Monday, July 23, 2012

Mike's Mondays with Mike McGee: Top ( ) Lessons Learned in DayZ

       As John clearly stated in his article, my week was mostly spent playing the exact same game as he did: DayZ. Contrary to my esteemed colleague’s belief though, I actually prefer tackling this second. In the real world, going second has a lot of perks. Let’s say you get arrested and you’re sitting in an interrogation room. The first cop has to come in and explain who he is, what he’s involved in, and why you’re connected to it. Then he’s gotta pee or something, the next guy, the second guy, doesn’t have to go through that and can immediately start grilling the guy if he wants. Historically speaking, going second was a means of survival. If the first guy died doing something, then you probably shouldn’t repeat the action. So, whether or not John wants to believe it, he’s done me a solid by explaining the concept and mechanics of the game. So, what am I gonna write about it? I basically admitted that John sufficiently covered it. I’ll write about the one thing John’ll never take away from me: personal experience. And, to make it easier for me to write, I’m introducing a new segment to MMwMM: Top ( ) Things I Write Before Stopping! I’m too much of an “in the moment” writer to know how many things are gonna be on my list until I’m done writing it, which could be at any point. And by that point, there’s no way I’m going back and changing it, are you kidding? So prepare your hand to meet up with your inevitably sinking head in the most glorious of facepalms, it’s the Top ( ) Lessons Learned in DayZ (in a carefully disregarded order)!
So, is DayZ like Day #26 or...
1.  It’s All About Luck

As John explained in his article, we have yet to find each other while playing together. Granted we’ve only tried twice and we didn’t know the area, but it’s still a fact. However, John and I had very different first experiences with the game. John was still downloading everything when I first logged in to meet up with the other two friends we were playing with. It was decided (probably with a coin flip) that I head to the right, following the coastline. I shrugged off the long run as something everybody’s gotta experience. None of the houses I past had loot and I soon attracted my own gaggle of zombie disciples, which made loot stopping impossible. About 20-30 minutes into my walk, John finally shows up and I’m like, “Prepare for the long haul, man.” But he’s all like, “Lol, nope! My fat's gravity pulled a weapon and supplies to me and our friends found me right quick.” It was a devastating blow to little DayZ Mike and he ended up dying of thirst to the merry rumpus of his friends havin’ a good time. 
"I can't carry anymore stuff, I'll just throw away this useless soda!" -Good Friends
It’s a tragic story, but it’s ripe with lessons. A lot of this game is chance, maybe you’ll spawn close to a big town and maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll find a helicopter crash and all it has is a Lee Einfield and some heat packs. Maybe you’ll get sniped two steps into your spawn. Sure you can figure out where you need to go, but you can’t predict what’s gonna happen along the way. So be prepared by…
huh, I thought for sure that you spawned with an bad.
      2.   Buddy Up, Babe

     I guess you could get away with not having a buddy, but there’s really no point to, especially when you have the option to play with someone you know. It took me about 4 hours of total gameplay, but I finally, finally, met up with my friend, Dan. Fans of the show might recognize him as the sponsor of the 20th part in the Shadow of the Shlocklossus series. The whole DayZ experience changes when you got a buddy. Not only in the obvious way of having some help shootin’ up zombies and having zombie bait when your friend runs out of ammo, but friends can give you blood transfusions. All you need is a blood bag and a buddy and you can instantly return to full health. It’s a lot easier getting blood from a buddy than it is to force it out of some dude at gunpoint. A buddy can make those long treks worth it and they don’t seem as long sometimes. If you’re gonna play, get yourself a buddy. Oh, and one more thing. If you ever find yourself in a house and you hear shooting outside and then footsteps in your house. The guy that you mow down probably is using this same buddy system…save yourself some embarrassment.

I'm not fallin' for that "AIDS" BS! GIMME YO BLUD!
      3.     Drugs Do Wonders for the Body

      Now that I had my buddy, it was time to explore the wild. Dan acted as the guide as we made our way wherever the hell he wanted to go. Shootin’ zombies and looting along the way. We found many a barn and many a ammo and supplies. We even lived off the land by killing un goat and cooking that meat right up; mmmm, Bear Grylls style. Eventually we stumbled our way to a military fort, with big stonewalls and a big guard tower. Naturally, a climb to the top of the tower was necessarily, but the stairway was narrow and in lack of guardrails. Needless to say, I fell…a long way…No, no, no-ing all the way. Upon impact, my legs shattered and my blood jumped to 9000 from the max 12000 and I was bleeding so that number was steadily dropping. I couldn’t move my character and there was a big hourglass on my screen rapidly emptying. I did the only thing a man can do in those situations: panic. I’m yelling in my mic for Dan to come save me as he carefully (of course) makes his way down. The hourglass had completely emptied by the time he got to me and I figured out that the hourglass indicates the time in which the player can’t do anything. So I got bandaged and received a transfusion, but my legs were still shattered so I was pretty much boned. Boned, that is, until I got my hands on some morphine! This miracle juice reset my bones and allowed me walk again! It didn’t cure my on the shakes, though. I had to take extra painkillers for those. It was like it never happened.
"Rev up those fryers...MY LEG!!"
        4.   Zombies are Scary, But Deys Dumb!

