The Stress Test #1 finally happened yesterday - after years of work, we've finally let some of you play the "new DayZ", the 0.63 update. Of course, this would be the focus topic in today's Status Report, and most likely even for a couple of the upcoming Status Reports, so we have Peter and Eugen reflecting upon yesterday's events, together with Adam teasing a small bit of his work on Chernarus! Let's read.
Dear DayZ players. Some of you had the chance to try the 0.63 Stress Test yesterday. The team is going through the feedback as I write this text, and we will try and push changes over the next couple of Stress Tests. The stability of the build was quite okay, but it still needs to be looked at as we've had 25 server crashes across the 52 servers that were available yesterday. We expected the crashes to be a lot more severe, so we're happy with the first iteration in this case. If you encountered any client crashes, the best thing you can do is to go to our Feedback Tracker and follow our guide on getting the right files and information to us. For those worried that they didn't get in, don't worry, there are more Stress Tests planned and I'll talk about how we want to approach them more today.
The biggest issue yesterday was the BattlEye kicks affecting everybody. We are working to figure out why there were timeouts in the communication with BattlEye, however, this is almost impossible to test internally (needs thousands of players), so we will try and make changes to the current system, and stop the gameplay interruption caused by it.
On the note of the second most common issue, which is the character lockout in a database. Its an anti-dupe system that makes sure that you're not game the system by saving your character with items that you have dropped on a server. There is still tweaking to be done to this system, and we will go through the logs and cases where it just didn't do what it was supposed to do.
Regarding any of the gameplay issues and bugs happening: most of them are known, and we will come up with solutions and test them out in the upcoming Stress Tests that will happen going forward. So how are we going to approach the next few weeks really depends on how quickly we deal with the last stability issues. Whatever the case may be, however, the next big test for us and the DayZ servers is going to be AI (infected and animals). Once we are ready to test the performance with them, you'll be seeing different setups of player items, spawn points etc. to test different parts of the game under high-stress conditions.
the first bunch items on the fixing menu are crashes, and the two biggest issues already mentioned: BattlEye timeouts and character lockouts. We will try to get changes in for the next Stress Test to either get more information and/or lower the impact. The client freezes that you might have experienced are next on the list, and we have fixes in our main Internal branch that we want to port over to the Stress Test branch. Looking forward to the next Stress Test already!
A BIG thanks to all of you participating and helping us with the Stress Test #1. Don't forget to send us your feedback either through the Forums or the Feedback Tracker and let's get this ball rolling in the right direction. The engine is here, now we want to make the game better!
- Eugen Harton / Lead Producer
Yesterday, with the first Stress Test available for a limited amount of time, you had a chance to finally try out the recent build of the new DayZ - a build that will evolve into 0.63 Stable (aka DayZ BETA) in its final form over the coming months.
We've spent tons of time developing the new DayZ (I personally call it DayZ 2.0 as it’s significantly different) alongside with its predecessor, which was ultimately terminated with the 0.62 version that's now on the Stable branch. It was definitely a long, winding and bumpy road. To be honest, we are still not at its end yet, but I’m glad we were brave enough to take that road!
Versions you are able to test out during the series of Stress Tests have plenty of new stuff and a whole lot of changes made on the granular level. It’s clear, and completely understandable that the new take on DayZ's game design and direction with most mechanics, features, and systems can feel "inappropriate" at first, and can create a lot of drama in the community - possibly even divide it. Especially since with some things, we are certainly far from the usual game industry standards. However, DayZ has never strived to be another ordinary game, and that is not going to change.
Of course, these are not changes made for the sake of changes themselves. As stated many times before, we are focused on making the DayZ gameplay to feel genuine by adding as much of actual physicality to it as possible.
That’s why we've decided to take some unusual design directions, which introduced many new things to the gameplay mix: a dominant hand slot, where all interactions with items now take place. An enhanced usage of quick slots, allowing you to execute combine actions with items in hands. A reactive raising of hands and advanced firearms manipulation. Even loading magazines with bullets, and many other mechanics and features cross the usual/familiar video game boundaries. Only that way we can deliver an authentic, strong, and unmistakable user experience of playing DayZ.
I’m very proud and happy to see such positive feedback from you, our players, on the design we have been sitting on for ages. Over the time, it’s very easy to start breaking apart from the reality and to be honest, I was getting pretty nervous before the release of Stress Test, thinking about how it will be accepted. It turned out to be a stunning sanity check. I want to emphasize that a lot of the stuff in Stress Tests is still in a placeholder stage, largely just being unfinished or unbalanced. We are in the process of getting everything together. The great foundation is there, and we can build upon it.
