We have a new Status Report for you. Brian is talking about known issues and fixes what are we working now and Victor is sharing some news from animation department. We want to show you an interesting thread from our official Forum and you can find awesome song in Community Spotlight.
Contents This Week
Handpicked: DayZ Forums News
This Status Report we're going to cover what the .61 Live Team are focusing on for Stable branch issues, I'll touch briefly on .62 - and then I'd like to give a little perspective on the work currently under way for the bulk of the team (Beta milestone).
Rest assured, the development team is well aware of a good deal of critical issues that have popped up on various builds coming through Exp/Unstable and onto Stable branch. Some of them we're working to address in .61 updates, and some will more than likely have to wait for Beta milestone (as we're on the edge of addressing some issues in technology and systems that won't be around in Beta).
The team has been able to make good strides on addressing server crash issues, but we're also tracking a good number of additional issues that have come in through the Official Feedback Tracker[feedback.dayz.com]:
Issues with the Central Economy group spawning items and clustering in some areas after extensive persistence uptime
Client side FPS drops from several causes
Issues tied to animation transitions at time of death
Client side network freezing in some cases
Remaining issues with vehicles from Exp/Unstable
Server Performance Issues
We're all aware that these issues are critical to everyone playing on 0.61 Stable, and we appreciate everyone’s patience and participation in utilizing the Official Forums and Feedback Tracker to better allow us to track these issues down. Hang in there and be patient, as mentioned before .61 hit Stable - a majority of the team has switched to working on Beta, and some of the issues might not make sense to spend time resolving as we're working on the .62 and Beta milestones now - but we've not given up on addressing them for .61. If you find any new issues, or have new data - please continue to utilize the Official Feedback Tracker, it might not seem like it helps but trust me - it *does*.
For .62 development, we don't have too much for you in this Status Report - however Adam (Sumrak) is working on putting together some tasty information on the .62 team's progress on their end for the next Status Report. Currently the .62 team is working on profiling the Chernarus with the new trees, and making adjustments to the forests based upon the data they gather from the profiling tools. There are some additional improvements on the visual fidelity side they are looking into - but I won't ruin any of that as Adam is looking forward to what he can tell you all in the next Status Report.
It (almost) goes without saying - but the Beta milestone isn't just a matter of plugging a few new things into DayZ. The Animation System ties into effectively everything you guys do in DayZ, and the New Player as well. Tie into this the goal of total removal of SQF support (The scripting language that DayZ utilizes for most every gameplay mechanic) and the teams undertaking starts to closely resemble a skeletal and critical organ transplant. A great deal of work has gone into recreating all of these SQF scripts and mechanics into the new Enforce scripting language over the last year or so, but even so - the risk and work that is required to coordinate across the team, ensure things are functioning as expected, and discovering exactly what impact the total removal of SQF has against the game is a significant amount of work. We're all excited (and a bit winded) at all of this, and understand that it may be frustrating not getting the fixes you all want for .61 Stable as fast as you'd like - but rest assured, the work that we're doing on the Beta milestone will be worth the struggle of legacy bugs on .61.
Lastly, In regards to the Official Feedback Tracker - the BI Webteam has recently added support for logging in utilizing credentials from Facebook/Google accounts for those who might not want to make an additional login just to report issues. We hope this lowers the barrier for some of you that might have data on bugs you're experiencing, but have held back on reporting them.
I know you're all eagerly awaiting visuals and news from .62 and Beta, and no one would love to share awesome stuff with you more than those of us on the development team. We appreciate all your patience, passion, and participation in the DayZ Early Access - 2017 should be an awesome year for DayZ and the road ahead looks like a lot of fun.
- Brian Hicks / Creative Director
In my short update, I would like to share some news from the animation department. We have been playing around with the player character animations a lot recently. One of the latest additions include extra transitions for player Now the character is able to move from stand or crouch run/walk/sprint to prone movement fluently. This does not limit the character in any way though, unlike in the past. If player decides during this transition he wants to stop - the character will stop nicely immediately.
We have created combat animations for player and are now about to start testing them in game. We want to find nice balance between how player looks and how it plays. This is a difficult topic as our game is set in multiplayer environment, which means we are bound by some limitations that are not present in single player games.
To mention other areas. Special interaction animations inside vehicles are being created now. Refining the animations is always in progress. We have revised the aimed movement for rifles, and we will focus on hand guns next. We also have received some new weapons from the Art team so we are adding animation sets to those as well.
And finally, don't forget you still have some time left to ask animation related questions for our next Q&A video. Head over to the official forums[forums.dayz.com]please and ask anything you are curious about regarding DayZ animations - anything that you want me to answer.
- Viktor Kostik / Lead Animator
Handpicked: DayZ Forums Topics
We're getting back to our idea of highlighting interesting topics from the official DayZ forums[forums.dayz.com] this week - despite the regular, ongoing discussion we're maintaining on the topic of both Stable Branch[forums.dayz.com] and Experimental Branch[forums.dayz.com] updates, there have been additional interesting topics that you may have missed. Here's four of them, conveniently handpicked and awaiting your replies!
