Greetings fellow gamers!
Today, I want to share a great vision or dream I once had when I used to invest over 5 hours a day in a game called DayZ Mod based on Bohemia Interactive’s ARMA 2. I consider myself as an idealistic and serious gamer. What do I mean by these? Let me explain the “serious” part first.
Generally, I don’t like to fool around in games. For instance, I don’t like shooting at my buddy in DayZ just for fun. Often, I saw players after having gained all the end-game items, they start shooting everywhere and deliberately drive cars into trees to get themselves killed – all in the name of a “good laugh”. However, in a game like DayZ, I honestly think there should be no room for such stupidity. I am the sort of gamer who thinks gamers need to fully immerse themselves by following its mood. Before doing a kamikaze attack on a newly spawned player at Kamenka, think for a second and ask yourself, “Would you do something like that in a real-life zombie apocalypse?” Would you kill your friend because you are dying to try out your newly acquired AS-50? Of course not! Some may tell me that this is exactly what games are for – to fool around and “have fun”. However, in a game as realistic as DayZ, I always try to imagine how I would act if I had to survive in a desolate world infested by zombies and hostile bandits. It is truly sad that because of players like these, the game can only remain as just another First-Person Shooter. Anyone who has played DayZ like a true survivalist will agree with me that the game has turned into another rampant “shoot-on-first-sight” galore. Nevertheless, DayZ can be so much more. So at this point, you may ask, “Okay, I now get it that you’re a serious gamer who likes to reenact real life. But what do you mean that DayZ can be so much more? Are you telling me that the game can somehow transcend itself?” Yes, it can, which takes me to the idealistic part.
What made me fall in love with DayZ was that there were so many things to do! You could chop trees with a hatchet, make a fire, set up a tent and take a break while you enjoy the beautiful greenery of Chernarus. You could find a Huey helicopter and run a paid lift service – I actually did this in-game and my fare was a can of beans. After trying all of these, I began to wonder if I could take things to the next step. Then while ruminating on top of the International Hotel in Chernogorsk, I had the brilliant idea of gathering a large group of like-minded survivors to reclaim the city itself. Can you imagine, twenty or even thirty players working in close coordination to cleanse Cherno of all zombies, building barbed wire fences all around the city and setting up tents on top of buildings? To realize this dream of mine, I started a new character on a less-populated server. I knew that I had to acquire all the vehicles and set up a base of operations. In the Chernarus map, there is a place that very few people go to because there is simply nothing there. I don’t really play on Chernarus anymore so I will share the location here:
It is a decent place on a hill that has great view of the surrounding environment. The hills don’t have trees so it is quite easy to spot anyone coming over – that is, if anyone ever does come over! What if someone snipes from the forest area? No need to worry because the hills are so high that anyone trying to snipe from the forest can’t get a good line of sight. In addition, it has a lot of open spaces which allows me to build a makeshift airfield for all my helicopters. I collected around 8 helicopters and built an airbase demarcated by sandbags. To search for all the helicopters and vehicles, I flew around in my MI-17 and towed all ground vehicles. My friend would parachute out of the MI-17 whenever he found a helicopter. This two-person effort only took us about 3 hours. Once we were sure that we acquired all equipment that could have been used against us by hostile bandits I started to hoard huge amounts of resources including canned food, ammunition, weapons, vehicle components and so on. As our URAL trucks and tents started to overflow, we began to recruit more members to our cause. In a server that had never more than 5 players, my friend and I carried out rescue missions and humanitarian operations to help out new spawns and experienced players alike.
At one time, I was looking for rare guns like the VSS Vintorez, which happens to be one of my absolute favorite guns, on an abandoned off-shore oil rig. Then I saw a message in the side chat. I checked that only two players were on the server – myself and this guy. He spoke broken English and said that he was at the North West Airfield with broken bones. Apparently, he was bleeding as well and wanted my aid. Usually I had my friend to watch my back and there had been a few times when I was tricked into a trap. I tried to ignore this fellow but the humane side of me urged me to take off. By the time I had reached Stary Sobor, he was down to half-blood. In simple English, I wrote to him to put his gun in his backpack and tell me where he was at. When I arrived, there were at least 25 zombies howling. This poor fellow had gone up the air traffic control tower with no weapons. I brought the helicopter down close enough for him to get on board. He thanked me in earnest for patching him up and wanted to pay me in return. While I knew that I had just met him, something told me that he was a kind person and I explained to him my vision of reclaiming Cherno from the zombies. Even though he was a 21 years-old German dude with basic knowledge of English, he fully understood my passion and goals! From that day onward, he became part of our group and contributed much.
I showed our base to several players who expressed interest in making our dream come true. They were truly astonished by the level of organization and the sheer number of vehicles available. For ground vehicles, we had civilian URAL trucks, military URAL trucks, Humvees with machine gun turrets, Humvees with grenade launchers, black SUVs, Vodniks, BMW motorcycles and more. For helicopters, we had 2 MI-17s, 2 Little Birds, 1 Merlin, 1 Nighthawk, 2 Black-hawks, 3 Hueys and 1 Osprey VTOL. This is a bird’s eye view of our base:
While we did build a base and had a great time helping out many people, we could not realize our vision because our team only comprised of 6 people at most. I even drew a map-based operation plan which I will share with you guys below.
The operation would commence with an aerial recon of the entire city in a Little Bird helicopter. The recon team will announce via direct chat that any human player must exit the city immediately to avoid accidental death. Once the recon team has confirmed that the city is ready for reclamation, two gunships carrying 5 elite urban ghillie snipers will drop them off at their respective positions. As snipers take up their posts and give another confirmation that the city is clear of humans, the ground forces and amphibious forces will simultaneously enter the city as shown above. Can you picture 6 Humvees proceeding into the city at a walking pace with soldiers on foot? While the ground force moves and clears the town of zombies, snipers will provide over-watch. Two gunships will circle the city and provide an aerial umbrella. Amphibious forces will make their landings near the port area and begin sweeping the coastal lines.
Yes, I know that this sort of operation would exist in theory only given the current state of the gaming community. However, I was so enamored by this thought that I even imagined it in my sleep! Call me an idealist but this is the sort of thing I want to enact in my games. Sadly, Chernarus is no longer big enough to sustain the thrill of excitement. Now, I play ARMA 3 Breaking Point, a DayZ Mod variant that has its own custom features. I recommend it to anyone who wishes to play DayZ on stable servers. While it does have a few drawbacks, I think it is a very good game to reminisce the old days of ARMA 2 DayZ. Currently, I play on New Haven, a new map that is smaller than Chernarus but have more water. In case you’re curious, I still haven’t lost my dream of reclaiming the cities from the jaws of the apocalypse. On a side note, the name “New Haven” carries an auspicious note and I have grand plans for this beautiful place! I already have a friend on the server and he and I have certainly started something. If anyone of you wants to join, leave a reply here and I’ll certainly arrange something! 🙂