The new era of DayZ has finally begun... see you in Chernarus, folks!
- Peter Nespesny / Lead Designer
If you manage to venture into the city of Chernogorsk in the upcoming Stress Tests or when 0.63 hits Experimental, please do not panic. As teased on the 0.63 live stream a few weeks back - yes you saw it right - we are re-designing Chernogorsk, yet again.
While the current version of Chernogorsk (v2.5) definitely brings the area of Chernogorsk to DayZ standards (in terms of overall visual quality), we felt that it really lacks on the design side of things. Increased size with additional details contributed to some major performance issues, and the current version is also unnecessarily constrained to the old Arma 2 layout (basically no major landscape changes were done).
The plan for version 3 is to figure out broader changes to the area to ensure better performance while keeping the town itself still big enough, and the industrial part still making sense and being dominant like in the days of old Chernogorsk. Additional goals of the version 3 are design and performance related improvements to all three tenement cities and also making sure that this re-design is also seamlessly connected to the other parts of the map (in other words, changes do not end at the border houses, but also affect surrounding areas such as Balota, Nadezhdino, Prigorodki, Elektrozavodsk and the iconic Pik Kozlova).
Please keep in mind that this is a crazy big task and as of writing this, it is still ongoing. All that you see in and around Chernogorsk is and will be work-in-progress for some time throughout the 0.63 Experimental period. I will not be going into details on what exactly has happened with the area (I will leave that up to you to figure out), but allow me a small teaser.
That's not everything though, I also have an update on the watercourses we previewed in January 16th status report. Some great progress has been made on the visual side of things and we are currently applying this latest iteration on brand new locations (valleys going from central Chernarus to South, South East, and East). We are not quite ready to show anything yet (this iteration won't be available in the first releases of 0.63 on Experimental), but it looks and sounds really good! If you are interested to see a flowing water in the upcoming experimental releases, the version we have previewed at the beginning of this year will be available for you to check out on a number of locations on Chernarus already.
- Adam Franců / Map Designer
Hey guys! You tried the first version of 0.63 with your own hands yesterday (or at least saw the main menu in some cases, sorry for the crashes! :)). We've had 3120 slots on servers and 4209 of you joined the Stress Test branch altogether - just wow!
I am processing the feedback from you guys at the moment and the dev team will be taking a closer look at it. Thank you for that, your feedback is really important to us!
I can't promise you how often the Stress Tests will be happening, but it should get better and better every time. Remember, you usually have to wait for that which is worth waiting for! :)
Btw. I love this gif :D
I just want to remind you of one thing. I know that waiting in queues is frustrating for streamers. For the next Stress Test, we will have one server open for Content Creators. Contact me if you think you should be there, but remember - I will scan through your channels and I want to see DayZ on them! :P
I want to thank you for the amazing content we are getting from you. You sent me so many awesome things this week.
This first video is incredible. It is a live-action story about two survivors who don't trust each other. Just wow, I have no words. When I sent it to the dev-team, they were amazed too. You NEED to check it out!
Another video is made by gekofish and he is showing a special power of his Sedan - hyperdrive! Good job!
Did I say how I love your artworks? I believe I already did because you've sent me plenty of them. Either way, let's check some of those that I picked.
This is an edited screenshot by Matthias and it looks really cool.
This one is from SwatTheWolf who is hyped for the BETA. Yeah, we are hyped too!
Liquidcactus from our official forum shows off a few of his artworks and they are really nice. Look at this one.
My favorite mass murderer Danny Boyy wants to have lightsabers in the game. So he did some Photoshop magic and created this:
Guys, did you ever see a better Twitch overlay than the one Joito has?
And look, someone is in DayZ mood! AmishGangsta404 is ready for an apocalypse!
And one last thing - someone had a birthday and got an amazing cake! Happy Birthday, Reece!
Pitstop Head prided himself on how many screenshots he took in-game on Twitter and other players started to show their number of screenshots too. So, how many DayZ screenshots do you have? Send it to us via our official Twitter account, I am really curious.
And I promised a riddle last time, so here is the list of winners:
- Emu Threat
And here is a picture of a location to guess. It is from Adam again, so it is hard as usual. Can you figure it out? Our Twitter is ready for your answers!
I will dig into more of your 0.63 content next time because I prepared this Status Report before the Stress Test and I didn't have time to check it all out.
And thank you for your feedback again, we really appreciate that!
- Baty / Community Manager
Header image by Du Byst.