choice, if a little obvious. For the bold there are the mountain-forests west and northwest of the airfield. Perhaps the best places are in the woody hills north of Guglovo and Shakhovka, though this exact location is up to you. Remember that even in these places you might be raided, and more than once. You’re trying to minimize the risk, not remove it entirely. That’s impossible.
Your respawn gear: Death is constant and frequent in DayZ, often occuring violently via the implementation of either bullets or zombie teeth. Even the most aware players will either make a mistake, be outgunned, or simply bull-sh*tted by the game. And then they die. So will you. A tent’s primary purpose, despite this tip’s place in the article, is to allow you a relatively safe location to restock after dying, so that you don’t need to reenter the wastes with no hope at all.
Be more conservative with your tent placement in these cases as far as their visibility and distance from loot drops. The boldest move you could make is somewhere around both Cherno and Elektro but not particularly close to either. If you’re feeling lucky, you can raid one and then the other, restock the tent, and do it again a few times. In this case, it’s best to fully stock and then transfer to another location. Tents like these are staging areas, not ends in and of themselves.
For the best restock tents, you need to stay in the middle of the map, and within distance of moderately sized towns. Stary Sobor is a good choice, though quite high traffic. The forests to the west of Sosnovka might be ideal, given the high value buildings not far from that town and within the city proper. Be aware of the zombie count associate with both towns and especially high value locations, but be more aware that people near such locations might be able to see your tent from as far away as half a mile.
I could talk more about keeping tents safe and using them as weapons, but a lot of the fun of DayZ is coming up with this stuff on your own. While there will be more articles in the future, I want to keep the strategies as vague as possible.
Enjoy your times among the dead!