Q&A with Animation Lead Viktor Kostik
OK, you have probably noticed this one already, but we really want everyone to be aware of it: DayZ Animation Lead Viktor Kostik is up next in our series of Developer Q&A videos and he wants to answer the animation questions you're curious about. Make sure to ask your questions under this topic, as that's where we'll be collecting them!
"Who was killed by zombies in 0.61?" by igor-vk
Since 0.61 got out, we've been ensuring everyone that the infected are absolutely meant to be a serious threat in DayZ[dayz.com]. While there is still a lot work to be done before the experience is final, the infected are already influencing the play-style of survivors in a way our design team expects - more often than not, frantically running through a city ultimately gets you killed, as witnessed by igor-vk and other survivors in a topic that beautifully describes how deadly the infected became in 0.61:
"Items that don't spawn anymore" by Weyland Yutani
For various reasons, we sometimes prevent certain items from spawning using our Central Economy settings. If you want to check whether an item you're looking for is indeed disabled or you're just being unlucky, make sure to read the following topic - other survivors might help you out, and we'll do our best to occasionally have our Community Manager Baty join the discussion:
BETA Content: PKM discussion thread
To finish off our handpicked section, we've got Brian teasing yet another weapon that's waiting to be implemented into the game during BETA: the unmistakable PKM general purpose machine gun, a truly effective weapon of Russian origin, present in nearly every major armed conflict of the past 30 years:
Recently, you have been letting us know on our social networks like Forums[forums.dayz.com], Twitter,Facebook, Reddit or Steam, that you are having issues with client crashes due to memory errors. Should this error happen to you, we would appreciate if you could send your crash dump files from the folder C:\Users\YourPCName\AppData\Local\DayZ to our feedback tracker. By submitting those files, you can help us to solve the issue.
Now let's move to a community content. I found a new and amazing rap music video about life in Post-Apocalyptic Chernarus with an unexpected ending. CamCANRUN proved again that he can create quality content.
You know that feeling when you need to try something else. Something special. Including some new Dayz experience. That is the reason why some servers organise themed events for their players. I myself attended few "Wild West" events with Magnum, Repeater and cowboy hat or competition with .22 weapons only. But my most favourite are medieval fights with bows, swords and knight helmets. Astros Legacywas also attending such event on Gents Of Novo server. You can find a recording of this entertaining event on his channel.
We've all experienced a lot of server crashes over the last two weeks, so Peter and Mirek are providing an update on how we want to handle them. Additionally, Brian is talking about known issues, Adam is sharing some of his recent passion for Chernarus railways and I have the pleasure of introducing you to DannyBoyy, a truly, truly friendly survivor!
Contents This Week
The last few weeks for us on the dev team have been busy. With the bulk of the team working on the Beta milestone, a smaller strike team working on 0.62, and of course ongoing efforts to address critical issues in 0.61 Stable and reintroduce vehicles to Stable branch. As soon as we have our 0.62 branch at a point we're comfortable with, we'll be sharing more example images and camera fly overs - so be on the look out for that. On the more immediate side we have a list of issues that we're fully aware of on 0.61 Stable that we're working hard to resolve. (Its important to make sure you guys know this is on our radar, so you don't think we're overlooking the issues critical to you all).
Known server crash methods
Known duplication methods
Investigation into current security exploits (Player Gear, etc)
Server Performance degradation (This one impacts things such as player position sync, infected speed, and more)
Server Side Economy cleanup (And potential impact on server performance)
A lot of the issues listed above are directly related to issues we've noticed reported in the forums, feedback tracker, on youtube videos, and on Twitch streams and are a priority for us to address. Given that some of them are tied to legacy systems - many of which are slated to be replaced in beta - addressing the issues can be time consuming, but rest assured we are digging into them and they are not over looked.
In addition to this, there has been a good amount of discussion (and feedback tracker usage on this issue again - awesome!) in regards to the distribution in the economy, and some behaviors that don't fit with the development teams intended design. Specifically, the distribution of firearms, and their attachments across Chernarus after a decent amount of uptime on a servers local storage. The Central Economy (CE) is certainly not where we as developers want it just yet, but iteration is key with this. The designers and programmers that touch on these areas have been working on potential improvements to the economy that should help address this issue specifically - but like anything with a complex system it will require iteration over several builds to see. This isn't live on Experimental just yet - but we'll make sure to let you all know on the forums when these new changes make it that way.
I know this Status Report isn't chock full of fancy new screenshots or videos - but we're currently at the point in the build process where branches, and high risk commits occur. As we get further into 0.62 and Beta development and things stabilize we'll be able to share more. :)
- Brian Hicks / Creative Director
My message will be quite short today as I just want to announce some significant changes for current 0.61 version in upcoming updates. Over the last weeks, we witnessed how the abuse of an exploit often used for duping results in server crashes in some cases, which became very common lately and essentially ruined the user experience.
