“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

 

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Hacking, Scripting, and Griefing: A DayZ Primer

 

The DayZ user experience is getting worse by the day. Average players having their game ruined by someone else should  be due to their own incompetence, not an injected script. As a normal, law abiding citizen of Chernarus I enjoy giving people by own brand of “grief” via hot lead coming at them at 3,000 feet per second, which is about how fast a bullet travels from the barrel of an assault rifle.

 

Mano-a-Mano

I admit I am one of those dickheads that kills you, takes your ammo and gadgets, then hides your body so you can’t get your stuff back. If I leave your body then you better be sure that me or someone else is just using it for bait. Call me an asshole all you want – resources are scarce and you gotta do what ya gotta do.

I get a huge rush knowing that me and my enemy are on equal ground. He can see me and I can see him. He can shoot me, and I can shoot him. If I best him in combat it is because I am better, faster, more wise. Not because I stole mommies credit card for some quick shits and giggles on a full server.

By the same token, when I die in a fair fight I know it was only for one reason. I was stupid.

The Defense Department Regrets to Inform You That Your Sons Are Dead Because They Were Stupid

The Defense Department Regrets to Inform You That Your Sons Are Dead Because They Were Stupid

 

Quit Calling Them Hackers

Let’s get a few terms out in the open. Stop calling them “hackers”. The people that are ruining DayZ are not hackers in any way. Hackers do what they do mostly for the thrill of discovery. Exploration of the unknown. Being the first one to say “I did that”. I am not advocating hacking in anyway, but I understand the desire to take something apart and see how it works, might that be a VCR or DVD player, a frog, or a website. This is natural.

What is not natural is getting extreme, possibly sexual satisfaction from making someone else feel bad. If you did a survey of DayZ “hackers” I think you would find a lot of misfits that did not get the love and attention that they deserved as a kid. For some reason either they were not raised right, or they are missing something in their lives. No body will pay attention to them IRL so they seek the spotlight elsewhere. They are sick of people picking on them and it makes them feel good to go pick on someone else.

The proper term is griefer or griefing. Do not give these punks the title of hacker. They did not create anything, they did not invent anything, they did not discover anything. It requires zero skill, dedication, or patience to do what they do. They are children with an aimbot, nothing more.

 

It Happened to Me

My experience with all these issues is thankfully not very much. I have had a guy teleport to me and kill me with a silenced weapon. He was doing this to everyone. I know this is true because death messages were popping up at a pace of one every 5 seconds or so. I was in the forest in the east, and I had 2 clan mates in Cherno. We all died in the same manner in a span of about 20 seconds. No way that was legit. Also, nobody saw the guy even though the shots were point-blank.

Another thing I have seen is the huge flames lingering over Elektro. It looked like the whole city was on fire, but as you got closer and stood in the flames you could see that the whole area was covered by this effect. Another “hack” is to teleport everyone into the air or to one place where they start killing each other.

 

Please click the link below to read the rest of this post.

 

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Ultimate DayZ Graphics Settings and Tweaks Guide

As we all know DayZ is a very demanding game, in all senses of the word. ArmA 2 itself needs a good amount of RAM, CPU and GPU power itself, and the DayZ mod adds a whole other layer of code on top. Also since DayZ uses a very unique “hive” central server there is more demand on your internet connection. The game server that we play on has a huge part to play in this equation as well. You really have to make sure your rig is set up properly to get the best performance. The goal is the highest FPS or Frames Per Second that is possible for our machine.

Field of view or FOV may be changed (some people can do without adjusting FOV – depends on your monitor mostly). Click here for a full guide on changing your FOV. FOV is how much can you see on the screen at any given time. Default is I think 65 but I like 80 or 85 for DayZ.

 

DayZ Looks Amazing at Times – pic by Joss

 

There are a lot of tweaks that you can do besides the settings in-game. If you are not comfortable changing your config files, then you might want to leave them alone. MAKE A BACK UP OF ANY FILE BEFORE YOU CHANGE IT. I will not be responsible for you messing up your installation! This is your one and final warning!

Make sure that all of your drivers are up to date. Motherboard/CPU, graphics card, and sound card especially. Up to date drivers will fix a lot of issues! 

