Thursday, July 26, 2012

Diaries From Day Z: Day Two

I was joined by a friend in my second day of Day Z. My friend, JSL, had spawned on the coast like all new players do. Without an in-game map by which to navigate, we had to describe notable landmarks to each other as I attempted to back-track towards the coast. "I can see a lighthouse from here." ~ "I vaguely recall seeing a lighthouse at one point. Do you see any piers?" ~ "No, but I see railroad tracks." ~ "Maybe we should follow the railroad tracks to each other, because I also see railroad tracks." ~ "But are we looking at the same rail line?" ~ "And if we are, how do we make sure we're going in the right directions?" ~ "Where's the sun? Can we guide by it?" ~ "Can't tell. It's cloudy."

In the midst of all of this, JSL managed to get himself killed, and thus respawned at a completely new location. With nothing else to do, I decided to loot some nearby houses, figuring if I died, I'd at least respawn somewhere on the coast and we could find each other more easily. At this point, I was already over half-dead from various zombie encounters, and didn't have any valuable loot to worry about losing. But when I found a hatchet in a farm house and figured out how to equip it as a weapon, I found a whole new thirst for life.

A weapon. Self-defense. Empowerment. Such a novel concept after spending a whole day running around unable to defend myself, forced simply to run an infinite stretch of the map until I gave up and let myself be killed. I mean, you can't even push or kick zombies when you're unarmed, and basic weapons can be incredibly difficult to come by if you don't know where to look. With a weapon finally in my hands, I decided to kill every zombie in sight. Twenty dead zombies later, I had a modest collection of canned food and sodas looted from their corpses, and a health bar nearing five percent. Turns out melee combat is extremely dangerous when fighting an entire group of the world's fastest zombies.

Pardon me, I must axe you a question

Near death, I ran up the road for the next outpost, hoping to find some food to replenish a little of my depleted health. As I approached a house with a picket fence around its yard, I turned the corner into the yard and practically bumped into a figure crawling along the ground towards me. In a slight panic, I swung my axe, nearly hitting the thing, before realizing it was a fellow survivor. "I see someone with an axe." ~ "Are you laying down next to a house?"

Finally united with JSL by the stroke of extreme coincidence, we set out into the woods, seeking a safe refuge from the towns and outposts heavily populated by zombies. We wandered aimlessly for nearly thirty minutes, hardly finding anything of note except another hatchet for JSL and one can of beans. Turns out there's not much to see or do out in the woods, apart from avoiding zombies. All-the-while I can't see a damn thing because my screen is blurred to hell from being at 3% health, constantly collapsing on the ground, losing all control of my character for 5-20 seconds at a time.

Eventually we found a road and decided to follow it. After a few minutes of this, we found ourselves randomly teleported to an open field with seemingly every other player on the server -- I now had a crossbow in my hands, which I didn't have before the teleport. Naturally, everyone panicked and started shooting each other; I died looking down the sights of my crossbow trying to figure out what the hell was going on. After that, JSL and I respawned on two piers about a half-mile apart from one another. As I looked inland, I saw the Chernarus landscape on fire -- everything was ablaze, seemingly the result of a graphical glitch.

I ran to meet up with JSL, but naturally we ended up attracting the attention of a few zombies. Bereft of our weapons after our ignoble deaths, we were once again unarmed and unable to do anything with the zombies but run for our lives. It's at this moment that JSL decides he's had enough of the aimless running and calls it quits for the night. I continue running with a train of zombies following me, and as I see a small town on the horizon, I fall over dead, killed instantly by a bullet fired from a gun I never even saw or heard. It was at that moment that I called it quits for day two.

(For anyone wondering, the random teleportation seems to have been the handy work of a hacker. I'm not sure if the fire was a hack or not, or if I was even legitimately killed in my final sprint, since pretty much everyone on the server had just died.)

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