Because of that, we were forced to make some actions to prevent it. First one is locking the hands slot while character is performing some action - thus, you are unable to remove an item or swap it with another until the action is finished. Second one prevents initiation of user actions on items directly from inventory slots.
These changes can be unpleasant as the old user action system and its quirks are now deeply rooted. However, I would like to remind you that new user actions are built on usage of hands slot exclusively, so it's not a bad idea to get used to it in advance. If you would like to read more about the upcoming new user actions, you can check my previous Status Reports from October 30, 2015[dayz.com], March 1, 2016[dayz.com] and March 29, 2016[dayz.com].
Crashing servers is bad... see you in Chernarus folks!
- Peter Nespesny / Lead Designer
Hello survivors, in my first Status Report this year, I would like to briefly cover current our goals for the 0.61 version and future 0.62 and 0.63 updates:
We (the gameplay programming team) are dealing with server performance and stability issues, and also with vehicle synchronization bugs. Hopefully most of the annoying issues will get fixed soon, so programmers working on them can join the rest of the team and they will contribute to the work on new things or 0.63 version goals.
As this update will be mostly visual, there won't be any major changes coming the our team. We will mostly try merging in some of the critical fixes or performance/networking improvements.
Currently, major part of the gameplay programming team is working on tasks related to this version. Internally, we have managed to deactivate the legacy damage system completely and now we're focused on fixing issues with our new damage system. We are also getting ready to hit the switch on all of the legacy SQF scripting, which is being replaced by Enforce Script, and we're removing some other parts of the legacy code, which is related to features we won't use anymore - such as the Arma AI, for example.
About the new player controller - we are finishing network synchronization of our new animation system. The next step will be the ability to control vehicles using the new character. This will be another big change, because now you are controlling the vehicle directly and character inside vehicle is controlled by vehicle simulation. This change will simplify vehicle synchronization and can also introduce some more options for modding.
- Miroslav Maněna / Lead Gameplay Progammer
As I mentioned in earlier Status Reports, we plan to change the entire western border of Chernarus. This is a major task and it is very likely that you will not see this upgrade fully within just one game update. In fact, if you venture towards western border on .61, you can already see results of this task - two military roadblocks with traffic jams.
We are really delighted to see survivors venturing in these far locations and having interactions with other survivors and/or environment threats in these brand new places.
An important part of the whole western expansion task are changes and additions to the Chernarus railway network. Railway is a very important man-made feature that always helps survivors when they get lost. The rule is simple - follow either right or left and it will eventually guide you somewhere.
Now let me invite you on a small trip around Chernarus railway! Please keep in mind that all content, visible on pictures below, is work-in-progress and does not represent final quality.
The biggest change within the railway network is the addition of railway through the whole western border of Chernarus. That means you can follow railway track from Kamenka through Zelenogorsk, Myshkino, Vavilovo and finally to Novaya Petrovka. But that is definitely not all.
To make sure railway network is not forming some sort of a circle (that sort of looks like a model railway), two new railway exits were added. One from Novaya Petrovka to the western border, leaving Chernarus close to where military roadblock with fuel station is located. Second railway exit starts in Svetloyarsk and goes through Turovo and Dobroe, leaving the lands of South Zagoria in northern rocky valleys.
Then we have bits and pieces that were added on top of these railway network changes. The most significant are massive changes within Zelenogorsk. This town now hosts a big railway station that is split into three parts - civilian, military and industrial. Military base in Zelenogorsk went through a major face-lift and now offers more loot than ever before.
Heading further north, you may find that the huge railway and bus station in the middle of nothing near Vavilovo are missing - this is our intention as we did not really find it to be useful at that spot (and we have something better planned there). Instead, we have added a completely new railway station to Novaya Petrovka. This town is currently quite thr hot spot and with newly added railway station just north of Bashnya, it offers quite the view on the entire Novaya Petrovka valley.
If you head east of Novaya Petrovka, you may notice that railway here is much flatter than ever before. That is no coincidence, as we have found the old roller-coaster-like railway track here too immersion breaking, and so the whole northern railway track was redone from scratch, along with necessary terrain and object changes. And now that Novaya Petrovka has a railway station, the biggest northern town - Novodmitrovsk - could not be missed.
The appropriate spot was found and a new railway station was built south of Novodmitrovsk (just near the road that heads to Cernaya Polana). This railway station offers a spectacular view on Novodmitrovsk - the industrial railway station that was located outside of the Novodimitrovsk industrial complex has been moved into a much better place inside the complex itself, and now has a direct railway connection to Svetloyarsk.
