Friday, October 5, 2012

Night and DayZ, Session Two

Welcome back to Night and DayZ, the log of my journeys in DayZ -- entirely after nightfall. Last session, we followed our wayward survivor as he started out on a beach of the zombie-filled Chernarus and watched as he discovered weapons, ammunition and tools to ensure his survival. Before ending the session, I set the objective of finding a larger backpack. Read on to see if I am successful!
Session Two, Start Time: 11:45 PM

Deciding the next priority was to find a better backpack, I decide to venture to Chernogorsk. While large cities are the most dangerous locations you can visit, I figure the risk would be slightly negated by the darkness of night and the low player count on the server. Furthermore, while Balota is much closer, there is a supermarket on the western outskirts of Cherno, a location that often holds a great deal of worthy loot.

Session Two, Map One
I leave the air traffic control tower (1 on Map One, above), noticing that the barbed wire previous deployed downstairs has disappeared. I leave the building and check the hangars as I pass (2 above), finding a hunting knife and two M203 grenades: one HE (high-explosive) and one white flare. It's at this point that I realize I don't actually know how to switch grenade types -- I know F cycles through the different thrown weapons you are carrying but I am unsure how to load different grenade types into the M203. Something to look up later.

I depart the hangars and make my way to the garages at the end of the airstrip, taking a less direct route than before and circling to approach them from behind. Inside a hangar I find a wire fencing kit (3 above), which I shove in my pack, and in the small alcove of the building opposite the garages I find a second morphine auto-injector and a handful of bandages and painkillers (4 above). I load up as much as possible before deciding to venture on.

Map Two
I spend the next stretch of time (ten to fifteen minutes or so) moving stealthily towards Chernogorsk. At first I follow the treeline east, not wanting to present myself in the open. After some time, I check the map on DayZDB and reassess my approach to the supermarket. Seeing that the supermarket is actually closer to the shore than inland, I decide to cross the road and follow the coast into town. It's a risky move, as I could reveal myself to anyone watching (or even new players spawning in) but I decide a safer approach into town is worth it.

I cut straight into Cherno, heading to the western factory and following the main road in. The closer I get to the supermarket, the more zombies I see and the more nervous I get. I have my M16A2 out, ready to down any zombie that senses my presence, but I am always checking for an exit route; while I am sure the rifle is powerful enough to protect myself with, I am afraid firing within the city limits would bring a host of zombies down upon me.

Map Three
As I approach an intersection, I notice a flickering light coming from around the corner of the next house. The light is my bane: I opted to play this game entirely at night to better protect myself and, right now, the only thing light means to me is other players. I nervously approach the corner, leaning around to see what poor soul is shining a light in the middle of Chernogorsk at night.

Instead, all I see is a trash can on fire (1 on Map Three, above), illuminating the back yard of this house. (I tried to take a screenshot to illustrate how eery the sight was but, alas, it failed. Next time, perhaps!)

Letting out a sigh of relief, I decide to cross the street; unfortunately for me, this was a grave mistake. As I reach the other side of the street, a zombie rushes up beside me and attacks me, causing me to start bleeding. Knowing I had no other recourse, I turn and shoot the zombie twice in the body and once in the head, fearing the horde of zombies that would come down upon my position.

Luckily, only one other zombie rushes up to me, a specimen I down in a handful of shots. I look around and can clearly see a handful of zombies shambling near me, but none were alerted to my presence. I can now attest that the M16A2, while perhaps not extremely powerful, is an accurate and relatively quiet weapon, two qualities that I am extremely thankful to have on my side. I quickly bandage myself and continue. (This all happened at 2 on Map Three, above.)

After a close call, I continue my way to the supermarket (3 on Map Three). I make it inside and take a look around. Alas, I do not find a backpack: instead, I find a dead body, rotting in the back room. Checking his dogtags, I find his name is Easton. I check Easton's gear and relieve him of the watch and the water bottle he was carrying. I take an extra moment to hide Easton's body: while I did not know him, I appreciate the gear he was carrying and hiding his body seemed the only way to show my respect. Rest in peace, Easton.

I take another look at the map and decide my next objective should be to search the church nearby. It is only a block away and should hold some useful gear. I make my way out the back door of the supermarket, largely disappointed by my haul within the store. I stop at a building on the way (4 above) to the church, inside which I find lots of ammunition for sidearms but no pistols to load.

Making it to the church (5 above), I quietly close the doors behind me and take a look around. Again, there is no backpack and little in the way of usable equipment, but I note that the church looks like an easily defensible location. There is only one entrance, which is usually a con for defense, but I figure it would be a decent place to end my session.

Keeping that in mind, and knowing I will not rest this night until I have procured a backpack, I decide to head to the nearby fire station to search for equipment there. On the way I search through a corner café (6 above), finding all manner of drink (including three more water bottles, two of which are already filled -- these I take) as well as a number of other useful items. Noting this location as a good place to return, I head further into Chernogorsk.

At this point, I am comfortable with being within the city. I am taking things slow, keeping to the shadows, and have not had to engage any enemies since my approach to the supermarket. Admittedly, there are times when I sit and wait for a zombie to pass me by, but I am a patient person and waiting does not bother me.

I make it to the fire station (7 above), quickly closing the doors before whipping out my flashlight and having a look around. I discover a number of items: an AK-74 with no ammunition; a 100-round box of ammo for an M240; a considerable number of chemlights and road flares; and a handful of bandages and painkillers. Really, nothing that I find useful -- and, again, no backpack.

Despairing, I decide to circle back around to the supermarket to take a second look -- hoping for either a missed item or a respawn of items. Of course, as I turn to leave, it begins to rain, seeming to amplify my failure. Delightful.

