A Little Background
By now everyone has heard of DayZ. You may not all have played it, but trust me, it can be quite a trip. Last night at my regular Sunday LAN meet, my friends and I played on a dedicated server we have running. We’ve got everything in a nice position right now. We have about 10 or so tents on a hill in which we call Tent Town. It is situation in the middle of three points: a military rearming and medical center and two towns. It was a great place to set up since we also found a repairable helicopter there.
It took a bit but we managed to stock up, fix, and get fortified. You’re pretty damn safe in Tent Town as we always have one player in a nearby tower taking out stragglers and the rest us keeping periodic lookouts for hordes. The military station restocks every so often and we’re asking to stockpile ammo, weapons, food, and sometimes some medical supplies if we get lucky. Fuel has been a bit light but we’ve been able to at least restock the heli to 50 – 75% in about two sessions of play time.
As you can see, we got a system and it works well. The helicopter stays grounded unless we need a pick up after a death and respawn or we get low on meds and ammo. Sometimes we just need to hit a major city. Last night a friend and I were headed to the military station to hit the restocks. It was bound to happen. We got careless. This place is so close to Tent Town we had thought we were safe. No one was manning the tower and the closest help was in the heli coming back from a refueling.
The Military Station
Well, you know what happens when you’re in the zombie apocalypse and you don’t follow guidelines, right? We had one zombie shuffle out of one of the military tents and run up to me. My buddy shot him with his M14. Within seconds we were surrounded by a horde. We tried to stem the advance in order to gain some time to run but it was no use. They were on me quick and my leg broke from the rush. I was stationed on the ground and shooting my AKM to save my life. My buddy had gained some distance but turned back to suppress the horde when he saw my condition.
When we were able to stop the tide at the rear of the station, we thought we were cleared. My buddy signaled for me to start crawling over as he covered my back. Suddenly, a small horde burst out near him and I tried to alert him quick enough. He was hit hard and blacked out. I used the rest of my ammo to save his life. Miraculously, we made it out alive and back in Tent Town, all thanks to the helicopter getting in range and using the mounted 240′s to clear the military station. Three of our friends barreled out of the heli. One manned the tower immediately and began to clear the final rush that was converging on us. The other two brought medical supplies to us and extracted us.
That was quite an intense scenario. If you never played DayZ before, you may not understand the value of life in this game. Average life expectancy is given on the official site. You always want to beat the odds, it’s a human condition. However, when you get over 100 kills you start to feel attached to the gear, stats, and overall experiences this one life has given you. It’s a trait that so far only DayZ has been able to pull off in gaming.
Well, to be honest, that wasn’t the near death experience I was actually talking about in the headline. Once we got back to Tent Town, we were bandaging up and getting blood transfusions to heal up. Everything seemed like it was back to normal. My friend in the tower had stopped shooting which is always a good sign when all of a sudden, my character began to cough. All of my friends around me backed up and the guns were trained on me. The coughing didn’t stop and we were beginning to think that perhaps I had gotten infected. The coughing brought up blood and I could see on my stat window that my blood was decreasing every second.
After some research, my friend found out that I had gained a sickness of one of the zombies. I was bleeding during the attack when my leg broke and something got sucked up into my cuts. My temperature gauge was low and my blood was continually lowering. I started to freak out, saying “I can’t die!” My friend said we need to find Antibiotics, and quickly. The problem is that Antibiotics are a very rare drop near medical stations and hospitals. The military station next to Tent Town had nothing. Almost instinctively, my one friend prepped the chopper and signaled for the group of us to get in.
10,000 Blood, 70% Fuel
We headed to the nearest town we knew that had a medical center. It took a few minutes, but we landed on top of the hospital. After nearly 7 minutes of frantic search, we came up with no Antibiotics. However, the med supplies here were bountiful and we couldn’t give up the opportunity to restock the med tent. We scavenged the hospital, filling up our packs and hopping into the heli again before a horde converged on the hospital. If we all got back safety, the med tent would be stocked for at least a week’s worth of play sessions. Morale was pretty high after this, but my blood was still running.
