Home Editorial DayZ: Choosing a new Chernarus

As the holiday gaming season approaches, there are two things you and I can count on. First, Activision and EA will be beating each other with giant rubber guns, and Half Life 3 will be confirmed more players will be dying in DayZ than ever before. Maybe we’ll even hear the Standalone release date from Rocket Hall himself. Even if we don’t, the mod is still going strong, maybe even catching a second wind.

In this two part series, I’ll be covering the two main in-game boosts to DayZ’s longevity. Today are two major mods to the base map: DayZero and DayZ Overwatch.

Overwatch, for survivors who like murder

One of my major complaints about the stock DayZ experience was the rarity and power of the guns on offer. Then, when you did manage to gear up, it was just a silent sniper away from being left with nothing. Hours, or even days of work, made into nothing. The early metagame became building tent cities filled with so much gear it couldn’t be emptied by any but the most determined looters. Runs to the northwest airfield were suicide missions for any and all involved, but at the highest levels of play they were necessary. There were few other ways of obtaining valuable military loot and high powered guns. Doing so in the south of the map was an even riskier venture, as the two main cities, Chernogorsk and Elektrosagorsk, had perfect hills for sniping. And they still are popular spawn points for the game, making it easy for the equipped to build up a kill count.

DayZ Overwatch makes every effort to rectify that issue. A plethora of new military buildings, and general loot drops, makes getting equipped for combat far easier. The modders also gave fresh spawns a taser and two bandages, making finding people and neutralizing them less an issue of luck and patience. Where once a Makarov pistol was a godsend for the empty handed in the south, now not getting an AK is a bad military spawn. Anyone with a fair shot and the sense to be stealthy can taze a bro and take his shit.

If you play DayZ Overwatch with friends (which you should always do), grouping up and destroying entire towns is more than possible. Even solo Overwatch can be a rush, and might be a better learning experience. The ease of finding viable weapons makes going manhuntin’ a much quicker venture. Be aware, everyone else has the same chances of gearing up as you do, and they’ll have equally twitchy trigger fingers.

Thankfully, if you’ve spent any time in vanilla DayZ and only vanilla, you’ll be more than familiar with the map for most Overwatch servers. Chernarus retains the same layout, just a lot of added buildings. Some of the towns have been overhauled or built from scratch with tons of military loot, but Cherno is still a spawn killer’s paradise, and northwest is still a sniper’s dream.

The most important  of Overwatch’s changes is the addition of new skins and a metric shit-ton of new weapons. The classics like the M14 Aim and DMR and M4A1 are still on offer, but there are a bunch of new additions, including the M17 semi-auto sniper, the ACR platform, and a few new AK variants. As with the rest of overwatch, finding these guns is sometimes a breeze. The most powerful stuff is still a chore to find and you’ll be ecstatic when you find it, just don’t waste it. Players in Overwatch want only the best, and they’ll have no remorse putting a bullet through your brain.

DayZero, for the survivors who want to survive

While I disliked the dearth of weapons in vanilla DayZ, I understood the reasoning. The rest of the game I really enjoyed. The tension when you’ve got a nice setup. The heart-rate increasing combat. The need to balance shooting against drawing zombies, and the sometimes frightening lack of food. I even liked running from place to place, especially when I had buddies to do so with.

The problem I and many other DayZ players faced was the bugginess, poor frame rate, and sometimes baffling lack of buildings to go in. DayZero aims to fix each of these problems, and while the sheer level of equipment isn’t available, the level of overhaul is the same. For DayZero, it’s in the backend rather than in-game. Performance is optimized like crazy, bugs are fixed, guns got tweaks and most importantly, there are a ton of new buildings to go into. The hospitals in big cities are now open on the inside, as are a bunch of houses that were otherwise closed off before.

These changes, much like the changes DayZero itself made, have subtle effects. You might not be able to take the fight to Cherno quite as fast, but the opportunities for stealth and tactics are numerous. Where once a safe sniper-hide gave you omniscience without the possibility of reprisal, suddenly there are three new directions to die from. Where once a Kamenka spawn meant you needed to find some zombies to kill you….Kamenka still sucks, to be honest. Fuck Kamenka.

Beyond the major back end changes mentioned, modders made a lot little tweaks to make the experience more immersive and enjoyable. These include adding furniture to otherwise empty houses, refining standard building layouts, and tweaking textures on those buildings that need it. Granted, most of these changes are just gravy on the optimization turkey, but when the turkey looks and feels as smooth as DayZero does, I’ll take all the gravy they can give me.

Be aware, you have to be whitelisted on many DayZero servers to keep those hackers still around at bay, but the process is painless enough, and more than worth the price of admission.

6 replies to this post
  1. I tend not to create many comments, but i did a few searching and wound
    up here DayZ: Choosing a new Chernarus | Top Tier Tactics – Videogame strategy
    guides, tips, and humor. And I do have a couple of questions for
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  2. !

    Its hard to give a fair review to this game..especially when trying to sum up what the game has to offer for everyone based off your own experience–there are so many different custom mods that vary from server to server, and countless playstyles for each–I actually prefer the old survival DayZ more than overwatch,,my favorite server called Shadow of Chernarus Elite 2was one of those servers::and it actually had night time,,the sunrises were beautiful;;the chemlight glowstick parties**sigh**unfortunately servers like this that most people had a higher chance of dying within an hour of(more or less)natural causes~than being killed by another player..there were areas of the map where if you somehow managed to find some beans and can make it to water pumps to survive, while having to protect yourself from radiation//and difficult zombies(especially when you start with absolutely nothing)and stumble upon a light in the dark,my experiences were mostly desperate plees from haunted bambies,who i have actually had chaise after me yelling for help, dropping their things on the ground as they ran..sometimes defenseless against a horde of zombies or geared up but scared of scary things, or simply near death and looking for medical help, but not knowing his blood type..this server made my heart race and neck sweat just by finding a car tire.. and when you finally spend hours of teamwork searching and somehow survive near death experiences that could be caused by wondering in an area with more than 2 people, veteran AI would go shit crazy on you green beret style.

    I can’t find that kind of hard.. at least not in a server that hasn’t shut down or been abandoned because its players saw a server that starts you off with a tank and a dmr, and eventually just went back to COD..and forgot about the open world that dayz could have been,,i knew a guy who mostly just played the game to fix and sell cars, and hunted and sold meat in his free time..or just liked to survive and help others survive.

    I do wish Shadow of Chernarus Elite 2 (SoCE) had a real alternative. The admin was actually on and was fast to maintain and protect the server. There was no side chat..it was better,,there was no side chat voice either–instead you needed a radio to be equipped,,and you could use it to intercept AI messages, like a radio scanner that you could snoop on various activity,,or even track someones location by their radio if you could build a tracking device.

    Those things are all lost, I find servers now are the ones that had the most EXTREME sounding description, like start with an apache or something, the gameplay is not continuous, its not a bad thing,,but its killing good servers that you could play on forever.. not deathmatch during MLP commercial breaks.

    I miss DayZ.

    The closest populated server I can find right now that is the closest to this is not very close at all, its called Emerge Overwatch, its pretty simple, but its a solid server. It has side chat, zombies are nerfed, life is easy, and you can kill a lot of people, and still pretend your struggling with the survival part of it more.. and pretend you can see the sunset beyond your fireplace on the mountain.. but the trend of most servers people will try those with the flashiest names and who promise the most explosions and instant action, arcade style.. i tried these and it was fun, kind of like a really poorly done Battlefield title.. or a glitchier version of the original Ghost Recon.
    holy shit why am i still typing !

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