Our Lady Everlasting of Chernarus; Stories from DayZ

Thursday, February 13, 2014

I've logged a lot of time in DayZ in the last couple months. I've had a few characters die, but my current character has been alive for a few weeks now. In that time I've met, helped and killed numerous players, and found some great stuff in my travels. Tonight I'd like to share a few of the adventures I've had in Charnarus, and I'll start with the origin of the title.

I've run as a lone wolf for a while. My general philosophy is not to associate with people I don't know. I try to introduce as few unknown variables into the mix as possible. That way I stay as in control of my situation as I can and don't have to worry too much about anyone else. That said, I've always had a soft spot for folks in trouble, so I do help out from time to time.

I had geared up in the north, found a good M4 and plenty of ammo. The one thing I was missing was an ACOG sight. I wanted some decent optics for the rifle, at least something I could spot with effectively. At that point, the military base near Balota still spawned loot in the tents, so I went south. I went under cover of night and sure enough, found an ACOG in decent condition in one of the tents. That done, I tucked myself into one of the medical tents and called it a day.

The view from my new ACOG sight.

When next I logged in, I figured my next destination should be the nearby airbase. It was a short trip and I made it easily, went upstairs and started looting the place. That's when I made my biggest mistake. I got up from my computer. I turned my attention away for ten seconds, fifteen at most. When I sat down, my screen was black except for three words in small white text; "You are dead."

I was sad, I'd put a lot of time into the character and I lost her not even knowing what killed her. I ran a few other characters afterwards, most died shortly after spawning. The last one I actually managed to find a pistol and some ammo for, along with some bitchin' shades and a hat. But the next time I logged in, the main screen didn't show that character there at all. My heavily geared, dead for days, previous character stood in her place. I logged in as quickly as I could and sure enough, I was resurrected, back in the airbase building I had supposedly died in. I diligently reported the bug, talked to a few friends about it to see if anything similar had happened to them, and they dubbed me DayZ Lazarus, or Our Lady Everlasting of Chernarus. The latter one stuck. After that I decided it was my responsibility to help folks as best I could.

I learned a few things pretty quickly. New spawns want loot. They may need food and water, but what they want is loot. A lone wolf offering supplies to a group of new spawns is begging for a gang beating. I found two guys in Kamyshovo fresh off the beach. I dropped a couple cans of food, some bandages and a combat knife. As I pointed one of them towards Elektro, I saw the other grab the knife and run at me. I nonchalantly turned and thwacked him with my fire axe, and turn back to the now screaming guy and continue giving him directions. Such is life and death in DayZ.

Recent patches have brought new items and mechanics to the game. Weapons can be cleaned with the proper tools, berries can be picked and eaten (though apparently they are poisonous). When I picked up a sewing kit yesterday, I found that clothing could be repaired. My heavily damaged pants were restored to "worn" condition with a quick stitch. Better yet, the kit doesn't appear to run out at all. Better still, it's magical abilities can also be applied to hard hats, ballistic helmets and motorcycle helmets. Nothing holds a cracked Plexiglas visor together better than a good whip-stitch.

It's great to have gear, but it forces you to play more conservatively. 

When I ran out of my own clothes to repair, i started fixing whatever i found. Shoes, helmets, pants, shirts, vests, backpacks and hats all got a visit from my mystical needle and thread. Every wearable item on the floors and shelves of Zelnogorsk was fixed that day. I love this new mechanic so much, I don't think I'll stop my tailoring ways any time soon.

DayZ is an amazing game so far, and getting more exciting every day. The sheer depth of the game is breathtaking. The experimental branch is testing 80-100 person servers right now, and new mechanics involving pulse rate, heart attacks and the proper use of defibrillators are being implemented with it. New and unexpected things are appearing every week. DayZ continues to impress, and I cannot help but recommend it again.