DayZ fans are worried about the future of the survival game. Players have been expressing concerns about high-profile departures from Bohemia Interactive, and it looks like some core features from the original mod might not be making it into the game.
In a July status report published on the DayZ website the devs say that “full parity [with 0.62 and the DayZ Mod] isn’t possible because of the engine specifics. While features from 5 years ago are exciting, we want to remind you: most of the features didn’t really work properly back then, and this is why it wasn’t a final game.”
Much of that seems to stem from the fact that DayZ has moved over to a new engine. As a result, some core features players were expecting to make it into the 1.0 game have had to be dropped, at least for now. While that new engine comes with several benefits, it’s also caused some problems. In follow-up comments, devs clarified that they “underestimated the amount of effort needed and thus dug a hole too deep to get out of. This meant we had to rewrite almost all of the gameplay elements from scratch, losing features and variation along the way.”
This means that features like the advanced health system are unlikely to make it to the game in the short term. Bohemia says that “at this time we will not commit to implementing complex medical/injury gameplay – while this is desired by many hardcore players, we are still struggling to fully explain the complexity of the existing system to the majority of players.”
While they say that “no previously promised features will be hidden behind a paywall”, and may be released as part of a support update in the future, it’s not clear if or when some of these will arrive. The devs aren’t going to announce upcoming features “too far” in advance of updates because “anything can – and does – happen, and we need to be able to effectively deal with any unforeseen developments”. The introduction of vaulting and climbing is in the pipeline, but the focus for the rest of the year is on “bug fixing, stabilizing, balancing, and modding support.”
Adding to player concerns are the departures of multiple high-profile members of staff. Since the launch of 1.0, DayZ’s lead designer, project lead, brand manager and community manager have left the project, with some players fearing that their departure is an ill omen for the future of the game. Bohemia says, however, that all their roles are covered – mostly by people who have worked on DayZ for years.
It seems that some players are pretty unhappy about these developments. On Reddit, user YairHadar discusses their concerns about the simplicity or absence of features in the new release. As well as expressing disappointment about the barricading, hunting, agriculture, and vehicle systems, the user says “something as simple as ‘if player gets X damage to legs, then he can’t walk’ isn’t done yet, and the advanced medical system won’t exist anymore.”
Similarly, Commissar111 says that the new engine version has “literally less content than DayZ has ever had. And they have the audacity to say they can’t implement the old systems and mechanics which already existed in the game because ‘the new engine is too complicated’”.
Despite these concerns, signs still seem good that there is a future for DayZ. DLC is on its way, and the studio has just launched a battle royale mode – Survivor GameZ – which is currently in closed alpha (you can join on its website). Whether this’ll be enough to assuage its player community’s concerns, however, remains to be seen.