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Mardi 20 décembre 2016  
 
Status Report - 20 Décember 2016

Hello survivors!

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.

Dev Update / Hicks

Greetings Survivors,

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.
    Predators (Wolves)
    Dynamic Shadows
    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 -

Dev Update / Peter

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 -

Dev Update / Mirek

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 -

Community Spotlight

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. 


31% of players killed him immediately. The remaining 69% were friendly. This is not so bad.

He tried it again. But in the second experiment he gave the players a gun with ruined ammo. What a lecture on trust and morality! 



He repeated this experiment again a few weeks ago on update 0.60 and he found out that players are more friendly than before. 



And what about you? What would you do if somebody gave you a weapon with ammo? Would you put a bullet between his eyes or thank him and go your own way? Let me know on our official Twitter

Header image by: MrBlueAndQueenie

Merry Christmas for you all!

- Baty / Community Manager -

 
 


Mardi 6 décembre 2016  
 
Status Report - 06 Décember 2016

Greetings, survivors!

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!

Dev Update / Hicks

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 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
    Client Crash(es)
    Some structures not having proper shadows
    Items stuck in hands
    Server crash(es)
    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 -

Dev Update / Mirek

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 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 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!):

Read the thread

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 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 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:

Read the thread

Best DayZ Weapon Combo Thread

When you've managed to get the basics to survive, it's the best time to get properly armed. kataro 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:

Read the thread

BETA Content: CR 550 Rifle Thread

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:

Read the thread

Community Spotlight

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 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. LikeJoeBandit.

Wanna get really creeped out? Imagine a silent infected hiding somewhere in this room.

Bibix 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. 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.

If you play on Experimental/Unstable servers, don't forget to use our Feedback Tracker to submit bugs, and for the newest info or a place to share your screenshots, follow the official DayZ Development Team Twitter account.

Header image by: BIBIXHD

- Baty / Community Manager -

 
 

 

 


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