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!
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, March 1, 2016 and March 29, 2016.
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, 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":
His latest video is named "Sick" and here you can see how wicked this young man is:
Danny has no heart. And that is a reason why I like him!
Don’t forget about our Official DayZ forum, too! If you want to have fresh informationfrom latest updates, forums are the place for you. Check out an important update about Experimental/Unstable branch from yesterday:
As always, If you have any DayZ creations of your own that you'd like to share, tweet them to us on our official Twitterchannel. 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.
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.