“The Freeside Trading Company” by Joss, The DayZ War Photographer

“Photojournalism from the fronts lines of the Chenarus infestation.”

Trust is a finite resource on Chenarus, but it’s a commodity that the boys of the Freeside Trading Company must rely on. 

Click here to read more about our war correspondent Joss.

(Gallery of full-sized images at the bottom of the page)

A customer is met at the entrance before being escorted into the Trading Post.

When two people meet on Chenarus, usually one of them ends up dead. But the Freeside Trading Company is attempting to carve out a little piece of civilization in a world dominated by mistrust and desperate aggression. They are doing this in the face of banditry, zombie infestation and relentless hacker attacks.

The Company is run by three main officers: Publik, Vulwulf and Kurkistan. When Publik first contacted me he told me that they had managed to set up a working trading post on Chenarus. Every weekend they meet, customers turn up and they facilitate trades between the people who arrive. I was impressed. How could this even be possible? It seemed to me like a logistical nightmare. When I asked Vulwulf why it is that they do this he told me: “I can’t give you a really good answer as to why I do it – why we do it… So many people had said ‘this is a great idea but it isn’t possible’. I did it half to prove them wrong and half to do something amazing.” They have certainly achieved this goal.

After being met on the coast I am driven to the trading post in one of the Company’s vehicles.

When I arrived at the camp I was even more impressed. Barbed wire, tank traps and sandbags have been placed to force customers through a prescribed route through the camp and into the customer holding area. Customers are met a short distance outside of camp and are escorted by two members of the company whenever they wish to enter or leave. They must walk at all times, never run and have their weapons lowered. They are constantly watched by ever-vigilant guards. Customers must all stay inside the holding pen at all times and sit on the floor when not making a trade. That can either trade with each other or sometimes directly with the Company itself. The whole operation runs smoothly and efficiently with everyone aware of their roles.

Kurkistan puts down an errant zombie

The Company faces a problem. It’s the big one. The hackers. Every single op they run is a huge target for those looking to test out their new hacks. I had only been at the trading post for an hour before a hacker ran a script that insta-killed everyone on the server, and the hackers are taking their toll. Publik speaks of an “utter lack of morale at this point with all the bullshit that we pull. DayZ at the moment is kinda run by the hackers. It’s sad but true.”

A group of traders is escorted out having concluded their evening’s trading. Just moments they and everyone else on the server were killed instantly by a hacker’s script.

So why are the company still trading in the face of this onslaught? “Every time I see a post on the forums saying ‘you guys are doing a great job, we traded with you guys and despite what’s happening with the hackers you should keep going’ that is what keeps me going.”

Juicebox, a charismatic and confident combat officer, told me: “It’s the greatest game I’ve ever played when you actually fight someone that’s legit. It’s the most intense feeling I’ve ever had. That’s why I keep playing, just hoping for that fair fight.”. Then Vulwulf chimes in: “We actually had a legit attack on Friday’s op. From what I gathered from the radio chatter during the confusion there were 8 of them. We had killed four and lost two of ours. We were laying down suppressing fire while a team of three led by Kurkistan tried to flank them. Then just as they were coming up on their flank a hacker teleported us all to Solnichniy and tried to blow us all up with a satchel charge. Even with the hacker attack it was still the most fun I’d had during an op.”

A counter-sniper team including Juicebox, Xyro and Kitrick keep a vigilant watch over the Trading Post and constantly scan the treelines for possible attackers.

I was along for the ride during trading hours last Sunday when they suffered their most devastating attack to date, which ended with an explosive finale. For once the attackers appeared to be genuine non-hackers. They were highly organized and on this occasion the Freeside Trading Company were bested. Their number were diminished quite possibly due to the morale issues cited by Publik – ten players, four new. According to Vulwulf this is “what I consider just enough people to safely defend Devil’s Castle.” I was atop the tower photographing of one of their sniper team when it happened. The shot rang out and the sniper fell to floor before my eyes. I immediately hit the deck and crawled panicking back down into the tower. The radio chatter became furtive as the Company responded. Snipers manned their posts, the guards on the gate readied for battle and a team was designated to mount a counter attack on the snipers, to be led by Juicebox. This team needed another member and, tempted by the thought of the amazing action that might greet the lens of my camera, I volunteered. Big mistake.

Santaman the guard hops his bunker wall to clean up a few zeds.



Click read the rest of this entry below to finish this article and see more screen shots


Continue reading

Dammit Bael! Onboard Graphics

Read part 1 here


Onboard what?