And just when you continue along the tracks towards Svetloyarsk, you will, sooner or later, encounter the northern railway exit that crosses Svetloyarsk - Novodmitrovsk valley on a brand new stone railway bridge. Unfortunately, I cannot just yet share the pictures of it, as our graphics artists are still at hard work on it, but I promise I will share the results once everything is ready.
There is a lot more to cover for the upcoming .62 update, so stay tuned! 2017 is going to be a great year for Chernarus, so see you there!
- Adam Franců / Map Designer
In the December Status Report[dayz.com], we were contemplating whether players can be trusted and if you can safely turn your back to a person who seems friendly. Therefore, I want to introduce you to Dannboyy, who is well known in the DayZ community and some of you might have met him already - without even knowing it. Unfortunately, you will usually not survive meeting this nice lad.
He has a pleasant voice and is very kind, which is what you will notice first. And you will trust him easily. You will become friends. But is DannyBoyy exactly the kind of friend you would expect?
DannyBoyy’s videos are nicely made, very well cut and fun to watch. My personal favourite is "The Friendly French Man".
Don’t forget about our Official DayZ forums, too! If you want to have fresh information from latest updates, forums are the place for you. Check out an important update about Experimental/Unstable branch from yesterday[forums.dayz.com]:
As always, If you have any DayZ creations of your own that you'd like to share, tweet them to us on our official Twitter channel. We love content from our community!
New Year is here and with it the first Status Report. Brian would like to present major goals for 2017, Peter talks about reasons why the game is more hardcore than before and Baty summarizes your Christmas experiences.
Contents This Week
Its our first Status Report of the year - and as we've had team members trickling back in through the first week of the year it might be a bit of a dry one, but lets take a look at the major goals going forward as well as what has occured so far in 2017.
As work on 0.62 and the Beta milestones move forward, internal teams have contined in our goal to address the remaining issues in 0.61, and hopefully introduce vehicles to stable branch. Over the last few weeks the team has been cycling issues through exp, and onto stable directed at:
Known Server Crashes
Adjustments to Infected Behavior
Adjustments to Hypothermia damage
Fixes for Vehicle and Tent Lifetime
Fixes for Invisible Body Parts
Vehicles on Exp falling through terrain
Fireplaces not being able to be placed in Stoves
In addition to these adjustments cycling through the Exp/Unstable branch, the development team is tracking and working to address a number of additional issues:
VOIP Volume/Proximity Dropoff
Vehicle client side performance
Server side performance drops (Causing issues such as player position desync, delayed actions, etc)
Server side memory consumption
Additional known server crashes
Infected spawning behavior issues
Contined polish and work on addressing remaining issues with vehicles
As mentioned this is all in addition to ongoing work for both 0.62 and Beta milestones - Once we get internal builds in a state we are confident to start showing examples of both visuals, and client side performance for 0.62 we'll be sharing that. All of us here on the dev team are excited about this, as the small team of artists and support programmer begin to start preperation for branching for this milestone. I know this Status Report is chock full of cool and amazing things, but our first goals as we kick back into the groove for the new year are squarely focused on addressing the critical 0.61 issues you've all been experiencing, and pushing forward into 0.62 and Beta.
We all hope you had a great holiday season, and were able to spend time with your friends, families, and most important loved ones.
- Brian Hicks / Creative Director
With the release of 0.61 version of DayZ, one major issue raised by the community, which is still discussed back and forth, was the noticeable increase in difficulty of the PvE challenge in the game. I wanted to comment on this.
Recently we took advantage of the new dynamic spawning system and because of that, concentration of infected is much higher then ever before (and I hope, there will be even more of them in future with the possibility of hordes when everything goes well). Now, when we finally achieved some reasonable numbers of infected in locations for intended gameplay purposes, it is unthinkable that they will just stand there, ignoring you while filling up empty space in settlements like scenery. It seems some don't remember how harsh infected were in the mod back in the days, when crawling on your belly for long minutes to observe a town to choose an entry point with the least resistance wasn't anything special. Don't forget that infected are meant to be a real threat to survival in Chernarus. You either need to avoid them or fight them (or eventually flee if you are lucky).
There are some known issues in AI which need to be fixed and I understand that it may be hard to have a stealth approach with old habits that came from nearly nonexistent infected in the past, and without the planned presence indicator (combined with how much noise you make and how well you are visible) in the upcoming HUD, you can try to follow some general rules which might help you - stay low, keep distance and avoid their line of sight (yes, they have peripheral vision too). As far as close combat goes, it will be overhauled once the new player is ready and we already started to prototype it in meantime. Of course reported issues like infected running through seemingly closed doors, or spawning right next to you are unacceptable and will be fixed.
Also, rain and ensuing low body temperatures become a factor to consider in the fight for survival. Which again, is nothing unexpected and you shouldn't be afraid of it, just adapt to it. When all the systems like metabolism, diseases, injuries, stamina, weather impact, infected, predators and others will fall in place and became fine balanced you will witness a definitive survival game, where you need to be careful, have to plan ahead and get prepared for possible upcoming situations - this is DayZ people.
