Friday, January 3, 2014

Confirmed Upcoming Features for DayZ Game

"There is a great deal of topics dealing with this, so I thought I would confirm what we will definately be doing, and give some background why they are not in yet. List not exhaustive and will be added too as time allows.

More Zombies

Target delivery: Ongoing

We absolutely plan to have more zombies. To cope with the current total dynamic entity count of over 10000 we have had to make a great deal of optimizations. If loot is completely removed, we can easily run 4000 zombies in our debug builds. In the new year we will be optimizing the way we handle dynamic objects (such as loot) a great deal more which should give us significant savings - but the change was considered too risky to be done prior to alpha launch. If we had problems, we would have delayed the project further by months.

Multithreaded Server

Target delivery: Early 2014 & Ongoing

To assist with increasing player and zombie numbers, we will be parallelizing the server architecture. Currently RV does offload some extra threads off to other cores, but this is for rendering and file handling - neither of which are issues for the dedicated server which uses no rendering and has a greatly reduced file footprint. This should provide some very, very dramatic improvement in performance where additional cores are available. Note, however, that this will increase the complexity of hosting DayZ - it may mean that we see a greater dispersion in the capacities of DayZ servers.

Respawning Zombies & Loot

Target Delivery: Early 2014

Currently to have the server check if something needs respawning can cause an issue with performance. We did not want to go with a "scripted" solution for respawning, and it is expensive on server performance. Player spawning on the coast is conducted by the engine, and we are going to employ a similar process for managing zombie and loot spawn (possibly parallelized). This is a high priority task and zombie respawn at least is very close to being implemented.

Server Management Options

Target Delivery: Ongoing

Additional options for those hosting servers will be rolled out as soon as we can. We want to encourage a "hardcore" mode that will operate on a separate database, featuring things like first person only, no hide body, etc... In addition, we also want to provide passworded servers that will operate on their own shard of the database. This shard could be grouped, so that a group of passworded servers could operate on their own database. Eventually, we would like to see these different communities on their own db running their own variations of DayZ to meet specific communities needs.

Animals & Hunting

Target Delivery: Early 2014

The AI for animals is based on the new AI for zombies (some will notice the old local ambient animals making zombie noises and acting aggressively!). We have a cutdown version of this we will be using for hosting animals, including those from ArmA2 as well as new animals such as a deer. We already have the meat models made, and we have the basics of cooking. So this functionality is quite close. It does have an impact on the server, and at the moment we could only run about 300 animals per server without seriously impacting performance (until we have started additional server optimization).

Additional Anti-hack and Security

Target Delivery: Late 2013

We are working on additional anti-hack to supplement the implementation of VAC. We have been working closely with Valve for VAC as well as our other anti-hack partner. Details of this will be released shortly. The most important thing to remember is that anti-hack is really the secondary defense - the primary defense should be good architecture. We have already identified (and fixed) several key vulnerabilities in the three days since launch. There are more we know about and I am sure more we don't. The purpose of this early phase of alpha is to identify and fix those. As our architecture now relies on the server controlling and adjudicating everything, we can close off locally controlled functions and back doors - which is what we have been doing.

Cooking & Gathering Resources

Target Delivery: Early 2014

This is a system that was not completed prior to the alpha launch so is half-done. Additional work will be done and pushed when we can. This will include gas cookers (already ingame) and the creation of fireplaces. We will be allowing players to gather resources from the world, such as firewood, stones, etc... This will then be utilized by the existing crafting system."

~DayZ staff

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