As I approach the supermarket, I have to crawl under a gap in the wall around the fire station. I cut through another house (8 above), turning to the left to search one of the rooms. Inside, I find a scene that sends my mind reeling: in opposite corners of the room, lying dead, are two bodies.

The first, a man whose dogtags read Matt, seems to be clutching a Lee-Enfield. Searching his person, I find he is loaded with eight clips of ammunition for the rifle, as well as four bandages and a handful of Makarov clips.

The second man, lying dead in the opposite corner, has dogtags that read Tim. Other than a pair of binoculars (which I quickly grab), Tim has little of interest on his person, though -- to my glee -- he is wearing a large Czech backpack. Quickly throwing my own pack on the ground, I procure the larger pack from Tim's body. If you read this, Tim, I thank you very much for fulfilling my dreams. Rest assured, your backpack will serve me well.

After retrieving all the gear from my old backpack and relieving Matt of his bandages, I am forced to take a moment to analyze the scene before me. While finding Easton dead in the supermarket didn't phase me -- the supermarket is a common place for new survivors to die, if they are not cautious enough -- finding these two men, dead in the same room of a random house, causes my curiosity to run away with itself.

Were Matt and Tim allies? Perhaps they worked together, looted the supermarket and found useful supplies. And perhaps, while they were leaving, one of them was detected by a zombie; in the ensuing chase, Matt -- the only one with a weapon -- would have been forced to defend them both, ultimately failing and falling before an endless horde of undead.

Or perhaps Matt and Tim encountered each other randomly: perhaps Tim was searching through Cherno, moving slowly and methodically like I am now, but encountered Matt and his Lee-Enfield, perhaps from afar. Rushing into this building, Tim hoping to find a weapon to defend himself, Matt may have stalked his prey, hurrying to catch him before he got away. Arriving in the house, Matt may have finished off the defenseless Tim, hoping for great loot, only to find a horde of zombies attracted by the sound of his rifle.

These are the sorts of stories DayZ creates, both in action and in these still vignettes that people stumble across in their travels. Whatever happened to them, I offer my condolences and hide their bodies, showing them the same respect I showed Easton.

Shaking off my stupor, I decide to head to the fire station and circle back around to the church that way -- taking a direct route to the church leads me next to the supermarket and the large intersection it sits on, a now unnecessary risk after finding Tim's backpack, so I decide against it.

Map Four
Crawling back under the wall surrounding the fire station, I come literally face-to-face with a zombie (1 on Map Four, above). I have to stop myself from firing my rifle instinctively, not wanting to alert any other zombies. As I slowly back away, shocked by the experience, the zombie instead crawls away from me, seemingly unaware of my presence at all. I once again thank the night for protecting me and proceed forward.

As I reach the fire station once again (2 above), the rain lets up. However, I find the door that I used to leave the fire station closed -- something I do not recall doing. Nervous, I ready my M16 and head inside, checking every corner possible. I find nothing new inside -- all of the items I passed by are still resting on the ground, though now that my backpack has doubled in size, I spare some time to retrieve some additional items I believe may be of use.

After making sure there were no others in the fire station, I leave, heading back to the church. I take my time, not wanting to get caught in the open in the middle of a city. Indeed, I very nearly am spotted once, just across the street from the church, but manage to sneak by undetected.

I reach the church (3 above), head inside, close the doors behind me and instantly feel safer. Then, just to be secure, I turn and unravel the wire-fencing kit I brought with me, creating a rudimentary barricade just inside the door. No zombie will be able to reach me, even if they manage to open the door.

Settling back, feeling very accomplished with my efforts tonight, I take an inventory of my collected supplies (something I will relay here, so you can keep track at home):

  • M16A2 M203
    • 5 Clips of 30-round STANAG ammo (4 full, one clip at 22 rounds)
    • 1 M203 Flare White 
    • 1 M203 Smoke 
    • 1 M203 HE 
  • Czech Backpack
  • Bandages (7)
  • Can of Baked Beans
  • Can of Frank and Beans 
  • Chemlight (Blue) (10 remaining)
  • Heatpack 
  • M1911 Mag (full)
  • M9 Mag (2; both full)
  • M9SD Mag (2; both full)
  • Morphine Auto-Injectors (2)
  • Painkillers (3)
  • Road Flare (10 remaining)
  • Smoke Grenade (2; 1 white, 1 green)
  • Can of Coke (2)
  • Water Bottle (2; both full)
  • Binoculars 
  • Flashlight 
  • Military Flashlight 
  • Hatchet 
  • Hunting Knife 
  • Watch 

Before logging out, I review my session and set an objective for next time. It seems my next point of business is to find a sidearm -- preferably an M9, by the look of my inventory, though a revolver or an M1911 would not be remiss. Of course, to carry a sidearm I must first holster my flashlight, a thought that does not fill me with confidence, considering I aim to travel mainly at night. Still, a handgun would go a ways to secure my safety.

I am also fostering the notion of finding and carrying a crossbow; my pack is now large enough to fit a second weapon and, though the M16A2 is a solid weapon, I am worried that one wayward shot may bring an entire horde down upon me. A crossbow would be silent and the bolts are retrievable, meaning I could use it on raids into town and then pull out my M16 only if things got dicey. (Alternatively, a silenced firearm would be very useful, though those are rare at best. Perhaps one day.) Of course, crossbows are largely found only in rural areas, so it seems next session will take me out of Chernogorsk and out into the wilderness.

Feeling secure, I log out, excited for my next session.

Log Out, 1:34 AM

Thus concludes session two of Night and DayZ. Tune in next time to see if I will find a sidearm, a silent weapon, or only death in the wilderness. Until next time!

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