Stay strong and never give up... see you in Chernarus folks!
- Peter Nespesny / Lead Designer
Christmas and New Year celebrations are now behind us. You might have done some of your celebrating in DayZ, where Christmas trees were added and as a little present you might have found cute little teddy bears with surprises hidden inside them. They were able to protect your equipment from damage if you kept them with you.
You were so excited about them, that you kept sending pictures showing your happy findings to our official Twitter.
Dystopian Gaming sent a screenshot from his Christmas celebrations with the message:
I ❤ my pink teddy! Merry Xmas!
Sam Kingswell was really thrilled about the number of furry soft toys that he encountered in Chernarus!
Not everyone was getting presents only in-game. Streamer MrBlue got some DayZ style gear from his girlfriend. Awesome!
And last but not least, we received a New Year greetings from Watchman.
I would also like to wish you all a happy and successful new year, full of good health, love and fun.
Christmas is coming and we have a small gift for you - 0.61 on Stable branch, Brian is going to tell you more about it. Peter talks about character growth and Mirek has information about vehicles, and their presence on Exp/Unstable.
Contents This Week
For those that weren't aware - we pushed 0.61.136770 to Steam stable branch yesterday. While there are still some issues we want to address (VOIP Volume, Supersonic cracks, Container contents desync, Infected footsteps volume, status modifiers stuck, and more) we looked at the experience the tests over the weekend provided, compared to what was going to be available to those on Stable branch over the holiday break and decided to go ahead and make the move. This allows us to ensure that users on Steam stable over the holiday season will be able to enjoy a stable DayZ 0.61 experience, while we continue to address the issues the team is concerned about on Exp/Unstable branch, and pending build health potentially push these over to Stable on our regularly scheduled Wednesday maintenance. Lets take a look at the milestone goals for 0.61 Stable, and then we'll cover what is currently on Exp/Unstable branch - as well as what is pending a new Exp/Unstable update.
0.61 Milestone Goals:
Server Login Queue
Merge of New Audio Technology from Arma 3 Eden Update.
Update of Weapon Sounds for New Audio Technology.
Dynamic Spawning of Infected.
Network Synchronization Improvements
New Server Browser
While we're happy to say that we've hit all of these milestone goals for 0.61, there are still issues that need to be addressed. Currently on Exp/Unstable we have build 0.61.136796 which is focused on the following changes:
Fix for issues with container contents desync
Fix to address supersonic cracks
Adjustments of animal SFX levels
Adjustments of infected footsteps levels
Adjustment to Infected swing SFX
In addition to the build currently in test on Exp/Unstable we are focused on more Exp/Unstable updates to address:
Status Modifier Updates
Adjustments to Dynamic Lights
VOIP Volume too quiet
Issues with Hand Slots on corpses
Some clients experiencing FPS drops
And lastly, as promised - future 0.61 Exp/Unstable builds will also be pushed (more than likely after the holiday break) with changes to test network sync on vehicles in DayZ. These builds likely will have vehicles set up to spawn ready to drive, but don't expect that change to follow through to Stable branch!
We're all enjoying watching, reading, and hearing about your adventures in the latest change to Stable branch DayZ and we hope you all have a safe and enjoyable holiday break. This will be our last Status Report until January 10th, so see you all in the new year!
- Brian Hicks / Creative Director
Don't get attached to your gear. This well known DayZ rule is there with us from very beginning. But then what is it, that you should be attached to? In short, it's your character, a survivor in post apocalyptic world full of infected and other threats, where every choice matters and has its consequences. It's easy to say that, but currently the only attachments your character has is his/her gear, his/her location within the world and his/her state. Losing all the gear, getting seriously sick or suddenly need fast travel often leads to sacrificing your character and starting from scratch as a fresh spawn. This behavior goes against the survival idea behind the DayZ in general.
To build the value of your character we have planned three pillars which are connected to his life span and activities. Probably the most desired and awaited one is the visual representation of your character appearance like growing beards, scars, bloody hands and others which really reinforce connection between player and his character in world. Second pillar is pretty straightforward and it is connected directly to upcoming stamina system. With stamina in place, sprint wouldn't be intended for traversing long distances (that's what vehicles are for right?), however it will be an important factor for fleeing from immediate dangerous situations you may encounter on reasonable distances. Keeping the character alive longer will benefit from being able to carry more load until the penalty for overload in terms of shortening available stamina strikes in. Third pillar is obviously soft skills, which we have implemented in prototype state for quite some time. Same as with other stuff (for example stamina system mentioned above), this mechanic is waiting primarily for introducing his majesty, the new character himself, which as you may know will be formed from interconnected systems like new animation system, new controller and state machine, new physics, new damage system, new user actions and others.