7,500 Blood, 58% Fuel
We stopped again at a nearby town. The military had set up some barracks nearby and there were tents set up to work on the injured. We found a convenience store before that and decided to check it out for possible med supplies. We got half way through the store when a horde came through the front. We ran out the back to find the rest of them running at us. Our only choice was to run into the village. We signaled for the heli to meet us further in and we looked for a safe haven. A few blocks down the road we found a house with its door opened. We ran tight corners to try and give some of the horde a slip and then right into the house. One of the rooms had a crooked sofa and my friend and I ducked behind it and waited with our guns out. One, two, three, and finally around six zombies shambled into the house and we could hear their moans. My blood was still running and when we thought we had given them the slip, I coughed…
The zombies turned back around and searched the house. My friend was about to stand up and spread fire but I told him to wait a moment. The others were leaving but one stayed in the room we were in. He came up to the side of the couch and waited. All i thought of was coughing again, shooting the zombie, and having the rest of the horde converge on the house. Luckily, I didn’t cough and the zombie left. We made our way outside and saw the chopper circling the house. It followed us to a clearing near the military barracks.
In the barracks we searched and again came up with no Antibiotics. I was getting worried. My blood was still coming up and the food we brought with us was gone now. My buddy knew of one more hospital but it was a ways off. We rushed back to the chopper and took off.
4,600 Blood, 33% Fuel
If you don’t know, once you hit under 6k blood things start to get harder in DayZ. You can periodically black out, your limbs are weak and susceptible to breaks, and your vision is clouded. Aiming becomes a chore and with this sickness the coughing was more frequent. Worse yet, the fuel was beginning to deplete in the heli. This last trip was long and the only good thought was that we should be able to get back to Tent Town if everything worked right.
When we landed, we checked perimeter and everything seemed quiet. We advanced down the street to the hospital. There wasn’t enough clearing to fit the heli without risk of damaging the rotor. The four of us stayed hurdled together as we saw a few zombies off in the distance but nothing immediate. We went down about four blocks when it hit us. One of the biggest hordes I ever saw surrounded us and took us by surprise. There must have been 20 or 25 zombies. The rush separated us two-by-two. We tried to deal with them but the overrun was too much. My friend and I managed to hit the hospital just as I dipped below 2,500 blood. I ran up to the first medical box I saw and went to open it when…
Nothing. I blacked out. I cursed as I sat there watching my blurry screen. My friend who broke free of the horde with me was fending out zombie after zombie and all I could do was lay there unconscious. Finally, I snapped back out of it and I turned to shoot two zombies who had ran up behind my friend. I turned back to the box and I actually say out loud to the game, “Please just be in here.” I searched the box and I almost cursed the luck when I found it: one Antibiotics. I didn’t even hesitate or announce it over chat. I took the damn things and my blood stopped running. I got up, took some painkillers, and rushed out of the hospital with my AKM and slaughtered every zombie I saw.
The horde was destroyed. Me and my two friends managed to survive. Two friends, I said. Mantis was down. In the frantic fighting, he was shot by a friendly and the horde did the rest. We heard more coming and unfortunately there wasn’t time to figure out what exactly happened. We ran down the road to the heli as at least a dozen more zombies were following us.
1,900 Blood, 15% Fuel
The fuel was getting very low by the time we hit Tent Town. We piled out and tended to our wounds. In the end we needed 4 blood bags, a couple morphine injectors, and at least 5 bandages for the whole trip. We lost one and a return trip was going to be necessary to pick him up. Before that was possible, we would need to gather up and make fuel trips though. The work never ends in DayZ. We stocked the med tent and saved my life but there was so much more to do. The four of us got up from our chairs, breathed a sigh of relief. My one friend said, “Well, that could have been a lot worse.” Yeah, it could have.
My heart had pounded during that last hospital run. When the giant horde hit and we got separated, I thought we wouldn’t make it. When I blacked out, I thought, “Fine; let me die without being conscious”. In my DayZ Review I said I never experienced something like this in gaming. Last night proved that again. It is easy to get attached to your life in DayZ. It becomes a priority to survive. That is the basis of the game. If you aren’t getting this kind of commitment to your team and your self, I don’t feel like you’re getting all you could out of this. DayZ has managed to make me appreciate a virtual life. I’ll never forget the experience I had last night. I’ve had plenty of epic scenarios in gaming. My first 40-man raid in World of Warcraft, hitting level 70 in Hardcore on Diablo 2, and beating Sephiroth in Kingdom Hearts without taking a hit.Yet, none of them come close to what happened in DayZ last night.