For the giant polygun bug going on right now try this tip from gamefoo:

Got those giant shards and artifacts making the game unplayable? Fix is here:

  1. Go to Documents/ArmA 2/playername.ArmaA2OAProfile
  2. Open file in Notepad
  3. Search for “sceneComplexity=;”
  4. Change to “sceneComplexity=100000;”
  5. Save changes and exit.
  6. Launch DayZ with preferred method.

Also you can make this tweak by setting “Object Detail” to “Very Low” (thx again to Szalent)

 A quick tip: if things are suddenly running bad you can try and flush the system. You flush by holding SHIFT and pressing the numberpad “-” key. Then let go of SHIFT and type the letters:  F   L    U   S   H   (flush).  Your screen will go black for about 5 seconds, be careful.

Graphic Card Settings

The fist thing we are going to look at is your graphics card settings, not your settings in game. Weather you have an Nvidia card or an ATI card you can do this. If you have some 3rd party card then I have no idea… I will pray for you. I am not going to tell you how to find your graphics card settings, I am not a tech support guy. Good places to look are your Control Panel, also you might want to try looking in the programs list for either Nvidia or ATI. Below is an example of what they look like. DO NOT USE ANY SETTINGS YOU SEE ON THE IMAGE BELOW. I purposely made it very blurry so no one tries to use those settings. The real settings will be below the image. This is just what the panels look like, you have to find them on your own computer. You will have one of these depending on the brand of your graphics card:

 

ATI on the left, Nvidia on the right.

Graphics card control panels: ATI on left, Nvidia on the right.

Graphics card control panels: ATI on left, Nvidia on the right.

 

Once you find the panel make the adjustments below to suit your taste. Keep in mind that the higher you put most of these settings might slow your game down, but if you find the exact right one for you, it is really going to smooth out your game. You may or may not have all of those setting options, depending on a lot of factors. There may be a couple settings that can go bad, but most of the choices you can make here are every safe for your system. You don’t have to worry about backing anything up just yet, that will come when we tweak the .cfg or “config” files.Here are somethings to try taken from here.

 

  1. Ambient Occlusion – Off
  2. Anisotropic Filtering – Application controlled
  3. AntiAliasing Gamma Correction – On
  4. AntiAliasing Mode – Application controlled
  5. AntiAliasing Setting – Application controlled
  6. AntiAliasing Transparency – Off
  7. Maximum Pre-Rendered Frames – 0
  8. Multi-Display/GPU Accelaration – Single Display
  9. Performance Mode
  10. Power Management Mode – Prefer Maximum Performance
  11. Texture Filtering Sample Optimization – On
  12. Texture Filtering Negative LOD Bias – Allow
  13. Texture Filtering Quality – High Performance
  14. Texture Filtering Trilinear Optimization – On
  15. Threaded Optimization – Auto
  16. Triple Buffering – Off
  17. Vertical Sync – Off

 

 

For many more tweaks including changing configuration files click read the rest of this entry below.

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Tech Support Threatens to Leak DayZ Gamer’s Home Address to Criminals

Read the details here at an UberGizmo story

Basically what happened is someone mistakenly ordered a 10 man DayZ server from Defcon Servers not knowing that such a thing is not allowed (then why did they sell it to him). When asking for his money back, a refund that he did not get, he was threatened by email:

“So you want to play games you little shit? How about I post your home address and personal details all over the internet? Would that make you happy? Watch who you fuck with. I will make it so every criminal in your state has your address.”

I would not take this lightly, go read the article for yourself. I was hoping to advertise for some DayZ server hosting companies on here, but it seems like some of them are hardly professional. I think working all day in an ice-cold room with all the bandwidth they can handle goes to these guys heads sometimes.

 To their credit the company has issued an apology that you can read for yourself here.

I hate to see so much hacking, bad hosting, and other problems hit this community. I want the public to know about it though, so I will keep bringing you the highlights, and the disappointments. Just like DayZ. Sometimes you loot that shiny new toy to play with, sometimes you take a Makarov to the dome.

 

 

ArmA 2 Patch 1.62 Released

For those that do not know, we have been waiting for the new ArmA 2 patch to come out. The time is now, so all the beta patches are over for now. We have been testing the ArmA patch with DayZ for about a month now (2 months or more for me, I adopted it and enjoyed it before it was required).