To add insult to my noobish injuries, running DayZ on my pc was a nightmare. The two guys I played with in the beginning, Phryxx and Grimm, were pretty chill about my computer’s inability to handle the ArmA graphics, and Phryxx was more than patient trying to explain how to turn down video options, but no matter how much we were troubleshooting, I still lagged something horrible. I was running at half speed, and most of my progress forward was reversed soon after it was achieved—you know, two steps forward, one step back sort of thing.  This made playing the game funny, but also frustrating. Phryxx took video just for Lulz:

I had so much issue with this lagging, stuttering, unpleasantness that I actually took a slug to the chest via friendly fire because I wasn’t visible in the path of the bullet, but was apparently there for the game system. Not to mention, killing zombies was more difficult than the typical zigzagging zombie difficulty. I’m fairly certain I shot Grimm on more than one occasion as well because of the lag—he’s lucky I’m a really terrible shot.

Come to find out, I was playing the game with only an onboard graphics card…. Phryxx helped me chose a decent graphics card, got that bad boy rush delivered, and haven’t had many graphical problems since.

If you took the time to watch the video, you will notice that my gun is discharging, but I’m not on the other side of the monitor clicking the mouse. What was happening is on Alt+Tab, coming back into the game can make your weapon fire. To avoid accidental discharge, simply hit esc in game to pull up the menu, and then Alt+Tab. Firing your weapon involuntarily when you tab back to DayZ is not only startling, but downright dangerous. Not only is everyone in the area aware of your presence (players and Zed alike) but friendly fire is on and spraying your group full auto is a really bad day. (I’ve never seen a group of grown men squeal and hit the deck and dive for cover faster than when a teammate with a SAW Alt+Tabbed back in whilst standing in the middle of the unit).

You’ll also notice that the group of us are complete noobs, running with flares, on a road, god-knows-where. I definitely don’t recommend doing that, unless you have a death wish, and in that case, carry on. We got away with this simply because when we started playing, this Mod was still in its infancy, and players related to each other a bit differently.

So now I have to scratch off “Terrible PC” as an excuse to use when in fact I am, B.A.D.

Dammit Bael! The DayZ Experiences of a Terrible Gamer.


Greetings and Salutations fellow gamers, bloggers, forum-goers and miscellaneous riffraff, my name is Baelethal and I am terrible at video games. There, I said it. I’m hoping to be able to share my stories and experiences with you all, so if you want more of this, leave feedback, comments and general demands and I’ll negotiate with the lovely webmaster of this site.

Growing up, I played Super Mario and Duck Hunt. My household didn’t have a PC, and we didn’t get a new gaming console every Christmas. Computers are still a foreign concept to me on a lot of levels (my inability to operate a PC often just adds to the hilarity of situations). About 2 years ago, friends of mine introduced me to World of Warcraft—the boyfriend needed a healer. Through WoW, I met various amazing gamers, and have decided to take a new journey with some of them into uncharted territory—the Mod for ArmA2 called DayZ.

I’ve never played a First Person Shooter. I’ve never played a simulation. I’ve never played ArmA, and I’ve never played in a “sandbox”.


Chernorus Can be a Lonely, Scary Place

Chernorus Can be a Lonely, Scary Place


Things that go bump in the night

I finally got the Mod working, and was chilling on TeamSpeak with Grimm. We decided on a server, and jumped into the game. First ever loading screen! We’d done some mild research—watched a few videos and the like while waiting on the downloads, so we were pumped. I get into the server and stared at the screen in amazement.

“Grimm, I can’t see…what is this?”

It was pitch black, with very few stars in the sky, so I stumbled around a little bit and heard my feet slosh in the water.


Click read more below to read the rest of this blog post

Continue reading

Stockholm Syndrome: How Six Men Kidnapped Me in DayZ

Kidnappings are a fun, although totally unnecessary part of DayZ now. ArmA 2 has a built-in “surrender” function anyway so it was not a huge surprise to see people try and use it. I know someone who got “kidnapped“. Other clan mates were teasing him and telling him he should have just ALT-F4’ed or DC’ed. He said he was bored and just wanted to play along.

Basically what happened is that 2 or 3 guys with good gear and 2 ATV’s found him in Cherno and told him to drop his gun which he did. They told him he was now their slave and that his “tight ass would sell for a good price on the market“. After driving him around on and ATV they eventually stopped. I forget all the details, but they ended up back in  Cherno for some stupid reason and the “slave” grabbed an Enfield off a dead player and fought back.  Only after the whole thing was over did he tell us that they never took his pistol and he could have shot them anytime.

Continue reading

“I Kill Everybody. You’re the First One I Didn’t” [short story] by QuietEyed1

“I have my scope sighted in on your head. Declare friendly, or I fire.”

I froze, belly in the grass, in the shadow of a nearby tree, and felt suddenly completely exposed. I stared at the shifting grasses,  the nearby barracks, seeing nothing, having heard only that vaguely British accent somewhere to my left. Bricks were indeed shat.

Frozen for a long instant, I figured I had nothing to lose.


“Right. I’m not going to shoot you, then. Are you going to shoot at me?”

Continue reading