We had been speculating about soft skills for quite some time. Skills leveling system based on gained experience as we know it from traditional RPG games doesn't fit DayZ very well. First draft of soft skills was close to it, there was enclosed skill sets defined by actions which tried to mimic exact roles like medic, mechanic, hunter, builder, farmer and few others. Performing actions within skill sets add experience points to its pool and eventually raising its level. Such system leads to mindless grinding of actions without any meaningful gameplay context which, I believe can really easily ruin the gameplay experience for plenty of players just to witness such behavior. To minimize it, there needs to be some anti-grind solution like simple maximum cap for points per timeframe, or other more elaborate solution which demands more or less UI elements to be clear for players what are the rules and what's going on with experience and skills.
In the end we decided to strip soft skills to bare minimum and dare to take different route once again so the vision of DayZ stays intact. Soft skills should not be mandatory, however they should reward long living, dedicated characters and reflect their past actions. Main idea behind it is simple - with little abstraction it's safe to say that if you can stitch up someone, you for sure are relatively able to gut animal or pick seeds from harvest, and on the other hand if you can build fences and watchtowers it should be relatively easy for you to cut tree down or dig garden plot. We introduced so called specialty, which is axis with two poles - precision and roughness, when a character is spawned the pointer is in the middle, neutral position. All actions in game can be divided between precise or rough ones. Even actions from traditional roles like medic can be categorized independently and sit somewhere else in specialty spectrum, for example transfusion as precise action while CPR as rough action. Performing actions in game is moving specialty dynamically towards one pole or other, every action can have different weight so it can move specialty in different amount, let's say while performing transfusion you gain more precision then with simple bandaging. Dedicated characters will be able to profit from current state of their specialty in terms of performing given specialty actions with shorter times, less materials used, wearing out tools less and more outcome gained as current specialty is multiplier for all of these. Not dedicated characters who don't care about specialty or those who feels like jack of all trades are not punished in this system as their specialty will be moving around the middle neutral position which means no penalty as both precise and rough actions will take default time, use default amount of material, worn out tools for default value and gain default outcome. Note, that we are not planning to punish dedicated characters yet (but there is a possibility to do so), if your specialty is more towards roughness you will be stitching yourself as you would do while your specialty is in middle position. I think it's kind of unique approach and it doesn't spoil DayZ with unnecessary tables, numbers, UI clutter and undesirable player behaviors.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year... see you in Chernarus folks!
- Peter Nespesny / Lead Designer
Today it will be quick again. We released stable version yesterday, but we're still working on fixing some major issues, like broken modifiers and statuses for some players. We might have a fix today on experimental branch. Looks like it's happening only when one player is connecting at the same time when another is disconnecting, which can happen very often for waiting players in the login queue.
About vehicles, we made some progress with synchronization. It's still not perfect and you will experience some micro-teleportation during driving when it hits experimental branch, so please keep in mind that it won't be in its final state. Currently there is just one known blocking issue and it's related to passengers not being able to get out of vehicle sometimes.
I don't want to give any promises, but it's still our target to release vehicles on experimental branch before Christmas and if we don't make it, it's priority No.1 at the beginning of next year.
I wish you a Merry Christmas and happy New Year.
- Miroslav Maněna / Lead Gameplay Progammer
I'm sure this happens to you sometimes. You meet a fresh spawn on the coast, befriend him, travel and loot together. But when he finds a gun with ammo, you hear a shot and your screen goes black and you are dead. Your trust in other players is down, but is it like that every time or is there hope for friendly players?
YouTuber Cyborg Lyzard had an idea about a social experiment which would prove whether or not players are as cruel and hostile for real. When he released his first social experiment video it was a real successful.
Look at this social experiment on update 0.59. Cyborg Lyzard gave a weapon with ammo to a random player and waited to see what happens next.
We have Brian and Mirek on this week, mostly covering the recent improvements in server performance and our final push to have 0.61 out on Stable before Christmas. Additionally, Brian provides a bit of an insight on the intended DayZ survival experience, we have some exciting news regarding vehicles on Experimental branch and share several forums threads that we think you'll find interesting!
Contents This Week
Handpicked: DayZ Forums News
As many of you may know, we're in an Exp/Unstable branch iteration phase - on the road to moving 0.61 to Stable branch. So, this Status Report I'm going to break my part into two. First part covering where we are with 0.61, and what our current critical issues for moving to Stable branch are. For the second part, I'll talk briefly about my opinion on 0.61 as a build and our goals with it as an experience.
Now that all of our milestone goals for 0.61 have been implemented, we're currently in a rapid iteration phase. For those testing on Exp/Unstable branch this means a lot of things can change quickly, not to mention break.
Over the last few builds, we've been focused on both improving server performance and trying to tackle issues that were caused as a byproduct of work on optimizing client network traffic. While that may be frustrating for those of you excited to try out 0.61, it is absolutely critical for the development process that we are able to iterate, and test these changes under a larger load than internal QA resources allow.
