Realistic military shooter Arma II didn't necessarily appeal to the largest fan base with its unforgiving mechanics, but Arma II mod DayZ continues to grow exponentially even though it features those very same mechanics. Why? Zombies. You see, when fighting against an enemy platoon armed with automatic weapons, getting killed by a stray bullet feels a little cheap. However, when placed in a post-apocalyptic scenario where your primary enemies are the slow, shambling undead and eventual starvation from lack of supplies, realism to that degree suddenly becomes much more enjoyable and immersive.
DayZ will soon take the leap from simple mod to standalone client. The question is, how will this standalone version be different from the mod that zombie fanatics are crowding into?
We have a little bit of information about the Day Z standalone client from statements made by game creator Dean Hall. First of all, we can expect the game map to be completely redone. Not only will it be rebuilt from the ground up, it will also become more densely populated with buildings and areas of note. Supposedly, this new version of Chernarus will be more analogous to a real-world city. Though there will still be large stretches of wilderness, almost every building in the urban areas will be able to be entered somehow. Not only that, but these new buildings will have supplies to loot, and if secured properly can be used as decent safe houses from the zombie horde.
Speaking of safe houses, the standalone version of DayZ will also allow you to create your own underground strongholds. Taking a cue from Minecraft, players will be able to enter an underground space via metal grates situated on the ground and will then be able to dig out their own underground structures as they like. They will have to cement and reinforce the base, and perform regular upkeep to prevent it from collapsing and killing them all. However, successfully dug-out underground shelters will provide incredible protection from the undead hordes.
Drawing further parallels to Minecraft, DayZ will also integrate a farming system. By using materials you scavenge from post-apocalyptic Chernarus, you will be able to build your own irrigation systems, allowing you to grow crops for sustenance. You can even integrate these into your underground safe houses if you can find a reliable way to get light down there.
In fact, DayZ is even going to follow the Minecraft development model. Essentially, there will be a dirt cheap alpha which will be updated regularly. Early adopters will then get some bonus when the game finally upgrades to a full release. As of now, there is no official release date for the alpha or the actual game.
However, all this information doesn't actually answer some of the complaints players are having with DayZ currently. For example, there are issues with longtime veterans having far more supplies than new players. People inclined to troll can simply kill any new player they find, making it hard to get into the game. Some argue that this is part of the zombie simulation, that anyone is allowed to kill anyone else out of sheer paranoia if they wish. However, this may be one example of taking the simulation a bit too far.