Dayz Mod came out and tore a whole into us. What exactly was it's appeal?
It was intended to be a "better" zombie/infected "mission" than what was previously done using Arm2 as a base game. Modding to fit things better, scripting to add in content.
The result ... a player base hit.
I think simply because it was different. The feeling of isolation, and desperation of need verses wants was the most appealing draw.
Of course, combined with our humanistic instincts , playing on the "fantasy" is zombies/infected did break out , how we'd in-act our own "zombie-plan" and survive , was a thing this game touched and tickled on as well.
The reality though was, very quickly vanilla Dayz wasn't all that appealing in the LONG TERM. You run, you loot, you run, might kill a couple players, loot them, run some more. It simply had a flaw of, not anything to do but run around looting for MOST it's content.
So gave rise to mods of the Dayz mod... and the two "flagships" of them, Epoch and Origins.
Origins offered content not done anywhere else. not only could you build houses , you could also fix up some post appoccy vehicles, boarded up buses , dune buggies with metal plates, ... drive a bathtub around. It also had a different Map , which i'd personally say was the second worse map done specifically for a post infection setting, but that's where Origns was played.
Epoch, offered a bit something else. The grind for loot , was offset by traders, new concept of "trader cities" , where you could basically purchase goods, even own vehicles.
Epoch also did something not done before ... Modular base building. Now not only could you "survive" , you could make your own little secure ( as secure as it gets) in the world. Not just survive , but thrive.
Base building granted another thing to do, besides the usual run from town to town, looting. Running to airfields to gear up.
It offered "more" simply. But in doing so, it did sort of ruin the "survival" aspect of what original dayz offered.
But, was Dayz a "survival" game?
It certainly spurred off many "survival genre" games , it certainly got other games going in the "survive the zombies" type of settings. But, no .. not really a "survival game" , the largest "threats" not being the zombie/infected AI, but simply other players itself.
One could have called it : " A large open world PvP , random battle royal , with no true "winners or losers" , no end to the struggle" , and THAT is a better description than " survival".
But it was a mod of a rapidly aging game, that had it's own bugs and limitations. Dayz developer seen a market niche, and announced a Standalone version to come soon.
- The death of DayZ starts-
While it's not completely "dead" , especially now offered on console ... Dayz suddenly became a "split" type of player base.
Arma3 -tried- but it's mods failed to capture the uniqueness the Arma2 mods offered, like a scramble to catch up to what Arma2 mods offered, but ... at the same time the genre was already split up.
Many left Arma2 for Standalone, as the MAJORITY of players played Arma2 for Dayz , many never even trying the military simulation portions.
Standalone , offered early access, and player expectations were high.
Arma3's Dayz mods ... also further split the player base, but in all three .. there was a dwindling off of interest.
"Survival genre" was a very short lived genre. Mostly because , well ... no game was actually "good at survival" , most being simply grinding fest of supplies.
Arguably it was "Standalone" that " killed Dayz" ... murdered it.
I don't think so really. While that Standalone game, drove off interest, being in aplha forever and a day , with it not working, it's bugs, it lacked the raw APPEAL of what the original mod had offered ...
It was more a matter of, .. players/people were simply bored with the very concept.
Most played Dayz mod for Arma2 , and well... it all be came "the same thing". KOS fest and running gathering loot/supplies.
The lack of real competition in this specific niche , also help kill it off. If players had many good options for games to play, that were more similar , and not pieces of crap/waste of money ... I think it would have spurned developers to do more, work harder, and one-up the competition. Content added, more options, more things to do ...
A few of us still plug away on the Arma2 mod , and few of us into the DaiZy SP mods for it still.
All in all, it's a neat concept. We must really love this game to keep coming back to it.
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Xbox1 and PS4 both have dayz standalone now, but they cannot be played offline. Must get a subscription and pay for it, play on provided servers. No options for private servers yet.
Arma series I doubt ever goes to console.
Closest I would say , thats actually still got a good solid playerbase is Miscreated, as far as competition goes. It plays a lot like Dayz, but is done in crye engine , which is visually nice.
But Miscreated is not "infected" , it has mutants , wildlife , and severe environmental hazards and a map thats 1/4 the size of chernarus.
Epidemik ( Project Origins) was shown trailers, and announced a couple years as a Origins "standalone" , but I hadn't followed it to even know if anything had been done there.
7 days to die-
there were a couple "free-to-play" ones that popped I don't remember the name for now.
All these sucked.
Other "survival games" ... I think maybe The Mist was possibly a good game, but it's also entirely singleplayer , and very "grindy". It had some night creatures that hid from daylight in it.
the rest -
Weren't anything close to Dayz in any form.
Arma2 vrs Arma3 "mods" -
I would argue Arma2 still has the better "Mods" for dayz ... however Arma3 plays smoother, is better visually, but seems it's Dayz mods just weren't the same as Arma2's. Since Arma3 is a better tactical shooter than Arma2 , and most play Dayz for the PvP ... makes sense more would be playing A3 mods than A2 mods now.
Standalone- I hear it's better now, but it already lost it's drive. Lost it's playerbase. It held onto hard-core followers, and cheaters/hackers mostly.
Very few "populated" servers in US timezones.
Consoles - Hit and miss. You have those that really love the game, and those that really hate it. I think because console players are used to more high action, intense moments ... and many have called DayZ on consoles a running simulator , and a waste of money.
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