Additionally, a good deal of the critical issues we've been seeing on the Exp/Unstable branch servers simply do not reproduce internally. Thus, us being able to test through the Unstable branch, and provide the team with the critical crashdumps, debug logs, and profiler data is is absolutely required for 0.61 to get to Stable branch on Steam as soon as possible.
So, the next time you run across a server crash, frustrating bug, or gamebreaking issue while testing on Exp/Unstable - do your best not to get frustrated, head over to the feedback tracker[feedback.dayz.com] and give as much data as you are able to. Every ticket and comment on the feedback tracker helps, even if you might not feel like it does!
For Stable blocking issues, we're currently tracking:
Characters twitching/stuttering when crossing rubble/bodies
Some structures not having proper shadows
Items stuck in hands
VOIP Too Loud
Infected Vocalizations too loud
Naked Characters / Silent Gunshots
Mirek has some fascinating insight into some of the issues we've discussed above, as well as where we are with improving the vehicle simulation - I encourage you to scroll down and read what he has to say, the information is critical to understanding what is going on with the gameplay programming team (which has a large impact on how DayZ plays!)
For the second part of my text this week, I'd like to comment on the swing towards survival with 0.61.
It is no secret that DayZ set out to be a punishing survival title from the start of the project. Much of the mechanics that would drive this type of experience have been in prototyped phase, with the full functionality of them dependant upon technology from the engine, optimization to make them a threat, and so on - because of that, for the majority of our development period they have had little impact on gameplay unless you intentionally sought them out (or a bug related to them caused larger issues, such as the hyperthermia issue on 0.60).
With this side of the game being present in such a state, most of DayZ's gameplay throughout the Early Access phase has centered around social interaction, and gunplay. With little incentive, or push for anything else to occur. As bugfixing, feature implementation, and optimization has allowed us to bring some of these mechanics more to the forefront of gameplay, I fully expect the large portion of the Early Access playerbase that might not keep up to date on development to be surprised, and even push back on these changes once they hit stable branch.
I'm fully aware many of you love DayZ for the action you experience when you get into a gunfight, or the interesting (and often hillarious) social situations that player interaction creates. I do not want you to feel ignored. Everything in DayZ should come with a cost, be it struggling to survive, choosing to make a beeline for the closest military base looking to pick a fight, or creating a farming commune on the coast.
The closer we move to Beta, and Early Access release this will become more apparent, and we will of course ensure that all styles of gameplay are as viable as possible, assuming you make the correct decisions to overcome the environment that seeks to kill you. Be it through starvation, infection, murder, the cold, or being eaten alive by wolves.
Excited as we are by the slow but inevitable progression to that unforgiving survival experience we set out to create back in 2013, we're all very aware (as you all should be) - that this is a development build. Many critical pieces to the final puzzle are still missing, and there will be bugs, but we hope that you find these changes compelling, and enjoy your experience inside Chernarus even more.
I've rambled on enough for this Status Report. I'm sure you all wanted to see more fancy screenshots or gifs - but these things slow down as the team wraps up what is in 0.61, and starts to focus on bugfixing in order to get to stable branch. Once we get past 0.61 and can start talking about 0.62, I'm sure we'll have more eye candy for you.
- Brian Hicks / Creative Director
Last week, we were mostly focused on server performance improvements. We rewrote the updating strategy of network objects and the results are pretty good. This part is now about five times faster. On the other hand, it reintroduced the "naked characters" bug.
Things like these can happen quite often, because this mechanism is very complex. As server performance is one of the major blockers of stable release, we had to release it into Experimental branch as soon as possible, so there wasn't much time to test it internally. I hope you won't get angry when things like these happen on Experimental branch.
Another bug we found is that Central Economy (CE) limits for infected count didn't work properly, so too many infected were spawned over the entire map. This slows down server performance too much and it's the source of incorrectly updated character modifiers, or the "persistent unconsciousness".
We also decreased the simulation rate of distant AI units, so this should help the server performance a lot, and it should also lead to a general decrease in network traffic. All of these fixes are scheduled for merge into Experimental branch this week (it's possible that some of them are already merged by the time you're reading this).
Now about vehicles. In the last status report, I wrote about two blocking issues. The broken simulation of more players in a vehicle is now resolved, but because the server is now authoritative over player's position and movement, new small issue appeared. You won't be able to see some animations (like head movement) of remote players sitting in the vehicle. We're not planning to fix this this in 0.61 - we will be taking another look at this issue when the new player controller is merged in, because we want to avoid doing things twice.
Client side correction still doesn't work well and I'm not sure how long it will take to fix this.
Also, because we would like to release Stable build before Christmas, we will release it without vehicles. We will, however, continue releasing Experimental builds with vehicles included, when they get ready.