I forget were this happens chronologically, but there was a time when Dan and I had some zombies on our tail and no way to get rid of them. We found a barn and Dan went inside to find weapons or ammo or whatever the hell it was that we needed while I kept the zombies busy, which basically consisted of me running in a circle just outside the barn. The zombies couldn’t touch me. Dan found a few things and, as I listened to his findings, I fail to realize that I’ve caught up with the last zombie in the circle and he promptly breaks my leg (it happens way more than it should). I see that familiar hourglass but don’t see zombies attacking me so I assume that they think I’m dead. I let Dan know and he comes out of the barn to the sight of me on the ground getting eaten by zombies. The hourglass is emptying really slowly and I was going to bleed out before I could get them off of me. I accept the fact that I was gonna die, but Dan walks here up to where I’m at as notices that the zombies don’t give a crap about him. So the next step, logically, is to give me a blood transfusion and morphine. I outlast the zombie hourglass, get up, and run away. After I bandaged myself, it was like it never happened. So next time you’re getting eaten just have your buddy transfuse some blood to ya. No problem!

Makes a good DayZ Buddy, too
      5.     Don’t Do Anything You’ll Regret

     In Dan’s and my adventuring, we met up with our other friend, AJ (a closet Shlockness fan), and promptly saved him from his zombie discipleship and gave his annoyingly heavy panting character blood, food, and water. We would’ve found John next, but he wasn’t playing that day. Instead, we headed to a nearby barn to maybe find some weapons. Then he showed up. Some dude named User strolled in and claimed he had nothing and was looking for his friends and would appreciate and such. I was online when both John and Dan experienced death by another player, but I trusted that this guy had nothing so I wasn’t going to be hostile. We debated whether or not to kill the kid; I voted no but there really wouldn’t be much I could do if Dan or AJ decided otherwise. We ended up giving him a weapon (with no ammo, we’re not stupid) and helped him find his friends. The friends were being followed by a big pack of zombies and we ditched them without shooting a single bullet.
I brought you a present. I agro'd them myself!
They died about 5 minutes later and there is really no way of knowing if it was because of those zombies or not, but I definitely regret what I did. We definitely should’ve killed that guy and his friends and it’s this regret that helps me understand why John and Dan got killed. If I don’t know you in real life and you don’t do something to gain my trust before I see you, I’m shooting to kill. Just look at poor Alex. I shot him in the back of the head; poor sucker didn’t even have a pack on. But I don’t do anything I’ll regret.
      6.     You’ll Poop Your Pants…Hardcore!

     Soon after our escapades with the Regrettable Trio, we got as far as the nearest city before the server crashed. The next server was chosen. It was a good semi populated server but it wasn’t until I clicked join that I noticed that it was on hardcore difficulty. We had some pretty decent gear so we weren’t too worried. But it did, if you can believe that! I load up in the city and the first thing I hear is just a barrage of gunfire and then three people died. They didn’t really pull any punches; it was time to leave the city. Uh-oh, I can’t leave first person mode; uh-oh, I don’t have visible crosshairs; uh-oh, I can’t see the nametags of my buddies; and UH-OH, there’s a friggin’ SNIPER in the city with us. This was the most exhilarating and heart-pounding things I’ve experienced in the game so far. We couldn’t even run across the street without mentally preparing ourselves. We couldn’t care less about the zombies in the city and tended to flat out ignore them in our scurrying. We were scared to shoot the ones that started following us lest we alert unwanted attention.
I think we should be good in the middle of the street
For whatever reason, we decided to loot buildings before we left the city. So we stressfully move from building to building. All the while, we hear the echo of gunshots and see the names of the their victims. But nothing lasts forever and AJ was the first of our party to join the list of victims. Strangely enough, Dan and I were more scared at this point. Not long after, though, Dan was also shot down, leaving me to face the sniper’s accurate wrath. I started booking it, but was encouraged to stay put because Dan and AJ were coming back for their bodies. I found a house to hide in and was prompt shot at through the windows. I hid in a back room and we eventually switched servers. I was the only survivor and we clearly weren’t ready to be hardcore…someday though.
AJ, NOOO...why didn't you have handgun ammo??

Well that’s one, two, three…six things, and holy crap is this long! Well, this was all thanks to John. His post provided the shoulders on which my article stands. They’re not really giant’s shoulders, but he’s pretty tall. I think DayZ is a blast. The flaws are there, sure, but there are work arounds. It may not be your style though, I'd watch a stream of the game or something before you buy anything. Here’s the part where I tell you that, in fact, I lied before about this being the only game I played. I just have nothing new to write about Pokémon Conquest. Just that: after the main story you get like 30 some missions to complete as different warlords or their second-in-commands some of which is basically completing the campaign again, but as this specific warlord. I wonder what will happen if I beat all of them…? If you were paying attention I just lied to you again, but I know you love the way I lie (no Word I don’t want to use “lay!” You’re ruining my out of place clever reference to an Eminem song, quit butting in!). Until next week, I’m the Real Slim Shlocky.

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