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So DayZ has come out of Beta. It has now released with V1. They have also released the server files so you can run your own server. I spent the weekend with it and here is my impression so far. I last played DayZ 4 years ago. I left it to go and play on my own server with DayZ Epoch (a DayZ Mod variant with base building, driving etc). I then wrote some mods for Epoch (Perm bases) and contributed to the Github repo for bug fixes and small additions. I loved the survival concept (although it was a little hardcore) but disliked the PvP as action without any accountability rarely brings out the best in people although there are exceptions. The DZ in The Division is another example of this. The server files being released was the main reason for me to take a look again as I could play without the PvP element and do coop PvE with the kids in the massive open world. Server Install How not to install --> Download via steam on another machine, copy the files over and then use steamcmd to update. The server exe ran and looked like it was fully working but I could not connect via LAN or community servers panels no matter what I tried. After hours of playing with that I trashed it all and installed Steam on the server and used it to download the files. IT then worked first time with a little config setup. First play on official servers. Whilst playing around with the server install I tried the official servers. I connected to a local server and started in a usual sea side spawn point. I ran from house to house and tried to scavenge items whilst moving along the coast. One thing I found surprising was that the zombies are not as common. I could search for the most part without a worry but if you agro one they seem to be able to catch you up no matter what and you die pretty quickly. I died. I logged in again (it was Friday PM in Asia) and tried a few different servers. It was night. Just about everywhere was night. With only a road flare this quickly got pretty boring. Walking in a forest or town etc with a small light can be fun and adrenaline pumping for a while but, for me at least, having to do so for hours is really tedious. I played for a bit then logged off for until the next day. Next day came, logged in and found myself in a ditch with the railway lines. Needed some food so opened a tin of tuna I found the day before and walked out of the railway valley up on to the road. There was another figure there. I stood still. Was it a zombie.... no it was a player. I had a weapon but holding the can of tuna then stopped me from getting it. They spotted me and then charged. The resulting Benny Hill run around ensued with me cursing the game as my quick weapon keys were not changing my weapon and they killed me. I logged off. My view on unaccountably breading arse hats had not changed. TIP: If you have no space in your backpack for all your items you cannot quick change items. Putting my axe away filled up all my space when I took the tuna out and so I could not change to my axe as there was no place to put the tuna back before taking the axe out. This is exasperated by the fact that the space you have must be of the right shape and size of the item you are intending to put away. If you pick up an item and the game places it in the middle of a space block you were using to store something then you cannot store that item again until you go in to your inventory and 'repack'. This is pretty bad. You can carry a gun and a large melee weapon on your back with no space needed and a pistol if you find a chest holster. Go past that though (carry two guns due to ammo issue or magazine issues etc) and you have to be very careful. I then managed to sort out my own server and connect so no more PvP issues and I could enjoy playing the game PvE to get back in to the groove with it. Here are my main thoughts; Good Less zombies - You can go about looting or running around between places without the fear of a zombie popping up and ruining your day. No zombie wall clipping - I didn't see any zombies walking through walls which was a major issue with the old game. Most ladders are safe - I died once with a big tower trying to get off half way up but apart from that, ladders were not the silent killers they used to be. Health and GUI - The GUI is back to using icons which I much prefer and the stamina system is interesting but not particularly intuitive. I had to read up on it as my stamina bar just kept going down even though my food and water levels were usually up near the top. Bad Zombies still have problems with structures - I aggro'd a zombie and ran up in to a building site building (the one with multiple floors and not many walls. The zombie and it's friends could not walk up the stairs. They just walked through them. This was the only case I saw but still.... Suppressors don't seem to work for zombies - Shooting a zombie, even with a suppressed weapon still causes all zombies in the area to come flooding in. Reloading is ridiculous - I can take the loading of magazines and the unboxing of bullets as clunky as it is by having to put them in you hands in the inventory menu and then coming out and then performing an action then going in to the inventory again to move the result out of your hands but to take a mag and put it in your gun only being possible from the inventory screen is just madness. The quick reload button seems to do nothing and the fire mode selection button (both originally mapped to 'R') just ejects a single bullet from the chamber. Lots of items seem to have been removed from the game - I found a few M4's, KA-Ms, MPS-K, UMP-45 and one SVD type sniper. Pea coats were everywhere, not much variety of the massive lists of items they kept adding with DayZ went SE 4 years ago. Sniper scopes do not seem to work - The PSO scope on the sniper or KA-M does not seem to work. Using the scope does not have you looking down the scope. The player is still looking down the weapons original sights. Same is true for adding a scope to the MPS-K. You can not look down it. Scopes that originally come with the weapons do work (KA-M scope works for instance). General Loot is pretty rare although the amounts of compasses, binoculars and KA weapon mods of the same type I have found is very high. Searching two military bases for an M4 mag for the M4 I found or a KA-M gun for the KA-M mags I have found and not finding either is pretty irritating. Looks to be a basic bare bones of a vehicle system in there with car parts here and there but I saw very few and they were widely scattered over the map. Getting them all and bringing them to one car would be a massive undertaking requiring many, many hours of play. Zombie clearing is easy if you are not concerned about other players. Stand on something high (stack of pallets, wall etc), shoot a zombie and wait for the surrounding zombies to come to you. Shoot them as they mill around not being able to reach you and then go loot without any zombie concerns. Last word I love this game for its potential. I spent the whole weekend more or less playing it to try and fine the bits I would love and which would make me want to keep playing but all I could think is "What is this all for and why am I playing'. I loved Epoch for the decent base building (with the snap mods that came out), the persistent bases so you keep them even if you die. The safes and traders, the vehicles which you could repair and had to maintain and fuel. I was hoping that these things had made it to DayZ SE (even as options as not everyone would want them) but no. What I found was the same basic DayZ experience with less loot. The damage / health mechanics have changed, the engine is new and the map has been reworked but it just does not feel like 4 years worth of more stuff. It feels like 4 years of a couple of people in a basement using scripting tools to write a mod for a game engine. If you have it already then give it a spin and see if you can fine what you are hoping for in it. If you do not have it then don't buy it expecting quality and polish. Part of the appeal is the situations it forces players in to, especially with permadeath but for me it is so clunky and painful to do basic stuff (like reloading) and 'basic' that I would not rate this as any more than an Indy title. I certainly would not put it up there with other top games. Bootnote: Permadeath need not be permadeath if you are running your own server and know the player ID of the character to revive. The player details are stored in a SQLite3 db file and you can bring players back to like very easily although their other stats etc are not in a format that is currently easily editable. I revived my character on my server 3 times using the basic sqlite3 tools. Twice I still needed to bandage to stop the blood loss or I would have just died again. Obviously if someone else owns the server then you cannot do this .