We've also made other vehicle simulation improvements, which will hit Experimental. Here's the short list of changes:
dashboards now reacts to switching vehicle lights
player can use zoom when sitting in the passenger seat
engine animation now correctly reacts to all user actions, damage etc.
cars can be drown in any water, not only in the sea
working particles from wheels
updated suspension physics and collisions
cars can now drive over small obstacles based on wheel's radius
suspension along with wheels now correctly reacts to land surface
The second part of my status report will be dedicated to infected. We are working closely with designers to tweak them a little bit for 0.61, mainly improving their movement and attacking. Pushing won't be solved, as there is still the issue with AI units having a new physical controller built on bullet physics, while players use the legacy Arma collision detection.
In this case, what happens is that infected penetrates into the player (because it's unable to find a collision), but player detects that he's in collision with something and moves away from the collision. We won't be able to resolve this without the new player controller, so we're trying to at least improve it by tweaking some movement parameters.
This is all for now from me.
- Miroslav Maněna / Lead Gameplay Progammer
Handpicked: DayZ Forums News
Our official DayZ community forums[forums.dayz.com] provide the easiest way to discuss all things DayZ. The discussion there is free of the usual constraints of other channels, like the 140 character limit on Twitter or the occasionally questionable voting mechanism on Reddit. The forums have a solid user base and are also the place where developers have been staying in touch with survivors basically ever since the early DayZ Mod days.
For these reasons, we'd love to drive most of the discussions there - both those where members of the dev team engage with you, the DayZ community, and those where you simply talk to fellow survivors.
Supporting the effort to keep the forums a busy place, we'll do our best to handpick some of the new content from the forums for each new Status Report, and highlight interesting posts or threads created in the past two weeks as a recommended reading material. Occasionally, we will also open a discussion on a topic we want to hear you opinions on.
Mind you, there will likely be exceptions to the schedule: Status Reports often turn into truly massive behemoths already, and development updates should always be the main focus here. Then, sometimes, people simply get too passionate about one or two particular threads and just won't let go of them - and so we usually don't need to drive additional traffic to such threads.
But now, let's get to it, here's what's been happening on the official DayZ community forums lately.
Friday Experimental Build Thread
As you probably know, the 0.61 build we deployed on Friday suffered from some serious server crashing, and the discussion that unfolds on the first 5 or 6 pages in the related thread[forums.dayz.com] is a nice practical example of the nature of the Experimental/Unstable branch of DayZ. Often, even if you can't really play the game properly, you may have actually helped the development team (and we appreciate that a lot!):
While in this particular case, we've already gathered enough data about the crashes and our Deployment Engineer David sacrificed a bit of his weekend to revert the Experimental branch to previous build, it should be expected that Experimental builds may stay all over the place like that for some time. If that happens, we'd like to kindly ask for your patience, ask you to read this post over here[forums.dayz.com] to understand the nature of the Experimental branch, and ultimately ask you to switch over to Stable if you just want to play DayZ.
0.61 Stable Loot Thread
Loot has always been a massive discussion topic in the community, and even internally. cs_wolf[forums.dayz.com] has started a thread where he's expressing his own hopes for the vanilla loot distribution of 0.61 on Stable, and while our design team is getting a clearer idea of where the vanilla experience is going themselves, feel free to fantasize about your own ideal setup with your fellow survivors:
When you've managed to get the basics to survive, it's the best time to get properly armed. kataro[forums.dayz.com] posted what he believes is the most efficient weapon combo in DayZ, and is asking you to share your own deadly combos. Even our Community Manager Baty, a truly experienced survivor, is sharing her personal favorite, so hit the image to read the thread and see what her best weapon combo consists of:
The last entry in our handpicked section of the Status Report is actually a start of what will hopefully become a series of sneak peeks on some of the BETA milestone content and features. This week, Brian is keeping it simple, teasing the already announced CR 550 and asking what your personal expectations and hopes are for this new piece of weaponry:
The news for update 0.61, which is on Experimental branch right now, are new dynamic shadows. Shadows look great, and the way you all are using them to take screenshots is really amazing.
Besides facing the Infected, you also have to deal with an additional level of paranoia because dynamic shadows create a new dynamic, all happening in real time.
Player XRW64[www.flickr.com] utilizes the new shadows and backlighting to create an interesting visual experience with a friend.
It's like open world DayZ shadow puppet theater!
Say hello to yourself! Test the new dynamic shadows and send us more rad images. Like JoeBandit[imgur.com].
Wanna get really creeped out? Imagine a silent infected hiding somewhere in this room.
Bibix[www.twitch.tv] is a very successful streamer from France, and he has a great talent for capturing unique moment. We love his screenshots. For more pics click HERE[imgur.com]. All of these screenshots are great examples of how creatively Bibix uses the flares. It really sets a frightening mood.
I don't know about you, but I definitely don't want to find someone (or something) dangerous inside, much less an evil clown. This is what can happen in the world of Chernarus.