This is another long interview with Rocket, but it is an important one as they ask some good questions. Not everyone has the time to watch it all, so I am going to attempt to transcribe some of it. I don’t intend to do this for every interview that comes out, but every once in a while we need to hear from the man himself.
One of the first things he mentions is that his brother is a virologist, and has influenced the style of zombies. Don’t forget that Rockets zombies are “infected”, not dead. He says he doesn’t care what “type” of zombies are in the game as long as they feel “authentic”. The odd behavior of the zombies is meant to be both a threat, and unpredictable. The risk/reward balanced is brought up, zombies should be challenging and not just a headache. Rocket goes on to talk about his military time and how he had to complete a survival course. He got in to the idea that a survival game would bring in a psychological aspect, and he thought it could be a good training tool.
Rocket mentions that he is a “carebear” and he has only killed one person in-game. He said it really changed him, seems he did not like it. Seems strange huh? Yet kind of cool. Rocket would rather group up with friends and do the co-op thing.
Rocket says the success has had a huge impact on the development of the game, he says it has slowed it down a lot. Him and Matt (and other friends) used to just jump in a server and play, Rocket would make some changes and then reboot the server to try them out. Now he wants to push for “performance optimizations and improvements”. Right now they are going for fixes, later they will add new content.
Long term Rocket says the mod has “outgrown” itself at 400,000 players, now it’s over double that. He says a DayZ standalone is “an abject certainty”. I just love those $5 words. He says there are no announcements made yet, but he says a standalone game is inevitable, weather by him or “by someone else“.
For future plans, one thing we might see is tweaks to loot spawns including possibly some dynamic buildings that “move around a little bit each time the server is reloaded”. Sounds like the helo crashes to me. One of the better suggestions I have read is to add in a few “downed pilots” into the game. They would spawn randomly in the forest (helo’s only spawn in the open) and you could loot their packs for some descent military gear. More things like this would be welcomed. He says that kind of thing is what this experiment is all about, finding out what works and what doesn’t. Some things will not be fixed in the mod, but in the standalone.
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For those that may not know – loot cycling is where you pick up loot and move it away in the hopes that new loot will spawn in its place. When asked about loot cycling Rocket says:
“You can’t encourage player ownership of the world in some ways, and then get angry at them for doing other things“.
The ever present ALT-F4 and ghosting problem is brought up next. Players logging in and out will now be recorded by the master database. When you log in the game will make a judgement if you have logged in or out due to you exploiting, or if you are just trying to find a friend or fix a technical problem. Of course he doesn’t say exactly how – that’ a good thing. Some things should be secret. Rocket says he wanted this fix out this week, but it’s just been too crazy so I would not expect it until next week (the week of July 30th).
Rocket admits that once people figure the game out (he says it doesn’t take long) there has to be more for them to do. The bandit “problem” is due to there not being enough to do for the advanced players. Dean says he is going to add “group play” and “construction options”. These are more “authentic” things that fit the mod well. He does tell us that he is not working on this yet, but that the planning is beginning. Rocket says that these things are possible. He wants people to control their world and change it.
He actually says that a whole new mode may be possible regarding building. Due to the instanced nature of the game there might be a way to stay in an instance with your friends, but not mess up the PvP aspect. It’s not very clear what he meant here, this is the first I have heard him say anything about alternate modes.
Helicopters are removed for now due to lag. They *might* be back in the next patch, after the “radar” is removed. Helos have been a big problem performance wise. He does want them in the game though. Right here Rocket admits an X-Com influence.
When asked if he is happy with how nighttime is now implemented he says “only a poor designer would ignore a valid issue”. However he says he has not looked at it much from a design standpoint. You just pick something and try it. using an accelerated cycle did not work in testing, but might work in a standalone game. Admitting it is too dark, more dark than intended.