Day Z’s standalone release will use a more familiar, MMO-style server arrangement rather than the ARMA 2-based system the mod version employs.
“This week saw our lead programmer outline a dramatic plan to change the face of DayZ and how it will hit the world at the end of this year. Simply put, the application will move into a traditional client-server relationship which the server makes most of the decisions,” creator Dean “Rocket” Hall announced in a blog post.
This turn of events was made possible by a lucky coincidence.
“Thanks to an extremely fortunate set of occurrences much thinking and some development had already occurred; the crack team of programmers behind Operation Flashpoint have been thinking about these things for many years,” Hall said.
As a mod of ARMA 2, Day Z currently employs a system in which both the client and server must run all the simulations. This isn’t ideal for a game like Day Z, and results in loads of performance issues as well as making the game easy to hack. As Hall notes, this isn’t any fault of ARMA 2’s so much as the natural consequence of commandeering an engine designed for one purpose for something entirely different.
“It is a testament to the Real Virtuality engine that this is even possible,” he said.
Under the new set up, the server will act as an “umpire” and “call the shots” – run the world. On top of that, all unnecessary systems – like AI characters being able to reload, which zombies just don’t do – will get the chop, allowing for optimisation of those that remain.
“Achieving this will be tough, as we are already crunching very hard. If this heavy optimization is as successful as it would rationally seem to be on paper, then we will be limited on player numbers not by performance, but map design,” Hall said.
Grand news. Day Z’s standalone release has not yet been dated.