With this new patch we get ammo counters, increased security and script support. Expect hot fixes down the line though, there always is. If you have been playing DayZ these changes are nothing new, they are incremental and have mostly been very positive for ArmA and DayZ.

This new final patch is actually cross-compatable with the last beta patch which looks to be 95248. What this means is that you should be able to play right now if you or your server has either the last beta, or the final 1.62 patch installed.

Download ArmA 2 Patch 1.62 here

Click Read More below to see what has changed.

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Steam Daily Deal: ArmA 2 Combined Operations $17.99

This is it, the moment you have been waiting for. Now you can play DayZ for under 20 bucks, or get that second account you have been lusting over.

What is everyone doing in game this weekend? Comment below and let us know…

Steam Daily Deal: ArmA 2 Combined Operations $17.99

Why You Should Turn Shadows Off When Playing DayZ

Follow up here: The Eternal Debate Over Graphics Settings

As we all know DayZ at times becomes pretty much a sniper simulator. For better or worse, most engagements are at long ranges. However even the closer encounters can be shaped by the lighting on the battlefield. Yes I called it a battlefield. If I have a gun and you have a gun, it’s a battlefield. In the hills, in the woods, in the cities, and even inside buildings shadows play a huge role.

 

Phryxx Providing Overwatch

 

 

Seeing and Being Seen

Success in DayZ, ArmA, other FPS games, and even real life combat has distinct stages.  Sometimes both partys are moving,  hopefully they are using ALT to turn their heads, scanning and sweeping. We call this “keeping your head on a swivel”. Checking ridgelines, fields, treelines, and other potential ambush positions. Other times one party is stationary and the other one is moving. In this case the stationary party has a huge advantage as I point out in this blog post about movement in DayZ. As long as the ambushing group stays still and stays hidden they should “get the drop” and be able to shoot first. When the bullets start flying people tend to freak out and forget all their tactics. Also, it is usually very hard to tell where the shots are coming from. This leads to a huge mess and often ends up with a lot of flies in the air.

Your skin and also what gear you are carrying play a large part in how you are seen in this game. The Czech backpack is not very large, but it is fully cammo making it a great pack for the sniper that has not found a ghillie suit yet . The ghillie suit basically removes the skin and model of your pack so it does not matter how the pack looks. The ALICE pack is a great pack. Large, easy to find. The problem is that it sticks out like a sore thumb, especially at the lower LOD levels. LOD or Level of Detail just means that as you are farther away from an object the skin changes and gets less detailed to save processing power. The ALICE pack currently has an almost white skin at longer ranges (chick pants anyone?).

 

Click the link below to see the shadow comparisons and read the rest of this post.

 

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DayZ Beginners Guide – Learning the Basics

I know most of the readers out there are salty dogs that eat snakes and piss gasoline, however there is currently a MASSIVE influx of new players. Some people might be mad at me for helping newbies out so much, but I appreciate the competition, I don’t mind if everyone gets better at the game. Who knows maybe some of this training will help when the REAL zombie apocalypse hits. Bath salts anyone?

The following video was graciously made by our friend Sacriel. I actually watched this when I was pretty new. I found it (or he made it) a little too late to help me as I had figured most of this out, but if you bought the game during the current Steam Sale you are going to want to watch carefully.

Enjoy, and comment below to let me know what kind of videos you want to see in the future.

 

DayZ Beginner Guide Wiki

We are getting a ton of new players right now to DayZ, and I hope some of them are finding helpful posts on this site.

The DayZ Beginner Guide on the wiki is a great guide if you are new to both DayZ *and* ArmA. You get a rundown on the HUD and icons, how the different status effects work, also how to eat and drink. The section on gear and inventory is invaluable at first. I figured out most of it on my own and deleted some good stuff that way.

Remember: when switching guns take the gun FROM your bag and put it INTO your hand. If your pack is full and you do it the other way around you will lose that gun forever. Also be careful dropping stuff on the ground, especially roofs or floors in a building. Sometimes stuff disappears. Grabbing a new bag can also cause you to lose the old one – with everything in it.

DayZ Beginner Guide Wiki

Amazon.com Has ArmA2: Combined Operations right now for $20!

If you want to get into DayZ, or you are looking for your second account then go grab it right now from Amazon, they have the lowest price!

This game is growing by leaps and bounds jump in now!

ArmA2: Combined Operations [Download from Amazon.com]